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it would also be helpful in this task for you to continue your efforts to build on the program announced in your June 28 address* for enlisting the support of the elected representatives of the East Pakistani people in the urgent work of national reconciliation.
All of these measures will be important in countering the corrosive threat of insurgency and restoring peace to your part of the world. They will also hasten the day when the United States and other countries can resume, within a revised national development plan, the task of assisting your country's economic development which has been so tragically complicated and slowed by recent events.
In addition, demonstrable progress on the political front will mean that our own counsels of restraint in New Delhi will have a greater chance of success.
I have asked Ambassador Farland and Mr. Williams to share with you some additional thoughts on these subjects, in the same spirit of friendship which you have so kindly shown for them in the past and which has also characterized our own discussions. Finally, let me extend my warm regards and assure you again that I appreciate fully the tremendous tasks that you and your countrymen face.
Anatoliy Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador
Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 7, Part 2. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The conversation was held during lunch in the Map Room at the White House. Kissinger summarized the conversation in an August 24 memorandum to the President. (Ibid.)
We then turned the conversation to India. Dobrynin said he wanted us to be sure to understand that the Soviets were doing their best to restrain India. They wanted peace in the subcontinent. It was an ironic development where they were lined up with what looked like we had always thought was the pillar of democracy while we were lined up with the Chinese. I said as far as the subcontinent were concerned, we were not lined up with anybody. We above all wanted to prevent the outbreak of a war, and we hoped that they did not inadvertently give the Indians enough backing so that they felt it was safe to engage in war. Dobrynin said that their interest was stability, and in fact they had invited the Pakistani Foreign Secretary to come to Moscow in order to show that they were pursuing a balanced policy. I said that they should not encourage Indian pressures for an immediate political solution since that would only make the problem impossible. I stated it would be best if we worked on the refugee and relief problems first and on political accommodation later. Dobrynin said that he was certain that the Soviet Union basically agreed.
Dobrynin then asked me whether it was correct what the Indians had told them, namely that we would look at a Chinese attack on India as a matter of extreme gravity and might even give them some support. He said that the Indians had been puzzled by my comment but had then put it all together after my trip to Peking. I said that I never commented about meetings in other countries, but that we certainly were not aligned with any country against India. Dobrynin commented that he admired the general conduct of our foreign policy even when it was objectively directed against the Soviet Union, but he felt that our arms policy towards Pakistan escaped his understanding. We were paying a disproportionate amount for what we were shipping. I said that we never yielded to public pressure and that he knew very well that the arms we were shipping were minimal and inconsequential with respect to the strategic balance.
Dobrynin volunteered that the Soviet treaty with India was not in response to recent events but had been in preparation for a year. [Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]
125. Analytical Summary Prepared by the National Security
Washington, August 17, 1971.
CONTINGENCY PAPER-INDO-PAKISTAN HOSTILITIES
At the Senior Review Group meeting on July 302 concerned with NSSM 1333 (Contingency Planning on South Asia), it was decided that those sections of the paper dealing with U.S. actions in case of war should be updated and expanded. The following summarizes and reviews the current state of our contingency planning for the possible outbreak of hostilities between India and Pakistan. Actually this current paper represents only slight progress beyond the earlier effort.
I. The Prospects (pp. 1-3)
The danger of a new war in South Asia "remains real." If no progress is made toward (a) political accommodation between West and East Pakistan and (b) repatriation of Bengali refugees from India by September or October, the chances for hostilities "will increase."
U.S. actions in the event of another Indo-Pak war would in part be conditioned by the circumstances in which the hostilities broke out. The most likely scenarios are:
-Indian military forces attack East Pakistan in an effort to, at a minimum, seize and hold part of the area and at a maximum to drive out the West Pakistani forces.
-India steps up more direct support for a major insurgent effort to seize and hold a portion of East Pakistan.
-A gradual process of escalation involving incidents along the East Pakistan-India border with confusion as to who is most at fault.
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-082, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 8/17/71. Secret; Exdis. No drafting information appears on the summary, but an August 17 transmittal memorandum, attached but not printed, to Kissinger suggests it was drafted by Hoskinson and Kennedy.
2 See Document 111.
3 Document 88.
*See footnote 3, Document 111.
