Argentina


59. Study Prepared by the National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Inter-American Affairs, Washington, October 9, 1969.

This Country Analysis and Strategy Paper served as an official statement of U.S. Government policy towards Argentina.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, NSC/IG/ARA Files: Lot 72 D 96, Country Analysis and Strategy Paper (CASP) Argentina 1970. Secret. According to an attached NSC–IG/ARA Decision Memorandum #45, October 9, CASPs were an official statement of U.S. Government policy subject to change as events and circumstances warranted. So long as the general conditions set forth in the CASP prevailed, CASPs served as the policy frame for the annual program budget submissions for State, AID, DOD, USIA, and for activities of all other U.S. Government agencies with respect to this country. A CASP is subject to modification at any time by subsequent IG decisions. CASPs were written yearly for Argentina, and country team submissions and supporting documentation for the 1969–1972 are primarily in National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 ARG–US.


60. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer) to the Under Secretary of State (Richardson), Washington, December 9, 1969.

The Inter-Agency Group called for terminating AID’s program for Argentina, largely because the nation’s purchases of arms from the United States would, under the Conte-Long Amendment, require such a severe cutback in assistance that AID’s program could not be sustained.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, ARA Files: Lot 73 D 115, Argentina 1970. Secret. Sent through AID Administrator Hannah. Drafted on November 20 by Tragen and cleared by Gawf. Richardson, who approved both recommendations on February 2, 1970, penciled in an asterisk for Tab B and then penned at the bottom of the page, “*subject to updating as may be required.” Attached but not published are Tabs A and B. Tab A is a December 8 memorandum from Fowler (AID AA/LA) to Hannah, which elaborated on the nature of the weaponry and Tab B is “Scenario,” a strategy for notifying Argentina of the termination of the AID program. Additional documentation on the termination of the AID is ibid., Central Files 1967–69, AID (US) ARG. The Conte-Long Amendment to the Foreign Assistance and Related Appropriations Act of 1968, adopted January 2, 1968 directed the President to withhold economic assistance in an amount equivalent to the amount spent by any underdeveloped country for the purchase of sophisticated weapons systems. (PL 90–249; 81 Stat. 936)


61. Memorandum From the Ambassador in Argentina (Lodge) to President Nixon, Buenos Aires, February 11, 1970.

Ambassador Lodge outlined why it was in the U.S. interest to sell 16 A–4B airplanes to Argentina.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Argentina 1969–71. Secret. With his signature, Lodge handwrote, “and with warm personal regards.” Nixon replied on March 5 indicating he had approved the sale of the airplanes. (Ibid.)


62. National Intelligence Estimate 91–70, Washington, May 21, 1970.

This estimate predicted future Argentine economic growth, that Onganía’s Government would continue in power for next two years, and that the nation’s deep social and political tension would persist, and efforts to work closely with the United States would continue.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, OCI Files, Job 85–T00875R, NIE. Secret; Controlled Dissem. According to a note on covering sheet, the CIA and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense and the NSA participated in the preparation of the estimate. All members of the intelligence board concurred in the estimate on February 13 except the FBI and the Atomic Energy Commission, on the grounds that the subject was outside their jurisdiction. Although the report did not predict Ongonía’s fall which occurred on June 9, Collins in a July 10 memorandum to Abbott Smith stated that the NIE was “basically sound.” (Ibid., Job 79–R0102A, Box 392, Folder 5, Outlook for Argentina. Secret)


63. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon, Washington, June 10, 1970.

Secretary Rogers stated that President Onganía had been ousted by General Alejandro Lanusse because Onganía refused to accept a military plan for gradual return to democracy and had vague plans for a “corporatist state.” U.S. citizens and investment were unharmed by the coup.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–31 August 1971. Secret. The commanders in chief of the Argentina military argued that their resumption of power was legally consistent with the revolution of 1966 and required no recognition. (Telegram 2115 from Buenos Aires, June 10, ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL ARG–US.) The Assistant Legal Advisor for ARA also took this position in a June 10 memorandum to Tragen. (Ibid.) On June 12 Meyer informed Lodge that the Department had decided that a question of recognition did not exist. (Telegram 091622 to Buenos Aires, June 12, ibid.)


64. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, October 16, 1970.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger summarized two letters from Ambassador John Davis Lodge to President Nixon. Lodge questioned whether it would be in the U.S. interest for Argentina to return to representative democracy. In the second letter Lodge proposed Bebe Rebozo visit Argentina.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Argentina 1969–31 August 71. Secret. Sent for action. Nixon approved the recommendation and wrote on the bottom of the memorandum, “Consider whether I should go there [Argentina] early in 1971.” Nixon never made the trip. Attached but not published at Tab A is Nixon’s October 22 reply to Lodge in which the President declared he was giving careful attention to Chile, and handwrote an additional note, “The campaign is heating up—we should gain some in the Senate and would win it—if it were not for the economic drag.” Also attached but not printed is Tab B, two September 10 letters from Lodge to Nixon.


65. Memorandum From the Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, March 23, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger concluded that General Alejandro Lanusse’s takeover would not result in any significant change in policy, and did not represent a threat to U.S. interests.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–71. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. Hewitt of the NSC staff sent this memorandum to Kissinger on March 23 with the recommendation that Kissinger send it to the President. On March 30, Kissinger cleared a congratulatory message from Nixon to Lanusse. (Ibid.)


66. Talking Points Prepared by Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff for the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 18, 1971.

National Security Council staff member Nachmanoff briefed President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger for his meeting with Ambassador Lodge. Nachmanoff discussed SOUTHCOM, the role of the Ambassador, and the political and economic situation in both Argentina and Chile.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–71. Secret. Sent for information. No record of the meeting appeared in Kissinger’s schedule book. Sent under a covering May 18 memorandum from Nachmanoff to Kissinger.


67. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Argentina (Lodge) to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Buenos Aires, June 30, 1971.

Ambassador Lodge discussed the process he thought necessary for Argentina to receive U.S. economic assistance.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–71. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.


68. Backchannel Message From the Deputy Chief of Mission in Argentina (Barall) to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Buenos Aires, July 2, 1971.

Deputy Chief of Mission Barall stated that the Argentine situation was deteriorating, and that the Argentinean Government needed a quick response to its request for U.S. aid.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 ARG. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis; Eyes Only. The message is as prepared for transmission. On June 24, Argentine President Alejandro Lanusse sent a backchannel message to Nixon, requesting assistance from the United States to support the Argentine peso. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1969–1971)


69. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon, Washington, July 14, 1971.

President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs Haig recommended that President Nixon go along with Secretary of State Rogers’ idea that the U.S. Government could not meet his request. However, the U.S. Government would be willing to work with Argentine President Alejandro Lanusse and international agencies to come up with a sound economic program for the South American nation.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–71. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it. Nixon approved the recommendation. Attached but not published at Tab A is a July 3 memorandum from Rogers to Nixon. Tab B, a June 30 cable from Lodge to Meyer is printed as Document 67. Attached but not published at Tab C is a June 29 memorandum from Kissinger to Nixon, with a June 24 attachment from Lanusse to Nixon.


70. Special National Intelligence Estimate 91–71, Washington, July 15, 1971.

During President Lanusse’s administration, Argentina would experience significant economic and political problems. Although Argentine-United States relations were troubled in some respects, these relations would probably deteriorate under any successor government in the country.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–1971. Secret; Controlled Dissem. According to a note on the cover sheet, the CIA and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense and the NSA participated in the preparation of the estimate. All members of the intelligence board concurred in the estimate on February 13 with the exception of the FBI and the Atomic Energy Commission, on the grounds that the subject was outside their jurisdiction. A July 28 covering memorandum from Hewitt to Kissinger that summarized the estimate bears the notation, “HAK has seen.”


71. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, August 24, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger informed President Nixon that President Lanusse would request assistance from the Soviet Union if the United States did not give assistance to Argentina. The Argentine leader also requested a personal representative from Nixon to travel to Argentina to discuss the country’s economic problems.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 768, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1969–71. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for action. The memorandum was approved by “Haig for HAK for Pres.” Written on the bottom of the second page, in an unknown hand, was, “8/24–Nachmanoff and Kennedy alerted.” Attached but not published is an August 14 memorandum with Lanusse’s request for assistance, which is discussed at the end of the first paragraph. Attached but not published is Tab A, an August 25 memorandum from Kissinger to the Secretaries of State and the Treasury informing them that the President had decided to send a personal representative to President Lanusse. Attached but not published at Tab B is an undated backchannel in which Nixon informed Lanusse he planned to send a personal representative to Argentina.


72. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Argentina (Lodge) to the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot), Buenos Aires, August 31, 1971.

The wide-ranging discussion revealed President Lanusse’s motives for U.S. assistance, and U.S. attitudes towards Argentina. Nixon’s personal representative, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, John Petty, discussed the reasons why the United States could not meet its requests for assistance.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 769, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1 September 1970–31 December 1973. Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. The document was sent under a September 1 covering memorandum from Haig to Kennedy; not published. In the covering memorandum Haig stated that “we should move rapidly on a change of ambassadors. This man [Lodge] apparently does not have the confidence of President Lanusse; and from reading the dialogue, it is also evident that he hasn’t the humility to recognize it.”


73. Memorandum From Ashley C. Hewitt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, November 29, 1971.

National Security Council staff member Hewitt noted Ambassador Lodge’s lack of contact with top Argentine officials and how many such officials held Lodge in contempt. In addition, morale at the Embassy was very low.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 769, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 9/1/70 to 12/31/73. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for information; Outside the System. Tab A is attached but not printed. In a February 7, 1972 telephone conversation, Flanigan stated to Kissinger, “The President wants to leave him [Lodge] because he is surrounded by competent people. The President wants another post for him.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 371, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking) Lodge left his post as Ambassador to Argentina on November 10, 1973.


74. Memorandum for the President’s File, Washington, February 7, 1972.

President Lanusse thanked President Nixon for the helpful attitude of U.S. officials working with the Brignone Mission from Argentina. Nixon stated that he would do what he could to help Argentina economically.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Memos for the President’s File, Beginning February 6, 1972. No classification marking. The call took place at 11:15 a.m. Drafted by interpreter Donald Barnes. The Brignone Mission, headed up by the President of the Central Bank of Argentina, Carlos Brignone, was a group of Argentine officials who worked with U.S. officials and the International Monetary Fund, to coordinate a loan for Argentina. According to telegram 581 from Buenos Aires, January 29, Lanusse requested the call to Nixon on January 28. (Ibid., Box 769, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina 1 September 1970–31 December 1973)


75. Memorandum of Meeting, Washington, February 7, 1972.

Ismael Bruno Quijano, Argentina’s Minister of Justice, noted the importance of U.S. economic assistance for his country, and asked for President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger to notify the Treasury Department that it should put in a good word with First National City Bank of New York to ensure the Argentine Financial Mission’s success the following week.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 769, Country Files, Latin America, Argentina, 1 September 1970–31 December 1973. Secret. This memorandum is attached to a February 8 memorandum from Hewitt to Kissinger, which made two recommendations: “1.—That Kissinger call Secretary Connally concerning the Argentine Financial Mission’s discussions with the New York banking community,” which Kissinger approved; and“2.—That Kissinger approve distribution of the memorandum of meeting to the Department of State on a limited basis,” which Kissinger disapproved. In a January 11 memorandum from Kissinger to Hewitt, the National Security Advisor agreed to meet with Quijano sometime between February 1–10. (Ibid.)


76. Telegram 8185 from the Embassy in Argentina to the Department of State, December 26, 1972, 2135Z.

The Embassy’s country team predicted that former President Peron’s return to Argentina was a positive development for the nation.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30–2 ARG. Confidential.