309. National Security Study Memorandum No. 1151 2

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


  • Horn of Africa

The President has directed that a review be prepared of U.S. interests in the Horn of Africa and of the policy issues and choices facing the U.S. in this region—concentrating on Ethiopia, Somalia and the French Territory of the Afar and the Issa (FTAI), and relating these, where appropriate, to the prospects in adjacent areas.

The study should present alternative statements of the policy choices open to the U.S. in the light of trends in the region. The study should pay particular attention to the issues involved and policy options available in the event of a sharp deterioration of security in Ethiopia, for whatever reason.

The study should cover such potential issues as:

1. The implications of the death or incapacity of Emperor Haile Selassie for U.S. interests in Ethiopia.
2. The prospects for the Eritrean Liberation Front and the likelihood of terrorist attacks against U.S. facilities and nationals;
3. The implications of such attacks for U.S. policy in Ethiopia, and what steps might be taken to prevent or contain such attacks;
4. The prospects over the next 5 years of warfare between Ethiopia and the adjoining states;
5. The significance for U.S. interests of Soviet influence in Somalia and the Sudan, and the prospects for increasing Soviet influence in Ethiopia.

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The study should examine whether a friendly Ethiopia is basic to our interests, apart from the value to us of Kagnew Station. The study should describe Kagnew Stationʼs importance to U.S. interests, but may assume that we wish to keep this facility, for at least the next five years. The study should assess the implications of such retention and discuss the steps which may be necessary to effect it.

The President has directed that this review be prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Africa.

The study should be submitted to the NSC Senior Review Group by March 15, 1971.

Henry Kissinger
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 316, National Security Council, National Security Study Memoranda, July 1970–Sept 1971. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. The NSSM directed a review of potential issues affecting U.S. interests in Ethiopia, Somalia, and the French Territory of Afar and Issa (FTAI).