159. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of the Treasury Connally and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, December 5, 197112
MR. KISSINGER/ SECRETARY CONNALLY DECEMBER 5, 1971 (? ?)
K: John, I wanted to call you because the President is going to assemble a group of the NSC tomorrow at 1:30 about the India-Pakistan situation so if you don’t mind, why don’t we have our lunch at the White House.
C: That’s fine; or we can cancel it, Henry, if you want to. You’ll be busy as hell; why don’t we just cancel it?
K: Well, because you will be over there anyway. No, I’ll have 45 minutes or so.
C: All right or we can do it anytime. I’ll be at the White House anyway so hell that makes more sense; I’m going to be there till 12:15 or so. So when I leave the President’s office, I’ll just come right to your office.
K: Good, but in case I don’t — in case something happens that does make — cause either of US to cancel it.
TELCON Mr. Kissinger/Secretary Connally December 5, 1971 (? ? )[Page 2]
C: Just don’t worry about it.
K: Well, let me tell you what the issues are.
C: All right.
K: And where the President tends to be leaning but that’s not in any way to prejudice your judgment. The basic problem is now that the Indians have launched a full-scale attack into East Pakistan, how we should tilt. Now the argument that State is making is doesn’t make any difference anyway, it’s too late. Secondly, we will just drive the Indians into the Soviet arms if we get tough.
C : them I’d like to. Go ahead.
K: (laughter) Well, you’re talking my language. The thing that concerns the President and me is this; here we have Indian-Soviet collusion, raping a friend of ours. Secondly, we have a situation where one of the motives that the Chinese may have had in leaning towards US a little bit is the fear that something like this might happen to them.
K: So that some demonstration of our willingness to stand for some principles is important for that policy. Thirdly, if the Soviets get away with this in the Subcontinent, we have seen the dress rehearsal for a Middle Eastern war.
K: So our — what the President’s tentative view is is to start throttling the economic AID program to India. We don’t get a hell of a lot; what do we get from them? We’ve put $10 billion into it.
C: We don’t get a goddamn thing.
K: And when people say that we’re driving them into Soviet arms, what does that mean operationally?
C: That’s right.
K: What more can they do than what they are doing?
C: That’s right.[Page 3]
TELCON Mr. Kissinger/Secretary Connally December 5, 1971 (? ?)
K: And I think we have to show that it’s too risky to kick US in the teeth.
C: You know I’ll agree with that position.
K: Well, you’ve been so soft in the last few weeks —
K: — that I’ve just wanted to check around. of course
C: Well, /you know it’s a very practical matter. It seems to me that India as an ally is an enormous liability under any circumstances – political and economic and military liability.
K: Yeah, yeah.
C: By what ever means we can divorce ourselves from them, the better off we are, regardless of where they go.
K: That’s right. Well, then where the hell are they going go. They have their reasons to be independent. There is as good a chance that they will try to win their way back into our favor as there is —
C: I agree with that.
K: Because if we — now, no matter what we do, we can’t do as much for them as the Soviets have already done on the thing that interests them which is to rape Pakistan.
C: Yep, yep.
K: So that is the way the issue may come up, it may not come up that way but that’s at any rate where the President is leaning at this moment. And he wanted me just to explain why we have done the things we have.
C : All right.
K: And, of course, you will hear the rest of it there.
K: But let’s try to get together for lunch. I’d like to hear what happened in Europe.[Page 4]
TELCON Mr. Kissinger/Secretary Connally December 5, 1971 (? ? )
C: All right, fine.
K: Good, John.
C: Thank you, Henry.
- Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, December 1971. No classification marking.↩
- Kissinger and Connally agreed that the fighting between India and Pakistan had developed as a result of collusion between India and the Soviet Union. They further agreed that it was necessary to oppose India in the conflict.↩