237. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • Mobutuʼs Security Needs

Mobuto Visit. In line with your instructions I met with Mobutu privately to discuss his security needs. He stressed the need for quick action on two things: his desire to buy 3 C–130s, and his need for maritime patrol craft on Lake Tanganyika. In Mobutuʼs presence, I charged Marshall Wright of my staff with the task of working out both problems prior to Mobutuʼs departure from the
United States on the 15th.

We delivered to Mobutu before his departure from Washington this morning a Letter of Authorization for the C–130ʼs with the Department oil Defense acting as Mobutuʼs purchasing agent. As evidence of your personal concern, we waived the normal charge for DOD administrative services. This will save Mobutu $320,000. Mobutu need only sign the letter to get everything moving.

Mobutu left his naval aide behind to work with us on the boat problem. We are going full steam ahead, and will present a package to Mobutu before he leaves the United States.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 944, VIP Visits, Congo, Mobutu Visit, Aug 4, 70, 2 of 3. Confidential. Handwritten notes at the bottom of the page state: “Mobutu signed en route to San Francisco and they are being carried back by Vance” and “Presented in New York Sunday Night August 9.”
  2. Kissinger informed the President that a Letter of Authorization had been delivered to Congo President Mobutu for purchase of three C–130s; all that needed was Mobutuʼs signature.