50. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense Brown to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • SCC Meeting on Horn of Africa, 26 January 1978

Two of the specific requirements set forth for action in your memorandum of 27 January 1978,2 subject as above, differ somewhat from my recollection of what it was decided to do. The first has to do with planning for deployment of a naval task force to the Red Sea as soon as possible. I believe we were talking about the Indian Ocean and not the Red Sea. Additionally, I reported that we had a naval task force about to deploy on a normal routine deployment to the Indian Ocean. That deployment is currently scheduled for the period 20 February to 18 April. The task force will be made up of one cruiser, two frigates, and one oiler. I suggest for the time being that is all we will want to do in the way of actual deployment of a naval task force in the area, though we will continue to examine further options for possible later use.

The second concern I have is of lesser importance. It calls for going through military [less than 1 line not declassified] to sound out the Iranian, Saudi, Egyptian and Sudanese governments on the support of Somalia. It should, I assume, read military intelligence channels. I propose to carry out this action through defense attaches, although I am not optimistic that they will obtain much useful information.

Harold Brown
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files 1977–1981, Box 184, SCC 055 Horn of Africa, 1/26/78. Secret; Sensitive.
  2. See Document 46.