130. Memorandum From Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

[Page 1]


  • Senior Review Group Meeting on Brazil Program Analysis—NSSM 67 (Tuesday, December 1)

The NSSM 67 Study is a valuable piece of work and a major contribution to our understanding of Brazil. The analysis of program lending and our security interests in Brazil are particularly good.

However, the Study does focus on our long-term interest in Brazilian development virtually as our only real interest and the chief determinant of our policy with regard to Brazil. While it is true that economic and social development in the hemisphere, and hence in the largest country in the hemisphere, is one of our principal long-term interests, we have a more fundamental interest in the kind of relationship we have with Brazil, both in the long and short term. In the context of political developments in the hemisphere and Brazilian geopolitical characteristics, we clearly have an interest in maintaining friendly and constructive relations with Brazil. Our role with respect to Brazil’s development is an important aspect of that relationship, but only one aspect. The NSSM 67 Study, by focusing on development to the exclusion of other considerations, deliberately put aside a whole series of problems of great importance for U.S.-Brazilian relations. These include:

  • —the soluble coffee issue;
  • —our import policies on textiles and other commodities;
  • —our arms policy which limits our ability to meet Brazil’s needs for new equipment; and
  • —the impact of reports of torture and repression on our ability to maintain cooperative programs and relations with the military government.

The Study, in effect, views these questions as subsidiary to the question of overall policy direction. The point is that the way we handle these problems will have as much impact on our relations with Brazil—both long-and short-term—as our posture towards Brazilian development. Thus, while we agree [Page 2] that the selective support option makes the most sense for our posture toward Brazil’s development, for all the reasons cited in the Study, that in itself will not provide very meaningful policy guidance for determining our relations with Brazil over the next few months or years. The trade, military equipment, and image/moral questions must also be addressed before a coherent policy towards Brazil can be established.

The tendency of the Study to give far greater emphasis to developmental rather than political considerations appears out of proportion in view of recent developments in Chile. It seems clear that a major element of our present strategy will involve seeking support and cooperation wherever feasible from the Government in Brazil in our efforts to frustrate achievement of the Allende Government’s objectives. The Study, of course, was completed before the Chilean election and hence did not give enough weight to the importance of good working relations with the present Government.

You may wish to suggest in the Senior Review Group meeting that while the Study has been very valuable and the options proposed do offer useful choices for development strategy toward Brazil, we will need to supplement this effort by further consideration of the political and operational issues which the Study did not cover.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–49, Senior Review Group-Brazil Program Analysis, 12/1/70. Secret. Sent for information. Copies were sent to Kennedy and Smith. NSSM 67 is Document 120. The NSSM 67 paper is Document 125.
  2. Nachmanoff analyzed the NSSM 67 study and concluded it ignored a number of aspects of the complex United States–Brazilian relationship: coffee, U.S. import policy and arms policy, and the nature of Brazil’s military government.