148. National Security Study Memorandum 2341


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • United States Policy Toward Angola

The President has directed a review of United States interests and objectives in and policy toward Angola.

The study should describe United States political, economic and strategic interests in Angola and assess:

  • —Similar interests of other powers—Soviet, PRC, or other.
  • —The immediate and longer-range prospects for Angola with emphasis on the likelihood of continued armed conflict, the chances that either the MPLA or FNLA/UNITA will gain a dominant political role, and the policies and goals likely to be followed in each instance.
  • —The consequences to the United States of Angola’s being governed by those whose interests are inimical to the United States. In this context, the study should assess whether denial of a military victory by the MPLA is essential to the achievement of United States objectives.
  • —The impact of various outcomes in Angola on United States interests in Africa as a whole, and in particular in the neighboring states, such as Zaire and Zambia, and southern Africa.
  • —The probability (and extent) of OAU and/or UN intervention, or efforts to influence the conflict.
  • —The impact on United States interests in Africa and elsewhere of continuing Soviet and Cuban intervention in Angola.
  • —The impact on United States-Soviet relations of continued Soviet and Cuban intervention in Angola.
  • —The interest/concern of other powers—NATO, Germany, France, UK—with United States and Soviet intervention in Angola.
  • —Whether United States interests warrant support of South African government efforts to influence the outcome in Angola. Evaluate probability and consequence of United States direct or indirect policy change toward South Africa.

Based upon the foregoing assessments, the study should evaluate alternative United States policies toward Angola and present options for achieving United States objectives to include pros and cons for each. The options should take into account the time available for action.

The study should be prepared by an ad hoc group composed of representatives of the addressees and the National Security Council staff and chaired by the representative of the Secretary of State. Knowledge of the study and participation in its preparation should be kept on a strict need-to-know basis. Any additional participation should be specifically approved by the Chairman of the Group. Differing agency judgments should be clearly set forth.

The study should be submitted to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs no later than January 2, 1976.2

Brent Scowcroft
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSDMs and NSSMs, Box 2, NSSMs File, NSSM 234. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. The study was never completed.