The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.
Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of Stateʼs Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 4351, et seq.).
The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editors are convinced that this volume meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.
Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series
This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the administrations of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. The subseries presents a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the administrations of Presidents Nixon and Ford. This volume documents the response of the United States to the crisis that developed in South Asia in 1971.[Page IV]
Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XI
The scope of this volume is limited to the political crisis that began in
Pakistan in March 1971 with the governmentʼs efforts to suppress Bengali demands
for virtual autonomy in East Pakistan and concluded with the establishment of
the state of Bangladesh at the end of the year. The limited time frame covered
by the volume enabled the editor to compile the record of the Nixon administrationʼs response to the crisis
in considerable detail. The crisis was managed largely out of the White House by
President Nixon and his Assistant for
National Security Affairs Henry
Kissinger, with the support of the National Security Council staff.
The focus of the volume is on the management of the crisis by Nixon and Kissinger. The editor selected documentation to trace the
evolution of the United States response to the crisis from Nixonʼs initial reluctance to become involved
to his “tilt” toward Pakistan which was highlighted by the despatch of the
aircraft carrier Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal to act as a restraint on India
in the war that had developed between India and Pakistan as a result of the
crisis. Nixonʼs response to the crisis in
Pakistan was conditioned in part by the concern that he and Kissinger had to protect the emerging opening
to China, which had been facilitated by Pakistani President Yahya Khan. The volume documents that concern,
as well as the assurance offered to China that the United States would protect
China from the Soviet Union if China took military action against India in
support of Pakistan. The record of the Nixon administrationʼs management of the crisis in South Asia
thus also bears importantly on United States relations at the time with China
and the Soviet Union. In that respect, the volume should be read in conjunction
Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XVII,
China, 1969–1972; volume XIII, Soviet Union, October 1970–October 1971; and
volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971–May
Additional documentation on the crisis in South Asia is published in the
companion electronic volume,
Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–7,
Documents on South Asia, 1969–1972. The electronic volume incorporates a number
of lengthy documents, such as intelligence assessments of the crisis, responses
to National Security Study Memoranda prepared for the Washington Special Actions
Group, and full transcripts of taped conversations. The electronic volume also
covers United States relations with India and Pakistan in the period leading up
to the crisis, and in the aftermath of the crisis. The volume includes
compilations on Afghanistan and on the decision to recognize and offer
assistance to the new nation of Bangladesh.
The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.[Page V]
Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents within the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.
Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the original text are so identified in footnotes.
The first footnote to each document indicates the source of the document, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.
Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.
The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.
Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation
The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations [Page VI]series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes as it deems necessary to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.
Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act Review
Under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The requirements of the PRMPA and implementing regulations govern access to the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA to review for additional restrictions in order to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of former Nixon White House officials, since these officials were not given the opportunity to separate their personal materials from public papers. Thus, the PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA formally to notify the Nixon Estate and former Nixon White House staff members that the agency is scheduling for public release Nixon White House historical materials. The Nixon Estate and former White House staff members have 30 days to contest the release of Nixon historical materials in which they were a participant or are mentioned. Further, the PRMPA and implementing regulations require NARA to segregate and return to the creator of files private and personal materials. All Foreign Relations volumes that include materials from NARAʼs Nixon Presidential Materials Staff are processed and released in accordance with the PRMPA.
The Information Response Branch of the Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as Amended, on Classified National Security Information and applicable laws.
The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The final declassification review [Page VII]of this volume, which began in 2002 and was completed in 2003, resulted in the decision to withhold 1 document in full, excise a paragraph or more in 9 documents, and make minor excisions of less than a paragraph in 34 documents.
The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that the documentation and editorial notes presented here provide an accurate account of the response of the Nixon administration to the crisis in South Asia in 1971.
The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II), at College Park, Maryland.
The editors wish to acknowledge the Richard Nixon Estate for allowing access to the Nixon presidential recordings and the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace for facilitating that access.
Louis J. Smith collected the documentation for this volume and selected and edited it, under the supervision of Edward C. Keefer, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series. Gabrielle Mallon prepared the lists of names, sources, and abbreviations. Vicki E. Futscher and Kristin L. Ahlberg did the copy and technical editing, and Susan C. Weetman coordinated the declassification review. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.
Bureau of Public Affairs