300. Briefing Paper Prepared in the Department of State0


  • Visit of the Emperor of Ethiopia

The briefing memorandum of September 271 on this subject stated that the U.S. positions with respect to Ethiopian requests for military and economic assistance were still under discussion and that a supplemental memorandum would advise you of the decisions. Decisions have now been reached and will presumably be conveyed to the Ethiopian advance party by Defense and AID prior to the arrival of the Emperor.

In reaching these decisions, full consideration has been given to the significance of Ethiopia on the African scene and to our own special interests in the present Kagnew communications stations and future space-probe installations at this site. The positions we have taken represent in dollar commitments only a fraction of the total initial Ethiopian [Page 475] requests. The final Ethiopian military assistance requests, scaled down from an original $60,000,000 represented $20,000,000. Our reply commits us immediately to approximately $2,000,000 over a five to six year period although the prospect of more expensive aircraft looms in the distance (probably 1968 and beyond). Out of economic requests estimated at between $50 and $70 million, no commitments have yet been made and the immediate prospect is only for a commitment of approximately $200,000 in Bailey bridges and experts, with the possibility in the future of a loan for the Finchaasdam, subject to the completion of surveys and availability of funds.

Our replies will undoubtedly be below the Emperor’s expectations, although, given the prospect that he will avoid either a discussion of details or bargaining, we may not know his true reaction. He feels we have a commitment to support him in the military field and he places prime importance on aid for Ethiopia’s economic development. To be certain of his acceptance of these replies, we must convince him that (a) we have a keen desire to assist Ethiopia; (b) we had a very short time (one week) to examine the requests; (c) the laws governing our aid program require that we have the fullest possible supporting data before committing ourselves to a project; and (d) we are currently experiencing special difficulties with foreign aid appropriations.

Military Assistance.
The MAAG in Ethiopia will be authorized to commence discussions prior to December 31 with Ethiopian Defense officials on force goals for the Ethiopian Air Force.
For an initial planning basis, we would hope to support the present squadron of F86’s.
We would program two C54 transport aircraft in FY 1965.

We will consider future years modernization of the Air Force as recommended by MAAG and subject to Ethiopian ability to absorb, operate and maintain, and subject to our own appropriation.

(In discussions with the IEG between now and December 31, 1963, we will probably have to agree to an eventual “force goal” of two jet squadrons for the Ethiopian Air Force. The modernization will be phased so as to support the F86’s as long as economically possible. Finally, the modernization of the second squadron will not commence until the first is operational, and all of the training requirements set by the MAAG been met by the Ethiopian Air Force.)


Economic Assistance.

We would not approve a line of credit or advance commitment, but will consider further the individual projects as follows:

Dam for Power and Irrigation on Finchaa River ($15-30 million). We are willing to examine this project further. Subject to the results of the [Page 476] Bureau of Reclamation reconnaissance investigation, and studies of engineering feasibility, cost, power demand, land use and an over-all cost/benefit analysis, the USG would be willing to consider a loan.
154 Bailey Bridges—($1.2 million) We have suggested that IEG consider the possibility of carrying this out through its military establishment as a “civic action” program. If agreeable, AID will provide loan assistance for the bridges and DOD will provide technical assistance through the MAAG.
Meat Processing Facilities—($5 to $10 million) On basis of the material at hand, many questions must be answered before we could agree to pursue the project. A man from the U.S. meat packing industry will be hired by AID to make a study.
Grain Storage Facilities—($10 million) While the Export-Import Bank is considering this proposal, approval is doubtful and AID is not at this time interested.
Mining Projects in Gold and Iron Ore—($8 million) As a matter of policy, AID normally does not finance mining ventures directly. We will attempt through Commerce to interest an American firm in the iron ore proposition; and AID will hire a Bureau of Mines expert to further study the gold (latter to be a State industry).
Additional Aid for Malaria Eradication and Other Health Activities—($12.7 million) We are willing to continue assistance in this field at the pace dictated by IEG’s ability to support and operate the program.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 ETH. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. Cleared by Bell (AID) and Gilpatric (OSD). A copy was sent to the Bureau of the Budget to meet the requirements of Presidential Determination 1550 relating to military assistance. The paper was transmitted to McGeorge Bundy under cover of a memorandum from Benjamin Read that reads: “In response to Mr. Brubeck’s request there is enclosed a memorandum supplementing the briefing papers previously submitted for the visit of Emperor Haile Selassie.” A handwritten notation on this memorandum reads: “Original sent to White House on 9/29/63.”
  2. Briefing papers for Emperor Haile Selassie’s visit October 1-2, 1963, are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 66 D 110, CF 2330-2331.