8. National Security Council Report0

NSC 5818

NOTE BY THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL ON U.S. POLICY TOWARD AFRICA SOUTH OF THE SAHARA PRIOR TO CALENDAR YEAR 1960

REFERENCES

  • A. NSC 5719/11
  • B. Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, same subject, dated July 29 and August 5, 6 and 12, 1958 2
  • C. NSC Actions Nos. 1961 and 1977 3

The National Security Council, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director, Bureau of the Budget, and the Chairman, Council on Foreign Economic Policy, at the 375th Council meeting on August 7, 1958, [Page 24]adopted the proposed revision of paragraphs 21–27 of NSC 5719/1 prepared by the NSC Planning Board and transmitted by the reference memorandum of July 29, 1958 (NSC Action No. 1961–b).

The National Security Council, the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, the Acting Director, Bureau of the Budget, and the Chairman, Council on Foreign Economic Policy, by Memorandum Action as of August 26, 1958, adopted the revision of paragraphs 6, 11, 19 and 20, and the proposed new subparagraph 25–f, of NSC 5719/1, prepared by the NSC Planning Board pursuant to NSC Action No. 1961–c and transmitted by the reference memorandum of August 12, 1958 (NSC Action No. 1977).

The President has this date approved the statement of policy in NSC 5719/1, as amended and adopted by the Council and enclosed herewith as NSC 5818; directs its implementation by all appropriate Executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, and designates the Operations Coordinating Board as the coordinating agency.

Also enclosed for the information of the Council, are a Financial Appendix and Annexes A, B, C, D and E.4

The enclosed statement of policy, as adopted and approved, supersedes NSC 5719/1.

S. Everett Gleason5

[Enclosure]

STATEMENT OF U.S. POLICY TOWARD AFRICA SOUTH OF THE SAHARA PRIOR TO CALENDAR YEAR 1960

Prefatory Note

1. Many of the problems of Africa South of the Sahara are long-range in nature. Appreciable progress toward their resolution will in some instances require a generation or more. The policy guidance contained in this paper is addressed to those actions which the United States can usefully take in the immediate future. Moreover, the projection of specific policies beyond this period is not feasible because of the marked political changes probable in the area after 1960.

[Page 25]

The Nature of U.S. Interests

General

2. There is a growing awareness in the world that Africa is emerging as an area which will have an increasingly important influence on the course of world events and that the political alignment of the present and future independent nations of the continent will be deeply affected by the policies which Western nations, including the United States, pursue in the future.

3. The United States is concerned that Africa South of the Sahara develop in an orderly manner toward self-government and independence in cooperation with the European powers now in control of large areas of the continent. We hope that this transition will take place in a manner which will preserve the essential ties which bind Europe and Africa—which are fundamentally complementary areas. Africa depends on Europe not only as a source of the normal imports of undeveloped countries but also as the major supplier of investment, both public and private. Europe in turn needs the African market, as well as Africa’s minerals and agricultural products. The United States, therefore, believes it to be generally desirable that close and mutually advantageous economic relationships between the European powers and Africa should continue after the colonial period has passed.

4. We wish to avoid in Africa a situation where thwarted nationalist and self-determinist aspirations are turned to the advantage of extremist elements, particularly Communists. We also wish to avoid the deprivation of African markets and sources of supply to Western Europe, and the economic dislocations that could result from the termination of the social and economic development programs of the metropolitan governments in the dependent areas (which currently average $300 million annually in excess of ordinary budget expenditures).

Specific

5. Economic. American economic interests in Africa are important although not to be compared with other areas. Total American investment in Africa South of the Sahara is now about $500 million, the majority in the Union of South Africa. The area is a predominant source for the United States of such strategic materials as asbestos, cobalt, columbite, corundum, industrial diamonds, tantalum ore, palm kernel oil, and chemical chromite. The United States also imports many other agricultural and mineral products (including uranium) from the area. Our exports to the area, although limited in almost all parts of the area by governmental restrictions which discriminate in favor of the metropolitan powers, are important to the countries concerned. [Page 26]Total U.S. trade with Africa South of the Sahara now equals more than $1 billion annually. It is in our interest to promote and support as appropriate the sound economic development of the area, both as an end in itself and as an important factor contributing to democratic political evolution.

