29. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1

SUBJECT

  • Horn of Africa

PARTICIPANTS

  • State

    • Cyrus Vance
    • Richard M. Moose, Jr. (Ass’t. Sec./African Affairs)
    • Donald McHenry (USUN)
  • Defense

    • Harold Brown
    • Charles W. Duncan, Jr. (Deputy Secretary of Defense)
    • David E. McGiffert (Ass’t. Secretary/ISA)
    • JCS
    • General David C. Jones (Acting Chairman, JCS)
    • LTG William Y. Smith (Assistant to Chairman, JCS)
  • CIA

    • Frank Carlucci (Acting DCI)
    • [name not declassified] (Chief, Africa Division)
    • White House
    • David Aaron (Chairman)
    • NSC
    • Paul B. Henze (Notetaker)

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

[Omitted here is discussion of the Horn of Africa.]

Measures against Cuba:

Secretary Vance reviewed possibilities for bringing economic pressure to bear on Cuba and concluded that they offered little promise considering the effort they would entail. The group did not believe that representations by a special emissary to Castro would produce favorable results. Secretary Vance was opposed to consideration of closing the Interest Sections. Resumption [Page 70] of SR–71 flights over Cuba was discussed. The Chairman and the Secretary of Defense favored resumption of these flights; the Secretary of State was inclined against them. The Acting Director of Central Intelligence noted that they were not needed for intelligence collection. Secretary Brown mentioned the possibility of taking more dramatic measures to enhance our military posture in the Caribbean rather than confining ourselves to resumption of SR–71 flights.2 The group decided to make no recommendation on this question for the time being.

There was an extensive discussion of the risks and possibilities of increasing aid to UNITA in Angola with the aim of heightening the costs of their intervention for the Cubans. Acting Director Carlucci described the current status of the CIA intelligence relationship with Savimbi, the very substantial support Savimbi is now receiving from other friendly countries and some of the measures that could be taken to improve Savimbi’s communications. The consensus of the group, however, was that very little could be done without Presidential Findings, congressional briefings and perhaps efforts to have legislative restrictions that may still be in effect waived or repealed. State and CIA will study the congressional/legal situation in greater detail.

The only action on which the group reached consensus was that there should be increased covert media activity on Cubans in Africa with special effort to project information on Cuban casualties and problems into Cuba itself.3 CIA will prepare plans for implementation, including additional Presidential Findings, if required.

[Omitted here is discussion of South Yemen.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, 1977–1981, Box 184, SCC 068 Horn of Africa, Cuba’s role in Africa, 3/27/78. Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Henze. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
  2. In an April 6 memorandum to Secretary Brown, McGiffert discussed using the Non-Aligned Movement to put pressure on Castro to reduce the Cuban military presence in the Horn of Africa. The memorandum is printed in .
  3. In an April 7 memorandum to Brzezinski, Turner called for a new “Omnibus Finding” that would authorize the covert action discussed in the SCC meeting. (National Security Council, Carter Intelligence Files, Box 29, USSR-Cuban Intervention in Africa, 9 Jan 1978–7 Jul 1978)