140. Backchannel Message From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson) and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Chile (Korry)1

1. Highest levels here continue to be very concerned that, with October 24 rapidly approaching, anti-Allende forces in Chile do not seem to be coalescing around any effective action to block his election. We understand from your previous messages that military are entirely aware that if Allende is elected they can expect no further MAP or other support from us. If there is any doubt whatever in their mind in this regard, you should use the channels available to you to make this clear. You have also, in accordance with your recommendation, been authorized to inform them that we are already “holding in abeyance” all MAP, including military training and visits not already underway. You have also been informed that we are suspending action on all requests for processing munitions-control-export licenses for Chilean military. You have also previously been authorized to inform the military that if the effort to block Allende from taking office is successful, the Chilean military will not be ostracized, but rather can continue to count on us for MAP support and maintenance of our close relationship. As you know, we have also done our best to encourage American firms and financial institutions now to make it clear within Chile the economic and [Page 343] financial consequences that will inevitably flow from an election of Allende.

2. In addition to the foregoing, you are now authorized to inform discreetly the Chilean military through the channels available to you that if a successful effort is made to block Allende from taking office, we would reconsider the cuts we have thus far been forced to make in Chilean MAP and otherwise increase our presently programmed MAP for the Chilean armed forces. In addition to matériel chargeable to MAP, we also have in mind increased ship loans. If any steps the military should take should result in civil disorder, we would also be prepared promptly to deliver support and matériel that might be immediately required. Obviously we cannot, and we assume Chilean forces would not want, support of American personnel in such a contingency.

3. Although we realize from your report that the odds are very long against the Chilean military taking any effective action, we do not want them to be deterred by what they may feel is any ambiguity with respect to our attitude toward the election of Allende. We therefore, leave it to you and your discretion on how in light of above guidance this can best and most promptly be communicated to the military.

  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Chile, 1970. Secret; Nodis; Eyes Only.