6. Strategic. The strategic value of Africa South of the Sahara stems principally from the area’s geographic location athwart alternate air and sea routes to the Far East, and from its strategic materials. In the event of war or loss of Western access to sea and air routes through the Middle East, control of sea and air communication through Africa South of the Sahara would be extremely important. Recent events increasingly jeopardize our sea and air lanes through the Middle East, thereby increasing the strategic significance of Africa South of the Sahara. From bases in certain areas of Africa South of the Sahara, the Communists could pose a serious threat to communications in the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea, as well as to our important North African strategic facilities, the Mediterranean littoral, and the flank of NATO. Therefore, under these circumstances, our primary strategic interest is to deny Africa South of the Sahara to Communist control.

7. Political. Despite the remoteness of this area from the Soviet periphery, its political stability is important to the United States. Many African leaders look to us to support indigenous desires for self-government, and the colonial powers look to us to support their varying policies. Should serious disorders develop in the area, there might be a further military and economic drain on some of the more important NATO powers, such as has been the case in Algeria. Furthermore, our major European allies would be adversely affected both economically and strategically by the denial to them of Africa South of the Sahara. We have, therefore, a very real interest in orderly political evolution in Africa South of the Sahara.

8. Social and Humanitarian. The United States has a long record of humanitarian work in Africa through missionary and similar organizations. Much of the good reputation we enjoy results from this type of activity.

Broad Lines of Present Policy

9. Our present policies, which must by the size of the area and the differences in people and forms of government vary considerably from place to place, are designed to encourage an orderly development of the whole area based on a mutually advantageous accommodation between the forces of nationalism and the metropolitan powers. This policy manifestly has its limitations, but for the foreseeable future it will remain the only logical and correct course of action to follow. The United States has, of course, a very great interest in promoting, wherever [Page 27]possible, the development and maintenance of the closest possible mutually-beneficial political and economic relationships between the emerging African peoples and the peoples of Western Europe.

10. Within this framework, we are attempting to bring our influence to bear through:

a.
Welcoming and extending political support to new states, such as Ghana, as they emerge.
b.
Technical and economical assistance.
c.
Working directly with the metropolitan powers, through loans to them for specific projects in their African areas, participation in international conferences called by the powers in question, and informal exchanges of views.
d.
Working through the United Nations, particularly where the Trust and other non-self-governing territories are concerned.
e.
Supporting and encouraging constructive nationalism and reform movements in colonial areas in Africa, when convinced they are likely to become powerful and grow in influence; while publicly acknowledging steps taken by Western European powers toward indigenous self-government. Such support and encouragement can take the form of public statements by senior American officials, visits of prominent Americans to the area, an exchange of persons program, and general public and private sympathy in the United States for the desires of dependent peoples for a greater degree of self-government.
f.
Opening new diplomatic and consular posts, strengthening the staffs of existing posts, and increasing leadership, educational exchange, informational and cultural programs.

11. Our future policy must be guided by the fact that in the long run the orientation of Africa South of the Sahara will depend on where the leaders and the peoples feel their best interests lie. To a considerable extent, the African is still immature and unsophisticated with respect to his attitudes towards the issues that divide the world today. The African’s mind is not made up and he is being subjected to a number of contradictory forces. This pressure will increase in the future. The African is a target for the advocacy of Communism, old-fashioned colonialism, xenophobic nationalism, and Egyptian “Islamic” propaganda, as well as for the proponents of an orderly development of the various political entities in the area in question, closely tied to the West. The eventual political orientation of the emerging African states will probably be determined by what the leaders and peoples conceive best serves their own interests, measured primarily in terms of “independence” and of “equality” with the white man. Our policies therefore must be designed to convince the African that the United States wants to help him achieve his economic, political and cultural goals without insisting that he align himself in the East-West power struggle.

