U.S.-North African Policy
1. Intelligence Note 195 From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rogers
Hughes informed the Secretary of the mood shift in the Maghreb caused by the rapprochement between Morocco and Algeria and the new neutralism in both countries. While these changes had produced positive economic results for both nations, the new relationship appeared to have potential drawbacks for U.S. interests in the region.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 735, Country Files, Africa, Algeria, Vol. I. Secret; Noforn; Controlled Dissemination.
2. Intelligence Note 693 From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Denney) to the Acting Secretary of State (Richardson)
Denney reported that the recent Islamic summit in Rabat, which had resulted in a moderate consensus, was a considerable achievement for Hassan and co-organizer King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 13–6. Confidential; Noforn; Controlled Dissemination.
3. Intelligence Note 876 From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rogers
Hughes reported that, although the Fifth Arab Summit Conference at Rabat ended in disunity and disarray, recent U.S. peace initiatives in the Middle East, including Secretary of State Rogers’ December 9 speech and the surfacing of U.S. proposals for an Israel-Jordan peace, had been well received.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 ARAB SUMMIT. Secret; Noforn. On December 16, Rogers had recommended that President Nixon send a message to King Hassan supporting his moderate position at Summit. (Ibid., POL 15–1 MOR). Yet on December 19, when President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger provided Nixon with a requested list of steps taken to bolster moderate Arab leaders at the Rabat summit, he omitted Rogers’ recommendation and draft letter to Hassan. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1243, Saunders Files, Morocco, 1/20/69–12/31/69)
4. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon
In light of recent regional developments, Kissinger recommended that the President authorize a review of U.S. programs in North Africa.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-169, NSSM Files, NSSM 87. Secret. Sent for action. The President approved the recommendation on January 21.
Kissinger conveyed the President’s request to review the trend of events in North Africa, as well as the U.S. regional programs, policies, and options there, and draft a National Intelligence Estimate and an options paper for submission to the NSC Review Group.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-169, NSSM Files, NSSM 87. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Bureau of the Budget. A summary of the response is printed as Document 9. This response was later subsumed into NSSM 90, a wider study of “U.S. Interests in and Policy toward the Mediterranean Area,” on February 26. It is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970
6. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon
Kissinger summarized Admiral George Anderson’s impression, based on his recent visit, that the Free World position in North Africa was deteriorating.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 274, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. III. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. President Nixon underlined a portion of the second paragraph and wrote in the margin, “I completely agree—Except for Tasca—virtually all career State people I have talked to do not adequately recognize this. They keep saying that the June ’67 war was a great ‘blow’ to Soviet in Mideast. Bunk.”
7. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)
Eliot transmitted a memorandum prepared for the Acting Secretary by the Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs outlining the possible consequences in North Africa of a positive U.S. response to the Israeli arms request.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 747, Country Files, Africa General, Vol. I. Secret. According to the February 18 Intelligence Note RAFN-4, on his February 7–11 trip to Morocco and Tunisia, Secretary Rogers, although warmly received, was also met with private diplomatic warnings and unprecedented press attacks over U.S. support for Israel. (Ibid.) For additional information on the Secretary’s talks with Moroccan officials, see Document 102, Document 20, and Document 145.
The estimate reviewed trends and prospects in the four North African states. It concluded that, in general, the recent improvement in political relations was not likely to extend beyond economic cooperation and that the region was turning toward Western Europe and away from close association with either of the Cold War superpowers. This trend was likely to continue as long as the United States continued to be closely identified in Arab eyes with Israel. The report then outlined the prospected trends for individual states, highlighting the potential political and social ramifications of projected economic stability.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, NIC Files, Job 79-R01012A, Box 390. Secret; Controlled Dissemination. The Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Department of State, Defense, and NSA participated in the preparation of this estimate. The Director of CIA submitted this estimate with the concurrence of all members of USIB with the exception of the representatives of the AEC and FBI who abstained on grounds that it was outside their jurisdiction.
The memorandum summarized the options paper, entitled “Trends and U.S. Options in North Africa,” produced by the Interdepartmental Group for Africa in response to National Security Study Memorandum 87. This paper examined the present and projected political stability of the four North African nations and the possible influence on U.S. interests in the region, then put forth a strategy for protecting those interests.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 303, NSC Committees and Panels, Review Group, May 1970. Secret. The entire options paper can be found in National Archives, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-169, NSSM 87. The trends outlined in this document are discussed in greater detail in NIE 60–70, printed as Document 8.
10. Memorandum From the Acting Staff Director (Lichtblau) to the National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Africa
Lichtblau reported the consensus of the AF/NSC-IG that, although no further action was needed on NSSM 87, the United States should continue an active relationship with North Africa where it maintained appreciable interests.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 1–1 AFR-US. Secret. The minutes of the May 21 Senior Review Group meeting on NSSM 90, into which NSSM 87 was folded, are printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970.
An excerpt from the paper “U.S. Interest in and Policy Toward the Mediterranean,” prepared in response to NSSM 90, discussed the role of France in North Africa, which U.S. policymakers viewed with ambivalence.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-28, NSC Meeting Files, The Mediterranean, June 17, 1970. Secret; Exdis. The Analytical Summary of the June 12 paper, concluded that “The North Africans in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have a character and history which distinguish them from the Eastern Arabs and give them somewhat different foreign policy options, particularly those growing out of their closer relationship with Western Europe. The North African governments are turning toward Western Europe—especially France—and away from the close association with either the United States or the USSR that characterized their policies in the 1950s and 1960s. US influence in North Africa will remain severely limited while the US remains closely identified in Arab eyes with Israel and Israel remains in occupation of Arab territory. The USSR is unlikely substantially to improve its modest political and diplomatic position in North Africa, as least as long as current regimes remain in power.” (Ibid.) The full analytical summary is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970.
12. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Irwin) to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Newsom)
Based on the November 5 Policy Analysis and Recommended Action review, Irwin presented the conclusions with respect to U.S. policy toward and interests in North Africa. The memorandum emphasized the need to work with North African nations bilaterally, as regional tensions prevented U.S. policymakers from developing a comprehensive strategy for approaching the region as a whole. Oil and natural gas interests in the region, while significant, should not be overemphasized. Finally, the current U.S. programs in North Africa were achieving the appropriate results and should be continued.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 AFR-US. Secret; Exdis. The Summary Sheet is attached but not printed. No record of the review itself was found.