84. National Security Study Memorandum 2411


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • United States Policy in Southern Africa

The President has directed a review of U.S. policy toward Southern Africa. The study should develop policy options for the United States, based on a thorough analysis of all relevant factors, and should include:

  • —A definition of United States interests in Southern Africa and an analysis of how these interests are affected by various changes in Southern Africa.
  • —An examination of the question of majority rule in Rhodesia, including an assessment of the likelihood and consequences of violent change, the role of major political groups and leadership in black Rhodesia, and the likely role of neighboring states, the USSR, Cuba and the People’s Republic of China. The study should also examine possible roles for the OAU and the UN.
  • —A description of possible scenarios for a settlement of the Namibian problem, including an analysis of the likelihood of increased insurgency and of the internal political groups and leaders in Namibia. The study should also include an examination of: attitudes toward Namibian independence on the part of South Africa and other neighboring African states; the likely Soviet/Cuban role; and the possibilities for increased UN actions to achieve Namibia’s independence.
  • —An analysis of the impact that majority rule in Rhodesia and Namibia is likely to have on South Africa, with specific emphasis on its internal policies, and on United States interests in South Africa.

Based upon the foregoing, the study should propose United States goals with regard to Southern Africa and alternative policy options—both immediate and longer term—for achieving these goals. The study should be prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Africa and should be submitted to the NSC Senior Review Group by May 21, 1976.2

Brent Scowcroft
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSDMs and NSSMs, Box 2, NSSMs File, NSSM 241. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. The study was not completed.