113. Conversation Between President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, March 8, 1973, 9:54-10:05 a.m.1 2

[Omitted here is the president’s earlier meeting about schedule and appointments with Stephen B. Bull, and discussion with Kissinger about an NSC meeting, the President’s meeting with Anatoly Dobrynin, and the Pakistanis]

Kissinger: I don’t know whether I’ll have a chance to see you before the Pakistanis come in later. The issue is…

Nixon: Yeah?

Kissinger: … Moynihan, State, everyone is violently opposed to doing anything at all for them in the military field. Now, we have a million dollars’ worth of old equipment over here, equipment here that they—that is really theirs but that we were rebuilding. We have those 3000-300 armored personnel carriers that they’ve already paid for. The problem is, the Indians produce more in their own production than the Pakistanis do and this is simply cleaning up old obligations that we’ve undertaken to them. And we’ve already told the Chinese and the Iranians that we would do this right after the election, which you had promised prior to the, uh—I mean when you were there. These are all old obligations. That’s all.

Nixon: So, what—what’s the score? What do we—?

Kissinger: My recommendation is to, uh, well…

Nixon: What will it do in the Congress? I suppose that’s the problem State’s worried about and so forth, or are they just worried about the goddamned Indians?

Kissinger: They’re worried about the Indians, but we’re going to get tremendous flak again.

Nixon: Hmmm?

Kissinger: We’re going to get the same. State will leak, Moynihan will leak.

Nixon: What should we do? Now, you tell Moynihan that he cannot leak.

Kissinger: I’m strongly in favor of doing it. We can release the 87 million [dollars] to the Indians at the same time that we blocked at that time and say we’re cleaning up all old obligations.

Nixon: We can say that we’re doing this?

Kissinger: I mean these are old contracts. These are not new contracts. My recommendation is that we release—that for both sides all the things that we had blocked.

Nixon: Um-hmm.

Kissinger: And, uh…

Nixon: Yeah.

[pause]

Kissinger: But you don’t have to say this to the Pakistanis now. You have to—you can just listen sympathetically. But anything we discuss with them goes back to the Chinese. And they are in a hell of a spot, and the Indians are trying to kill them. They are now fomenting revolutions in Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier.

Nixon: Um- mm.

[Omitted here is conversation on Vietnam and a meeting at the Soviet Embassy]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation No. 872-3. No classification marking. The meeting took place in the Oval Office of the White House.
  2. Kissinger discussed the potential impact of releasing military equipment to Pakistan that had been purchased prior to the arms embargo.