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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume XI
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume XI, South Asia Crisis, 1971
Released by the Office of the Historian

201. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-PAK. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by James H. Holmes (NEA/PAF) on November 24; cleared by Laingen, Quainton, and Van Hollen; and approved by Sisco. Repeated to New Delhi, London, Moscow, Tehran, USUN, Kabul, Dacca, and Calcutta.

Washington, November 25, 1971, 0303Z.

214136. Subject: Secretary's Meeting with Ambassador Raza.

1. Secretary Rogers called in Ambassador Raza of Pakistan November 24 to discuss current crisis and inform him of steps just taken with India. Minister Farooqi, Sisco, Laingen and Holmes also present.

2. Secy Rogers said USG deeply concerned with recent developments in South Asia. Secretary said he had just finished talking with Indian Chargé/2/ and had (a) urged maximum Indian restraint, (b) pointed out consequences of escalation which were "almost beyond comprehension," (c) noted Yahya's earlier offer of unilateral withdrawal from borders if followed by an appropriate Indian response, and (d) expressed our difficulty in understanding why India had not responded more favorably. Secretary said he had just returned from long meeting with Pres. Nixon and stated that President feels strongly on need for maximum restraint. Secretary said "You know and Yahya knows how strongly we feel about need to resolve this problem." Told Raza we had also been in touch again with Soviets on need to achieve restraint. Secretary expressed hope all would act with restraint.

/2/ See Document 202.

3. Raza mentioned alleged U.S. press statements quoting Dept as saying it has no evidence to substantiate Pakistani claims of Indian attack. Secretary replied that we have simply said "we have no independent information to confirm or deny" the Pakistani charges or the Indian denials. The USG does not want to be put in position of being asked to judge reports of a conflicting nature. Again referring to press report Raza said he had heard that USG had requested urgent meeting UNSC. Secy said this obviously erroneous report; said we understood GOP has recourse to UN under consideration and would be ready to discuss this with GOP whenever it wished do so.

Irwin


202. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-PAK. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted on November 24 by Quainton, cleared in S/S by Eliot, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Islamabad, London, Moscow, Dacca, and USUN.

Washington, November 25, 1971, 0314Z.

214138. Subj: South Asia Situation.

1. Secretary called in Indian Chargé Rasgotra November 25 [24] to discuss South Asia situation. Sisco and Quainton present from NEA. Rasgotra accompanied by First Secretary Verma.

2. Secretary began by stating that basic US position was to urge both sides to exercise maximum restraint. Nothing can come out of hostilities except greater tragedy for people in immediate vicinity and for millions of others. Secretary noted that he had just had long conversation with President Nixon and that President had expressed appreciation for his discussion with Prime Minister Gandhi and for assurance he had received that India would not initiate hostilities. Secretary noted that we had taken various positive steps. We have dried up military pipeline. We have continued to give maximum assistance for refugee relief. We have passed on President Yahya's willingness to take first step in withdrawing troops if other side reciprocated. We very much hope that proposal could be reconsidered. We have also put forward ideas in order to get political negotiations started looking towards a political settlement. We agree a political settlement is essential. Secretary said he could not emphasize too much the attitude which the US Government and people would have to take if war breaks out. He stated it is very difficult to get at facts, since both sides engaged in combat. We would like impartial observers to find out what was happening. Secretary asked whether Rasgotra had any ideas how this might be done.

3. Rasgotra said he had no suggestions. He admitted Pakistanis saying one thing and GOI another. It was GOI duty keep USG informed of situation as it saw it. Rasgotra denied facts of Schanberg article in November 25 New York Times reporting that Schanberg had seen Indian forces crossing borders. He acknowledged that skirmishes had taken place but insisted that India had no interest in precipitating a war.

4. Secretary said he wished to stress President's deep personal concern at recent turn of events. We have friendly relations with India and Pakistan. In this situation if forces could be withdrawn and separated a distance, so that neither side could take advantage of situation, it would be a good thing. Sisco noted statement of Indian spokesman November 25 that troops have orders giving them right to cross borders in self defense. This was an added factor of concern and underscored need to disengage.

5. Rasgotra said he would pass on to New Delhi President's concern. He thought spokesman's announcement was nothing new and was consistent with earlier statement by Defense Minister that if India attacked it would reply. India had no intention of making major invasion.

6. Secretary said he wished to close by saying we do not see any hope of cooling situation unless both sides show willingness to disengage and get political process started. Sisco said we would particularly appreciate getting GOI's concrete reaction to our proposals on withdrawal, Rasgotra asked whether we had any indication of where and when Pakistan would withdraw. Sisco said no, but GOP was willing to take first step. India and Pakistan would have to work out details.

7. Sisco also noted that we had told Prime Minister of our ideas for political discussions between Bangla Desh representatives and GOP. Said we had looked at Prime Minister's most recent letter/2/ but had found no answer to our proposals but only reiteration of position that Mujib should be released. Rasgotra said that in order to react on second point, GOI would have to get BD reaction. There had been no reaction to date.

/2/ Document 189.

8. Rasgotra said he did not know whether GOI could accept withdrawal proposal. Secretary noted that it not a question of accepting anything, merely of discussing with GOP of whether it possible or not. Sisco added that we would hope GOI would be willing to discuss whatever is possible by way of withdrawal. We could facilitate means of discussion but we have no blueprint or detailed solution. Secretary said that it would be difficult for American public to understand how India could say it did not want hostilities and yet would not disengage because it did not know terms of disengagement. Rasgotra noted that if India withdrew it would leave basic situation in East Pakistan unchanged. He asked whether there had been any change in Pak attitude towards use of military in East Pakistan. Sisco said there had been no change, but GOP claimed that as long as Mukti Bahini supported by Indian troops was active in East Pakistan it would not be possible to reduce military actions.

Irwin


203. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, November 17-30, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, November 26, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan: Reports in the last twenty-four hours do not reflect an escalation of the fighting. The principal activity in that period has been diplomatic.

Indian Foreign Minister Singh in a rambling two-hour conversation with Ambassador Keating made these points:

-Even now, it is not too late for President Yahya to make a dramatic political gesture. The situation would be immediately defused by such a gesture. This should involve negotiations with East Pakistan's elected representatives and not going ahead with "his farce of elections." He thought Yahya could still free Mujib and start talks-if not overnight, perhaps in two or three weeks.
-If Pakistan withdrew its troops from the border then another situation would arise and India would certainly consider that situation. However, Yahya is only prepared to withdraw contingent on India's reciprocal withdrawal.
-Pakistani talks of an Indian offensive was to provide an alibi for Pakistani losses. Singh said "I would like to say categorically that Indian troops are not there" (in East Pakistan). The Indian Army had gone into action when its own positions were attacked.

President Yahya saw Ambassador Farland early this morning. Reports so far-still coming in-say that Yahya made these points:

-In response to a tentative suggestion by Farland, Yahya said with enthusiasm that he would advise his UN Ambassador immediately to institute a request for UN observers on the Pakistani side of the border.
-He has decided next week to tell his UN Ambassador to take up with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Prince Sadruddin) the idea of inviting a large UN group to take complete charge of refugees returning to East Pakistan. The UN would have control from establishing corridors to the border to resettlement in the villages.
-He would continue to exercise the greatest possible degree of military restraint.

A further report will be furnished if later telegrams reveal more.

Indian High Commissioner Atal has returned to Islamabad from high-level consultations in New Delhi "carrying an important message." Atal is an old friend of Yahya's. After a long conversation with Yahya a week ago, Atal was reportedly impressed with Yahya's plan to turn his government over to civilian leaders. Atal returned to New Delhi and, according to [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] reports from there, he planned to urge Mrs. Gandhi to give Yahya's political timetable a chance. We have had no reports yet on the outcome of those talks except for the fact that he is now back in Islamabad asking to see Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan immediately.

On other diplomatic fronts, the press reports that Soviet Ambassador Rodionon has delivered a note to Yahya, but we have no firm knowledge yet of its contents. Press reports also indicate that Chou En-lai reaffirmed the Chinese support for Pakistan stated to the Pakistani delegation two weeks ago, urged discussions to avoid war and accused India of intervention in Pakistan's affairs.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


204. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages, 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Top Secret. Received at 10:40 a.m.

Islamabad, November 26, 1971, 0749Z.

[number not declassified] 1. Met with Yahya 0930 hours local this morning./2/ In conversation judiciously drew from info contained your wire of the 24th./3/ Specifically assured Yahya that President is personally involved in all aspects of the problem.

/2/ This conversation was also reported to the Department of State in telegram 11696 from Islamabad, November 26. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-PAK)

/3/ Document 201.

2. Yahya is continuing to exercise maximum restraint, but expressed regretfully that there was limit thereto in event India renews attacks. Immediately bought my suggestion that he ask for UN observers on Pak side of border even though none stationed on Indian side.

3. If tilt towards Pakistan becomes evident, and as further proof of GOI's military aggression becomes public, you might wish consider cut-off of military spare parts to India as evidence even-handed policy in subcontinent.


205. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-US. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Quainton and Sisco on November 25, cleared by Van Hollen and Kissinger, and approved by Irwin. Repeated to Islamabad, Dacca, Moscow, and USUN.

Washington, November 27, 1971, 0058Z.

214924. For Ambassador. Subject: Presidential Message to Mrs. Gandhi.

1. In view of further deterioration in Indo-Pak situation you should at request of President seek earliest possible appointment with Prime Minister to present following letter.

2. "Dear Madame Prime Minister:

I have read with care your letter of November 18/2/ in which you shared with me your most recent thoughts on the current situation in South Asia. I very much share your hope that our discussions and the continuing dialogue between us will indeed clear away misunderstandings and lead to the strengthening of the friendship between India and the United States. Your visit to Washington helped to clarify views about many of the problems affecting South Asia and about the steps which are required to achieve a viable political solution. Hostilities between India and Pakistan would negate the efforts which we hoped to make toward such a solution. I appreciate your assurance that you will make every effort to urge patience on your people.

/2/ Document 189.

Unfortunately in recent days the danger of war has increased. I am distressed at the recent deterioration of the situation and at the ominous trend of events. Military engagements along India's border with East Pakistan have increased in number and strength. Tanks, aircraft and regular forces have been involved on both sides. In this connection, I note your Government has confirmed that your armed forces have been engaged on Pakistani territory. The situation has reached a critical stage and there is danger of all-out hostilities. As I indicated to you during our visit, the American people would not understand if Indian actions led to broad-scale hostilities. Hostilities would inevitably affect our ability to be helpful in many other ways.

In our conversations, I mentioned to you that President Yahya would be willing to take the first step in disengaging his forces on the frontier with West Pakistan provided India were willing to take reciprocal action subsequently. I have not heard from you on the point, and I hope you would agree promptly to designate a representative who could discuss a limited disengagement with a representative named by President Yahya. On the frontier of East Pakistan he has agreed to permit the stationing of UN observers even if India does not reciprocate. Such steps would be in the interests of both India and Pakistan and of peace in the world. It is only in a defused situation that progress can be made in the direction of a political settlement for which we continue to work.

In view of the seriousness of the situation, I have also written to President Yahya and Premier Kosygin.

Sincerely,
Richard Nixon"

3. In making presentation Ambassador should stress the President's deep personal concern at the developments of recent days, reiterate the degree to which an Indian decision to have recourse to war would not be understood in the United States, and complications for US-Indian relations.

Irwin


206. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Laingen on November 25; cleared by Van Hollen, Sisco, and Kissinger; and approved by Acting Secretary Irwin. Repeated to New Delhi, Moscow, London, USUN, Tehran, Calcutta, and Dacca.

Washington, November 27, 1971, 0101Z.

214925. For Ambassador Farland. Subj: Presidential Message to President Yahya. Ref: State 212620./2/

/2/ Telegram 212620 to Islamabad, November 23, transmitted the text of the letter from President Yahya to President Nixon, which was received at the White House on November 23; see footnote 4, Document 196.

1. This cable contains Presidential letter to Yahya for delivery soonest.

2. As you will see from septels/3/ President has written to Mrs. Gandhi and PM Kosygin to urge that India agree promptly to talks with Pakistan looking towards mutual withdrawal of forces. In presenting President's letter to Yahya, you should stress that we have urged GOI to name a representative promptly who could talk to a representative named by Yahya on how to achieve mutual withdrawals. You should also tell Yahya that we have also indicated to GOI willingness of Yahya to take first step in this regard, provided there is assurance of an Indian response. You will also want to tell President Yahya that we are informing Mrs. Gandhi of willingness expressed to you by Yahya in your conversation November 26 (Islamabad 11710)/4/ to consider UN observers on Pak side of East Pak borders.

/3/ Documents 205 and 207.

/4/ Dated November 26. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-PAK)

3. For your information we believe GOI and GOP high level military representatives are best way to proceed; we do not want to get into middle of trying to work out details of disengagement. This has to be done on ground by military reps of two governments.

4. Text of letter to Yahya follows:

"Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your letter of November 22 in which you describe the deepening conflict along your country's eastern borders with India. I am grateful to you for the continued friendship and candor in our relationship which your letter represents. You know the importance I attach to this.

I am especially gratified to have reaffirmation of your strong desire to avoid what you so wisely say would be a senseless and destructive war with India. I have asked Ambassador Farland to convey to you directly what we have been trying to do recently, as friends of both Pakistan and India, to counsel restraint, to accomplish a withdrawal of forces, and to contribute to a lessening of tensions. I have made clear to the Government of India that the people and government of this country would not understand it if Indian actions led to broad scale hostilities. We are also continuing to make our views known on this to the Soviets, at the highest level.

Mr. President, my government intends to continue as a concerned friend of Pakistan to act in ways that hopefully might help prevent war between your country and India.

I have asked Ambassador Farland to keep in closest touch with you and your associates in the days ahead. We will welcome any suggestion your government may wish to discuss with us that will help reduce the risk of further conflict in South Asia.

With warm regards,
Richard M. Nixon"

Irwin


207. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Quainton and Sisco on November 25; cleared by Davies, Van Hollen, and Kissinger; and approved by Acting Secretary Irwin. Repeated to Islamabad, New Delhi, Dacca, and USUN.

Washington, November 27, 1971, 0103Z.

214926. For Ambassador. Subject: South Asian Crisis.

1. We are increasingly concerned at deteriorating military situation in South Asia and at prospect of full-scale hostilities between India and Pakistan in near future. You should seek earliest possible opportunity to present following letter from President to Chairman Kosygin.

2. "Dear Mr. Chairman:

I have been following extremely closely developments on the South Asian sub-continent. The recent border incidents which have involved engagements between Indian and Pakistani aircraft, tanks, and artillery in the Jessore sector of East Pakistan have been of particular concern to me, as I am sure they have been to you. The situation has reached a point at which there appears to be an imminent danger of full-scale hostilities between India and Pakistan.

As Ambassador Beam has made clear to Foreign Minister Gromyko and Mr. Kuznetsov, the United States Government is doing all in its power to assist in deescalating the crisis. It is neither in the interests of the United States nor of the Soviet Union that there be war in South Asia. I welcome the assurances that your Government is using its influence to promote a peaceful resolution of this crisis.

In order to deescalate the crisis, we have proposed to the Governments of India and Pakistan that they withdraw their forces a limited distance from the frontiers. President Yahya has indicated his willingness to take the first step of withdrawal on the West Pakistan-Indian frontier if he could be assured that the Indians would reciprocate subsequently. On the frontier of East Pakistan he has agreed to permit the stationing of UN observers even if India does not reciprocate. I believe that these measures would directly contribute to a lowering of tension and would make possible the pursuit of the political settlement. I hope that your Government would give support to these ideas and, in connection with the pullback proposal, encourage India and Pakistan to designate promptly high level representatives who could work out the details.

Finally, I agree fully that our governments should continue to consult closely on this matter.

Sincerely yours,
Richard Nixon"

Irwin


208. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, November 17-30, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, November 29, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan: Active fighting continues in the border areas of East Pakistan. Indian officials seem increasingly open about the fact that Indian troops have gone across the border, but they continue to maintain that the crossings are to quell Pakistani shelling or in some other act of self-defense. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the Pakistani army in East Pakistan expects to be able to defend the province for a month or more and to limit Indian penetrations to 10 or 15 miles if the Indians do not use air power.

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan Sunday/2/ sent a message to U Thant through the Pakistani ambassador at the UN asking that UN observers be stationed on the East Pakistan borders as soon as possible. He said a public announcement would be made today.

/2/ November 28.

During a two-hour talk with Ambassador Farland Saturday/3/ evening, President Yahya said in response to an indication of interest from Farland that he would arrange a meeting for Farland tomorrow with A. K. Brohi, the distinguished Pakistani lawyer who has been defending Mujibur Rahman. Yahya said the prosecution in Mujib's trial had completed its case and the trial had adjourned for a few days while Brohi prepares the defense. Farland says he had been aware from confidential sources that Brohi had been hopeful of contacting him. Several competent newsmen have reported being told that Brohi has been serving as a go-between in political negotiations between Yahya and Mujib.

/3/ November 27.

Ambassador Keating's report on his meeting with Mrs. Gandhi is just coming in and will be reported in a supplementary note./4/

/4/ See footnote 5, Document 209.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


209. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Codeword. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A briefer record of the meeting, prepared by James Noyes (OASD/ISA), is in the Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 381 (Jan-Nov) 1971.

Washington, November 29, 1971, 2:36-3:36 p.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPANTS

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
John N. Irwin, II
Joseph Sisco
Christopher Van Hollen
Samuel DePalma
Bruce Laingen
David Schneider

Defense
David Packard
Armistead Selden
James H. Noyes

JCS
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman
John Waller

AID Staff
Maurice Williams
Donald MacDonald

NSC Staff
Harold H. Saunders
Samuel Hoskinson
Adm. Robert O. Welander
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

1. the question of the extent of the cutoff of military assistance to India (whether to suspend issuance of new licenses or to cut off provision of material in the pipeline for which licenses had already been granted) would be presented to the President for decision [1 line of source text not declassified];

2. we will not take the initiative or encourage others to take the initiative to call a Security Council meeting; however, if the issue moves into the SC, we will take a position along the lines of the draft resolution prepared by State and the draft speech prepared for Ambassador Bush, once it has been reviewed and amended, as required.

Mr. Kissinger: (to Gen. Cushman) Bob, can you tell us where we stand?

(General Cushman briefed from the text attached at Tab A.)/2/

/2/ According to the attached outline for his briefing, General Cushman reported that there had been no dramatic change in the military situation in East Pakistan since he had briefed the WSAG on November 24. India had seven divisions massed along the border with East Pakistan, but Cushman noted that most of the fighting within East Pakistan was being done by the Mukti Bahini supported by Indian artillery, armor, and, on occasion, troops. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971)

Mr. Kissinger: Do you think the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad was acting on his own in his meeting with Yahya?/3/

/3/ In telegram 11740 from Islamabad, November 27, Ambassador Farland reported on a conversation with the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, J.K. Atal, in which Atal indicated that he intended to try to promote a rapprochement between India and Pakistan. His idea was to promote a meeting between proscribed members of the Awami League and representatives of Yahya Khan's government. He considered that Mujibur Rahman was no longer important and his release was not a necessary precondition to such a dialogue. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-PAK) Farland passed along Atal's suggestion for a meeting with Awami League leaders to President Yahya later on November 27. Yahya observed that Atal's suggestion was so much at variance with his government's position, particularly with regard to Mujibur Rahman, that it must reflect the fact that he was inadequately briefed before taking up his new position in Pakistan. (Telegram 11759 from Islamabad, November 29, ibid.)

Gen. Cushman: That's a very puzzling situation. In a later conversation at a party with Ambassador Farland, he didn't seem to know what messages he had sent to New Delhi or where the game stood. There were indications that he and Kaul did not see eye to eye, but he certainly wasn't transmitting the same message as New Delhi.

Mr. Kissinger: Did I understand that he didn't know the content of the messages he was sending to New Delhi or of the messages he was receiving from New Delhi?

Gen. Cushman: The messages he had sent to New Delhi.

Mr. Kissinger: Hasn't he just come from New Delhi?

Gen. Cushman: Yes.

Mr. Kissinger: (to Moorer) What are your views on the military side?

Adm. Moorer: Our intelligence is about the same. We did have a report of a remark by Yahya at a party to the effect that "You won't see me for a day or two-I am going to the border to lead war operations." The logistic situation is such that the Pakistan forces in East Pakistan will run out of supplies-mainly ammunition-in a short time, and Yahya may be forced to move in the West. Certainly the situation is more critical than it was last week.

Mr. Irwin: What is your estimate of the time limit for the Pakistani supplies?

Adm. Moorer: Less than 30 days.

Mr. Kissinger: (to Sisco) Will you give us a rundown on the diplomatic moves.

Mr. Sisco: The principal move, of course, was the President's messages to Mrs. Gandhi, Kosygin and Yahya./4/ The focus of the message to Mrs. Gandhi was to try to get a positive response to the concrete proposals for disengagement-to try to get India and Pakistan to name representatives who could work out some form of withdrawal from the border to get them out of this eyeball-to-eyeball situation in West Pakistan. In East Pakistan, we called attention to the fact that Yahya was willing to position UN observers unilaterally. My preliminary reaction, based on Ambassador Keating's reporting telegram,/5/ is to doubt that there will be any positive response. I believe India has every intention of continuing its present military posture to serve its political objectives.

/4/ See Documents 205, 207, and 206, respectively.

/5/ Ambassador Keating called on Prime Minister Gandhi on November 29 to deliver President Nixon's letter. Gandhi's response to the letter is summarized in Document 211.

Mr. Kissinger: Do you think this campaign was planned before the Gandhi trip?

Mr. Sisco: Militarily, yes. There had already been some deployments. But the most active military moves were made post-Washington.

Adm. Moorer: They obviously had a contingency plan.

Mr. Kissinger: I'm asking this for my own education. We have been debating all summer whether or not the Indians were being restrained. If they had been planning this all along, would this have been the earliest they could attack, given the time needed for deployment and the advent of the rainy season? If the decision had been made last June, what would have been the earliest time they could have attacked?

Adm. Moorer: Four or five weeks.

Mr. Williams: It was timed to the requirement for the training of the Bengalis.

Mr. Kissinger: I'm not trying to put words in people's mouths. But one could argue that everything the Indians have done since June has been designed to prepare for this, and that the trips by Foreign Secretary Singh and Mrs. Gandhi were smoke-screens. Or, one could say that the Indians have been making a serious effort to solve the problem and that they finally moved out of desperation.

Adm. Moorer: I think the readiness of the Bengalis dictated the timing. The Indians could have moved earlier with their regular forces. What is happening is that guerrillas are backing up against the Indians, who then are giving them artillery and other support. The Indian objective is to change the relative strength of the Pakistanis and the guerrillas.

Mr. Kissinger: (to Williams) What do you think?

Mr. Williams: I think the Indians might have moved two or three weeks earlier, allowing for time to train the Bengalis and for the monsoon. They did have a margin of about three weeks before they invaded, which coincided with Mrs. Gandhi's trip. I think they waited for her to return.

Adm. Moorer: They have obviously been training and supplying the guerrillas.

Mr. Williams: I think they had hoped the guerrillas would be more effective in their internal operations than they were. They found, however, that the guerrillas were only effective when stiffened by the Indians, which was their second strategy. They would have preferred that it be done internally, strictly by the Mukti Bahini.

Mr. Kissinger: Does this put an end to relief operations? Will there be famine?

Mr. Williams: Relief operations are at an end. The UN personnel have been withdrawn and the situation is deteriorating. The crops are in and a good deal of the supplies are there, but the imports are not moving, the things aren't being distributed, and there will be pockets of famine.

Mr. Irwin: There will also be some hoarding.

Adm. Moorer: And the guerrillas are destroying the boats.

Mr. Williams: Yes. They have dismantled in a few days what it took weeks to put together. There are twenty-two people left in Chittagong, but all ships have been withdrawn and the trucks are immobilized.

Mr. Kissinger: Dave (Packard), what do you think?

Mr. Packard: I don't have much to add. India has done nothing that could be considered constructive. There's been no evidence that they had any intention of going anywhere except where we [they?] are.

Mr. Kissinger: In her talks with the President, Mrs. Gandhi wrote off East Pakistan altogether. Her complaints were about Baluchistan and the northwest frontier.

Mr. Packard: Yahya has indicated his flexibility. We have transmitted his willingness to withdraw to the Indians with no response. It looks as though India has been moving right ahead, taking advantage of the situation as it develops.

Mr. Kissinger: India didn't exploit the possible opening of talks between Yahya and the Bangla Desh which Joe Sisco worked on last summer. That could have been the beginning. If the Bangla Desh had asked for the release of Mujib in those talks there might have been some movement and the situation might have been stabilized.

We have three problems we need to discuss: (1) military assistance; (2) an approach to the UN; and (3) a cutoff in economic assistance. All of you have seen the State and Defense papers/6/ on a military aid cutoff, haven't you? The President and the Secretary decided last Wednesday/7/ that the military aid suspension would be announced on Friday./8/ State suggested we await a reply to our overtures to Yahya, Kosygin and Mrs. Gandhi before the announcement, and that was accepted.

/6/ See footnotes 5 and 6, Document 198.

/7/ November 24.

/8/ November 26.

We now have the replies, and the President wants to go ahead. I have talked to the Secretary and he agrees. So, unless someone makes a strong reclama, the question of the suspension of military assistance is pretty well decided. There remains the question of what should be cut off. There are two ways to do it: (1) to suspend the issuance of new licenses, or (2) to suspend new licenses and revoke all existing licenses.

Mr. Irwin: You have the questions of the timing of going to the cutoff and the amount of the cutoff.

Mr. Kissinger: What is the difference between the two choices in terms of amounts?

Mr. Irwin: I'm not sure of the totals.

Mr. Schneider: Licensed items, for which there are contracts, total $5.3 million. Additional licensed terms without contracts total $8.2 million.

Adm. Moorer: Are there any contracts without licenses?

Mr. Schneider: Yes, over $16 million.

Mr. Irwin: Where are the spare parts for the C-119 aircraft?

Mr. Schneider: There are contracts for $4 million for C-119 spares, but no licenses have been granted.

Mr. Irwin: They are without licenses but are under contract. I understand they are pretty far advanced on the manufacturing-the manufacturers just haven't asked for the licenses.

Mr. Noyes: That's correct.

Mr. Packard: This creates problems. We have firm contracts on some of these things. If they are cut off, we'll have some liability.

Adm. Moorer: Of course other people are using C-119s. We might buy them and slip them into some other program.

Mr. Irwin: We have two categories: items licensed for export and those licensed and under contract. Those licensed and under contract total $5 million and those licensed, $8 million. We also have unlicensed contracts for C-119 spares-$4 million; radar communications equipment from the FMS $17 million line of credit-$12.8 million; and FMS cash sales-$70,000. The total of it all is about $30 million.

Dr. Kissinger: What is the definition of "unlicensed"? Do you mean a contract which requires a license but the license has not been requested, or are there contracts which don't require licenses?

Mr. Irwin: We mean a contract which requires a license but the license has not yet been obtained.

Dr. Kissinger: If we cut off future licenses, we will hit the full amount.

Mr. Irwin: If you cut off the $4 million for C-119 spares you will ground the C-119s. I understand India needs those spares fairly quickly and they are almost available.

Dr. Kissinger: If we grant no new licenses, with a possible exception for the C-119 spares, we will hit $16 million. If we dry up the pipeline, we will hit $30 million.

Mr. Irwin: Sometimes manufacturers get a license before a sale, and then use the license to help make the sale. Sometimes they get an order and sign a contract before they have the license. This accounts for some of the unknowns.

Dr. Kissinger: So we have contracts without licenses and licenses without contracts. The choice we have to put to the President is whether to stop only items which have not been licensed or to stop both licensed and unlicensed items. The argument for stopping only unlicensed items is to hold something in reserve for future pressure. The argument for cutting off both licensed and unlicensed items is that we would have to take the heat for a first step and would have twice as much heat if we did it in two steps. We don't reduce the heat by reducing the amount of the cut-off.

Mr. Sisco: Also, from a domestic point of view, the question will be why we left the pipeline untouched. On the other hand, if we act on only new licenses it could be equated with what we did with regard to Pakistan where we moved on a step by step basis.

Mr. Packard: There are some special problems here. For example, there is the $17 million line of credit to buy communications equipment to make our radar in Nepal more effective.

Mr. Irwin: Is this our radar or theirs? I thought it was their radar screen, to which we tie in.

Mr. Packard: It's theirs but we get a potential take from it.

Mr. Irwin: Our take is just warning, though, isn't it?

Mr. Waller: I'm not aware of any take as far as CIA is concerned.

Adm. Moorer: We get an indication of the level of activity of Chinese forces.

Mr. Noyes: The Air Force gets a take on Chinese Air Force movements.

Mr. Irwin: But it's primarily to warn India of attack.

Mr. Packard: I think we should get a decision either to stop everything not licensed or to stop everything in the pipeline, and then we can work out the details.

Dr. Kissinger: That's right. We can't ask the President to decide each little detail.

Mr. Sisco: Yes, but we need to be as clear as possible as to exactly what the action applies to and what are the implications. I learned my lesson from the Pakistan pipeline exercise, where it developed we just couldn't be sure where the stuff was.

Mr. Packard: If we stop everything in the pipeline, there are significant items-the C-119s spares, the radar equipment, the road work in Nepal. If we just stop all new licenses it will be less significant.

Dr. Kissinger: But all the key items are in the new category, aren't they?

Mr. Irwin: The more important ones.

Mr. Van Hollen: The $4 million for C-119 spares is in the new license category.

Dr. Kissinger: What is in the licensed category?

Mr. Sisco: About $5 million in aircraft spares, radar jamming equipment, cartridge cases and cartridge case manufacturing equipment.

Mr. Packard: $22 million worth of licenses were issued in the last year. That's an awful lot of stuff.

Dr. Kissinger: I don't think the President can get into all this. Would it be proper to use the State Department paper/9/ as the basis for putting the question to the President. [1 line of source text not declassified]

/9/ Summarized in footnote 6, Document 198.

Gen. Cushman: [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]

Dr. Kissinger: We'll put this in a memo to the President and get a decision tomorrow. My understanding from Secretary Rogers is that he has agreed to the cut-off but would like to wait a day or two. The present idea is that State would make the announcement on Wednesday./10/

/10/ December 1.

Mr. Irwin: The Secretary thinks we should cut off military assistance-he thinks we should cut off both new licenses and the pipeline. But he wants to wait until we see Kosygin's reply and also what, if anything, happens at the UN. Yahya has asked his UN Ambassador to ask for UN observers on his side of the border and this might lead to a Security Council meeting.

Dr. Kissinger: Does he think we should not cut off military assistance if the matter goes to the Security Council?

Mr. Irwin: Not necessarily. He thinks we should go ahead, subject to a last look.

Dr. Kissinger: We'll take another look at the situation tomorrow and will plan to go ahead on Wednesday. We'll give the President the choice between the two options for a cut-off, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. I'm sure the President and the Secretary will be talking on the phone about it over the next day or two.

Mr. Sisco: We have given you a draft press statement/11/ on the limited option of new licenses. We will prepare another draft press statement on an across-the-board cut.

/11/ Sent to the White House as an attachment to the memorandum summarized in footnote 6, Document 198.

Dr. Kissinger: I thought the papers/12/ we got over the weekend were damned good.

/12/ Not further identified. Papers received by the White House over the weekend of November 27-28 apparently included the memorandum referenced in footnote 14 below, as well as a November 27 memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger that refined the licensed and unlicensed military supplies scheduled to go to India. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, Senior WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 11/29/71)

Adm. Moorer: Timing is important. India has invaded Pakistan, which gives you a good basis for a cut-off of military assistance. If we wait until the Pakistanis retaliate, we'll hear the same argument for a cut-off to them.

Dr. Kissinger: We're planning for a release Wednesday/13/ noon. Let's defer the discussion of an economic aid cut-off for the moment. That's further down the line. Can we talk about the UN? Joe (Sisco), would you like to summarize the State paper?/14/

/13/ December 1.

/14/ Reference is to a November 27 memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger that dealt with the possibility of recourse to the UN Security Council on the confrontation between India and Pakistan. Attached to the memorandum was the draft resolution summarized by Sisco. The memorandum weighed the prospects that such a resolution would be adopted, noting that the Soviet Union might veto it on India's behalf. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Mr. Sisco: The paper is self-explanatory. We understand that the Paks by the end of the day will have told U Thant that they are willing to accept UN observers on their side of the border. They have done this on their own. I don't know to what degree they have thought this through. They probably think they can achieve their purpose by informal means without a Security Council meeting. I personally think the Secretary General will say he wants to refer the matter to the Security Council, but this will be clearer tomorrow. Recourse to the Security Council has one great advantage for the Paks and one great risk. The advantage is that the Security Council will focus on some provisions to deter broader military action. However, Indian strategy will be to block those elements which undermine their policy of military pressure and try to move the SC to express itself on political accommodation. Our draft resolution has four elements: 1) withdrawal of foreign forces; 2) a ceasefire; 3) a call on both sides to do everything possible to get the refugees back; and 4) a call on the parties to avail themselves of the good offices of the Secretary General. We think we can probably get the required nine votes for such a resolution. However, all the SC members, including our friends, will be under great pressure to support a concrete provision in the direction of political accommodation. That would be part of the quid pro quo. I have one modification of our paper. We say on page 3 (reading): "In our judgment, there will be strong efforts by the Soviets to delete the withdrawal paragraph, soften the ceasefire paragraph, and to call upon Pakistan to take concrete steps for a political solution. India, with as much support as she can get will go further: she will seek as a quid pro quo for withdrawal and a ceasefire as categoric a Security Council provision as possible calling for negotiations between Yahya and Mujib. Such a paragraph could get majority support in the Council since even some of our closest friends. . . would be very sympathetic to it. In short, the thrust of the Council will be a cool-off of the military activity in exchange for getting Yahya-Mujib negotiations started."

On reflection, I think that with a maximum U.S. effort we can influence the provision on political accommodation to be less precise than an out-right call on Yahya and Mujib to negotiate. It's hard to say how much less we could get, but I think we could get a provision that didn't go that far.

Mr. Kissinger: Who will sit in for Russia? For China?

Mr. Sisco: Malik for Russia and Huang-Hua, the Chinese Permanent Representative.

Mr. Kissinger: So it's round two. The Chinese have a real ability to get under the Russians' skin.

Mr. Sisco: Yes and in acrimonious terms. Malik has a shorter fuse than most Russians.

(Mr. Kissinger was called from the room.)

Mr. Sisco: We have a very preliminary draft of a speech that Ambassador Bush might make which we will circulate for comment. (Handed copies of the speech attached at Tab B/15/ around the table.)

/15/ Attached but not printed.

(Mr. Kissinger returned.)

Mr. Kissinger: On the UN, we will look over the speech. We will not take the initiative for a meeting or encourage anyone else to take the initiative. If it goes into the Security Council, we will move in the direction of the draft resolution and of the draft speech, as commented on.

Mr. Sisco: If the Pakistani Ambassador raises the issue of going into the SC with me when I see him this afternoon, I will say that this is a decision for them to make. I will take no initiative, but if he asks me a question I will try to answer.

Mr. Irwin: The Paks may have already started the process by their request for observers.

Mr. Kissinger: We will meet within the next forty-eight hours to tie up the military assistance question. Then we should have a session on economic assistance.

Mr. Irwin: One argument for delaying a decision on the timing of the cutoff until we know about the UN is that a bilateral U.S. cutoff might not be necessary if an adequate solution can be worked out in the Security Council.

Mr. Kissinger: If the issue goes to the Security Council before Wednesday noon, this would certainly be considered.


210. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages, 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Secret. Received at 2028Z.

Islamabad, November 30, 1971, 1838Z.

[number not declassified] We have no information here to suggest that a Pakistani attack on Kashmir is imminent or under active consideration,/2/ although some contingency plan to that effect surely exists. Yahya continues to assure me that he does not wish war, nor does he intend to start it here. He has so far held sway over his hawks, although how much longer he can do so in the face of continued Indian incursions into East Pakistan is most uncertain. Pakistanis are in a state of readiness and if they do finally conclude they must fight in the West as well as in the East, Kashmir is an emotionally attractive target, although we have generally thought that they would go for the more easily penetrated areas further south. Will advise you immediately if anything changes this view. Best regards.

/2/ Farland was responding to a backchannel message sent to him by Kissinger at 1649Z on November 30 in which Kissinger asked him to comment on reports that Pakistan might be considering an attack on Indian forces in Kashmir in order to relieve pressure upon East Pakistan. (White House telegram WH 11052; ibid.)


211. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical File, Box CL 210, South Asia, Chron File, Nov-Dec 1971. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 1, 1971.

SUBJECT
Your Message to Mrs. Gandhi/2/

/2/ See Document 205.

Ambassador Keating called on Mrs. Gandhi this morning to deliver your message. She read the letter rapidly and said she would reply promptly although she indicated that she had already discussed some of the points with you./3/

/3/ Kissinger's summary of the exchange between Prime Minister Gandhi and Ambassador Keating was derived from Keating's report on the meeting in telegram 18383 from New Delhi, November 29. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-US) The meeting took place on November 29.

In the ensuing discussion, Mrs. Gandhi made the following major points leaving the impression that she was weighing her remarks carefully and knew precisely what she wanted to say:

-India has great admiration for the US but every country must first look to its national interest. It was her duty to see what was in the interests of her country.
-Pakistan had been the first to move its troops to the border and no one had asked them to withdraw. It was only after India moved its troops to the border that proposals were made for withdrawals.
-Yahya's problems had been self-created and "we are not in a position to make this easier for him." That was one of the reasons why India could not withdraw its troops. India was being asked to allow the misdeeds of Yahya to stand and "we are not going to allow that."
-No one in all of India was more opposed to war than she was. "I wouldn't like to take this country to war", but, added, "this war and this situation are/4/ not of our making."

/4/ The verb is rendered as "is" in telegram 18383.

-Many countries said they were exerting pressure on Yahya but, she asked, "what has it yielded?" Nothing, she answered, "except that President Yahya has his back to the wall" and wants "to be bailed out." Then she commented, "We have to take steps which will make us stronger to deal with this situation."
-What Yahya had done to start a political process, especially the "farcical" elections, had moved the situation in the wrong direction. These so-called elections/5/ are "not going to make any difference whatsoever." (She enumerated [enunciated] each syllable of "what-so-ever.")

/5/ The elections were characterized as such by Gandhi.

-When Keating observed that her position was very firm, Mrs. Gandhi replied that it was "a little harder" than it had been and went on to say that her patience had worn thin. She did not know how she could tell India that it must continue to wait and added, "I can't hold it."
-When Keating started to comment about the recent Indian military incursions, she cut him off by saying, "We can't afford to listen to advice which weakens us."

Ambassador Keating comments that Mrs. Gandhi spoke with clarity and more grimness than he had ever seen her display. He concludes that, in the absence of some major development toward a meaningful political accommodation, India will assure that the efforts of the Mukti Bahini to liberate East Pakistan do not fail.

There seems to be no give in this position and probably little bluff. There is no evidence that she is wavering from pursuit of India's interests as she sees them.


212. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 12-5 INDIA. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Schneider on November 30. Cleared by Van Hollen, Irwin, Haig, and Pickering in PM, and in substance by Sisco and Colonel Gross in DOD/ISA. Approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Islamabad.

Washington, December 1, 1971, 0519Z.

216629. Subject: US Military Sales to India.

1. As Indian forces have become progressively involved in conflict with Pakistan on Pakistani territory we have for some time been concerned about US military sales policy in regard to India. When East Pakistan problem first developed we focused on issue of military sales to Pakistan and finally dried up military sales pipeline. In view of current Indian involvement we have come to conclusion that we must now take action in regard to US sales to India.

2. Accordingly, decision has been made within USG to suspend issuance of new Munitions List export licenses and renewal of existing Munitions List licenses for military sales to India and to cancel existing licenses for approximately $2 million worth of components and machinery for manufacture of ammunition. Remaining licenses covering items worth in neighborhood $11.5 million will remain valid. Decision will be announced December 1 and be effective as at that date.

3. Text of proposed announcement by Department and supplemental background press guidance being transmitted septel./2/

/2/ Telegram 216630 to New Delhi, December 1. (Ibid., FT 18-1 INDIA-US)

4. We recognize that this decision will cause strong reaction in India. We have decided to take action both to make clear to GOI seriousness with which we view present situation in which Indian and Pakistani forces have met on Pakistan territory and to forestall domestic criticism of USG for continued licensing of military equipment, despite India-Pak situation./3/

/3/ On December 2 Schneider wrote to Ambassador Keating to further explain the background to the decision. He noted that the President was exercised by what he viewed as Prime Minister Gandhi's unresponsiveness during her recent visit to Washington and by her failure to respond to the withdrawal proposal put to her at the time. Schneider added that Kissinger was also discussing suspending economic assistance to India and that Rogers was concerned. The Secretary felt that such a move could lead to a lasting rupture in relations between the U.S. and India and he had had a long, private talk with the President on the issue. (Department of State, NEA/INC Files: Lot 77 D 51, 1971 New Delhi Eyes Only Correspondence)

5. You should inform GOI at appropriate level of USG decision. In addition to using text of announcement, you may at your discretion make following points: a. In view of strong feelings on part of USG and American people that war can provide no solution to East Pakistan problem and in view of hostilities which have already taken place between Indian and Pakistani forces, USG has decided to take action outlined in public announcement (septel). b. With regard to items in pipeline already licensed GOI will note that we are canceling licenses only for those items related to manufacture of ammunition and small quantities ammunition. This is being done because of direct use to which ammunition can be put in any India-Pak conflict. c. We are not now canceling other outstanding licenses. They will remain under review./4/ d. US will continue its effort to contribute to easing of tensions and is taking this action as result of its view that military conflict can only stand in way of political solution. American people will not understand provision of new military supplies in the light of the present military situation. e. USG continues to believe political settlement is necessary if there is to be solution to East Pakistan problem. We are continuing to pursue with GOP various avenues through which negotiations toward a political settlement might be initiated. We continue to urge India to do all possible to facilitate such negotiations. f. If the issue of equating India and Pakistan is raised, the point should be made that this is not an issue. We are now dealing with a situation in India in which active warfare involves Indian forces.

/4/ Ambassador Raza wrote to Sisco on December 1 to applaud what Pakistan viewed as a "friendly and timely gesture" by the United States. He noted, however, that the decision did not affect some of the existing licenses for military sales to India, and asked, in light of the closure of the military pipeline to Pakistan, that those licenses be reviewed as well. (Ibid., NEA Files: Lot 73 D 69, Pakistan) Kissinger and Nixon had discussed the decision to suspend military sales to India on November 29 at which time Kissinger said that he and Rogers recommended that the United States should "cut off everything." Nixon agreed. (Transcript of a telephone conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File) President Nixon clarified his intention on December 2 in a handwritten note he sent to Kissinger instructing him to "Cancel all old licenses as well as new immediately for India." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 341, Subject Files, President/Kissinger Memos, 1971)

6. In order minimize time between notification of GOI and Washington announcement, Embassy should not inform GOI of US decision prior to 9:00 p.m. Delhi time December 1. Embassy may use its discretion re how GOI informed and content of message. We plan inform Indian Chargé here at approximately 10 a.m. Washington time December 1./5/

/5/ Sisco informed Chargé Rasgotra on December 1 of the decision to suspend the licenses. Rasgotra regretted the decision and said that the Indian Government would note the alacrity with which the United States instituted a cut-off of military sales to India compared to the delays involved in the similar cut-off to Pakistan. (Telegram 216918 to New Delhi, December 1; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, DEF 12-5 INDIA) Keating reported that when he informed Foreign Secretary Kaul of the new U.S. military supply policy toward India, Kaul took the news well but said that pressure tactics would not succeed in dissuading India from the path on which it was embarked. (Telegram 18595 from New Delhi, December 2; ibid.; Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 571, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/1/71-12/4/71)

Rogers


213. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A briefer version of the meeting, prepared by James Noyes (OASD/ISA), is in the Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 381 (Dec) 1971.

Washington, December 1, 1971, 4:17-4:50 p.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPANTS

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
John N. Irwin, II
Joseph Sisco
Christopher Van Hollen
Samuel DePalma
Bruce Laingen
David Schneider

Defense
David Packard
Armistead Selden
James H. Noyes

JCS
Admiral Thomas H. Moorer
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman
John Waller

AID
Donald MacDonald

NSC Staff
Harold H. Saunders
Samuel Hoskinson
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
R/Adm. Robert O. Welander
Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

1) State would prepare a scenario for the next step in a cut-off of military assistance.

2) We will delay the PL-480 money and the next tranche of the development loan money by administrative means.

3) Ambassador Bush would explore with the Pak UN Representative the pros and cons of an approach to the UN, but will not urge them in either direction.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Cushman) Bob, where do we stand?

(General Cushman briefed from the attached text.)/2/

/2/ Not printed. Cushman's briefing notes focused on the guerrilla offensive in East Pakistan that was gaining momentum. The border between India and West Pakistan remained quiet, but Pakistani officers indicated that in the event of war Pakistan's posture in the west would be offensive, not defensive.

Dr. Kissinger: Will Mrs. Gandhi allow the Pakistanis to stay in West Pakistan for the time being?

(Dr. Kissinger was called from the room.)

Mr. Irwin: (to Cushman) If there is an attack on the western front, what is your judgement as to the outcome?

Gen. Cushman: The Indians have superiority in everything and will win. The Paks have the bulk of their armor and most of their divisions there, but they won't prevail.

Adm. Moorer: They may have some initial success but they will poop out on logistics.

Mr. Irwin: How long?

Adm. Moorer: Thirty days. The Indians have superiority by four-to-one.

Mr. Irwin: Supplies, too?

Adm. Moorer: Yes.

Mr. Packard: What kind of country is it?

Gen. Cushman: Pretty dry; some actual desert.

Mr. Packard: Are there any natural boundaries-any mountains?

Mr. Waller: Some mountains in the northeast, but the rest is desert.

Mr. Irwin: What is the initial capacity of the Paks?

Gen. Cushman: I don't know.

Mr. Waller: In 1965, Sialkot was a natural division.

Mr. Irwin: Isn't there some Indian armor near there?

Mr. Waller: No one knows. There is probably some in Ambala.

Gen. Cushman: The Paks might make some initial penetration in the north. One big worry is that, if India recognizes Bangla Desh, Yahya might react by moving where the Indian aircraft and troops are, even though he knew he couldn't win.

Mr. Irwin: So you think it would be over in a month?

General Cushman and Adm. Moorer: Yes.

Gen. Cushman: One question is how much the Russians could reinforce India and whether they could do it faster than the Chinese could reinforce Pakistan.

Adm. Moorer: There are some reports that China had promised armor to Pakistan.

Gen. Cushman: There are also reports that the guerrillas are mining the approaches to the ports and that Indian sailors in civilian clothes are operating gun-boats at night against East Pakistan.

Adm. Moorer: The army in East Pakistan is beginning to ration their ammunition-ten rounds per tube unless they have special permission. They're beginning to feel the squeeze.

Mr. Irwin: (to Sisco) If fighting develops in the West and the issue moves into the UN, wouldn't a positive reaction from the UN on either side draw a veto?

Mr. Sisco: We would probably be confronted with a veto. The people who are winning on the ground always play a delaying game in the UN. In the Middle East, the Arabs should have gone for an immediate cease-fire, but they didn't know they were getting licked.

(Dr. Kissinger returned.)

Dr. Kissinger: Some of the papers are saying we're not doing our arithmetic-that we're losing 500 million Indians for 150 million Pakistanis. I don't know what we're losing in India and, in any event, that's not the purpose of our policy. If there is a chance of getting this thing stopped, we should move confidently and not be too apologetic. In matters of refugee and humanitarian relief, we have done more than all the other countries put together. We should respond to questions that way and stick to it.

Mr. Sisco: The Secretary has instructed Charley Bray (State Department spokesman) to do some backgrounding.

Dr. Kissinger: We need a specific scenario for the next step in a cut-off of military assistance. We won't necessarily do it immediately. How long do you think Pakistan can hold out?

Adm. Moorer: Two or three weeks. India is putting pressure on the border and forcing the Paks to defend there. This leaves the guerrillas free in the interior of the country. The Pakistanis are getting low on artillery ammo and are attempting to replenish their forces-4,000 replacements are en route. The Paks are just running out of steam. The loss of Jessore could be seriously crippling.

Gen. Cushman: One can speculate that the Indians may be trying to take Jessore and set it up as the capital of Bangla Desh.

Dr. Kissinger: Do I understand now that we will not proceed in the UN unless the Paks take it there?

Mr. DePalma: The Pakistan Ambassador has told us that he is not approaching anyone but the US at this time. He is not asking for a Security Council meeting, but he assumes his Government will. He has been asked to draft a speech for Bhutto. He speculates that they will call for a meeting on Friday/3/ or Monday. Any resolution should call for a withdrawal of forces, a cease-fire, and observers, possibly on both sides. The Paks have talked with the Chinese who have indicated they will veto any resolution unacceptable to Pakistan. He thinks the Soviets will veto any resolution unacceptable to India.

/3/ December 3.

Dr. Kissinger: It hardly strengthens one's faith in the UN when the Security Council is afraid to meet in an obvious military situation.

Mr. DePalma: It has to be done by the big boys.

Dr. Kissinger: Let's turn to economic assistance. There is no present plan to cut off economic assistance. The President has instructed, however, that we not go ahead with the PL-480 money or the next tranche of the loan. We can delay it by administrative means and blame the delay on bureaucratic incompetence. In other words, it will require some affirmative action before anything more is done. What if he wanted to go further?

Mr. McDonald: There are three categories: 1) fresh aid amounting to about $150-$200 million in development loans and $72 million in PL-480.

Dr. Kissinger: $100 million of which is coming due now?

Mr. McDonald: There's no set time-it is flexible in relation to other considerations.

Dr. Kissinger: What is the $100 million we're holding up?

Mr. McDonald: The first tranche against the $200 million. The Indians know the reasons we're not moving; they don't really expect us to move on this. The Indian Embassy has asked us if aid has been suspended since they were told by the Eximbank that they couldn't move yet.

Dr. Kissinger: So they have noticed?

Mr. McDonald: They are assuming that we will not provide fresh aid.

Mr. Sisco: What will we tell them? Will we hide behind the fact that Congress has not yet acted?

Mr. McDonald: If asked, we will hide behind Congress on the question of development loans, but it's harder to do on PL-480. We can say we have technical problems, though. The second category are prior-year funds, where we have binding agreements, with escape clauses, but are not yet tied into irrevocable commitments. As of November 29, these totaled $99 million. These can easily be covered by telephoning the banks and telling them to hold up issuance of Letters of Credit.

Dr. Kissinger: If we hold up on issuance of irrevocable letters of credit, will this prevent their turning letters of commitment into Letters of Credit?

Mr. McDonald: Yes. It is easily done by contacting the banks. The third category is where Letters of Credit have already been issued. We can't stop credit to the buyers but we could take legal title to the goods purchased under these letters. This would be very difficult and far-reaching, though.

Dr. Kissinger: If we instructed the banks and prevented converting letters of commitment into Letters of Credit, would it dry up the $99 million?

Mr. McDonald: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: We have $123 million in irrevocable Letters of Credit now. What about goods in transit?

Mr. McDonald: About half of these goods are moving in American ships. We could stop them.

Mr. Packard: We have enough here to get the idea across.

Dr. Kissinger: I agree. I have no reason to think the President wants to do this quickly. He may want to move on the $99 million. However, if we take drastic action when the Indians are in Dacca, it will be a contest of will. If we want to give them signals, we should do it now. But we're under no great time pressure. How about PL-480?

Mr. McDonald: We have a binding agreement, but we can sit on it. We have one special problem. We have about $18 million worth of vegetable oil which Agriculture is anxious to move to India to help stabilize the US market. This is a domestic issue. Also, we have about $12 million in 50,000 bales of cotton for India.

Dr. Kissinger: We have no answer from Mrs. Gandhi yet?/4/

/4/ See Document 211.

Mr. Sisco: No, and nothing from Kosygin. We have raised it with the head of the American Desk in the Soviet Foreign Office who said he thought we would have a reply shortly, which isn't much solace.

Dr. Kissinger: We will get together, at least by phone, if any of these additional steps are to be taken.

Mr. Irwin: What would be the purpose of the additional steps?

Dr. Kissinger: We would be less eager to do things after the situation had collapsed. It would be better to do them early and in the open to show that they didn't work. Most of these things are not irrevocable.

Mr. Sisco: We will do a scenario on the military side.

Mr. Packard: None of these things will have an impact on their military capability.

Mr. Irwin: There is a question of how many of these steps we should take if they have no effect.

Mr. Packard: But if we want to send a message, we should make it a good message.

Mr. Sisco: Do you think it would be worthwhile for (Ambassador) Bush to have another talk with (Pak UN Representative) Shahi. It's a touchy situation and I'm of two minds about it. I do think we need to tell the Paks there are advantages and disadvantages in going to the UN.

Dr. Kissinger: I have no objection as long as we don't urge them to go either way.

Mr. Sisco: Fair enough. I'll call Bush and have him weigh the pluses and minuses with the Paks.

Dr. Kissinger: Okay.


214. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.

Washington, December 2, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: The latest reports seem to indicate that the Indian and guerrilla offensive along the East Pakistan border is gaining some momentum. The disparity in manpower and supplies apparently is taking its toll on the Pak forces and they reportedly have abandoned a number of contested locations in the face of relentless pressure in the direction of several major provincial cities. Meanwhile, there are indications that the situation is starting to deteriorate in the interior where the guerrilla forces are operating more freely now that most of the Pak forces have been drawn off to defend the frontiers. Some towns as close as 17 miles from Dacca reportedly have been abandoned to the guerrillas and there are reports of the Bangla Desh flag flying in a number of towns elsewhere in the interior. The Indians have also set up a "Mukti Bahini navy" with their own forces with the priority objective of blocking shipping into East Pakistan.