[Page 28]

Major Problems and Issues

Nationalism vs. Colonialism

12. Nationalism vs. colonialism is the great issue in Africa today. At the moment, all others, no matter how important, are subordinate to it. Our policies in any field will be of little or no value if we ignore this issue. The problem is enormously complicated and no pat answers are possible. The colonial powers follow different policies, from the Portuguese to the British (in West Africa) extremes. Furthermore, the peoples themselves now under colonial direction are different in culture, history, race and degrees of development. But sentiment and pressures for self-government are everywhere increasing at an accelerated rate. Premature independence would be as harmful to our interests in Africa as would be a continuation of nineteenth century colonialism, and we must tailor our policies to the capabilities and needs of each particular area as well as to our over-all relations with the metropolitan power concerned. It should be noted that all of the metropolitan powers are associated with us in the NATO alliance or in military base agreements.

13. Policy Guidance:

a.
Support the principle of self-determination (self-government or independence) consistently and in such a way as to assure that evolution toward this objective will be orderly; making clear, however, that self-government and independence impose important responsibilities which the peoples concerned must be ready and able to discharge.
b.
Encourage those policies and actions of the metropolitan powers which lead the dependent peoples toward responsible self-government or independence.
c.
Avoid U.S. identification with those policies of the metropolitan powers which are stagnant or repressive and, to the extent practicable, seek effective means of influencing the metropolitan powers to abandon or modify such policies.
d.
As appropriate, cooperate with the metropolitan powers in the development programs of their dependent territories, making it clear that we are not trying to supplant the metropoles.
e.
Emphasize through all appropriate media the colonial policies of the Soviet Union and particularly the fact that the Soviet colonial empire has continued to expand throughout the period when Western colonialism has been contracting.

Racialism

14. Racialism is, of course, closely allied to the colonial question but is most acute in the Union of South Africa and, to a lesser extent, in Central and East Africa.

15. U.S. influence is restricted by the extremely distorted picture Africans have been given concerning the race problem in the United States.

[Page 29]

16. Policy Guidance:

a.
Emphasize U.S. progress in the field of race relations through all available media.
b.
Encourage, where practicable, a more liberal approach in the areas where extremism is now the order of the day.
c.
Point out on appropriate occasions the inevitabililty of violence as the result of rigid racial policies.
d.
Seek to influence any consideration in the UN along constructive lines.

The Communist Threat

17. By and large, Communism has not been a major problem in Africa South of the Sahara up to the present, but its potential influence is a matter of growing concern. There is a discernible Communist influence in African and Indian political groups in the Union of South Africa and penetration of labor unions in West Africa. African students in Europe, furthermore, are assiduously cultivated by local Communists and many have been subverted. Soviet pretensions to being anti-colonial and non-European tend to be effective in Liberia and Ghana, and these governments are flattered by Soviet attempts to cultivate them.

18. Policy Guidance:6

a.
Cooperate locally with security organizations to combat Communist subversive activities to the extent that this can be done without assisting in the repression of responsible non-Communist nationalist movements.
b.
Seek to prevent or at least curtail formal representation of Sino-Soviet Bloc countries in Africa.
c.
Give general support to constructive non-Communist, nationalist, and reform movements, balancing the nature and degree of such support, however, with consideration of our relations with our NATO allies.
d.
In areas where trade unionism develops, guide it toward Western models by working with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, by direct advice and assistance, and by an exchange of persons program.

Military and Strategic Value

19. The military and strategic value of the area arises from its strategic materials and geographical location, especially with reference to sea and air routes alternate to those through the Middle East.

[Page 30]

20. Policy Guidance: The area should be kept under periodic survey to determine any changes in our strategic requirements. Moreover, the United States should, through economic, political and cultural means, develop a political climate which would facilitate early success if base rights are needed in the future.