* On August 17 NSC staff secretary Jeanne Davis circulated to the Under Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Chairman of the JCS an undated paper prepared in the State Department that revised sections V and VI of the contingency study referenced in footnote 4 above. The revisions, which are summarized in the analytical summary, are a refinement of the initial response to NSSM 133. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-082, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 8/17/71)
-West Pakistanis initiate hostilities by attacking guerrilla sanctuaries in eastern India and/or Indian military support bases.
-West Pakistanis, either to divert Indian attention or to demonstrate Indian vulnerability, attempt to stir up trouble in India-held Kashmir and/or along the Kashmir cease-fire line. As in 1965, the situation rapidly escalates to full scale hostilities. (The State paper does not include this possibility but it seems real enough to be considered since from a Pak point of view Kashmir is India's most vulnerable point.)
II. U.S. Interests (p. 3)
Should war break out between India and Pakistan it would be in the U.S. interest that:
-the hostilities not expand to include third parties, particularly China (and the Soviets).
-to see that hostilities are not protracted since a prolonged war could do profound damage to the political, economic and social fabric of India and Pakistan.
Thus, the paper concludes, U.S. interests would be best served by an early end to the conflict and by negotiations among all parties leading to a withdrawal of Indian troops and an overall political settlement.
III. Options in the Event of Hostilities (pp. 3–13)
The U.S., according to the paper, could pursue one of the following three broad strategies in the event of hostilities between India and Pakistan:
A. "Passive International Role." (pp. 4-5) The U.S. would assume a "relatively passive" (or inactive) posture indicating our basic neutrality. Such a role might be particularly appropriate in circumstances where (a) responsibility for the outbreak of hostilities was unclear, (b) the likelihood of Chinese involvement was judged to be small and (c) the conflict appeared likely to be of short duration. Such a posture might involve:
-adopting a public position that we did not intend to become directly involved and would not provide assistance to either side;
-support of efforts in the Security Council to end hostilities and achieve a negotiated settlement;
-suspension of all economic and military aid;
-Presidential offer of good offices to both Yahya and Mrs. Gandhi; -close consultation with Soviets and British;
-cautioning Chinese (and Soviets) against involvement (presumably only if they seemed to be heading in that direction).
The argument for is that U.S. involvement would be at a minimum and we would at the same time maintain maximum flexibility as events unfolded. Also, our relationship with both India and Pakistan would
be preserved. (As long as the Chinese stayed out and refrained from adopting a menacing posture toward India, there would be a hope for maintaining our own relationship with them.)
The argument against is that we would risk serious damage to our interests if the conflict were protracted. Indian dependence on the Soviets and Pakistani dependence on the Chinese could be increased without any significant gain for the U.S.
B. "Military Support." (pp. 6-9) At the other extreme would be a decision to support with military assistance either India or Pakistan. We have limited commitments to both sides (through SEATO and CENTO with Pakistan, and through the 1964 Air Defense Agreement with India), although there are no provisions for automatic U.S. involvement and these are practically speaking dead letters.
1. To Pakistan. (pp. 6-8) In the event of a clear-cut Indian attack on Pakistan, the Paks might well turn to us as they did in 1965. Short of providing U.S. combat personnel, we could:
-develop an emergency military supply program;
-take the lead in mobilizing international pressure on India to halt its intervention;
-support a Security Council resolution condemning India.
The argument for is we would be supporting Pakistan's national unity, diminishing Chinese influence and strengthening our position elsewhere in the Muslim world.
The argument against is that U.S. interests in and relations with India would be "seriously damaged" and the Soviets would gain ground there. Moreover, our actions would probably have little effect on the military outcome of the conflict and there would be no basis for a U.S. conciliatory role.
2. To India. (pp. 8-9) The judgment of the paper is that military support to India is a "less likely" strategy in the context of a limited Indo-Pak conflict. However, if China were to intervene massively on Pakistan's side and seemed to threaten India in a major way "we would want to consider providing military assistance to India." Short of providing combat personnel the U.S. might:
-offer to consult with India under the 1964 Air Defense Agreement;
6 The reference is in error; the agreement was signed in New Delhi on July 9, 1963, by Prime Minister Nehru and Ambassador Galbraith. The text of the agreement was transmitted to the Department on July 10 in telegram 143 from New Delhi; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XIX, Document 307.