At the UN the situation is relatively static for the moment. The Japanese and Belgians are standing down their efforts to create interest in a Security Council meeting after having received no encouragement from the permanent representatives. For the moment the Soviets and Indians are getting their way-inaction-but the Pak ambassador at the UN thinks that it is possible that he could have instructions to move for a Security Council meeting as early as Friday./2/ He also reports that the Chinese have promised to use their veto if the Paks ask them. It is assumed that the Soviets are prepared to do the same for India.

/2/ December 3.

Our China watchers in Hong Kong report that the attention of Chinese media to the Indo-Pak crisis has risen sharply in the last ten days. The coverage has featured descriptions of India's actions as an "invasion" and as military "provocations" and there has been one high level reference to "armed aggression." Direct charges of Soviet involvement have also rather abruptly become a significant feature. At the same time the Chinese have not tried to play up any threat to their own security. Chinese public pledges of support to the Pakistanis have remained generalized and at least once they have indirectly implied that the Paks do not need assistance. They have also continued to call for peaceful "consultations" between India and Pakistan.

We have an initial reaction from the Indian Government on our cutoff of military supplies. Foreign Secretary Kaul took the announcement of our new military supply policy toward India in reasonably good grace, indicating that the U.S. had the right to do whatever it thought best. In a friendly and earnest way he warned Ambassador Keating that no country should think they could persuade India to alter the path on which it was embarked through pressure tactics. Kaul urged that the U.S. not forget the common values and common ideals we both share.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


215. Editorial Note

In a speech to the nation on December 3, 1971, Prime Minister Gandhi charged that Pakistan had launched a full-scale attack against India earlier in the day, shortly after 5:30 p.m. She said that Pakistan's Air Force had struck at six Indian airfields in Kashmir and the Punjab and that Pakistani artillery was shelling Indian positions at several locations along the border between India and West Pakistan. India, Gandhi said, had no option but to adopt a war footing. (Situation Report #18 prepared by the Department of State India-Pakistan Working Group, December 3; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 571, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/1/71-12/4/71)

Pakistan responded to the Indian charges in a note conveyed to the United States Embassy in Islamabad on December 3. Pakistan alleged that the Indian Air Force had been carrying out aggressive reconnaissance over the territory of West Pakistan for 3 or 4 days as a prelude to attacks launched by the Indian army between 3:30 and 4 p.m. on December 3 at several points on a front that stretched from Kashmir in the north to Rahim Yar Kham in the south. Pakistan represented the attacks on Indian airfields as necessary countermeasures. (Ibid.)

In Washington the question of responsibility for the initiation of warfare along the front between India and West Pakistan bore on policy considerations. The Central Intelligence Agency weighed the evidence on December 4 and concluded that it was not possible to determine with certainty which side had initiated hostilities on December 3. (Memorandum from [name not declassified] to Kissinger, December 4; ibid., Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation)


216. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President vacationed in Key Biscayne, Florida, December 3-5; Kissinger was in Washington.

December 3, 1971, 10:45 a.m.

K: Two matters I want to raise. It appears that West Pakistan has attacked because situation in East collapsing. State wants to use it as a pretext not to put out statement/2/ at noon. I think it's more reason to cancel programs. State believes and I agree that we should take it to the Security Council once actions are confirmed. If a major war [develops] without going to the Security Council it would be a confession of poverty.

/2/ Reference is to a statement announcing the cut-off of military assistance to India.

P: Who will object?

K: India and the Soviet Union.

P: So we have to.

K: Apparently no one else will. Even the liberal papers are supporting that.

P: I am for that. We have to cut off arms aid to India. We should have done it earlier. Allow India bias.

K: Yes.

P: Sisco's part? He isn't pro-Indian. It's what they want below.

K: Sisco has no convictions. Liberal, [omission in the source text], socialist syndrome. The Indians will just add-

P: I have decided it and there is no appeal.

K: I also think-

P: I wrote it independently of anyone and I am surprised it hasn't been done.

K: It won't reach the UN tomorrow or late today. We shouldn't make a catastrophe of everything we have done and why Indian actions unjustified.

P: So West Pakistan giving trouble there.

K: If they lose half of their country without fighting they will be destroyed. They may also be destroyed this way but they will go down fighting.

P: They will have enough for a few days. It puts the Soviets on the spot.

K: I think I should give a brief note to the Russians so that they don't jump around about conversation yesterday and say we are going on your conversation with Gromyko./3/ A strong blast at their Vietnam friends and behavior on India. We are moving on our side but they are not doing enough on theirs.

/3/ See Document 153.

P: On India certainly but on VN I wonder if it sounds hollow.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

P: Pakistan thing makes your heart sick. For them to be done so by the Indians and after we have warned the bitch. Their [omission in the source text] and that but they have brought it on. We have to cut off arms. Why not? Because attacked by W. Pakistan. Tell them that when India talked about W. Pakistan attacking them it's like Russian claiming to be attacked by Finland.

K: They will do it or we will do it from Key Biscayne. It's a hell of a way but we can do it and I will get that message to the Soviets.


217. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rogers and the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.

Washington, December 3, 1971, 10:55 a.m.

R: Hello.

K: Hello, Bill. I just talked to the President. He is agreeable to the Security Council thing as soon as we get all the facts in. He is absolutely adamant about getting a statement/2/ out at noon. He is raising cain again. I am getting the hell. He wants it to tilt towards Pakistan. He doesn't want it to be [omission in the source text] (Laughter). I agree with you, and I told the President that, that we should not go into the long history. We should save that for the UN, but I think we should put out the statement at noon.

/2/ Reference is to a statement announcing the cut-off of military assistance to India.

R: I am in favor of that. I just hesitate putting out a statement condemning India.

K: No, no. I agree with you that we should not put out the long statement at noon, but I think we should put out some of these facts in the background pages.

R: The facts we are speaking about are old hat as far as the news is concerned so a review statement to the press is like water off a duck's back.

K: I told the President that the argument the people will give is it's like Finland attacking Russia; that they were provoked into it and didn't have any choice.

R: The question is: Should we take a judicial role ourselves and decide who is guilty? I think it would be better placed in the Security Council.

K: What I recommend, Bill, if you agree, is that the gist of what we had in that statement be used.

R: I would say something like this: In view of the deteriorating situation in the area, we are cutting off all military shipments to India now. If this develops any interest on the part of the press then when Bush goes to the Security Council he can outline the steps about Pakistan.

K: That is correct. We should do it on that basis. Another thing the President said is that we are considering cutting off economic aid.

R: Well, we said we are considering other steps; that is just one of them.

K: Well, I think it is beyond the point where we can mention that. Let's just put out the military statement.


218. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A briefer version of the meeting, prepared by James Noyes (OASD/ISA), is in the Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 381 (Dec) 1971.

Washington, December 3, 1971, 11:19-11:55 a.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPANTS

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
John N. Irwin, II
Joseph Sisco
Christopher Van Hollen
Samuel DePalma
Bruce Laingen
David Schneider

Defense
David Packard
Armistead Selden
G. Warren Nutter
James H. Noyes

JCS
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Richard Helms
John Waller

AID
Donald MacDonald
Maurice Williams

NSC Staff
Harold H. Saunders
Samuel Hoskinson
B/Gen. Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
R/Adm. Robert O. Welander
Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

(1) following Secretary Rogers' conversation with the Pak Ambassador, State will recommend as to the timing of a call for a Security Council meeting;

(2) State will draft a speech for Ambassador Bush, including the text of our proposed resolution;

(3) AID would ask the banks to hold issuance of any additional Letters of Credit for India until Monday, when they will hear further from us;

(4) meanwhile, Mr. Kissinger will check with the President about suspension of the $22 million for Pakistan which is in the same category;

(5) State will redraft the reply to President Yahya's letter/2/ to take account of current developments.

/2/ See Document 219.

Dr. Kissinger: I've been catching unshirted hell every half-hour from the President who says we're not tough enough. He believes State is pressing us to be tough and I'm resisting. He really doesn't believe we're carrying out his wishes. He wants to tilt toward Pakistan, and he believes that every briefing or statement is going the other way.

Mr. Irwin: (to Kissinger) In connection with your conversation with the Secretary, Charley Bray (State Department spokesman) will say at the noon briefing today that we don't know what is going on in West Pakistan, then he will go to the second paragraph of the draft press statement that we have prepared (attached at Tab A)./3/

/3/ Not attached. A copy is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 12/3/71.

Dr. Kissinger: (Looking at draft statement) That's good-saying the United States yesterday took the decision to cancel the remaining munitions list licenses for India. On the West Pakistan situation, the President thinks this may have been provoked-that it's not on the same basis as East Pakistan.

Mr. Sisco: To the degree to which we want to address ourselves to the incursions of yesterday, this statement is okay. I would expect we might have another public statement later this afternoon when we know a little more about what's happening.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Helms) What is happening?

Mr. Helms: We know that the Pakistanis did attack the three airfields at Srinagar, Amritsar and Pathankot this morning. It was first reported on the Indian radio, and now the Pak radio has reported it. The Pak radio also says India is attacking all along the border. Indian Foreign Secretary Kaul has told Ambassador Keating that is a "bloody lie." [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Pakistan telling their Navy that hostilities have commenced on all fronts. The Paks have also told Ambassador Farland that the Indians are attacking. In East Pakistan also the attacks are getting larger. The Indians are moving on seven fronts now, instead of three or four as formerly.

Adm. Moorer: What about the attack on the airfield at Agartala?

Mr. Helms: It appears there was a ground attack, but the air attack is questionable.

Dr. Kissinger: Are the Indians seizing territory in the East or merely attacking along the frontier?

Mr. Helms: There's no question that they are seizing and occupying territory, although only in small bits.

Mr. Waller: (using map) Around Bollonia, Jessore, Agartala and Hilli the Indians have moved in and are staying on Pakistani territory, but not too deep.

Mr. Sisco: Could you prepare a small map shaded to show occupied territory?

Mr. Helms: We'll have it for you next time.

Adm. Moorer: As I've said before, I think in East Pakistan the Indians are trying to keep the Pak troops occupied to give the guerrillas more latitude. It's just a matter of time until the Indians believe the guerrillas are strong enough, at which point they will recognize a Bangla Desh Government.

Dr. Kissinger: You think it's just a question of time until the Paks are exhausted?

Adm. Moorer: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: How about in the West? Whoever attacked, there will be full-scale fighting.

Adm. Moorer: I'm surprised that the Paks attacked at such a low level. In 1965 they moved much more strongly. One of the airfields was a little Army field and the other two had practically no aircraft on them. The major fields are further south.

Mr. Helms: I think Mrs. Gandhi in her speech at 1:30 today will recognize Bangla Desh.

Adm. Moorer: I have some questions about the Pakistani attack. It's not the kind you would think they would make.

Mr. Irwin: Do you think it was symbolic? Or were they trying to provoke India?

Adm. Moorer: I'm not sure they attacked.

Dr. Kissinger: But they have admitted it.

Adm. Moorer: Of course, there may be other attacks we don't know about.

Dr. Kissinger: Do you think it's possible the Indians attacked first?

Adm. Moorer: I think it's possible.

Mr. Irwin: If India attacked, would the Paks have hit only those airfields?

Adm. Moorer: It was late in the afternoon. It may have been all they could do before dark.

Dr. Kissinger: If the Paks were attacking, they wouldn't have chosen that time.

Mr. Packard: Do we have any reports of Indians across the border in West Pakistan?

Adm. Moorer: No, they say fighting is along the whole border.

Dr. Kissinger: So one hypothesis is that the Indians attacked and the Paks did what they could before dark. Dick (Helms), what do you think?

Mr. Helms: I have no better explanation.

Dr. Kissinger: These aren't significant fields. That's a helluva way to start a war.

Adm. Moorer: One field had only 12 helos and 16 Gnats.

Mr. Packard: They had no fighter aircraft.

Mr. Irwin: Would these aircraft be important if the Pakistanis were planning to attack in the morning?

Adm. Moorer: If they were going to attack in the morning, they would have hit the airfields in the morning. There was a field not too far away with 82 aircraft on it including 42 MIG-21s. They didn't go for them.

Dr. Kissinger: That's a good point.

Mr. Packard: They might have been heavily defended.

Adm. Moorer: I just don't think we have the information.

Mr. Helms: I don't either. I think reports will be rolling in all day.

Dr. Kissinger: On the matter of economic assistance, the President doesn't want any more irrevocable Letters of Credit issued for India.

Mr. Williams: That will get around fairly quickly.

Dr. Kissinger: How quickly?

Mr. Williams: A couple of days.

Adm. Moorer: The Indians will know and they will spread the word.

Mr. Williams: We can just hold up as we are on the $72 million.

Dr. Kissinger: This is the present order. I'll point out to the President that this will get around. If it does, so what?

Mr. Williams: I'm not saying we shouldn't do it.

Dr. Kissinger: What would we say-that we were reviewing our entire economic assistance program?

Mr. Williams: Yes-in the light of existing conditions. With regard to the draft public statement, we must be very careful of any statement that implies that economic assistance has been used for war purposes.

Dr. Kissinger: That's a good point. (to Williams) Give the right phrase to Joe Sisco. Let's talk about the UN now.

Mr. Irwin: The Secretary is calling in the Pak Ambassador today for an exploratory talk. The Secretary is leaning in the direction of the US taking the issue into the UN.

Dr. Kissinger: The President is in favor of that as soon as we have some confirmation of substantial activity-probably in any event. He believes that if the UN can't operate in this case, the UN doesn't exist. Any other declaration, say on the Middle East, would be totally hollow if we can't get the SC called for this.

Mr. Sisco: We'll have no difficulty getting the SC called.

Dr. Kissinger: If we decide to do it, would it be tonight or tomorrow?

Mr. Sisco: Either way-we'll get you a recommendation by mid-afternoon. I would assume we would try for tomorrow to give the Paks a chance to digest what the Secretary will say.

Dr. Kissinger: The grounds on which the President agreed not to issue the longer statement at noon were so that Ambassador Bush could make the same points in a Security Council speech. He doesn't want us to be even-handed in the Security Council.

Mr. Irwin: If we go to the UN, of course, it will move quickly to political accommodation.

Dr. Kissinger: You had a phrase about political accommodation in the statement you were going to issue today. It gave us no problem.

Mr. Irwin: The question will arise if India and her friends push for specific talks with Mujib.

Dr. Kissinger: The President won't go along with anything that specific. He agrees with your draft resolution/4/ and has approved going with that.

/4/ See footnote 14, Document 209.

Mr. DePalma: The question is what resolution is likely to command a majority. There may be great pressure to skew it toward a stronger political accommodation statement.

Dr. Kissinger: The success of that would depend on the forcefulness of our behavior.

Mr. Sisco: Yes, and on the Chinese Communists.

Dr. Kissinger: Let the Paks talk to them.

Mr. Sisco: I'm sure they will put the pressure on the Chinese. The Secretary will call in the Pak Ambassador./5/ After that conversation, we will ask the Secretary to report to you (Mr. Kissinger) and we will get you a recommendation on the timing of going to the SC.

/5/ Secretary Rogers met with Ambassador Raza subsequent to the WSAG meeting on December 3. The two agreed that it was necessary to convene the Security Council promptly to deal with the deteriorating situation. Rogers showed Raza the U.S. draft resolution, and Raza agreed to recommend it to his government for approval. (Telegram 218538 to Islamabad, December 3; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Dr. Kissinger: Also could we have a draft speech for Ambassador Bush incorporating the statement we had originally planned to make today, taking account of current developments, and containing the text of our proposed resolution? The President isn't prepared to make that specific a recommendation on political accommodation.

Mr. Irwin: But others may, and get significant support for it.

Dr. Kissinger: We can say we favor political accommodation, but the job of the Security Council is to prevent military force from being used to bring it about.

Mr. Irwin: I'm not arguing with you. I'm just pointing out where others may take it.

Mr. Sisco: There's no argument, but we want to be sure you and the President understand the degree of our control over the outcome.

Mr. Helms: (reading from report/6/ handed him from SitRoom) Kosygin cancelled an extra round of talks he had scheduled with the Norwegians when he heard of the fighting.

/6/ Not further identified.

Dr. Kissinger: That took courage. We've still had no reply from Kosygin?/7/

/7/ Premier Kosygin's reply to President Nixon's letter of November 27 (Document 207) was delivered to the U.S. Embassy on December 3 and transmitted to the Department in telegram 9040 from Moscow, December 3. In his reply, Kosygin took the position that the withdrawal from the border of troops involved in the burgeoning crisis was "scarcely feasible." He argued the importance of pursuing a political solution and put the onus for such a solution on Pakistan. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Mr. Sisco: No, nor from Mrs. Gandhi.

Mr. Helms: I think her speech at 1:30 will be significant.

Mr. Williams: If I may return to the economic assistance item for a moment, as soon as our action on the Letters of Credit becomes known, we will be asked if we are doing the same thing to Pakistan. There's $22 million for Pakistan. Will there be parallel action or will we tilt it?

Dr. Kissinger: I'll check. Just hold up for India today and I will check with the President. He hasn't addressed the problem of Pakistan.

Mr. Sisco: If we act on India and are asked about Pakistan, we could say that we have been saying for some time that we were keeping matters under review but are not necessarily acting on them now.

Dr. Kissinger: It's hard to tilt toward Pakistan, as the President wishes, if every time we take some action in relation to India we have to do the same thing for Pakistan. Just hold this informally until I get to the President.

Mr. Saunders: (to Williams) Is it physically possible to do it informally? Don't you have to go to the New York banks?

Mr. McDonald: We can do it informally by getting in touch with the banks.

Dr. Kissinger: What is the $22 million for Pakistan? I thought we weren't doing anything for Pakistan.

Mr. Williams: That's old money which has not yet been put in irrevocable letters of commitment.

Mr. Packard: Can't we get the banks informally to hold everything until Monday?/8/

/8/ December 6.

Mr. Williams: Yes, the timing is good.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Williams) You're quite right to raise the point-it is crucial. The President will have to decide what to do about the $22 million for Pakistan.

Mr. Irwin: (to Williams) So you are going to call the banks and ask them to hold up any new Letters of Credit informally until they hear from you on Monday.

Mr. Williams: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: I'll get to the President. Tell them to hold informally and we will take the next step Monday. I expect we will need to have another WSAG meeting tomorrow morning. (to Irwin) Will you be available? When is the Secretary leaving?

Mr. Irwin: He had planned to leave tomorrow morning, but he is reconsidering and may not leave.

Mr. Sisco: (to Kissinger) We're redrafting the reply to the letter from Yahya. The Secretary made some changes.

Dr. Kissinger: Good. Also, we need more facts about the current situation.

Mr. Sisco: (Referring to President Yahya's letter) We haven't found any secret agreements about military assistance to Pakistan-just Article I of the Bilateral Agreement of 1959./9/

/9/ Article 1 of the Agreement of Cooperation signed by the United States and Pakistan on March 5, 1959, stipulated that in case of aggression against Pakistan the United States would "take such appropriate action, including the use of armed forces, as may be mutually agreed upon" in order to assist Pakistan at its request. (10 UST 317)
Dr. Kissinger: Isn't there some secret protocol or something? I remember when I was there for a previous Administration I was briefed about some protocol or some special understanding.

Mr. Irwin: So far we haven't found anything.

Mr. Van Hollen: We had a secret air agreement with India in 1963./10/

/10/ This agreement was signed in New Delhi on July 9, 1963 by Prime Minister Nehru and Ambassador Galbraith and transmitted to the Department on July 10 in telegram 143 from New Delhi. (Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XIX, Document 307)

Dr. Kissinger: No, I was in Pakistan in January 1962. They claimed there was a secret protocol applying to other than Communist countries. I never saw it, though. I thought it was a part of the agreement and I referred to it in conversation with some newsmen. I was told I shouldn't have said anything about it and not one reference appeared in any newspaper to that portion of my remarks-in that free, uncontrolled press. There was either some exchange of letters, or some explanation of the meaning of the agreement. I think it was done in the Eisenhower Administration-some intimidation that the agreement was intended to apply more broadly than just to Communist countries.

Mr. Irwin: I would be amazed if this were done in the Eisenhower years. It would have been contrary to the whole philosophy-particularly with regard to India.

Dr. Kissinger: It might have been President Kennedy. I am sure that some secret document existed in January 1962. The Pakistanis claimed it did and our Embassy there didn't deny it. It applied to something other than SEATO. Ask Bill Rountree-he was Ambassador there. It could be a Presidential letter. Also, I got a letter/11/ from (former Ambassador) Oehlert yesterday-he mentioned something about it.

/11/ Not found.

Mr. Sisco: We'll call him, although I'd rather find it first ourselves./12/

/12/ On December 5 Executive Secretary Eliot sent a memorandum to Kissinger attaching excerpts from security assurances provided to Pakistan by the United States. One such excerpt was from a January 26, 1962, letter from President Kennedy to President Ayub, which reads as follows: "As a firm ally, Pakistan is entitled to the re-affirmation you have requested of the prior assurances given by the United States to Pakistan on the subject of aggression against Pakistan. My Government certainly stands by these assurances." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 12/3/71) The full text of the letter is printed in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XIX, Document 100. On November 5, 1962, Ambassador McConaughy gave President Ayub an aide-mémoire which offered the more explicit assurance that the United States would "come to Pakistan's assistance in the event of aggression from India against Pakistan." (The text of the aide-mémoire is quoted ibid., Document 191, footnote 6. It was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to airgram A-883 from Karachi, February 23, 1963; Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Karachi Embassy Files, FRC 67 F 74, 320 Pak/US Assurances)

Dr. Kissinger: It was a letter or an exchange of letters, or a protocol, or some interpretation of the agreement.

Mr. Irwin: I have difficulty believing it. Why would the US Government have been making any declaration to Pakistan at that time that could be used against India?

Mr. Williams: It might have referred to aggression against Pakistan from any quarter.

Dr. Kissinger: It wouldn't have said that it was against India. We might have wanted to try to cut down on the sending of military equipment. We might have wanted to give them some assurance that we would take care of them.

Mr. Van Hollen: It might have been done in the context of our supply of military assistance to India after the Chinese Communist attack. We might have wanted to give some assurances to Pakistan about our military assistance to India.

Dr. Kissinger: I never attached any importance to it until now, but I do have a recollection of some interpretation of the bilateral agreement of March of '59. Maybe we wrote them saying the treaty means this to us. There was no denial in 1962 that it existed, but I don't know why we did it.


219. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Laingen on December 2, cleared by Saunders, and approved by Van Hollen. Repeated to New Delhi and USUN.

Washington, December 3, 1971, 1513Z.

218346. Subject: Letter from President Yahya.

Following is text of letter to President from President Yahya delivered to White House December 2:/2/

/2/ A copy of the letter was conveyed to the Department of State on December 2 under a covering letter from Kissinger to Rogers requesting that a draft reply be prepared on an urgent basis. (Ibid., POL PAK-US)

"Dear Mr. President,

I write to thank you most sincerely for your letter of November 27/3/ which was delivered to me by Ambassador Farland. I deeply appreciate the measures taken by you to counsel restraint and to promote a withdrawal of forces. I especially take note of your kind offer to consider suggestions from my government and to discuss with you measures that will help reduce the risk of further conflict in South Asia. It is in this spirit that I address these few lines to you now.

/3/ See Document 206.

As you are aware, I have done my utmost to resolve the problem with India peacefully. I have gone more than half way. I have done my best to keep the clashes localised and confined to East Pakistan. Ambassador Farland and Raza are being kept informed of developments and the evolving military situation. Unfortunately India has chosen the path of war, aided and abetted by Soviet Union, in a bid to break up my country. Time is fast running out and the choice before me has, indeed, become very limited.

I have, therefore, been seriously considering to make an approach to you for a final attempt to avert the impending catastrophe. I do so now.

The advice given to the Indian Prime Minister and indications of the U.S. opposition to any rash actions by India have apparently proved futile. Gesture such as the stoppage of two million dollars worth of arms supplies to India or delay in the signing of PL-480 and development loans are unlikely to change the Indian attitude at this stage. Therefore, I request for urgent consideration, Mr. President, the following measures: a) issuance of a personal statement by you, condemning India's aggression, aided and abetted by the Soviet Union, and calling for an immediate end to hostilities and withdrawal of opposing forces to safe distance behind their respective borders; b) issuance of a statement by you strongly advising Soviet Union to desist from militarily supporting India in its aggression against Pakistan; c) your agreement to my invoking Article I of the Pakistan-United States Bilateral Agreement of Co-operation signed on 5th March 1959/4/ and meeting my request for military assistance in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement./5/

/4/ See footnote 9, Document 218.

/5/ Kissinger discussed Yahya's request to invoke the terms of the 1959 treaty in a telephone conversation with Nixon on December 2. Nixon said: "We have a treaty and we have to keep it. That makes it imperative to cut off aid to India." (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)

Mr. President, Pakistan is determined to resist aggression launched by India which has enormous superiority of arms and equipment over us. The Russian involvement consisting of massive supplies of sophisticated arms to India has made our task much more difficult. Pakistan must, therefore, enlist powerful and tangible support of its friends in keeping with the solemn agreements signed with them, to meet this formidable challenge.

I shall be most anxiously awaiting your reply.

With warm personal regards, Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan."

Rogers


220. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Flash. Repeated to DIA, New Delhi, Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, London, Moscow, USUN, and CINCPAC for POLAD. Received at 2022Z.

Islamabad, December 3, 1971, 1500Z.

12007. Subj: Indo-Pak Relations: Fighting in West. Ref: Islamabad 12001./2/

/2/ In telegram 12001 from Islamabad, December 3, Ambassador Farland reported that the Foreign Ministry had requested that he meet that day with President Yahya. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 571, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/1/71-12/4/74)

1. In company with additional FonSec Alvie,/3/ I arrived at President Yahya's residence at about 2000 hours local time Dec. 3. Met with President Yahya 10 minutes thereafter. In addition to President Yahya, there was in attendance Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan and Chief of Staff General Abdul Hamid Khan. President informed me that, beginning about 1500 hours local time Dec. 3, a series of Indian army incursions supported by air cover had occurred at a number of points as far north as Kashmir and as far south as Rahim Yar Kham. He said further that as a result of this activity, four Pak air force strikes had taken place upon airfields in the general area north and south of Lahore. He indicated that he was hopeful that Pak planes had returned safely but as yet he had not had a complete report from Air Marshal Rahim Khan. Furthermore, he asked me to convey to President Nixon his personal message to the effect that his restraint had been exercised to the utmost, and that the action which his government had taken today to interdict the military aggression of GOI was among the most difficult decisions that he had ever made.

/3/ Momtaz A. Alvie.

2. The President then began to spell out in precise detail the areas in which Indian incursions had transpired. I told him that I would appreciate it very much if the FonSec or the additional FonSec, who is taking extensive notes, could give me a copy setting forth these specific areas for the purpose of absolute clarity. This was immediately agreed to and the FonSec said that he would see that this information was delivered to the chancery shortly. I am awaiting this information at this time and will forward same upon receipt./4/

/4/ Farland received the Foreign Ministry report by the end of the day. It described simultaneous attacks by the Indian Army between 3:30 and 4 p.m. at Sialkot, Chumb, in an area between the Jessar bridge and Lahore, and on the Rajasthan front opposite Rahim Yar Kham. Pakistan responded, according to the report, with air strikes at Srinagar, Avantipura, Pathankot, and Amritsar. (Telegram 12008 from Islamabad, December 3; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Farland


221. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington. According to a note on the transcript, the call was placed late in the afternoon.

December 3, 1971.

P: Any late developments?

K: It's more and more certain it's India attacking and not Pakistan. We cut off other military supplies. Secy. wants to go to Security Council and go on TV. I say we can go just as soon as Pakistan says it's all right with them. We are sending a message/2/ through our channels to speed it up. I don't think we should rush until we see what they want. And tell the Chinese it's done with Pakistan's concurrence.

/2/ Reference is to a telegram sent by Ambassador Raza to his government through U.S. communication channels.

P: Why stick our nose in unless they want us.

K: The right way to do it is low key way and call a Security Council meeting.

P: If Rogers goes on TV it's not going to be a plague on both your houses. He understands?

K: I hope so.

P: He knows. They have the same facts we have. Don't they know India-Everyone knows Pakistan not attacking India.

K: Attacks took place at 5:45 when dusk falling. Three commercial airfields. The other attack at [omission in the source text]. Pakistan could not do it in 15 minutes. Pakistan must be [have] jumped off and India pursued. [omission in the source text] You can't follow us and other side has 5 hours on alert. That's what Moorer said.

P: They would do it at dawn to surprise them.

K: And keep up attacks.

P: It's a tragedy the Indians are so treacherous. Her attitude-not that it is [omission in the source text] our attitude but to put it on an anti-colored attitude. How much help is she getting from colored people?

K: We should stop [start?] cutting economic aid now. $90 million of letters of credit unsigned.

P: Put a stop order on them. They must be signed by me. I think we should go slow on giving visas to Americans going there. American businessmen and others.

K: Right.

P: Tell them to slow down. We don't want to have to evacuate some jerks and businessmen trying to make investments. What else?

K: Administratively the [omission in the source text] is cut aid next year.

P: That would have to be done in Congress.

K: [omission in the source text]

P: I see. Get Hannah busy and let it leak. We told her if they went in it would be tough.

K: Scott made a speech and Morse and Frelinghuysen/3/ already said something.

/3/ William Scott, F. Bradford Morse, and Peter Frelinghuysen were Republican Representatives from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, respectively.

P: He/4/ was pro-Indian but an honest man.

/4/ Reference is to Frelinghuysen.

K: He turned around.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

[P:] On India/Pakistan we are not doing this out of peak [pique] or mad at India. They may react like Nasser did.

K: It's not in their interest.

P: It puts them fully in hands of Russians.

K: It will drive Chinese to us.

P: Can Russians feed 400 million Indians?

K: And Egypt and Cuba? They are getting overextended.

P: You give figure of 6 million dollars worth of aid./5/

/5/ The question involved the amount of economic assistance provided by the United States to India since 1947, either directly or through multilateral organizations. The dollar amounts involved were billions rather than millions.

K: It turns out to be 10.

P: Multilateral also?

K: Yes. But 10 is quite a slug.

P: I bet Passman's figure is bigger. Give Passman a call./6/ Say President says 10 billion to India and ask what his figures show. He would appreciate being asked. Going to Gridiron tomorrow?

/6/ After talking with the President, Kissinger called Representative Otto Passman, who served as Chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Passman provided a figure of $8.3 billion in U.S. economic assistance to India. (Transcript of a telephone conversation, December 3; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)

K: No.

P: Lucky.


222. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages, 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan. Top Secret. Received at 8:22 a.m.

Islamabad, December 4, 1971, 0650Z.

[number not declassified] In conversation with me at 2000 hrs. local December 3, (Islamabad 12007)/2/ Yahya said that, with India having precipitated an all-out war, his military forces were in desperate need of U.S. military supplies and earnestly sought my government's assistance in obtaining same./3/ He added that, assuming the Nixon administration found this to be an impossibility, "for God's sake don't hinder or impede the delivery of equipment from friendly third countries."/4/ I told Yahya that I would pass the message to you. However, I admonished him that the requests carried with them difficulties of which he should be all too well aware given the history of U.S. military supplies to Pakistan.

/2/ Document 220.

/3/ In a telephone conversation with President Nixon at 10:50 a.m. on December 4, Kissinger reported this request as follows: "We have had an urgent appeal from Yahya. Says his military supplies have been cut off-in very bad shape. Would we help through Iran." Nixon asked: "Can we help?" Kissinger replied: "I think if we tell the Iranians we will make it up to them we can do it." Nixon concurred: "If it is leaking we can have it denied. Have it done one step away." (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File) Nixon confirmed this decision in a conversation with Kissinger on December 6. He authorized Kissinger to proceed on the understanding that any "back channel" military assistance provided to Pakistan by Iran would be offset by comparable assistance provided to Iran by the United States. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 6, 1971, 12:02-12:06 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 630-2)

/4/ On instructions from Washington, [text not declassified] in Tehran met with the Shah on December 5 and encouraged Iran to transfer military equipment and munitions to Pakistan. The Shah indicated that he would be glad to help but stipulated that the U.S. replace what was transferred as quickly as possible. ([telegram number not declassified], December 5; ibid., NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan) On the same day in Amman, King Hussein showed Ambassador Dean Brown a telegram from Pakistani President Yahya Khan asking for military assistance. Hussein said that what Pakistan wanted was 8-10 Jordanian F-104 fighters. Since the United States had provided the aircraft, Hussein turned to the Embassy for advice. (Telegram 5439 from Amman, December 5; ibid., NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 12/6/71)


223. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, Dec 1971. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington. The conversation was tape-recorded at Kissinger's residence in Washington and subsequently transcribed at the White House. No time of the conversation appears on the transcript.

December 4, 1971.

K: Mr. President.

P: Yes, Henry.

K: I just wanted to bring you up to date on what happened. First, we positioned Ziegler with a pretty tough statement for his press briefing to make clear where you stood and on that basis . . .

P: They are all aware of the fact that I am in complete touch with it all the time.

K: Well, that's what I . . . Frankly, State had put out a story this morning that you were just being kept generally aware so we had Ziegler say that you ordered the thing./2/

/2/ Reference is to the decision to instruct Ambassador Bush to introduce a resolution in the UN Security Council calling, inter alia, for a mutual withdrawal of ground forces on the subcontinent; see footnote 5, Document 224.

P: Which is true.

K: Which is exactly true. You talked to me 6 times yesterday.

P: And a half a dozen times today.

K: That's right.

P: And ordered what? You mean on the cut-off of arms?

K: Oh, no the move to the Security Council.

P: Right, yes.

K: I mean that you gave the go-ahead.

P: Right.

K: And then on the basis of that Sisco gave a backgrounder which I understand is playing very well positioning the thing. We've drafted a very tough speech for Bush.

P: Good.

K: And he's on the floor now. He tells me that at the Preparatory Meeting the Chinese jumped all over the Russians and Indians and apparently the Indians wanted to put on the agenda only the item of problems of East Pakistan and the Chinese said "No, let's call it problems of India." And that's all right if they all brawl with each other.

P: Good. Let the liberals choose now between China and India. That'll be very good.

K: Exactly.

P: Very good. Boy, this really . . . you know, we don't like this but you realize this is causing our liberal friends untold anguish, Henry.

K: And, Mr. President, actually in terms of the political situation, first of all we won't take any much [more] immediate flak, but in six months the liberals are going to look like jerks because the Indian occupation of East Pakistan is going to make the Pakistani one look like child's play.

P: Yes. Well, the main thing we're not going to do is be suckered by the Indians into a huge aid program. Now that I want clearly understood. You know after they have screwed this thing up, by God, I can't emphasize too strongly how I feel. We told Mrs. Gandhi we're going to cut off that aid and we're going to do it. Has the word gone out?

K: The word has gone out, Mr. President, and on Monday/3/ morning-We've already told the banks to hold it and on Monday morning it's going to be effective. I mean nothing can happen before Monday.

/3/ December 6.

P: I see. And you're examining every other possibility of how we can squeeze India right now.

K: That is right, Mr. President.

P: It's to be done. Everything is to be held up. Everything is to be dragged. Everything else. They cannot get away with this and . . . well, they will get away with it, but we can't allow them to without knowing our displeasure.

K: But what we have to reconsider now is whether it is in our interest to be the chief development-source of development capital-of a country that has performed such actions.

P: That's right. Oh, you mean next year's aid program?

K: That's right.

P: That's what I want now, though. The way I want that handled is for people like Passman and some of our friends in the House and the Senate, even the more liberal types, to come out and say cut aid to India. Get my point.

K: Absolutely.

P: Let them take the lead rather than have us take the lead.

K: Right.

P: Can we do that?

K: Certainly.

P: Well, can we put somebody to work on it so that it'll be discreetly done. I just want . . .

K: I've already talked to Passman in that sense.

P: Well, Passman, but there are others-there's got to be a whole plan.

K: Well, Passman thought we should go easy until we've got the present aid program through the budget.

P: Yes.

K: Through the Congress.

P: Yes. And then what would he do? Then he would go after . . .

K: Next year's appropriation.

P: Is that what you're talking about-next year's?

K: I'm talking about what we put into the budget for '73.

P: Well, it's going to be goddamn little that's for sure.

K: Well, that's what we should do, Mr. President. And this year's we can also cut.

P: I want it cut what we are doing now in fact. And as far as next year's is concerned we just cut that, but I don't want to cut Pakistan's. We're going to play this fair now. I just hope we can get someone on the story now. Did you get Scali turned loose so that he has a . . .

K: We gave Scali the facts yesterday, but we couldn't locate him today. But we've been thumping out the facts all day and I think you will find that the combination of the statement we got Ziegler to make, the Sisco backgrounder and what Bush is going to say tonight is going to be quite a massive dose.

P: It will put us on the side of trying to restrain India.

K: That's right.

P: That's what I really feel we've got to get across. Now I haven't been following the editorial comments, what are the Times and Post and those jackasses saying?

K: Well, the Times hasn't said anything yet. The Post is bleeding about it's going to the Security Council which we've done.

P: Well, of course, but are they blaming India or Pakistan, or both, or neither?

K: Well, they are trying to be pretty even-handed. They're blaming India. They are blaming India for the military actions and then, of course, they are bleeding about the refugees. But it's beginning to tilt against India.

P: We've got to make it tilt more because we know they are totally to blame. We know that. We know the Paks don't want this.

K: That's right. Well, the Paks don't want it. The Paks accepted every proposal of ours. I told the Indian Ambassador before he left that we would work out a complete program with them for political autonomy within a year if they . . .

P: You've gotten out the fact that, for example, it may be that you ought to have a backgrounder tomorrow. Are you in New York?

K: No, I'm in Washington.

P: A backgrounder tomorrow where you can point out that we told Mrs. Gandhi that the Paks were prepared to withdraw from the border. And that we [she?] said we would be willing to look at this and that, in spite of this they haven't done it. I think it's very important to put the burden on India on this, Henry. I just don't feel that we can . . . now the other side of it that you can say, well, there's 400 million people who have their . . .

K: Well, but we haven't got them anyway, Mr. President.

P: We've got their enmity anyway. That's what she's shown in this goddamn thing, hasn't she?

K: I mean it isn't that we are losing an ally. They were the ones that made a treaty with the Russians. They are the ones that are now establishing the principle that force is the only method-the principal method for settling disputes, and it isn't that we're losing anything. In fact, if we do it the right way, we can still get them to come back to us, to get back in our good graces. The Russians aren't going to give them $700 million in development money.

P: The only thing, it is very important to get the P.R. thing across. I do want you to try to find Scali and get him to work on the thing.

K: Right, Mr. President.

P: But he's not in town, you say?

K: Well, I don't know. We've been trying all day. And we are continuing to try.

P: All right. But what do you think about your doing a backgrounder, or is that overkill?

K: I think it'd be overkill tomorrow, but what I might do, if you agree, Mr. President, and we think it's necessary. I worked out with Ziegler a procedure which we've always wanted to try where I step into his briefing. I mean, he calls me in when questions start falling and says,-why don't we get Henry on background on this-and I just step into his briefing.

P: Why don't you do that?

K: Monday morning. By that time . . .

P: I'm having that day with NBC that day. You could pop in and I could say Ziegler could come in and approve it and so forth, I guess.

K: I thought one of the things I might do, Mr. President, I've got ten minutes with you in the morning, to brief you on the India situation.

P: Sure, sure. Or anything you want, I mean . . .

K: I know, but . . .

P: We're going to play that by ear. It may be 30 minutes, if I decide it. I'm not saying to play it by the goddamn television. But, you know what I mean. We'll talk about India and several other things.

K: That's right.

P: Let me ask you about a couple other things. Of course, they can only use a couple minutes in the program but we have got to give them enough, then they'll pick the good things. What is the situation now with Rogers? He's perfectly content to stay out of it, I suppose, because he sees it's a loser. Is that right?

K: Well, he's content not to be-not to have gone on television announcing the thing./4/

/4/ Reference is to the initiative Bush was instructed to take cited in footnote 2 above.

P: That wouldn't have been any good at all because we're not sure it's going to work.

K: No, but it would [not] have been good for him to set up a command post in New York conducting this operation.

P: And working with the Chinese because they wouldn't understand him at all.

K: That's right and that's what the . . . oh, not at all . . . and the Chinese are in any case programmed. They don't want to be involved in our . . . They want to be able to say that they are not colluding with us.

P: I see.

K: So Rogers is happy with this and he did give the backgrounder under great protest. He wouldn't have given it if we hadn't got . . .

P: You mean Sisco did.

K: Sisco did. Rogers didn't want it until we put out that statement at Key Biscayne and then he figured he better get State into the act.

P: Oh, that's what did it?

K: Yes.

P: Now Ziegler made a very good public statement, huh? What was Ziegler's statement?

K: Well, Ziegler's statement said the President has been following this hourly. At 10:30 this morning after receiving the latest report he gave the go-ahead to the State Department to take the case to the Security Council. The President is dismayed by the use of Indian troops in Pakistan and then he was asked, "Does that mean you are giving up your neutral role in this conflict?" And he said it means that the Indians have said they are now on an all out invasion of East Pakistan and this we have always said that the American people would not understand. And that played very well, very strong and Sisco is playing off that.

P: Now how did Sisco handle it? Did he do what you told him that I told him he was to do this?

K: Exactly. Well, at first he didn't want to do it and Rogers didn't want him to do it, but then when they saw the Ziegler thing which featured your role then they decided they better get some State Department line out too.

P: Is that what did it?

K: Yes. Which is OK. We don't want them to . . .

P: Of course, you got the Ziegler played, that was very good.

K: Right.

P: And then Sisco did give a good backgrounder?

K: He did give a good backgrounder citing chapter and verse of all the things the Indians have refused to do: no UN observers, no acceptance of the . . .

P: Did he also cite what we have done-that we have given $250 million in aid and all that.

K: Oh yes, oh yes.

P: We're getting all that across, are we?

K: Yes, and anything that needs to be done I can do Monday morning.

P: I think what probably needs to be done, that Monday you may have to give-basically, rather than having a white paper put out; that what you ought to do is look over the facts very, very carefully and then go out and give a hard hitting briefing.

K: Yes, but I ought to do that on background.

P: Oh absolutely, on background. On the thing that we've just talked to the President, we've examined the whole thing, now here are the facts. I think that could have an enormous effect.

K: Right. I think that's right.

P: It would pit world opinion against these people.

K: Right.

P: Is that the way you feel about it?

K: That's exactly the way I feel about it. Because that puts us-then we have to have a basis for the actions in the economic field we are taking.

P: Now insofar as those actions are concerned, we haven't had any squeals from the Indians, have we?

K: No, no. See that's again where State was wrong. The Indians have no interest in escalating this with us. Not a squeal. They will start squealing next week when the economic aid is cut off.

P: Now understand, I don't want any nonsense about this. I really want it cut down to-anything that can be cut is got to be cut next week. Anything that can be cut and I want Hannah brought on the carpet. And I want Currans and everybody-so that everything is cut, Henry. That's the only way the Indians are going to understand this-if it all is cut and they know it. Don't announce a thing. Just do it.

K: Exactly.

P: Now is that all understood.

K: That's all understood, Mr. President.

P: And Connally understands it, of course.

K: Connally has played beautiful ball. He knows how to do these things without the knife showing.

P: Incidentally, tell him, if you will-now he's at the gridiron tonight-but in the morning, if he has an opportunity to stick the knife in India in any public statement that he makes, to do it.

K: OK.

P: That would be a good thing to have done.

K: Because he could do it from a development point of view.

P: That's right. That's right. That we are going to have to reexamine our aid. I mean I think we should play a very tough game.

I don't think the American people want to aid a country that is an aggressor.

K: Well, and as consistently. It was bad enough when, with our money, they dragged us around in the UN, when have these bastards ever supported us?

P: Never.

K: What can they do to us that they aren't doing now? I mean if they want to be Russian stooges and have the Russians spend a billion dollars there a year, we can't prevent it.

P: Right. Ok. Well, this is the way to play it. We'll take a look Monday to see whether we want to have you go.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

P: Well, I wish there was some more we could do here but . . . They'll run out of gas-both sides-won't they in about two weeks.

K: Yes, but of course, another thing we have done is to send a backchannel to the Shah from you saying that, trying to find out whether he wanted to give some support to Pakistan and saying if he did we would look to see whether we could find a way of letting, of replacing his . . .

P: Are you sure that backchannel is safe?

K: Yes.

P: I wouldn't do it through MacArthur./5/

/5/ Ambassador to Iran Douglas MacArthur II.

K: No, no, that's why I didn't do it that way and we didn't put it as a message. We put it as talking points so it can be disallowed.

P: Good, well we'll have some fun with this yet. God, you know what would really be poetic justice here is if some way the Paks could really give the Indians a bloody nose for a couple of days. The fighting, any report on that?

K: Well, the fighting-we got reports in East Pakistan that the Indians are surprised at the intensity of the Pakistan resistance. But of course they outnumber them there eight to one.

P: How about West Pakistan?

K: In West Pakistan the Indians don't seem to have gotten very far. And there I think they're not going to be able to win except by wearing them down. They outnumber them there five to one. They've been bombing Karachi and burning the oil installations.

P: Isn't that awful. That [is] terrible. The Indians are bombing Karachi?

K: Yes.

P: Oh, for Christ's sake, isn't that . . . and Rawalpindi I notice is on the list, too.

K: Yes. Well, of course, they've been playing a terrific game these last years. Every time one tank was shipped to Pakistan the Indians would carry on like maniacs, but they've been getting big shipments from India [the Soviet Union?], they've been getting big shipments from India [the Soviet Union?], rather [than] their own armaments industry.

P: Well, we've got to get across the point that as far as our aid to Pakistan is concerned that first it was minimal. Second, that our mistake was, and I think that's the thing you want to make in your backgrounder, was that we didn't give more.

K: That's right. Oh, the military aid thing, Mr. President, is so absurd. We gave $3.8 million dollars worth of spare parts.

P: As I look at this thing for the future, Henry, I have the feeling that they're going to try to build it up-again we've got to think of what the media will try to do.

P: Let the Indians squeal. Let the liberals squeal. What's wrong with that?

K: Well, uh . . .

P: I'm not sure, you know, that we may not be playing it boldly enough.

K: Well, we can look at that. On Monday morning we can . . .

P: I want to see that kind of a suggestion because I would be prepared to go out and say in view of this action that we regretfully cut off. Until this action desists all economic aid to India stops, period. They're in the business of being the aggressors-course they are the aggressors. I really feel-oh, I know all the arguments that well then we're choosing up sides, we're not neutral. Of course, we're not neutral. Neither are the Indians. They're always neutral against us.

K: That's right and you said that's what you'd do.

P: I think we ought to do it.

K: Well, we can certainly, Mr. President, on Monday morning cut off this $100 million dollar slice.

P: Well, but you see all this is salami stuff. I think that what is really needed is a jolt. We have given $10 billion worth of aid to India. So you tell the American people that I'm cutting off all aid to India. Make a bold play. You talk to Connally about that tomorrow.

K: OK.

P: All right, we've got $10 billion and we're cutting off all aid to India until this war stops. That might have some effect.

K: Right.

P: Don't you agree?

K: I think that . . . no, I'm very-I find it very attractive. Our experience has been . . .

P: It'll be very attractive also to the American people.

K: That's right.

P: They would like it. You say, "Look, we've given $10 billion in aid. Now they are going forward with this aggression, we're cutting off all aid to them until they stop."

K: And evacuate any territory they have occupied.

P: That's right. Well, get me a plan like that and I'll go for it, okay?

K: Right, Mr. President.

P: All right.


224. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Secret. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A briefer record of the meeting prepared by James Noyes (OASD/ISA) is in the Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 381 (Dec) 1971.

Washington, December 4, 1971, 11:13-11:41 a.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPATION

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
Mr. Joseph Sisco
Mr. Christopher Van Hollen
Mr. Bruce Laingen
Mr. David Schneider
Mr. Samuel DePalma

Defense
Mr. Warren Nutter
Mr. Armistead Selden
Mr. James H. Noyes

JCS
Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, Jr.
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Mr. Richard Helms
Mr. John Waller

AID
Dr. John Hannah
Mr. Maurice Williams
Mr. Donald MacDonald

NSC Staff
B/Gen. Alexander Haig
Col. Richard Kennedy
Mr. Harold Saunders
Mr. Samuel Hoskinson
Adm. Robert Welander
Mrs. Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

1) The official Indian statement on the "no-holds-barred" offensive/2/ and the comparable Pak statements, should be reflected in our statement at the UN today;

/2/ Reference is to a statement made by Defense Secretary K.B. Lall on December 4 that India had launched a "no holds are barred" offensive in East Pakistan. (Intelligence memorandum prepared in the CIA Directorate of Intelligence, December 4; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, South Asia, Nov-Dec 1971)

2) CIA will prepare by Monday morning, December 6, an hour-by-hour account of events, along with whatever conclusions they can draw;

3) The bland letter calling for the Security Council meeting, proposed by the Japanese and others, is satisfactory as long as the points in our original version of the letter are covered in our announcement of the meeting call.

4) We should seek to speak first at the SC meeting, after India and Pakistan;

5) We will introduce our resolution at the time we make our statement, without co-sponsors if necessary.

6) We will go along with general language on political accommodation but will not accept specific language concerning Mujib's release.

7) AID will prepare a paper on exactly what we have done in cutting off economic assistance to India and what we will say publicly when our action becomes known; the paper should include the reason why we have not taken the same action for Pakistan although this will not be made public now.

8) Agriculture's desire to ship 50,000 tons of vegetable oil to India will be raised with the President;

Dr. Kissinger: Dick (Helms), what's going on?

(Mr. Helms briefed from the attached text.)/3/

/3/ Attached but not printed. Helms briefed from notes that described a combined Indian-Mukti Bahini offensive in East Pakistan and the beginning stages of the fighting along the border between India and West Pakistan. Pakistani troops were being hard pressed in the east, but there was little beyond artillery exchanges in the west. The notes analyzed the movement of the Soviet Union away from opposing war on the subcontinent and pointed to the conclusion that Moscow would not do much to try to halt hostilities.

Mr. Helms: We sent you a copy of a study yesterday on Moscow and the Indo-Pakistani Crisis./4/ It's pretty good and you should take a look at it. It discusses the switch in the Soviet attitude in some detail. With regard to the attacks, Indian aircraft have hit two oil company dumps in Karachi and they have a nasty fire going which the Paks apparently can't put out. It will provide a fine target for Indian planes as long as they want to use it. We also have a report from a British businessman in Lahore that Pakistan troops have crossed the border there. As you know, we're getting dependents out of Lahore via the road to Islamabad.

/4/ Not found.

Dr. Kissinger: If the Indians have announced a full-scale invasion, this will have to be reflected in the statement we're making this afternoon at the UN.

Mr. Van Hollen: I'll check on it.

Dr. Kissinger: It's not in the statement/5/ now and it should be.

/5/ In his statement to the United Nations Security Council on December 4, Ambassador Bush introduced a resolution that called for the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of armed forces by India and Pakistan from each other's territory, and encouraged both countries to avail themselves of the Secretary-General's offer to use his good offices to promote a settlement. (UN doc. S/PV.1606)

Mr. Helms: So far as who started it is concerned, we're no better off than we were yesterday. Nor do we have any explanation as to why Pakistan struck those insignificant airfields.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Helms) Could we have by Monday morning an hour-by-hour account of who did what when?

Mr. Helms: Sure. Have you seen our latest paper?/6/ That covers most of it, although it isn't listed by hours. Should we convert that into an hourly chronology?

/6/ Reference is to the memorandum cited in footnote 2 above.

Dr. Kissinger: It would help-and also what conclusions you can draw./7/

/7/ The CIA prepared a chronology and covering memorandum entitled, "India- Pakistan: Responsibility for Initiating Hostilities on 3 December 1971" in response to this request. The documents are undated, but the chronology runs through December 4, suggesting that they were prepared and submitted on December 5. The covering memorandum concluded that it was difficult to determine conclusively which country initiated hostilities, but the weight of evidence tended to support Indian claims that Pakistan struck first in the west with air strikes. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation)

Mr. DePalma: If you're going to include what India has been saying in our statement this afternoon, Yahya has been saying some things too-the "final war" statement,/8/ for example. Should we include references to one side's statements and not the other.

/8/ President Yahya's speech to the nation is summarized in the memorandum cited in footnote 2 above.

Dr. Kissinger: I'm under instruction from the President to tilt our statements toward Pakistan. Now, either the bureaucracy will put out the kind of statements the President wants or they will be issued from the White House.

Mr. DePalma: I'm just asking how you want it handled. We can use only the Indian statement or both statements.

Dr. Kissinger: Is this an official Indian statement?

Mr. Helms: Yes.

Mr. Van Hollen: Is there an official statement on the Pak side?

Mr. Helms: By Yahya himself.

Dr. Kissinger: Have the Indians said they are launching an all-out attack?

Mr. Helms: They've said they have launched a "no holds barred" offensive on East Pakistan.

Dr. Kissinger: Has Yahya said anything of a comparable nature?

Mr. Helms: He has said his army would push the invader back into his own territory and destroy him.

Dr. Kissinger: Is that objectionable? Can the UN object to someone driving an enemy back? The Pak Ambassador called me the other day to say he had been told by someone in the State Department to exercise restraint and wanted to know how he should do it. I told him to go back and ask the person who told him.

Mr. DePalma: If the statements track that way, both of them can be mentioned in our statement.

Dr. Kissinger: Can someone brief on what happened on the approach to the UN?

Mr. DePalma: The UK, Belgium, Japan and Italy are all set. Also probably France. We have had a little problem with the letter calling for the Security Council meeting. Japan and some of the others have detected the tilt in our draft and would prefer an absolutely bland letter. They have given us a substitute draft. (Handed both drafts/9/ to Mr. Kissinger)

/9/ Copies are in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-082, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 11/24/71.

Dr. Kissinger: I thought we were going to make an announcement.

Mr. DePalma: We are. We can make the announcement in our own terms.

