89. National Security Study Memorandum 1841 2

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


  • Horn of Africa

Given the question of our continued presence at Kagnew Station, as well as prospective problems over the succession to Emperor Haile Selassie, the President has directed a review of United States interests and policy options in the Horn of Africa, i.e., Ethiopia, Somalia, and the French Territory of Afars and Issas.

Drawing as appropriate on the study done earlier in response to NSSM 115, the study should:

  • —Define and assess United States interests in Ethiopia and analyze how these interests, the economic and political situation in Ethiopia, and regional stability may be affected by a United States departure from Kagnew. In this connection implications for future U.S. military and economic assistance for Ethiopia should be examined.
  • —Define and assess other United States interests in the Horn of Africa, with particular attention to the post-Selassie period, and assess the importance attached to the region by other states such as the Soviet Union, France, China, the Arab States and Israel.
  • —Estimate the significance of Soviet activities in Somalia and how they relate to Soviet objectives in the Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, and the extent to which they pose a threat to American interests in the area.
  • —Discuss the prospects over the next five years of strife between Somalia and Ethiopia and Kenya, as well as the Eritrean insurgency; examine also the prospects for an accord between Somalia and its neighbors as well as any U.S. role encouraging such an accord.
  • —Examine the implications of the departure of Emperor Haile Selassie for United States interests in the region.

Based upon the above, the study should evaluate alternative policies open to the United States in light of post-Selassie, post-Kagnew conditions and American interests.

The study should be prepared by an ad hoc group chaired by the representative of the Secretary of State and including representatives of the addressees and the National Security Council Staff. Differing agency judgments should he clearly set forth. The study should be submitted to the NSC Senior Review Group by June 22, 1973.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-200, NSSM 184. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NSSM 115, issued January 25, 1971, also concerned the Horn of Africa, but did not result in a NSDM. NSSM 115 is published in Foreign Relations Documents on Africa, 1969–1972. (Document 309)
  2. Kissinger notified the Departments of State and Defense and the CIA that President Nixon had directed a review of U.S. interests and policy options in the Horn of Africa. The directive was prompted by the continued U.S. presence at Kagnew Station and prospective problems over the succession to Haile Selassie.