Economic Potential and Economic Problems

21. Economic Potential of the Independent States. The Union of South Africa has the most highly developed economy of any nation in the area and its economy has been growing steadily. Ghana also has made more progress toward a monetary economy than most of the African areas. Ghana has aspirations for large-scale development to reduce its present dependence on the one crop, cocoa, which is the primary source of its present prosperity. In Liberia economic growth has been rather slow, largely because of the lack of education and the dependence on a subsistence economy, although substantial U.S. private investment has been of assistance. Ghana and Liberia, and other states as they become independent, may require investment capital and technical aid—in amounts varying with their several needs—which the metropolitan powers will no longer be either willing or able fully to provide. Successful U.S. programs in such countries can demonstrate to Africa the sincerity of our friendship and help to prevent them from falling under Communist influence.

22. Economic Potential of the Dependent Areas and the Capabilities of the Metropolitan Powers. There is wide variation in the economic potential of the dependent areas and in the capability of the metro-poles for contributing to their economic development. Some of these territories apparently do not possess sufficient natural resources to permit substantial economic development, even if the necessary manpower and capital were available. Their lack of development potential may, in the future, create serious problems. Other territories have the natural resources but lack technical and managerial skills. The generally low level of per capita income is another factor hindering capital formation, but lack of capital is not in all cases a major obstacle. With respect to the ability of the metropoles to contribute to the economic development of their dependencies, the Belgians appear in the best position to continue the economic development of their dependent area, the Congo—a rich area in its own right. Portugal has financial resources to develop its territories as rapidly as the absorptive capacity of these territories will permit, but Portuguese colonial policy does not call for such development. British and French capabilities are limited by their internal financial difficulties. Both countries have invested large amounts in economic, social and educational programs in their dependent areas in Africa South of the Sahara. The extent to which they will be able or willing to maintain a flow of public capital to their [Page 31]territories require further study, but on the basis of preliminary analysis it appears unlikely that a sufficient flow can be maintained. On the other hand the foreign exchange earnings of a number of British territories and the investment program of the European Common Market for French and Belgian dependent African territories may also prove substantial.7 However, the prospects for adequate economic development support from the metropolitan powers will be heavily influenced by factors other than their financial capabilities. One very important factor will necessarily be a metropolitan power’s appraisal of the likelihood that it will be able to maintain close political and economic ties with a particular colonial territory. Thus our success in attaining the previously-stated U.S. objectives of preserving the essential ties between Europe and Africa, will probably have an important impact upon the rate of Africa’s economic progress, and upon the extent of Africa’s reliance on U.S. assistance. What happens to the movement of private capital, which has been a major factor in the economic development of many of these territories, seems likely to be determined less by the financial problems of the British and French governments than by the economic opportunities offered in the territories and the climate for private investment maintained by these areas as they achieve independence.

23. Specific Economic Problems of Africa South of the Sahara.

a.
The lack of skills and proficiency of African manpower is a major limitation on productivity and economic growth. Colonial powers and private investors have made only limited attempts to meet these deficiencies by formal or in-service training. Provision of entrepreneurial and managerial skills will be most difficult to achieve. The African countries could be developed much more rapidly if a group of managers were trained for industrial establishments, Government agencies, and the other institutions which are essential to a developing economy. Disease and malnutrition further reduce the effectiveness of labor.
b.
The problem of developing Africa is basically one of changing traditional and economically primitive societies to bring them within the compass of a modern economy—of increasing productivity and enlarging the exchange economy at the expense of the subsistence economy.
c.
Most Africans depend upon agriculture for a livelihood. Small-scale subsistence farming is the general rule and the individual farmer ordinarily has no cash crop. Increased production, involving a shift from subsistence to cash-crop farming, and diversification of crops, are of immediate importance for the economic development of the area. The generally prevailing system of land tenure, which does not recognize individual ownership, also discourages agricultural development in many of these countries.
d.
The economies of some of these countries are vulnerable because they depend basically upon one commodity for most of their foreign exchange. Because these commodity exports are often subject to wide fluctuations in price, export earnings are at times severely reduced, and because these exports are preponderantly to the Free World, Africans tend to hold Western industrial nations responsible for price declines.
e.
While a great deal has been done to provide railroads between the main urban centers, a network of roads is required to reduce the dependence of these countries on subsistence agriculture, increase the labor supply, expand domestic markets, and otherwise increase the rate of economic development. Little has been done to develop adequate communications facilities.
f.
Mineral exploration and development are in their infancy in parts of Africa. The minerals potential of several areas may far exceed what is presently known.
g.
Discrimination against Africans retards development of badly needed technical skills, keeps literacy and productivity at a low level, and adversely affects the rate of economic growth.