Dr. Kissinger: I have no strong views on what the letter should say as long as we can get our version out through the announcement. Our letter is the same as our press statement. Is that what they object to?

Mr. DePalma: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: (Reading the text of the proposed substitute letter)/10/ I don't care how the request for the meeting is made as long as George Bush understands what he is to say. Are there any views on this? Does it make any difference?

/10/ The letter submitted to the Security Council President on December 4 requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the deteriorating situation on the subcontinent and was signed by the representatives of Argentina, Belgium, Burundi, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Somalia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (UN doc. S/10411)

Mr. Helms: I don't think it makes any difference.

Mr. Van Hollen: We do need a letter, though-it shouldn't just be done orally.

Dr. Kissinger: Go ahead with the bland letter. We will put out our statement. Incidentally, whoever is backgrounding for the State Department has invoked the President's wrath. He referred to UPI-5, saying he would like us to give the impression of a unified, coordinated government. The President believes he has been issuing some instructions in this matter, not just being kept "appraised."

What will happen at the UN?

Mr. DePalma: We don't know the hour of the meeting yet-it will either be this afternoon or this evening. The opening statements will be made by India and Pakistan, and we should try to speak first immediately after they do. We should make our statement before the others speak and start to muck it up.

Dr. Kissinger: Do we have to take account of what anyone else says?

Mr. DePalma: The impact of our statement would be cleaner if it were not treated in the press as one of several lines being taken.

Dr. Kissinger: I have no objection to our speaking first after India and Pakistan.

Mr. DePalma: On the resolution, there is a question as to whether we can get things lined up in time to introduce it at the time we make our statement. We think it would be better to have our co-sponsors lined up. If they begin to quibble with the text, however, we will have to decide whether we want to take the time to work out an agreed text.

Dr. Kissinger: But we have told the Paks we are going to put in this resolution.

Mr. DePalma: It's the one they expect.

Dr. Kissinger: Then we have to put it in.

Mr. DePalma: Alone?

Mr. Helms: What's the matter with being for peace?

Dr. Kissinger: Is our resolution so daring?

Mr. Helms: Why shouldn't we hand the text out to the press before we make our statement?

Mr. DePalma: We can't do that if we want co-sponsors.

Dr. Kissinger: It's a question of whether we want a fan-dance or want to position ourselves. We want the resolution tabled. We know it won't come out as it goes in. Having bitched around for the last two weeks, the only thing we want now is to make our position clear. Everyone knows we will end up with Indian occupation of East Pakistan. It will be interesting to see how all those people who were so horrified at what the Paks were doing in East Pakistan react when the Indians take over there. The only thing we want to achieve is to make our position clear. We want that resolution tabled.

Mr. DePalma: All right. We will make a minimum effort for co-sponsors. We will tell them we will table our resolution at the time we make our statement. If they want to co-sponsor, fine. If not, we will table it and the others can come in if they like.

Dr. Kissinger: They'll play with the language anyway. The possibility of their accepting it as is is zero.

Mr. DePalma: They'll quibble with it.

Dr. Kissinger: Their quibbles added together could be significant. If there is virtue in our speaking first, after the Indians and Pakistanis, there is virtue in positioning ourselves and getting our resolution in. We know nothing is going to happen at the UN. Anything will be vetoed.

Mr. Van Hollen: Both the Soviets and Indians will try to delay.

Mr. Helms: The headlines of the past week all take the line that the U.S. is vacillating-can't make up its mind about going to the UN.

Dr. Kissinger: We will hit hard on cease-fire and withdrawal of forces before political settlement. I've talked to Secretary Rogers and that is his view too. I now assume that the resolution will be introduced by us at the time of Bush's statement. If anyone else wants to join us, fine. But there will be no hold-up.

Mr. DePalma: Okay.

Dr. Kissinger: And we understand that we will not go along with any specifics on political accommodation. We will accept general political settlement language, but not specifically related to Mujib's release. Is that understood?

Mr. DePalma: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: How long can India delay the proceedings?

Mr. DePalma: India will make a long speech. The Soviets will make a long speech. They will ask what the purpose of the exercise is, and take the position that a political settlement is the only important thing.

Mr. Van Hollen: They will spin it out as long as possible while they are moving militarily.

Mr. DePalma: They can do it for three or four days, then something has to happen.

Mr. Helms: Just about long enough to occupy East Pakistan.

Mr. DePalma: We can try to force a vote-to force them to veto, if there is any virtue in that. It should be weighed against the remote possibility of getting something useful.

Dr. Kissinger: It's inconceivable that we will get anything useful out of this. The Soviets won't tolerate it-the Indians won't have it.

Mr. DePalma: One guy or the other will veto./11/

/11/ The U.S. draft resolution (UN doc. S/10416) was vetoed by the Soviet Union; the vote was 11 to 2 (Poland, U.S.S.R.), with 2 abstentions.

Dr. Kissinger: There will definitely be a Security Council session today?

Mr. DePalma: Yes.

Mr. Helms: That 11 o'clock meeting this morning just went by the board?

Dr. Kissinger: What was that?

Mr. DePalma: The President of the Council was shilly-shallying around about calling a meeting.

Dr. Kissinger: When are we making our announcement about the meeting?

Mr. DePalma: I'm not sure.

Dr. Kissinger: On the question of economic assistance, the President wants to go ahead on India only. We can't do anything until Monday anyway. (to Williams) Will you get over here a paper indicating what we will say when our action becomes public and exactly what we have done. I will read it to the President so he knows exactly what he's getting into.

Mr. Williams: Should our statement also cover why we are not taking the same action for Pakistan?

Dr. Kissinger: No, let's keep that back. We should have a reason, though.

Mr. Williams: Agriculture wants us to point out that the price of vegetable oil in the U.S. is very weak and they want to substitute 50,000 tons of vegetable oil for part of the 400,000 tons of wheat remaining to be delivered from the FY 71 PL-480 agreement.

Dr. Kissinger: I know their problem. Let me raise it with the President. I'll get you an answer by opening of business Monday morning. (to Adm. Zumwalt) What's the military situation? How long can the Paks hold out in East Pakistan?

Adm. Zumwalt: Not long. Their logistics will grind to a halt-in one or two weeks if they're not overrun sooner. The Indians may occupy some essential parts but stop short of total occupation and let the guerrillas take the parts that the Indians don't want to hold. The Soviets will probably convert the aid they had proposed for India to permanent use of the naval base at Visak.

Dr. Kissinger: We'll meet again Monday/12/ morning, unless something happens to require a meeting sooner. We have the draft reply to Yahya, but we don't need to do that now.

/12/ December 6.

Mr. Nutter: It goes without saying that anyone relying on the newspapers for his information is convinced that this is entirely the fault of the Pakistanis. They failed to come to some political accommodation then they attacked India.

Dr. Kissinger: It's a well done political campaign. We'll be paying for it for a long time. You'll look at UPI-5, won't you?


225. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington.

December 4, 1971, 12:15 p.m.

RN: Upon studying these reports/2/ on Pakistan-the main thing that needs to be done is the public relations side of it. As far as the White House, we are weaker than we should be. I want it to be a necessity to get Scali turned loose on what we are doing-what we have done and blame India. The "Libs" can say we brought this on by the arms support to Pakistan. That will be their argument. India will be doing "PR" to make Pakistan look like it caused it. Get the point?

/2/ Not further identified.

HAK: Yes.

RN: Be sure to give Scali free rein. He must understand it.

HAK: I am setting out to do some background.

RN: Let him be responsible about [for?] it. State should be pitching it.

HAK: They are being very even handed-they are more interested in how they look.

RN: Well, I understand. When [omission in the source text] thought the Russians were responsible they were loving it. The Indians are picking up on China's faults.

HAK: This is the worse setback for two weeks. We have known what is needed and couldn't get it down [done?] We should have [omission in the source text] when they started two weeks ago.

RN: Going from here, this couldn't or can't go on long.

HAK: India is now waging a full-scale war on East Pakistan. India will be then moving in on West Pakistan.

RN: What other lines can we go-what about the Security Council.

HAK: At the Security Council, the Indians and Soviets are going to delay long enough so a resolution cannot be passed. If it was, the Soviets would veto. UN will be impotent. So the Security Council is just a paper exercise-it will get the Post and Times off our backs. And the Libs will be happy that we turned it over to the UN. The damage won't show up for a few years. At the moment we retrench around the world, this proves that countries can get away with brutality.

RN: Now, what else?

HAK: I think we should get [hold?] off [on?] letters of credit worth 99M-that is underway. We should not be giving any economic aid in India. We gave 60% to [of] economic development to India.

RN: Say I want Scali to blame India.

HAK: I'll get Scali.

RN: Let's get some PR out on them-put the blame on India. It will also take some blame off us. Our story about getting off militarily didn't get much play. They will feel the economic one. We have got to help rebuild Pakistan.

RN: [HAK?] Sure-major economic development for Pakistan in a month when the smoke clears.

RN: The U.S. cannot be responsible for maintaining peace every place in the world. We can use our influence, but may not always be successful. American public will welcome that.

HAK: We won't get blamed. Walters (Barbara) was in the other day and she asked about India/Pakistan and I gave her some facts. She said why not put it out, for god's sake. I couldn't get any of the bureaucrats to do it. We will put out the facts, Mr. President.

RN: Meantime, we assure that things will continue. . . .

HAK: If war does continue, give aid via Iran.

RN: Good, at least Pakistan will be kept from being paralyzed.

HAK: It is the PR that is the important thing-Scali, Bush. We will put in a resolution asking for withdrawal and ceasefire.

RN: How about sanctioning.

HAK: No before we get it-we won't get it thru at all-the Soviets will veto if it gets a majority. Now that India will occupy all of Pakistan we will see their real motives. If the East Bengalis get [omission in the source text], if they think Pakistan is brutal, wait till India gets them. India will push the Moslems into a much narrower area than they already have. For all those reasons, the Indians will not run like injured victims in six months.

RN: Will the press get [the?] point-to talk as though the Indians are the aggressors? Call Sisco and tell him to do the background and I expect to see it in the news summaries this evening.


226. Letter From Indian Prime Minister Gandhi to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 755, Presidential Correspondence File, India, (1971). No classification marking. Sent to the White House on December 6 under cover of a letter of transmittal from Ambassador Jha, who noted that the message "originated from New Delhi in the forenoon of December 5, 1971, Indian time." (Ibid.)

New Delhi, December 5, 1971.

Excellency,

The Government of India has kept your Government and people informed of the tragic and intolerable ramifications of the events inside East Bengal or India since March 25 last. From time to time, we have been explaining the developing situation to you through our diplomatic representatives. The repressive, brutal and colonial policy followed by the Government of Pakistan in East Bengal culminated in genocide and massive violence since March 25, 1971. This, as you know, has resulted in an exodus of 10 million East Bengali nationals into India whose number is still increasing.

2. We have borne the burden of these events and have withstood the greatest pressure that any country could face in such circumstances. We have also acted with great restraint in face of continuous provocations from Pakistan.

3. Our informing the international community of the realities of the situation, our attempts in this regard at the U.N. and the visits undertaken by my colleagues and me have not produced any results. Our hope that counsels of reason from the statesmen of the world might persuade President Yahya Khan to deal with the elected leaders of the people of East Bengal directly to achieve a political solution of the problem has been belied.

4. We have now received incontrovertible evidence of Pakistan's war-like intentions. On the afternoon of 3rd December 1971, the Government of Pakistan led by President Yahya Khan ordered a massive attack on India across its western frontiers. This has been followed by a gazette extraordinary published by the Government of Pakistan on the forenoon of the 4th December 1971, declaring that it is a state of war against India.

5. I regret to inform Your Excellency that around 1730 hours (Indian Standard Time) on the 3rd of December, Pakistan launched a massive air and ground attack on our country all along the western border. Their aircraft bombed Srinagar, Amritsar, Pathankot, Uttarali, Ambala, Agra, Jodhpur and Avantipur. There has also been heavy shelling of the border cities and townships of Ambala, Ferozepur, Sulaimanki, Khemkaran, Poonch, Mehdipur and Jaiselmere. The attack against India was carefully organized and premeditated as is proved by the fact that the Pakistan army struck across the western borders of India stretching from Jaiselmere to Kashmir between 1500 hours and 1800 (I.S.T.).

6. That this aggression is premeditated and planned is evident from the fact that President Yahya Khan had declared on November 25 that he would be "off to fighting in ten days' time". Pakistan chose to launch the attack when I myself was away at Calcutta, addressing a public meeting and most senior colleagues in the Cabinet were in different parts of the country. It is also significant that within minutes of the launching of the attack the Pakistani publicity media launched a malicious propaganda offensive accusing India of having attacked West Pakistan earlier in the afternoon.

7. I should like to emphasize that this is the fourth time since India and Pakistan achieved independence that Pakistan has attacked India. Our bitter experiences of 1947 and 1948 and 1965 have taught us that Pakistan is determined to threaten our territorial integrity and security by all means available-this time specially to divert attention from its colonial and repressive policies inside East Bengal and to internationalise the issue.

8. I am writing to you at a moment of grave peril and danger to my country and my people. The success of the freedom movement in Bangla Desh has now become a war on India due to the adventurism of the Pakistan military machine. It has imposed upon my people and my Government the imperative responsibility of safeguarding our security and territorial integrity. We are left with no other option but to put our country on a war footing. We have therefore declared an emergency for the defence of India. The grave consequences that should follow Pakistan's unprovoked attack on us all shall be the sole responsibility of the Government of Pakistan. We are a peace-loving people but we know that peace cannot last if we do not guard our democracy and our way of life. We are not fighting merely for our territorial integrity but for the basic ideals which have given strength to my country and on which India's entire future depends. I should stress to Your Excellency that the people and the Government of India are determined that this wanton and unprovoked aggression should be decisively and finally repelled once and for all; the whole of India stands united in this resolve and expects that the international community will appreciate our predicament and acknowledge the righteousness of our cause.

9. In this hour of danger the Government and the people of India seek your understanding and urge you to persuade Pakistan to desist forthwith from the policy of wanton aggression and military adventurism which it has unfortunately embarked upon. May I request Your Excellency to exercise your undoubted influence with the Government of Pakistan to stop their aggressive activities against India and to deal immediately with the genesis of the problem of East Bengal which has caused so much trial and tribulations to the people not only of Pakistan but of the entire sub-continent.

Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,

Indira Gandhi/2/

/2/ Printed from a copy that bears this typewritten signature.


227. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rogers and the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, Dec 1971. No classification marking. The conversation was tape-recorded at Kissinger's residence and subsequently transcribed at the White House. No time appears on the transcript.

Washington, December 5, 1971.

R: Hello.

K: Bill.

R: Yeah, Henry.

K: How are you?

R: Fine, thank you.

K: I wanted to bring you up-to-date on just one item that happened late yesterday afternoon, and I called you earlier. We had suggested to the Chinese a while ago that maybe we should establish direct contact in New York.

R: U-humm.

K: They have now come back and said they don't want that.

R: U-humm.

K: And that anything can be done through the Pakistanis or other friends.

R: That's the way George [H.W. Bush] has been working.

K: Right. It's nothing, I just wanted you to be aware of that.

R: U-humm.

K: Otherwise, I don't have anything. I called you earlier just to find out how things-

R: Yeah. I think the fighting is exaggerated in the press. Cause there seems to be a lot less in the-

K: In the West.

R: No, in the press I say there is-

K: No, no, I think-but you mean in the West or in the East?

R: Well, both. In other words, although I am not talking about the movement of forces now but I am talking about casualties and losses and so forth. My military people say that plane losses, for example, so far we haven't had too many confirmations. We are inclined to think it is roughly 15 on either side in that area. The Indians have admitted 11 [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].

K: Yeah.

R: Well, I'll be in touch with you in a little while. We're going over the fix now as we see it and then we will want to talk a little later about the Security Council. I thought it went very well yesterday.

K: I think actually it's come out-well, I think the backgrounder played very well.

R: Yeah, it did. You know, it's just really a question in the long run. We didn't accomplish really what we wanted to do and that is to convince everybody that we have taken all the right moves. But we performed the other task the President wanted performed, that is to condemn India.

K: No, and I think it lays the basis for establishing the fact that we have taken the right moves. You know, you don't expect the New York Times ever to like anything we did.

R: Yeah. Well, I think we have got a major decision if this thing continues to grow and that is whether we want to burn our bridges behind us or not with India.

K: Well, the other question is what do we gain by tacking towards them now?

R: Well, it isn't really tacking towards them now. It's just a question of how much do we want to get involved in the public mind with the war itself and it's something we want to ask ourselves thoughtfully it seems to me now.

K: Well, no one is against discussing anything thoughtful.

R: That's all I am saying. In the long run do we want to go all out and take the exact Chinese position or do we want to be somewhere in between. At the moment we are somewhere in between-between the Soviet Union and China.

K: Well, our present position is to try to be say two-thirds of the way towards China but not all the way but above all what we have here is a Soviet-Indian naked power play to dismember a country.

R: Yeah.

K: Which must have profound consequences in other parts of international areas.

R: I'm not challenging that. I'm just saying that I think the President should think through very carefully each step from now on; particularly because it is the kind of thing that if it continues to grow sort of shadows our position of a more peaceful world and maybe that's the only course. Maybe there is nothing we can do about it.

K: Well, what do you think we can do about it?

R: At least we can talk about it. In other words, I think the President should get involved now. I think we should have the Security Council discuss it and I think he should-

K: There is no question about that.

R: Yeah, that's all I'm saying. It has, as you said, it has profound repercussions and it may blow over or it may be that-

K: It won't blow over.

R: I don't think so, I never have thought so. As you know, I-

K: There's no conceivable way it can blow over.

R: I don't think so. Well, it's conceivable, it can blow over the way it did the last time although, even the last time it lasted quite a while.

K: Well, there's no way it can blow over without East Pakistan being separated from Pakistan.

R: No, I don't think so either.

K: I mean that's going to be the outcome and the question is in part, what we have here is an Indian-Soviet-I mean however this issue started and whatever the pros and cons of the local situation were, it's gone far beyond that.

R: I see. Which is what we thought all along and I think we have to ask ourselves where we want to be a year from now, at least at the time of the election and two years from now, three years from now and whether there is much we can do to affect the course of events.

K: Yeah, but there are always two problems, one is do we affect the immediate course of events and secondly, how do we position ourselves even if we can't affect the course of events.

R: I agree.

K: Because if you say we affect-that anybody who can create a fait accompli, we then say we can't affect the course of events and we'll not challenge it.

R: Oh, I don't . . . [you?] seem to be suggesting, Henry, that I am drawing a conclusion from my questions. I'm asking the same questions you are asking-

K: No, I think there should be a National Security-I don't know whether it should be a whole National Security Council meeting or a meeting of some of the close advisors.

R: Well, I think that maybe that's better but I think we should and as I say, because I asked the questions I'm not drawing the conclusions, I'm asking the questions and I think the President should ask the questions.

K: Absolutely.

R: I think we shouldn't act just in petulance. Christ, obviously it's annoying and obviously she's been a bitch.

K: Well, so far he hasn't acted in petulance.

R: No, no; but I say it's one of those things where we ought to think about it and talk about it and get the other fellow's point of view. My own view would be that we ought [to meet] tomorrow.

K: Yeah, the trouble tomorrow is that he's got that whole goddamn day scheduled with that television thing./2/

/2/ The American Broadcasting Company was scheduled to film "A Day in the Life of the President" on December 6.

R: Well, I think we ought to be careful about that. In other words, I think that's one of the reasons I think we ought to have a meeting. If major war is broken out and he spends the whole day taping a television show, I'm not sure that's the best posture for him.

K: No, I think we have to have a meeting tomorrow.

R: Yeah, I think so. Okay, Henry, I'll be back in touch.


228. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, Dec 1971. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington. The conversation was tape-recorded at Kissinger's residence and subsequently transcribed at the White House. No time appears on the transcript.

December 5, 1971.

K: Mr. President.

P: Well, what's the news today on our various adventures.

K: Right, Mr. President. Well, that backgrounder of Sisco's which we finally beat out of them.

P: Yeah.

K: Played very well. I don't know whether you have seen it.

P: No, I didn't look at the stuff; you see, I don't have a news summary down here.

K: It was one of the key items on every television program.

P: Maybe Sisco and Rogers-Rogers probably wished he had done it, didn't he?

K: Well-

P: Tell me this, are they pleased now they did it?

K: Oh, yeah.

P: State is, good.

K: Oh, yes.

P: And how does it play, it plays good?

K: On front page in the New York Times and Washington Post.

P: And what line did they take it?

K: That India is largely to blame for the outbreak of hostilities and it lists all the things the Indians have rejected.

P: Good.

K: And it's just what you wanted.

P: It got across though that who's to blame?

K: Oh, yeah.

P: And heavily played?

K: And heavily played.

P: Ziegler got his statement out too?

K: Well, Ziegler's statement triggered this one because without-until Ziegler put out his statement-

P: They wouldn't say anything.

K: They refused to say anything.

P: Yeah, yeah. That's great, that's great.

K: Where we are now, Mr. President, we had a Security Council meeting.

P: What happened there? I heard something on the radio that the Russians want to blame the Pakistanis.

K: Well, we put in a Resolution of ceasefire and withdrawal./2/

/2/ See footnote 5, Document 224.

P: Right.

K: The Russians put in a Resolution/3/ which blamed everything on Pakistan and just called for a political accommodation in East Pakistan.

/3/ UN doc. S/10418.

P: Yeah.

K: At any rate, it wound up with an 11 to 2 vote for us with the Russians vetoing it. Only the Soviet Union and Poland voted for the Russian Resolution.

P: Right.

K: Even Syria, Somalia, and so forth.

P: Huh.

K: The Chinese voted with us, for our Resolution.

P: You know, that's pretty good, Henry, to have the Russians get that few votes.

K: That's right. But so now, of course, there is no Resolution.

P: Right.

K: So they are going back at it again today.

P: To get a Resolution that they can all approve.

K: Right, which will be impossible unless it's anti-Pakistan because the Russians will veto it.

P: I see.

K: If it's anti-Pakistan, the Chinese will veto it.

P: (Laughter) You know, this, Oh, Boy. But anyway, you feel a little better about what our position is.

K: Right. Now, what the Russians this morning have launched is a blistering attack on Pakistan in TASS and in effect, have warned the Chinese against getting involved. What we are seeing here is a Soviet-Indian power play to humiliate the Chinese and also somewhat us.

P: Yeah, yeah.

K: I think we ought to have a meeting of some of your key advisors tomorrow. I know you've got your day pretty full with the television taping. The reason I mention it is because Rogers has been talking about how we are sacrificing; he's on this Chinese kick again.

P: Sacrificing what?

K: Well, our position to China and he wants a careful consideration; what good do all these moves do. Of course, the opposite-

P: What move would he make then himself?

K: I asked exactly this question. He says he is just raising questions, he's not giving answers; these are questions he wants to have considered.

P: Okay, I'll consider them.

K: I think if we don't, there will be leakages that we just acted impetuously.

P: Well, let's see we could do something around-

K: You've got him on the schedule at 2:30 anyway.

P: We might move it to 2:00 maybe. Well, we would have that; we wouldn't have the television in on that-we'll let them take a picture and then get out.

K: I think that's right.

P: Who would you have?

K: Connally, Rogers, Laird, if he is in town; Helms, and Mitchell if you want it.
P: I wouldn't have Mitchell on this one.

K: All right.

P: No, no. I think Connally because it involves some military-I mean economic and so forth.

K: The basic problem, Mr. President, is it's clear that we can't do anything directly to change the situation but to set it up on the ground that we are sacrificing our friendship to India; there is no friendship left. There is nothing operational we are sacrificing in India by our present course. All we are-what we are risking is to add the content of the Soviets and the Chinese to a direct challenge in which a country is being dismembered.

P: The point is that I want to see from State what their option is; if they've got a better one, I'd like to know what it is. And you know, I have [not] seen any suggestions of any different.

K: Their suggestion is always to release Mujibur; that's in effect the Russian position.

P: Yeah. Well, but Pakistan won't do that will it?

K: No. Well, now it's outdated; it's too late for that anyway. But it would have been-the Indians were determined, Mr. President, they attacked at the earliest possible moment they could. There was a rainy season from May to the end of September. Then they had to get their troops into position; then they had to train the Bengali. All this talk about Russian restraint that we heard all summer was complete poppycock.

P: Um-humm. I don't know; in everything we've done, everything we've said to the Russians and Indians had no effect, is that really what we're saying?

K: Our trouble was that we have been caught-maybe if we had been much tougher but for that we had no domestic position but certainly everything we have said has been without effect and they have geared it towards a humiliation-towards a dismemberment of Pakistan.

P: Yeah.

K: And the effect of that will be on all other countries watching it is that the friends of China and the United States have been clobbered by India and the Soviet Union. And I don't see how we escape that by tacking towards India now.

P: Nope. Well, are they now with the Mujib thing out of the way, what is State suggesting that we do?

K: They're not; they are refusing to make a suggestion.

P: What?

K: They are not making a suggestion.

P: They are just saying we ought to review our situation, huh?

K: Right. And that we shouldn't act impetuously.

P: What the Christ are we impetuous about, I don't know of anything impetuous.

K: I asked the same question.

P: Like what, cutting off the arms? A little prinking thing like that, why what about the cutting off of arms to Pakistan, that was impetuous too, huh? You know, it's ridiculous; there's nothing impetuous about any of this stuff.

K: I think it's a carefully considered policy, Mr. President.

P: What we are doing?

K: If we collapse now, I admit it's not a brilliant position but if we collapse now, the Soviets won't respect us for it; the Chinese will despise us and the other countries will draw their conclusions.

P: Well, what about the British position and how they're playing it?

K: Well, they abstained./4/

/4/ Britain and France abstained on the vote in the Security Council on the United States draft resolution; see footnote 11, Document 224.

P: They abstained on this?

K: Yeah.

P: That sort of figures doesn't it?

K: Yeah.

P: French?

K: They abstained.

P: Humph. The French abstained too, huh?

K: Yeah.

P: What do you think the real game there on the British and the French-afraid to make Russia mad, isn't that it?

K: That's right; they are trying to position themselves between us and the Russians.

P: Um-humm.

K: No, I am beginning to think one of the worst mistakes we made was to push Britain onto the Common Market.

P: Yeah, yeah.

K: I mean that wasn't our Administration, we-

P: I know that. That decision was made long before we got here but we continued to push it, that's for sure.

K: Well, we couldn't have stopped it by then.

P: No.

K: We acquiesced in it.

P: Yeah, sure. Heath-And, of course, and that was Heath's position long before . . . became . . .

K: No, no; the mistakes of that were made in the Kennedy Administration.

P: It's done now.

K: That's where it could have been stopped easily.

P: You got a little cold?

K: No, maybe I've been talking a lot on the telephone.

P: You have, huh? (laughter)

K: Yeah.

P: Well, on this thing my view is to play this-I'll get them in and have a little meeting. That's a pretty good idea. But this idea of it's the same old story, Henry, that we have such things as troop withdrawals, Cambodia, Laos or virtually everything we have done, everybody comes in and raises questions.

K: And it's this-

P: Well, goddammit; if they've got a better answer, fine but I don't see-They raise the questions and that makes a good historical record, doesn't it?

K: That's right and it's this phony wisdom; we ought to consider things carefully. Of course, we ought to consider things carefully.

P: That's right, that's right.

K: What good does our action do? On that basis, we just have to roll over every time a superior country moves. What is the long-term effect? Of course, we have to consider the long-term effect.

P: Yeah.

K: The proper [omission in the source text].


229. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, Dec 1971. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington. The conversation was tape-recorded at Kissinger's residence and subsequently transcribed at the White House.

December 5, 1971, 11 a.m.

K: Mr. President.

P: Hello. I have here-it just came in-a call from Rogers with regard to the Security Council meeting, he wants to talk before 2 o'clock. Now, what is the guidance on that? I thought that it was pretty well settled but what is the situation?

K: Oh, the situation in the Security Council?

P: No, what he wants-he wants to talk to me to see what guidance I want to give before the Security Council meeting.

K: That's right, that's what I'm-

P: So I am going to call him. My point is what do we want to say?

K: Well, here is the issue. There is going to be a ceasefire and withdrawal resolution that the Argentines are putting forward./2/ That one we can support. Then, that will be vetoed by the Russians. Then, it will probably move towards a ceasefire resolution alone and on that one I think we should be very leery. The Chinese will be violently opposed, the Pakistanis are probably going to be opposed but we could conceivably abstain from that.

/2/ Reference is to the draft resolution sponsored in the UN Security Council on December 4 by Argentina, Burundi, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Somalia. The operative portion of the resolution called for a cease-fire and mutual withdrawal of forces. (UN doc. S/10419)

P: A ceasefire alone.

K: The trouble with a ceasefire alone is that it would leave half of East Pakistan in Indian hands.

P: Um-humm. Well, has that been discussed with Rogers and so forth as to what these issues are?

K: It has been discussed with Bush and it's been-Rogers has been-I've discussed it with Sisco, Rogers has been dancing around with me and has not been going into that much detail.

P: Um-humm.

K: I must underline, Mr. President, if we collapse now in New York, the impact on this international situation, we're going to do away with most of the gains of the last two years. The way Rogers keeps putting the issue-the Russians are playing for big stakes here. When all the baloney-all the New York Times editorials are said and done if the Soviets and Indians get away with this, the Chinese and the United States will be standing there with eggs on our face. And they will have made us back down and if we have ordered watered down our own Resolution/3/ from yesterday that had an 11 to 2 majority so that it becomes a pretty insipid thing, our only hope in my judgment, we'll never get it through State, is to become very threatening to the Russians and tell them that if they are going to participate in the dismemberment of another country, that will affect their whole relationship to us.

/3/ See footnote 5, Document 224.

P: Um-humm.

K: Right now they still want the Middle East from us.

P: Um-humm.

K: And other things. If we just play this in this nice insipid way, we are going to get through this week all right then but we are going to pay for it-this will then be the Suez '56 episode of our Administration.

P: Um-humm.

K: That is what in my view is at stake here now and that's why the Russians are playing it so toughly and if we have made any mistake in the last two weeks it's this-if we had over-reacted in the first two or three days as we wanted to in the White House, it might at least have scared the Russians off, not the Indians, but it might have scared the Russians off. We are pretty well committed anyway, we can't take the curse off it now. The problem-I know it will always be put on the ground that we want to save the China trip but these people don't recognize that without a China trip, we wouldn't have had a Moscow trip.

P: No, that's just small stuff. I know what they have put in on that-that's just sour grapes crap.

K: If the Chinese come out of this despising us, we lose that option. If the Russians think they backed us down, we will be back to where we were in May and June.

P: Well, I'm going to call him [Rogers] right now. The main thing is all I have to know is is he pushing for us to back down from our Resolution, that's what I need to know, Henry.

K: Probably. The best would be that we should stick with our Resolution and go back no further than withdrawal and ceasefire.

P: Withdrawal and ceasefire.

K: That any ceasefire should be coupled with a withdrawal.

P: Um-humm. And they have to decide that at 2 o'clock today, huh?

K: Right.

P: Does Rogers have any regrets that he didn't go to New York to make the presentation himself?

K: I don't know; I don't think so.

P: Probably saw the point of that, huh?

K: Right.

P: Yeah. Well, we will-

K: If someone could give me some word what was decided because it is going to be hard for me to monitor Bush.

P: Oh, don't worry, I'll call you back as soon as I find out what the hell he's-what the point is, I don't know what it is even.

K: Right.

P: I just assume that they were all set in the UN thing tomorrow-I mean, today, you know. Incidentally, that wasn't discussed at your meeting, huh?

K: It wasn't-well, no. I discussed it with Bush and Sisco but he is apparently trying to run around me.

P: I see. That's all right, I'll have to find out what the score is and I'll find out.

K: Right.

P: And I'll call you back.

K: Right, Mr. President.


230. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 397, Telephone Conversations, Home File, Dec 1971. No classification marking. The President was in Key Biscayne, Florida; Kissinger was in Washington. The conversation was tape-recorded at Kissinger's residence and subsequently transcribed at the White House. No time appears on the transcript.

December 5, 1971.

K: Mr. President.

P: Hello. It's all directly on just what we discussed.

K: And what are they going to do?

P: Stick with the ceasefire and withdrawal and give nothing at all on that. That he [Rogers] says is Pakistan's position.

K: Exactly.

P: The Somalia Resolution/2/ basically.

/2/ See footnote 2, Document 229.

K: Exactly.

P: And he said that was what we would do and we would stick right with it and I said, "Absolutely . . ." He said that was what he was going to do and I said that's what I wanted done. So, that's that.

K: Terrific, Mr. President.

P: Now, I asked him what the hell we could do about the British, the French. He said nothing. So dammit, I think-well, the British I guess want to get along with India in the future. I said to him that I didn't think there was a hell of a lot that-he said that the British had to be on the winning side as you said because they figured they had to get along with India in the future. I said, "Well, maybe it means something to them but it doesn't mean anything to us except a $10 billion drag in foreign aid over the last 20 years." I said, "Maybe let the Russians pick up that tab." Well, that sort of shook him. He said, well, we really didn't want to get that out too much because you know it will look [omission in the source text] I said, no, I'm just referring to what we do and that's what I mean. I don't think even you, Henry, [know] how tough I feel about that aid business. We are not going to aid countries that engage in aggression and then don't do a goddamn thing when we ask them to get out.

K: Mr. President, if we don't [do?] act this toughly, I'm completely aboard. This is going to be a dress rehearsal for the Middle East in the spring.

P: That's right, that's right.

K: And I'm much more worried about the impact on the Russians.

P: Right.

K: And in fact we ought to consider seriously getting Vorontsov in and telling him if the Russians continue this line, these talks on the Middle East and others just aren't going to be possible.

P: Yeah. Well, get him in. Why don't you send a letter from me to Brezhnev?

K: All right.

P: Why not play it a little tougher and just say that I have very good talks-I've got an idea, just let me look at it tomorrow-I had very good talks with Mrs. Meir when we were here and that we can make progress on this matter at our further discussions there possibly. However, I must tell you that in the event that this present situation goes on in Pakistan that that will seriously jeopardize those talks.

K: Excellent, I think you should.

P: And a letter from me to him. Let's see what happens.

K: Or at least a message.

P: Huh? What's that?

K: I think that's right.

P: It may or may not help but let's-but that will pass on. See, in other words, do it in a way that we are passing on to him that we have made very good progress. Now, Mr. Chairman, we would like to know what you are going to do on this, we are keeping our side but I am very distressed after the talks I've had with Mr. Gromyko and Dr. Kissinger has had with Mr. Dobrynin to see what are the developments here in India and Pakistan. Now, the point is, what do we want the Russians to do though? You know, about India and Pakistan.

K: They could get it stopped. They could at least take a more helpful line in the UN.

P: Yeah. Well, how about getting that message to him immediately. Now, that should not be public, you understand. I don't want that to be out in the public.

K: Oh, no, no. We could do that as an oral message.

P: An oral message. But to who, that stupid Dobrynin.

K: No, no; to Vorontsov here. Dobrynin's DCM.

P: Well, I want it to be from me to Brezhnev.

K: You don't want it in writing, do you?

P: It doesn't bother me, if that will help. Whatever will help the most do.

K: Well, let me draft something and show it to you first thing in the morning.

P: Why, what would be the dis-well, the main thing-rather than waiting a day, if it's going to be oral, get him in today.

K: Okay, why don't I get Vorontsov in today.

P: Get him in today and tell him I've just talked with you on the phone; that the President would send this in writing but he wants this oral message to go from him; I don't want to use the hotline; you know, give him a little of that crap and that, Mr. Chairman, we have developed this very good relationship, I'm delighted but I must be very frank with you. On [At] first in the Mid-East we made very great progress and I would be interested to discuss this-Dr. Kissinger will discuss with Dobrynin when he returns. Then, now, on India-Pakistan we find your attitude very hard to understand and what are you going to do? And we have got to play it with that with them on that and the same time, Henry, on the-it will make them realize that's where our three-day strike is also going to help.

K: Exactly.

P: You see, we have just got to-and Bill to my surprise, I didn't do any convincing so apparently whatever the WSAG meetings or something, he got . . .

K: Oh, yeah, I gave it very hard to Sisco so he got it from Sisco. . . .

P: He was totally on board.

K: Good.

P: But all he said was, he says I'm glad-I told him what a good job Sisco had done but that didn't seem to-he said, well, fine; we couldn't have done it until now though because we wouldn't have had the public opinion on our side.

K: Yeah.

P: That's wrong, of course, we should have done it earlier.

K: Right, we should have done it earlier.

P: But, nevertheless, it was well worth doing now rather than not at all.

K: Exactly.

P: But, Henry, don't feel that the whole thing is lost yet-

K: Oh, I don't think it's lost if we play it hard.

P: And incidentally, when I say play it hard, let me understand, we are not going to roll over after they have done this horrible thing. They [We] are not going to roll over and say, "Now, India, everything will be like it was and we'll come help you again." And I mean we will cut the gizzard out and let the Russians come help the Indians.

K: Right.

P: The arguments from the New York Times and others will be "we will buy ourselves a century or decades of hatred and suspicion from the Indian people." Bullshit! What is [has] $10 billion of foreign aid bought us?

K: Exactly.

P: But hatred and suspicion from the Indian people.

K: Exactly.

P: Tell me one friend we've got in India, do you know any?

K: Exactly.

P: How about putting it that way? Just as cold as that. Let's start getting some top anti-Indian propaganda out.

K: And that won't be unpopular in America.

P: That's right. I want to be sure that you fill Connally in on this.

K: I'm seeing him tomorrow morning.

P: Now, I have decided that what we will do is to have a meeting. I'm going to call Haldeman, you don't do anything about it.

K: Right.

P: But I have decided to have a meeting to start at 1:30 so we will have an hour and a half meeting tomorrow on the damn thing.

K: Terrific.

P: I think we better. I think that Connally should be there due to the aid/3/ part of it, don't you agree.

/3/ A transcript of a telephone conversation between Kissinger and Connally on December 5 in which they discussed cutting off economic assistance to India is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 159.

K: Absolutely.

P: I don't want Mitchell there; I don't think it's that sort of a thing. I think Laird should be there if he is around. If not,-

K: Packard would be good.

P: Packard, right, And that's it.

K: And Moorer, I guess Moorer.

P: Yes, to report on the military situation.

K: Right.

P: Um-humm.

K: The same group as which as did the Middle East thing with the addition of Connally.

P: Yeah.

K: Connally to replace Mitchell really.

P: Well, now, let's ask-maybe we shouldn't have Connally, what do you think?

K: I think Connally would be good.

P: Yeah. Well, I think he would be good for the discussion, yeah, because he will be tough as hell. Yeah. Because this will be a subject for discussion; I'm not going to have those cameras for the whole meeting, only for the first 10 minutes.

K: Right.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

P: Yeah. Well, now getting back to this thing on India, there was no question at all-I mean I didn't lean him at all, I was trying to see what the position was but Bill is completely on board.

K: Terrific.

P: No, no-he said, no give at all on this resolution; we can't do it. And that's that. He's told Bush to pass the word around that that's the line that we're going to-and he said we would veto another resolution-another ceasefire alone. I said, fine; you bet your life we will veto it.

K: Good, good. I told that to Sisco and Bush this morning and they must have brought him around. And that WSAG meeting.

P: All right.

K: Good, Mr. President.

P: Fine, bye.


231. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Drafted by Kissinger. The meeting was held in the Map Room at the White House. In his memoirs Kissinger notes that Ambassador Dobrynin was in Moscow during much of the culminating phase of the crisis, and he had to deal with Vorontsov, who had authority to receive and transmit messages, but not to negotiate. (White House Years, p. 900)

Washington, December 5, 1971, 4 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS

Minister Counselor Yuli M. Vorontsov
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

The meeting took place at my request. I told Vorontsov that the President had instructed me to convey the following message to General Secretary Brezhnev. A letter for the General Secretary/2/ would be delivered the next day, but in view of the urgency of the situation, the President wanted it transmitted to Moscow immediately.

/2/ Document 236.
-The President did not understand how the Soviet Union could believe that it was possible to work on the broad amelioration of our relationships while at the same time encouraging the Indian military aggression against Pakistan. We did not take a position on the merits of the developments inside Pakistan that triggered this sequence of events. We have, indeed, always taken the position that we would encourage a political solution. But here a member country of the United Nations was being dismembered by the military forces of another member country which had close relationships with the Soviet Union. We did not understand how the Soviet Union could take the position that this was an internal affair of another country. We did not see how the Soviet Union could take the position that it wanted to negotiate with us security guarantees for the Middle East and to speak about Security Council presence in Sharm El-Sheikh, while at the same time underlining the impotence of the Security Council in New York. We did not understand how the Soviet Union could maintain that neither power should seek special advantages and that we should take a general view of the situation, while at the same time promoting a war in the Subcontinent. We therefore wanted to appeal once more to the Soviet Union to join with us in putting an end to the fighting in the Subcontinent. The TASS statement which claimed that Soviet security interests were involved was unacceptable to us and could only lead to an escalation of the crisis. We wanted to appeal to the Soviet Union to go with us on the road we had charted of submerging special interests in the general concern of maintaining the peace of the world.

-The President wanted Mr. Brezhnev to know that he was more than eager to go back to the situation as it was two weeks ago and to work for the broad improvement of our relationship. But he also had to point out to Mr. Brezhnev that we were once more at one of the watersheds in our relationship, and he did not want to have any wrong turn taken for lack of clarity.

Vorontsov said he hoped we were still at this good point in our relationship. I said I would be remiss if I did not point out that we were developing severe doubts, both because of the Subcontinent and because of developments in Vietnam.

Vorontsov asked whether he could convey something about a political solution, since this was featured so prominently in Kosygin's letter./3/ I replied that our attitude towards a political solution was as follows: If there were a ceasefire and a withdrawal, the United States would be prepared to work immediately with the Soviet Union on ideas of a political solution. We recognized that substantial political autonomy for East Pakistan was the probable outcome of a political evolution, and we were willing to work in that direction. I wanted him to know that I had offered the Indian Ambassador precisely that-to work out with him a concrete program over a limited period of time. I also wanted to point out to him that President Yahya was eager to turn the government over to civilians, which would in turn open entirely new prospects. Therefore the major thing was to get the military action stopped and stopped quickly.

/3/ See footnote 7, Document 218.

Vorontsov asked me what was happening on my invitation to Moscow. The Soviet leaders, he said, were really looking forward to seeing me at the end of January. I said, "There are major bureaucratic obstacles, but now there are major substantive ones as well." Vorontsov said, "In a week the whole matter will be over." I said, "In a week it will not be over, depending on how it ended." He said he would transmit this immediately to Moscow./4/

/4/ Shortly after this conversation, Kissinger called Vorontsov to reiterate that President Nixon viewed the crisis in South Asia as a watershed in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Kissinger said that he had just reported to the President on his conversation with Vorontsov and the President wanted it made clear to Moscow that "in a week or so it may be ended but it won't be over as far as we are concerned if it continues to take the present trend." (Transcript of a telephone conversation, December 5, 4:55 p.m.; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File) The transcript is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 160.


232. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 6, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: The Indian forces are continuing their all-out offensive into East Pakistan and heavier fighting is developing in the West where the Paks seem to be taking the initiative. In more detail the military situation looks as follows:

-In East Pakistan the Indian forces are making gradual progress on several fronts. They are pressing the outnumbered Pak forces on several strategic fronts and the Indian gains so far may be laying the basis for more dramatic successes in the near future. The Indian objective is to force a Pak surrender in East Pakistan within the next week, if at all possible.
-Ground action on the Indian-West Pakistan front has been increasing, but it is not yet as widespread as in the East and neither side appears to be making clear-cut major gains. The Indian strategy is to maintain an essentially defensive posture in the West until the battle is won in the East, but there are indications that the Paks may be preparing a major offensive thrust in Kashmir that would undoubtedly force an Indian counter.
-In the air war, India has apparently achieved complete air superiority in the East and is using its air force to support the ground offensive. The Indians continue to bomb and strafe military targets in major cities in both East and West Pakistan. Fuel storage tanks in the Dacca and Chittagong areas of East Pakistan and in the West Pakistan part [port] of Karachi have been especially hard hit.
-The navies of both countries are also active. The Indian Navy is blockading ports in both East and West Pakistan and claim to have sunk two Pak destroyers and to have shelled the port of Karachi. India's aircraft carrier is operating against East Pakistan. The numerical superiority of India's fleet should give it a decided advantage in any future naval combat.

On the political front, Mrs. Gandhi has announced India's long-anticipated recognition of Bangla Desh as an independent nation. Even though the significance of this move has been lessened by the hostilities, the Paks responded by breaking diplomatic relations with India. The Swiss will look after Pakistan's interests in New Delhi.

Last night's Security Council meeting on the Indo-Pak crisis underlined both the isolation of the Soviet/Indian position and the determination of the USSR to prevent any resolution not to its liking. The Soviet draft resolution (calling for an East Pakistan political settlement which would "inevitably result in a cessation of hostilities" and for Pakistan to cease acts of violence in East Pakistan which "led to the deterioration of the situation") was defeated; 2 in favor (USSR and Poland), 1 against (China) and 12 abstaining (including the U.S.). Another resolution co-sponsored by eight non-permanent members (calling for a cease-fire, withdrawal, efforts to bring about conditions necessary for the return of refugees) lost to a Soviet veto; 11 in favor (including the U.S.), 2 against (USSR, Poland) and 2 abstaining (UK, France), just as the U.S. draft had yesterday. The Pak representative had found this resolution acceptable. The Chinese resolution (condemning Indian aggression) was not put to a vote but the Chinese continued to sharply attack India. Sino-Soviet name-calling continued throughout the debate.

Most speakers deplored the inability of the Council to act, with the British and the French lamenting the Council's proceeding to vote on resolutions which would fail. Following the vote the Italian representative tabled a resolution limited to a call for an immediate cease-fire as a first step. However, he was stopped from pressing the resolution to a vote by a movement to adjourn until this afternoon supported by the USSR, U.S., UK and France which was accepted by the Council. There were suggestions during the corridor consultations that the issue be taken to the General Assembly if the Council proved unable to act. The more likely immediate pressure, however, will operate in the direction of the Italian proposal for a simple cease-fire resolution.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


233. Editorial Note

President Nixon and Secretary of State Rogers discussed the evolving crisis in South Asia in a telephone conversation on the morning of December 6, 1971. Nixon instructed Rogers to increase the publicity given to the amount of assistance being provided by the United States to the refugees in India. Then the conversation turned to an assessment of the conflict between India and Pakistan. Rogers described the situation in East Pakistan as "pretty bleak" for Pakistan. Nixon agreed but added that Indian forces might face a difficult task if they tried to take West Pakistan. Rogers concurred and said: "I rather hope that the West Paks can do some good up in Kashmir, maybe they can make some offsetting gains up in there." [text not declassified] (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between President Nixon and Secretary of State Rogers, December 6, 1971, 9:19-9:24 a.m., White House Telephone, Conversation No. 16-14) A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 161.


234. Minutes of Secretary of Defense Laird's Armed Forces Policy Council Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0028, Office Chronological Files, Aug through Dec 1971. Top Secret. The meeting was held at the Pentagon.

Washington, December 6, 1971, 9:37-10:40 a.m.

ATTENDEES
Mr. Laird Dr. Nutter
Mr. Packard Dr. Wilbur
Mr. Froehlke Mr. Gibson (for Mr. Shillito)
Mr. BeLieu Dr. Tucker
General Westmoreland Mr. Buzhardt
Governor Chafee Mr. Wallace
Mr. Warner Mr. Baroody
Admiral Zumwalt Mr. Johnson
Dr. McLucas (for Dr. Seamans) Mr. Solomon
General Meyer (for General Ryan) Dr. Walske
General Chapman Mr. Friedheim
R/Adm Freeman (for Lt General Vogt) B/General Pursley
Dr. Rechtin (for Dr. Foster) R/Admiral Murphy
Dr. Hall Colonel Furlong
Mr. Henkin Colonel Boatner
Mr. Kelley Mr. Livesay
Mr. Moot

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

2. India-Pakistan

Mr. Laird said that several meetings were held over the week-end in Washington and in the UN on the Indian-Pakistan situation. Mr. Packard and Dr. Nutter were involved as was General Westmoreland, who is Acting Chairman of the JCS. Mr. Laird asked Dr. Nutter to comment first. Dr. Nutter said that the U.S. took the issue to the UN Security Council on Saturday, with a resolution calling for both sides to cease-fire and withdraw to their borders. We had expected a Soviet veto of this resolution and they complied with our expectations. A modified resolution by other members was introduced which contained less stress on the actions by the Indians. The Soviets also vetoed this resolution. The primary achievement of the first 3 days then has been to build a record. In the meantime India has recognized the Bangla Desh as the Government of East Pakistan. This indicates clearly India's development of a position, attitudes, and finally an attack against East Pakistan. Although he will leave it to General Westmoreland to comment on the military situation, Dr. Nutter said the Paks may be able to hold out for about 2 weeks in East Pakistan from the standpoint of their logistics. Military action in the West Pakistan/India border area is unclear. The Paks have invaded Kashmir and their plan appears to be to take as much of Kashmir as possible. We are evacuating U.S. dependents from West Pakistan. Most dependents have already been evacuated from East Pakistan. The UN had planned evacuation of UN personnel from East Pakistan, but the plane sent in for the purpose missed the end of the cease-fire by 15 minutes. A PanAm 707 is to try again today to evacuate the UN personnel. Of these personnel, 60 are U.S. citizens.

General Westmoreland said that on 3 December, Pak planes bombed 8 Airfields in Western India, which Pak spokesmen claim was retaliation for earlier Indian ground thrusts. Indian spokesmen denied the alleged ground attacks. On 4 December, Indian planes bombed West Pakistan, particularly Islamabad and Karachi. Since then they have bombed 5 oil targets in the Karachi area. We estimate 80 percent of Pakistan's oil is stored in the Karachi area.

India has a 3 to 1 advantage over Pakistan in aircraft. The Paks are on the offensive in 4 areas. One was a brigade size attack against Kashmir, where they have made little progress. They have met stiff resistance elsewhere. The U.S. Defense Attaché in New Delhi reports that the Indians at a briefing yesterday acknowledged the Pakistan attacks. They claim the Indian Army was holding their positions. It is reported that the Indian forces have made a successful attack in the area of Hyderabad. This, however, is unconfirmed. While the Pakistanis are attacking in northern India, the Indians are mounting a diversionary effort in the south toward Karachi. If successful, the Indians could cut the supply line to the Pakistan Army by sea (which is through Karachi). Shelling continues at the borders of East Pakistan and India from both sides. Indian air attacks have been primarily against Dacca and Chittagong. The amount of damage is unclear. The Paks have used their aircraft mainly to support ground forces. The Indians have acknowledged the loss of 17 aircraft and the Paks have admitted that 8 of their planes were lost. Other information available to us indicates possibly 11 Pakistani aircraft lost. If the latter report is correct, the Pakistanis only have 4 F-86s left in East Pakistan. In the east, the Indian Army in conjunction with the Mukti Bahini Rebels have commenced attacks all along the front. They are trying to cut the Pak lines of communications to Dacca and Chittagong. If successful, this would be critical to the Paks as it would cut off their seaports.

A U.S. Merchant Ship was attacked by 2 unidentified aircraft off the East Pakistan coast. The captain and two or three members of the crew were injured and the ship is returning to Rangoon, Burma. Indian aircraft from their one aircraft carrier have bombed the port of Chittagong. The Indians also claim one of their OSA boats sunk a Pakistani destroyer 20 miles off of Karachi. The Paks have admitted the loss, reporting a large number of survivors were rescued. With regard to naval strength, General Westmoreland said India has 1 carrier, 2 cruisers and 12 destroyers, which greatly outnumber the 1 cruiser and 6 destroyers of Pakistan.

The Indian government is trying for a rapid and successful conclusion of the fighting in East Pakistan. Indian Premier Gandhi, on 3 December, stated that Indian objective was to complete action within 10 days and redeploy Indian troops to the borders with West Pakistan. [1 line of source text not declassified] the West Pakistan objective is to overwhelm Indian forces in Kashmir. They feel Kashmir might be sufficient compensation for the loss of East Pakistan to India. If India should mount a full-scale attack, it is estimated that in conjunction with the Mukti-Bahini guerrillas they could take enough East Pakistan territory in 10 days to establish the rebel government. If their activity is no more than at present, however, it will allow the East Pakistani troops to withdraw to more easily defended positions and they might be able to hold out for at least a month. Indian aircraft strikes at West Pakistan oil targets will significantly reduce the combat ability of Pakistan forces. Pakistan strategy is to create a major diversion by attacking India from the west and taking Kashmir, which could balance off the possible loss of East Pakistan. The Indian objective is to take East Pakistan quickly and move to the defense of the western areas of India.

Mr. Froehlke/2/ asked if Kashmir was mostly populated by Moslems. Admiral Zumwalt said yes. Annexation of Kashmir by Pakistan would make sense. However, at the time of the Partition the Maharajah was Hindu, so it went to India. General Westmoreland said evidence suggests that the Pakistanis preempted in the west to relieve pressure on East Pakistan. Mr. Laird took issue with this conclusion saying it has been hard to pin this down. He had been trying to get DIA to prepare a statement on this and they have not come down hard on such a conclusion.

/2/ Robert F. Froehlke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Administration.

