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


  • 40 Committee Meeting—Status Report on Chilean Elections

You have indicated to Frank Chapin that you wish to have a discussion on the status report on the Chilean elections prepared by CIA (Tab A).2 The report reviews the results of the elections and concludes that U.S. Government assistance helped:

—to deny Allende the clear popular majority he sought;

—the political opposition to successfully challenge the UP;

—the opposition parties to regain their confidence and have the will and ability to resist the UP;

—the opposition parties to obtain media capabilities which will be of great and continuing value in opposing the UP.

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The report notes that all covert support was passed securely and without arousing the suspicion of the Allende government.

In reviewing the report in the 40 Committee, you may wish to:

1. Ask if this generally optimistic assessment is shared.

2. Ask CIA how much of the previously authorized funds remain unspent, and what its plans are for utilizing those funds.

3. Ask whether the agencies believe that continuation of a political action program—i.e., support to the opposition parties for purchase and maintenance of media outlets, efforts to exacerbate the tensions and splits within the UP, organizational support for the opposition parties, anti-UP propaganda, etc.—would be desirable and have a significant impact. What, if anything, can we do to keep alive a viable and strengthened opposition for the 1973 Congressional elections? What can be done to strengthen cooperation between the opposition parties? What can be done to weaken the unity of the UP coalition and its ability to govern effectively?

4. What is the risk of exposure from continued political action programs? Is the likely impact of such programs sufficient to warrant taking those risks?

If it appears that continued political action programs would be worth the risks, you may want to consider whether the Agency’s current plans are sufficiently well thought-out and clear for the Committee to approve. If not, you may wish to ask the CIA to submit a more detailed paper outlining the objectives of continued political action and specific plans prior to the 1973 Congressional elections.

  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, Subject Files, Chile, 1971–72. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only; Outside System.
  2. Attached but not printed at Tab A is an April 21 CIA status report for the 40 Committee. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–16, Documents on Chile, 1969–1973, Document 62.