Indian Ocean Region
The Department discussed recent disruptions in Indo-Nepalese relations, placed them within the context of U.S.-Nepalese and U.S.-Indian relations, and emphasized that the United States had little to gain from attempting to affect the economic and political relationship between Nepal and India.
Source: National Archives, RG 84, Katmandu Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 31, Political Affairs and Relations, Nepal. Confidential. Drafted by Quainton (DCM); cleared by ECON, POL, SA, and AID/DIR; and approved by Cargo. It was repeated to Colombo, Dhaka, Islamabad, Kabul, London, Moscow, New Delhi, Rangoon, Calcutta, Bombay, Hong Kong, Madras, Beijing, and CINCPAC.
The Embassy reported that the Government of Sri Lanka had elected not to pursue a MAP program with the United States. The Embassy believed that the reason for the rejection of U.S. training was related to non-alignment: specifically, the Sri Lankan Government’s desire to avoid accepting Soviet aid to balance that of the United States.
Source: National Archives, RG 84, Colombo Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 54, DEF 19–8, Military Assistance. Secret. It was drafted by Seger and cleared by ADCM. It was repeated to London, Moscow, New Delhi, SecDef, DOD/ISA, DOD/DSAA, and CINCPAC.
The country summary for Sri Lanka details the state of the country in 1973, touching on the decaying coalition of Prime Minister Bandaranaike’s United Front and detailing the problems with the Sri Lankan economy, particularly the falling value of PL–480 aid. The summary also points to the steady improvement of U.S.-Sri Lankan relations following the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, United States’ aid to Sri Lanka during the 1971 insurgency, and in view of U.S. economic assistance and frequent naval visits.
Source: National Archives, RG 84, Colombo Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 54, Political Affairs and Relations, 1973. Limdis, Immediate. It was drafted on April 5 by Herbert Wing (POL/ECON) and Chester Polley (Admin); cleared by Van Hollen; and approved by DCM Patricia Byrne. It was repeated to Canberra, Dhaka, Islamabad, Kabul, Katmandu, London, New Delhi, Rangoon, Tehran, USUN, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, and Karachi.
56. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon
The President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger presented the President with a draft reply to Prime Minister Bandaranaike’s letter of January 12 regarding economic aid.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 297, Presidential Memoranda, 1969–74, May 1973 (1). No classification marking. Sent for action. The Prime Minister wrote Nixon regarding the World Bank Aid Group meeting for Sri Lanka, and wished to clarify the difficulties of implementing the World Bank’s austerity measures given the delicate social and political conditions prevailing in Sri Lanka. (Ibid.) The letter, at Tab A, was sent on May 3.
The Department discussed the decision to shut down the post at Kagnew Station in Asmara, Ethiopia, and create a communications station and naval facility at Diego Garcia.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 15 India-United States Relations. Secret; Priority; Exdis. It was drafted on June 7 by John Kelly (PM/ISO); cleared by PM/ISO, AF/E, OSD/GC, ISA/FMRA, ISA/EUR, J–5, OP–61, ISA/AF, ISA/NESA, OSD/P, M–R, AF/E, UR/NE, NEA, White House, S, and INR/DDC/RPS; and approved by Porter. It was repeated to CINCEUR, CINCPAC, and CINCLANT.
In a conversation with Pakistan Ambassador Sultan M. Khan on June 19, Assistant Secretary Sisco responded to Pakistani criticisms regarding CENTO’s value as a force for regional stability and asserted that CENTO was an asset for Pakistan over and above its necessarily limited role in supporting Pakistan versus India.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential. It was drafted on June 22 by Lesser; cleared in NEA/PAB and NEA/RA; and approved by Sisco.
Secretary of State Rogers led a discussion of Pakistan’s role in the CENTO alliance at the ministerial meeting that took place June 10–11 in Tehran. Pakistan State Minister for Foreign Affairs Aziz Ahmed repeated charges that CENTO had failed as a military alliance and raised the question of Pakistan leaving the organization. Rogers countered that CENTO, like NATO, existed to prevent war with the Soviet Union, not mediate regional conflicts.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Exdis. It was drafted on June 21 by Robert Chase (NEA/RA); cleared by NEA, NEA/RA, NEA/IRN, and NEA/PAB; and approved by S. It was repeated to Islamabad, London, Moscow, New Delhi, and Tehran. Pakistan’s continuing threats to leave the alliance because of its inaction during the 1971 war with India occupied much of agenda in Tehran. In telegram 5319 the Embassy discussed a subsequent meeting on July 2 between Deputy Chief of Mission Sydney Sober and Pakistani Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs Aziz Ahmed, who asserted that the threat to Pakistan from the USSR was not direct, but continued to come from India. Thus, if the United States did not reconsider its refusal to give military aid to Pakistan, Islamabad would “probably not” remain part of CENTO. (Ibid.)