Admiral Zumwalt said the WSAG meetings and U.S. actions disturb him. Of course, we do not know what the Pakistan/Communist China master strategy is in this situation. Nevertheless, the U.S. will take a lot of lumps. We have come out on the side of the Pakistanis. East Pakistan will go down and it will look like we are ineffective allies. The USSR will gain with the Indians. In the short term the military balance in the Indian Ocean area will go against us. Mr. Packard commented one of the problems was what options does the U.S. have. The only way to prevent outbreak of war was to force the Pakistanis not to fight. Admiral Zumwalt said this was one case it might have been better for the United States to do nothing. Mr. Packard said we would have still come out on the short end. In the long run, we can expect the Soviets to have a larger influence in India and we can not yet assess what effect this will have on the naval situation in the Indian Ocean. Mr. Laird said in spite of what we might have done, it would have gone the way it has anyway. Mr. Packard said all of the aid we have given India over the years has not helped one bit. Maybe we should let the Soviets have this problem for awhile. Admiral Zumwalt inferred that the Washington actions had given the Pakistanis hope we would help them. Mr. Laird said we have certainly not given them any hope as far as East Pakistan. All the decisions and message traffic he has seen going back and forth certainly does not convey that we have given them such a hope. Mr. Packard said we tried to get both sides to withdraw to avoid war. The Pakistans agreed to do so, but the Indians did not. They stated they would only consider withdrawal after the Paks had withdrawn. The only alternate course was to pressure Pakistan to accept Indian takeover of East Pakistan. Admiral Zumwalt again commented that Peking was an unknown factor in the situation. Mr. Laird said as far as the Indian government was concerned that decision was already made for us. General Westmoreland noted that in his visit to India last year, he was impressed with the Indian officers and their pro-U.S. attitude. [4 lines of source text not declassified]

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]

R. Eugene Livesay
Staff Secretary


235. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A briefer record of the meeting, prepared by James Noyes (OASD/ISA), is in the Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 381 (Dec) 1971.

Washington, December 6, 1971, 11:07-11:56 a.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPANTS

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
U. Alexis Johnson
Joseph Sisco
Samuel DePalma
Christopher Van Hollen
Bruce Laingen

Defense
David Packard
Armistead Selden
James H. Noyes

JCS
Gen. William C. Westmoreland
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Richard Helms
John Waller

AID
Donald MacDonald
Maurice Williams
Herbert Rees

NSC Staff
B/Gen. Alexander M. Haig
Harold H. Saunders
Samuel Hoskinson
R/Adm. Robert O. Welander
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

(1) we should bring public attention in the General Assembly, though speeches and resolutions, to the plight of the Urdu speaking minority in East Pakistan, calling on all parties to take steps to prevent a massacre;

(2) we should make known what political moves we made to foster discussions between the Bangla Desh and Islamabad, and how they were thwarted;

(3) we should show a certain coolness to the Indians;

(4) State will prepare a legal memorandum on the Indian blockade and a draft of a formal protest over the interference with American ships;

(5) State will check the legislative prohibition against third country transfer of military equipment obtained from the U.S. to Pakistan;

(6) Defense will do a paper by Tuesday, December 7, on what emergency equipment the Paks are apt to request and our ability to supply it and get it delivered;

(7) the aid cutoff to India will be announced by State today;

(8) to commence a study of our policy in the event of expected appeals for famine relief and other assistance from Bangla Desh next spring;

(9) AID will prepare a paper by Tuesday, December 7, on ways to ensure that humanitarian aid provided India for refugee relief is in fact going for that purpose.

Mr. Kissinger: Dick (Helms), where do we stand?

(Mr. Helms briefed from the text at Tab A.)/2/

/2/ Attached but not printed. According to his notes, Helms reported that Pakistan had broken relations with India after India formally recognized Bangladesh. On the basis of his notes, Helms was able to provide a detailed picture of the fighting on both fronts. India was concentrating upon East Pakistan while fighting a holding action in the west. The objective of the Gandhi government was to force a surrender of the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan within 10 days. Pakistan was trying to relieve the pressure on East Pakistan by pressing an offensive into India from West Pakistan. Most of the exchanges in the west involved air strikes, but there was evidence that Pakistan was planning a major assault in Kashmir. India's recognition of Bangladesh was reported in telegram 18766 from New Delhi, December 6; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL INDIA-PAK.

Mr. Helms: We also have a press report that the Paks have attacked Bombay. The Chinese newspapers are strongly attacking India, and India has begun referring to East Pakistan as Bangla Desh in its newspapers. Also, as you know, Keating and Kaul have had a round./3/

/3/ In telegram 18822 from New Delhi, December 6, Ambassador Keating reported that Foreign Secretary Kaul had expressed "disappointment, shock and surprise" that the United States had tabled the resolution it did in the UN Security Council. He categorically denied that India bore the major responsibility for the conflict. (Ibid., POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Mr. Kissinger: (to Gen. Westmoreland) What is your military assessment? How long can the Paks hold out in the east?

Gen. Westmoreland: Up to three weeks.

Mr. Kissinger: What will India do with Bangla Desh? Will they see it as an independent state or have them negotiate with Islamabad?

Mr. Helms: Independent.

Mr. Sisco: India has already recognized Bangla Desh as an independent country.

Mr. Kissinger: And the Indians won't suggest that Bangla Desh negotiate with Islamabad?

Mr. Sisco: Not now.

Mr. Kissinger: I suspect the Indians may lose interest in Mujib.

Mr. Sisco: I don't know whether they'll try to have him take over or not. They can afford it either way.

Mr. Johnson: Once the Pakistan Army runs out of supplies, all those troops in East Pakistan will be hostages.

Mr. Sisco: (to Gen. Westmoreland) Is there no means of evacuation for those troops?

Gen. Westmoreland: No.

Mr. Sisco: How effective is the Indian blockade?

Gen. Westmoreland: They have a carrier off the coast and a substantial Naval force. The Paks have only one cruiser and six destroyers.

Mr. Helms: We credited the Paks with seven destroyers, two of which were sunk, which leaves them with five.

Gen. Westmoreland: We've credited only one sinking.

Mr. Johnson: And this is to cover both east and west.

Mr. Kissinger: So the next step is to determine our attitude toward the state of Bangla Desh.

Mr. Williams: Remember you will have about a million and a half Urdu-speaking people in East Pakistan.

Mr. Kissinger: Are you implying there will be a massacre? Wasn't it reported to be the retreating Bangla Desh forces who were responsible for the earlier massacres?

Mr. Williams: Yes.

Mr. Sisco: I see a serious blood-letting once they are satisfied the Pak Army is defeated.

Mr. Kissinger: Can we do something to prevent it?

Mr. Williams: It will probably require a major transfer of population-possibly through some international effort.

Mr. Kissinger: Can't we call attention to it now before it starts?

Mr. Williams: Yes.

Mr. Kissinger: Let's do it now. Are they mainly in one area or are they scattered throughout the countryside?

Mr. Williams: They are mostly in the urban centers. They were the people who built the railroads and are usually found around rail centers. This is basically a humanitarian problem. We should start some activity through the UN.

Mr. Kissinger: Can we start it quickly? Call on all parties to prevent a massacre-we don't have to recommend an evacuation.

Mr. Sisco: The UN can't do anything on the ground, but we can put public focus on the issue through the General Assembly meeting.

Mr. Williams: And we can give them some secret assurances.

Mr. Johnson: What about the Bengalis in the West?

Mr. Williams: There are 300,000 Bengalis in West Pakistan.

Mr. Sisco: An effort in this direction will be attractive to the majority. We can focus attention on it in the speeches before the GA and in the GA resolution. It will both be popular and have some effect.

Mr. MacDonald: We don't have many precedents for a mass evacuation, but there was a large population movement from north to south in Vietnam in 1954. We might brush off our history on this.

Mr. Johnson: That population movement was agreed to in the Geneva Accords./4/

/4/ Reference is to the agreements signed in Geneva on July 20 and July 21, 1954, ending hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. For texts, see Foreign Relations, 1952-1954, vol. XVI, pp. 1505-1542.

Mr. Sisco: (to Gen. Westmoreland) Assuming the Indians take over, how do you think it will happen? Can you project their strategy?

Gen. Westmoreland: I think their primary thrust will be to cut off the port of Chittagong. This will virtually cut off any possibility of resupply. Then they will move to destroy the Pak regular forces, in cooperation with the Mukti Bahini. They will then be faced with the major job of restoring some order to the country. I think there will be a massacre-possibly the greatest in the twentieth century.

Mr. Kissinger: Will the Indians withdraw their army once the Paks are disarmed?

Gen. Westmoreland: No, I think they will leave three or four divisions to work with the Mukti Bahini, and pull the remainder back to the West.

Mr. Sisco: I think they will pull out as quickly as they can. Once and if the the Pak forces are disarmed, the Indians will have a basically friendly population. They can afford to move back to the border areas quickly. I say this with one caveat-this depends on what happens in the West. If the Paks can take a little piece of territory in the West as some sort of balance for East Pakistan, the Indians won't get out of Bangla Desh quite so fast. They will see it as a further balance to the West.

Gen. Westmoreland: The Indian transportation is limited. It will take time to move their divisions from east to west. They will move the infantry division out first, which will take a week. The two mountain divisions will probably be used to clean out pockets of resistance. They have seven divisions and two separate brigades, and their movement schedule will take a month.

Mr. Kissinger: Will they permit Bangla Desh to establish itself with an army and a separate foreign policy?

Mr. Sisco: I wouldn't exclude it. There is likely to be a continued Indian presence, however.

Mr. Van Hollen: After the Indian Army has been in East Pakistan for two or three weeks, they may come to be accepted as a Hindu army of occupation.

Mr. Kissinger: Do you think they will establish Bangla Desh in its present frontiers? Or will they settle the refugees along the border and then annex some territory?

Mr. Van Hollen: They may question whether they should send the refugees back now to a Bangla Desh that is largely Muslim.

Gen. Westmoreland: India will be facing a situation in the West that is not altogether advantageous to them. They have 265,000 men there now: 12 infantry divisions, 3 armored divisions, 3 armored brigades and 6 infantry brigades. The Paks have 200,000 men in 9 infantry divisions and 2 armored divisions.

Mr. Sisco: But the Paks have a serious resupply problem.

Gen. Westmoreland: And on air power, the Indians have a three to one superiority.

Mr. Sisco: (to Gen. Westmoreland) What do you think their strategy in the West will be?

Gen. Westmoreland: In the West, I think the major Pak effort will be to the north-toward Kashmir and the Punjab. They would like to seize Kashmir; and we have a clandestine report that that is their intention. The Indian strategy will be to strike at Godra toward Hyderabad. If they can take Hyderabad, they will have cut the line of communication across the river to Karachi. I don't think the Indians plan to move to Karachi or even to Hyderabad. I think this is a diversion to try to get the Paks to bring back some of their reserves from the north.

Mr. Packard: Is there any possibility of POL resupply by sea?

Mr. Kissinger: It would be next to impossible.

Mr. Packard: How about from Iran?

Gen. Westmoreland: I'm not sure of the land lines of communication.

Mr. Helms: They're very bad. It's very rough country.

Gen. Westmoreland: Eighty percent of their POL is around Karachi-it's a prime target for the Indian Air Force.

Mr. Williams: There's a political reason for an Indian thrust in the south. The Paks want to take some ground in the north. The Indians don't want to fight there, but they will be under great pressure in their Parliament. They can satisfy this pressure by getting a little ground in the south as a balance for the land they will be losing in the north. The question is whether the Paks can cut communication to the north. There is one road and if it is cut, the Paks could chew up more ground in Kashmir. They would love to trade Kashmir for East Pakistan.

Gen. Westmoreland: There is an unconfirmed report that the Indians have taken Godra.

Mr. Williams: That's diversionary.

Mr. Kissinger: How about the UN?

Mr. Sisco: We reviewed the situation with (Ambassador) Bush this morning. There have been two additional resolutions vetoed by the Soviets./5/ There's a real ground swell for a special emergency General Assembly meeting. Under the Uniting for Peace mandate, if the SC can't operate because of the veto, the issue can be moved to an emergency session of the GA, which is not vetoable. You need only a simple majority of the Security Council to convene a special emergency GA. We feel strongly, categorically, firmly and unalterably, for the present that any resolution must contain the elements of withdrawal and ceasefire. The President has told the Pak Ambassador that.

/5/ On December 5 the Soviet representative on the Security Council vetoed an eight-power draft resolution that called for a cease-fire and mutual withdrawal of forces, as well as intensified efforts to create the conditions necessary for the return of refugees to their homes. The resolution, which was introduced by Argentina, Belgium, Burundi, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Sierra-Leone, and Somalia, garnered a vote of 11 to 2 with 2 abstentions, but was not adopted because of the negative vote of the U.S.S.R. (UN doc. S/10423) The only other resolution vetoed by the Soviet representative was the U.S. draft resolution; see footnote 11, Document 224.

Mr. Kissinger: I have no doubt the President means it!

Mr. Sisco: If I may, I'd like to suggest some plaudits for our UN Mission. They held firm on these elements through three resolutions.

Mr. Kissinger: It was a job well done.

Mr. Sisco: Remember we will be under pressure from 136 countries-

Mr. Kissinger: It will be interesting to see how Israel votes on ceasefire and withdrawal.

Mr. Sisco: With regard to the elements of political accommodation in any resolution, the implications of these may change rapidly now.

Mr. DePalma: With an independent Bangla Desh and the Pak army defeated in the East, the question of political accommodation will be in an entirely new context. The Indians won't be terribly interested in political accommodation.

Mr. Kissinger: The President told the Pak Ambassador and Ambassador Bush on television that he wants the issue to go to the General Assembly.

Mr. DePalma: There's a Security Council meeting at 3:30 at which we will try to get the Council to let go of the issue and call for an emergency GA.

Mr. Kissinger: If we stick with withdrawal and ceasefire, it will just be vetoed again.

Mr. DePalma: There's nothing to be gained by another resolution. They had already backed off to just a ceasefire.

Mr. Kissinger: Do we expect to move to the GA before the end of the day?

Mr. DePalma: We expect to get the SC to let go today,/6/ but the GA will have to meet and put it on its agenda, which can be done tomorrow.

/6/ The UN Security Council accepted on December 6 that an impasse had been reached in its deliberations on the conflict in South Asia, and referred the issue to the General Assembly. (UN doc. S/RES/303, adopted by a vote of 11 to 0 with 4 abstentions)

Mr. Kissinger: Will we stick with essentially the same speech in the GA. We should put in something on the refugees-some attempt to stop the expected massacre.

Mr. Sisco: Yes-and in the resolution too.

Mr. Kissinger: NBC is filming the President's "Day" today. He had his conversation with the Secretary on television. We have a veto over what's printed, of course. But the President is eager to get out what political moves we made to get discussions going between the Bangla Desh and Islamabad and how they were thwarted. He told the Secretary this. He also wants to show a certain coolness toward the Indians-be sure the Indian Ambassador is not received at too high a level.

Mr. Van Hollen: Jha is meeting with the Secretary now to deliver Mrs. Gandhi's reply/7/ to the President's letter./8/

/7/ See Document 226.

/8/ See Document 205.

Mr. Kissinger: That can't be helped. In general, the President wants to appear a little cool. What is the legal position on the Indian blockade? Can they blockade American ships? Shouldn't we protest?

Mr. Sisco: The Secretary called in the Indian Ambassador and protested both incidents./9/ Mrs. Gandhi has said there is an undeclared war. There has been no formal Parliamentary action, but Mrs. Gandhi is claiming the right to exert belligerency rights as if there were a formal declaration.

/9/ Secretary Rogers told Ambassador Jha on December 4 that the United States took strong exception to Indian interference with U.S. shipping. (Telegram 219497 to New Delhi, December 5; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-2 INDIA-PAK)

Mr. Kissinger: Do they have the right to stop American ships?

Mr. Johnson: Have they declared a blockade?

Mr. Sisco: Not formally, but de facto. We will get you a memo on the legal position./10/

/10/ After a review of the question by the Legal Adviser's Office, Eliot sent a memorandum on December 6 to Kissinger which concluded that belligerents in a conflict have the legal right to blockade and to interfere with neutral shipping, but that India may not have given adequate notice before beginning to interfere with U.S. shipping. (Ibid.)

Mr. Helms: They have no legal rights.

Mr. Johnson: Without a declaration of a blockade?

Mr. Williams: Without a declaration of war on Pakistan?

Mr. Helms: I still question it.

Mr. Kissinger: Let's get your legal memo. Also, let's get a draft of a formal protest.

Mr. Sisco: Yes, we can do it both publicly and privately.

Mr. Kissinger: Have you all seen the cable concerning Pakistan's request to Jordan for assistance./11/

/11/ See footnote 4, Document 222.

Mr. Sisco: We also have a Pak request for a minesweeper.

Mr. Kissinger: Do we have the right to authorize such transfers?

Mr. Johnson: We have the right. It's a political decision.

Mr. Sisco: Is there no legislative inhibition?

Mr. Kissinger: It can be done only with our approval.

Mr. Van Hollen: There is a legislative inhibition. We can't permit a third country to transfer goods to Pakistan if we don't sell those same goods to Pakistan ourselves.

Mr. Johnson: Is this policy or legislation?

Mr. Van Hollen: It's legislative as of last December or January.

Mr. Kissinger: Let's check on that.

Mr. Helms: Has there been a decision on assistance from Jordan?

Mr. Sisco: We are saying the transfer is prohibited on the basis of present legal authority. Also, we are pointing out that provision of any assistance to the Paks would weaken the King's position. He really came to us for help in getting off the hook. We've also brushed them off politely on the minesweeper. I suspect that as the Paks begin to feel the heat even more, we will get a loud bleat for emergency supplies.

Mr. Kissinger: My instinct is that the President will want to do it. He is not inclined to let the Paks be defeated if he can help it.

Mr. Packard: Maybe we should start to take a look now and see what might be done.

Mr. Sisco: You would have to do it very quietly.

Mr. Kissinger: Can you do that and have something to us by tomorrow?

Mr. Sisco: We might ask ourselves what the Paks are apt to ask for and whether or not we would be able to supply it.

Mr. Johnson: And whether or not it can be delivered.

Mr. Saunders: You're talking mainly about the West?

Mr. Sisco: Yes. No one wants India to take over West Pakistan. It's one thing to supply equipment in the midst of a military situation in the East. But our policy is not to let India extinguish the Pakistan Government. This is an important distinction.

Mr. Kissinger: On economic assistance, the President wants formally to suspend any new irrevocable letters of credit.

Mr. Williams: We have notified all banks-indeed, we have suspended all new letters. We have now suspended the $87.6 million non-project aid in the India pipeline which has not been firmly committed to suppliers and banks. Our reasoning will be that the development purposes for which the aid was authorized cannot be served in the circumstances. India and others will see other reasons for our action, and that's good. Using this ground-the frustration of its authorizing purpose-raises the question of the justification for continuing aid flows to Pakistan. We would have difficulty on the Hill and elsewhere in maintaining that development was inhibited in India but not in Pakistan. Happily, however, we can apply the same principle to Pakistan but with the entire burden falling on India. While $87.6 million would be frozen to India, the comparable amount for Pakistan is only $4.3 million, all of which is now earmarked for humanitarian relief, in the form of fertilizer, for East Pakistan. This would remain unsuspended. So in this case we are exactly where we want to be.

Mr. Kissinger: We had taken a comparable step earlier for Pakistan and there is now only $4.3 million in that category?

Mr. Williams: And it's all humanitarian.

(Mr. Williams was called from the room.)

Mr. Kissinger: When will we announce the aid cutoff? Today?

Mr. Sisco: We're all ready.

Mr. Kissinger: Let's background on that basis then./12/

/12/ According to a Reuters news agency report filed on December 7, senior White House officials, speaking with the authority of the President, justified the decision announced on December 6 to cut off $87.6 million in developmental loans by alleging that India's attack on Pakistan had interrupted secret negotiations between the Government of Pakistan and Bangladesh representatives which were pointing in the direction of virtual autonomy for the Bangladesh movement in East Pakistan. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, South Asia, 12/8/71)

Mr. Sisco: We can do it at 12 noon if you like. We can call Charley Bray (State Department spokesman) and tell him to go ahead.

Mr. Kissinger: In this regard, we had a little crisis here last week. The President was eager to get the information out about the arms cutoff. The Star ran a story, apparently based on a State briefing, which stressed that $11.9 million worth of aid would continue. The President wants the focus on what is being cut off, not on what is to continue. Make sure Bray understands this.

Mr. Sisco: (to Van Hollen) Go call Charley and tell him to go ahead at noon./13/ Ask him if he wants Don MacDonald to come over to help him. Or Herb Rees can go over.

/13/ Note it was decided after the meeting to make the announcement at 3:00 p.m. rather than noon. [Footnote in the source text.]

(Mr. Williams returned.)

Mr. Williams: Secretary Rogers wants help for his television meeting with the President at 1:30, and I'll need Herb for that. Let Don go with Bray.

Mr. Kissinger: (Looking at the proposed AID announcement and questions and answers-attached at Tab B)/14/ On the Q & A referring to the $124.1 million in the pipeline for India which will continue to flow, tell Bray to stress at this time.

/14/ Not attached.

Mr. Sisco: (to Van Hollen) Tell Charley not to start until Don MacDonald gets there. Also tell the Secretary we're going to announce at noon. He may have been planning to discuss this in the 1:30 meeting with the President.

Dr. Kissinger: This is going to be the damnedest meeting. It is a restricted NSC meeting on India-Pakistan./15/ But they are going to film the first five minutes of it, then we will go on with the real meeting.

/15/ See Document 237.

Mr. Williams: The Secretary understood that. He just wanted to tell the President how much aid we had actually provided India.

Mr. Van Hollen: The Secretary has Indian Ambassador Jha with him. Shouldn't we tell Jha what we're going to do?

Mr. Sisco: Yes, Jha should be told./16/

/16/ In his meeting with Jha on December 6, Rogers emphasized that the United States was unhappy with India's resort to armed force in an effort to dictate a political settlement in Pakistan. He did not make reference to the impending announcement of the cut-off of assistance to India. (Telegram 220243 to New Delhi, December 7, National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Dr. Kissinger: This announcement shouldn't appear to come out of the NSC meeting. It looks like too momentous a decision that way. We actually did it last Friday.

Mr. Sisco: Yes, this is the right low-key way to play it. It will have its effect.

Dr. Kissinger: Where do we stand on evacuation?

Mr. Johnson: As you know, the evacuation of Dacca was aborted by the Indian attack on the airfield.

Dr. Kissinger: How many do we have in Dacca?

Mr. Johnson: 93 Americans, I think.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Mr. Williams) Will there be a massive famine in East Pakistan?

Mr. Williams: They have a huge crop just coming in.

Dr. Kissinger: How about next spring?

Mr. Williams: Yes, there will be famine by next spring unless they can pull themselves together by the end of March.

Dr. Kissinger: And we will be asked to bail out the Bangla Desh from famine next spring?

Mr. Williams: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: Then we had better start thinking about what our policy will be.

Mr. Williams: By March the Bangla Desh will need all kinds of help.

Mr. Johnson: They'll be an international basket case.

Dr. Kissinger: But not necessarily our basket case.

Mr. Sisco: Wait until you hear the humanitarian bleats in this country.

Mr. Williams: They will have a tremendous problem of resettlement of the refugees.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Haig) Let's trigger a study of this. (to Williams) Is it true that the Indians have asked for the refugee aid in cash so that it couldn't be earmarked? If so, we should look carefully at this. We have to know that that money is going for refugee relief.

Mr. Williams: The way India wanted the money-in cash-was, in fact, an extended form of tourism. They used it as unrestricted foreign exchange. We will look into it.

Dr. Kissinger: Can you get me something by tomorrow. We have got to put some restrictions on this. Tell them we will supply the food. If they don't want that, let them refuse. We won't cut off humanitarian relief but we must know that it is going for humanitarian purposes. Let's think of some other things we can do to make it clear that the party's over. We must make damned sure that this money is going for humanitarian purposes.


236. Letter From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 497, President's Trip Files, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger, Vol. 2. No classification marking.

Washington, December 6, 1971.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I address this urgent message to you because of my profound concern about the deepening gravity of the situation in the Indian Subcontinent.

Whatever one's view of the causes of the present conflict, the objective fact now is that Indian military forces are being used in an effort to impose political demands and to dismember the sovereign state of Pakistan. It is also a fact that your Government has aligned itself with this Indian policy.

You have publicly stated that because of your geographic proximity to the Subcontinent you consider your security interests involved in the present conflict. But other countries, near and far, cannot help but see their own interests involved as well. And this is bound to result in alignments by other states who had no wish to see the problems in the Subcontinent become international in character.

It had been my understanding, from my exchanges with you and my conversation with your Foreign Minister, that we were entering a new period in our relations which would be marked by mutual restraint and in which neither you nor we would act in crises to seek unilateral advantages. I had understood your Foreign Minister to say that these principles would govern your policies, as they do ours, not only in such potentially dangerous areas as the Middle East but in international relations generally.

I regret to say that what is happening now in South Asia, where you are supporting the Indian Government's open use of force against the independence and integrity of Pakistan, merely serves to aggravate an already grave situation. Beyond that, however, this course of developments runs counter to the recent encouraging trend in international relations to which the mutual endeavors of our two governments have been making such a major contribution.

It is clear that the interests of all concerned states will be served if the territorial integrity of Pakistan were restored and military action were brought to an end. Urgent action is required and I believe that your great influence in New Delhi should serve these ends.

I must state frankly that it would be illusory to think that if India can somehow achieve its objectives by military action the issue will be closed. An "accomplished fact" brought about in this way would long complicate the international situation and undermine the confidence that we and you have worked so hard to establish. It could not help but have an adverse effect on a whole range of other issues.

I assure you, Mr. Secretary, that such a turn of events would be a painful disappointment at a time when we stand at the threshold of a new and more hopeful era in our relations. I am convinced that the spirit in which we agreed that the time had come for us to meet in Moscow next May requires from both of us the utmost restraint and the most urgent action to end the conflict and restore territorial integrity in the Subcontinent./2/

/2/ Nixon and Kissinger discussed this letter in a conversation at the White House on December 6. Nixon wondered whether "it would do any good." As he saw it, the Soviets "haven't done anything yet." Kissinger observed that "we haven't really hit them." He added: "Every time we have been tough with them they have backed off." (Ibid., White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 6, 1971, 12:02-12:06 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 630-2)

Sincerely,
Richard Nixon


237. Minutes of National Security Council Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 999, Haig Chronological File, Haig Memcons To Be Done [1 of 4]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the President's office in the Executive Office Building. The time of the meeting is from the President's Daily Diary, as is the fact that Secretary of the Treasury Connally was also included among the participants. (Ibid., White House Central Files) Handwritten notes on the meeting were taken by Haig, who subsequently expanded the notes in the course of dictating the minutes for transcription although he did not complete them. The typewritten transcript runs through the first half of the meeting. Thereafter, the available record of the meeting is Haig's handwritten notes, which are cryptic and difficult to decipher. The typewritten transcript and the handwritten notes are in the same file. A brief summary of the substance of the discussion from Haig's handwritten notes follows the typewritten transcript.

Washington, December 6, 1971, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS
The President
The Secretary of State
Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard
The Director of Central Intelligence
Acting Chairman-JCS, Westmoreland
Henry A. Kissinger
Brigadier General A.M. Haig, Jr.

Note: The first ten minutes of the meeting was before microphones and cameras as a facet of the ABC film entitled, "A Day in the Life of the President."

The President: We will start out today's meeting by having Director Helms provide us with an intelligence assessment and General Westmoreland provide us with a military appraisal. We will then proceed to discuss the decisions which will face us, to include economic and military assistance. Before doing so, however, we will commence by asking the Secretary of State to give us an appraisal of where we are within the UN forum on the South Asia forum. Secretary Connally has been in Rome and has not been close to events of recent days. I would also like the Secretary of State to touch upon the issue of recent Congressional criticism which alleges that we have not done enough to achieve political accommodation.

Secretary Rogers: It is clear that the causes of the conflict in South Asia are not a U.S. responsibility. The solution to the long-standing political problems rests with the people in the area. There has been long-standing deep hostility. The U.S. for its part must concentrate on bringing about a peaceful settlement to the current dilemma. But certainly a final settlement cannot be imposed externally. Before the outbreak of hostilities the President directed that we undertake a period of intense diplomacy. The U.S. provided more humanitarian assistance than the rest of the world put together. And we have requested from the Congress another $250 million in humanitarian aid. While the efforts we have taken to achieve a political settlement have failed, nevertheless all that could possibly have been done was done. We have prevented the movement of arms to either country. Certainly the U.S. cannot be blamed for the deterioration of the situation. It did all that could be done. Only the people of the area can solve the problem. It is essential that the U.S. stay out of the conflict and concentrate its efforts on achieving a peaceful settlement. The President recently issued a call for United Nations consideration of the problem. Eleven nations favored a U.S.-prepared resolution which provided for ceasefire and mutual withdrawal. The Soviet Union and Poland rejected it. Then smaller nations prepared a further resolution which provided for ceasefire and withdrawal and it also succumbed to a Soviet veto. There was a clear UN majority in favor of that kind of a resolution but because the Soviets have remained intransigent the U.S. is now supporting General Assembly consideration of the issue under the Uniting for Peace resolution./2/ It is essential that any resolution provide both for ceasefire and mutual withdrawal. Thus in summary we have done all that was possible. We have provided humanitarian aid. We have urged political efforts.

/2/ UN doc. A/RES/377(A) (V) of November 3, 1950.

The President asked Secretary Connally to comment.

Secretary Connally: I assume that we have been dealing intensely with both Governments.

The President: That's correct.

(Note: At this point the filming was ended.)

The President: I have written and spoken personally to Madam Gandhi and I have written President Yahya. Yahya has been very forthcoming and I so informed Madam Gandhi during her visit here. I noted that Yahya was willing to pull back his forces from the border if he could receive some favorable response from the Indian side. Madam Gandhi showed no interest in the proposal. I also informed Madam Gandhi that President Yahya had told us that he was willing to meet with certain Bangla Desh leaders but efforts failed.

Secretary Connally asked if Pakistan had not offered to accept UN observers along the border.

Secretary Rogers confirmed that this was so but that the Indians refused. He added that President Yahya had been most forthcoming. Nevertheless it was clear that the U.S. is entering a phase where sniping is the popular thing. The U.S. cannot be blamed since the roots of the problem are local. Many times in the past the U.S. has become overly involved in such local problems.

The President noted that the issue was similar in Nigeria where the U.S. tried to help at that time but did not have sufficient influence to effect the outcome./3/ In this instance the U.S. has provided over $10 billion in assistance to India. Despite this it has had no influence with the Indian Government. On the other hand the U.S. has limited its assistance to the Pakistan Government. And in hindsight it may be the very fact of cutting off military assistance to Pakistan which encouraged the Indians to attack since the military balance was badly out of kilter. It is clear that the U.S. has got to maintain leverage if it expects to influence the actions of foreign powers. Looking at the India/

/3/ Reference is to the Biafran conflict of 1967-1970.

Pakistan situation the U.S. has had certain problems. It is obvious that the Indians were not looking for ways to stay out of conflict but rather to get into one. Now we see in the west Pakistanis attacking Indians. Charging the Pakistanis with this action is like accusing Finland of attacking the Soviet Union. Pakistan would have been insane to want war since it is at such a strategic disadvantage. And yet we see the Soviets providing unlimited assistance to the Government of India. There is bound to be a public relations problem. Whenever there is trouble abroad some infer that it is the United States' fault. Local hatreds have prevented a peaceful solution. The situation could be compared to that in the Middle East except there the U.S. has more stroke. Here we have none. We were forced to reduce what stroke was left.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard: Had we maintained the military balance the cause of peace might have been better served.

The President: This is the same as in the Middle East. The President noted that he had mentioned this earlier in the morning to Senator Mansfield. If the balance shifts war results. In this sense U.S. policies failed in South Asia.

Dr. Kissinger stated that the failure was the result of our policies over the past seven years.

The President noted that the alienation with Pakistan started when the U.S. broke its word to President Ayub.

Secretary Rogers said that the conflict was obviously the result of a carefully worked out plan designed by the Indians some time ago.

Dr. Kissinger noted that some had inferred that the Indians were practicing restraint but it was obvious now that they moved as early as they were able to. The rains were over; the passes from China were closed with snow; the Bangla Desh had now been trained and the Indians had moved their own forces. All was completed as Prime Minister Gandhi travelled abroad.

The President: The Indians had long wanted to hurt Pakistan. Their interests involved Kashmir more than East Pakistan. It is now time for the U.S. to reconsider very carefully the military assistance problem. It is a myth to assume that the elimination of military assistance will eliminate war. This is nonsense. The issue depends on the local conditions. In this instance the balance should have been retained. During the Eisenhower Administration the U.S. helped to maintain Pakistan's strength but later when the Pakistanis started to play with the Chinese we cut off our contacts with them.

Director Helms: We have a report [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]/4/ which covers Madam Gandhi's strategy as delivered to her Cabinet at 11:00 p.m. on December 3, 1971. The Indians planned to move in the west but to primarily adopt a defensive posture and to prevent the Pakistanis from cutting off Kashmir. The Indians had no initial objective in West Pakistan but seek a quick victory in East Pakistan which would enable them to transfer their forces to the north. India assumes that the Chinese will remain quiescent and hope to achieve the collapse of East Pakistan in one week to ten days. The objectives in the west are to destroy Pakistan's armor and in the east to totally liberate the area.

/4/ A copy of this report was sent by the CIA to the White House on December 4 in telegram TDCS 314/12858-71. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 571, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/1/71-12/4/71)

[The typewritten transcript ends here. What follows is a summary based on Haig's handwritten notes; see footnote 1 above.]

[Helms completed his briefing by noting that India's recognition of Bangladesh provided a justification for intervention in East Pakistan. He used a map to illustrate the progress of Indian and Mukti Bahini forces in East Pakistan and indicated that major efforts were being made to secure the roads and railroads leading into East Pakistan from China. Pressure on the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan was increasing from all sides, but there had not been a significant breakthrough. Nonetheless, Helms felt that 10 days was a conservative estimate of how long it would be before the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan would be forced to surrender. Pakistan's response was anticipated to be an assault upon India's positions in Kashmir. The conflict in the west was still in the opening stages with India fighting a holding action.

[The remainder of the discussion focused upon attempting to define an effective U.S. response to the situation outlined by Helms. Led by President Nixon and Kissinger, the tenor of the discussion dealt heavily with how to point up and lay before the bar of international opinion what Secretary Connally referred to as India's culpability in the crisis. There was extensive discussion of how best to take advantage of the forum of the United Nations, where the issue was at the point of shifting from the Security Council to the General Assembly, which was not constrained by the threat of a Soviet veto. The United Nations had a peacemaking role to play, but Nixon expressed skepticism that an effective peacemaker could be found in light of the contending positions taken by the Soviet Union and China in support of India and Pakistan, respectively. Kissinger used the President's observation to expound upon the geopolitical implications of the crisis. Soviet support for India was intended not only to embarrass China but also the United States, which had its own security commitments to Pakistan. Kissinger observed that China would be watching closely to see what friendship with the United States really meant. Beyond that Kissinger was concerned that Soviet policy in this South Asian crisis might prove to be a dry run for subsequent troubles in the Middle East. This was not, Kissinger concluded, just any war; it had broad significance. Secretary Rogers conceded that India was the aggressor in the conflict and that the war had long-range implications, but he questioned whether the United States should become deeply involved in attempting to influence what he saw as a lost cause in East Pakistan. Connally disagreed, and the President emphasized that he intended to help West Pakistan. While continuing economic assistance to Pakistan, the United States could cut off all developmental assistance to India and limit assistance to India to aid for the refugees to be provided in goods instead of money.

Speaking generally of economic assistance, Nixon said that it was important to end the concept of assistance without strings. The United States should help, he felt, only if its interests were served. With regard to military assistance, Nixon observed that if third countries wanted to help Pakistan he saw no reason to stop them. Nixon was prepared to work through the United Nations as long as there was some prospect that world opinion might influence the crisis, but if UN efforts proved ineffective, the United States would have to step forward. It could not roll over.]


238. Editorial Note

Department of State Spokesman Charles Bray made the following statement at a press briefing at 3 p.m. on December 6, 1971:

"General economic assistance in the pipeline for India has been suspended to the extent it is not firmly committed to suppliers and banks. General economic assistance, or non-project aid, is provided to support the general economy of an aid recipient and thus support a development effort. In the present circumstances in India this objective cannot be secured. Although the funds now frozen are included in formal agreements signed by India and the United States, we have both an obligation and a unilateral right to stop their use when the development purpose for which they were designed cannot be achieved. The amount affected by this temporary suspension is $87.6 million." (Quoted in Situation Report #26 prepared by the Department of State India-Pakistan Working Group on December 6 at 3 p.m.; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation; quoted in part in The New York Times, December 7, 1971, page 1)


239. Editorial Note

President Nixon and Henry Kissinger met in the Oval Office of the White House at 6:14 p.m. on December 6, 1971, for another discussion of the confrontation between India and Pakistan. Both were focused upon the Soviet Union as key to a settlement of the crisis. Nixon began by saying that he wanted to "cool it" with the Soviet Union. Kissinger agreed: "This is the sort of signal the Russians understand." "You'll be better off, Mr. President, 6 months from now," he added. "If they lose respect for us now they'll put it to us."

Nixon was also concerned that he had not made his position clear enough when he met in November with Prime Minister Gandhi. "What I'm concerned about, I really worry about, is whether or not I was too easy on the goddamn woman when she was here." He felt that she had determined upon a course of action before their meeting and had "suckered" him in their talks. Kissinger reminded him that the advice given Nixon in the briefing materials prepared for the visit was to deal with Gandhi in such a way that she could not complain about her reception and use it as a pretext to pursue a course of military action. Nixon said that at least he had been "tougher" on her than the briefing materials had advised. In retrospect, Kissinger felt that a much tougher line had been called for. "When I look back on it now, should we have recommended to you to brutalize her privately? To say now I want you to know you do this and you will wreck your relations with us for five years, and we will look for every opportunity to damage you." Nixon agreed: "That's right." Kissinger concluded: "That's probably what we should have done." Nixon said "This woman suckered us. But let me tell you she's going to pay. She is going to pay. Now I mean on this aid side, I am not . . ." At this point Nixon and Kissinger both spoke at the same time and Nixon did not complete the thought.

Kissinger predicted that the Democratic Party would make India a campaign issue. Nixon responded: "They'll probably say we're losing India forever. All right, who is going to care about losing India forever?" Kissinger agreed that it was not something to be concerned about. "Hell, if we could reestablish relations with Communist China we can always get the Indians back whenever we want to later-a year or two from now."

Nixon saw China as offering perhaps the best prospect of putting pressure on India. "I think we've got to tell them that some movement on their part we think toward the Indian border could be very significant. And that as far as we're concerned . . . just say that we have sent a very tough note to the Russians, and that we are cooling our relations." Kissinger suggested: "The way we could put it, Mr. President, is to say we shouldn't urge them to do it because they'll get too suspicious-if we could say if you consider it necessary to take certain actions we want you to know that you should not be deterred by the fear of standing alone against the powers that may intervene." Nixon agreed: "Right, right, that's right." He went on: "Damn it, I am convinced that if the Chinese start to move the Indians will be petrified." Kissinger observed that weather conditions would make such a move difficult and Nixon rejoined that it had not prevented the Chinese army from crossing the Yalu River in the dead of winter during the Korean War.

Nixon referred to the intelligence report they had received on India's war plans (see Document 246). He said he wanted to "put it out to the press" and told Kissinger to sound out Joseph Alsop on whether he would be willing to use the report. "I want that report," the President said, "put into the hands of a columnist who will print the whole thing." He felt that the report "will make her bad." Kissinger suggested that John Scali would be the proper person to leak the report. Nixon instructed Kissinger to send a message to Ambassador Keating to be "totally cold" in his relations with the Indians.

Kissinger reviewed the recent exchanges with the Soviet Union that emphasized that the bilateral relationship was at issue. The most recent "tough" note had made it clear, he felt, that the crisis "threatens the whole climate of confidence" which existed between the two countries. He added: "I told them yesterday . . . . How can you talk to us about Security Council guarantees if you thwart the Security Council. And I threatened them that we would not carry out the Middle East negotiations." He indicated that his instinct was to turn down the invitation he had received to visit Moscow to prepare for the summit. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 6, 1971, 6:14-6:38 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 630-20) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of the conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 162.


240. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Secret. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 6, 1971.

EVENING REPORT

1. Briefing of Senate Leadership on India-Pakistan-I met with the Senate leadership for almost an hour this afternoon to review the events leading up to the India-Pakistan war and to further explain U.S. efforts and policies./2/ I first outlined the general course of events and particularly stressed the repeated efforts that the Administration had made to dissuade the Indian Government from the use of military force in East Pakistan. I also noted the suggestions which we have made to President Yahya and his receptivity on a number of them.

/2/ In a telephone conversation with President Nixon the evening of December 6, Kissinger expressed concern about the tenor of the briefing Rogers gave to the Senators. He wanted a report on the briefing to make certain that Rogers had not suggested that there was "a White House-State confrontation" over the crisis. Nixon agreed that it would pose a problem if the Department of State created the impression that "we take the hard line and they take the softer line." (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)

I then explained the reasons for the action earlier today in suspending $87.6 million in general economic aid in the Indian pipeline. I stressed our policy of not becoming involved and noted the long history of hatreds and problems in the area which were not of our doing. I reiterated the support we have had in the Security Council and noted our forthcoming efforts to take the issue to the General Assembly.

Senator Fulbright was the first to say that he thought we were doing exactly the right thing in not becoming involved and he said he had no criticism of U.S. policy. Senator Stennis said that he wanted to express very strong support for the President's policies.

Also present and in accord were Senators Mansfield, Scott, Griffin, Smith, Cotton, Aiken and Allott.

[Omitted here is an analysis of issues unrelated to South Asia.]

Robert Miller/3/

/3/ Deputy Executive Secretary Robert Miller signed for Rogers.


241. Message From the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United States/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 497, President's Trip Files, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger, Vol. 2. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the message indicates it was handed to Kissinger by Soviet Chargé Vorontsov at 11 p.m. on December 6. The message is neither addressed nor signed.

Moscow, December 6, 1971.

1. The Soviet leaders, already for a prolonged time and not once, have drawn the attention of the President to a dangerous situation developing in the Hindostan peninsula as a result of the actions of the Pakistani government against the population of East Pakistan. While applying efforts to prevent an armed conflict between Pakistan and India, we at the same time were firmly convinced-and so frankly stated to the President-that of crucial importance in this matter would be a political settlement in East Pakistan on the basis of respect for the will of its population as clearly expressed in the December 1970 elections.

Although the American side did not object in principle to the approach above, we, it must be said frankly, did not receive the impression that the United States acted actively enough and precisely in the same direction that we were acting, i.e. towards removing the main source of tension in relations between Pakistan and India.

2. In the situation that has now developed-and now it has flared up into the armed conflict between Pakistan and India-the Soviet Union, as was stated in the TASS statement published December 5, comes out for the speediest ending of the bloodshed and for a political settlement in East Pakistan on the basis of respect for the lawful rights and interests of its people.

In accordance with the above the Soviet representative in the Security Council has been instructed to seek such a solution that would closely combine two questions: a proposal for an immediate cease-fire between Pakistan and India and a demand that the Government of Pakistan immediately recognize the will of the East Pakistani population as expressed in the December 1970 elections. The Soviet leaders express the hope that the President will give instructions to the U.S. representative in the Security Council to act in the same direction.

In view of all the circumstances which led to the present conflict, to demand a cease-fire without demanding, as an organic connection with that question, that the people of East Pakistan in the name of its elected representatives be given an opportunity to decide its destiny for themselves,-would be both unrealistic and unjust with respect to that people, and would not eliminate the causes which led to the conflict.

3. As for your remarks, Mr. Kissinger, regarding a possible sharply negative impact that the events in the Hindostan could have on Soviet-American relations, this kind of approach is completely without motivation and, in our view, is at variance with the approach to the Soviet-American relations which has been expressed not once to us by the President himself.

Differences in the appraisal of specific events in the world as well as in the views between us regarding ways of settling corresponding questions may arise, and there is nothing unnatural in that. However, if in such cases, instead of business-like search for realistic solutions, to start talking about a "critical stage" or "watershed" in Soviet-American relations, it would hardly help finding such solutions, and would make it still harder to envisage that it will facilitate improvement of Soviet-American relations and their stability./2/

/2/ Kissinger called President Nixon shortly after the Soviet message was received and reported that the Soviet leadership had "twitched a little bit." He said the Soviet message proposed a Security Council resolution which called for a cease-fire and a cessation of hostilities, but made no provision for the withdrawal of troops. Kissinger viewed the references in the message to East Pakistan rather than Bangladesh as a positive sign. He characterized the proposed resolution as unacceptable but "at least a move." Nixon said: "Just tell them, sorry, no withdrawal; no deal." (Transcript of a telephone conversation, December 6, 10:55 p.m.; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)


242. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret. Received at 1358Z.

Islamabad, December 7, 1971, 1257Z.

[number not declassified] At 1730 local 7 December Foreign Secretary handed me following text of message from President Yahya Khan for President Nixon and asked that I transmit it via the fastest possible means.

"The military situation in East Pakistan has deteriorated rapidly in the last 24 hours. Our forces there are without adequate artillery and air support. They are also cut off from being supplied and reinforced. They are resisting bravely but they are at a heavy disadvantage.

Yesterday India granted recognition to the so-called 'Government of Bangla Desh.' The Soviet Union has during the same period vetoed two resolutions in the Security Council, the Soviet Union are doing every thing by political and military means to enable India to obtain a military decision to annex East Pakistan.

If India should succeed in its objective, the loss of East Pakistan with a population of 70 million people dominated by Russia will also be a threat to the security of South Asia. It will bring under Soviet domination the region of Assam, Burma, Thailand and Malaysia.

The far-reaching consequences of such a development to the future of Asia need no comment.

In this critical hour for Pakistan I request Your Excellency to do whatever you can to relieve the pressure from our borders. There is need for urgent action to issue a stern warning to Russia and India to stop aggression against Pakistan. There is also urgent need for material assistance from the United States of America, directly or indirectly, as you may consider appropriate to meet the situation."


243. Backchannel Message From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.

Washington, December 7, 1971, 8:43 p.m.

Please deliver as soon as possible to President Yahya the following message from President Nixon.

"Mr. President,

Thank you for your December 7 message/2/ which underlines the grave situation which your nation faces. I want you to know that you have the understanding and support of the United States at this critical hour. We will continue our strong efforts to bring peace to the subcontinent, effect the withdrawal of Indian forces from your country, restore the territorial integrity of Pakistan, and see to it that political, not military, solutions are found for regional problems.

/2/ Document 242.

I would like to supplement the full reports I know you have been getting from Ambassador Raza in Washington and Ambassador Farland by reviewing the various steps my government has been taking to work toward our mutual objectives.

The United States has made a series of strong démarches to India in New Delhi and in Washington, including my recent meetings with Prime Minister Gandhi, which made clear that the American people and government would not understand a resort to war. Since India began its incursions, we have taken the actions that we warned the Indian government would occur. Thus on December 1 and 3 we cut off all arms shipments to India. Since late November we have used administrative techniques to delay economic assistance to New Delhi. On December 6 we suspended certain categories of economic assistance to India totaling $87.6 million. We are now reviewing all our remaining economic assistance programs for India.

Since the outbreak of full hostilities, the White House and the State Department have issued a series of statements deploring Indian actions and fixing major responsibility on New Delhi for the present crisis. Today Dr. Kissinger is holding a background session with the press at which he will make clear our concerns and policies in South Asia and will point out the dangerous implications of Indian and Soviet actions.

In the United Nations, the United States, in close consultation with your country and other interested parties, worked for passage of Security Council resolutions that would call for withdrawal of forces in addition to a ceasefire in the subcontinent. We are now making efforts to have the UN General Assembly take action on the subcontinent situation and will continue to insist that any resolution must include a call for withdrawal of outside forces.

With respect to the Soviet Union, the United States has repeatedly underlined the dangerous implications of the Indian resort to war and the Soviet responsibility to exercise restraint. The latest U.S. representation is an urgent personal letter/3/ which I sent to Secretary Brezhnev on December 6, 1971, which makes unequivocally clear that India's aggression, with Soviet support, is unacceptable to the United States. I pointed out that the Indian forces, with Soviet backing, are attempting to impose political demands and dismember Pakistan, and that such actions run counter to the recent trend in Moscow-Washington relations. I called on the Soviet Union to use its influence in New Delhi to restore the territorial integrity of Pakistan and to halt military action. I stated that 'it would be illusory to think that if India can somehow achieve its objectives by military action the issue will be closed.' I said that, on the contrary, this 'would long complicate the international situation and undermine the confidence' of US-Soviet relations, having 'an adverse effect on a whole range of other issues.' I declared that such a turn of events would be a 'painful disappointment' and that the spirit in which the May meeting in Moscow was arranged requires 'the utmost restraint and the most urgent action to end the conflict and restore territorial integrity in the Subcontinent.'

/3/ Document 236.

We shall continue to underline to both New Delhi and Moscow that their current actions cannot but have a seriously harmful impact on our relations with them.

We are keeping the People's Republic of China fully informed about the various measures we are taking in your support and have made clear that we welcome the strong efforts it is making in your behalf.

In my December 6 meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau I emphasized the grave implications of Indian actions and the need for peace, withdrawal of forces, territorial integrity, and political solutions in the subcontinent. I shall make equally strong representations in my upcoming meetings with the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Japan.

Mr. President, I, of course, recognize that all these steps and those taken by your other friends have to date failed to deter India or the Soviet Union. I want you to be assured that we shall continue to make our own efforts, to encourage the efforts of others, and to search for new means to make clear that aggression across international borders cannot be allowed to go unpunished.

My thoughts are with you in this difficult hour for your nation."/4/

/4/ Farland sent a backchannel message to Kissinger on December 8 in which he reported that President Yahya was visibly touched by President Nixon's letter and expressed his appreciation. In the course of their conversation, Yahya described the situation in East Pakistan as "beyond hope," and told Farland that he anticipated that the death total among Biharis and supporters of his government in East Pakistan could run into the millions. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 134, Kissinger Office Files, Country Files, Middle East, India-Pakistan)

Sincerely,
RN


244. Editorial Note

On December 7, 1971, Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans reported to President Nixon at the White House on his 11-day trip to the Soviet Union. He was upbeat about the prospects for improved relations. Premier Kosygin had told him: "Mr. Secretary, we have high hopes for your mission." Stans and his party had been feted in such a way as to reinforce that impression. Stans left after 20 minutes.

After Stans left the conversation turned to the situation on the subcontinent. Nixon and Kissinger began by discussing the backgrounder Kissinger intended to provide for the press on the crisis. Framed in general statements about United States concern for the success of India's democracy and Nixon's long-standing interest in the country, Kissinger said he could "make in a very low key way an enormously damning case against the Indians." In sketching his indictment of India, Kissinger said: "I can show a real pattern of Indian deceit. For example on November 19 I saw the Indian Ambassador. On November 15 I saw the Pakistan Foreign Secretary. And I told him we needed a maximum program because it would be very difficult to prevent hostilities from breaking out. He said he would let me know after he came back on the 22nd. And on the 19th I told this to the Indian Ambassador. He said let me know as soon as you know when that will be. I said around the 28th. On the 22nd they attacked."

Nixon outlined the case he wanted to see made to the press: "The purpose is to show that we've done the best we can. And incidentally, I would also-I think you should also get across [that] we have no influence, we have no responsibility for either. It's not our job. The Russians have an interest in India. The Chinese have a hell of an interest in Pakistan. We only have an interest in peace. We're not anti-Indian, we're not anti-Pakistan. We are anti-aggression." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among President Nixon, Secretary Stans, Kissinger, Haig, and Ziegler, December 7, 1971, 3:55-4:29 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 631-4) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 163.


245. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, Indo-Pak War, India Chronology, Dr Kissinger. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by Quainton, cleared by Schneider, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to Islamabad, London, Tehran, Calcutta, Dacca, and USUN.

Washington, December 7, 1971, 0250Z.

220243. Subj: Secretary's Meeting With Jha. Following based on uncleared memcon:

1. Indian Ambassador Jha called on Secretary December 6 to present copy of letter from Prime Minister Gandhi to President/2/ (text being transmitted septel)./3/ Jha accompanied by Rasgotra and Verma. Schneider and Quainton also present from NEA.

/2/ Document 226.

/3/ Telegram 220388 to New Delhi, December 6. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

2. Jha began by saying that GOI was "greatly shocked and surprised" at USG reaction in last few days. Jha added that he was personally shocked since from conversations which he and Minister Rasgotra have had with USG officials GOI had been given no reason to expect strong US reaction blaming India which he read about in Sunday's/4/ paper. He said he would have expected to have been sent for before press talked to. His mind went back to conversation he had had with Secretary before Mrs. Gandhi's visit in which he had referred to earlier Keating and Swaran Singh conversation. In that conversation Keating had suggested if Pakistan had attacked India in the West India would be to blame. Jha said Secretary had said USG had not prejudged issue in that way.

/4/ December 5.

3. Jha said that when PM was here and subsequently USG had indicated it attached importance to Indian withdrawal from western border. GOI had not been able to accept this. Pakistan had moved first and neither UN nor US had told it to move back. It had been India's assessment of Pakistan strategy based on previous experience that Pakistan might use irregular troops to infiltrate into Kashmir and to follow this with attacks by regular forces. From GOI point of view presence of Indian troops on border was better safeguard of Indian position than withdrawal which would have exposed India to this risk. Jha said that one week ago just before he left New Delhi a high level decision was taken instructing Indian armed forces not to do anything on western border, not even to respond to minor acts of irritation. Although in substance GOI had not agreed with US withdrawal proposal, it was in general harmony with US thinking that it important western areas not be embroiled. Jha noted that PM's letter described Pakistani attack on Indian airstrips. For GOI to be blamed for having precipitated conflict was very unfair.

