170. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron)1


  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Sercretary of Defense


  • South Africa and Rhodesia

The President has reviewed the conclusions of the Policy Review Committee meeting of September 20, 1977,2 and has approved the following initial measures for use if necessary to force South Africa and Rhodesia toward a settlement on acceptable terms:

—Printing destination control warnings on goods exported to South Africa stating that these goods may not be re-exported to Rhodesia. The U.S. should seek to multilateralize this procedure but the President is prepared to carry it out unilaterally.

—A mandatory UN embargo on arms sales to South Africa for violating the UN embargo by sending arms to Rhodesia.

—“Grey area sales” of military-related equipment would continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but perhaps with some tightening as a signal to South Africa. Tightening pressures should be given special consideration in the Namibia context where the issue of South African military withdrawal could be a major obstacle.

Implementation of any of the above measures must be authorized specifically by the President.

The President also instructs the US Representative to the United Nations to abstain or oppose the Indian UN resolution. Should Ambassador Young conclude that the US should support the resolution for tactical purposes, he may request reconsideration of this instruction.

David Aaron
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 66, PRC 041, 2/11/77, Southern Africa. Secret. The memorandum was also sent to Blumenthal, Kreps, Young, Turner, Brown, and O’Leary.
  2. See Document 169.