Following the conversation between Deputy Chief of Mission Sydney Sober and Pakistani Minister of State for Defense and Foreign Affairs Aziz Ahmed, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto met with Sober to clarify Pakistan’s position on the link between military aid and membership in CENTO. Sober suggested that Pakistan must rely on Bhutto’s own success at Simla negotiating peace with India and Bangladesh and emphasized the Nixon administration’s support for Pakistan’s integrity.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret; Priority; Exdis.
61. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon
The President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger presented the President with a draft reply to Prime Minister Bandaranaike’s letter of July 10, 1973, regarding PL–480 aid.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 298, Presidential Memoranda, 1969–77, August, 1973 (1). Confidential. Sent for action. The United States had eliminated Sri Lanka from the countries receiving PL–480 assistance during the first quarter of fiscal 1973 and in her letter of July 10 Bandaranaike asked the President to restore it. (Ibid.) In telegram 157259 to Colombo, August 9, the Department reported a follow-up conversation between Sisco and Ambassador Kanakaratne, who reemphasized Sri Lanka’s need for immediate aid. Sisco characterized the food supply situation as “complicated and very depressing.” The general rise in agricultural prices, partly as a result of the oil crisis, had pushed U.S. wheat over $4/bushel. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
The Embassy provided for the Department an updated narcotics control plan speculating on the possible export of hashish and opium from Sri Lanka.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority. It was repeated to Islamabad, Kabul, Katmandu, New Delhi, USUN, Geneva, and DEA. For the previous report see telegram 419 from Colombo, February 15 (Ibid., Central Files 1970–73, Box 3097, SOC 11–5 Sri Lanka-Sweden)
The Department of State informed Ambassador Kanakaratne of a 20,000 ton PL–480 wheat flour allocation for Sri Lanka. The Department emphasized that the aid resulted from the “high premium” the United States placed on friendly relations with Sri Lanka.
Source: National Archives, RG 84, Colombo Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 54, Aid 1973. Confidential; Niact; Immediate
64. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)
Source: Ford Library, National Security Advisor, Scowcroft Daily Work Files, 1973–1977, Chronological File A, Box 6, January 16–19, 1974. Top Secret; Immediate; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The memorandum was sent as TOHAK–74. Lord Cromer’s speaking notes are attached. No action indicated, but an attached, undated note written in an unknown hand reads “This is now under negotiation. No written response necessary.”
65. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs (Bergold) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Assistance (Peet)
Assistant Secretary Harold Bergold informed Vice Admiral Ray Peet of the British response to the United States’ Diego Garcia expansion proposal.
Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: 330–78–0011, 323:3, Box 64, Indian Ocean. Secret. Attached is Peet’s January 17 memorandum to Department of State negotiator Seymour Weiss, containing an overview of proposed improvements to Diego Garcia. Also attached but not printed are a draft modification of the 1966 agreement establishing the original base, a further elaboration of the rationale for expansion, and a list of Congressional contacts.
66. Letter From the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services (Stennis) to Secretary of Defense Schlesinger
Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi requested that the Department of Defense provide a plan and rationale for the expansion of Diego Garcia. Schlesinger replied on February 16.
Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: 330–78–0011, Box 63, Indian Ocean. No classification marking. Attached are Schlesinger’s reply and the Department of Defense rationale for the expansion.
67. Memorandum From A. Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger
Source: Ford Library, National Security Advisor, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 25, United Kingdom-Diego Garcia. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Urgent; sent for action. No action indicated, but Scowcroft signed the memorandum to Executive Secretary George Springsteen attached at Tab B. The British telegram appears at Tab C.