24. Multilateral Economic Organization. The possibilities of a multilateral economic organization for Africa have been under discussion by the metropolitan powers, particularly the British. Such an organization might serve as a forum for the consideration (without binding commitment) of development programs and needs of African countries and of proposals for economic and technical assistance by donor participating nations. The great diversity in economic problems as well as in cultural backgrounds and political status among the African countries might limit the effectiveness of such an organization in actual practice. Moreover, the usefulness of such an organization to the United States might also be affected by its relationship to other international organizations and institutions, such as the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and by the extent of its membership (e.g., whether all the metropolitan powers were to participate and whether the North African countries, particularly Egypt, were to be included). However, such an organization might have the following advantages from the point of view of U.S. interests: [Page 33]

a.
Make aid to a former colonial territory from the former metropolitan power as well as from other non-African nations more palatable to the recipient African nation.
b.
Tend to stimulate aid from member nations other than the United States.
c.
Permit the United States to provide bilateral assistance while at the same time associating itself with both the newly independent nation and the former metropolitan power.
d.
Provide a basis for a more rational integration of various bilateral aid programs.
e.
Provide a counter-force to efforts to forge a neutralist or Soviet-dominated Afro-Asian bloc.

25. Policy Guidance.

a.
Economic and Technical Assistance. The United States should encourage Africa South of the Sahara to make the maximum contribution to its own economic development; to take measures capable of attracting maximum amounts of external private capital; and to continue to look to the extent possible to Western Europe and to international institutions and to private capital as the primary sources of external capital for development. However, the United States should expand its technical assistance programs for the area, should be prepared to extend development project loans which are consistent with relevant loan policy considerations, and should be prepared to extend limited amounts of special economic assistance.
(1)
Dependent Territories. Although the provision by the United States of economic and technical assistance to dependent territories will necessarily be conditioned by the varying degree of acceptability thereof to the particular metropolitan power concerned, the fact that an area is dependent upon a metropolitan power should not itself serve to exclude that area from U.S. assistance programs. The priority accorded to the different dependent areas and the different types of assistance within U.S. aid programs will be affected by the needs of the particular area and the role being played by the metropolitan power concerned. In administering its aid programs in dependent areas the United States should avoid the impression that it is unqualifiedly prepared to meet the financial needs which may arise from their obtaining their independence.
(2)
Independent States. The United States should:
(a)
Continue and expand U.S. technical assistance to Ghana and be prepared to extend to Ghana development project loans which are consistent with relevant policy considerations, and to support proposals by international lending agencies for similar loans.
(b)
Provide such amounts of technical and economic assistance to Liberia as may be necessary to assist in the promotion of a reasonable degree of economic stability and growth and as are within its capacity to absorb, bearing in mind that in the eyes of the rest of Africa, as well as in much of the rest of the world, the United States is frequently identified with the failure of Liberia to show greater economic progress.
(c)
Be prepared to extend or to continue economic and technical assistance to other areas as they become independent.
b.

Emphasis Within U.S. Aid Programs. In the provision of U.S. economic and technical assistance, special attention should be given to the following:

(1)
Increasing agricultural productivity and, where necessary, encouraging diversification of crops.
(2)
Establishment and improvement of educational facilities and raising standards of education.
(3)
Combatting disease and malnutrition (stressing impact projects), and providing medical facilities.
(4)
Development of additional sources of foreign exchange earnings such as tourism and new products.
(5)
Encouraging the establishment by Africans of light manufacturing and processing industries.
(6)
Development of roads.
(7)
Development of communications systems, particularly on a regional basis.