4. Secretary responded by saying that USG position was as set out by Ambassador Bush in speech to Security Council./5/ In backgrounders what press selects is not always balanced and India should accept that US position is as Bush has stated it. There would be no useful purpose in rehashing the past. However, he wished to say that when Mrs. Gandhi was here President had tried as much as he could to make clear that use of force in these circumstances was unacceptable and would lead to tragic results. While we sympathize with India's position and understood its plight, war was least desirable of all possibilities. We had tried to find an alternative. Rightly or wrongly we felt that India desired an independent Bangla Desh and believed that only solution was dismemberment of Pakistan. We could not subscribe to that in terms of use of force. We think events have justified our assessment. It is now important that there be a ceasefire and withdrawal and that then we work out a political solution. We recognize a political solution is essential but India seems to be saying that only armed force can bring it about. We are very unhappy about this; President is personally unhappy. We feel very strongly about it. We had wanted to be good friends with both India and Pakistan and help create two strong and economically viable nations. We had succeeded to very great extent. However, our economic assistance is wasted if war breaks out and everything is destroyed. Secretary noted that we had decided today to suspend economic assistance in pipeline of $87 million that was not firmly committed. There was now no Congressional support for any kind of economic assistance since Congressional leadership thinks everything is going down drain.

/5/ See footnote 5, Document 224.

5. Secretary asked whether there had been any change in GOI position with regard to UN resolution. Jha said there was not and now that GOI had recognized Bangla Desh government it should be made party to discussions. It is up to them whether they are willing for ceasefire. Secretary asked whether Indian troops would stay in Pakistan. Jha again replied in negative. Rasgotra noted that UN resolutions so far did not touch on basic issues at all. Secretary said we recognized there must be political solution. GOI position seems to be that there must first be a political solution and then a ceasefire. Our position is the reverse. First step is to stop fighting and then to have political solution. Jha noted that India had waited for 8 months but there had been no encouraging progress toward political settlement. India only wanted conditions in which refugees could return.

6. Secretary noted that Yahya had political proposals which he thought would work. Perhaps they would not have worked, but they were not given a chance. Only acceptable position to India seemed to be independent Bangla Desh. India seemed to set a precondition of beginning dialogue with Mujib, whereas Yahya had indicated he would talk with designee. From Yahya's point of view, however, Mujib not acceptable. Secretary said we have taken position that this was internal affair of Pakistan. We had tried to be helpful. He accepted several of our ideas such as mutual withdrawal and then unilateral withdrawal if India would respond. He indicated he would negotiate with Bangla Desh representatives from Calcutta or consider doing so through Mujib's designated representative. Jha noted that India's response had not been negative, but there were problems in finding out who was designee and what were his bona fides. Secretary asked hypothetically whether, if this problem could be overcome now, there could be a beginning to negotiations. Schneider noted that we had put forward range of possibilities with regard to negotiations. Some Yahya had said he would accept, others he would consider. The progressive increase in use of force had, however, preempted dialogue. Rasgotra asked that we keep in mind other side of case: that Pakistan military had been moving forward in East Pakistan and that there were threats and provocations.

7. Secretary said US had had serious difficulty with idea that Pakistan is threatening India in east. We want to do everything we can to bring war to conclusion. We are greatly distressed at events. We have legitimate interest in area where we have tried to be of assistance. The President is very disappointed since as a result of his conference with Mrs. Gandhi he thought that resort to force could be avoided. In our judgment even if India succeeded in getting what it wanted situation would be worse than before.

Rogers


246. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation. Secret; Priority; No Foreign Dissem. Circulated in Washington to the White House, the Departments of State and Defense, DIA, the JCS, within Defense to the Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force, to NIC, NSA, and the Office of Current Intelligence.

TDCS-314/12990-71 Washington, December 7, 1971.

COUNTRY

India/Pakistan

DOI

6 December 1971

SUBJECT
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Briefing [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] on the IndoPakistani War

ACQ

[1 line of source text not declassified]

SOURCE

[5 lines of source text not declassified]

1. On 6 December 1971 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi [1 line of source text not declassified] told [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] that India is doing quite well on the diplomatic front. The Soviet Union's support in the United Nations, while expected, shows the value of the Indo-Soviet friendship treaty. Mrs. Gandhi also commented that she is pleased with the stand taken by France and Great Britain in the Security Council.

2. As far as China is concerned, said the Prime Minister, she had expected it to take a more balanced view, even though Chinese support to Pakistan in the United Nations was a foregone conclusion. The Prime Minister stated that she hopes the Chinese do not intervene physically in the North; she noted, however, that the Soviets have warned her that the Chinese are still able to "rattle the sword" in Ladakh and Chumbi areas. If they should do so, she said, the Soviets have promised to counter-balance any such action.

3. The Prime Minister said that the United States might attempt to bring the cease-fire issue before the General Assembly after another Soviet veto. She stated that India would not accept the advice of the General Assembly, however, until:

A. Bangladesh is liberated;

B. The southern area of Azad Kashmir is liberated; ([less than 1 line of source text not declassified] comment: This encompasses the area west of the 1965 cease-fire line between Chhamb and Punch.);

C. Pakistani armored and air force strength are destroyed so that Pakistan will never again be in a position to plan another invasion of India.

4. The Prime Minister continued by saying that it is a pity that, in spite of India's efforts, the United States has not changed its policy toward the sub-continent. The new nation of Bangladesh is emerging; West Pakistan will be reduced to the size of other small West Asian countries. This balance of forces will be favorable to India, she said, but the United States is unable to appreciate the changes which are taking place; however, the Prime Minister added that there is still time for the United States to alter its policy toward the sub-continent.

5. The Prime Minister stated that she expects other socialist countries to recognize Bangladesh after some time has elapsed. The immediate concern of India, however, is to finish the war quickly.

6. Mrs. Gandhi concluded her briefing by reiterating India's war objectives:

A. The quick liberation of Bangladesh,

B. The incorporation into India of the southern part of Azad Kashmir for strategic rather than territorial reasons, (because India has no desire to occupy any West Pakistan territory); and, finally,

C. To destroy Pakistani military striking power so that it never attempts to challenge India in the future.


247. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 8, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan: At the end of a long session last night, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution on the Indo-Pak war essentially the same as that vetoed in the Security Council by the Soviets. The vote was 104 in favor (including the U.S.), 11 against (Soviet bloc minus Romania, plus Bhutan and India) and 10 abstentions, most notable of which were the UK, France and Denmark. The resolution specifically calls for a ceasefire, withdrawal of troops, creation of necessary conditions for a voluntary return of refugees and urges protection of civilians in the area.

Despite the impressive margin of the UN vote, it is unlikely to deter the Indians who had already indicated that they would ignore this kind of resolution. In fact, according to a CIA report,/2/ Mrs. Gandhi told her cabinet on December 6 that India would not accept such a resolution until Bangla Desh is "liberated," the southern part of Pakheld Kashmir is incorporated into India and Pakistan's military striking power is destroyed.

/2/ Document 246.

The Paks continue to bitterly contest Indian gains in East Pakistan, but the consensus among veteran military observers and reporters is that the end of the Pak Army's effective resistance may come sooner than expected. CIA estimates that the Indians and guerrillas now probably control about half of the province and are progressively isolating the Pak Army as they gain control of strategic points. Our Consul General in Dacca comments that the "noose is obviously getting tighter."

Fighting in the West has also reportedly intensified, although the Indians still seem to be essentially on the defensive and have not yet launched a major counter-offensive. The Paks have mounted two substantial drives into Kashmir and seem to have made some progress. There is fighting also to the south on the Punjab plain, but the results so far are inconclusive. The Indians have, however, penetrated at least 15 miles into West Pakistan in the direction of Karachi. Both sides continue to make air strikes on the western front, but neither has yet gained the upper hand.

CIA has reviewed China's military position along the Indian border and concludes that the Chinese are not militarily prepared for major and sustained involvement in the Indo-Pak war. It seems clear that involvement on the scale of the 1962 invasion of India is probably beyond China's present capabilities. China does, however, retain the option of a smaller scale effort, ranging from overt troop movements and publicized preparations to aggressive patrolling and harassment of Indian border outposts on a limited diversionary attack. In this connection, it is also worth noting that Mrs. Gandhi recently told her cabinet that if the Chinese "rattled the sword" the Soviets have promised to "counter-balance" any such action.

On the political front, Yahya moved ahead yesterday with his plan to establish a civilian coalition government. It was announced that Nurul Amin, a Bengali friendly to Yahya, will be Prime Minister and that Z.A. Bhutto has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

The major evacuation problem at the moment is Dacca. As you know, the UN has been attempting for several days to make arrangements for the evacuation of foreign nationals in Dacca, but has failed because of Indian military operations in the area. At this point the Dacca airfield is "unusable" and will probably require repairs during a cease-fire period before it can handle evacuation flights. The UN is gearing up for another airlift attempt, which would include some 100 Americans, but it may well turn out that evacuation by helicopters operating off an aircraft carrier is the only answer.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


248. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A briefer record of the meeting, prepared by James Noyes (OASD/ISA), is in the Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330 76 0197, Box 74, Pakistan 381, (Dec) 1971.

Washington, December 8, 1971, 11:13 a.m.-12:02 p.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPANTS

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
U. Alexis Johnson
Joseph Sisco
Samuel DePalma
Christopher Van Hollen
David Schneider
Bruce Laingen

Defense
David Packard
Armistead Selden
James H. Noyes

JCS
Gen. John D. Ryan
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Richard Helms
John Waller

AID
Donald MacDonald
Maurice Williams
C. Herbert Rees

NSC Staff
Harold H. Saunders
Samuel Hoskinson
R/Adm. Robert O. Welander
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
Mrs. Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

(1) CIA would assess the international implications of the situation;

(2) Defense would assess Pakistan's military prospects in Kashmir;

(3) State would prepare a paper on our military supply options;

(4) State would revise the cable to King Hussein,/2/ telling him we are reviewing the matter of his providing aircraft obtained from the U.S. to Pakistan and giving him the reasons why we want to hold up for the time being.

/2/ On December 7 Executive Secretary Theodore Eliot sent a memorandum to Kissinger addressing the question raised at the December 6 WSAG meeting concerning the legal and policy problems involved in responding to the Jordanian request for U.S. consent to the transfer of F-104 fighters to Pakistan. The Department concluded that the President could not under law approve such a transfer unless he was willing to make a policy decision that the United States was willing to supply F-104s to Pakistan directly. Attached to Eliot's memorandum was a draft cable to Amman instructing the Ambassador to explain the prohibition to King Hussein. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 574, Indo-Pak War, South Asia Military Supply, 11/23/71-12/ 31/71)

Dr. Kissinger: Dick (Helms), where do we stand?

(Mr. Helms briefed from the text at Tab A.)/3/

/3/ Not printed. According to his notes, Helms reported that Indian forces had broken through Pakistani lines in the Comilla area of East Pakistan, and the situation was deteriorating for Pakistani forces throughout East Pakistan. In the west Pakistan claimed to have captured Poonch on the Kashmir cease-fire line, but admitted to sustaining heavy casualties in Kashmir and in a tank battle on the Sind-Rajasthan frontier. According to a CIA report (Document 246) Prime Minister Gandhi told her Cabinet on December 6 that before accepting a UN call for a cease-fire there were three objectives that would have to be achieved: to guarantee the establishment of Bangladesh; to liberate the southern part of Azad Kashmir; and to destroy Pakistan's armor and air forces.

Dr. Kissinger: What records are the Paks destroying?/4/

/4/ Helms had noted in his briefing that Pakistani forces in East Pakistan were under such heavy pressure from the Indian offensive that they had begun to destroy their records.

Mr. Helms: Military records-not intelligence records.

Dr. Kissinger: The southern part of Azad Kashmir-is that the part the Paks took in 1947?

Mr. Helms: Yes.

Mr. Sisco: (to Helms) How long do you think the Paks can hold out in the East?

Mr. Helms: Forty-eight hours-if it were not for the rivers, it would be over by now.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Ryan) What is your assessment of the military situation in the West?

Gen. Ryan: We still think the Indians plan a holding action-we don't think they will push very hard.

Dr. Kissinger: How long would it take them to transfer their troops from East to West?

Gen. Ryan: It would take a long time for a transfer of all their divisions, but their airborne division could be transferred in five or six days.

Mr. Williams: It is 28 hours by train from Calcutta to New Delhi, to give you some idea of time. This would mean, of course, clearing the rail line and using it exclusively for troop transport.

Gen. Ryan: How much they would want to transfer to the West is debatable. The Indians already have superiority in the West.

Dr. Kissinger: We have one major problem-what stance should we take toward a possible debacle in West Pakistan as well as in the East? Before we get to that, Maury (Williams), what is the situation on refugee aid?

Mr. Williams: The recommendation of the World Bank was that the total cost of the refugee relief should be compensated to India to protect the Indian development program. The total was $700 million, of which the US quota would have been $250 million. This was not done, however. Instead, we made $90 million in direct commodity contributions-PL-480 food, other commodities, and some to U.S. voluntary agencies. It was agreed to provide $22.8 million in cash to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and to UNICEF, but 3/4 of that turned out to be in terms of commodities. The Indians have complained bitterly about this, claiming that this did not compensate them for their costs, which was the purpose of the exercise.

Mr. Johnson: A very small amount of U.S. dollars have flowed to the Indian economy-about $5 or $6 million.

Mr. Williams: The net result is that the Indians have lost foreign exchange. We still have $1.8 million unallocated which we were holding for the U.S. voluntary agencies, but the whole relief effort has now been suspended.

Dr. Kissinger: For both India and Pakistan?

Mr. Williams: Both.

Dr. Kissinger: I want to make it clear that the President wants all relief to be made available in kind-no cash! I also want to be sure that nothing is done in the future-the next tranche of the development loan, PL-480, etc.-without approval here. He doesn't want anything to slide through.

Mr. Williams: There is no next tranche-I can assure you nothing can slide through.

Dr. Kissinger: If the situation in the West worsens, what would be the next turn of the screw?

Mr. Williams: The only thing left to do in this area is to take possession of the goods already under contract. We have done everything short of that.

Mr. Sisco: In the post-war context, these other issues-PL-480, loans, etc.,-will be very important.

Mr. Williams: I want to be sure everyone understands that the free foreign exchange proposal made by the World Bank for India was not acted on by any of the donors. India has gained no net foreign exchange.

Mr. Packard: On the contracts, do we commit funds to India in advance or at the time of the contract?

Mr. Williams: These goods go under loan agreements, and the money is paid to U.S. banks. We have to stop payment and take possession of the goods. We would have to pay the suppliers and would have to settle the claims that would arise. It would be messy.

Mr. Packard: It could be done, but it would be quite a job.

Mr. Kissinger: Why do you say it would be messy?

Mr. Williams: The U.S. Government would have to take possession of the goods and would have to settle all the claims of the companies.

Mr. Packard: First we would have to locate all the stuff.

Mr. Williams: We would have to make arrangements for storage, pay warehousing charges.

Mr. Packard: We can do it, but it would be difficult.

Mr. Johnson: Have we any precedents?

Mr. Williams: Only small amounts in cases where diplomatic relations had been broken. Even those claims took years to settle.

Mr. Kissinger: How is India handling next year's development program? Are they negotiating with you (AID) now?

Mr. Williams: No, nothing is under negotiation with India.

Mr. Kissinger: What about your budget for next year?

Mr. Williams: We'll have to look at that. It's a question whether AID will survive next year. There's an important vote on the future of AID in the House at 11:00 this morning. We're a hostage to the Mansfield Amendment./5/

/5/ Reference is to an amendment to the foreign assistance bill first offered in June 1971 by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Montana), which set a date for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Indochina. The amendment was debated repeatedly during the course of the year and a variation was adopted in September as part of a defense authorization bill. President Nixon said in signing the bill that he would ignore the amendment. The original amendment was attached in November to the Senate foreign aid bill. The inclusion of the amendment led to a deadlock in conference from November 18 to December 16 when the House voted 130-101 against instructing its conferees to agree to the amendment. (Congress and the Nation, Vol. III, 1969-1972, Washington: Congressional Quarterly Service, 1973, p. 13)

Mr. Kissinger: You'll survive.

Mr. Williams: Of course, what goes into the budget does not constitute a commitment to a country.

Mr. Sisco: But it has an important psychological effect.

Mr. Williams: We can mention it as a contingency.

Mr. Kissinger: We have orders to put nothing in the budget for India. (to Williams) I'll have to discuss this with you. A $10 or $20 million cut won't satisfy the President. Nor does he want any stories that AID recommended a big budget and the wicked White House cut it out. You should put your minds to work on a much smaller budget for next year, no matter what eventually happens in the present situation.

Let's now turn to the key issue. If India turns on West Pakistan, takes Azad Kashmir and smashes the Pak air and tank forces, a number of things seems inevitable. Should we, in full conscience, allow the liberation of the same disintegrating forces in West Pakistan as in the East? Baluchistan and other comparable issues are bound to come to the fore, as Mrs. Gandhi indicated to the President and as she told a Columbia University seminar in New York, I understand. Pakistan would be left defenseless and West Pakistan would be turned into a vassal state. We have to decide some questions-the military supply question, for example. I have reviewed the cables to Jordan which enthusiastically tell Hussein he can't furnish planes to the Paks. We shouldn't decide this on such doctrinaire grounds. The question is, when an American ally is being raped, whether or not the U.S. should participate in enforcing a blockade of our ally, when the other side is getting Soviet aid. I don't know what the decision will be, but we have to consider this in broader terms. That's why I'm holding up your cables. In any event, they should be toned down.

Mr. Sisco: We should tell Hussein to keep his options open. The question of military supply in the context of East Pakistan is one thing. If the situation evolves in the West as Henry describes, and there is a serious risk to West Pakistan, that's something else. Personally, I doubt that that is the Indian objective, but it may be.

Mr. Johnson: (Foreign Minister) Singh told (Ambassador) Keating that India had no intention of taking "any" territory. He was presumably referring to Kashmir.

Mr. Sisco: I wonder if they're not making a distinction here-Kashmir is a disputed area. I suspect they're really talking about something other than that strip of Azad Kashmir that Dick (Helms) referred to.

Mr. Helms: In this connection, Mrs. Gandhi told her cabinet that she had expected a more balanced view from the Chinese. She expressed the hope that the Chinese would not intervene physically in the north, but said that the Soviets had said the Chinese would be able to "rattle the sword." She also said that the Soviets have promised to counterbalance any such action.

Mr. Johnson: (to Helms) Your briefing this morning said there was no Chinese buildup in the area.

Mr. Helms: They already have enough forces there to rattle the sword. They have the people there to make some motions.

(Mr. Sisco left the meeting.)

Dr. Kissinger: We have two military supply questions: 1) to get King Hussein into a holding pattern on provision of aircraft to Pakistan, while the President considers the issue; and 2) how to convey to the Indians and possibly the Soviet Union that a turn of their attention to West Pakistan would present some problems.

Mr. Packard: The basic problem is that we can't authorize Jordan to do anything we can't do ourselves. If a third country has some planes that we don't have, we could authorize them to supply them to Pakistan. In these circumstances, it might be better for us to supply the planes directly, but we can't authorize Jordan to do it unless we are authorized to do it ourselves.

Mr. Johnson: We would have to make a judgment that Pakistan is eligible to make such purchases and then notify the Congress.

Dr. Kissinger: If we hadn't cut off arms to Pakistan, this problem wouldn't exist.

Mr. Packard: That's right.

Dr. Kissinger: We didn't analyze what the real danger was at the time we took that step-we all failed there. If we had understood the implications-I was wrong too-we were all wrong.

Mr. Packard: There's another issue on Jordan-if they deliver the planes to Pakistan, we will have to replace them, since we can't afford to let Jordan weaken itself.

Mr. Johnson: And we don't have the MAP to do that.

Dr. Kissinger: What is the judgment of this group? We have a country, supported and equipped by the Soviet Union, turning one-half of another country into a satellite state and the other half into an impotent vassal. Leaving aside any American interest in the sub-continent, what conclusions will other countries draw from this in their dealings with the Soviets? Dick (Helms), would you do an analysis of this?

Mr. Helms: Don't we have some obligation under CENTO?

Mr. Johnson: No legal obligation.

Dr. Kissinger: We had no legal obligation to India in 1962, but we came to the conclusion that if China should overrun India, it would present us with great problems. I've read the bilateral treaty,/6/ and it's not easy to escape the conclusion that some conditions which would warrant some involvement of the constitutional process are close by. If India succeeds, what would be the impact in the larger threatre of world affairs?

/6/ See footnote 9, Document 218.

Mr. Packard: It would negate SEATO.

Mr. Johnson: An India attack against Pakistan is excluded from SEATO.

Mr. Packard: But as a practical matter, SEATO would be down the drain.

Dr. Kissinger: We have been talking for two years about a Security Council guarantee for the Middle East. What is the impact of the recent chain of events on other areas and expectations in other areas?

Let's look at the military supply question. We could say that we have done everything two weeks too late. If we wait until India takes Azad Kashmir, then take action on military supplies for Pakistan, we would merely infuriate the Indians and demonstrate our impotence. If we had cut off aid two weeks ago, it might have had some influence on the situation in the East, instead of being a grandstand play. Let's look at this whole picture.

Mr. Packard: We should consider some way that would help West Pakistan hold its own.

Dr. Kissinger: How?

Mr. Johnson: I agree this should be examined. We should consider exactly what effect military supplies could have.

Dr. Kissinger: There are two separate problems: the threat of military supply and the fact of such supply. Once a war in West Pakistan is engaged, provision of planes by Jordan might combine all the disadvantages. I'm more interested in the deterrent effect. If it were done as a token before the war, it would be an indication that, while we don't accept what has happened in East Pakistan, we can't do anything about it, but if they move in West Pakistan, it would be a whole new ball game.

Mr. Johnson: We might introduce this element in our comeback to (Ambassador) Keating replying to his report of his conversation with Foreign Minister Singh./7/

/7/ Keating met with Singh on December 7 at Singh's request to review the crisis. Keating reported on the extensive conversation in telegram 1877 from New Delhi, December 7. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 572, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/7/71-12/9/71)

Mr. Van Hollen: Singh said the Indians had no territorial ambitions-we could pick him up on that.

Dr. Kissinger: If they succeed in destroying the Pakistan Army, they don't need any territorial ambitions.

Mr. Van Hollen: We could pick up both elements-ask for specific Indian assurances on Azad Kashmir and that they do not seek to destroy Pak forces in the West.

Dr. Kissinger: We should also make it clear that if they do, they will face a new situation.

Mr. Johnson: Of course, the Paks are trying to bite off Kashmir.

Dr. Kissinger: I don't think they have the punch.

Mr. Helms: I agree.

Mr. Selden: We have a new report/8/ indicating that the Paks may have knocked out as many as 120 Indian planes on their first attacks on those four airfields.

/8/ Not found.

Mr. Helms: Our 1962 assurances to Ayub made it clear that we would come to Pakistan's assistance in the face of aggression against Pakistan from India.

Mr. Van Hollen: That was in the context of our assurances to India when China moved in. This was overtaken by the events of 1965, and our legal people don't think the Paks have a binding case in international law.

Mr. Johnson: If we want to assist Pakistan, we can find a basis for doing it.

Mr. Van Hollen: If we make a policy decision to assist Pakistan militarily, we don't have to worry about it.

Dr. Kissinger: If the word of a country has any legal meaning, it seems to me this would apply. The Paks haven't raised it with us yet, of course.

Mr. Packard: There is the practical problem, though-if we do anything, we should do something effective.

Mr. Helms: I agree. If we don't win, don't do it.

Mr. Packard: We should take a good look at it.

Mr. Williams: In 1965, the Paks closed our base at Peshawar and for all practical purposes left CENTO. With the fall of East Pakistan two days away, I think an attempt to get a cease-fire in West Pakistan needs to be made diplomatically.

Mr. Johnson: But that would stop the Paks in Kashmir.

Mr. Williams: But if they will be chewed up, we might be doing them a favor.

Dr. Kissinger: Dick (Helms), would you get us by tomorrow an assessment of Pakistan's capabilities in Kashmir.

Mr. Helms: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: We need four things tomorrow:

1) the assessment of the international implications of the situation;

2) an assessment of Pakistan's military prospects in Kashmir;

3) our stance on the military supply question;

4) revision of the cable to Jordan to get word to King Hussein to stay in a holding pattern, that we are reviewing the situation, and that we share his concern and do not consider this a trivial issue.

If we're too enthusiastic about telling him not to do anything for Pakistan, he may think we would treat his country the same way in a comparable situation.

Mr. Johnson: We have done a new version of the note protesting the Indian blockade (circulated at the table and attached at Tab B),/9/ but I don't think we should send it. There is nothing to be gained. We have already protested the attack on our ship, and there's not much purpose in doing anything more.

/9/ Attached at Tab B, but not printed, are a draft protest note and a related draft press statement, under cover of an undated copy of a memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger. The memorandum, as sent with the attachments indicated, was dated December 7. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-2 INDIA-PAK)

Dr. Kissinger: Except to show our displeasure with the Indian action.

Mr. Johnson: The Paks have also declared a blockade.

Dr. Kissinger: With what?

Mr. Johnson: On paper they have taken the same action as India.

Dr. Kissinger: We could protest to Pakistan too.

Mr. Van Hollen: We could make a paper protest to the Pakistanis.

Mr. Johnson: We don't have a legal case to protest the blockade as such. The two countries have declared a state of war between them and, under this declaration, they have the right of blockade. It's more a question of how the blockade is carried out. Firing on an American ship is an illegal act, and we have protested that twice. We can protest that again.

Dr. Kissinger: Formally? We don't know how it was done-we just saw a press statement.

Mr. Van Hollen: I called in the Indian Minister, and the Secretary called in the Indian Ambassador.

Mr. Johnson: We would have no problem with a formal protest in writing on the Buckeye State incident./10/ It would be difficult to protest the blockade, however. If we want to continue any even-handedness, we would have to protest to Pakistan also.

/10/ A situation report prepared by the Department of State India-Pakistan Working Group on December 4 noted that the U.S. merchant ship SS Buckeye State had been shelled by unidentified aircraft while at anchor in Chittagong Harbor. The captain and two crewmen were wounded. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 571, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/1/71-12/4/71) The draft protest note, cited above, identifies the planes as belonging to the Indian Air Force.

Dr. Kissinger: We're not trying to be all that even-handed. The President has told all of you what he wants-do any of you have any doubts as to what he wants? He doesn't want to be completely even-handed. He's trying to get across to the Indians that they are running a major risk in their relations with the US. If every time we do something to the Indians, we have to do the same thing to Pakistan, we will be participating in the rape of Pakistan, given the difference in their strengths. This blockade protest is a tactical decision that doesn't bother me one way or the other. Am I misrepresenting what the President has said? You have all heard him. He said to look for things we can do to get the message across to India.

Mr. Johnson: We can do it.

Mr. Packard: We have some reports that India may be experiencing a little concern about our attitude. Maybe we should pour it on a little.

Dr. Kissinger: Why should we do anything to ease India's state of mind? If India is mad, they won't get any less mad if we don't do some of these things. Mrs. Gandhi is a cold-blooded, tough customer. She won't become a Soviet satellite out of pique. We've had one NSC meeting on this. If anyone disagrees that this is the President's intention, we can have another meeting. On the blockade, I don't care. But we shouldn't ease their minds about our intentions.

Mr. Helms: Have we a policy decision on the evacuation of white faces from Dacca?

Mr. Johnson: There's a meeting going on in New York now. It's not a black-white issue. The evacuation is in the context of UN and third-country personnel, who happen to be white. We're working with Defense on this in New York.

Dr. Kissinger: On the question of a massacre, does anyone know what is happening in the areas India has occupied? Will we know if there is a massacre?

Mr. Helms: Yes, but we won't know developments minute by minute.

Mr. Johnson: We put something in the GA resolution/11/ on that.

/11/ On December 7 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that made reference to the need for a political solution to the crisis, called upon India and Pakistan to agree to a cease-fire and the withdrawal of armed forces from each other's territory, and urged the creation of the conditions necessary for the return of refugees to their homes in East Pakistan. (UN doc. A/RES/2793, adopted by a vote of 104 to 11, with 10 abstentions) For the debate that led up to the vote, see UN doc. A/PV.2003.

Mr. Van Hollen: To recap the assignments, CIA will assess the overall implications, Defense will assess Pak capabilities in Kashmir, State will give you the options on military supply, and we will redraft the message to Hussein.

Dr. Kissinger: Let him know that we understand his problem and give him the reasons why we want to hold up for the time being.


249. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 998, Haig Chronological File, Haig Telcons 1971. No classification marking. Another copy is in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 395, Telephone Conversations, Dobrynin File, Sept 1971-Apr 1972.

Washington, December 8, 1971, 3:50 p.m.

V: How are you, General?

H: Fine, Mr. Minister. I am calling to convey a message. Dr. Kissinger is in a meeting right now, but he wanted you to have this message as soon as possible. It is to the effect that with respect to your note yesterday,/2/ the President does not feel a response at this time is necessary until he receives a response to his written communication, and he wanted it understood that the "watershed" term/3/ which he used was very, very pertinent, and he considers it a carefully thought-out and valid assessment on his part.

/2/ Reference is to the message from the Soviet leadership delivered by Vorontsov to Kissinger on December 6; see Document 241.

/3/ See Document 231.

V: Okay. I will have this in mind and transmit it to Moscow. Thank you, General.

H: Good-bye, Mr. Minister.


250. Editorial Note

On instructions from Washington, a senior Embassy official met with the Shah in Tehran on December 8, 1971, to discuss the possibility of Iranian military support for Pakistan. The Shah stated that he had informed the Pakistani Ambassador in Tehran that, in light of the treaty of friendship signed by India and the Soviet Union, he could not send Iranian aircraft and pilots to Pakistan. He was not prepared to risk a confrontation with the Soviet Union.

The Shah proposed an alternative way to provide support to the hard-pressed Pakistani Air Force. He suggested that the United States urge King Hussein to send Jordanian F-104 fighters to Pakistan. The Shah in turn would send two squadrons of Iranian aircraft to Jordan to defend Jordan while Jordanian planes and pilots were in Pakistan engaged in support of fellow Muslims.

The Embassy official indicated that, because of legal constraints regarding the use of military equipment provided by the United States, it would be difficult for officials in Washington to give permission for the transfer of the F-104s from Jordan to Pakistan, or to overlook their absence in Jordan. The Shah said that the United States could not hope to achieve the objective of bolstering Pakistan while maintaining that it was not involved in the effort. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)


251. Editorial Note

President Nixon, Attorney General Mitchell, and National Security Assistant Kissinger met in the Old Executive Office Building on the afternoon of December 8, 1971, for an extended discussion of the crisis in South Asia. Kissinger referred to a message that had been received from the Shah of Iran. (See Document 250.) The Shah could not send aircraft to support Pakistan because of the treaty between India and the Soviet Union. "He's proposing that the Jordanians send their planes to Pakistan, because the Pakistanis can fly Jordanian planes. And then he sends his planes to Jordan with Iranian pilots to cover Jordan while they are engaged in Pakistan." Nixon said: "I think we could get a commitment from Israel on the Jordanians." Nixon and Kissinger talked at the same time agreeing that it should be possible to negotiate Israeli restraint. Nixon instructed Kissinger to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Golda Meir: "When you talk to her, you tell her, Henry, that this is a goddamn Russian ploy."

Turning to the situation in East Pakistan, Kissinger warned that "the Indian plan is now clear. They are going to move their forces from East Pakistan to the west. They will then smash the Pakistan land forces and air forces." He added that India planned to "annex the part of Kashmir that is in Pakistan." [Azad Kashmir]. Kissinger went on to attribute to the Gandhi government the goal of Balkanizing West Pakistan into units such as Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier Province. West Pakistan would become a state akin to Afghanistan and East Pakistan would equate with Bhutan. "All of this would have been achieved by Soviet support, Soviet arms, and Indian military force." Kissinger warned that "the impact of this on many countries threatened by the Soviet Union" would be serious. He pointed in particular to the potential impact upon the Middle East. If the crisis resulted in "the complete dismemberment of Pakistan," Kissinger worried that China might conclude that the United States was "just too weak" to have prevented the humiliation of an ally. Kissinger felt that the Chinese would then look to other options "to break their encirclement." "So I think this, unfortunately, has turned into a big watershed."

Kissinger went on to suggest how Nixon should react in this "tough situation." "It seems to me that what we have to do now, or what I would recommend, is where we went wrong before is not to try to scare off the Indians." Nixon asked: "How could we scare them?" Kissinger offered no concrete answer, but he said that if Nixon's advisers had understood the situation better they would have proposed a stronger response to Indian actions. He assured Nixon that he had done "exactly what all your advisers recommended." Nixon said that he had given Prime Minister Gandhi a warning during his dinner in Washington with her: "I told her that any war would be very, very unacceptable." Kissinger observed that any such warning obviously fell on deaf ears: "She was determined to go." [Into East Pakistan]

Kissinger continued: "We should have been tougher with the Russians." Nixon asked: "What could we have done?" Kissinger responded: "We should have told them what we finally told them last Sunday [December 5] that this would mark a watershed in our relationship, that there could be no Middle East negotiations if this thing would grow. We would have to play it tough. And thirdly, we should have cut off economic aid the first or second day, plus all of arms instead of waiting 10 days and diddling around. Nixon observed: "We have done all of that. But I ordered all of that." Kissinger felt that the United States had responded too slowly in the fast moving situation, a failing he ascribed in part to insufficient concentration of control in the White House.

Nixon asked: "Now what do we do?" Kissinger responded: "We have two choices. . . . We have got to convince the Indians now, we've got to scare them off from an attack on West Pakistan as much as we possibly can. And therefore, we've got to get another tough warning to the Russians." Kissinger noted that in doing so "you are risking the summit. On the other hand, the summit may not be worth a damn if they lose-if they kick you around." Militarily, Kissinger judged, "we have only one hope now." "To convince the Indians the thing is going to escalate. And to convince the Russians that they are going to pay an enormous price. It may not work, Mr. President . . . we can't make up 6 years of military imbalance." Nixon said: "We should never have let it get out of balance." He attributed the military imbalance on the subcontinent in good part to President Johnson "to his great discredit." Kissinger faulted the bureaucracy. "You promised Yahya on your first visit to send some arms." The difficulty, he said, was to get the bureaucracy to fulfill the promise. "We didn't know there would be a war in '71, but it took a year to get your promise to Yahya worked out."

Nixon turned to the question of whether to encourage a transfer of planes to Pakistan. Kissinger and Nixon agreed that the issue posed a risk. Kissinger said: "I think we're in trouble." He went on to say: "If we did this, we could give a note to the Chinese and say if you are ever going to move, this is the time." Nixon agreed: "All right, that's what we'll do." Mitchell observed: "All they have to do is put their forces on the border." Kissinger noted the danger of a corresponding move by the Soviet Union to support India and said: "I must warn you, Mr. President, if our bluff is called, we'll be in trouble."

Nixon said they had to "cold-bloodedly make the decision." Kissinger added: "We've got to make it within 36 hours." Nixon said that he did not want another meeting: "No more goddamn meetings to decide this." Kissinger noted that he had a WSAG meeting scheduled for the next day. He said that after the meeting he would present the choices confronting the administration to Nixon. Nixon said that one of his choices was to do relatively little to intervene further in the crisis, which he noted was "basically the State line." "If we let it go," he observed to Kissinger, "your fear is that it will certainly screw up the South Asian area. . . . Your greater fear, however, is that it may get . . . the Chinese stirred up so that they do something else. . . . And it will encourage the Russians to do the same thing someplace else." Kissinger concurred and pointed to the possible implications of the crisis for the Middle East. Nixon said: "I am for doing anything . . ." The tape is difficult to understand at this point but the essence of his remarks is that he favored an interventionist approach. Kissinger worried that the United States did not have the requisite "punch to make it [an intervention] effective." Nixon agreed: "We can't do this without the Chinese helping us." He added: "As I look at this thing, the Chinese have got to move to that damn border. The Indians have got to get a little scared." He instructed Kissinger to get a message to that effect to the Chinese.

Beyond making an approach to China, Nixon puzzled over "what really we can do to affect the outcome." Kissinger suggested that one thing that could be done would be to encourage Jordan to transfer planes to Pakistan. Another would be to move the carrier force into the Bay of Bengal. After considerable discussion, Nixon noted that another form of pressure on India would be to brand India publicly as an aggressor. He also asked: "What about Indian aid? Is there anything more that we can do there?" He observed that in putting economic pressure on India: "I was for doing it more openly. . . . The whole line was well let's do it but not say anything. Well we've done that and it hasn't worked." Kissinger observed that the Department of the Treasury under Secretary Connally had moved quickly to put economic pressure on India, but he felt that the Department of State, reflecting Secretary Rogers' instincts, had been slow to implement instructions to do so. "So we didn't give the Indians the real shock effect when . . . at first the Indians were not claiming they were invading."

Summarizing the decisions they were considering, Kissinger said: "We should get a note to the Chinese, we should move the carrier to the Bay of Bengal." Nixon interjected: "I agree." Nixon continued: "With regard to an announcement, with regard to the aid thing, I mean just cut it off. All aid to India period." Kissinger observed that "it is practically all cut off now." Nixon suggested that another step would be to announce that economic assistance to India would not be included in the next budget. On the question of planes for Pakistan, Kissinger said that the United States, which could oppose the transfer of equipment supplied by the United States, should allow Jordan to send planes to Pakistan and similarly allow Iran to send planes to Jordan to ensure the security of Jordan in the absence of a significant portion of its air force. Nixon agreed. Kissinger also pointed to the importance of getting a "stemwinder of a note to the Russians." Nixon observed about such a note: "I don't know what we can say that you have not already said." Kissinger said that the note would be in reply to the Soviet note received on December 6 "and I think we should just say nothing until we've done something, because we've got nothing left to say." Kissinger felt that the next steps should come after Nixon had made his "final decision" on the transfer of planes and on the introduction of a carrier force into the Bay of Bengal. He said: "I think if we do anything we should do it all together."

Nixon instructed Kissinger again to discuss a coordinated move with China. He told him to go to New York and say he had a message from the President for Premier Chou En-lai. Kissinger said that he was more optimistic than he had been earlier that China would respond positively to a suggestion regarding a coordinated move. "They know," he said, "that this is a dress rehearsal of what could happen to them." Nixon picked up on that theme: "What I would like to do in a note to the Chinese is to state exactly that, that I consider this to be a dress rehearsal and I think their move toward the border would restrain India." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Mitchell, and Kissinger, December 8, 1971, 4:20-5:01 p.m., Old Executive Office Building, Conversation No. 307-27) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 165.


252. Editorial Note

President Nixon and Henry Kissinger concluded their discussion of the crisis on the Indian subcontinent on December 8, 1971, with a telephone conversation that began at 8:03 p.m. They began by discussing the summit scheduled for Moscow in May in light of the crisis. Their view was that the Soviet failure to restrain India imperiled the summit. Nixon said: "Maybe we really have to put it to the Russians and say that we feel that under the circumstances we have to cancel the summit. . . . We've got to look at it down the road." "The things that we've got to consider are these: one, the cost of letting this go down the drain . . . and then doing the other things. And then on the other hand, we've got to figure that if we play this out, the fact [is] that we may not be around after the election." He concluded: "It's a tough goddamned decision and yet on the other hand being around after the election, if everything is down the drain, [it] doesn't make any difference." Kissinger's assessment was that if the United States were to "play it out toughly" it would get compensation somewhere and Nixon would be able to go to Moscow with his head up. But, he said, "if you just let it go down the drain, the Moscow summit may not be worth having." Nixon found it hard to believe that progress in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union on issues such as strategic arms limitations was being jeopardized by Soviet policy toward South Asia. He said: "Under the circumstances . . . we have to choose as to what we can do here." The major problem, Kissinger said, was to maintain Soviet respect for the United States. "If they are going to play it into an absolute showdown, then the summit wasn't worth having anyway."

Nixon and Kissinger went on to discuss what they could do to allow the Soviet leaders to save face, to give them "a way out" of the crisis. Nixon recognized that the United States could not suggest to the Soviet Union that the situation in South Asia should revert to the status quo ante. But, he added, "we can say get the hell out of West Pakistan."

Kissinger also pointed to the threat to West Pakistan: "At this stage, we have to prevent an Indian attack on West Pakistan." Nixon agreed. Kissinger continued: "We have to maintain the position of withdrawal from all of Pakistan." He concluded that if the United States held firm in its approach to India and the Soviet Union, the administration would achieve its overall goals, even if it failed to prevent India from dismembering Pakistan: "If they maintain their respect for us even if you lose, we still will come out all right." For Kissinger, it was a question of preserving credibility and honor. By introducing United States military power into the equation, in the form of a carrier and other units from the Seventh Fleet, the United States was seeking to prevent "a Soviet stooge, supported by Soviet arms" from overrunning an ally.

Nixon returned to his conviction that China could exercise a decisive restraining influence on India. "The Chinese thing I still think is a card in the hole there." "I tell you a movement of even some Chinese toward that border could scare those goddamn Indians to death." Kissinger agreed and said: "As soon as we have made the decision here, we can then talk to the Chinese." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 8, 1971, 8:03-8:12 p.m., White House Telephone, Conversation No. 16-64) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 166. Another record of this conversation is in the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File.


253. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 497, President's Trip Files, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger, Vol. 2. The source text is an unofficial translation, apparently done in the Soviet Embassy or the Foreign Ministry. A handwritten notation on the letter indicates it was handed to Kissinger by Soviet Minister Vorontsov on December 9 at 8:15 a.m.

Moscow, December 8, 1971.

Dear Mr. President:

We have already conveyed to you certain reflections regarding the developments in the Hindostan peninsula that we had in connection with your preliminary considerations transmitted through Mr. Kissinger./2/ Now your letter/3/ has been received, and I would like to set forth to you, in an urgent manner as required by the acuteness of the question, our considerations in greater detail.

/2/ See Document 231.

/3/ Document 236.

I would like to note, first of all, that we are also profoundly concerned about the situation in the Hindostan peninsula, the more so that the dangerous events are taking place in immediate proximity to the borders of the Soviet Union.

The events that had led to the armed conflict between Pakistan and India, are well known to you as well as to us. Striving to forestall their deterioration we were in mutual contact and kept informed of the actions of each other. Yet, the military confrontation still could not have been averted.

Concerned about the dangerous development of events in the Peninsula and interested in maintaining good relations both with India and Pakistan, the Soviet Union from the very outset took the position aimed at a peaceful solution of the questions at issue, and did everything necessary in this respect, trying in every way to convince both sides of this. We stated to President Yahya Khan and the Pakistani Government that the only way to proceed is the way of political settlement, and that a political settlement requires political means. Also, we repeatedly laid emphasis on the essence of the problem to be solved.

And that essence is that as a result of the reprisal by the Pakistani authorities against those political forces in East Pakistan which were given full confidence by the people in the December 1970 elections and as a result of cruel repressions against the broad masses of the East Pakistani population, India was flooded with a stream of refugees unprecedented in history-some 10 million people. This influx of many millions of those ill fated and deprived is a misfortune not only for themselves but also for India. That would be a misfortune for any country, even the richest one.

But it was clear all along that it would be impossible to get the refugees back to their native hearths without a political settlement in East Pakistan itself through negotiations between the Pakistani Government and the East Pakistani leaders who were elected by the people, and elected at that by universal vote which the Pakistani authorities themselves termed as completely free. That is why we advised President Yahya Khan to speedily take that path. We figured that the United States, too, would act in the same direction, and told you about it.

Our approach in this matter has not been and is not one-sided. We persistently expressed to both Pakistan and India our view about the necessity of a speediest political solution of the problem at issue. We sought to exert influence on the Pakistani leadership not because we were interested, for some special considerations of ours, in supporting the other side. We acted in that way because we saw the events in East Pakistan as the main cause of what was happening. And our viewpoint has not changed.

Unfortunately, President Yahya Khan and his Government did not take our advice. We are still puzzled as to the reason why the Pakistani leadership did not want to follow the way of political settlement-the way of negotiations. But the fact remains that they preferred to conduct the affairs in such a way as to make the guns speak and blood shed. Nobody can tell how many people have already perished-and still many more may die.

I shall not, however, go into this side of the matter. I would like to draw your attention to another thing, We are far from making the conclusion that everything is now lost and nothing can be done. Such a conclusion could only be dictated by lack of confidence in the power of reason and in the possibilities for action, which remain in the present situation as well.

The Soviet Union applies and will continue to apply most determined efforts in order to stop the bloodshed and to turn the course of events towards political settlement. We trust this is possible.

You refer to your understanding that in times of international crises neither we nor you should seek unilateral advantages. I agree with this. But I would go beyond that and would say that it is important not only to formulate this realistic principle but also, on its basis, to act for the purpose of overcoming the crisis. In general I believe that a favorable element, from the viewpoint of prospects in the struggle for ending the conflict, is that there is no confrontation here of our two powers. And this being the case, we have all the more ground for parallel actions.

The thing to do now is to stop the war already underway. This requires a cease-fire. But the question arises-what is the best way to achieve it? It seems to us that, proceeding from the situation which developed from the very start, effective can be such a cease-fire which would be connected with a simultaneous decision for a political settlement, based on the recognition of the will of the East Pakistani population. Otherwise it is impossible to ensure the respect for the lawful rights and interests of the people of East Pakistan and to create conditions for the return of the millions of refugees. Without it a cease-fire will not be stable.

You already know about this proposal of ours, i.e. to solve together and simultaneously both questions-of cease-fire and of immediate resumption of negotiations between the Government of Pakistan and the East Pakistani leaders concerning a political settlement in East Pakistan. Those negotiations should, naturally, be started from the stage at which they were discontinued. We feel that this proposal provides a way out for all, including Pakistan. On the other hand, all would lose-and Pakistan maybe even more than others-on the way of continuing the war and rejecting a political settlement./4/

/4/ Kissinger briefed Nixon on Brezhnev's letter less than 2 hours after he received it: "They're proposing a cease-fire and a political negotiation between Islamabad and the Awami League." These he characterized as "old proposals" and added: "It is a very conciliatory letter, which is in itself unacceptable." He proposed a response: "If this negotiation is within the framework of the united Pakistan, with maximum autonomy for the east, we are willing to discuss it with them. That will separate them to some extent from the Indians. And secondly, it will get us a cease-fire in the west, which we've got to have if the West Pakistanis aren't to be smashed." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 9, 1971, 9:47-9:55 a.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 633-4)

That is why I would like to pose a question to you: is the above mentioned basis for the restoration of peace and ensuring the political settlement acceptable to the US? We think that it does not contain anything that cannot be acceptable, and we have in mind to apply our efforts in this direction, wherever this question is considered.

The crust [sic] of the whole matter, as we are convinced, is the question of how to exert due influence upon President Yahya Khan and his Government. We continue to do that. But here, it seems, you have more possibilities.

The events in the Hindostan peninsula constitute a major question. It is necessary to do everything in order to bring about a turn towards peace there, and our two powers can in many respects contribute to that. Particularly needed for this purpose is a calm and balanced approach which would take into account both the specifics of the current moment and the general prospects of world development.

My colleagues and I will be waiting for your earliest possible reaction to the considerations above.

Sincerely,
L. Brezhnev


254. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 9, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: Indian forces in East Pakistan are now making steady progress on several fronts and are at one point 22 miles from Dacca. The most immediate threat is from the east, but the Indians must now make a major river crossing if their thrust is to continue. The main port of Chittagong to the southeast has been cut off from Dacca, and there is a report that to the southwest the only other major water terminal has also been cut off. There are also significant advances in the northern and northeastern salients of the province.

How long Pakistani resistance will continue will depend on whether the Pakistani forces give up or are captured as their posts are taken or are able to fall back in relatively good order to a few urban centers like Dacca for a last-ditch defense. President Yahya in a conversation with Ambassador Farland yesterday seemed resigned that he could not do anything more to help his troops in the east, but he said that they will fight "to the last Muslim." There have been some reports of desertions by members of army and police units, but there have been no indications yet that discipline is collapsing or that large numbers are surrendering. Meanwhile, the Defense Secretary in New Delhi yesterday put forth a "personal suggestion" that India could be more effective in protecting the minorities in East Pakistan, including West Pakistani soldiers, if the Pakistani Government were prepared to arrange an orderly Bangla Desh takeover.

In the West, the military situation remains about the same. The Indians, with the exception of an extending penetration toward Karachi in the south, are still in a holding posture on the ground while conducting repeated air attacks against military targets throughout West Pakistan. The Paks are taking some initiative in the Punjab plain and especially along the Kashmir cease-fire line, and there are reports of an increased offensive in the next day or two. However, they are still to launch the major offensive that many have expected. It is possible that they are hoping that the Indians will be ready to stop or at least more subject to international pressure once East Pakistan falls and do not want to provoke unnecessarily a major Indian counter-offensive in the West. On the other hand, if the Indians do shift to an all-out offensive in the West, the Paks will still have most of their forces intact to defend their heartland.

At the UN, yesterday's activity was highlighted by a strong appeal from U Thant for a Dacca area cease-fire to permit the evacuation of international community personnel there. Thant asked both the Indians and Paks to agree to a 24-hour stand-down to permit repair of runways for evacuation of foreigners. So far there has been no positive response from the Indians who are chafing under charges that they have failed to live up to the terms of two earlier evacuation cease-fire agreements that broke down. Meanwhile, UN and International Red Cross people in Dacca are also making arrangements for two "neutral areas" in the event that Dacca falls before an evacuation can be mounted. This neutral area would also accommodate our consulate staff who will lose diplomatic rights and privileges when the Bangla Desh Government takes over and could be in a hostile atmosphere when the guerrillas arrive. The WSAG today will be discussing what, if any, transitional role the consulate should play.

Both India and Pakistan are preparing for another round of debate at the UN. Indian Foreign Minister Singh is on his way to New York as is Bhutto, the new Pakistani Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. On the political front, Yahya has confirmed to Ambassador Farland that he has speeded up and intends to carry out his "blue-print" for transferring power to a civilian government, although it has been announced that Yahya will remain President. Apparently Nuril Amin, the Bengali who has been appointed Prime Minister, is at least officially in office, although Yahya said that Bhutto was not sworn in because of his rapid departure for the UN. It is possible that Yahya may be hoping to pin the blame for a settlement on this new government and especially Bhutto. Yahya also welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution saying that he had been agreeable to this concept for months.

The Tuesday/2/ afternoon backgrounder has spurred a counter backgrounder in New Delhi. The Indians appear to have homed in on my remarks about our peace efforts and are saying that they cooperated subject to certain minimum conditions, but that the efforts failed because of bad faith on the part of Yahya. There were also some testy remarks about "baseless" allegations and questioning of the propriety of dealing with such issues out of diplomatic channels.

/2/ December 7.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


255. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-115, WSAG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. No drafting information appears on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.

Washington, December 9, 1971, 10:09-11 a.m.

SUBJECT
South Asia

PARTICIPANTS

Chairman-Henry A. Kissinger

State
U. Alexis Johnson
John N. Irwin, II
Joseph Sisco
Christopher Van Hollen
Samuel DePalma
Anthony Quainton
Bruce Laingen
Thomas Pickering

Defense
Armistead Selden
James H. Noyes

JCS
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
Capt. Howard N. Kay

CIA
Richard Helms
John Waller

AID
Donald MacDonald
Maurice Williams
C. Herbert Rees

NSC Staff
B/Gen. Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
R/Adm. Robert O. Welander
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
Harold H. Saunders
Samuel Hoskinson
Rosemary Neaher
Jeanne W. Davis

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS

It was agreed that:

(1) the JCS would prepare urgently a plan for deployment of a carrier task force for evacuation of Americans from East Pakistan, and the agencies should comment on the advisability of such a move by this afternoon;

(2) State should draft a telegram of instruction to Ambassador Farland for a possible approach to Yahya;

(3) State will prepare a scenario for a possible approach to the Indians to seek assurances on the maintenance of present lines of demarcation.

Mr. Kissinger: Dick (Helms), can you tell us where we are?

(Mr. Helms briefed from the attached text.)/2/

/2/ Not printed. According to his briefing notes, Helms reported that the defense being mounted by Pakistani forces in East Pakistan was crumbling. Indian forces suffered heavy casualties during the early stages of the fighting, but they were breaking through outmanned Pakistani positions. There were no indications that Pakistani forces were surrendering in large numbers or that discipline had broken down, but the CIA assessment was that Pakistani forces in East Pakistan would have a hard time regrouping. Indian officials were calling for a surrender of those forces to prevent further bloodshed. By contrast, the fighting in the west had produced only limited results.

Mr. Kissinger: The President is astonished that American officials could appear to agree with the Indian interpretation that, since they have split off only some 60% of the country and did not actually annex the territory, this demonstrates that they are essentially peacefully inclined. This is not our position and he does not want the Indians to be left under any misapprehension in this regard. He wants this corrected today.

Mr. Helms: In the last few hours we have a report from Karachi that the oil tanks there have been hit again, in the 12th or 13th air raid, and that six or eight of them are burning. An ESSO representative has indicated that this means the loss of 50% of Karachi's oil reserves, which amounts to over 80% of the POL for all of Pakistan. He estimates that they are left with a two-weeks' supply, possibly less at the rate at which POL is now being consumed.

Mr. Kissinger: (to Adm. Moorer) What is your estimate of the military situation?

Adm. Moorer: In East Pakistan, in the absence of a ceasefire, it's just a matter of time until the Pakistan Army will be essentially ineffective. There is, however, no indication that their morale has broken down. Their supplies are cut off and they have no air left. Any serious fighting could be over in ten days or two weeks, depending on whether the Paks continue to fight to the last man or whether they begin to surrender in large numbers, which does not seem to be in the cards now. In West Pakistan, the Paks are slightly superior in numbers, (they have about 90-100,000 men), and they are trying to occupy enough of Kashmir to give them a bargaining chip if and when there is a ceasefire. They are trying to block the main lines of communication. South of the Kashmir area, the Indians outnumber the Paks two-to-one, and they may plan to move south to Lahore, although there is no indication of that now. The best Pakistan can do is to gain as much control of Kashmir as possible.

Mr. Kissinger: How much is that?

Adm. Moorer: Enough to keep the Indians out until there is enough international pressure to bring about a ceasefire.

Mr. Irwin: What are their chances of doing that?

Adm. Moorer: The Paks can operate for about three weeks or so. However, if there is a period of attrition, with no ceasefire, the Indians can hold out longer and the Paks have had it. Mrs. Gandhi has stated that her objective is to destroy the Pak military forces.