The memorandum discussed Soviet deployments, propaganda, and diplomatic initiatives related to the Indian Ocean Zone of Peace and Diego Garcia expansion.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Current Intelligence Job 79–T00863A, Box 31, Soviet Propaganda on U.S. Naval Actions and Plans for the Indian Ocean. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Background Use Only. The Soviet Union continued to abstain on resolutions regarding the IOPZ. See Yearbook of the United Nations, Vol. 28: 1974, pp. 29–30, for the resolution of December 9, 1974.
Secretary of State Kissinger provided President Nixon with a draft reply to Prime Minister Bandaranaike’s letter of February 11 regarding Diego Garcia.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 299, Presidential Memoranda, March, 1974. Confidential. Attached at Tab A is the March 1 letter. Attached but not printed at Tab B is Bandaranaike’s letter in which she expressed her “deep concern” over the expansion, which would establish a “joint U.S./British naval base in Diego Garcia,” conflicting with the concept of an IOPZ. (Ibid.)
Secretary of State Kissinger relayed the President’s order for a review of United States strategy in the Indian Ocean as a follow-up to National Security Study Memoranda 104 and 110, on the same subject.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, NSSM 104–206, November 1970–July 1974. Secret. It was copied to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NSSM 104, “Soviet and Friendly Naval Involvement in the Indian Ocean Area, 1973–75,” November 7, 1970, and NSSM 110, “Follow-Up Study on Strategy Toward the Indian Ocean,” December 22, 1970, and responses to them, are printed in Foreign Relations, volume XXIV, Arabian Peninsula; Middle East 1969–1972; Jordan 1970.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Deputy to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Brent Scowcroft discussed the arrangements for the Diego Garcia expansion and its announcement with Sir John Hunt and Ambassador Sir Peter Ramsbotham.
Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 145, Geopolitical File, Great Britain, March–April 1974. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place at the Eighth Floor Dining Room in the Department of State. The British General Election in February resulted in the fall of the Heath Government.
Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan analyzed the regional political consequences of the Diego Garcia expansion and presented several political proposals.
Source: National Archives, RG 84, New Delhi Embassy Files: Lot 78 F 45, POL 33–4 Indian Ocean, January–June 1974. Secret. It was drafted on April 25 by Richard McCormack and Kreisberg (POL); cleared by David Schneider (DCM) and DAO; and approved by Moynihan. It was repeated to Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Canberra, Colombo, Dacca, Dar es Salaam, Islamabad, Jakarta, Jidda, Kabul, Katmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Lisbon, London, Mogadishu, Moscow, Nairobi, Paris, Port Louis, Pretoria, Rangoon, San’a, Singapore, Tananarive, Tehran, Tokyo, Wellington, and Peking; U.S. Missions in Brussels, Geneva, USUN; and American Consulates in Calcutta, Bombay, Hong Kong, Madras, and CINCPAC.
Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan discussed congressional opposition to Diego Garcia and possible strategies for presenting the expansion to the Indian Government.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret. It was repeated to Jakarta, Nairobi, Bangkok, and CINCPAC.
President Richard M. Nixon greeted the CENTO foreign ministers and presented his views on CENTO and the Middle East.
Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 4, May 22, 1974. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the White House Cabinet Room.
The Department reported Pakistani Foreign Minister Ahmed’s comments at the CENTO Ministerial Meeting regarding U.S. military supply, the Indian nuclear test, and other matters.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Secret. It was drafted by Schifferdecker and approved by Constable.
At the CENTO ministerial meeting in Washington, the alliance members discussed the consequences of the Indian nuclear explosion. Pakistan pressed for a strongly worded statement of disapproval and once again “expressed scorn” for CENTO. The ministers also debated the subject of political guidance and approved measures to increase the amount of economic aid given by the United States and United Kingdom to the regional members.
Source: National Archives, RG 84, New Delhi Embassy Files: Lot 78 F 45, DEF 4, Collective Defense Pacts & Alliances 1974. Confidential. It was drafted by NEA and repeated to Islamabad, London, Tehran, New Delhi, and Moscow.
The study prepared by an interagency working group summarized previous NSSM documents related to the Indian Ocean, outlined the current state of relations with regional powers and the Soviet Union in the area, defined U.S. interests, and presented three possible policies for consideration, each comprising a selection of force levels and diplomatic activity.
Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–090, Senior Review Group Meetings, August 15, 1974–February 12, 1976. Secret; Noforn. It was drafted by the Departments of State and Defense, the CIA, ACDA, and the Office of the JCS; and cleared by the Interdepartmental Political/Military Group. Attached but not printed is a May 23 covering memorandum from the Chair of the Interdepartmental Political/Military Group, George S. Vest, to Kissinger.
Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Ford Administration, Box 4, August 13 1974. Top Secret. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room of the White House.
Secretary Kissinger noted Senate opposition to funding for Diego Garcia and proposed submitting a letter from the President to Senator John C. Stennis making the argument for Diego Garcia’s utility. Attached was the President’s letter to Stennis.
Source: Ford Library, National Security Advisor, Kissinger-Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 25, United Kingdom-Diego Garcia. No classification marking. A note from the Deputy Assistant for Legislative Affairs Tom Korologos reads “I handed letter to Stennis on 9–11–74. There should be NO release of letter until Stennis does.” In a September 5 note to Scowcroft, Korologos urged securing Stennis’ cooperation, noting that the senator had encouraged the Senate Armed Services Committee to demand that the President certify that Diego Garcia’s new facilities were in the national interest. “In other words,” Korologos complained, “they’ve got to pass another damn law before we can spend the money.” (Ibid.)
The Department replied at length to Ambassador Daniel P. Moynihan’s concerns regarding Diego Garcia and affirmed the administration’s policy on the expansion of the facility.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Priority. It was drafted by Jonathan Stoddart (PM/ISO); cleared by P, NEA, C, WH, EUR/NE, EA/RA, AF/RA, H, OSD/ISA, PM/ISP, PM/DCA, and L/PM; and approved by Vest. It was repeated priority to Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Blantyre, Cairo, Canberra, Cape Town, Caracas, Colombo, Dacca, Dar es Salaam, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Jakarta, Jidda, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kuwait, Lusaka, Lourenco Marques, London, Lisbon, Manama, Mogadishu, Manila, Moscow, Muscat, Nairobi, NATO, Port Louis, Paris, Peking, Pretoria, Rangoon, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Tananarive, USUN, Wellington, CINCPAC Honolulu, USCINCEUR, CINCUSNAVEUR, CINCLANT, COMIDEASTFOR, CONCPACFLT, and DOD. Attached but not printed are References A and B. Reference A is telegram 11114 from New Delhi, August 22, 1974; Reference B is telegram 13687 from Bangkok, August 23, 1974. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
The Embassy provided the Department of State with a comprehensive analysis of the value of naval visits to Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands. The report also discussed the impact of naval visits on the issue of Diego Garcia and the Indian Ocean Peace Zone.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Limdis. It was repeated to CNO, CINCPAC, CINCPACFLT, CINCUSNAVEUR, COMIDEASTFOR, London, Moscow, New Delhi, and SecDef. Airgram A–275, December 13, 1973, provided a previous assessment of the value of naval visits. (National Archives, RG 84, Colombo Embassy Files: Lot 77 F 54, DEF)
82. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Atherton) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Sisco)
Atherton submitted a report outlining the parameters of the Sri Lankan food crisis. Most notably, foodgrain production would likely fall short by 200,000 tons and the increase in world market grain prices would leave Sri Lanka with a $300 million trade deficit in 1975, compared to $10 million in 1972. The report also laid out several scenarios based on the availability of PL–480 funding and grain supplies, recommending that the United States provide as much grain to Sri Lanka as possible in fiscal 1975.
Source: National Archives, RG 59, NEA/INS Files: Lot 78 D 66, AID 15–8, PL 480, Sri Lanka 1974. Confidential. It was drafted by Leader and cleared by Julius Katz (EB). Attached but not printed are Tabs A and B. (Both Ibid.) Tab A is telegram 236883 to Colombo, October 26, in which Sisco reported that Ambassador Kanakaratne had pleaded for food aid early in 1974. Tab B is telegram 3152 from Colombo, November 8, in which Van Hollen reported that Sri Lankan Finance Minister N.M. Perera expressed concern about the availability of PL–480 aid. (Ibid.) Van Hollen had earlier argued in telegram 2921 from Colombo, October 18, that “our credibility here will indeed be damaged if … we are unable to follow through with even [the] small amount previously pledged.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)