226. Memorandum From Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Authorization for Admiral Nace, COMUSNAVSO, to Visit Chile

Assistant Secretary Meyer has recommended that the SRG authorize Admiral Nace, COMUSNAVSO, to visit Chile between May 22 and May 27 (memo at Tab A).2 Admiral Nace has been invited by the Chilean CNO, and Meyer suggests that withholding authorization for the visit would run a pointless risk of offending the Chilean Navy. He states that if the visit is approved he will see to it that Admiral Nace receives precise instructions regarding policy matters.

Ambassador Korry has sent in a cable (Tab B)3 stating that he has no objection to Admiral Nace’s visit, but he points out that the series of high-level military visits (CINCSOUTH, CNO, COMUSAFSO, the Chairman of the IADB and now Admiral Nace) unaccompanied by similar attention from high-level USG civilians, raises questions about a dual US foreign policy approach to Chile. Korry recognizes the importance of maintaining close relations with the Chilean military, but cautions against placing too much faith in the military as a block to Allende. He foresees “no conceivable circumstances in which the military would attempt to thwart consolidation of Allende’s Marxist and anti-imperialist revolution.” He expresses the hope that VIP military visits can be limited in number and coordinated in Washington in terms of our larger policy interests.

I recommend that we go ahead with Admiral Nace’s visit, but I think Korry’s point is well taken. An indiscriminate and unplanned series of high-level military visits is not necessarily the most effective way to maintain contact and influence with the Chilean military, and may create unnecessary problems. I suggest that the Ad Hoc Working Group on Chile be directed to plan and coordinate the programming of high-level military visits to Chile; if there are agency disagreements at [Page 620] that level, the issue should be brought to the SRG principals for decision. If you agree, I propose that you handle this informally with Under Secretary Irwin and Deputy Secretary Packard; this approach can be formalized subsequently at the next SRG meeting on Chile.


1. That you approve authorization of Admiral Nace’s visit to Chile.

2. That you suggest to Under Secretary Irwin and Deputy Secretary Packard that the programming of high-level military visits to Chile be planned and coordinated by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Chile.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 774, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. IV. Secret. Sent for action. A copy was sent to Kennedy. In the right margin, Kissinger wrote, “It is getting too much. Pentagon should be informed to cut out future visits.”
  2. Attached but not printed at Tab A is a May 7 memorandum from Meyer to the Senior Review Group.
  3. Attached but not printed at Tab B is telegram 2361 from Santiago, May 4.
  4. Kissinger initialed his approval of both recommendations.