521. Memorandum From Ulric Haynes of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


Situation Report: Rhodesian Crisis

We have finally received some indication of the UK strategy (see London’s T–3099 attached)2 to bring down the Smith regime. In brief, it is based on the assumption that, once Zambia is allowed to participate, economic sanctions will work by late spring. At that time, the British predict the Governor of Rhodesia could form a new government with wide internal support. (Our assessment is much more pessimistic.) A UK military presence might be necessary to back up such a government for a time.
The UK strategy leaves unanswered an important question of US involvement: Since the US commitment in the Zambia protection effort is for two months only, what will the UK expect of us if economic sanctions don’t work by the end of February?
A working-level US mission arrives in London today to try to gain a better understanding of the UK’s thinking.
African pressures on the UK have weakened considerably as they have failed to reach agreement on a unified policy or course of action:
The Commonwealth Conference in Lagos on January 11 promises to be a fizzle with indications that Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago and Tanzania will not participate. Even those who plan to attend probably will not be represented by their PMs. Wilson himself will attend but would have liked to avoid going. His non-attendance would have hurt Nigerian PM Balewa’s standing in Africa.
There’s a good chance that the OAU Summit Meeting on Rhodesia proposed for January 19 will not take place. Already some 11 member nations have objected to the meeting.
Because of the recent spate of coups in French-speaking Africa, the 13-nation OCAM meeting in Madagascar may be postponed. Rhodesia was one of the agenda items.
The early rush to break diplomatic relations with the UK has ceased with only nine nations having broken.
US participation in the POL airlift to Zambia commenced on January 4 and apparently the combined UK, Canadian and US effort will keep Zambia adequately supplied.
Smith has announced his willingness to (a) refine and ship Zambia’s POL and (b) stop the $14 per ton export royalty on Rhodesian coal shipped to Zambia. Kaunda has rejected (a) and has not reacted to (b) on the grounds that these are Smith’s propaganda ploys to divert world attention from the central issues. So far, the UK agrees with Kaunda.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. I. Secret. A copy was sent to Komer.
  2. Dated January 5; not printed. A copy is in Department of State, Central Files, IT 7–16 TANZAN–ZAMBIA.