259. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Kissinger: The Kurds are conducting a guerrilla war inside Iraq. If Iraq weren’t tied down, they could put more into Syria. [Described the program.]2

[Page 708]

The danger is the Kurds will collapse. We have exhausted our [less than 1 line not declassified] equipment. [2 lines not declassified]

President: What does this do to our argument about supplying out of active units?

Kissinger: The numbers aren’t that significant.

President: Let’s go ahead.

Kissinger: The Iranians have asked about sending troops in. The CIA guy is opposed. We said it is their decision3—I favor it but I hate to be on record because of all the leaks.

President: I read that the Iraqi army is unhappy. Are the Kurds reliable?

Kissinger: Yes. It is their existence at stake.

President: [1 line not declassified]

Kissinger: [1 line not declassified]

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Iraq.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 5. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Oval Office.
  2. Brackets in the original.
  3. Telegram 24914 from Tehran, August 24, informed Kissinger of Barzani’s request for Iranian troops with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to join his forces. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Backchannel Messages, Box 4, Mideast/Africa, Incoming 8/74) Kissinger replied in backchannel message WH42555, August 24: “This must be basically an Iranian decision. We will understand whatever they decide to do.” (Ibid., Outgoing 8/74)