17. National Security Study Memorandum 2011 2


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


  • Military Assistance and Arms Policy in Black Africa

The President has directed a study of United States policy for providing military assistance and arms to the countries of Black Africa. Since the United States can expect to receive requests for arms assistance and training from a number of Black African states in the future, the study should examine the policy options for responding to such requests, in light of our economic, political and strategic interests.

The study first should describe current U.S. policy and its objectives and evaluate our success in achieving these objectives. The study then should examine and assess possible alternative U.S. policies which would take into account such factors as:

  • —present or potential requests for new or more sophisticated categories of equipment or military assistance from Black African countries;
  • —potential requests from countries now embargoed in part or whole from United States Government military assistance;
  • —reactions by other interested states, including potential arms suppliers who are commercial or political competitors of the United States;
  • —the effect of each alternative policy on African insurgencies;
  • —arms as a cause of rivalries between African countries or confrontation in Africa between outside powers;
  • —criteria for grant, credit and sales including impact on social and economic development.
  • —Congressional limitations on levels and kinds of aid; and,
  • —impact on U.S. arms embargo policies in Southern Africa.

This study should be prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Africa and submitted by May 24, 1974 for review by the NSC Senior Review Group prior to consideration by the President.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-204, NSSMs, NSSM 201. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  2. The NSSM informed the Secretaries of Defense and State, and the Director of the CIA that President Nixon had directed a study of U.S. policy for providing military assistance and arms to the countries of black Africa, including current objectives and possible alternate policies.