15. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

P: Whatʼs new today?

[Omitted here is discussion of issues unrelated to South Asia.]

K: In Pakistan it continues, but there isnʼt a whole lot we can do about it.

P: No. Are we pressing?

K: No, we may remove the American civilians.

P: Thatʼs okay.

K: But even that we wonʼt do before Thursday.2

P: But we should just stay out—like in Biafra, what the hell can we do?

K: Good point.

P: I donʼt like it, but I didnʼt like shooting starving Biafrans either. What do they think we are going to do but help the Indians.

K: They have been ambivalent about it anyway.

P: They are ambivalent about everything.

K: That Consul in Dacca doesnʼt have the strongest nerves.

P: Neither does Keating. They are all in the middle of it; itʼs just like Biafra. The main thing to do is to keep cool and not do anything. Thereʼs nothing in it for us either way.

K: It would infuriate the West Pakistanis; it wouldnʼt gain anything with the East Pakistanis, who wouldnʼt know about it anyway and the Indians are not noted for their gratitude.

[Omitted here is discussion of issues unrelated to South Asia.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 367, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. April 1.