Within the above categories, the United States should seek out projects which are of particular interest to the Africans or to which they attach special importance.

c.
Minerals Development. The United States should stand ready to provide technical assistance in mineral development, and training for African specialists in this field.
d.
Land Tenure Systems. As appropriate, the United States should encourage and stand ready to advise and assist in the modernization of land tenure systems.
e.
Local Capital. The United States should encourage mobilization of local capital in this area for economic development and should be prepared to provide technical assistance to promote such mobilization.
f.
Civil Aviation. If any economic assistance is given to civil aviation, such aid should take into account the possible future need for military airfields.
g.
Other Free World Assistance. The United States should urge other Free World countries to increase economic and technical assistance to this area and support the European Common Market Plan for investment in dependent African areas if, when operative, it is consistent with U.S. interests.
h.
Multilateral Economic Organization. After informal explorations with selected governments, the United States should take steps, in concert with appropriate African nations and other Western nations presently extending assistance to Africa or in a position so to contribute, to develop an organization to serve as a forum for the consideration (without binding commitments) of the development programs and needs of African countries and of proposals for economic and technical assistance by donor participating nations. Such steps should [Page 35]cover the possibilities both of working through existing multilateral organizations (modified and strengthened as necessary) or of establishing a new organization if existing institutions are found to be inadequate to the task. U.S. participation in such an organization should not alter existing practices in extending its economic and technical assistance primarily on a bilateral basis.
i.
Trade Policies. The United States should (1) send trade missions to appropriate countries and participate in trade fairs held by them; (2) encourage these countries, as they achieve independence, to become members of GATT; (3) while taking account of our general policy of strong support for the European Common Market, continue to encourage the countries concerned to seek, within the GATT framework, mutually acceptable solutions to any serious trade problems raised by implementation of the Common Market Treaty, including the overseas territories provisions; (4) be prepared to discuss commodity problems in accordance with U.S. policy on international commodity agreements. 8
j.
Private Foreign Investment. The United States should encourage the removal of obstacles to private foreign investment, and explore new means of encouraging the flow of U.S. and other Free World investment to the area, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises, making full use of available investment guaranties and tax incentives.
k.
Discrimination Against Africans. The United States should encourage American companies to set an example in practicing nondiscrimination in their operations to the maximum extent consistent with local laws, and to train Africans for managerial positions.
l.
Other Private Activities. The United States should encourage private institutions and foundations to expand technical assistance activities in the area, including assistance in agriculture, health and public administration. The United States should also encourage increased missionary humanitarian activities in the area, including medical clinics.
m.
Soviet Economic Penetration. Existing U.S. policy toward Soviet economic activities applies to Africa South of the Sahara.9

Education and Training

26. The most urgent need by far in Sub-Sahara Africa today is for increasing the facilities and raising the standards in education. More and better schools and teachers are everywhere required, and at every level. Of particular importance is the expansion of facilities for technical education at the secondary school level. American opportunities [Page 36]for assistance vary with the policies of the metropolitan powers concerned and the resources of the independent countries. Without increased educational opportunities it is impossible to expect any early advancement of most African peoples to the point where they are capable of running their own affairs.

27. Policy Guidance:

a.
Give special attention to education and training programs designed to develop Western-oriented leaders in the area.
b.
Promote and assist surveys of the educational requirements of the area, including the possible desirability of an American university along the lines of the existing American institutions in the Near East.
c.
Expand U.S. teacher training, vocational training, and training programs for public administrator, industrial managers and managerial technicians, and assist in the establishment of new teacher training institutions in the area.
d.
Assist the educational institutions in the area with teachers, books, visual aid media, scholarships and the expansion of facilities, particularly for technical education at the secondary level and for higher education.
e.
Encourage institutions of higher education to serve multi-nation, rather than national, needs and assist these institutions as feasible to that end; giving priority to the two African institutions presently using American methods. Encourage private U.S. foundations and educational institutions to support these projects.
f.
Encourage expanded support by private American institutions and foundations in the field of education and encourage the further development of missionary schools in the area.
g.
Encourage and assist in the development of training for Americans as experts in the African field.

