340. Memorandum From the Special Representative for Economic Summits (Owen) to President Carter 1

SUBJECT

  • Foreign Policy Aid Allocations (U)

Attached are State’s comments on yesterday’s joint memorandum from Zbig Brzezinski and Jim McIntyre to you on this subject.2 These comments have been reviewed and altered by Cy Vance to reflect his personal views. (C)

1. Cy favors a cut in ESF aid to Syria, as recommended in the joint memo.

2. Like the joint memo, he opposes a cut in aid to India despite its unhelpful policies in the present crisis, “in view of the election of a new government in India and our interest in dampening Indian concerns about our approach to Pakistan . . . .” To cut back planned aid programs for India at this time would get us off on the wrong foot immediately with the new government, negate any benefit from settling the Tarapur license issue and, most seriously, be a double blow when coming on top of our increased arms assistance for Pakistan. (S)

[Page 1078]

3. He favors cutting Bangladesh’s FY 1981 AID level from $117 million back to the FY 1980 request level of $105 million, and refusing their request for FMS aid. (S)

This last recommendation, the arms supply sanction, was a specific threat in Cy’s message to Zia;3 its fulfillment would make the punishment fit the crime; and it would not alienate our domestic aid constituency—e.g., the church leaders whom you called to the White House to lobby for development aid a year ago,4 the Hunger Commission, and others who believe that we will insulate development aid from short-term political purposes (and whom we will be calling to the White House again in a few months to help us if the aid bill is in trouble). (S)

State also opposes cuts in projected aid to Zambia and Mozambique and suggests how funds freed by aid cuts to Syria and Bangladesh could be used. Such alternative uses can be accomplished through reprogramming and do not require Presidential approval. (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 25, Foreign Assistance: 1–10/80. Secret. Sent for information. Both Carter and Brzezinski initialed at the top of the page.
  2. Attached but not printed is a January 10 memorandum from Tarnoff to Owen on “Reconsidering Aid Levels for Countries Not Supporting the U.S. on Iran and Afghanistan.” The joint memorandum from Brzezinski and McIntyre is Document 339.
  3. Not found.
  4. Not further identified.