597. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Johnson1

This memorandum confirms my assessment last week that the sale of P–3A aircraft to South Africa is a political decision. While providing these aircraft would improve South Africa’s anti-submarine capabilities around the Cape of Good Hope, I do not consider this essential to our national defense. Similarly, if South Africa should deny us the use of its facilities for missile and satellite tracking, our needs could be met by obtaining the use of facilities in other countries in the area.

Robert S. McNamara
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, Union of South, Cables and Memos, Vol. I, 11/63–10/64. Secret.