Mr. Kissinger: So if the war is prolonged, it won't make any difference if the Paks take Kashmir, since they wouldn't be able to hold it.

Adm. Moorer: Yes, but that is their only chance.

Mr. Kissinger: Yesterday someone here said a ceasefire in West Pakistan would work to the disadvantage of the Paks. Now do I understand that you are saying that a prolonged war, even if the Paks get Kashmir, will lead to the destruction of the Pak Army?

Adm. Moorer: Exactly. When East Pakistan is gone, the Indians will transfer their divisions to West-possibly four of the six divisions now in the East. This will take one to three weeks, depending on how much air they use. If the war continues to the end, the outcome for Pakistan is inevitable.

Mr. Kissinger: So we have to prevent an Indian onslaught on West Pakistan, since the outcome will be the same as in East Pakistan. The Indians will then control the area to Bhutan in the East and Nepal in the West.

Mr. Irwin: The CIA paper (Implications of an Indian Victory Over Pakistan, December 9)/3/ predicts the possible acceleration of the breakup tendencies in West Pakistan-possibly into as many as four separate states.

/3/ This 12-page CIA assessment is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 170.

Mr. Johnson: That sounds reasonable.

Adm. Moorer: I think the Indians will be slowed down somewhat by logistic problems, care of casualties, etc., but they will not slow down as fast as the Paks.

Mr. Williams: It sounds as though POL is the critical element, if they have lost 50% of 80% of the supplies for all of Pakistan. Doesn't this mean that their planes and tanks will come to a halt in about three weeks?

Mr. Helms: The Indians have already hit the reserves at Rawalpindi.

Mr. Williams: Then POL is the critical point. (to Adm. Moorer) Was that the basis for your estimate of three weeks?

Adm. Moorer: That and the ammo supply. The Indians will run short of ammo, too, ultimately, but not to the point that they can't operate.

Mr. Williams: The Indian objective is to take out the Pak tanks and planes. If they run out of POL and can't move, they'll be sitting ducks.

Mr. Irwin: Do the Paks have any capability of defending their POL?

Adm. Moorer: No.

Mr. Johnson: What is the possibility of trucking POL from Tehran?

Adm. Moorer: There is one road. We have one report that indicates that Chinese trucks are coming in but we don't know what they are carrying. Iran is the logical source of POL. I talked to the Turkish Chief of Staff at NATO and asked him how much assistance he thought Iran was prepared to give to Pakistan. He said he thought the Shah wanted to be helpful, but had one eye cocked on Iraq. In the end, he didn't believe the Shah would give significant assistance.

Mr. Helms: We have a good telegram from Doug Heck/4/ on this today, saying the Shah is playing the situation coolly and even-handedly. He pointed out the difficulty of resupply.

/4/ Not found.

Mr. Kissinger: So the critical attitude is ours. If they had any indication from us that we were favorable, they might do it. But judging by our reaction in the Jordan episode, they are getting signals from us not to do it-possibly not directly but at least by osmosis.

Mr. Helms: There are serious logistical problems in doing much of anything in the existing time frame. They don't have the ability, even if they went flat-out, of doing anything in any quantity.

Mr. Kissinger: Are we agreed that we should do our best to prevent an Indian attack on West Pakistan? That this is our chief objective?

Mr. Irwin: The question is how to do it. To what degree would this require involvement of the United States.

Mr. Kissinger: We are involved, no matter how often our press spokesmen say we are not. The question is the degree of our involvement.

Mr. Johnson: If the fighting in the West could be brought to a stop now, it would be to the advantage of the Paks.

Mr. Kissinger: What do you suggest?

Mr. Irwin: The question is what our policy is. We could undertake little direct support to Pakistan without increasing the degree of our involvement.

Mr. Johnson: I think we should make a maximum effort with both sides to bring the fighting to a stop. The Paks have already accepted the UN cease-fire resolution.

Mr. Kissinger: Including withdrawal.

Mr. Johnson: Yes; the Indians have not accepted it. A withdrawal by both sides to the previous boundaries is clearly in Pakistan's interest.

Mr. Kissinger: Pakistan would implement the resolution in the West but India would not implement it in the East.

Mr. Johnson: I'm talking about the West only. We would go to the Indians and press them to implement the resolution in the West.

Mr. Kissinger: But they have acquired no territory in the West.

Mr. Johnson: Each of them has some territory. The point is that continuation of the fighting in the West is not to the advantage of Pakistan under any circumstances.

Mr. Kissinger: Is that all we can do?

Mr. Selden: What will be the fate of the Pak Army in East Pakistan? There will be a massacre if they keep on fighting.

Mr. Johnson: What can we do in the East?

Mr. Helms: There is nothing to do. There is no way of getting them out.

Mr. Johnson: India can afford to withdraw their troops from East Pakistan, once the Mukti Bahini are in the saddle.

Adm. Moorer: Not until the Pak Army is destroyed. Mrs. Gandhi has said also that she wants to straighten out the border.

Mr. Noyes: The more territory Pakistan takes in the West, the more provocation this is to India-the more justification India has to continue.

Adm. Moorer: India doesn't need any provocation or justification. They have a plan and they are carrying it out.

Mr. Johnson: And the Paks can't prevent it.

Mr. Helms: What leverage do we have on India?

Mr. Johnson: None. I'm talking about our objectives.

Mr. Irwin: We can move politically through the UN. We can take some action with regard to military assistance. Suppose we decided to move into substantial military assistance to Pakistan? How effectively could we do it in terms of enabling them to hold in the West?

Adm. Moorer: To make it effective, we would have to move very fast. The most effective material would be consumables-ammunition, POL.

Mr. Irwin: If we decided to do this, could we get enough additional supplies in within a week to make the difference? There's also the question of what third parties could do.

Mr. Kissinger: We have two separate problems: (1) the deterrent effect on India of our undertaking a supply effort for Pakistan; and (2) the actual military effect. For everything we have done after India was committed to war, we have been accused of being punitive since it was too little to affect the outcome. What if we do nothing? Non-involvement is a lovely phrase, but it earns us no Brownie points. Our Brownie points will come from the outcome a year from now. In the larger international arena, would we be better off if we did not become involved, assuming we ignore the meaning of our bilateral treaty and subsequent assurances to the Paks. Or would we be better off if we tried to scare the Indians off and, if we do lose, of having salvaged at least the indication that, when we are pressed, we will do something. Indeed, in the Middle East or Indonesia, we might do more. No one has a bigger stake in the relaxation of tensions than the President, for personal reasons. But in a situation where non-involvement means the Soviets can pour in supplies with equanimity and we can't, we will be judged by the outcome and not by the theory by which we arrived at it. If this is true, we should look at the moves we could take. Someone said here yesterday that if we wanted to move, we could find a basis for it. Why can't we call in the Indian Ambassador and ask him for assurances that no demarcation line is to be changed?

Mr. Johnson: We would have a good basis for this in Kashmir since we have a UN resolution on it.

Mr. Kissinger: We could just ask for flat assurances. That wouldn't be too provocative and it would posture us for the future.

Mr. Johnson: I think we should do it. We should talk to the Soviets too.

Mr. Kissinger: On the question of military supply, if it is true that the Indians are willing to fight to a bloody finish, what would be most likely to deter them? What if Jordan should send planes to Pakistan? Why would this be such a horrible event?

Mr. Johnson: It wouldn't, but it would be the same as if the Americans did it.

Adm. Moorer: We made this problem for ourselves when we stopped aid to Pakistan in the first place.

Mr. Kissinger: But no one told us that then.

Adm. Moorer: If we asked the Indian Ambassador for assurances on boundaries and he said no, this would be very important, regardless of what action we take.

Mr. Johnson: Shouldn't we also talk to Yahya?

Mr. Kissinger: About what?

Mr. Johnson: To get his views on the restoration of the status quo ante in the West.

Mr. Kissinger: Wouldn't he say "they have taken half my country, and I can't talk about it"?

Mr. Johnson: What is the alternative-continued fighting in the West until his forces are destroyed?

Mr. Williams: But Yahya doesn't expect this to happen. He expects the fighting will be stopped by the great powers. He expects them to bring it to a halt and then to go to some form of negotiating table.

Adm. Moorer: Is there any way to get NATO into the act?

Mr. Helms: The British and French don't go along with us.

Mr. Kissinger: What are we telling the NATO countries?

Mr. Sisco: I sent a telegram/5/ to the Secretary last night suggesting he draw on your backgrounder.

/5/ Telegram 221059 to Brussels, December 8, sent the text of Kissinger's background briefing of the press on December 7 on the South Asian crisis to Secretary Rogers, who was attending the NATO meetings. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation)

Mr. Kissinger: What part?

Mr. Sisco: I left that to the Secretary.

Mr. Kissinger: When the Soviets were in an equally disadvantageous situation in the Middle East in 1967 and were trying to bring the war to a conclusion, they gave the impression that they might do something serious. The question is whether another flood of notes, without actually doing something, would indicate that unless the fighting stops there will be increased danger. Unless we can settle on a strategy, speak with the same voice, and stop putting out all these conflicting stories from the various agencies and all this leaking, we don't deserve to succeed.

Mr. Williams: If we approach the Indians, their response will probably be that they will stop the war in the West in return for Pakistan's recognition of Bangla Desh.

Mr. Johnson: But with the destruction of the Pak forces in the East, they can't do anything anyway.

Mr. Williams: But the Indians have already said this is what they want, and we would get this response to any approach to them. Once they achieve their objective in the East, there is the possibility that they may stop.

Mr. Irwin: But they have said they intend to destroy the Pak Army and Air Force and straighten out the line on Kashmir.

Mr. Kissinger: If they destroy the army and the air force, Pakistan will be in their paws. The result would be a nation of 100 million people dismembered, their political structure changed by military attack, despite a treaty of alliance with and private assurances by the United States. And all the other countries, on whom we have considered we could rely, such as Iran, would know that this has been done by the weight of Soviet arms and with Soviet diplomatic support. What will be the effect in the Middle East, for example-could we tell Israel that she should give up something along a line from A to B, in return for something else, with any plausibility?

Mr. Sisco: I don't accept that view. We do have a kind of alliance with Pakistan in both the CENTO and the bilateral context, but that alliance was against communist aggression. I grant that the Russians are behind India in this, but our commitment was not in the India-Pakistan context. I don't believe Iran, or Israel or any other Middle Eastern country expect direct US involvement in South Asia.

Mr. Kissinger: No one is talking about that.

Mr. Sisco: We are involved, and we are talking about the nature of our involvement. I don't see the implication for the rest of the world that you draw. I have the impression from what Yahya told (Ambassador) Farland that he has "accepted" the inevitable result in East Pakistan. We can't do anything about that. East Pakistan is gone and we both have to face that fact. The thing that confronts Yahya and us in relation to the balance on the subcontinent is what happens in West Pakistan. It is not in our interest to have India destroy the Pak Army in West Pakistan, or otherwise effect a further radical change in the status quo, possibly resulting in the fractionalization of Pakistan. I think we have three options: (1) we can do nothing-complete non-involvement-in which case East Pakistan would be lost, India would destroy the Pak Army and would take at least Azad Kashmir. This is clearly unacceptable. (2) That we not accept this situation, but see what we can do diplomatically or otherwise to deter the Indians from their present course. We should recognize that we are limited in the ways in which we can deter the Indians. Even if we should move rapidly on arms supply to the Paks, this would have only a marginal effect.

Mr. Kissinger: Assuming the Indians were willing to press the fighting to a conclusion.

Mr. Sisco: Yes. We should ask ourselves how we could deter the Indians so as to end with a West Pakistan based on the status quo ante, including no alteration of the boundaries of Kashmir.

Mr. Kissinger: Would you accept Bangla Desh?

Mr. Sisco: I have no problem with going to the Indians alone, as you suggest. We should also go to the Russians. I think we should also have a serious talk with Yahya.

Mr. Kissinger: What would be the point of a serious talk with Yahya?

Mr. Sisco: To see how he reads his position. I realize this is an oversimplification, but Yahya is faced with a situation involving the sure destruction of elements of his Government in East Pakistan. How does he read his capability in the West? Probably not as we do. Given the disproportionate military capability between India and Pakistan, we see the likelihood of a Pak defeat. But if Yahya doesn't read it that way, he may want to continue the military struggle. If he wants to do this, we're not in a position to second-guess him. The fundamental question is whether we should try to have some exchange along the line that the East is pretty well lost, and how do we save the rest of Pakistan?

Mr. Kissinger: So we would go to Yahya and say he should settle now?

Mr. Sisco: Yahya is faced with the necessity of cutting his losses and saving West Pakistan.

Mr. Kissinger: Suppose Yahya says yes, and the Indians say he has to recognize Bangla Desh?

Mr. Sisco: We shouldn't press him to do that. I'm stating the situation in bald terms.

Mr. Johnson: India doesn't need Yahya's recognition of Bangla Desh. Neither Yahya nor the U.S. can restore the status quo ante in Bangla Desh. There is nothing Yahya can do, even if he doesn't accept the loss.

Mr. Williams: We have only a limited leverage on India. In the absence of any assurance that a military supply effort would be effective and would make any difference in the military balance, we're in a terribly weak position. I think we need something additional if we are to extract Yahya with some shred of honor. I think we should go back to a sharpened Security Council resolution-a stand-fast of some sort which would save the army and hold to the demarcation of the present boundaries. We might add Bangla Desh to this equation in some way.

Mr. Sisco: I don't exclude the possibility of a deal of some sort, even now.

Mr. Williams: There are still elements of concession. Don't forget that the spirit of nationalism was terribly strong in East Pakistan even before the fighting broke out. This is where any talent we have needs to be applied. I think we should discuss it with Yahya. If we put some force behind it, we may even have a chance of getting the Russians behind it. Many West Pakistanis will recognize and accept the loss of East Pakistan, although it will be hard for the Army to take.

Mr. Kissinger: Assuming that this kind of option will be kept open, the President wants India to understand very clearly that we would not look with indifference on an Indian onslaught on West Pakistan. Our press spokesmen should not press the idea of neutrality or non-involvement to the point that the Indians could misunderstand that this foretells our attitude toward an attack on West Pakistan. We should keep open the option of trying to deter the Indians, by a show of force, if necessary. We could then use that as a bridge to the sort of negotiation you (Williams) are talking about. This would also give the Soviets an excuse to try to help.

Along this line, the President has asked for the pros and cons of getting an American aircraft carrier into the Bay of Bengal for the purpose of evacuating Americans. (to Moorer) Can you do it?

Adm. Moorer: Sure. It will take five or six days. We have several options.

Mr. Kissinger: Can you all consider it and have your views over here by early afternoon?

Adm. Moorer: We could put in a carrier task force, including some destroyers and a cruiser and some helos.

Mr. Kissinger: Let's get your plan over here by 2:00 this afternoon, and any views the rest of you may have by 6:00 p.m. We may have another meeting with the President if he wants to move more energetically, to remove any lingering doubts any of you may have. But we should get ourselves postured, without any prejudice to the kind of solution Maury Williams has suggested. (to Irwin) Will you draft a telegram of what we might say to Yahya?

Mr. Johnson: And also what we might say to the Indians.

Mr. Kissinger: Yes.


256. Editorial Note

President Nixon and his Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger met at 12:44 p.m. on December 9, 1971, in the Oval Office of the White House for another discussion of the crisis in South Asia. Kissinger began by repeating his warning of the dangers of allowing India to dismember Pakistan. Kissinger felt that the impact of the dismemberment of a United States ally would "be severe in Iran, in Indonesia, and in the Middle East." He concluded "there is no good deal possible any more at this stage. And if the Russians want to press it to a brutal conclusion, we're going to lose." He saw possibilities, however, in the "conciliatory" letter from Brezhnev (Document 253). The Soviets wanted a Middle East settlement, a European security conference, trade with the United States, and a summit meeting. Kissinger added that they were also concerned about pushing the United States and China closer together. "So we are not without assets."

Kissinger felt that the United States was in a position to "warn the Russians and the Indians that if this continues we could leak out or in some way make clear that Kennedy made a commitment to Pakistan against aggression from India." "Secondly," he added, "we should move that helicopter ship . . . and some escort into the Bay of Bengal" ostensibly to evacuate U.S. citizens. He was not, at this point, recommending introduction of the carrier. "From the Chinese angle, I would like to move the carrier. From the public opinion angle, what the press and television would do to us if an American carrier showed up there." Nixon asked: "Can't the carrier be there for the purpose of evacuation?" Kissinger responded: "But against whom are we going to use the planes? Are we going to shoot our way in?" Nixon asked what good it would do to move a helicopter ship into the area. Kissinger said it would be "a token that something else will come afterward." He also recommended letting "the Jordanians move some of their planes. And I'd get the Indian Ambassador in and demand assurances that India doesn't want to annex territory."

Kissinger again highlighted what he saw as the differing approaches to the crisis adopted by the Department of State and the White House. The Department, he said, "would propose a cease-fire in the west in return for in effect our recognition of Bangladesh." Kissinger argued that such an approach would constitute "a total collapse" and "it would hurt us with the Chinese." Nixon, however, felt it was necessary to take account of the "realities" of the situation. "The partition of Pakistan is a fact" he said. "You see those people welcoming the Indian troops when they come in." "Why then," he asked, "are we going through all of this agony?" Kissinger replied: "We are going through this agony to prevent the West Pakistan army from being destroyed. And secondly, to retain our Chinese arm. And thirdly, to prevent a complete collapse of the world's psychological balance of power, which will be produced if a combination of the Soviet Union and the Soviet armed client state can tackle a not insignificant country without anybody doing anything."

Kissinger felt that if the United States would "put enough chips into the pot" it could persuade the Soviets "for their own reasons, for the other considerations, to call a halt to it." "What are we going to ask the Russians to do," Nixon asked. "Cease-fire, negotiation, and subsequent withdrawal," Kissinger responded. "But," he added, "we'd have to clear it with Yahya first." "Cease-fire and negotiation on what basis," Nixon wanted to know. "Between the Awami League and Islamabad," Kissinger said, "on the basis of the December 1970 election," and "within the framework of a united Pakistan." Withdrawal, he anticipated, would occur after the negotiations.

The time to effect such an agreement was clearly limited. Kissinger said that Pakistan's army would run out of ammunition and oil within 2 weeks. In response to Nixon's question about what the United States could do to influence the outcome, Kissinger replied: "I would keep open the possibility that we'll pour arms into Pakistan." If the Soviet Union could ship arms to India, Kissinger did not see why the United States could not supply arms to Pakistan. "I don't understand the theory of non-involvement," he said. "I don't see where we will be as a country. I have to tell you honestly I consider this our Rhineland." He warned: "If the Russians come out of it totally cocky, we may have a Middle East war in the spring."

Nixon was concerned about the implications of taking a hard line. "We have to know what we are jeopardizing," he said. Kissinger responded: "You are jeopardizing your relationship with the Soviets, but that is also your card, your willingness to jeopardize it." Not to play that card, Kissinger suggested, would be to concede the Soviet Union a dangerous victory. Nixon observed that opponents of his policy toward South Asia were also concerned about jeopardizing United States relations with India. Kissinger said: "You could argue that it will help us in the long-term with the Indians." Nixon replied: "I don't give a damn about the Indians."

Reverting to the question of introducing U.S. Naval forces into the area, Kissinger said he had discussed the matter with Connally and Connally had favored using a helicopter ship rather than a carrier. Connally felt that using a carrier would be interpreted by the American public as a threat to intervene militarily. It was a tough decision, Kissinger said, "I go back and forth on it myself." He noted that there were some 200 U.S. citizens in East Pakistan. Nixon said: "Goddamn it, I've got a responsibility to protect American lives. I'm going to do it." The tape is difficult to understand at this point, but Nixon apparently said he was prepared to use the carrier force to protect U.S. citizens in East Pakistan. "Nobody will believe it," Kissinger warned. "The Indians will scream we're threatening them." "Why are we doing it anyway," Nixon asked. "Aren't we going in for the purpose of strength?"

Kissinger shifted ground in the face of Nixon's apparent determination to use the carrier: "I'd move the carrier so that we can tell the Chinese tomorrow to move their forces to the frontier." He advised that a decision to move the carrier group into the Bay of Bengal meant that "we'd have to do a lot of things, and we'd have to do them toughly." "I understand," Nixon agreed. Kissinger continued: "We'd have to get the Indian Ambassador called in and demand assurances against annexation. We'd have to leak at that moment that secret understanding to protect the Indians [Pakistanis] against aggression." Nixon responded: "I understand," and he authorized Kissinger "to get the whole thing together."

Nixon asked how the transfer of planes from Jordan to Pakistan could be facilitated. Kissinger said: "The way we would do that is . . . to tell the King to move his planes and inform us that he has done it . . . and then we would tell State to shut up. We would have to tell him it is illegal, but if he does it we'll keep things under control." "All right," Nixon said, "that's the way we play that."

Some discussion followed concerning a meeting scheduled later that day with senior administration officials involved in managing the crisis. Kissinger recommended that Nixon express himself firmly with them regarding the policy line he wanted them to follow. Nixon wondered if he should tell them about his decision to use the carrier. Kissinger said: "If you've decided to do this game plan, I think it is more important to see the Russian today because his cable would go back." (See Document 257.) He added that the others could be informed later.

Turning to the political impact of using the carrier, Kissinger noted that it would take 6 days to move the carrier from Southeast Asia to the Bay of Bengal by which time Congress would be out of session. He said he would talk to Admiral Moorer "to see whether we can keep the carrier back of the Bay of Bengal." Nixon asked: "Then can we move the other helicopter thing in?" Kissinger said yes.

Nixon reviewed the other decisions reached during the discussion: to encourage the transfer of Jordanian planes to Pakistan, to notify the Chinese of about what they had decided to do, to leak the Kennedy commitment to protect Pakistan, and to ask India for assurances that there would be no annexations as a result of the crisis. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 9, 1971, 12:44-1:27 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 633-11) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 168.


257. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive. The heading on the memorandum describes the report of the conversation as an extract. The meeting was held in the White House Oval Office. The time of the meeting is from the President's Daily Diary, as is the fact that it was also attended by Kissinger and Deputy Assistant to the President Alexander Butterfield, who apparently took the notes on the meeting. (Ibid., White House Central Files)

Washington, December 9, 1971, 4-4:41 p.m.

Following an exchange of pleasantries in which Matskevich/2/ emphasized Mr. Brezhnev's warmly anticipated meeting with President Nixon, the President informed the Soviet representatives that he wished to discuss an urgent problem very frankly. The President continued, "I want you to know how strongly I personally feel about this issue." Great progress has been made in US/Soviet relations. No one two years ago would have thought this progress possible. It includes progress on SALT, the Berlin situation, and an agreement on the Spring Summit. Discussions have been held on the possibility of a European Security Conference, and the opportunity exists for a totally new relationship between the U.S. and the USSR.

/2/ Minister of Agriculture Vladimir Matskevich arrived in Washington on December 9 and Nixon saw him and Vorontsov on Kissinger's recommendation. Kissinger saw Matskevich's presence as an opportunity to send a high-level message to the Soviet leadership that if India turned its military strength on West Pakistan after defeating the Pakistani forces in East Pakistan it would create a crisis of the utmost gravity. Kissinger felt that Nixon should make the point that Soviet support of the Indian use of force in East Pakistan raised serious questions as to whether the United States could work with the Soviet Union on issues of mutual concern. (Memorandum from Kissinger to Nixon, December 9; ibid., NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8)

"Now, quite frankly, a great cloud hangs over it-the problem of the Subcontinent." Six-hundred million will win over 60,000,000 people. Pakistan will be cut in half. In the short-range, this may be a gain for the Soviet Union and a setback for China. It is certain to be a tragedy for Pakistan. What is far more significant if the situation continues is the fact that it will poison the whole new relationship between the U.S. and the USSR. The question is, 'are short-term gains for India worth jeopardizing Soviet relations with the U.S.?' This is not conveyed in a threatening way./3/ It would be difficult, however, for the U.S. to stand by if the Indians move forces into West Pakistan. The key to a settlement is in the hands of the Soviet Union. If the Soviets do not restrain the Indians, it will be difficult for the U.S. to deal with Yahya./4/ If the Indians continue military operations, we must inevitably look toward a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviet Union has a treaty with India, but the United States has obligations to Pakistan. The urgency of a ceasefire must be recognized./5/

/3/ At this point in the conversation, Nixon said: "I think there is a better way. A better way is for the Soviet Union and the United States to find a method where we can work together for peace in that area. Now, the first requirement is that there be a cease-fire. The second requirement is that, and this is imperative, that the Indians . . . desist in their attacks on West Pakistan." He went on to propose that a cease-fire be succeeded by political negotiations "within a Pakistan framework." (Ibid., White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between President Nixon and Soviet Minister Matskevich, December 9, 1971, 4-4:41 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 634-12) A transcript of the conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 169.

/4/ Nixon said: "If the Soviet Union does not restrain the Indians, the United States will not be able to exert any influence with Yahya to negotiate a political settlement with the Awami League." (Ibid.)

/5/ Nixon concluded the conversation by reiterating that it was important not to allow differences over South Asia "to endanger and jeopardize the relations that are far more important." He said: "Now is the time to move, to settle this thing before it blows up to a major confrontation." Nixon and Kissinger assessed the meeting after Matskevich and Vorontsov left. Nixon was pleased with the exchange. "I really stuck it to him." Kissinger predicted: "It will end now. It will end. We will lose 70 percent but that's a hell of a lot better. We were losing 110 percent yesterday." Nixon felt that, at a minimum, his initiative with Matskevich would have the effect of stopping "the goddamn Indians from going to the West." (Ibid.)


258. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. The President's Daily Diary indicates that the meeting was held as scheduled in the Cabinet Room. (Ibid., White House Central Files) A tape recording of the meeting was made, but the tape is essentially unintelligible. (Ibid., White House Tapes, Recording of a conversation among Nixon, Irwin, Packard, Helms, Moorer, and Kissinger, December 9, 1971, 4:41-4:54 p.m., Cabinet Room, Conversation No. 86-1)

Washington, December 9, 1971.

SUBJECT
Your Meeting with the Senior Members of the WSAG at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, December 9, 1971

You are scheduled to meet with the following senior members of the WSAG at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon to discuss your policy and actions you expect from the bureaucracy on the South Asia problem. In attendance will be the Acting Secretary of State Irwin, Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard, Director of Central Intelligence Helms, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Moorer, and myself.

Purpose of the Meeting

The purpose of this meeting is to instill the necessary discipline within the bureaucracy and the forum of the Washington Special Actions Group to insure compliance with your policies on South Asia. This policy must include prompt steps designed to prevent the dismemberment of Pakistan as a result of Indian military actions supported and abetted by the Soviet Union. While it is obvious that events have already progressed to a point where there must be inevitable damage to U.S. interests, a careful and disciplined gameplan can salvage a great deal from the present situation.

Talking Points

Inform the group that you have convened them on short notice to insure that your policies are clearly understood with respect to the situation in South Asia. Therefore, you wish each of the senior members of the Washington Special Actions Group to hear from you personally where you stand on this difficult issue:

-Your policy and the policy of the United States Government is to undertake those practical steps which are necessary to prevent the dismemberment and defeat of Pakistan as a result of Indian military action supported and abetted by the Soviet Union. There should be no mistake that Pakistan's collapse and dismemberment would result in a major setback for U.S. interests worldwide and, in this context, the United States is indeed involved in the situation in South Asia.
-The first step which you wish taken without further delay is to have the Acting Secretary of State call in the Indian Ambassador and to inform him that the United States Government is gravely concerned about recent developments on the subcontinent.
-In the meeting with the Indian Ambassador, the Acting Secretary of State should ask whether India will attempt, as a result of military operations in West Pakistan, to annex or in any other way to occupy and permanently hold territories which are now under Pakistani sovereignty. Any attempt to do so would be taken most seriously in Washington.
-Inform the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that you wish him to undertake immediate actions under the pretext of prudent contingency measures to move a carrier task force including an amphibious ship with helicopters to the Indian Ocean with movement to commence immediately. (Admiral Moorer recommends the movement of a carrier with four destroyers to be followed by an amphibious helicopter ship and two destroyers. The elements of the task force are currently in the Western Pacific in the vicinity of Taiwan, Subic in the Philippines and the Yankee Station. Admiral Moorer anticipates that the movements can get under way now without surfacing publicly until such time as they pass through the Straits of Singapore which we can control. The shortest time for them to reach the Straits would be two days.)
-Inform the group that in the event the démarche to the Indian Government does not receive a satisfactory response, you wish the Department of Defense to prepare by 9:00 a.m. in the morning specific recommendations for additional military actions which might be undertaken to convey U.S. determination.
-In view of the great sensitivity of the matters being discussed, you want each Department and Agency involved to handle this affair with the greatest sense of security and will tolerate no leaks of any kind, and prompt disciplinary action is to be taken against any violators./2/

/2/ Kissinger called U. Alexis Johnson after the meeting and told him that the President had "raised hell" during the meeting. According to Kissinger, Nixon said "he didn't want the State Department to be loyal to the President but to the U.S." He was concerned about leaks by the Department of State to the press, and he felt that his decisions were not being properly implemented by the Department. Johnson objected that there was no intention to challenge policy, but added: "We do think we have an obligation to give him our views." Kissinger responded: "After he has ruled then it has to be done. You have given your views-yesterday he wanted a cable to Keating. That thing takes forever. Yelling at Yahya takes two hours." (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)

-For the present, you are ordering no additional measures. However, Dr. Kissinger will convey to the Washington Special Actions Group tomorrow morning whatever additional instructions you deem appropriate.

-Thank the Group for their cooperation and loyalty during this difficult period and emphasize again the importance of utmost security.


259. Backchannel Message From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. No time of transmission appears on the message; received in the White House Situation Room at 6:46 p.m.

Washington, December 9, 1971.

1. Please arrange a meeting with President Yahya on an urgent basis and convey to him the following operative paragraphs of a note received from the Soviet Union today./2/ No one in our bureaucracy is aware of the note and you should not leave it with him.

/2/ Document 253.

"The thing to do now is to stop the war already underway. This requires a cease-fire. But the question arises-what is the best way to achieve it? It seems to us that, proceeding from the situation which developed from the very start, effective can be such a cease-fire which would be connected with a simultaneous decision for a political settlement, based on the recognition of the will of the East Pakistani population. Otherwise it is impossible to ensure the respect for the lawful rights and interests of the people of East Pakistan and to create conditions for the return of the millions of refugees. Without it a cease-fire will not be stable.

"You already know about this proposal of ours, i.e. to solve together and simultaneously both questions-of cease-fire and of immediate resumption of negotiations between the Government of Pakistan and the East Pakistani leaders concerning a political settlement in East Pakistan. Those negotiations should, naturally, be started from the stage at which they were discontinued. We feel that this proposal provides a way out for all, including Pakistan. On the other hand, all would lose-and Pakistan maybe even more than others-on the way of continuing the war and rejecting a political settlement."

2. You should also tell President Yahya that we are under no delusions concerning Soviet aims. On the other hand, it would seem that their proposal has the following advantages:

-It would gain time and preclude the possibility of destruction of the Pakistani army. The proposal would give Pakistan time. If hostilities resumed India would be in a much worse international position and Pakistan forces would have had a breathing spell.
-It commits the Soviet Union not to recognize the Bangla Desh.
-It indicates a measure of disassociation of the Soviet Union from India.

It is conceivable that the Soviet proposal could serve as the basis for negotiations, provided that:
-it is understood that they are being conducted in the framework of a united Pakistan which is implied by the Soviet note;
-the Soviet Union agrees that India commit itself to immediate withdrawal after negotiations;
-the Soviets give convincing demonstrations that they are urging restraint on the Indians;
-the wishes of Pakistan are taken into consideration in determining which individuals will negotiate as "East Pakistani leaders."

3. You should emphasize that the above message is conveyed by the United States as a friend who wants to help preserve Pakistan and should not in any way be construed as pressure from the United States.

4. You may also tell President Yahya that we are actively talking about moving military supplies from other sources.


260. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 575, Indo-Pak War, South Asia Military Supply, 11/23/71-12/31/71. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by W. Scott Butcher (NEA/PAF) on December 8, cleared by Laingen and Van Hollen, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to New Delhi.

Washington, December 9, 1971, 0036Z.

221794. Subject: Pak Appeal for U.S. Assistance.

1. Pak Ambassador Raza called on Asst Secy Sisco December 8 to deliver urgent appeal for U.S. assistance. Depy Asst Secy Van Hollen and Butcher, NEA/PAF sat in. Raza raised following points: (a) Pakistan facing grave difficulties in East Pakistan, especially lack of air cover and ammo; (b) Soviets heavily committed on side of Indians (according info available to Paks Soviets are manning missile sites in India and in one instance Soviet pilot seen flying Indian plane in India); (c) activity at UN proves other "Western Communist" nations also siding with Indians and Russians against Paks and additionally there indications a "Bangla Desh" would be Communist influenced; and (d) having formally recognized fact of Indian aggression, and in light of links between Soviets and Indians, U.S. "obliged" come to Pakistan's assistance in this case.

2. Raza referred to 1959 bilateral/2/ but said main point was willingness U.S. help Pakistan in hour of need, not specific treaty commitments which might be subject to differing interpretations. Noting that "We depend on you entirely," Raza said he understood U.S. unable provide manpower but that U.S. could provide armaments, either directly or indirectly via third countries. Raza referred to Yahya's letter of December second/3/ to President Nixon and expressed hope U.S. could respond promptly to Pakistan's appeal for assistance (at several points he reiterated urgency of request)./4/

/2/ See footnote 9, Document 218.

/3/ See Document 219.

/4/ Raza reiterated his appeal in a meeting with Under Secretary Johnson on December 10. Using undiplomatically blunt language, Raza said that the U.S. had let Pakistan down in the past by trying to adopt a neutral stance between Pakistan and India. He expressed the hope that the U.S. would not do so again. (Telegram 223548 to Islamabad, December 11; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 627, Country Files, Middle East, Pakistan, Vol. VIII, Nov-Dec 71)

3. Sisco expressed understanding of the difficulties facing Pakistan and assured Raza that we will give this matter our active consideration. Although noting that his remarks should not be taken to prejudge matter, Sisco commented that this difficult problem for US as well and hoped Paks realized USG faced difficulties posed by some who criticize our policy as being "pro-Pakistan." Raza replied that Paks understood, but this was life and death matter.

4. Raza referred to overwhelming majority voting in favor of ceasefire/withdrawal in UNGA and stated "by and large world is with us-that gives you a lever." Any action U.S. would take to aid Paks would have UN backing.

5. Following is full text of aide mémoire Raza submitted during call:

"I have been instructed by my government to approach the U.S. Government and point out that different interpretations could always be given to treaty commitments should a contracting party desire to avoid involvement. The main question at the moment is whether or not U.S.A. is willing to help Pakistan at this most critical juncture. Pakistan fully appreciates the political support given to her by President Nixon and the administration. But because of deep and open Soviet involvement, mere political support is not enough.

U.S.A. has now recognized formally that aggression has been committed against Pakistan. It has also been established that Soviet Union has abetted and assisted Indian aggression. Mr. Jacob Malik, the Soviet representative, admitted in the Security Council that Soviet security interests were linked with those of India. Further, authoritative sources have stated that Soviet personnel were flying Soviet supplied Indian aircrafts inside Indian territory and were manning Indian missile sites.

Pakistan supported the U.N. General Assembly resolution/5/ adopted by an overwhelming majority early this morning for immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of troops etc. The U.N. General Assembly action demonstrates that the world public opinion, except for a few Communist countries, is totally against Indian aggression.

/5/ See footnote 11, Document 248.

The government of Pakistan is grateful to the Government of the United States for the incessant efforts of the U.S. representative both in the Security Council and in the U.N. General Assembly to bring about immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of troops. It is apparent from the negative Soviet attitude and Indian representative's statements in the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly refusing to stop hostilities and withdraw Indian troops, that the United Nations is unable to stop aggression. U.S. had gone to the United Nations with the avowed objective of restoring peace in the sub-continent, but, since the United Nations has failed, the U.S. Government should do all it possibly can for the realisation of its objective for which it took the matter to the U.N. Security Council and U.N. General Assembly. It may be noted that time factor is of greatest importance.

The bilateral US-Pakistan agreement calls upon the United States to take necessary steps for the preservation of territorial integrity and independence of Pakistan. The Indian aggression abetted and supported by the Soviet Union posed the gravest threat to Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

It is requested that the U.S. Government may please quickly decide in what manner the U.S. can extend material assistance to Pakistan./6/

/6/ Ambassador Farland urged that in framing a response to Pakistan's appeal policymakers in Washington obtain as accurate a reading as possible of Indian intentions beyond the conflict in East Pakistan. He noted that there was a strongly held conviction in West Pakistan that the ultimate Indian objective was to inflict a decisive military defeat on Pakistan's forces throughout Pakistan. (Telegram 12278 from Islamabad, December 9; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

December 8, 1971."

Irwin


261. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Schneider on December 8; cleared by Laingen, Chief of the Evacuation and Relocation Staff James P. McDonnell (A/OPR/WLG), Under Secretary Johnson, and in the White House by Saunders and Kissinger; and approved by Sisco. Also sent to Islamabad and repeated to Calcutta, Dacca, London, and USUN.

Washington, December 9, 1971, 0152Z.

221830. Ref: New Delhi 18944./2/ Subj: East Pakistan: Minorities, Pak Army, Third Country Nationals.

/2/ Telegram 18944 from New Delhi, December 8, reported on a conversation between Ambassador Keating and Defense Secretary Lall in which Lall said that humanitarian considerations dictated that the conflict in East Pakistan should be brought to an end as soon as possible. India wished to avoid further casualties. Lall said that if there was an orderly takeover, India would assume responsibility for safeguarding the lives of the Biharis and Punjabis. (Ibid.)

1. We were interested in your conversation with DefSec K.B. Lall as we have been increasingly concerned about possibility of major bloodletting directed at non-Bengali minorities and remnants of Pak forces. We also have major concern in regard security third country nationals in Dacca.

2. We welcome Lall's statement that India considers it is responsible for safeguarding lives of Biharis and Punjabis. We hope GOI will take whatever action is possible to fulfill this responsibility, including impressing on authorities under its control need to begin process of public reassurance.

3. In regard to Pak army, see septel/3/ regarding Lall's "personal suggestion" to end conflict in East Pakistan. We note GOI appeals for surrender to Indian forces and welcome Indian assurances that prisoners will be given protection of Geneva Convention.

/3/ Reference is to telegram 18944; see footnote 2 above.

4. We are greatly concerned over security of third country nationals. In view of difficulties we are facing in regard to evacuation, we recognize possibility some such nationals will remain in Dacca throughout conflict and will require careful protection.

5. For New Delhi: You should seek urgent appointment with FonSec Kaul to discuss these matters. During your conversation you should repeat statements made by K.B. Lall in regard to Indian responsibility for safeguarding lives of Biharis and Punjabis. You should indicate our great concern that retaliation against Biharis be prevented, concern which General Assembly resolution indicates is shared by world community as a whole. You should press for categoric and explicit affirmation by Kaul of GOI responsibility already accepted by Lall.

6. You should also raise subject of protection of military prisoners indicating that we have noted GOI statements that prisoners will be given protection of Geneva Convention. You should note that attention of world community will similarly be focused on this issue; that we presume GOI will make maximum effort prevent Bangla Desh retaliation against remnants of Pak forces.

7. In regard third country nationals, you should say that we are in close touch with UN in continuing to try air evacuation, but military situation and condition of Dacca runways may prevent this. In the event that air evacuation possible, UN may make urgent short-notice request of GOI for ceasefire and guarantee of safety for airlift. In the event air evacuation is not feasible we will ask GOI to ensure that Indian forces and Mukti Bahini are notified that special efforts should be made to protect third country nationals who will probably be collected in identified areas. GOI will recognize protection of these nationals will be of great importance to international community and UN.

8. For Islamabad: If you believe it is possible, we believe it would be also highly desirable if you could convey to GOP our humanitarian concerns with respect to minorities and our hope that Pakistan Army and administration will avoid actions which could intensify already inflamed communal animosities. We recognize this is extremely sensitive subject and leave it to your discretion how and at what level such points might be got across.

Irwin


262. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted on December 9 by Sisco and approved by Irwin. Also sent to Islamabad, Moscow, and to Brussels as Tosec 44 for the Secretary at NATO meetings.

Washington, December 10, 1971, 0113Z.

222636. 1. Under Secretary accompanied by Sisco called in Jha, accompanied by Verma, First Secretary.

2. Irwin said the United States is deeply concerned over the current developments in South Asia and wishes to ask the Ambassador what Indian intentions are. The US cannot countenance an Indian policy resulting in India's taking of any territory. That would have a most profound and long-lasting effect on US-Indian relations and require the US to consider the implications resulting from such an action. Irwin said he had been instructed to ask the Ambassador to obtain from his government the assurance that India has no intention of taking any territory, including any part of Azad Kashmir. He made clear that while not minimizing US concern over Indian policies and actions in East Pakistan he spoke with particular reference to West Pakistan.

3. Jha noted that India had recognized Bangla Desh, but there was no intention of annexation in the East or what he termed a protectorate relationship with Bangla Desh.

4. Jha continued that in the West there has never been any intention of territorial annexation. However, with respect to Azad Kashmir, he could not give any answer totally free of uncertainty. He said he would have to inquire of Delhi and he would be in touch with us as soon as possible. He noted that as in 1965 that Pak forces had moved into Kashmir. He said he thought one factor which would have to be weighed is how prolonged and how broadly [based] the fighting will be. Here we had the impression he was referring to the fighting in the East, since he added that if Bangla Desh fighting could be sorted out quickly without new factors intervening, India would possibly go along with an early normalization of the situation. He said this was only personal speculation on his part since he would have to report to his government and get their views.

5. Jha then asked what are the Pak aims? Under Secretary pointed out that Pak aims were made very clear today in note to Secretary General accepting General Assembly resolution calling for ceasefire and withdrawal./2/

/2/ Pakistan's acceptance of the General Assembly resolution was reported in telegram 4901 from USUN, December 10. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 578, Indo-Pak War, Pakistan Chronology, Dr Kissinger)

6. Meeting concluded with Irwin stressing we were approaching a most serious crisis in our relations and the Ambassador saying again he would be in touch with us soon as he heard from Delhi.

Irwin


263. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, Pakistan, 12/12/71. Secret; Sensitive. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. The meeting was held in the Situation Room at the White House.

Washington, December 10, 1971, 9:45-10:17 a.m.

PARTICIPANTS
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
U. Alexis Johnson, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Richard Helms, Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
Maurice Williams, Agency for International Development
Warren Nutter, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Kissinger: The President read in the news summary/2/ that American planes were attacked by the Indians.

/2/ The news summary prepared for the President on December 9 contained an item based on a televised report of Indian aircraft having attacked two neutral planes in Pakistan. One plane belonged to the UN, the other to the United States. Nixon penned an instruction to Kissinger in the margin that reads: "K-State immediately is to file a strong public protest on this-(India always protested our V. Nam actions even though they were not involved at all)". (Ibid., White House Special Files, President's Office Files, Annotated News Summaries, December 9-24, 1971)

Johnson: This was several days ago. It's been protested.

Moorer: Many are being killed in the West in ships.

Kissinger: They are asking also for withdrawal of India's troops./3/

/3/ The discussion at this point apparently relates to telegram 5573 from Dacca, December 10. That telegram reported that UN Special Assistant Paul Marc Henry had received from the commander of the Pakistani forces, Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan, a copy of a message Farman sent to President Yahya asking him to approve a request by Farman for the UN to arrange for an immediate cease-fire in East Pakistan. Yahya approved Farman's proposal, which stipulated the repatriation of Pakistani forces to West Pakistan, and asked for a guarantee of no reprisals. It was not an offer of surrender, and Farman's message indicated that if the offer was not accepted, Pakistani forces would continue to fight "to the last man." (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK)

Johnson: Not as a condition.

Kissinger: Where does this lead us?

Johnson: I talked with George Bush. The UN has received it and has asked the Security Council to decide on it. Only the Chinese haven't been in on it./4/ Joe has the scenarios. We should send a flash message to Farland to confirm that this is Yahya's view. We should bypass the Security Council. It's quicker to do it by the Secretary General. We should get the UN Indian rep on the ground to talk with the Pak Generals. The Secretary General should tell his man.

/4/ See Document 274.

Kissinger: The President feels we are obliged to call for a ceasefire in the West. We should demand a ceasefire in the West. It must be clearly understood that our policy is to get a ceasefire in the West. We'll make a treaty if necessary.

Sisco: Let's tell Yahya in a message that this is what we plan to do, and does he agree?

Kissinger: If there is a ceasefire now, we don't have to worry about the territorial question in the West.

Johnson: This goes right along with the UNGA resolution./5/

/5/ Reference is to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 7; see footnote 11, Document 248.

Sisco: Add a sentence to the cable./6/ Tell Yahya he can assume if this is his proposal, he can assume it is based on a ceasefire in the West. We will go all out.

/6/ For text of this telegram, as sent to Ambassador Farland, see Document 264.

Kissinger: I assume they did this in the East because they are finished.

Moorer: With only 3-4 days left, there is time for the Indians to regroup.

Williams: They'll fight to the death. The Indians are close now.

[omission in the source text]: The situation is hopeless.

Kissinger: We don't want to be the instrument pushing a Pakistani surrender, when the Chinese are on their side. Bush shouldn't do anything until we hear from Yahya.

Sisco: We don't want it in the Security Council again. We'll negotiate down from the resolutions.

Kissinger: Why not make Soviets put up?

Johnson: We're apt to get into a long debate and lose track of what's happening on the ground.

Sisco: The Paks have taken the initiative.

Kissinger: The President doesn't want us to move in the UN to arrange a surrender. Take a tough line with the Indians. If the Paks want it, we will help.

Helms: If we want West Pakistan tied in, we have to go to the Security Council. If there is an early agreement on what the Paks want in the East, we can move outside of the Security Council.

Kissinger: We want to stop the attack in West Pakistan. There is no objection to this proposal but we must prevent an attack in the West. Get a flash to Farland to get Yahya's views. Tell him it is our judgment we should use it as a basis for a ceasefire in the West.

Sisco: Assume the Pakistani proposal is that Yahya wants a ceasefire in West. We will be helpful with the Indians to this end.

Kissinger: We must prevent the destruction of the Pak Army in the West. We don't want our Ambassador to press Yahya to surrender.

Sisco: There is no danger of that. Farland wouldn't do that.

Moorer: We should give Yahya our judgment that his army can be destroyed in three weeks. He doesn't see that.

Sisco: Let me make a language suggestion: We assume the Pakistani proposal was based on the assumption that Pakistan is ready for a ceasefire in the West as well. Please confirm, and indicate that we are prepared to weigh in heavily with the Indians and others to bring this about if this is Yahya's desire.

Kissinger: The Indians must know our priority area and the Russians must know we are serious.

Moorer: How about the integrity of the border?

Sisco: Some mutual withdrawals will be necessary in the West but it means the Indians can't take any Pakistani territory.

[omission in the source text]: Previous borders good.

Johnson: The Indians want to straighten out the border. We should add the status quo ante to the telegram.

Kissinger: We must be sure Yahya sees we are not turning on him.

Packard: They don't know where they are up there.

Johnson: He accepted the General Assembly resolution which calls for that.

Sisco: It won't remove any danger. Leave it fuzzy.

[omission in the source text]: It's o.k. at this time.

Kissinger: Couldn't we just say "Does this mean he is ready for a ceasefire in the West as well? If so, we are willing to make a major effort to bring this about to help preserve his territorial integrity and prevent the destruction of his army. Please respond FLASH."

[All agree. Final text is attached at Tab A.]/7/

/7/ Brackets in the source text. The attached text is identical to the final paragraph of the telegram sent to Farland; Document 264.

Kissinger: Back to the UN: Bush is to be clearly told that we should take no stance which suggests we are supporting the surrender of Pakistan. He should be one step back of what the Pakistanis say.

Sisco: Bhutto asked to see the President. We got an interesting cable from the DCM./8/

/8/ Sober met with newly designated Deputy Prime Minister Bhutto in Rawalpindi on December 7, the eve of Bhutto's trip to New York to participate in the UN debate on South Asia. To help facilitate a settlement to the crisis, Bhutto said that he was prepared to seek an accommodation with Awami League leaders, including negotiations with Mujib. At the appropriate time he was also prepared to go to New Delhi to seek a reconciliation with India. Bhutto added that while he was in the United States he hoped to meet with President Nixon in Washington to discuss the crisis in South Asia. (Telegram 12205 from Islamabad, December 8; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 7 PAK)

Kissinger: I saw it. Bhutto's comments are interesting. The DCM's comments suggested he's thinking of reconciliation with India. The President may be willing to see him-I don't know. It couldn't be sooner than Wednesday.

Sisco: Should the Secretary and Henry see him sooner? The Secretary returns tonight.

Kissinger: What is the Security Council problem?

Sisco: The document/9/ is circulated. I don't know whether the Secretary General has convened the Security Council. If we temporize-have Bush say we haven't decided whether a Security Council meeting is indicated-while we are checking the authenticity of the request. If Yahya wants it and the Secretary General then goes to the Indians, saying they are ready to talk. . . .

/9/ Apparent reference to the December 9 letter from Pakistan's Permanent Representative Ambassador Shahi to the Secretary-General informing him that Pakistan had decided to accept the General Assembly's call for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of troops, and expressing the hope that UN observers would be stationed along both sides of the border to supervise the cease-fire and withdrawals. (UN doc. S/10440)

Kissinger: Suppose the President wants to go to the Security Council and insist we will cooperate only if there is a ceasefire in the West. This is like the Soviet resolution./10/ If the choice is between stop in the East but not in the West or an end of action in the West, there may be no need to pursue withdrawal anymore except as a negotiating ploy.

/10/ Apparent reference to the draft resolution introduced in the General Assembly on December 7 by the Soviet Representative that called upon Pakistan to effect a political settlement in East Pakistan by recognizing the will of the population of East Pakistan as expressed in the elections of December 1970. The Soviet resolution called for a cease-fire, but did not address the issue of withdrawal. (UN doc. A/L.648)

Williams: An honorable withdrawal for Pak forces from the West [East] is a key point.

Helms: Let's get out the message.

[The meeting ended.]/11/

/11/ Brackets in the source text.


264. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Pakistan/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Flash. Drafted by Sisco and approved by U. Alexis Johnson. Repeated to New Delhi, Dacca, and USUN.

Washington, December 10, 1971, 1539Z.

222703. Islamabad for Ambassador.

You will have seen Dacca 5573./2/ Contact Yahya immediately. Confirm whether this is the bona fide Pak position. If so ask him whether he would like us to be helpful vis-à-vis the UN with communications and otherwise.

/2/ See footnote 3, Document 263. to bring it about in order to preserve Pakistan territorial integrity and armed forces.

Does this mean that Yahya is ready for a cease-fire in the West? If he is, we want him to know that we are ready to make a major effort

Please respond flash./3/

/3/ Ambassador Farland contacted Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan who consulted with President Yahya and confirmed Pakistan's request for a UN-organized cease-fire in East Pakistan. Sultan Khan said that Pakistan was also ready for a UN-monitored cease-fire in the west, to be followed by negotiations to effect a troop withdrawal and a settlement of the war. (Telegram 12355 from Islamabad, December 10; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

Irwin


265. Backchannel Message From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.

Washington, December 10, 1971, 10:53 a.m.

You will be receiving flash instructions through regular channels concerning Pakistani proposal for immediate ceasefire./2/ The President has directed that future scenario be within the framework of the proposal which I provided to you within this channel./3/ Above all, no actions should be undertaken within regular channels that have not been previously cleared with President via this channel. There is to be no additional pressure on Yahya.

/2/ See Document 264.

/3/ See Document 259.

In everything we do with Yahya, we cannot have it said that we stabbed Pakistan in the back. This must be your guiding principle on each issue from this point on.

Warm regards.


266. Editorial Note

President Nixon met with Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office of the White House at 10:51 a.m. on December 10, 1971, for another discussion of the crisis in South Asia. The conversation began with Nixon and Kissinger talking about the protest the Department of State was instructed to make concerning the strafing of United States planes on the ground in Pakistan by the Indian Air Force. Nixon wanted to make certain that the protest had been made. Kissinger again suggested that the Department did not promptly or effectively carry out White House instructions. He said: "I want to tell you what I have done, tentatively, subject to your approval. They've got this East Pakistan, they've got the offer of the commander of the Pakistan forces in East Pakistan to get a cease-fire and so forth. They [the Department of State] were going to run to the Security Council and get that done. We don't want to be in a position where we push the Pakistanis over the cliff. So I told them to link the cease-fire in the east with the cease-fire in the west." Kissinger said that the cease-fire in the east was "down the drain." He added: "the major problem now is protect the west." Nixon agreed: "Yeah." Kissinger continued: "I've got Vorontsov coming in at 11:30 and I'm going to tell him that what the Pakistanis did in the east was as a result of what we did. Which is true. I'm going to show him the Kennedy understanding. I'm going to hand him a very tough note to Brezhnev and say this is it now, let's settle the, let's get a cease-fire now. That's the best that can be done now. They'll lose half of their country, but at least they preserve the other half." Nixon agreed that "our desire is to save West Pakistan."

Nixon asked for an assurance that the necessary steps were being taken to "keep those carriers [sic] moving." Kissinger assured him that "everything is moving." In addition to the carrier group, Kissinger reported that "four Jordanian planes have already moved to Pakistan, twenty-two more are coming. We're talking to the Saudis, the Turks we've now found are willing to give five."

