180. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Post-Inauguration Analysis

Attached at Tab A2 is a lengthy analysis of the Chilean situation by Ambassador Korry. He says there is universal agreement in Chile that the main threat is the degree and pace of Communist control, the Communist Party having made a deliberate policy decision to seek undisputed control over the economy despite the risks of such a course. If this policy should be successful, i.e. if the Communists can manage the economy without chaotic results, they will be in the driver’s seat.

Korry says Communist control of the economy will, even in the early stages, provide them with tremendous leverage and powerful [Page 461] weapons to prevent the development of organized opposition to them and the Government.

In response to this situation, Ambassador Korry makes the following policy recommendations:

—that we not take actions that will provide a pretext for the quick radicalization of the Government of Chile;

—that we maintain a public posture of restrained coolness and of encouraging the democratic opposition;

—that we seek to hold our military connections and “maintain a deliberately confusing flexibility of case-by-case treatment of other relationships”; and

—that we reject across-the-board hostility on grounds that it would not have a determining impact on the economy, while it would serve to mobilize national sentiment and strengthen the position of the Allende government.

I agree that we should, of course, avoid unproductive hostility to the Allende government, but we should be sure our policy does not slide off into mindless accommodation.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 774, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. II. Secret. Sent for information. Nachmanoff drafted the memorandum. On a draft of the memorandum that did not contain the last paragraph, Kissinger wrote, “What do I think? Add a comment. Of course, avoid counterproductive hostility but be sure it doesn’t turn into mindless accommodation.” (Ibid.)
  2. Telegram 4735 from Santiago, is Document 36 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–16, Documents on Chile, 1969–1973.
  3. President Nixon wrote in the right margin of this paragraph, “right.”