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-Get a consolidated list of all items of military equipment scheduled for delivery in the next year.
-Get from the President an idea of the basic stance he wishes to take and, within the stance, present him with the various choices.
-Do nothing one way or the other on the military shipments or the loan questions until the President has had a chance to review the situation.
[Omitted here are conclusions relating to Ceylon.]
Mr. Kissinger: General Cushman, can you tell us where we are? Gen. Cushman: After three weeks of fighting in East Pakistan, the West Pakistanis hold the cities and are moving along the roads west of the big river. They can apparently move throughout the countryside as they wish, and it is only the fact that they do not have enough men that is limiting their movement.
Mr. Kissinger: Is Bogra in rebel hands?
Gen. Cushman: The rebels are still there but the Army hasn't moved up there yet. They are taking the villages without any real resistance. There are 20,000 to 40,000 West Pakistan troops-possibly more. It is only a matter of time before they control all the population centers. The Bengali forces aren't resisting; they're just melting away.
Mr. Kissinger: Are they melting away or disintegrating?
Gen. Cushman: They're disintegrating. They are not in communication with each other and are not an effective force. Their morale is low and they are disorganized and fatalistic. They could, however, be a long-term problem if the Indians keep supplying them and they turn to terrorism or acts of sabotage. There is no doubt that the Indians are
involved in clandestine support activities; they're supplying them with arms, ammunition, food and medical supplies, and have sent in advisers and sabotage teams. They also helped organize the Bangla Desh government that was proclaimed on April 13.
Mr. Kissinger: Where is it located?
Gen. Cushman: Chuadanga near Kushtia, although there is some question that they are still there. The press reports that the leaders have crossed the border into East Bengal. Mujib is its titular head, although its acting head is Ahmed, second man in the Awami League. They have no conception of what is happening. The Indians apparently had thought of recognizing the regime, but that is now doubtful since they don't control anything. The Russians have recommended against recognition because of their doubts about its viability. Chinese public statements remain favorable to West Pakistan and accuse India of intervening, but we doubt that they will go beyond verbal support. The Soviets are apparently opposed to the bloodshed and are not specifically supporting the insurgents. The East Pakistani economy may be a determining factor. The fighting has disrupted transportation, food is becoming short, the ports are barely operating. If this continues, we can anticipate a crisis by September. The cost of the operation, the drop in trade, the loss of foreign exchange from East Pakistan-these are all additional strains on an already stagnant economy.
Mr. Kissinger: The IG paper2 gives us three basic choices and seems to prefer the second. They are related to a number of issues: military supply, program loans, PL-480, a reply to the letter from Yahya, recognition of Bangla Desh, our public posture. Can we assume the recognition question is moot? There is nothing to recognize. The choices are described as "hands off", use of selective influence, and an all-out effort to end the hostilities. These choices all seem to assume a prolonged war. How realistic is this since West Pakistani superiority seems evident. I agree I used to think that 30,000 men couldn't possibly subdue 75 million, which I suppose is the Western way of looking at it. But if the 75 million don't organize and don't fight, the situation is different.
Gen. Cushman: It's a little too early to tell what the Bengalis will do. They could undertake acts of sabotage or massive non-cooperation. Mr. Kissinger: Is that happening?
Gen. Cushman: Not yet.
Mr. Kissinger: If they organize themselves in guerrilla forces and go in for mass non-cooperation, it could be very tough. But we have no evidence that they are doing that.
2 See footnote 3, Document 28.
Mr. Irwin: We have no evidence either way. I can't help but think, however, that eventually there will be trouble. We have no evidence that there will be cooperation by any East Pakistan elements with any influence. We can't really tell yet, but I think there is a good possibility they will not cooperate.
Mr. Kissinger: Whom are we trying to impress in East Pakistan? If there were a functioning guerrilla force it would be one situation. Suppose West Pakistan regains control?
Mr. Irwin: That's the advantage of the middle solution.3 We don't have to commit ourselves.
Mr. Kissinger: But with the middle course we could get the disadvantages of every course of action. It could infuriate West Pakistan and mortgage our relations with them, without getting anything concrete from East Pakistan. Particularly when we can't define the East Pakistan leadership.
Mr. Van Hollen: We've already passed the first phase in the paper. The West Pakistan army is in effective control of the major cities and is moving toward the border towns. The question is whether they have effective control in the areas in between. They can't unload ships at Chittagong since they're not in full control and they can't get the Bengali stevedores to work. The question is whether India will sit still. They are worried about the radical element in East Pakistan and may step up their clandestine efforts across the border.
Mr. Kissinger: I've read the SNIE1 and I agree that it could happen. But we've seen no evidence of any effective opposition.
Mr. Van Hollen: You can't go by bus between Dacca and Chittagong. The railroad is not running. The East Pakistan government is simply not operating.
