87. Evening Briefing Notes Prepared for the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

Singh Conversation with Kosygin: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] discussions in early June between Indian Minister of External Affairs Swaran Singh and Chairman Kosygin resulted in a major political development for India. According to [name not declassified], Kosygin pledged support for the Indian guerrilla army operating in East Bengal, and, upon receipt of a formal request from India, the Soviets promised a guarantee of military protection to enable India to resist pressure from Communist China. Soviet policy makers, in [name not declassified] view, assume a divided Pakistan is no longer politically viable, and that an independent East Bengal is inevitable. [name not declassified] believes the Soviets are willing to concede West Pakistan to Chinese influence and to concentrate on backing India and the Bengali independence movement, probably with hopes of securing naval bases in East Bengal and great influence in the Indian Ocean area.

[Omitted here is an assessment of the report prepared by Samuel Hoskinson for Harold Saunders. Hoskinson found the report somewhat surprising but credible. As such, he concluded, it was disturbing: “The most disturbing aspect of the report is that, if Kosygin does come through on the guarantees against China, the Indians will feel much less inhibited about attacking East Pakistan.”]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 210, Geopolitical File, South Asia, Chronological File, Nov 1969–July 1971. No classification marking.