Later in the conversation Nixon asked when Kissinger planned to meet with the Chinese. Kissinger replied that he was meeting with them that afternoon at 5:30. Nixon asked what would be discussed and Kissinger replied: "I'm going to tell them what forces we're moving." Nixon said: "Could you say it would be very helpful if they could move some forces, or threaten to move some forces." Kissinger said: "Absolutely." Nixon added: "They've got to threaten or they've got to move, one of the two. You know what I mean? Kissinger replied: "Yeah." Nixon continued: "Threaten to move forces or move them, Henry, that's what they must do now. Now, goddammit, we're playing our role and that will restrain India. And also tell them this will help us get the cease-fire." He indicated that he did not want to reach an agreement with the Soviet Union that China would reject. Kissinger agreed and added: "If we stay strong, even if it comes out badly, we'll have come out well with the Chinese, which is important."

Casting about for other sources of support for Pakistan, Nixon asked whether France could be encouraged to sell planes to Pakistan. The conversation then turned to the impending talks between Nixon and French President Pompidou in the Azores on monetary issues.

Nixon said: "Coming back to this India-Pakistan thing, have we got anything else we can do?" Kissinger replied: "I think we're going to crack it now." Nixon asked: "Well, the Indians will be warned by the Chinese, right?" Kissinger replied: "Well, I'll have to find out tonight." Nixon said: "You do your best, Henry. This should have been done long ago. The Chinese have not warned the Indians. They haven't warned them that they're going to come in. And that's the point, they've got to warn them. . . . All they've got to do is move something. Move their, move a division. You know, move some trucks. Fly some planes. You know, some symbolic act. We're not doing a goddamn thing, Henry, you know that. We're just moving things around, aren't we?" Kissinger agreed: "Yeah."

Nixon said: "These Indians are cowards, right?" Kissinger replied: "Right, but with Russian backing. You see the Russians have sent notes to Iran, Turkey, to a lot of countries threatening them. The Russians have played a miserable game." In response to Nixon's question, Kissinger said the Russian threats were vague rather than specific. He felt that the Soviet Union would change course in light of Nixon's conversation with Matskevich.

Looking ahead, Nixon posed the question of whether the United States should recognize the emerging political reality in East Pakistan. "What do we do about that? Are we going to just say . . . Indian occupation or Bangladesh? Or what? Are we going to oppose Bangladesh recognition? What's our position? Is anybody involved on these things?" He added that what was lacking was a plan outlining "how we want it come out." Kissinger responded: "After the Brezhnev letter came yesterday, we sent a copy of it to Yahya. . . . And now Yahya has come back with a proposal saying cease-fire, negotiations for mutual withdrawal, and negotiations to settle the political future. . . . And then what will happen on Bangladesh, Mr. President, is that whatever West Pakistan and these people work out we will accept. But we will not be in the fore, in the front." Nixon asked: "Whatever West Pakistan works out with whom?" Kissinger replied: "The negotiations on East Pakistan." Nixon said: "But India will not agree to negotiations on East Pakistan." Kissinger replied: "Yeah, but the Russians have already agreed to it. So what will happen, let's be realistic, what will happen is that the representatives of East Pakistan will demand independence. And in practice I think that is what West Pakistan will then agree to. But then it won't be us who have done it. This will solve the problem of do we recognize Bangladesh against the wishes of the Pakistan Government." Nixon said: "We must never recognize Bangladesh . . . until West Pakistan gives us the go ahead."

In concluding, Nixon said: "I want a program of aid to West Pakistan formulated immediately. . . . We cannot let them hang out there by themselves." He observed that while he was constrained from sending military assistance to Pakistan, the United States could encourage others to do so. He could provide economic assistance recognizing that Pakistan could convert such assistance to military purposes. Nixon concurred with Kissinger's observation that "we have to continue to squeeze the Indians, even when this thing is settled." Nixon instructed that economic assistance programmed for India be reprogrammed to help pay for war damage suffered by Pakistan. Nixon also angrily instructed that a concerted effort be made to publicize India's role in the crisis: "Get a white paper out. . . . I want the Indians blamed for this, you know what I mean? We can't let these goddamn sanctimonious Indians get away with this. . . . Here they are raping and murdering. They talk about West Pakistan. These Indians are pretty vicious." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 10, 1971, 10:51- 11:12 a.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 635-8) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969- 1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 172.


267. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 10, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: The war in the East has reached its final stages. The Indian forces are encircling Dacca and preparing for the final assault if the Pak forces in the capital area refuse to surrender. Pak resistance elsewhere in the province appears on the verge of total collapse, although they continue to hold some isolated areas. Faced with this desperate situation, the top Pak military official in Dacca has called on the UN to arrange (a) peaceful transfer of power to the "elected representatives of East Pakistan," (b) an immediate cease-fire, (c) repatriation of the Pak forces to West Pakistan, (d) repatriation of all other West Pak personnel who desire to leave, (e) the safety of the others settled in East Pakistan since 1947 and (f) a guarantee of no reprisals.

In the West, the Indians seem to be successfully repulsing Pak attacks in Kashmir, but show no signs yet of initiating a major offensive of their own. Repeated Indian air strikes and shellings from naval forces on Karachi have dealt a major blow to Pakistan's POL supply. One experienced observer on the spot judges that under optimum conditions West Pakistan may run out of key POL items in about two weeks and, under the most likely combination of circumstances, supplies will dry up even sooner. In the Lahore and other areas to the north, the Indian air attacks are concentrating more heavily on communications, the power infrastructure and more direct military targets. Some observers think that the purpose of these heavy air attacks is to soften up West Pakistan for an all-out Indian ground offensive as soon as the situation is under control in the East. There are some unconfirmed reports that the Indians may already be beginning the process of shifting aircraft and troops to the Western front.

On the sea, the Paks have apparently given up trying to contest the approaches to their ports in both the East and West. The Paks, from Yahya on down, are charging that Soviet technicians/2/ are aboard the OSA missile boats which have sunk a Pak destroyer and attacked the Karachi port area.

/2/ President Nixon circled Soviet technicians and added a handwritten marginal comment at this point which reads: "K-This must get out."

According to a reliable clandestine source, Mrs. Gandhi has said that there are "some indications" that the Chinese intend to intervene militarily. She did not reveal her evidence, but reportedly said that the Chinese may create border incidents in the East before the fall of Dacca and later take some action in the contested Ladakh area near Kashmir. So far, we have no evidence that the Chinese are actually planning such actions.

The UN could soon be seized with the Pak cease-fire request. Pakistan has also formally accepted the General Assembly resolution and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Bhutto is arriving in New York to lead the Pak delegation. Before he left Islamabad, Bhutto said he would like to see you while he is in the U.S. and Yahya has expressed his hope that you can do this. Mrs. Gandhi, at a mass student rally today, said that India "neither accepted nor rejected" the General Assembly resolution,/3/ but was giving it "serious consideration." Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh and Foreign Secretary T.N. Kaul are on their way to New York.

/3/ The President underlined the portion of this sentence that begins with neither and concludes with resolution and added a handwritten marginal comment which reads: "K-Keep the 'world opinion' heat on India."

The Indians have announced a bombing pause over both Dacca and Karachi for evacuation purposes. Evacuation planes will be given safe conduct into Karachi for four-hour periods today and tomorrow and the Dacca airport is to be free from attacks for 24 hours so that it can be repaired. Foreign evacuation planes bound for Dacca will then be given safe conduct for 10 hours on Saturday on the condition that they land at Calcutta before and after going to Dacca. UN personnel reportedly will remain behind in Dacca for possible assistance in arranging a cease-fire or surrender.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]


268. Editorial Note

According to Henry Kissinger's Daily Schedule, he was to meet with Soviet Chargé Yuli Vorontsov at 11:35 a.m. on December 10, 1971, and did so at 11:58. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968-1976, Record of Schedule) In his memoirs Kissinger writes that at this meeting he outlined a modified United States proposal for a settlement of the crisis. The proposal no longer called for a withdrawal of Indian forces. It stipulated a cease-fire and standstill agreement to be monitored by United Nations representatives in both wings of Pakistan. After the cease-fire took effect, there would be negotiations directed at troop withdrawals and the satisfaction of Bengali aspirations. (White House Years, page 905) Kissinger noted that he also conveyed to Vorontsov the text of the letter Nixon sent to Brezhnev on December 10 (Document 269). The only other record of this meeting that has been found is a tape recording of Kissinger's report on the meeting to Nixon shortly thereafter.

Kissinger told President Nixon that after their meeting, Vorontsov had needed no further proof of United States resolve. He said that "we got the message loud and clear from the President yesterday." Vorontsov added: "I can tell you informally that if they are not working through the night now in Moscow, they are not doing their duty." Kissinger concluded: "We're going to get it." He said he had underlined the significance of the understanding President Kennedy had with President Ayub about coming to Pakistan's assistance. "I showed him the secret treaty. I said now I hope you understand the significance of this. It isn't just an obligation. It will completely defuse the Democrats because they are not going to attack their own President. So I said when the President yesterday spoke of an obligation he was speaking of a Kennedy obligation. . . . He said within an hour this will be on Mr. Brezhnev's desk. And I told him we're moving some military forces, but it will not be visible until Sunday night. . . . In effect, it was giving him sort of veiled ultimatum."

Nixon said: "If Brezhnev does not have the good judgment not to push us to the wall on this miserable issue, . . . we just may as well forget the summit." Kissinger's judgment was that "by Sunday night or Monday" (December 12-13) there would be an acceptable cease-fire. He said: "I think that the Russians will agree with us to call for one." The Chinese would accept such a proposal, he assured Nixon, "because we've got Yahya. What we are proposing to the Russians, Yahya gave us." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 10, 1971, 12:47 a.m.-1:01 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 635-17) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 173.


269. Letter From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 497, President's Trip Files, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger, Vol. 2. No classification marking.

Washington, December 10, 1971.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I have carefully noted the contents of your letter of December 8, 1971./2/ My own views of the basic issues involved in the conflict on the Indian Subcontinent were expressed in my previous letter/3/ and in my conversation with your Minister of Agriculture./4/

/2/ Document 253.

/3/ Document 236.

/4/ See Document 257.

The situation is constantly deteriorating and as it does the adverse implications grow for our relations and for progress toward a stable international peace.

The proposals, contained in your letter, concerning the political evolution of East Pakistan appear to be being met. Pakistan's actions today in this respect were largely due to our influence initiated immediately upon receipt of your letter.

This must now be followed by an immediate cease-fire in the West. If this does not take place, we would have to conclude that there is in progress an act of aggression directed at the whole of Pakistan, a friendly country toward which we have obligations.

I therefore propose an immediate joint appeal for a complete cease-fire.

Meanwhile, I urge you in the strongest terms to restrain India with which, by virtue of your treaty, you have great influence and for whose actions you must share responsibility.

Sincerely,
Richard Nixon


270. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.

Washington, December 10, 1971, 1:27 p.m.

K: I just spoke with the President before going off. I think this is basically clear but I wanted to be sure there was no ambiguity left. It seems to us that basically your proposal/2/ is being accepted and therefore even harder to understand a delay in the joint action.

/2/ An apparent reference to the proposal for a cease-fire put forward in Brezhnev's December 8 letter to Nixon (Document 253). The Soviet proposal also called for negotiations between Yahya Khan's government and East Pakistani leaders concerning a political settlement in East Pakistan.

V: I understand and I proceeded from that assumption.

K: So some formulation should begin between East and West Pakistan. It's not exact text but substance.

V: When I was reading the paper,/3/ in what form this joint action should be.

/3/ An apparent reference to Nixon's December 10 letter to Brezhnev; Document 269.

K: [omission in the source text] Security Council?

V: That's clear.

K: Consider other proposals as well.

V: I will make that clarification.

K: The language you have is more precise than one I gave you.

V: I understand.

K: We will draft something in Security Council-type language and get it to you this afternoon.


271. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Secret; Sensitive. The text of this message was conveyed to Haig in a December 10 memorandum. (Ibid.)

Islamabad, December 10, 1971.

1. I met with Yahya in his residence at 1000 hrs. local Dec. 10 and conveyed to him the information contained in your message of Dec. 9./2/ Yahya's initial reaction was to indicate a lack of comprehension regarding exactly what was implied by the information conveyed. After I went over the entire subject again and reiterated salient points, Yahya still indicated strong objections because "Russia is giving India everything she wants."

/2/ Document 259.

2. I then undertook the hardest "sell job" of my life. After about 30 minutes I brought Yahya around to a point where he was making his own proposition. Except for the slightly different wording and the fact it was his own proposal and not the Russian one, Yahya in fact "bought" the original proposal as delivered.

3. Yahya proposes that, subject to the provisos contained in paragraph 2 of your communication, (a) India and Pakistan should agree to an immediate ceasefire with the separate armed forces "standing fast"; and that the United Nations or other international organization provide observers to see that the ceasefire is effective; (b) that India and Pakistan "at any effective level" immediately open negotiations aimed at a settlement of the war and troop withdrawal; and coincident therewith simultaneously enter into negotiations looking towards the political satisfaction of Bengali aspirations, i.e., a political settlement.

4. I read the operative paragraph above to Yahya and he reaffirmed his position. Warm regards.


272. Backchannel Message From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. No time of transmittal appears on the message.

Washington, December 10, 1971.

Ref: [message number not declassified]/2/

/2/ Document 271.

We are making strongest démarche to Soviets today which proposes that they join with us in supporting provisos contained in my message of December 9/3/ and paragraph 3 of your [message number not declassified] which provides (a) India and Pakistan should agree to an immediate ceasefire with the separate armed forces "standing fast"; and that the United Nations or other international organization provide observers to see that the ceasefire is effective; (b) that India and Pakistan "at any effective level" immediately open negotiations aimed at a settlement of the war and troop withdrawal; and coincident therewith negotiations be started looking towards the political satisfaction of Bengali aspirations; i.e., a political settlement.

/3/ Document 259.

It is essential that Government of Pakistan refrain from making additional proposals until we have had opportunity to move within the above framework.

In discussing the foregoing procedure with Yahya, you should emphasize that the President has made the strongest démarche to the Soviets and included warning to them that we have obligations towards Pakistan which will not permit aggression against West Pakistan. President added that should Indian offensive be launched in the West, with Soviet acquiescence, a US/Soviet confrontation would ensue.


273. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan, December 1-10. Top Secret; Sensitive.

Washington, December 10, 1971.

Henry:

[name not declassified] called and said that the Jordanians have replied as follows. They will send four aircraft with Jordanian pilots immediately to Pakistan. The Paks asked for 12, but he will hold to four initially to see how it goes. He is prepared to go as high as 22 ultimately.

Attached is a message from Raza/2/ referring to six F-5's which the Turks have apparently agreed to provide if the U.S. agrees.

/2/ Attached but not printed is a December 9 letter to Kissinger from Ambassador Raza.
AH


274. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, For the President's File, China Trip, China Exchanges, October 20, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. According to an attached memorandum from Lord to Kissinger, December 15, Lord drafted the memorandum and Kissinger approved it as accurate. Kissinger's account of this conversation with Huang Hua is in The White House Years, p. 906.

New York, December 10, 1971, 6:05-7:55 p.m.

PARTICIPANTS

Ambassador Huang Hua, PRC Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to Canada
Ch'en Ch'u, PRC Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Director, Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
T'ang Wen'sheng, Interpreter
Shih Yen-hua, Interpreter
Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Ambassador George Bush, US Representative to the United Nations
Brig. General Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Winston Lord, Senior NSC Staff Member

Dr. Kissinger: I see you in the newspapers all the time. You're a great publicity expert. And very argumentative.

Ambassador Huang: No, I always argue in self-defense.

Ch'en Ch'u: He counterattacks in self-defense.

Dr. Kissinger: Preemptive attack.

Mr. Ambassador, what we have is not strictly UN business, but our contact in Paris is not there.

Miss T'ang: Mr. Walters?

Dr. Kissinger: He is not in Paris right now. He is going to be with the President in the Azores.

This may turn out to become UN business, but we wanted the Prime Minister urgently to know certain things we are doing. Therefore we have taken the liberty of this slightly irregular procedure. (Ambassador Huang nods.)

The apartment is slightly improved over last time. Next time we meet we will really have a suitable place. (Looking at a Chinese scroll on the wall) There seems to be a wandering Chinese painting that we hang up every time we have an apartment. (Chinese laughter.) I hope those sentences are friendly.

Ambassador Huang: I can't see them from such a distance.

Ch'en Ch'u: (Looking at the scroll) It is an ancient poem.

Dr. Kissinger: I have some great colored pictures of you (Ch'en). I will send them to you. They were taken at the Great Wall.

Let me explain to you what we have done in various categories. Incidentally, just so everyone knows exactly what we do, we tell you about our conversations with the Soviets; we do not tell the Soviets about our conversations with you. In fact, we don't tell our own colleagues that I see you. George Bush is the only person outside the White House who knows I come here.

You know we have made a number of public declarations about India. I held what is known as a press backgrounder this week in which I pointed out that India is at fault. I will give you the text of it before you leave so that you can read it. And we will continue to pursue this line publicly.

You know what we have done in the United Nations so there is no point in reviewing this with you.

In addition we have taken other measures. We have canceled $87 million of loans to India and $14 million of military equipment.

Ambassador Huang: $40 million or $14 million?

Dr. Kissinger: $14 million. But in addition, there is $17 million due to be purchased which fell through because we aren't issuing new licenses. So the net cancellation amounted to $31 million. In fact, we have canceled the entire military equipment line to India. There is no military equipment going to India. This means specifically we have canceled all radar equipment for defense in the north.

Then we have two other items due to be signed this week that we are not signing, and that we have no intention of signing. One is an agreement for $72 million worth of food, PL 480.

Miss T'ang: PL 480?

Dr. Kissinger: That's a food program, a specific program. Another is $100 million in loans. And we are working, using our influence, at the World Bank to defer loans of $75 million which are becoming due. Our Ambassador (looking toward Bush) thinks we are never doing anything.

Ambassador Huang: You mean Mr. Bush thought that you are doing nothing?

Dr. Kissinger: He thinks we just sit in the White House and do nothing.

Ambassador Bush: I think I do all the work and that they do nothing.

Dr. Kissinger: What he really thinks is that we are pursuing an evenhanded policy. That's what our press spokesman says.

Now I want to tell the Ambassador, for the Prime Minister, about a number of communications we have had with the Soviet Union.

Ambassador Huang: You mean in the sense of the first question just discussed, i.e., the question of the India-Pakistan subcontinent?

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, India-Pakistan. We have had the following contacts-the Soviet Ambassador is back in Moscow, so I have to deal with the Chargé. Last Sunday I called the Soviet Counsellor Vorontsov to the White House.

Miss T'ang: Soviet Counsellor?

Dr. Kissinger: Mr. Vorontsov. He's the Chargé. And I told him that the Soviets support of Indian aggression endangers the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. Incidentally, these conversations are known only in the White House and only to you.

On Monday,/2/ President Nixon sent a letter/3/ to Secretary General Brezhnev in which he said that Indian aggression with Soviet support is unacceptable to the United States, and that if pursued this would complicate for a long time the international situation and would have an adverse effect-this is a quote-on the whole range of our relationships. (Ambassador Huang checks the translation.)

/2/ December 6.

/3/ Document 236.

Mr. Brezhnev sent a reply/4/-we sent the letter December 6 and we received the reply December 9th in the morning. The letter was phrased in conciliatory language and it proposes a ceasefire and "an immediate"-this is quoting again-"resumption of negotiations between the Government of Pakistan and the East Pakistan leaders concerning a political settlement." (Miss T'ang asks and Dr. Kissinger repeats)-this is a quote-"concerning a political settlement in East Pakistan." The continuation of the-quote-"the negotiations should, naturally, be started from the stage at which they were discontinued." I said this meant on the basis of a united Pakistan.

/4/ Document 253.

Miss T'ang: You said . . . ?

Dr. Kissinger: I said orally that on March 25 there was a united Pakistan, and he (Vorontsov) said yes. Incidentally, we inform the Pakistani Ambassador of everything we do. I don't know whether he informs you.

Yesterday, December 9, we learned that the Soviet Minister of Agriculture was in Washington and that he was a friend of Brezhnev who wanted to see the President.

Ambassador Huang: His name?

Dr. Kissinger: Matskevich. These gentlemen (the Chinese) have a file on everybody. Someday I must find out what they know about me; it is more than I do. (Ambassador Huang gestures in mock denial.)

During this discussion, which lasted 15 minutes and was primarily a statement by the President, the President emphasized that Pakistan is a friend of the United States and that if India were to continue its attacks and launch an attack against West Pakistan, it could lead to a US-Soviet confrontation.

Today, on December 10, we sent forward a reply to Brezhnev./5/ We pointed out that-this is based on the information we have that the Pakistani commander in East Pakistan has asked for a ceasefire-we said if there is not a ceasefire in West Pakistan as well, "we would have to conclude that there is in progress an act of aggression directed at the whole of Pakistan, a friendly country, toward which we have obligations."

/5/ Document 269.

In order to underline what we have said, we worked with a number of countries to provide aid to Pakistan.

Ambassador Huang: But this is not in the letter that you are quoting.

Dr. Kissinger: No, I am telling you about this. This is terribly complex. We are barred by law from giving equipment to Pakistan in this situation. And we also are barred by law from permitting friendly countries which have American equipment to give their equipment to Pakistan.

So we have worked out the following arrangements with a number of countries. We have told Jordan and Iran and Saudi Arabia, and we will tell Turkey through a channel other than the ones with which Ambassador Bush is familiar. We said that if they decide that their natural security requires shipment of American arms to Pakistan, we are obliged to protest, but we will understand. We will not protest with great intensity. And we will make up to them in next year's budget whatever difficulties they have.

On this basis, four planes are leaving Jordan today and 22 over the weekend. Ammunition and other equipment is going from Iran.

Ambassador Huang: You mean over the weekend?

Dr. Kissinger: We don't know the exact time, but immediately we understand. And six planes from Turkey in the near future. This is very confidential obviously, and we are not eager for it to be known. At least not until Congress gets out of town tomorrow.

In addition, we are moving a number of naval ships in the West Pacific toward the Indian Ocean: an aircraft carrier accompanied by four destroyers and a tanker, and a helicopter carrier and two destroyers. I have maps here showing the location of the Soviet fleet in the Indian Ocean if you are interested. These are much smaller ships. They are no match for the US ships. (Showing Ambassador Huang the map) Here is a merchant tanker . . . a submarine . . .

Ambassador Huang: (laughing) I'm no expert.

Dr. Kissinger: I'm not either. There is no difficulty.

There is not much in the Soviet fleet. What is the total number, Al? (to Haig) I've read it somewhere.

Ambassador Huang: There's a cruiser coming in now.

Dr. Kissinger: Their ships are not much.

I now come to a matter of some sensitivity. We have received a report that one of your personnel in a European country, in a conversation with another European, expressed uncertainty about the Soviet dispositions on your borders and a desire for information about them. We do not ourselves concentrate on tactical intelligence. We only have information about the general disposition, and we collect it at irregular intervals by satellite. But we would be prepared at your request, and through whatever sources you wish, to give you whatever information we have about the disposition of Soviet forces. I don't have it with me, but we can arrange it easily wherever you wish and in an absolutely secure way.

Secondly, the President wants you to know that it's, of course, up to the People's Republic to decide its own course of action in this situation, but if the People's Republic were to consider the situation on the Indian subcontinent a threat to its security, and if it took measures to protect its security, the US would oppose efforts of others to interfere with the People's Republic. We are not recommending any particular steps; we are simply informing you about the actions of others.

The movement of our naval forces is still East of the Straits of Malacca and will not become obvious until Sunday/6/ evening when they cross the Straits.

/6/ December 12.

I would like to give you our assessment of the military situation on the subcontinent. I don't know whether you have any assessments. I would like to give this to you and then tell you one other thing.

The Pakistani army in the East has been destroyed. The Pakistani army in the West will run out of what we call POL-gas and oil-in another two to three weeks, two weeks probably, because the oil storage capacity in Karachi has been destroyed. We think that the immediate objective must be to prevent an attack on the West Pakistan army by India. We are afraid that if nothing is done to stop it, East Pakistan will become a Bhutan and West Pakistan will become a Nepal. And India with Soviet help would be free to turn its energies elsewhere.

So it seems to us that through a combination of pressures and political moves it is important to keep India from attacking in the West, to gain time to get more arms into Pakistan and to restore the situation.

We sent yesterday the relevant paragraphs, the non-rhetorical paragraphs, from Brezhnev's letter to President Yahya for his opinion. (To Ambassador Huang and Miss T'ang) Why don't you read what we told him? It is an unusual method of proceeding, but we have to understand each other. This is just a quotation, an extract. (To Miss T'ang) Don't write it down word for word, Nancy.

You don't need a master spy. We give you everything (handing over his file). We read that you brought a master spy with you. You don't need him. He couldn't get this by himself. (Chinese laughter) Next time he (Ambassador Huang) will show me one of his dispatches, but it will do me no good at all, since I can't read it. (Chinese laughter)

(To Ambassador Bush) Don't you discuss diplomacy this way.

Ambassador Bush: I'm trying to understand it. I'm waiting for the Chinese translation.

(Miss T'ang continues to read out the cable to Yahya.)/7/

/7/ See Document 259.

Dr. Kissinger: This is to our Ambassador, but it goes through a secret channel. No one in the bureaucracy sees it. (Miss T'ang keeps reading.)

I went over this with the Pakistani Ambassador. I showed it to him to see if he thought it was alright.

Miss T'ang: And then you sent it.

Dr. Kissinger: So we are being open and we are doing it in friendship.

Miss T'ang: (Repeating) "disassociation."

Dr. Kissinger: Let me explain, Mr. Ambassador. If the Russians advocate negotiations as they were in March, that means they cannot accept Bangla Desh. (To the Ambassador) You can read that next page.

Miss T'ang: It says "exclusively eyes only."

Dr. Kissinger: There's a better one that says "burn before reading."

(Dr. Kissinger confirms the translation.)

(Miss T'ang keeps reading) I wanted you to know so that you know exactly what we tell them. Now they have replied to us. Can I read it to you, which is the answer from Yahya?/8/

/8/ See Document 271.

Ambassador Huang: Yes.

Dr. Kissinger: He said that subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of my communication-in other words these two provisions concerning negotiations being done in a united way-India and Pakistan should agree to an immediate ceasefire with the separation of armed forces standing fast; and the UN or another international organization should provide observers to see that the ceasefire is effective; and India and Pakistan at any effective level should immediately open negotiations aimed at a settlement of the war and troop withdrawal; and coincident therewith there would be negotiations looking toward the political satisfaction of Bengali aspirations, that is, a political settlement. (Miss T'ang repeats, then interprets)

So now you know everything we know. Our judgment is if East Pakistan is to be preserved from destruction, two things are needed-maximum intimidation of the Indians and, to some extent, the Soviets. Secondly, maximum pressure for the ceasefire.

At this moment we have-I must tell you one other thing-we have an intelligence report according to which Mrs. Gandhi told her cabinet that she wants to destroy the Pakistani army/9/ and air force and to annex this part of Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, and then to offer a ceasefire. This is what we believe must be prevented and this is why I have taken the liberty to ask for this meeting with the Ambassador.

/9/ According to the intelligence report, Gandhi referred to the destruction of Pakistani "armored and air force strength"; see Document 246.

One other thing. The Acting Secretary of State-the Secretary of State is in Europe-called in last night the Indian Ambassador and demanded assurance that India has no designs, will not annex any territory. We do this to have a legal basis for other actions.

So this is where we are.

Ambassador Huang: We thank Dr. Kissinger very much for informing us of the situation on the subcontinent of India-Pakistan, and we certainly will convey that to Prime Minister Chou En-lai.

The position of the Chinese Government on this matter is not a secret. Everything has been made known to the world. And the basic stand we are taking in the UN is the basic stand of our government. Both in the Security Council and the plenary session of the General Assembly we have supported the draft resolutions that have included both the ceasefire and withdrawal, although we are not actually satisfied with that kind of resolution. But we feel that the draft resolution which had support in the Security Council and especially the one which we voted in favor of in the General Assembly, reflect the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the small and medium countries. And in the plenary session of the General Assembly this draft resolution was put forward by Algeria and Argentina and 38 more and it was adopted by a majority of 104./10/ The opposition consisted in effect of only two-the Soviet Union and India. The others were either their followers or their protectorates. We feel that this reflects the aspirations, it shows where the hearts of the people in the world turn to.

/10/ See footnote 11, Document 248.

Miss T'ang: (To Dr. Kissinger) Do you understand?

Dr. Kissinger: Oh, yes.

Ambassador Huang: It shows what the majority of the people in the world support and what they oppose. Because if India, with the aid of the Soviet Union, would be able to have its own way in the subcontinent then there would be no more security to speak of for a lot of other countries, and no peace to speak of. Because that would mean the dismemberment and the splitting up of a sovereign country and the creation of a new edition of Manchukuo, the Bangla Desh. It would also mean aggression by military force and the annexation of sovereign territory.

Therefore we believe that the draft resolution that was put forth in the General Assembly in the UN put forward two minimum principles, two minimum criteria. One is ceasefire; the other is withdrawal. And in his speech in the General Assembly with regard to this matter; Deputy Minister Ch'iao Kuan-hua has explained this question in a more comprehensive and fuller way. We should persist in this stand, and we hold that any action that may be taken by the UN cannot go below the resolution passed by the General Assembly. It cannot be anything that carries less than that resolution.

And on this point of view, in my personal opinion, we feel the position taken by the United States Government has been a weak one. From what I just heard in the letter to Yahya Khan and your conversation with the Indian Ambassador and also your communications with the Soviet Union, we have found that you have not put forward both the principles of ceasefire and withdrawal.

Dr. Kissinger: That's not correct. We put forward both principles. There are two separate problems, in all due respect. We don't want in the principle of withdrawal to have West Pakistan go the way of East Pakistan.

Ambassador Huang: And then there's this question that the British put forward that they wanted the leaders of the Pakistan government to enter into political negotiations. You also mentioned that, picked up their position that negotiations should begin.

Dr. Kissinger: Not to Brezhnev.

Ambassador Huang: And you mention negotiations should start from where they were continuing.

Dr. Kissinger: Brezhnev said that. What I showed you was a question to Yahya. We have not agreed with Brezhnev.

Ambassador Huang: But Brezhnev's proposal is essentially the same one that Mr. Malik has been saying here.

Dr. Kissinger: That's true.

Ambassador Huang: In fact, it means legalizing of the new refurbishment of another Manchukuo, that is, to give it legal status through the UN, or rather through the modalities of the UN.

This goes against the desires of the people in Pakistan, against the desires of the peoples of the world that was expressed in the voting of the General Assembly on this issue. The Soviet Union and India now are progressing along on an extremely dangerous track in the subcontinent. And as we have already pointed out this is a step to encircle China.

Dr. Kissinger: There is no question about that.

Ambassador Huang: And you also are clear about our activity, that is we are prepared to meet attacks coming from the east, west, north, and south.

Dr. Kissinger: When we have an exchange program between our countries, I hope to send a few State Department people to China. I'll send you a few of our State Department people for training. I may look weak to you, Mr. Ambassador, but my colleagues in Washington think I'm a raving maniac.

Miss T'ang: We didn't finish. Ambassador Huang: We are prepared for attacks on the east, west, north, and south. We are prepared to engage in guerrilla warfare once again with millet and rifle, and we are prepared to begin our construction over again, after that eventuality. And the private attitude adopted by Brezhnev which we see now, in which he talks about so-called political negotiations is in fact direct and obvious intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign country and something we feel is completely unacceptable, is inadmissible.

Of course we have nothing here about the military situation in the India-Pakistan subcontinent except what we read in the newspapers. But from our experience of a longer period we feel that the struggle waged by the people in Pakistan is a just struggle and therefore it is bound to have the support of the Chinese people and the people of the world. Whoever upholds justice and strives to defend their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity . . .

We have an old proverb: "If light does not come to the east it will come to the west. If the south darkens, the north must still have light." And therefore if we meet with some defeats in certain places, we will win elsewhere. So we keep persevering. So long as we persevere in principle and a just struggle, then final victory will still be ours. I don't think there's need for any more elaboration on that, because the history of the Chinese people's revolution itself is a good example.

Mr. Kissinger: Mr. Ambassador, we agree with your analysis of the situation. What is happening in the Indian subcontinent is a threat to all people. It's a more immediate threat to China, but it's a threat to all people. We have no agreement with the British to do anything. In fact we are talking with you to come to a common position. We know that Pakistan is being punished because it is a friend of China and because it is a friend of the United States.

But while we agree with your theory, we now have an immediate problem. I don't know the history of the people's revolution in China nearly as well as you do. I seem to remember that one of the great lessons is that under all circumstances the Chinese movement maintained its essence. And as an article on the Chungking negotiations makes clear, it is right to negotiate when negotiations are necessary and to fight when fighting is necessary.

We want to preserve the army in West Pakistan so that it is better able to fight if the situation rises again. We are also prepared to attempt to assemble a maximum amount of pressure in order to deter India. You read the New York Times every day, and you will see that the movement of supplies and the movement of our fleet will not have the universal admiration of the media, to put it mildly. And it will have the total opposition of our political opponents.

We want to keep the pressure on India, both militarily and politically. We have no interest in political negotiations between Pakistani leaders and East Pakistani leaders as such. The only interest that we possibly have is to get Soviet agreement to a united Pakistan. We have no interest in an agreement between Bangla Desh and Pakistan.

We are prepared also to consider simply a ceasefire. We are prepared also to follow your course in the UN which most of my colleagues would be delighted to do and then Pakistan would be destroyed. If we followed your course of insisting on ceasefire and withdrawal and do nothing then Pakistan will be destroyed, and many people in America will be delighted. If you and Pakistan want this then we will do it. That is no problem for us. That is the easiest course for us.

So we will . . . we agree with your analysis completely. We are looking for practical steps in this issue which happens to be a common fight for different reasons. We will not cooperate with anyone to impose anything on Pakistan. We have taken a stand against India and we will maintain this stand. But we have this problem. It is our judgment, with great sorrow, that the Pakistan army in two weeks will disintegrate in the West as it has disintegrated in the East. If we are wrong about this, we are wrong about everything.

What do you think of ceasefire without political negotiations? The only reason we want political negotiations at all is to preserve East Pakistan, not to weaken it.

Ambassador Huang: Are you prepared to take the step in the UN of putting forward a proposal simply for ceasefire, along this course?

Dr. Kissinger: No, that's why I'm talking to you. Let's be practical-by tomorrow the Pakistan Army in the East will have surrendered. Therefore should one have a resolution for a ceasefire in the West?

Ambassador Huang: Why should we not condemn India for its aggression against East Pakistan? Why should there not be a demand for the resolution already passed in the General Assembly which calls for withdrawal? And if it is . . . if you find it impossible to condemn India . . .

Dr. Kissinger: We do. We don't mind condemning India.

Ambassador Huang: . . . A step should not be taken backward from the resolution already passed in the General Assembly.

Dr. Kissinger: There are two separate problems. The resolution in the General Assembly is one for the whole problem-that can be maintained. We are not saying we accept the occupation of East Pakistan; we don't have to accept that. But this would be a resolution for a ceasefire only. And the Arabs would not accept the occupation of their territory even though there is a ceasefire. So . . . but we are not here to tell you . . . When I asked for this meeting, I did so to suggest Chinese military help, to be quite honest. That's what I had in mind, not to discuss with you how to defeat Pakistan. I didn't want to find a way out of it, but I did it in an indirect way.

But this is for you to decide. You have many other problems on many other borders. What is going to happen is that the Pakistani commander in East Pakistan, independent of anything we did, has asked the UN to arrange a ceasefire in East Pakistan. We will not take a stand in opposition to you on this issue. We think we are on the same side. So . . .

Ambassador Huang: We feel that the situation on the subcontinent is very tense and is in the process of rapid development and change. And therefore, as I expressed earlier, we will immediately report what you tell me.

Dr. Kissinger: I don't want the Prime Minister to misunderstand. We are not looking for a way to get out of the situation. We are looking for a way to protect what is left of Pakistan. We will not recognize Bangla Desh. We will not negotiate with Bangla Desh. We will not encourage talks between Pakistan and Bangla Desh.

We have the immediate practical problem-is it better to have a ceasefire or is it better to let the military events continue? In either event both of us must continue to bring pressure on India and the Soviet Union.

(There is an exchange in which Dr. Kissinger confirms to Bush that he talked to Bhutto, that he was meeting him the next morning and that Bush's appointment with him was confirmed for later this night.)

I shall tell him (Bhutto) he should take his direction from you on whatever resolution he wants and that we will support him. I shall tell him to disregard any American official except me and General Haig. He doesn't have to take his direction from you, but I will tell him to check with you. Usually you criticize us for sticking too much to our friends, so we will not in this case create the wrong impression.

Ambassador Huang: As for Bangla Desh, has Ambassador Bush recently met with anybody from Bangla Desh?

Ambassador Bush: The Ambassador is referring to a squib in the New York Times.

(Ambassador Bush then explains the incident that led to Ambassador Huang's query. Mr. Choudury, who used to be in the Third Committee of the UN, three weeks ago asked Ambassador Bush for an appointment in his capacity as a judge in Pakistan. Ambassador Bush had his staff check the man out. Choudury then made a personal call but brought along three men with him. When they started mentioning Bangla Desh, Ambassador Bush told them to wait a minute, pointing out that Choudury was seeing him as a judge. It was a humiliating experience for Ambassador Bush. He had not seen the men since. Ambassador Bush had told them that they should wait a minute, that he was inhibited from discussing such matters. Mr. Choudury left two to three weeks ago. Ambassador Bush repeated that Ambassador Huang was referring to a story in the New York Times. He pointed out that Mr. Choudury is around a great deal of the time including in the delegates' lounge. He added that it was very embarrassing to him.)

Ambassador Huang: I am clear now.

Dr. Kissinger: In any event, no matter what you read, no one is authorized to talk to the Bangla Desh. We don't recognize Bangla Desh and will not recognize it.

Ambassador Huang: I thank Ambassador Bush very much for his explanation.
Ambassador Bush: One of the men had defected from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington and came here. Ambassador Shahi would kill me.

Dr. Kissinger: My former personal assistant is now working for Senator Muskie. There are many defectors around these days.

Mr. Ambassador, I am going to the Azores on Sunday afternoon with the President for 48 hours. General Haig has my complete confidence, and we have very rapid communication. So if you have some communication for us . . .

But I want Peking to be clear that my seeing you was for the purpose of coordinating positive steps, not to prepare you for negative steps.

Ambassador Huang: I don't have anything else.

Dr. Kissinger: Good. I wish happier occasions would bring us together. We have particular affection for Pakistan because we feel they helped to reestablish contact between the People's Republic and the United States.

So we are prepared to listen to any practical proposals for parallel action. We will do our best to prevent pressure against any country that takes unilateral action. I shall speak to Mr. Bhutto tomorrow in the sense that I have indicated to you.

Ambassador Huang: Of course, we will also contact Mr. Bhutto and, of course, as you later clarified yourself, we of course will give no directions. Yahya Khan is the President, and we only have friendly exchanges.

Dr. Kissinger: Of course. The word "direction" was not well-chosen.

Ambassador Huang: We think that is all there is today. What we need to do is to relay this to Prime Minister Chou En-lai.

[Omitted here are closing pleasantries.]


275. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. A stamp on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.

Washington, December 11, 1971.

SUBJECT
Information Items

India-Pakistan Situation: Pakistan late yesterday revised the proposal reported here yesterday morning from Dacca/2/ for a cease-fire, repatriation of Pakistani troops and a transfer of power to the elected representatives of East Pakistan. The revised proposal contains only a call for cease-fire and guaranteed safety of military and civilian personnel; there is no reference to a political settlement or the withdrawal of Pakistani troops.

/2/ See footnote 3, Document 263.

The diplomatic effort, therefore, stands still while Pakistani Foreign Minister Bhutto now in New York awaits instructions. He told Ambassador Bush late yesterday that he had arrived to find conflicting instructions and was seeking clarification. In an indication of the division of view that must exist within the Pakistani government, he said that yesterday's first proposal had "flabbergasted" him and that if this remained policy he would take the first plane home and not be shackled with it. The Pak Ambassador at the UN observed that the first proposal had been drafted by a field commander under great strain and contained "such unprecedented requests as asking the UN to effect a transfer of power."/3/

/3/ President Nixon highlighted this paragraph and wrote: "K-Did we get caught on this too? We may look foolish with the Soviet[s] by claiming we helped to get the Paks to move in this direction."

The other important development overnight was the failure of another effort to evacuate international personnel from Dacca. A cease-fire in the evacuation area had been arranged by the UN and Red Cross, and a British C-130 from Calcutta was within thirty minutes of landing when the Pakistani commander withdrew permission to land because the plane was coming from Indian soil and he feared the Indians would use it as cover for a movement of their own.

The UN representative in Dacca has received an urgent message from U Thant instructing him to evacuate all UN personnel from Dacca. Thant earlier in the week had ordered them to stay on for possible usefulness in arranging a cease-fire. Thant said he had reversed position following India's demand that all UN operations cease and notification that, in the case of non-withdrawal, the presence of UN personnel in neutral evacuation zones in Dacca would cause such zones not to be recognized as neutralized by India and Bangla Desh forces. Thant was reported to feel that he had no choice but to withdraw. Bush reports that Thant's staff is "deeply wounded in their pride" by the decision to cave in to the Indians. Keating has been instructed to protest this veiled threat to international personnel, and Bush is being instructed to follow up with Thant and Foreign Minister Singh, who arrives in New York this morning.

Meanwhile, Indian military advances throughout East Pakistan remains virtually unchecked outside the Dacca area as the Pak troops retreat in an increasingly disorderly fashion. Even in Dacca, where many of the survivors seem to be holing up, morale among both officers and enlisted men is reported to be low. From all indications, the Indian forces are consolidating for the final thrust at the capital city if efforts to secure a cease-fire fail.

On the Western front, there are press reports of the largest tank battles to date in two areas of Kashmir. According to a reliable [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] source, Mrs. Gandhi's staff as of Thursday was still saying that, as soon as the situation in the East is settled, India will launch a major offensive against West Pakistan and hope that all major fighting will be over by the end of the month. This, of course, was before Acting Secretary Irwin made his strong démarche to Ambassador Jha late Thursday/4/ concerning India's intentions toward West Pakistan. At the same time, it is worth noting that the British also have been pressing the Indians for a statement that their war aims do not include Pakheld Kashmir but so far with no success. Reports are now being circulated in Delhi by the government's Press Information Bureau that the U.S. Seventh Fleet is moving toward the Bay of Bengal.

/4/ December 9; see Document 262.

The Soviets show no sign of slackening their support for India. There are unconfirmed reports that a Soviet military team will soon be visiting New Delhi. Potentially more significant is a current trip to Moscow by D.P. Dhar, the negotiator of the friendship treaty and former Indian Ambassador to Moscow who is known to be very close to Mrs. Gandhi. Dhar could be going to sound out the Soviets on India's intentions toward West Pakistan. Finally there is an unconfirmed Indian report that units of the Soviet Mediterranean Fleet have been ordered to move to the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, although even if true it would take some time for them to sail around the tip of Africa.

[Omitted here are summary reports on foreign policy issues unrelated to South Asia.]

Soviet Combatants Possibly En Route to Indian Ocean: Soviet ships equipped with surface-to-surface missiles may be en route to augment the Indian Ocean Squadron. A guided-missile light cruiser, a diesel-powered cruise-missile submarine, and a naval oiler left the Sea of Japan via Tsushima Strait yesterday and may be bound for the Indian Ocean. The cruiser and submarine together carry a total of 20 SS-N-s cruise missiles./5/

/5/ The President added another marginal note here that reads: "K-a reaction to our move?"

Sixteen Soviet naval units are now in the Indian Ocean area, including three space support ships. Communications intelligence indicates that most of the ships are near Ceylon and Socotra, although one space-related unit may be monitoring British naval units in the Arabian Sea. However, of the sixteen ships less than half are combatants.

[Omitted here is a summary report on a foreign policy issue unrelated to South Asia.]


276. Backchannel Message From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Flash. No time of transmittal is indicated on the message.

Washington, December 11, 1971.

After meeting this morning in New York with Bhutto,/2/ Raza and Shahi we have concluded that the proposal we have been considering (contained in my message of December 9/3/ and paragraph 3 of your [message number not declassified])/4/ has been overtaken by events and is too complicated to succeed here. Therefore, we have agreed to following scenario:

/2/ Bhutto was named Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the civilian government formed by Yahya Khan on December 7. Yahya remained as President and Nural Amin became Prime Minister. On December 8 Yahya sent Bhutto to the United Nations to join Ambassador Shahi in mustering support for Pakistan in its conflict with India. (Telegram 12215 from Islamabad, December 8; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 15-1 PAK) A handwritten record of Kissinger's conversation with Bhutto, prepared by Haig, is ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 999, Haig Chronological File, Haig Memcons To Be Done [1 of 4].

/3/ Document 259.

/4/ See Document 271.

(1) Government of Pakistan will obtain third-country support to introduce resolution in Security Council which will include provision for both ceasefire and withdrawal.

(2) It is likely that such a resolution would be vetoed. We would then move to accept simple ceasefire without any linkage to the Soviet formulation which would seek political negotiation.

(3) While remaining adamant in step (2) that ceasefire alone is essential first step, we would express willingness to include political negotiation following establishment of ceasefire.

Were we to follow any other course, it would look like complete collapse. Furthermore, should we start Security Council action with step (2) above, there is strong possibility that step (2), itself, might be vetoed if it were presented as initial position. Its chances of succeeding on second round are greatly enhanced by moving with step (1) first, recognizing that step (1) will probably not succeed.

Please meet with President Yahya urgently and explain foregoing and urge upon him essentiality of sticking with the procedure and of avoiding initially any indication that proposals short of step (1) might be acceptable./5/ Pak delegation here is prepared to do same.

/5/ Farland responded on December 12 that he had discussed with President Yahya the UN scenario laid out in Kissinger's message and Yahya had "expressed his full accord with the procedures suggested." Yahya indicated that Ambassador Shahi would be instructed accordingly. (Backchannel message from Farland to Kissinger; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan)

Warm regards.


277. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the memorandum indicates that the conversation began "ca. 3:00 p.m." The President spent Saturday, December 11, at Camp David and returned to Washington on Sunday; Kissinger was in Washington.

December 11, 1971, 3 p.m.

RN: Have you kept anybody in State informed on the Bhutto business?

HAK: Yes. Well, I have told State of Bhutto's, I have told Rogers about Bhutto's request to see you. And turning it down. I have not told, because it happened afterwards, of the latest Bhutto thing of their complaint about our weak position-of the Chinese complaint that is. But Bush has reported already a conversation he has had with the . . . .

RN: The main thing is that they be informed, not totally, but enough so that they know that State [has] a play as to what's going on.

HAK: Oh yes, Bush has kept them informed of the Chinese attitude which he got from the permanent representative of Pakistan at the UN.

RN: Yeah. I understand. Then that is the way we have to move then.

HAK: We may even have to add one other thing Mr. President. After the message to them tonight, simply to clear our record, we might make a public-a hotline appeal to them tomorrow saying that now that it goes to the Security Council we want to appeal to you once again on the hotline to help us get the fighting stopped. So that we can show the record of appeals to them.

RN: Yeah. Well, I will be back before 9:00 in the morning, the thing to do is to-we could have it prepared-all that is done it is basically just sending the message isn't it?

HAK: Yes. It just uses a special machine. Yes we should do it it will help our public record.

RN: Yes, and also, might indicate the urgency to them.

HAK: I think that what we ought to do when we say friendly country towards which we have obligations, if then Ziegler is asked what the obligations are we will reveal the Kennedy commitment.

RN: I suppose the only problem with that is that it isn't the revealing of it that concerns me, it is the fact that we won't do anything-that we say we will make a commitment and we do nothing about it. You see that's our problem with that. When the game is all over, we may get some personal-out of pointing this all up, but in turn we have got to think of it only in terms of whether it helps our game at this point, and not in terms of whether it justifies what we are doing. See what I mean? And I am certainly inclined to get it out only in that context however, not simply for the purpose of justification.

HAK: Oh no, in the context of showing them that this is not a frivolous move.

RN: To make both the Indians and the Russians realize the obligations-

HAK: Well, I am inclined to believe to agree with the Chinese that if we do play it all out, they will not drive it [India] to an extreme, because after all they already got 60% of the population of Pakistan.

RN: Well, I agree, but that's the way we are going to play and we'll see what the Chinese do, and I am not inclined to think though that if the Chinese do make some threatening moves-I know you are concerned about the fact that they may frighten the Indians and it may stiffen the Russians-but I am not inclined to think so-I don't think the Russians want to get that involved in that area. That's what it really gets down to.

HAK: Well, I am pretty sure the Chinese are going to do something and I think that we'll soon see. I may be mistaken-we have no clear intelligence evidence though at this point.

RN: No, Bhutto thinks they are, but. . . .

HAK: No, no we have independent intelligence.

RN: But nothing to indicate that they are moving. . . .

HAK: Well, they are calling in the reserves of the mountain divisions.

RN: Okay, I think that the whole thing is-the note to the Russians, but in any event that Bush will be prepared to go to the UN tomorrow in any event-that has to be done-Right.

HAK: That's right.

RN: So that's and State should be informed of that, that Bush should go to the UN on another-

HAK: We can wait with informing State tomorrow morning.

RN: Yeah, but he must do it tomorrow, don't you think so?

HAK: Absolutely, we have to play it out, give the Russians till tomorrow noon.

RN: And then tomorrow at noon, he takes it up there and then we go the second step after that, ceasefire, correct?

HAK: Correct.

RN: And all of that can be undertaken even while we are on the road.

HAK: Oh yes, we can get all the messages.

RN: But in the meantime, we will get something from the Russians for tomorrow-we may not-they may just decide. (the tape ended at this point) (New tape)

RN: The Indians are now getting greedy.

HAK: And they may want to wait until all the East Pakistanis are in Indian hands before they join in an appeal for a ceasefire.

RN: Well, the main thing is to keep our cool with it and not-keep them in the play and on the affirmative line-we know whatever errors in the past have been-they should not have moved to the strict neutrality [omission in the source text], we all know that, but now we will just keep moving on the right course which is that at this point it was debatable among some quarters as to what the situation was when it was East Pakistan, but now when it is West Pakistan any figment of the suggestion that this was provoked by Pakistan is ridiculous. That is the point and this can only be interpreted now that East Pakistan is being wound up as an assault on East Pakistan, and that exposes it to the whole world to see and the world must move. Now of course not enough has been made of the fact that the UN General Assembly voted overwhelming for a ceasefire, withdrawal and that the Indians not just the Russians-but the Indians turned it down correct? I guess Bush is hitting it hard and State and all the rest?

HAK: Well, Bush is.

RN: We ought to hit that very, very hard-this is against the overwhelming weight of world opinion-we happen to have world opinion on our side this time for whatever it is worth-that point should be made and particularly the UN has to be used right to the hilt-everything [that] is done it has got to be with the UN overwhelmingly on our side and India in effect continuing its aggression against the mandate of the UN-I think that is the PR side of it. -I'd get Scali on it.

HAK: Well, I think also that once we go to ceasefire, we have to insist that Britain be with us.

RN: I think you ought to get hold of the British Ambassador in the morning on that or even tonight. Would you do that.

HAK: I will do it first thing in the morning after we know whether we are going alone or with the Russians.

RN: Well, the British ought to go on that, shouldn't they? They have some obligations to Pakistan too, haven't they?

HAK: Right.

RN: Okay, fine, I'll see you in the morning.

(At this point Mr. Kissinger went back to the Haig conversation.)/2/

/2/ A transcript of this telephone conversation, which dealt in part with drafting the hot line message to be sent to the Soviet Union, is ibid.


278. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and His Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was at Camp David, Maryland; Kissinger was in Washington.

December 11, 1971, 7:30 p.m.

K: Mr. President.

P: Yeah, Henry.

K: Sorry to disturb you.

P: That's all right.

K: We haven't heard from the Russians yet but I've had a call from Bhutto/2/ who insisted on seeing you tonight anywhere.

/2/ The conversation that Kissinger summarizes between himself in Washington and Bhutto and Raza in New York was held immediately prior to the call he placed to the President. A transcript of that conversation is ibid., and published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 175.

P: Me?

K: Yeah, but I've turned that off. I've turned that off already but that isn't-and I made him tell me what he wanted.

P: Yeah.

K: He said that he had talked with the Chinese. The Chinese had said to him that they were willing to do something and in fact I think that they are going to do something but they said that they had their doubts about us-that we started out by saying aggression; then we pulled off from the word aggression; then we said it wasn't justified; then we pulled off from that and declared strict neutrality. They just don't think that we are firm and they want some word from us what we're going to do if the Russians press them. Of course, you know, I couldn't help Bhutto.

P: Yeah.

K: And, a . . . of course, there is a lot in what they're saying. It isn't that you put ideas before anyone else and we are caught by a domestic public opinion and the Senate and the bureaucracy that creates a tough situation. What we are facing now tomorrow is: if we can hear from the Russians and can go with that game plan we are all right, but if we don't hear by tomorrow morning what we'll have to decide is whether to issue a statement along the lines of what we put in the letter to Brezhnev/3/ saying, "If this continues it will be naked aggression against the country toward which we have obligations." According to Bhutto, they said the Russians are the biggest brutes and cowards in the world and the only reason this is going on is because everyone knows the United States is weak. I'm just quoting you what he said, I'm not making a judgment.

/3/ Document 269.

P: Yes, okay.

K: There is something in it. It's not that the President is weak, it's . . .

P: Well, what do we have to do at this point?

K: Well, at this point, there is nothing we need to do tonight. We have to decide that when we go to the Security Council tomorrow, we do it with some real pizazz.

P: Yes, I think, well I think that is quite clear and we have to use the word aggression-naked aggression.

K: And what we could do is announce that the President has asked Bush to take it back to the Security Council.

P: Yes.

K: And if this continues, now that East Pakistan has practically fallen there can no longer be any doubt that we are dealing with naked aggression supported by Soviet power.

P: Yeah, well it would be my inclination to go in that direction.

K: And if we do that we might consider telling the Russians tonight that that is what we are going to do.

P: Ahmmm, telling the Russians before we hear from them.

K: Well, if we don't hear from them by noon tomorrow we will have to state our position publicly and discuss their involvement.