Detribalization

28. Although detribalization remains one of the major problems of the area, little positive action by the United States is possible. The tribal and family traditions of the people in question are such that they remain, despite the many advances that are currently being made, extremely primitive in many of their social outlooks. These traditions, while breaking up at an accelerated pace, remain strong, and even the urban African looks for a source of authority to replace the head of the tribe or family. Until some new loyalty is provided, the detribalized African will be an easy target for elements eager to exploit his traditional need for leadership and guidance.

29. Policy Guidance: No immediate tangible action seems possible. In general, support the work of Western-oriented labor organizations, educational institutions and, in some cases, government leaders in a position to influence the African looking for a new source of allegiance.

[Page 37]

Cooperation Within the Area and With the Metropolitan Powers

30. The Balkanization of Africa is undesirable even though full consideration must be given to the vast differences found in the area. Neither the metropolitan powers nor the independent states have shown any great desire to work together. The issuance of invitations by the Government of Ghana to the other independent African states, including those of North Africa, to attend a future conference may be a beginning. Periodic secret conversations between the metropolitan powers take place from time to time and are increasing in frequency, although no tangible achievements are yet visible.

31. Policy Guidance:

a.
Encourage intra-area cooperation among all concerned in the economic, scientific and cultural fields. If inter-area conferences are held, consider what role the United States should play in connection with such conferences.
b.
As an antidote to the blandishments of Egypt and the Soviets, encourage the North African states to exert influence in the area, without engaging in irresponsible irredentism, if practicable in the light of our relations with France.

Islam

32. Islam is spreading rapidly in Africa, although there is resistance to it in those areas where all Moslems are considered Arabs and all Arabs slavers. Up to the present, it has been reasonably free of anti-Western overtones, but its use by the Egyptians cannot be overlooked. Islam is more attractive to pagan Africans than Christianity since it is more adaptable to their traditional customs (e.g., polygamy) and way of life.

33. Policy Guidance:

a.
No immediate action seems warranted. Islam is not necessarily hostile to the United States. On the contrary, in many areas it has proved to be a strong barrier to Communism. Unless its proselytizing forces are captured by hostile elements, no action by the United States would seem to be called for.
b.
As noted above, encourage the Moslems of North Africa to exert an influence in the area as a counterweight to the Egyptians.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, Africa, South of the Sahara, U.S. Policy Toward. Secret.
  2. See footnote 1, Document 3.
  3. Regarding the July 29 and August 5 and 6 memoranda, see footnote 1, Document 6. The August 12 memorandum transmitted the Planning Board’s proposed revisions of paragraphs 6, 11, 19, and 20 of NSC 5719/1 together with a proposed new paragraph 25f. (Department of State, S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 5818 Series)
  4. Regarding NSC Action No. 1961, see footnote 5, Document 6. NSC Action No. 1977 is in Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council.
  5. The Financial Appendix and Annexes A, “Areas Included in Africa South of the Sahara (For purposes of this paper);” B, “United States Exports to and Imports From Africa, By Country;” C, “Gold and Foreign Exchange Holdings of African Territories and Countries South of the Sahara;” D, “U.S. Policy With Respect to International Commodity Agreements;” and E, “U.S. Policy Toward the Soviet Bloc Economic Offensive,” are not printed.
  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  7. See Annex E. [Footnote in the source text.]
  8. The European Common Market plan, agreed to in principle, but not yet organized or operating, calls for investment over a five-year period of approximately $530 million in French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, French Togoland, Madagascar, the Belgian Congo and Ruanda Urundi.

    It should also be noted that the International Bank, which has outstanding loans (guaranteed by the Metropole) of $259 million to dependent territories in this area, can be expected to continue an active lending program. [Footnote in the source text.]

  9. See Annex D. [Footnote in the source text.]
  10. See Annex E. [Footnote in the source text.]