123. Memorandum for the Record1


  • 40 Committee Meeting, 8 August 1975, 11:00 a.m.

Members Present: Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry A. Kissinger; Deputy Secretary of Defense William P. Clements; Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Joseph Sisco; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General George Brown; Director of Central Intelligence William E. Colby.

Also Present: Director of INR William Hyland; Deputy Director of CIA William Nelson; Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of [Page 294] Staff Lt. General John W. Pauly; Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Lt. General Brent Scowcroft. Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Edward W. Mulcahy and Chief, Africa Division, CIA, James M. Potts were present for Item No. 1; Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Arthur A. Hartman and Chief, Europe Division, CIA, William Wells were present for Item No. 2; CIA General Counsel John S. Warner was present for Item No. 3.

1. Angola

Kissinger: I’d like to discuss Angola first. My friends at State have been going around weeping about this. They’d like strict neutrality.

Colby: (Briefed on the current situation.2 Savimbi is into the fighting now, but he needs arms. All we are doing will not necessarily give military superiority over the Neto troops. (Presented charts showing objectives and accomplishments.)

Kissinger: Anything with Kaunda?

Potts: Yes, he has agreed to send arms to Savimbi.

Kissinger: I think you’ve done damn well in a very short time. (To Scowcroft) Mark this down, we don’t give accolades that often.

Colby: We have not been getting much praise lately, either.

Clements: I’m surprised. I didn’t think you could do so much so fast.

Kissinger: Is this enough? Has all the money been spent?

Colby: Only about [dollar amount not declassified] The political support money is being passed out in increments.

Kissinger: Our purpose is not to spend dollars, but to prevail. We want to prevail. Are they getting enough advice, or should we send in some advisors? Should we send more aid?

Colby: More military aid is going to Roberto. Israel is shipping a lot which was bought by South Africa.

Kissinger: Do they know how to use it?

Colby: They’ve got help from the Congo Army.

Hyland: Portuguese officers are involved.

Kissinger: [1 line not declassified]

Colby: [1½ lines not declassified]

Nelson: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Colby: I don’t think that is necessary; [1 line not declassified]

Kissinger: [less than 1 line not declassified]

[Page 295]

Colby: [1 line not declassified]

Clements (to Kissinger): [1 line not declassified]

Kissinger: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Potts: We have a military Colonel who speaks French . . .

Kissinger: The trouble with Africans is that you can’t just leave them alone—you have to keep pushing them to get things done.

Colby: We’ve made a big start, a big impact. The job now is to keep the momentum.

Kissinger: You’ve made a great start.

Clements: I agree.

Kissinger: What I want to do is to make Kaunda a little more pregnant.

Colby: Well, Savimbi needs arms now.

Kissinger: We want him to get them through Zambia and give us a little more protection. I need more protection from my African Bureau. Get Kaunda involved, give him some of the action. This will help us and give him confidence.

Colby: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Potts: We have a good relationship with Kaunda . . .

Kissinger: I want action! Let’s get some arms to Savimbi through Zambia. Let’s move to get Kaunda a piece of the action so he doesn’t have to go through Mobutu.

Colby: Okay.

Sisco: This is very important, to get him a little more pregnant.

Potts: We’ve to keep Kaunda from being exposed . . .

Kissinger: Let him worry about exposure. I’ve got these worriers in my Department who said he would be offended if we suggested he become involved; he drooled at the chance.

Mulcahy: One of the concerns is American arms . . .

Colby: Let us handle those details; we can work this out.

Kissinger: I want Kaunda involved. If Kaunda thought Savimbi was swinging to Mobutu, it would be bad. How you do it is up to you. Get Kaunda involved.

Colby: Fine. We will get right to work on this and be back in touch with you next week to tell you how we are doing it.

Kissinger: We don’t want to have to get involved in the tactics. Let’s form a working group, an NSC task group to meet weekly to see what is going on and to determine if it is necessary to have a 40 Committee meeting on any problems.

Clements: Let’s just have one person from each organization—keep it small.

[Page 296]

Kissinger: CIA to chair it.

Clements: Do we need more dollars?

Kissinger: If we need more, we can get more.

Colby: The only problem we have is if we run down the reserve too far.

Kissinger: What you have done in two weeks is phenomenal.

Hyland: I’m worried about the security. We had a report [less than 1 line not declassified] which revealed Roberto talking in a jubilant manner about what he was getting.

