155. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of Defense Laird and Secretary of State Rogers1 2

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  • Colombian Request for Arms

During his conversation with President Nixon, President Lleras of Colombia stated his government was interested in a modest arms modernization program and acquisition of small numbers of F–5 aircraft. President Nixon responded that he thought objectives of modest modernization deserved support. He added that there were problems with respect to existing legislation, but he understood and sympathized with the reasons behind the Colombian request.

The President wanted you to have the above information for your information and guidance. He would like a joint recommendation from the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense on how this request might be handled taking into account the congressional problem and pending legislation.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 779, Country Files, Latin America, Colombia, Vol. 1. Confidential. A copy was sent to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget. On July 25, the NSC Undersecretaries Committee proposed setting up a task force of the congressional liaison offices of State, DOD, and AID to come up with a strategy for getting Congress to loosen restrictions on sales of aircraft to Colombia, and other Latin American nations. (Ibid.)
  2. Kissinger informed the Secretaries of Defense and State that President Nixon wanted a joint recommendation on how to provide an arms modernization program for Colombia, given pending legislation in Congress.