297. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Ethiopia 1

238. For Ambassador. Embtel 262.2 We have given consideration very valid points raised and have discussed with DOD/ISA on confidential basis. Deep appreciation present IEG role Congo as well as close past relationship give Ethiopia favorable position in allocation both present and future MAP funds. IEG willingness provide contingents for wider African political stability will also be factor in considering over-all aid level. Fact remains, however, world-wide funds are limited and we must do maximum maintain momentum with what is available, emphasizing training and equipment which Ethiopians clearly able utilize and maintain. We remain keenly aware this entails possibly serious risks of IEG pressures and disappointments but alternative is less desirable prospect of backing away from new approach you have so effectively presented.

With additional training, additional funds and F–5’s believe we will have provided significant evidence US responsiveness to IEG requirements. We see benefit, also, in maintaining momentum our discussions reorganization MinDef. View these factors and possibly adverse effects delayed presentation Adams’ memorandum to HIM, request you deliver memorandum soonest.

Other comment follows:

IEG Armed Forces: Dept continues recognize significant role IEG armed forces have played and can play in promotion African political stability. Also well aware IEG would expect concrete US recognition of Ethiopian role that stability, particularly if made in response US demarches. Believe fulfillment existing US MAP commitment to IEG, (i.e., support for 40,000-man force geared to IEG capability absorb support) rather than US support for building special IEG contingents for international use, remains best means for meeting both situations. To extent we can encourage more limited forces without political damage [Page 516] we should do so. We believe Washington Agencies might be prepared reexamine problem overage soldiers as part arrangement for reducing over-all size forces.
Delivery of F–5’s: It remains US objective to deliver F–5’s to IEG at earliest possible date consistent with their availability and IEG ability to absorb. C–130’s involved in Congo not transferred to GOC were sent on purely temporary basis, and continue to be US owned.
MAP Funding: Ethiopian program now $9.9 million. Program conceivably could be higher when final allocations made. However, I view serious shortage MAP funds, we have no choice but to squeeze maximum political mileage out of what is already largest African MAP. Funding for MTT’s provided for in addition to $9.9 million MOD advisers will also be funded in addition to $9.9 million.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19 US–ETH. Secret; Priority; No Distribution Outside Department. Drafted by Blake and Newsom, cleared by Lang and G/PM Director for Operations Howard Meyers, and approved by Tasca.
  2. In telegram 262 from Addis Ababa, August 27, Ambassador Korry noted that as the U.S. aid package was unwrapped, the United States would have continued difficulties with the Ethiopian Government, particularly after urging dispatch of Ethiopian troops to the Congo. In a broader context, he noted that if the United States were serious about its basic theme that African problems should be solved by Africans, it should be giving some thought to developing politically independent African “fire brigades.” The Ambassador pointed out that currently Ethiopia (or any other African state) was capable of furnishing only the most modest effective military assistance to other African countries. (Ibid.)