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ready. From this I conclude they think we're ready to deliver and they're not.
Crosland: They're ambivalent. If we take your main fear—that the outcome of this initiative may not be our peaceful plan but a black takeover—if we do nothing, won't we be worse off?
Kissinger: But are we better off?
Now to my problem with Vorster. Basically the only way we can proceed, on your analysis, is for the United States to ask Vorster to overthrow Smith.
Kissinger: And we can't tell him anything that will happen. We can't tell him guarantees, we can't tell him anything. Is his domestic situation strong enough? Especially because some in his country can plausibly say his getting into this negotiation has weakened his situation in South Africa. In June my argument to him was that this would buy him time for his own problems.? I can't tell him this now.
Crosland: He'll say he can't agree until he knows whether the blacks will sign on to the guarantee program.
Grennan: We think you can get it from the black Presidents if you can promise them Smith's head.
Rowlands: Yes, because we could never put the whole package to them. The guarantees are part of the whole package.
Kissinger: We're now at your first question: What can I say to Vorster? If I ask him only to deliver Smith's head, can I say we will support his successor in the request for guarantees? [Assent from the British side.) The successor to Ian Smith says he will agree to majority rule under conditions of guarantees.
Rowlands, Grennan: Yes.
Kissinger: Then the blacks have lost their excuse, or the reality, of their suspicions. Will the blacks agree to guarantees?
Crosland: Yes. But which comes first?
Vorster has never said he'll deliver Smith's head. Can we tell him we will support the guarantee package?
Crosland: The purpose of your visit to black Africa was to say: If you can agree to a guarantee package, then the British and the US will give their backing.
Kissinger: Yes, exactly right. That hasn't changed.
3 See Document 196.
Crosland: Smith has to go, and guarantees. You would also say to him that neither we nor he will agree unless the blacks agree to guarantees in a more definite way. It depends on the four Presidents.
Kissinger: Do they have a veto? Will we be driven to accept anything they ask? Or there is a point where we say: "From here on you get it for yourselves."
Crosland: For the British it is a precondition of going forward that the four Presidents accept.
Kissinger: It's reality. Without the four Presidents, it's not possible. The only differences between what we said before our two missions and now are: We are saying now that Ian Smith has to go before the negotiations, and secondly, guarantees will have to be worked out in the negotiations between his successor and the blacks.
Duff: No. In the first place, the incoming caretaker government will have to have knowledge of, and make public knowledge of, the guarantee schemes, if it's going to get public support. We'll have to back it. This in turn means we'll have to discuss guarantees, both political and economic, with the African side up to a point, so they don't reject them out of hand. The escape route for us is if they fail to agree, the whole thing is off.
Kissinger: The second one is that the Zimbabwean national team is a less attractive one than we thought a few months ago.
. I don't think the American national interest, or yours, is served by another Angola in Rhodesia. I'd rather have it come from the logic of events.
Crosland: Presumably something will come out of this meeting (in Dar es Salaam] this weekend.4
Kissinger: On the one hand, I welcome the meeting. It is the statesmanlike way of proceeding. Because of the missions we sent, which saw them all separately, there is no other way for them to give [get?] a consensus.
The danger is when they start blowing smoke at each other, no one will dare to be realistic. They'll get into fight talk and state unrealistic demands.
When our people discussed Namibia, we heard the maximum position and we were told that modifications were possible. If we were negotiating with Lusaka, the negotiations could get started and it would fall together. Once eight parties get together, there is no way to tell what will come out of it.
4 Neto and the Front Line Presidents met in Dar es Salaam September 5-7. The meeting led to continued support for the Rhodesian African nationalists; there was no resolution of the conflict among the rival groups. (Keesing's Contempory Archives, 1976, p. 28041)
This is why I'm going back. Is this what you would have recommended?
We briefed you as soon as we decided. Our problem is if we didn't tell the press then, it would look like Vorster wasn't cooperative. That would be disastrous in Africa.
Rowlands: Your problem with Vorster is you need to tell him the Africans will accept this package. Our problem in Africa was we couldn't make this offer to them-we couldn't say we would deliver Smith if they accept the guarantees.