Mr. Kissinger: The recommendations under Option 2 would be interpreted by Yahya as a cut-off of military assistance. That may be what we want but we would be biting the bullet in terms of a substantial rupture of our relations with Yahya. If we hold up PL-480 shipments
3 The object of the selective influence option, as outlined in the IG paper, was to maintain influence in both parts of Pakistan without foreclosing future options. Under this option, the IG team recommended deferring all lethal military supplies as well as new development loans. To balance those deferrals, they recommended continuing technical assistance and loan support, and the resumption of the distribution of food supplies under PL-480 to the area affected in 1970 by the cyclone in East Pakistan. On the issue of how to respond to the resistance movement in East Pakistan, they recommended establishment of discreet contact with Bangla Desh representatives while refraining from recognition of a new government until the Bengali resistance gained effective control over East Pakistan.
for assurance that the food will get to the countryside, this constitutes a substantial challenge to the West Pakistan notion of sovereignty. Although we may not consider it as a form of taking sides, it will be so read. And it may not be enough for East Pakistan.
Mr. Packard: I've been looking at the items on the military sales supply list and there is not much shippable for some time. We may not have to take a position now and it would probably be better to wait.
Mr. Kissinger: We could do it on technical grounds. When is the question likely to come up?
Mr. Packard: In May 72 when we are due to ship 300 APCs.
Mr. Saunders: We have to decide whether or not to let the sale proceed.
Mr. Packard: We have some spares and accessories due to be shipped in the fourth quarter of 1971, but most other items are not due until 1972. We can take some more time with this ...
Mr. Kissinger: Suppose West Pakistan should pay for the APCs? Mr. Van Hollen: They have already made a down-payment of $1.3 million.
Mr. Kissinger: When is the next payment due?
Mr. Packard: We certainly shouldn't send the down payment back. Mr. Kissinger: I agree. Let's just sit on this one until closer to the delivery date.
Mr. Packard: We can sit still for sometime. There are a few things we might want to deliver which wouldn't come down on one policy or another. We might alienate West Pakistan if we don't go ahead, with no clear result.
Mr. Irwin: I thought that was what the paper is saying-that we should make each decision on a case by case basis.
Mr. Packard: With one difference-we wouldn't state any policy. Mr. Van Hollen: We can hold in abeyance any policy judgment. Mr. Irwin: The paper says we should defer for the time being. It doesn't say we should announce anything.
Mr. Packard: I'm more worried about possible domestic reaction.
Mr. Packard: We don't think so and we've given State some guidance on a public position. We can't determine what is with the freight forwarding agents and we don't want to ask them for fear of stirring up public notice. Also there is the question of commercial sales from private companies. I think we should hold everything in abeyance but don't say anything publicly.
Mr. Kissinger: (Reading from the paper) But the paper says "defer effective implementation of the one-time exception sales offer" and "defer all deliveries of ammunition and spare parts..." This goes beyond what Dave (Packard) is saying.
Mr. Schlesinger: When are the West Pakistanis likely to run out of ammunition?
Mr. Packard: We don't know.
Mr. Irwin: We have some more flexible wording of item 5 than in the original paper. (Passed a new paper around the table.)
Mr. Kissinger: (Reading from the new paper) "Defer for the time being deliveries of ammunition and deliveries of spare parts for lethal equipment which has been used or might be used in East Pakistan."
Mr. Packard: We have some spare parts for torpedos due to be shipped on April 15 and May 15. I see no reason to stop them.
Mr. Kissinger: Can we get a list of the deliveries scheduled for the next year.
Adm. Weinel: We have 28,000 rounds of ammo ($30,000) due to go in July. Also 507 150-pound bomb parts for $24,000 and $15,000 worth of fuses.
Mr. Kissinger: Would it be in our interest to defer these?
Mr. Irwin: From the point of view of Congress, these deliveries of ammunition might be troublesome.
Mr. Kissinger: But we would pay a very heavy price with Yahya if they were not delivered.
Gen. Cushman: These items wouldn't affect their ability to fight a war to any extent. They are using mostly small arms.
Mr. Packard: I think we should be prepared to take a little heat from Congress. We can't let Congress decide everything.
Mr. Kissinger: I think we must go to the President before we hold up any shipments. This would be the exact opposite of his policy. He is not eager for a confrontation with Yahya. If these weapons could be used in East Pakistan, it would be different. I suggest we ride along on the 300 APCs. We don't have to accept any more money or ship anything. I see no relation to East Pakistan.
Mr. Packard: We will get a consolidated list of everything that is still due for shipment. Then I think we should wait until the situation clarifies.
Mr. Irwin: I agree that we should do it on an informal basis.
Mr. Kissinger: Before we start shipping anything that's due we should give the President a chance to rule on it. He should have a
5 Only one version of the IG paper has been found.