19. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1


  • Military Aid for Somalia

In reference to your request for comments on the Vice President’s memo (attached),2 let me say that a good way to initiate a relationship with the Somalis on military matters would be for them to agree to let us have a defense attache in our embassy in Mogadiscio again. We have had none since 1970. A good attache could be a source of judgment about some of the fine points of military matters that we lack now—and his presence would be symbolically important and a good test of Somali intentions.

I recommend that, taking explicit note of Ambassador Addou’s inquiry, we request that they permit the immediate dispatch of a U.S. military attache.3

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 69, Somalia: 1/77–6/78. Secret.
  2. Not attached; see Document 18.
  3. Carter checked the Approve option and wrote “ok J” beneath the options. A notation in an unknown hand beneath an “Other” option reads, “How about a naval vessel visit to Berbera?”