Kissinger: My view is that they can’t touch us on this. I don’t see how we can be faulted on what we are doing. We are not overthrowing any government; we are not subverting anyone. We are helping moderates combat Communist domination.

Hyland: That’s not my point. I’m just worried about their own security standards.

Colby: Well, we’ll take a look at that. Maybe they need better communications equipment.

Kissinger: Let me make this clear. We are in touch with Mobutu and he is helping Roberto. We want to have contact with Kaunda and help him to help Savimbi. Are we in touch with Savimbi?

Colby/Nelson: Yes.

Kissinger: Excellent. (To (Mulcahy) How about our consul?

Mulcahy: He’s a good man.

Potts: We have instructions out to brief him, but no report back yet.

Clements: (To Colby) What is that chart about?

Colby: (Briefed on arms distribution.)

Kissinger: No problems in briefing the Congress?

Colby: No. Just a little questioning. I start by telling what the Communists have sent and that sets the scene. They ask what the U.S. interest is and I explain about blocking a Soviet foothold.

Sisco: Can’t we get some more information out about what the Soviets are doing?

Colby: We are doing that everywhere but in the U.S. It is up to you to get more done here in America.

Clements: What are you doing about stopping offloading of Soviet cargo?

Colby: Well, we have generated a lot of publicity and have made people more wary of helping move Soviet material.

Clements: What about the report that there were two Czech ships ready to unload?

[Page 297]

Potts: Our man can’t find those ships. We suspect that it is not an accurate report.

Kissinger: Well, the work has been done well. (To Hyland) Do you want to weep about all this?

Hyland: No. Good. The problem down the road, however, is who is going to be in charge—Roberto or Savimbi?

Kissinger: That’s a problem I’d like to face—get us to that point.

Hyland: We will have a problem of answering critics.

Kissinger: I’m relaxed. The Pentagon will have a problem—they can’t call me soft and hard at the same time. They’ll have to make a choice. So what if critics attack us, we can’t be faulted. What grounds would they use?

Hyland: They can claim that we are perpetuating war by arming the people; that we will turn a civil conflict into a bloodbath.

Kissinger: What would they have us do, abandon the country to the Communists?

Colby: In my briefings on the Hill I have said that we are on the way toward a coalition.

Kissinger: That’s not going to happen. Our objective is to keep the Communists out.

Colby: Even with our help, we can’t be sure that the MPLA will be defeated militarily.

Kissinger: Stop making that statement. We don’t want to lose.

Clements: The strongest argument is resisting Communism.

Sisco: Prevent a Communist takeover.

Kissinger: Our objective is to stop Communism. We’ll let later political events take care of themselves.

Hyland: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee got into this.

Kissinger: How?

Colby: When I gave the usual briefing it was to Sparkman, Case and Pat Holt. Senator Clark had a pre-set session with Ingersoll a couple of days later. Sparkman directed Holt to brief Clark. Holt made a written briefing sheet and evidently distributed it to all the members.

Hyland: Other members were there; some were in and out, but Staff Member Moose was there, too.

Kissinger: I want to complain about that to Sparkman. We’ve gone down there on this for years. You can’t give in to them. That won’t stop them. We’ll worry about the political solution in Angola later. The Africans aren’t going to get together in a coalition. There will be no coalition. That’s a pipe dream. Show me one country in Africa where that has happened.

[Page 298]

Sisco: What can we do to prevent spreading these things all around the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

Kissinger: Sparkman has no authority to direct you (Colby) to report to anyone. You don’t work for Sparkman.

Colby: I know that.

Hyland: They had all the details about this effort at the briefing.

Kissinger: We can’t have that. Unacceptable.

Hyland: Moose is unacceptable. He is hostile toward the Administration. I don’t see why he was included.

Kissinger: (To Colby) Talk to Sparkman. I’ll back you up.

Hyland: Moose wanted to know how this project started—did CIA submit it, what others thought of it . . .

Scowcroft: We don’t have to report on who supports something and who doesn’t; that’s executive privilege.

Sisco: We don’t.

Colby: Pat Holt was the only staff member I talked to. When I briefed Clark, he specifically requested that Moose be present.

Kissinger: Moose is unacceptable. He’s gone so far he doesn’t even like me.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.]

  1. Source: National Security Council, Ford Administration Intelligence Files, 40 Committee Meetings. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. Briefing is not attached.