140. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Cut-Off of Aid to India

The Washington Special Action Group meeting on August 17, 1971 agreed on the need to prepare a study of a possible cut-off in economic assistance to India setting out the specific steps which might be taken [Page 380] in gradually implementing a cut-off and evaluating the anticipated consequences.

The possible actions set forth in the attached paper2 range from a total cut-off, which we would impose automatically if India clearly instigated hostilities, through a series of partial steps that might be used in an attempt to gain influence over Indian policy by using our aid program.

This analysis shows that a restrictive use of aid, in the short run at least, would provide us with some marginal influence but would be unlikely to affect significantly policies that India saw to be in its vital interest.

The paper does not consider alternative strategies. One such alternative might be based on supportive political and economic policies, paralleling those we are currently pursuing with respect to Pakistan.

We will be prepared to discuss these issues at the September 8 meeting of the WSAG.

Ted E. 3
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–082, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 8/17/71. Secret; Exdis.
  2. Not printed. Attached was a 15-page paper entitled “Economic Assistance Cutoff for India.” The paper is undated and no drafting information is provided.
  3. Deputy Executive Secretary Robert T. Curran signed for Eliot.