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


  • Chile

Attached at Tab A2 for your information is a speculative paper prepared by the Office of National Estimates on the implications of a confrontation with Chile over the copper issue. In an informal discussion I asked some of the ONE analysts to question the conventional wisdom that a tough US reaction to the copper expropriation would inevitably strengthen Allende’s domestic position and gain support for him in the Hemisphere. I asked, for example, whether a decisive reaction from the US might not, in fact, provoke opposition elements to move against Allende, and whether it might lead other Latin American governments to disassociate themselves from the extreme Chilean position to avoid [Page 724] being tarred with the same brush and thereby risk reduced foreign investment and aid.

The conclusion of the ONE paper—which has not been distributed to anyone else—is that “given the climate of opinion prevailing in Chile and in Latin America as a whole, US actions of retaliation for Chile’s refusal to provide ‘prompt, adequate and effective compensation’ to the mining companies would probably fortify Allende’s political position at home and engender considerable sympathy abroad”. I think it is worth your while to read the attached paper as background for SRG consideration of a “Next Steps” paper which the Ad Hoc Working Group on Chile is now preparing.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 776, Country Files, Latin America, Chile, Vol. VI. Secret. Sent for information. Written on the in an unknown hand at the top of the page is “HAK has seen.”
  2. Tab A is Document 90 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–16, Documents on Chile, 1969–1973.
  3. See ibid., Document 92.