209. Memorandum From William H. Brubeck of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • Congo


—Over one-sixth of the Congo in rebel hands.

—Rebels on the move, and ANC continues to disintegrate.

—Military and CIA judgment in Leopoldville is that Bukavu may fall any moment and Leopoldville anytime in next two weeks.

—Central Government has almost no reliable military force or capacity to prevent takeover.

Additional Steps US is Taking:

—Sending seven more T–28s immediately (ETA about three weeks).

—Supplying C–130 airlift to Belgian military logistics.

—Offering airlift and assistance to bring in Nigerian and (possibly) other troops.

Steps Under Consideration:

CINCSTRIKE has operational plan (not yet approved) to put four C–130s plus two helicopters with armed escort platoon into Leopoldville on 38 hours notice.

—Sending two or three of seven Agency B–26s [less than 1 line not declassified] to Leopoldville for armed recon (10 day lead time).

—Covert funding to enable Tshombe to strengthen political alliance with tribal leaders.


1. Should CINCSTRIKE C–130 force go to Leopoldville immediately to eliminate 38 hour lead time; for logistic support mission and possible evacuation of 500 Americans there?

2. Should US put on short lead time standby a special forces battalion for possible emergency occupation of Leopoldville and Matadi Port area, per Embassy recommendation?

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3. Should US begin to cut losses, restrict future commitment present regime, wait for outcome of internal power fight in Congo hoping to develop relations with new regime on basis their need for continuing US aid?

4. Re question three, what is the possibility that Chicoms could and would prevent US establishing effective ties with new regime?

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. III. Secret.