191. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Lance) to President Carter1


  • Presidential Determination to Waive the Ceiling on Military Assistance to Africa

I concur in Secretary Vance’s recommendation that you sign the attached determination waiving the $40 million ceiling on military assistance (including grants, credits, and loan guarantees) for Africa in fiscal year 1977.2

This determination is necessary, since the Administration’s proposed 1977 budget levels for the eight African countries exceed $40 million, and the Congress has not agreed to eliminate the ceiling provision in current security assistance legislation.

By approving this determination and transmitting the required justifications to Congress, you would also be approving an increase in fiscal 1977 FMS financing for Tunisia from the budgeted $15 million to $25 million. The amounts shown for all other planned country programs in the attached table3 were previously approved and reflected in the 1978 Congressional Presentation document.4

The Tunisian increase would be used to accelerate delivery of the integrated air defense system (Chaparral missile batteries, radar, and Vulcan anti-aircraft guns) which Tunisia has begun purchasing to meet what it perceives to be an increased threat from Libya. This increase for Tunisia is not likely to raise questions about your overall policy of restraint in arms transfers, since the 1978 FMS credit program nearing final approval by the Congress includes $25 million for Tunisia.

Funds are currently available for this reallocation, but OMB believes such increases should have Presidential approval. Accordingly, if you agree, your approval of this increase will be conveyed to State when you sign the Presidential Determination for the ceiling waiver.5

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 50, Tunisia. Confidential.
  2. Not attached. For Vance’s recommendation, see Document 190.
  3. Not attached.
  4. Not found.
  5. Carter checked and initialed the option to approve an additional $10 million for Tunisia.