Kissinger: I can handle it this way. I can ask Vorster: If he is willing to remove Smith, I'll put it conditionally to the Africans. Then when I go to Africa, I can tell the four Presidents that I can deliver Smith if they'll accept the guarantees. Then I will tell Vorster, “You now deliver Smith."
Kissinger: From our domestic point of view, it would be better if the caretaker government in Salisbury initiates the negotiation, rather than Dar. That isn't more difficult. Whether Vorster will agree, I can't imagine.
Rowlands: The advantage of this is you can say to the blacks: “This is what Vorster will do if there are guarantees." If they go along with it firmly, we're in business.
Kissinger: We have given the South Africans the summary paper. They have accepted it in principle, or nearly. Then on Friday I
gave them the whole package. I didn't want a formal presentation because it almost certainly will be modified in the negotiations, and we would be accused of duplicity.
All right, I understand the problem.
Crosland: I suppose there is nothing to be said for your sending telegrams to the five in the course of this meeting, saying it would be helpful to have a more collective negotiation, assuming your meeting with Vorster goes all right. It would be better than meeting separately.
Kissinger: I had concluded that it would be better if I didn't communicate with them while they are meeting. They think-erroneously—that we need this for electoral reasons. The blacks will vote Democratic anyway; the whites in favor of it are liberal Democrats. It
5 See Document 199, Tab B.
will alienate those who fought the President before. So it will be a net loss; if we break even, we will do all right. Nyerere told us—I think you know—"If we give you Namibia, is
that enough?" [Laughter]
Most Americans think Namibia is a soft drink. (Laughter] So I don't want to be importuning them.
The problem is if this fails, nothing can be done for six months.
Kissinger: So this is the only way it is affected by the elections. If there is a change of Administration on November 2, nothing could be organized until March. That's too late for Rhodesia.
Do we want to let it drift?
Grennan: There is no way to turn the tap off once the next round of warfare begins. It's the rainy season. We know they're planning kidnapping and killing of white women. The South Africans will see their first television war. There will be volunteers going up there.
Kissinger: You're saying we have to move now.
Kissinger: I have felt this meeting of theirs would last until Tuesday. I wanted to send Bill (Schaufele) down, to tell them of the Vorster meeting and hear about their meeting. I proposed to come back the following week.
Can we brief your Ambassadors there?
Kissinger: Bill can brief your Ambassadors. He should report to us, and we'll brief [Richard C.] Samuel (Counselor in the British Embassy). But he can brief them. And you can send someone down there if it's necessary.
Crosland: Just a word about this meeting of the five. Who took the initiative?
Kissinger: He reflected on his dilemma: I would come down and ask him for commitments, and he couldn't deliver. And the others would be in the same position. So it was actually the wise way to proceed.
6 September 7.
The first we heard was Thursday night.
Kissinger: The question is: Should we write him a letter and ask him to form a five-power negotiating team? Or leave it to them how to handle it?
Grennan: Their instinct is to leave it to the Zimbabweans to negotiate.
Kissinger: My instinct is to leave it alone.
Rowlands: The problem is that they not come up with a new list of demands.
Kissinger: I have no objection if your Ambassador did this. Anything they get from me, from today on, they're liable to think was affected by my meeting with Vorster.
Crosland: I agree. They're likely to think that.
As for our Ambassador, I don't think it's a good idea. They're not novices; they know what the problem is.
Rowlands: We'll just have to take a chance.
Crosland: We'll just have to take a chance. One is whether they will add public demands. Second is they will just leave it to the Zimbabweans.
Grennan: The whole purpose of the meeting is to put together a credible Zimbabwean nationalist team.
Kissinger: My nightmare is they'll publish a program we can't accept.
Grennan: I would be surprised if they did that.
Grennan: If they did. I don't think they see unity in those terms. They want operational unity.
Kissinger: I see the meeting as positive. If they can find unity or not. If not, it's better to find out now.
On getting rid of Ian Smith, I'm willing to take that up with Vorster. And I'll tell him if he agrees, we will put it to the four Presidents that if they agree to the guarantees, he will do it.
It will be a pleasant meeting. The Dutch Reformed don't have confession, do they? (Laughter]
Crosland: Where are you meeting?
Kissinger: In our hotel. They can't meet on Sundays. So we invited them to tea. [Laughter] The South Africans announced they wouldn't