459. Dispatch From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency1
[Dispatch number not declassified].
- [cryptonym not declassified] Letter for October and November 1965
1. Although the Leopoldville Station continued to work on many fronts, particularly in support of paramilitary operations, it concentrated on the political crisis which became more critical during the [Page 668] months of October and November. The Station preached moderation to its numerous political contacts but it proved impossible to control the game. As noted in [less than 1 line not declassified]2 from this Station, ODACID’s decision not to permit Leopoldville to engage in political action greatly handicapped the Station in its efforts to support ODYOKE objectives.
2. The coup d’etat of 25 November 1965 resolved, at least temporarily, the political crisis which had resulted in a complete breakdown in governmental functions and which, had it continued, would almost certainly have led to even greater chaos. We believe the successful coup d’etat represents the best possible solution to a problem which placed ODYOKE’s objectives in Africa in serious jeopardy. The Mobutu regime represents the best government which ODYOKE might expect to obtain. Mobutu is moderate and pro-West in his outlook; our relationship with him is good and he is generally willing to accept advice. On the debit side, however, the Station, the Embassy and most knowledgeable Belgian and Congolese observers here are of the opinion that the Mobutu government represents the last hope for the West in the Congo (and possibly throughout Black Africa). There is little chance that, should his regime fail, it will be replaced by a regime acceptable to the West. Should he fail, we believe it more than probable that the Congo would split into a number of small client states, some of which would fall under Bloc influence. Few, if any, of these states would be economically viable and many would be in conflict, one with the other. Thus, Leopoldville believes that all ODYOKE agencies should do everything possible to ensure the success of the Mobutu regime. The Station has already made a number of recommendations, particularly as concerns the provision of advisors, and further recommendations will be forthcoming.
3. In summation the Station believes that Mobutu’s coup d’etat represented the only feasible solution to the political crisis. It provides ODYOKE with time to try, in cooperation with the Congolese Government, to find solutions to the nearly insoluble Congo problem. The Station does not believe that the solutions will be facile. KUBARK must be prepared to take the initiative and to engage in a major effort which, if it fails, would almost certainly result in defeat of ODYOKE objectives in the Congo and, probably, in most of Black Africa. However, the final outcome will not depend upon KUBARK alone. If other ODYOKE agencies fail to take decisive action or if the Congolese themselves are unable or unwilling to take the necessary steps, a new and even more serious crisis will develop. In view of the foregoing, the Leopoldville Station is devoting considerable time and energy to [less than 1 line not [Page 669] declassified] operations designed to provide early warning, should the opposition try to launch another coup d’etat. These operations also are designed to provide ODYOKE with operational intelligence. In addition, the Station is emphasizing its [cryptonym not declassified] operations in an effort to shore up and assist the present government.