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

K: Two matters I want to raise. It appears that West Pakistan has attacked because situation in East collapsing. State wants to use it as a pretext not to put out statement2 at noon. I think itʼs more reason to cancel programs. State believes and I agree that we should take it to the Security Council once actions are confirmed. If a major war [develops] without going to the Security Council it would be a confession of poverty.

P: Who will object?

K: India and the Soviet Union.

P: So we have to.

K: Apparently no one else will. Even the liberal papers are supporting that.

P: I am for that. We have to cut off arms aid to India. We should have done it earlier. Allow India bias.

K: Yes.

P: Siscoʼs part? He isnʼt pro-Indian. Itʼs what they want below.

K: Sisco has no convictions. Liberal, [omission in the source text], socialist syndrome. The Indians will just add—

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P: I have decided it and there is no appeal.

K: I also think—

P: I wrote it independently of anyone and I am surprised it hasnʼt been done.

K: It wonʼt reach the UN tomorrow or late today. We shouldnʼt make a catastrophe of everything we have done and why Indian actions unjustified.

P: So West Pakistan giving trouble there.

K: If they lose half of their country without fighting they will be destroyed. They may also be destroyed this way but they will go down fighting.

P: They will have enough for a few days. It puts the Soviets on the spot.

K: I think I should give a brief note to the Russians so that they donʼt jump around about conversation yesterday and say we are going on your conversation with Gromyko.3 A strong blast at their Vietnam friends and behavior on India. We are moving on our side but they are not doing enough on theirs.

P: On India certainly but on VN I wonder if it sounds hollow.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

P: Pakistan thing makes your heart sick. For them to be done so by the Indians and after we have warned the bitch. Their [omission in the source text] and that but they have brought it on. We have to cut off arms. Why not? Because attacked by W. Pakistan. Tell them that when India talked about W. Pakistan attacking them itʼs like Russian claiming to be attacked by Finland.

K: They will do it or we will do it from Key Biscayne. Itʼs a hell of a way but we can do it and I will get that message to the Soviets.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President vacationed in Key Biscayne, Florida, December 3–5; Kissinger was in Washington.
  2. Reference is to a statement announcing the cut-off of military assistance to India.
  3. See Document 153.