P: Well, it would seem that that's probably what we'll have to do in terms of the words to inform the Russians that . . . that's how we should do it, you will inform Vorontsov tonight that we're going to take it to the Security Council tomorrow or how would we go about it?

K: That we will then take public steps, including Security Council steps, in which we will publicly have to say what their role is.

P: Well, I would rather it be stated in which it will be clear what their role is-that the steps would inevitably show what their role is unless they cooperate in a policy of stopping the aggression at this point.

K: Well, stopping the war, they don't even have to agree to stopping the aggression.

P: Stopping the war, or bring about a ceasefire.

K: Yah.

P: That seems to be reasonable. I have my doubts that the Chinese will do anything.

K: I think that they will do something now.

P: You do, huh.

K: Yah. Haig does too.

P: Well, that they will do something, you mean where?

K: I do not believe that they will let-they will do what they did in Korea-I do not think they will let these people get at their borders.

P: That's what it gets to isn't it, yeh.

K: Yeh.

P: Let the Indians get at their borders.

K: Well, Haig says he saw movies tonight, a TV film, and he said that the amount of Russian equipment is just massive.

P: Yeh.

K: Of course, no one has brought that out.

P: Pause. . . . Well, I think that you had better let the word go to the Russians then. I think that has to be done tonight, right.

K: Okay, Mr. President.

P: I see no other course for you.

K: No, unfortunately not, Mr. President. This is heartbreaking, but we've got to get on top of it and I think we've got to get out the story better. I mean we shilly-shallied, I mean not we, there have been too many conflicting signals coming out and I saw the Agronsky show tonight and these bleeding hearts are saying that we are driving India away and that no one mentions what the Russians are doing.

P: Right, ahmmm.

K: [omission in the source text]

P: I know, I know what your point [is] though. Your point then is to inform the Russians that we are going to go to their support in the Security Council.

K: But, to say if we don't get from them by tomorrow morning an answer on how to proceed, we will have to take public actions in which we will have-in which their own involvement will become clear.

P: Their own involvement is abetting aggression and in failing to participate in a cooperative action to stop the war.

K: That's right.

P: Ahmm. All right, let's do it on that basis. Tomorrow we will take a look.

K: Right Mr. President.

P: We may hear from them. We don't know.

K: I think so.

P: But it will take some time for them to do it. Well, it will be interesting to see what will happen tomorrow. Too bad we have to be going to the Azores, isn't it?

K: It's not a good time. But maybe it is a good time if we can get Pompidou to come along with something there.

P: That's very, very unlikely but on the other hand I think the thing to do in terms of our American opinion is just to go right ahead with our public (K interrupts).

K: Well you know what the line now is Mr. President, they are all attacking you on personal pique and we have to get out that goddammit you are defending as always the national interest. And for that we have to make clear what the Russians have been doing.

P: Ahmm.

K: And there was no personal pique involved there.

P: Of course not, you mean in terms of our decisions here-not at all-it had nothing to do with that.

K: And we may have to let out the Kennedy commitment to Pakistan, if worse comes to worse.

P: Yes. Bhutto knows about that doesn't he?

K: Well, I haven't told him. We may, you know as we say we have obligations. Some people say what are the obligations-we'll put out the Kennedy thing.

P: The purpose of that being to what?

K: The purpose of that being to make clear that you haven't acted out of personal feelings, but to protect the . . . but to keep the word of an American President and also to warn the Russians that this isn't a free shot.

P: Yup, that makes sense, makes sense. All right, let the message go to the Russians. See what happens tomorrow on it.

K: Good night.

P: Okay, call me if you hear from them.

K: Right.


279. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the transcript estimates that the call was placed "circa 3 p.m." Internal evidence establishes that the call was placed subsequent to the 7:30 conversation between Kissinger and the President.

Washington, December 11, 1971, 7:35 p.m.

HK: Yuly, I have just talked to the President and as you know, we are leaving for the Azores tomorrow at noon. He has asked me to tell you that if we don't hear from you by tomorrow morning that we will proceed unilaterally. We have now waited for 48 hours and in a matter that affects the peace of the world in these circumstances we will proceed unilaterally and if we do we will have to state our view about the involvement of other countries.

YV: I see, of course you know that Kusnetsov/2/ is embarked on a mission to India now; and I have reasons to believe that that's in direct connection to whatever we have discussed here.

/2/ Vasiliy Kuznetsov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union.

HAK: When did he leave?

YV: He left this morning Moscow time-I don't have any official word to you about that, but I know it is directly connected. So, of course, I will transmit the message to Moscow.

HAK: I cannot stress to you sufficiently seriously how gravely we view the situation.

YV: Yes, I understand that, but I think that the mutual view of the situation now Kusnetsov trip to Delhi are underlying that. I think we might have something from Moscow tomorrow, but of course the results of his talks there is only to predict they are [omission in the source text] is going to be.

HAK: Well, I understand it, you have to understand that we have not made a move for 72 hours in order to give us a chance of moving jointly. We cannot in all honor wait any longer.

YV: Why by unilateral holds [moves?] further on, do you want to reveal a little bit what that means.

HAK: No, we will of course move unilaterally again in the UN, but we may also take certain other steps which were [while?] not irrevocable would be preferable if we did not have to take them.

YV: Okay, that is all I can tell you now, but I will transmit it.

HAK: We again want to underline that this is not something that we prefer to do.

YV: I understand that, and in Moscow they understand that.

HAK: Right, Okay./3/

/3/ Kissinger called President Nixon at 8:45 p.m. and told him that he had learned from Vorontsov that the Soviet leadership had despatched Kuznetsov to New Delhi. Kissinger saw that as a positive development but Nixon was skeptical. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)


280. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Deputy Prime Minister Bhutto/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. No time is on the transcript. Kissinger was in Washington; Bhutto was in New York.

December 11, 1971.

HAK: Mr. Bhutto. I have talked to the President and here is our view on the subject. First, in the light of all we have done, it is absolutely essential that we are not exposed to Chinese charges that we are not doing enough. Because if that is going to be the charge why should we do anything? I mean we are standing alone against our public opinion, against our whole bureaucracy at the very edge of legality.

Bhutto: Uh huh, I realize that fully.

HAK: So the Chinese just have to be made to understand what we are doing.

Bhutto: They will . . . .

HAK: Now secondly, if we do not hear from the Soviets tomorrow by tomorrow morning in reply to the presentations we have made to them, we will then go to the Security Council with a strong statement that a continuation of the war would be a naked case of aggression, and we would support our original resolution. I mean we will make the public statement, in that case there can be no doubt where we stand.

Bhutto: Yes.

HAK: Now after our original resolution is defeated, however, Mr. Minister, then I think you have to decide whether you want to go to a simple ceasefire resolution, because it isn't that we don't want to help you, it is that we want to preserve you. It is all very well to stand for principles, but finally we have to assure your survival. And that is the Chinese problem. We are heartbroken about what has happened, but our immediate problem now is what I told you this morning to assure your survival, so what we will do is first thing by tomorrow noon, [if] we have not an agreement on this procedure which we discussed this morning, then we will go to the Security Council (I mean we haven't put that procedure to the Russians, but if you do not get a satisfactory reply from them about ending the war) in any event we will go to the Security Council.

Bhutto: That meets tomorrow evening or Monday./2/

/2/ December 13.

HAK: We will say tomorrow afternoon and we will go to them along the lines of our discussion this morning supporting a withdrawal part of a resolution.

Bhutto: I follow.

HAK: If after that is defeated, we should decide what you want. But we will make clear public statement tomorrow either at the Security Council or from the White House, depending on how it is played about Indian aggression. So your Chinese friends and our new Chinese acquaintances will have no reason to question where we stand.

Bhutto: No, but I hope you don't misunderstand.

(Call is interrupted by Haig-HAK tells Haig he'll call back.)

Bhutto: But when the Ambassador mentioned it to you, I then took up the phone again. I impressed on them that we are completely satisfied-

HAK: No, no I am not complaining about-look you are in a very sad situation, and you are coming in at a late moment and we have all the sympathy for you, but one way you can help us is to make clear to the Chinese that we have been strong supporters.

Bhutto: I will make that abundantly clear.

HAK: Also, our Fleet will be crossing the Straits of Malacca tomorrow night, and then it will be partly visible.

Bhutto: I will make it abundantly clear to them tomorrow as (tape is blank at this point) . . . I want you to know that it is deeply appreciated what you are doing and we are eternally beholden.

HAK: Well, we are doing it for ourselves too.

Bhutto: You will see the affects of that when this crisis is over how we will express our appreciation.

HAK: No you don't have to worry about that, Mr. Prime Minister. We know where our friends are and you have been a loyal friend.

Bhutto: And you see the question is all that I said was we never want to think of bypassing you nor do we want to think of bypassing them.

HAK: No, you must be honest with both of us. My remarks were directed to them, not to you.

Bhutto: Yes, but I also want you to be clear in your mind, please as far as we are concerned, we know you have helped us and that in this crucial and critical hour, you stood by us. That to us means a great deal.

HAK: And we will continue to help and we do more tomorrow.

Bhutto: Fine, thank you so much.

HAK: Goodbye and the best to you.

Bhutto: Hello, hello, hello. Gen. Raza says he is coming to Washington tomorrow and would like to see you tomorrow.

HAK: Well, yes, he should call me in the morning. It will be a hectic morning, but I will see him.


281. Editorial Note

At 8:45 a.m. on December 12, 1971, the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger met with President Nixon in the Oval Office of the White House to discuss developments in South Asia. Kissinger's deputy Alexander Haig joined the conversation later. The conversation, which lasted nearly an hour, dealt at some length with Nixon's desire to mount a public relations campaign to brand India as an aggressor. Nixon spoke of what he viewed as the damning report on Prime Minister Gandhi's meeting with her Cabinet in which she outlined India's war aims, and Kissinger said that he had asked Helms to "put it out through covert channels."

Nixon and Kissinger spent some time discussing the hot line message to be sent later that morning to Brezhnev. Nixon said: "Basically all we're doing is asking for a reply. We're not letting the Russians diddle us along. . . . All we're doing is to reiterate what I said to the Agriculture Minister and what you said to Vorontsov." He asked Kissinger "does that sound like a good plan to you?" Kissinger replied: "It's a typical Nixon plan. I mean it's bold. You're putting your chips into the pot again. But my view is that if we do nothing, there is a certainty of disaster. This way there is a high possibility of one, but at least we're coming off like men. And that helps us with the Chinese." Nixon said: "That's right. And if it goes down the tube now we'll have done the best we can." Kissinger concurred: "If it goes down the tube [it will be] because we can't get anyone to support us. By tomorrow our fleet will be in the Indian Ocean." After a discussion of Southeast Asia, Nixon returned to South Asia and expressed the conviction that the Chinese, the Soviets, and the Indians needed to be shown that the "man in the White House" was tough.

The conversation focused heavily on China and what the Chinese Government could be expected to do as the crisis unfolded. Early in the conversation Kissinger said: "I called Bhutto yesterday evening after we talked just for the record, and I said I don't want to hear one more word from the Chinese. We are the ones who have been operating against our public opinion, against our bureaucracy, at the very edge of legality. . . . And if they want to talk, they should move some troops. And until they have done so we don't want to hear one more word."

Haig entered in the middle of the conversation with the news that the Chinese wanted to meet on an urgent basis. Because Nixon and Kissinger were on the point of leaving for the Azores, the Chinese proposed a meeting in New York between Haig and Chinese Ambassador Huang Hua. The Chinese initiative in calling for a meeting was "totally unprecedented" Kissinger said. He concluded that the request meant "they're going to move. No question, they're going to move." The tenor of the conversation changed at that point from the earlier expressed concern that China would not make the necessary military moves to help restrain India to a concern over the implications of the military action China had apparently decided upon.

Nixon responded to Kissinger's conclusion that China had decided to move by commenting: "Well, this may change our plans a bit-no it doesn't change our plans at all." The plans he referred to were his plans to travel to the Azores to meet with French President Pompidou. Nixon instructed Haig to "get up there" to meet with Huang Hua. Nixon asked Haig if he agreed that the Chinese request for a meeting "means they are going to move." Haig concurred with Kissinger's assessment. That raised the question of the likelihood of Soviet military action against China in the event of Chinese military moves that menaced India. Kissinger said: "If the Soviets move against them and then we don't do anything, we'll be finished." Nixon asked: "So what do we do if the Soviets move against them? Start lobbing nuclear weapons in, is that what you mean?" Kissinger responded: "If the Soviets move against them in these conditions and succeed, that will be the final showdown. We have to-and if they succeed we will be finished. We'll be through." Kissinger tentatively suggested: "Then we better call them [the Chinese] off." But he quickly concluded: "I think we can't call them off frankly." Haig said: "I think that if you call them off, if we don't give them some assurances, . . . the price you pay for that is almost as bad as if you" Kissinger interjected: "If we call them off, I think our China initiative is pretty well down the drain." Nixon agreed: "That's what I think." He added: "And our China initiative is down the drain. And also our stroke with the Russians is very, very seriously jeopardized." Kissinger went on: "If the Russians get away with facing down the Chinese and if the Indians get away with licking the Pakistanis, what we are now having is the final-we may be looking down the gun barrel." More hopefully Kissinger noted: "It's the Chinese view which they expressed to Bhutto yesterday that the Soviets will back off." He added: "I think the Soviets will back off if we face them." Nixon said: "Well that's the point. The reason that I suggested that the Chinese move is that they talked about the Soviet divisions on their border and all that sort of thing. You know that the Soviets at this point aren't about to go ripping into that damn mess, having in mind the fact that they're gaining from the Indian thing."

Kissinger said: "Well we've got to trigger this quickly, so that we are positioned, and not at the tail of the Chinese. Otherwise we have no moral authority whatsoever for supporting the Chinese." Nixon asked: "Bhutto asked the Chinese to move too didn't he?" Kissinger responded: "They are not doing it because of us." Nixon said: "That's what I mean. Let me just get that straight right away. Why are the Chinese moving?" Kissinger answered: "We asked, but that's not the reason they're doing it." Nixon concurred: "The way you put it Henry, the way you put it is very different as I understand. You said look we're doing all these things why don't you threaten them. Remember I said threaten, move a couple of people". . . . He added: "We have to scare these bastards". . . . Kissinger stated: "I said we will prevent pressures on you from other countries. But it is immaterial who made them do it. We didn't make them do it. They are acting for the same reason they jumped us when we approached the Chinese border in Korea." Nixon asked: "Is that what you think Al?" Haig responded: "Yes sir." Kissinger said: "It's exactly the same situation. But leaving aside whether we made them do it or not, we did not make them do it, my feeling would be the same, Mr. President, if I had not talked to them on Friday. They don't move that fast. . . . This has been building up. My feeling is, Mr. President, leaving completely aside what we said, if the outcome of this is that Pakistan is swallowed by India, China is destroyed, defeated, humiliated by the Soviet Union, it will be a change in the world balance of power of such magnitude that the security of the United States for, maybe forever, certainly for decades-we will have a ghastly war in the Middle East." Nixon interjected: "Now we really get into the numbers game. You've got the Soviet Union with 800 million Chinese, 600 million Indians, the balance of Southeast Asia terrorized, the Japanese immobile, the Europeans of course will suck after them, and the United States the only one, we have maybe parts of Latin America and who knows." "This is why, Mr. President," Kissinger said "you'll be alone." Nixon responded: "We've been alone before."

Kissinger asked Nixon if, given the menacing developments that appeared to be breaking in the South Asia crisis, he should stay in Washington rather than accompany Nixon to the Azores. Nixon felt that it was important that he be perceived to be making the decisions. Hence leaving Kissinger behind to deal with the crisis "wouldn't do." Haig was therefore instructed to respond to the Chinese request and to schedule a meeting. Kissinger said: "We've got to get this triggered quickly. So that we are positioned. I mean this leaves no doubt now what we've got to do." Nixon agreed: "Right. Now let's come back to this for a minute. You say that they want to see Al, tell him they are going to move. What they want in the way of assurances, they maybe want something more direct. Well, let me see, the Kennedy memorandum of November 5, 1962 [unclear] and that's what they'll think." Kissinger said: "They'll believe you." Nixon continued: "The point is, the fact of the matter is when I put it in more Armageddon terms than reserves, when I say the Chinese move and the Soviets threaten and we start lobbing nuclear weapons, that isn't what happens. That isn't what happens. What happens is that we then do have a hot line to the Soviets, and we finally just say now what goes on here?" Kissinger said: "We don't have to lob nuclear weapons. We have to go on alert." Nixon agreed. Kissinger continued: "We have to put forces in. We may have to give them bombing assistance." Nixon added: "One thing we can do which you forgot. We clean up Vietnam at about that point." Kissinger concurred: "We clean up Vietnam. I mean at that point we give an ultimatum to Hanoi, blockade Haiphong." Nixon said: "That's right." Kissinger continued: "Now that will hurt China too but we can't worry about that at that point." Nixon interjected: "Well, we'll say it was for the purpose of protecting Americans." Kissinger said: "And above all, we have to give the Chinese the sense that if the Russians threaten them, the worst thing, we cannot desert them then move against Haiphong, because that would then say that the U.S. and China. . . . We'll pick up North Vietnam in the process of that. I mean, North Vietnam will be finished then. If Russia and China are at war, we can pick it up at any time."

Nixon upon consideration concluded that "Russia and China aren't going to go to war." Kissinger rejoined: "I wouldn't bet on that Mr. President." Nixon said: "Well, let me put it this way. I have always felt that India and Pakistan, inevitably would have a war. And there can always be a war in the Mideast. As far as Russia and China is [are] concerned there are other factors that are too overwhelming at this particular point for them to go at each other." Kissinger demurred: "Well, Mr. President, the Russians first of all are not rational on China. Secondly, if they can get a pretext to wipe out China then your trip and everything else is an incident. Your trip in their minds was an incident on the road where they would isolate China, and then could turn against China in '73-'74. Now that works fine with us because it puts China over on our side and we could play. But if they see an" Nixon interjected: "What are you trying to suggest here? Are you trying to get to the point that maybe we tell the Chinese we won't back them?" Kissinger responded: "No, I think we have to tell them we will back them." Nixon asked: "What do you think Al? You think we should tell them we won't back them and discourage them?" Haig responded: "I think they may premise action on three things. One is they said the Soviets are cowards. The United States stood the Soviets down recently in Cuba and in the Middle East." Nixon asked: "Do they know that? You told them that, is that right?" Kissinger answered: "No, they said that to Bhutto." Nixon said: "If you think they believe that then they got the message where nobody else did." Kissinger said: "The Chinese respect you." Nixon asked: "How the hell do they know that we stood them down in Cuba, for example? You must have told them that." Kissinger responded: "I told them that." Nixon asked: "How about the Middle East? How do they know we stood them down there?" Kissinger answered: "Well, because they see what happened. . . . When all is said and done, they know that Syrian tanks pulled back unconditionally." Reverting to Nixon's earlier question, Haig's advice was: "Tell the Soviets today the direction in which we are moving, and it's going to up the ante of concern." Nixon said: "Suppose the Chinese move and the Soviets threaten, then what do we do?" Haig responded: "Well, we've got to move I think beforehand with the Soviets." Haig counseled that the Soviets should be warned that "a war would be unacceptable." Kissinger concurred: "As soon as the Chinese move, we have to tell them that. We can't tell them before the Chinese move, because it would look like collusion." Nixon agreed: "That's right, that's right, OK." Nixon and Kissinger agreed that the message they were planning to send to Brezhnev would have to be strengthened. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Haig, December 12, 1971, 8:45-9:42 a.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 637-3) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recording printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 177.

Acting on the instructions he had received from the President, Haig met in New York with Chinese Ambassador Huang Hua on the afternoon of December 12. Contrary to expectations, Haig learned that the Chinese initiative did not mean that China had decided upon military action in support of Pakistan. Instead, Huang Hua indicated that China was prepared to support the United Nations procedure Kissinger had outlined in the December 10 meeting, which was to ask for a cease-fire and mutual troop withdrawal but to settle for a standstill cease-fire. (Memorandum of conversation; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 849, For the President's File, China Trip, China Exchanges, October 20, 1971). The full text of the memorandum is in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XVII, China, 1969-1972.


282. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, South Asia, Nov-Dec 1971. Top Secret; Codeword. Sent for information. Printed from an uninitialed copy.

Washington, December 12, 1971.

SUBJECT
Situation Report on South Asia

When Ambassador Farland asked for President Yahya's views on a ceasefire at midnight (EST) last night, Yahya said that he was prepared to do "anything reasonable under the circumstances."/2/ In response to Farland's question why Pakistan's first ceasefire proposal of Friday had been replaced later in the day by a less comprehensive one omitting political settlement, Yahya looked hard at Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan and said there had been a breakdown of communication and apparently some "general misunderstandings." He added that the Foreign Secretary was rectifying the situation. According to a press report from Rawalpindi, a Pakistani government spokesman said that major diplomatic moves outside the UN and in keeping with the protection of Pakistan's interests are underway to end the conflict.

/2/ Telegram 12414 from Islamabad, December 12. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK) Telegram 12414 is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 176.

Soviet First Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov flew into Delhi today at the head of a five-man delegation. Former Indian Ambassador to Moscow, D.P. Dhar, who negotiated the Indo-Soviet treaty, has flown to Moscow. Both moves are billed as made under the consultation provision of the treaty. [2 lines of source text not declassified]

From the United Nations, Ambassador Bush reports/3/ that there are two main routes events there could take:

/3/ Telegram 4960 from USUN, December 12. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

-One would be to do as Bhutto is presently inclined to do, i.e. return to the Security Council to seek a resolution identical to the one adopted in the General Assembly. Bush feels that some members of the eleven who voted with us in the Security Council previously, including China, would not have much enthusiasm for simply provoking another Soviet veto. Bhutto regards one advantage of this course as further discrediting the USSR in the eyes of the 104 nations who voted for the Assembly resolution. Bush points out that the Paks could start down this track even if they are prepared (perhaps not overtly), to have a resolution amended to include the last paragraph of the Soviet resolution/4/ providing for following through the results of the December 1970 election in East Pakistan.

/4/ See footnote 10, Document 263.

-The alternative course would be to try through an intermediary to put together the essentials of a resolution which both parties would be able to live with prior to calling for a Security Council meeting. Bush reports/5/ that Bhutto's expressed dislike for Pakistan's first Friday proposal including political settlement suggests that Bhutto is more interested in mounting a public campaign against India and the Soviets. Yahya's comments to Farland, however, suggest that Bhutto may receive instructions to accept a ceasefire resolution with at least implication of a negotiated withdrawal and political settlement to follow.

/5/ Telegram 12414 cited in footnote 2 above.

There is, of course, a third approach. This would be (1) to launch Security Council debate calling for endorsement of the General Assembly resolution, as described in the first approach above but (2) to be prepared by pre-arrangement with key parties to divert the debate part-way through to a compromise resolution.

Bush also reports/6/ Foreign Minister Singh's view that the UN cannot take useful action at this time. If the UN does meet, he will insist that Bangla Desh representatives be present. He maintained that India's recognition of Bangla Desh had two purposes: (1) to make clear that India had no territorial ambitions in East Pakistan and (2) to establish the moderate, elected democratic group in an effort to control the Mukti Bahini.

/6/ See Document 289.

Singh and [said] India has no territorial aims in West Pakistan but cautioned that this commitment is not open-ended if Pakistan continues the war and tries to make gains in the west to compensate for losses in the east. Under questioning, Singh would not make the same unequivocal commitment on Azad Kashmir. Foreign Secretary Kaul said, "we have no major ambitions." Even in peacetime, Kaul said, India and Pakistan had talked about minor rectifications in the border. Both Singh and Kaul repeatedly said that they do not wish to prolong the war.

The evacuation of 300 foreign nationals from Dacca was completed this morning, including more than 100 Americans. Four British C-130's with UN markings completed the job.

Yesterday there was a clandestine report from Islamabad/7/ that Yahya had told his prime minister designate that the Chinese ambassador in Islamabad had assured him that within 72 hours the Chinese army would move toward the Northeast Frontier Agency border of India./8/ CIA and DIA report this morning that no information has yet been received on unusual activity by Chinese forces in Tibet.

/7/ Distributed on December 11 as CIA Intelligence Information Cable TDCS DB-315/07532-71. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan)

/8/ Apparently in response to this report, Kissinger told Helms on December 11 that "the President wants you to get out the word that a Chinese move may be imminent." (Transcript of a telephone conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)

In East Pakistan, Pakistani forces continue to regroup for the defense of Dacca. In contrast to the 30,000 or more Pakistanis that could be mustered there, the Indians have roughly 60,000 men in three divisions moving toward the city with at least as many more in reserve near East Pakistan's borders. The guerrillas are also poised outside the city. In the west, fighting in the Kashmir and Punjab areas continues with little significant movement by either side. In the southern sector on the western front, the Indians claim now to be some 30 miles inside Pakistan's Sind Province. If the Indians press toward Hyderabad, Pakistan might have to divert forces from the north to prevent Karachi from being cut off from the rest of the country.


283. Editorial Note

President Nixon met again with Henry Kissinger on December 12, 1971, in the Oval Office of the White House to discuss the message just received from the Soviet leadership (Document 284). The White House tapes document log prepared by the Nixon Presidential Materials Project indicates that the conversation began at 10:27 a.m. A note on the message indicates it was conveyed by Vorontsov to Haig at 10:45 a.m., but Vorontsov called Kissinger at 10:05 a.m. and read the text of the message. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File) Kissinger began the conversation by reporting: "I got the answer from the Russians. They are giving us a full reply later. The interim reply is that they have an assurance from Mrs. Gandhi that she will not attack West Pakistan. And that they will work out-they are working with her now to work out a cease-fire." Nixon commented: "We must not be in a position where the Russians and we settle the son-of-a-bitch and leave the Chinese out."

Turning to the decision made earlier in the morning to confront the Soviet Union with military force if necessary in support of China, Kissinger said: "What you did this morning Mr. President was a heroic act." Nixon responded: "I had to do it." He ruminated that the prevailing instinct in the government was to avoid difficult choices: "It's the whole attitude, the whole government, the whole American establishment would say, well don't borrow trouble. It's all going to work out. Nothing ever works out unless you do something about it. That's the trouble with the world." He harkened back to the appeasement of Hitler before World War II and ascribed the war to the "pusillanimous" conduct of the Western allies when confronted with Hitler's challenge. Kissinger pointed to the contrastingly strong stand Nixon had taken in the present crisis: "When I showed Vorontsov the Kennedy treaty they knew they were looking down the gun barrel." Nixon asked: "Did he react?" Kissinger replied: "Oh yeah."

Kissinger suggested that it was time "to turn the screw another half turn." In his view, if the United States was to ease up on the pressure on India and the Soviet Union "we've had it." "Therefore," he added, "my strong recommendation is that we trigger this UN thing as quickly as we possibly can because it is the only way we can go on record now of condemning India." Nixon concurred: "That's right." Kissinger felt that it was "essential" that the condemnation be leveled initially in a White House statement. Kissinger put forward a draft of such a statement and Nixon approved it.

Kissinger was confident that events were moving in the right direction: "We've got them. But the big problem now is, Mr. President, not to give the-is to-if we play this thing well we'll come out ahead with both the Chinese and the Russians." He went on: "We are doing this Mr. President with no cards whatsoever." Nixon felt he had one card: "The Russians want something from us."

The optimism engendered by the Soviet response was tempered, near the end of the conversation, by the fact that the crisis still could take a dangerous turn. Kissinger said: "The Chinese may come anyway and we'll have to face the Russians down anyway." Nixon responded: "Yeah, but if the Russians and the Chinese come now they will come" [largely unclear, apparently Nixon did not feel that a military confrontation with the Soviet Union was as likely as it seemed earlier]. "The Russians want to settle it with us. If this means anything [the Soviet response] this means something. Now there is one great problem. As I said, I may be wrong, but Communists generally use negotiations for the purpose of screwing, not for the purpose of settling." Kissinger felt that the Soviets were "too scared" to play a devious game with the negotiations. He referred again to the Kennedy commitment to Pakistan as convincing Vorontsov that the United States "meant business." Kissinger felt that the Soviet Union was not ready for a military confrontation with the United States. "In 73-74 they may have you. They're not ready yet." He added: "We must tell the Chinese what the message is. We must inform them." Nixon asked: "The Russian message?" Kissinger responded: "Yeah." Nixon said: "That the Russians are-that as a result of the President's ultimatum, I'd put it that way, the Russians have now" Kissinger interjected: "I showed them the message, to tell you the truth." It remained, Kissinger felt, "to see what they [the Chinese] want." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 12, 1971, 10:27-10:37 a.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 637-6)

At 11:06 a.m., Nixon and Kissinger began the process of drafting a response to the message just received from the Soviet Union. They continued to work in the Oval Office on what was sent subsequently as a hot line response. Kissinger concluded from the Soviet message that "there won't be military action." He was referring to further Indian military action against West Pakistan. He went on: "It's just a question of how to wrap it up now."

Kissinger then read a draft hot line message to Brezhnev. He and Nixon discussed and revised it according to Nixon's instructions. Nixon stressed that the message should emphasize that "time is of the essence to avoid frightening consequences neither of us want."

Nixon reverted to the public statement the White House would issue condemning India and observed that in issuing the statement the United States would be "putting it to the Indians." "The argument against putting it to the Indians," he said, "is, as you know, that well if we put it to the Indians then they will stiffen their backs and say screw you." Kissinger interjected: "They won't." Nixon continued: "But my view is that . . . they seem to be affected by world opinion. To the extent that they are goddamn it we're going to get it across that world opinion is against them." (Ibid., Recording of conversation between Nixon and Kissinger, December 12, 1971, 11:06-11:14 a.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 637-11) The editors transcribed the portions of the tape recordings printed here specifically for this volume. Transcripts of both conversations are published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Documents 178 and 179.


284. Message From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan. No classification marking. The message is handwritten in English, is unsigned, and was apparently prepared in the Soviet Embassy. A note indicates it was conveyed by Vorontsov to Haig at 10:45 a.m. on December 12. The message opens with the request that it be conveyed to President Nixon. The hot line response sent by President Nixon to General Secretary Brezhnev 45 minutes later assumes that the message was from Brezhnev (Document 286).

Moscow, December 12, 1971.

The first contacts with the Government of India and personally with Prime Minister I. Gandhi on the question which was raised by President Nixon in his letter/2/ testify to the fact that the Government of India has no intention to take any military actions against West Pakistan.

/2/ Document 269.

The Soviet leaders believe that this makes the situation easier and hope that the Government of Pakistan will draw from this appropriate conclusions.

As far as other questions raised in the President's letter are concerned the answers will be given in the shortest of time.


285. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-083, WSAG Meeting, Pakistan, 12/12/71. Secret; Sensitive. No drafting information appears on the memorandum.

Washington, December 12, 1971, 11:15 a.m.

SOUTH ASIA

PARTICIPANTS
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Richard Helms, Director, CIA
John N. Irwin II, Under Secretary of State
U. Alexis Johnson, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
Maurice Williams, AID
Admiral Moorer, Chairman, JCS
Warren Nutter, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Kissinger: Let me give you the President's decisions:
-Bush will go to the Security Council.
-Ziegler will put out the following statement. [He reads the White House statement.]/2/

/2/ Brackets in the source text. The text of the statement released by the Office of the White House Press Secretary on December 12 reads as follows: "On December 7th the General Assembly by a vote of 104 to 11 with 10 abstentions called on India and Pakistan to institute an immediate cease-fire and to withdraw troops from each other's territory. Pakistan has accepted the resolution. India has refused. In view of India's defiance of world opinion expressed by such an overwhelming majority the United States is now returning the issue to the Security Council. With East Pakistan virtually occupied by Indian troops, a continuation of the war would take on increasingly the character of armed attack on the very existence of a member state of the U.N. All permanent members of the Security Council have an obligation to end this threat to world peace on the most urgent basis. The United States will cooperate fully in this effort." (Circular telegram 223703 to New Delhi, Islamabad and 15 other posts, December 12; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

-We want on record the strongest possible statement calling for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal.
-If this is vetoed, we must call this aggression.
-Instructions are to go to Bush; the timing is today.
-There will be no backgrounding. There must be a united government for the next 72 hours.

Irwin: Bush is to introduce this resolution?/3/

/3/ Instructions concerning the draft resolution Ambassador Bush was to introduce in the Security Council were sent to USUN in telegram 223687, December 12. (Ibid., POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK/UN) The Security Council convened at the request of the United States on December 12. (UN doc. S/10444) Bush reviewed the evolution of the crisis to that point, pointed to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 7 which had called for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of forces, and noted that Pakistan had accepted the terms but India had not. Bush charged India with responsibility for broadening the crisis and for obstructing, with Soviet support, United Nations efforts to facilitate a solution. He said the Security Council had a responsibility to demand that India comply with the Assembly's resolution. (UN doc. S/PV.1611) Bush introduced a resolution which, in its operative paragraphs, called for an immediate cease-fire, the withdrawal by India and Pakistan of their armed forces from each other's territory, and the creation of conditions necessary to safeguard the lives of civilians and to facilitate the safe return of the refugees to their homes. (UN doc. S/10446 and Rev. 1) The Security Council voted 11-2 in favor of the resolution, with 2 abstentions. The resolution was not adopted because of the negative vote of the Soviet Union.

Kissinger: Either we do it ourselves or we get some others to do it, for example, Somalia. The resolution should be based on the General Assembly Resolution. Bush should work with Bhutto to get the strategy clear. After this, if it's vetoed, we may be able to fall back if Bhutto wants it. We have no indication of this. In first round we must be very firm.

Sisco: Tell him to put a resolution together and consult with Bhutto.

Kissinger: The President wants all our officers to emphasize how important and serious this is, and edge toward calling it aggression.

The Fleet is to go.

Moorer: The plan is to move through the Straits/4/ and then into the Indian Ocean. In 45 hours they can move where we want them. It's a carrier, 4 destroyers, an oiler and amphibious force (the Tripoli) with three destroyers-all set to go at daylight Monday, their time.

/4/ Reference is to the Malacca Straits separating Malaysia and Indonesia which the carrier force that had been stationed off Vietnam was expected to traverse the evening of December 12, Washington time. The force was anticipated to arrive off East Pakistan by the morning of December 16. (Note on information concerning U.S. Naval forces; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)

Kissinger: Send it where there are Americans-say, Karachi. Defense can comment that they're sent to help in a possible evacuation.

Irwin: Will we announce it?

Kissinger: Wait for a question. Are there any Americans in West or East Pakistan?

Irwin: Yes, in both./5/

/5/ This is the extent of the record that has been found for this meeting.


286. Message From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the message indicates it was sent via the hot line. According to Kissinger's memoirs, the message was drafted by Kissinger and Haig and represented the first use by the Nixon administration of the hot line communication channel between Washington and Moscow. (White House Years, p. 909)

Washington, December 12, 1971, 11:30 a.m.

Mr. General Secretary:

I have just received your interim message/2/ concerning the grave situation in the Indian Subcontinent.

/2/ Document 284.

However, after delaying for 72 hours in anticipation of your reply to my conversation with Minister Matskevich and Counsellor Vorontsov/3/ I had set in train certain moves in the United Nations Security Council at the time mentioned to Counsellor Vorontsov. These cannot now be reversed. I must also note that the Indian assurances still lack any concreteness.

/3/ See Document 257.

I am still prepared to proceed along the lines set forth in my letter of December 10,/4/ as well as in the conversations with your chargé d'affaires Vorontsov, and my talk with your Agriculture Minister.

/4/ Document 269.

In view of the urgency of the situation and the need for concerted action I propose that we continue closest consultations through established confidential channels. I cannot emphasize too strongly that time is of the essence to avoid consequences neither of us want.


287. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.

Washington, December 12, 1971, 11:45 a.m.

HAK: The steps we had started are no longer reversible. I want you to understand that. I want us to understand each other. We are calling a Security Council meeting to ask for implementation of the General Assembly resolution. Then when we are still prepared we are sending a hot line message to Brezhnev/2/ to tell him that we still are prepared to do what we told you on the 10th. This will give you a chance to send instructions to your people and we will be working with the Pakistanis. We had no choice. We had to make our position clear.

/2/ Document 286.

Vorontsov: Do you think that whole situation is that urgent for all these steps. We are talking very actively with the Indians and I think we will have results in several hours.

HAK: We had already given all our instructions. I told you we would move this morning and we didn't get your message till after 10:00 and it could not be reversed.

Vorontsov: Not because of ill-will but just the timing factor of getting messages to and from Moscow.

HAK: I think this can still be settled on that basis.

Vorontsov: I am afraid we will have some trouble in the Security Council. We are thinking of everything together: the ceasefire, status [of the] war, withdrawal of all forces.

HAK: Your communication doesn't mention any of these things.

Vorontsov: We haven't yet gotten approval of the Indians but we expect it in several hours.

HAK: I think all we need is one more round at the Security Council.

Vorontsov: Maybe by the time of the Security Council meeting there will be agreement from India. We must cooperate on this matter because we are now on the same track.

HAK: Our greatest desire is to cooperate with you. But when we didn't hear from you I told you that by 9:00 we would move. I told you on Friday/3/ I was holding it up for 48 hours. I was hoping to hear something from you last night.

/3/ December 10.

Vorontsov: Well, maybe everything will fall into place.

HAK: We can still make it fall into place.

Vorontsov: We need an agreement. I hope you will not be insistent on a fist fight in the Security Council because we are in agreement now. All that is needed now is the tactical things. The terms will be acceptable to you.

HAK: You will find us more than cooperative. Make sure your leaders understand this.

V: I think they understand.

HAK: We had no choice but to do this. We had to stand by our allies. Now we will have gone through the exercise.

V: In the Security Council, Malik might ask to receive instructions since he is waiting for the same thing I am telling you now. If he is trying to stall it is because of this reason, not because he wants to disrupt anything.

HAK: Don't have him introduce it before giving me some advance warning. I am in good communications and if you have a concrete proposal that had a chance of acceptance make it to me first.

V: Maybe by 1:00 we will have something.

HAK: General Haig may go to New York to meet with Bush. In that case call Col Kennedy. I will send you right away a copy of the hot line communication.


288. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)/1/

/1/ Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.

Washington, December 12, 1971, 12:30 p.m.

K: Yuli, I just talked to the President again. I reported our conversation/2/ to him and he asked me to tell you that we will work it out in a spirit so there are no winners or losers. And so we are not looking for any public humiliation of anybody. We also believe-and we will use our influence in the Security Council as it evolves to come up with a compromise as far as the UN is concerned in which everybody gives up a little. We are also prepared to proceed on our understandings on which you are working. We want to make sure that you approach us first so that for now on we will not take any additional steps beyond what we have told you.

/2/ See Document 287.

V: I recalled this to Moscow. First to you and the President and then . . .

K: . . . and then work out the strategy and tactics and then work toward a solution as rapidly as possible. That is the spirit in which we will approach it as soon as we get confirmation from you.

V: That is very important what they are doing in Delhi-a solution acceptable to you, to us, the Indians and to Pakistan.

K: Thank you, Yuli. I am in immediate touch by phone on the plane, or they will flash a message to me.

V: Or I should talk to Colonel Kennedy.

K: This afternoon and after that talk to General Haig.


289. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Repeated to Islamabad and New Delhi.
New York, December 12, 1971, 0536Z.

4965. Subj: India/Pakistan: Bush mtg with Foreign Minister Singh.

1. Following highlights of mtg between Bush and Swaran Singh uncleared.

2. During two hour conversation between Bush and Singh, at latter's initiative, Singh and entourage (Kaul, Jha, and Sen) made following major points.

3. UN Action. UN cannot take useful action at this time. Further debate will only harden positions and create additional frictions. UN tied to precedent and formalistic rites and cannot deal with such complex issues. If UN has to meet in future, Bangla Desh reps must be present; it is a reality.

4. Indian Aims in East. Indian aims are simple: Surrender of Pak forces with repatriation to follow; recognition of Bangla Desh. US should try understand complex reasons why India recognized Bangla Desh at this time. Recognition was public expression of self-negatism to show that India had no territorial ambitions. Also, situation in East Pakistan is very confused and volatile with many conflicting forces at play. India believed it was necessary recognize moderate, elected, democratic group so that there would be no power vacuum. Recognition of Bangla Desh is an effort control Mukti Bahini.

5. GOI very much aware need protect Biharis. Will establish safe areas under Indian control and assist in repatriation to West Pakistan if they desire.

6. Aims in West. India has no territorial aims in West Pakistan. This commitment, however, is not open-ended if GOP continues war and tries make gains in West to make up for loss of East. Under our questioning, they would not make same unequivocal commitment re Azad Kashmir. Kaul said "We have no major ambitions"; even in peace time, he said, we talked with Paks about minor rectifications. Repeatedly, Kaul and Singh said they do not wish to prolong war./2/

/2/ When Ambassador Jha met with Under Secretary Irwin in Washington later in the day, he also addressed the concerns Irwin had expressed on December 9 about India's war aims; see Document 262. Jha stressed that India had no territorial ambitions, although he said his government had reservations about offering such assurances unless Pakistan provided similar assurances. The concern was to avoid giving Pakistan the opportunity to wage war with nothing to lose. Jha added that India held to the position that Kashmir belonged to India, therefore any assurance relating to territorial ambitions would not necessarily apply to Azad Kashmir. Irwin reiterated that the United States would find unacceptable any attempt by India to alter the border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. (Telegram 223704 to New Delhi, December 12; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK; published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 181) Kissinger summarized Jha's response to Irwin in a memorandum that he sent to Nixon on December 13. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, President's Daily Briefs, Dec 1-Dec 16, 1971)

7. US Influence With Yahya. Thrust of above was that US use leverage with Yahya, or whomever is in control (this point made on more than one occasion) to see realities in East and move to end war in West as well.

8. US/Indian Relations. Throughout conversation there was theme that we must try minimize impact on US-Indian relations, but they firmly held to position that they had taken only course open to India. Singh reviewed eight months history but said, let us put that aside, for it was vital we both understand events on Dec 6. India had not attacked on ground in West ("surely your intelligence knows this") but, once Yahya said next day that state of war exists, India had chosen how it would react. Pak air attack was effort to "internationalize" conflict. US and India have many ideals in common; let these not be destroyed. Kaul very pointedly said that, if press reports were true that US would resume arms shipments to Pakistan, "this would be very serious".

9. Bush made it very clear he could not make any commitment re not returning to UN. US was still attempting to see whether UN action "could be useful". We were not, he said, engaged in exercise "to get someone" but were taking serious look at options. Also, emphasized that he did not wish them to underestimate potential impact of current situation on US-Indian relations. Movement of large armed forces over border had made impact here; American public also concerned over closeness of Indian ties with Soviets. Indians should also understand that large number of UN members also disturbed. US wanted better relations with India but they should clearly understand we have real problems now.

10. Comment: Foregoing is summary. Discussion was cordial at all times.

Bush


290. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 998, Haig Chronological File, Haig Telecons 1971. No classification marking.

Washington, December 12, 1971, 7:40 p.m.

V: General, how are you. You are left alone. They arrived already?/2/

/2/ President Nixon traveled to the Azores on December 12, where he met with Portuguese Prime Minister Marcello Caetano and French President Georges Pompidou. Among the topics discussed were European economic integration and international monetary problems. Kissinger, Rogers, and Connally accompanied the President. The President's party returned to Washington on December 14. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President's Daily Diary)

H: Yes. I just spoke to them. He/3/ asked me to hold up our Seventh Fleet movements, and we are going to put that movement in orbit for 24 hours at a place so it won't surface-the fact that they are moving.

/3/ An apparent reference to Kissinger, acting on Nixon's instructions. In his memoirs, Kissinger states that the decision to delay the movement of the fleet was taken to give the Soviet Union more time to respond to the hot line message sent to Moscow earlier in the day. (White House Years, p. 911) For text of the hot line message, see Document 286.

V: Still like the Vietnamese situation?

H: They are considerably south of there. So it will be no public issue.

V: For 24 hours. Very good. I think that is very necessary. During this 24 hours, we might have good results.

H: Henry wanted you to have this.

V: Thank you very much, General.


291. Message From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 8. Top Secret; Sensitive, Special Category. A handwritten note on the message indicates it was received at 5 a.m. Haig transmitted the text of this hot line message to Kissinger at 7:37 a.m. in telegram WH 11131 to Lajes in the Azores. Haig observed about the message: "Obviously we are still in a holding pattern." (Ibid., Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)

Moscow, December 13, 1971.

We have attentively examined your message/2/ over the direct communications link. In accordance with the confidential exchange of opinions existing between us, we are advising you that at the present time, we are conducting a clarification of all the circumstances in India.

/2/ Document 286.

We will inform you of the results of the clarification without delay.


292. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 572, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/12/71-12/13/71. Confidential. Sent for information. A note on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.

Washington, December 13, 1971.

SUBJECT
Destruction of US Aircraft in Pakistan

The following are the facts that you requested concerning the reported Indian attack on a US aircraft in Pakistan.

Ambassador Farland reported on December 5 that our Defense Representatives' plane and a UN aircraft were destroyed at the Islamabad international airport that morning during an Indian air attack. Both planes were clearly marked and parked at a separate area of the field away from any Pak military aircraft. Our Defense Representative was convinced that there was no case of misidentification and that both planes were deliberately attacked.

As soon as the facts were established, Secretary Rogers called in Ambassador Jha and protested this "indiscriminate strafing."/2/ There has been no formal Indian response. Jha agreed that it was unfortunate and said that although India did not want to damage the property of neutral countries, it was not possible to insure selectivity in strafing airports. The Secretary retorted that the military planes had been on one side of the field and non-military on the other.

/2/ Rogers told Jha that it would have been hard to mistake the UN plane in that it was painted white. (Telegram 220235 to New Delhi, December 7; ibid.)

While it is obvious that a more strenuous protest could have been undertaken at the time, events have now overtaken this issue and I recommend no further action.


293. Backchannel Message From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan. Top Secret; Flash; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Haig signed for Kissinger; there is no indication on the message that Kissinger cleared it. The time of transmission is from an attached note.

Washington, December 13, 1971, 4:07 p.m.

We have just learned that Bhutto approached Bush in New York/2/ with suggestion that following amendment to our SC resolution/3/ be discussed with Soviets in effort to get compromise:

/2/ This exchange between Bush and Bhutto was reported in telegram 4979 from USUN, December 13. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

/3/ See footnote 3, Document 285.

Calls upon the GOP to take effective action towards a political settlement in East Pakistan giving immediate recognition to the will of the East Pak population within the framework of one Pakistan.

This as you know marks departure from game plan/4/ and we are concerned that introduction of this type of clause, particularly at this point, could lead to quick dissolution of our position. Soviets would veto on one-Pakistan grounds and then would be locked into a position on political issue. Debate on political question would inevitably ensue and hope for quick ceasefire evaporate. For our part we want to stick with game plan.

/4/ See Document 276.

Would appreciate knowing soonest whether Bhutto proposal represents instruction from Islamabad and if so what basis for proposal may be./5/ Warm regards.

/5/ Farland took up the proposed amendment with Foreign Secretary Sultan Khan who consulted with President Yahya and reported back that, assuming the revised resolution provided for an immediate cease-fire, Yahya approved the amendment proposed by Bhutto. Sultan Khan emphasized the importance of an immediate cease-fire in order to stop what he characterized as the slaughter in East Pakistan. (Backchannel message, 1089 from Islamabad (Farland to Kissinger), December 13; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 426, Backchannel Files, Backchannel Messages 1971, Amb. Farland, Pakistan)


294. Telegram From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan. Top Secret, Flash, Sensitive, Exclusively Eyes Only. Received at 1732Z.

Lajes Air Field, Azores Islands, December 13, 1971, 1650Z.

AWH 10038. My present view on India-Pakistan is as follows:

1. We are positioned well but we must be as careful not to be maneuvered into the position of the last hold-out as we must be to avoid being the first to cave.

2. I therefore suggest that if Security Council is still deadlocked tomorrow morning or the Soviets have vetoed we should consider backing a resolution for cease-fire and later withdrawal-even if Soviet answer is not yet received. Can we position Bhutto to get some of his friends to surface such a resolution? We should trigger stage 2 even if we have not heard from Soviets tomorrow. Can I see what such a resolution would look like. Let us discuss that.

3. As for fleet, I am weighing advantage of moving it against risk of being called off prematurely by public pressure. Can we put it into Singapore for a day? In any event, fleet should go into Indian Ocean, not Bay of Bengal. Let us discuss it. Let us discuss it on plane/2/ before final go-ahead.

/2/ Apparent reference to a proposed discussion among Nixon, Kissinger, Rogers, and Connally on the plane scheduled to return the party to Washington on December 14.

[Omitted here are instructions from Kissinger on Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.]


295. Message From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 497, President's Trip Files, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger, Vol. 2. No classification marking. A handwritten note on the message indicates it was delivered by Vorontsov to Haig at 3 a.m. on December 14. The message is handwritten in English and apparently was prepared in the Soviet Embassy.

Moscow, December 14, 1971.

The Soviet leaders believe that further aggravation of the situation on Indian subcontinent demands that urgent measures be taken. That is precisely how we act trying to create a turn from war to peace in the development of events there and to ensure just and stable settlement.

In all this case there are many complexities. The character of the current events demands that all circumstances should be taken into consideration in order to make a really correct decision. That is why a calm, weighed approach is needed. We would like to see our exchange of opinion to be conducted in such a spirit.

In your letter of December 10/2/ you proceed from a necessity of ceasefire between India and Pakistan with a simultaneous solution of the political settlement based on the recognition of the will expressed by the East Pakistan population. Thus we have now between us a considerable rapprochement of points of views on the ways of reestablishment of peace on Indian subcontinent.

/2/ Document 269.

It also follows from your letter that it was not without the influence on the part of the United States that certain suggestions by General Farman to the UN representative in Dacca have appeared on December 10,/3/ which in our opinion lead in general to the right direction.

/3/ See footnote 3, Document 263.

We are in constant contact with the Indian side. One of the results of these very contacts was the message transmitted to you on December 12/4/ that India has no intention to take any military action in connection with West Pakistan. We have firm assurances by the Indian leadership that India has no plans of seizing West Pakistan territory. Thus as far as intentions of India are concerned there is no lack of clarity to which you have referred.

/4/ Document 284.

In the course of consultations the Indian side has expressed the willingness to ceasefire and withdraw its forces if Pakistani Government withdraws its forces from East Pakistan and peaceful settlement is reached there with the lawful representatives of East Pakistani population, to whom the power will be transferred and conditions will be created for return from India of all East Pakistani refugees. At the same time the Indians have no intentions to impose their will on the East Pakistani people who themselves will determine their fate.

Then there is a necessary basis for an immediate cessation of the conflict and this opportunity should be used.

We noted with satisfaction that your letter contained an agreement with the approach of the Soviet side to the questions of political settlement. This allows to act appropriately. We believe that it will be only a gain if in our exchange of opinion a confidential agreement does not differ from public positions.

It is even more difficult for us to understand how is it possible to combine striving for a constructive peaceful settlement of the problem by collective efforts of our countries with such unilateral actions like demonstrative movements of naval forces and so on. Suppose the other side will also embark on the path of taking similar measures-what then will be the net result?

We think that after having now reached a rapprochement of our opinions as to how to approach the task of elimination of the conflict, it is desirable to convert this into appropriate agreed actions. And here it is necessary first of all to exert influence on the Pakistani Government. It would be good if the American side on its part also stressed to the Pakistani Government the necessity of embarking on the path towards political settlement in East Pakistan on the basis which is now rather clear.

We on our part intend to continue doing all that depend on us and will continue to maintain closest contacts with you, Mr. President, through the established confidential channels. Now there is a basis for the solution and we must seize this opportunity.


296. Telegram From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) in the Azores/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.

Washington, December 14, 1971, 0859Z.

WH 11161. Deliver urgently as soon as addressee is awake.

At Enclosure 1/2/ is report of near collapse of Pak forces defending Dacca. U.S. Counsel Spivack is obviously strong proponent of prompt surrender and is apparently focal point for elements sharing this view. (His reporting during final days has been especially noteworthy.)

/2/ The text of telegram 5627 from Dacca, December 14, was transmitted as enclosure 1. Consul General Spivak reported in this cable that Governor Malik and General Farman Ali had reached the conclusion that the military situation in East Pakistan had become hopeless and that it was time to take the necessary steps to avoid indiscriminate killing. Spivak agreed and urged that the effort to do so be made before street-to-street fighting began in Dacca. (Telegram 5627 from Dacca is also ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK and published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 184)

At Enclosure 2/3/ is confirmation that Pak Governor Malik, with evident endorsement of U.S. Counsel, is reporting collapse of Pakistani defenses in East Pakistan. This time apparent strength of Pak General Niazi and weakness of Pak General Farman have been adjudicated by Islamabad in favor of early surrender. Ambassador Farland has not reported action to Washington but according to Spivack, Farland is engaged in final negotiations in Islamabad.

/3/ The text of telegram 5628 from Dacca, December 14, was transmitted as enclosure 2. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK and published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 185)

All this sets the stage for a magnanimous reply from Soviets who had been apparently waiting for this precise moment some 40 hours after their initial commitment to a prompt reply.

At Enclosure 3/4/ is Soviet proposal received at 3:00 a.m. today and which includes the following essentials:

/4/ See Document 295.

(1) Adoption of a calm, weighed approach.

(2) Agreement to a ceasefire between India and Pakistan with a simultaneous solution of the political settlement ". . . based on the recognition of the will expressed by the East Pakistani population." And reference to suggestions made by General Farman to the UN representative in Dacca which according to the Soviet note were referred to in the President's letter/5/ and were compatible with the Soviet view. (This is obviously an erroneous presumption on the part of the Soviets since no references were made to General Farman's suggestions.)

/5/ Document 269.

(3) Reiteration that India has no intention of taking military action in West Pakistan and emphasizing that India has no plans for seizing West Pakistani territory.

(4) Assurance that India is willing to accept the ceasefire and withdraw its forces if Pakistan withdraws its forces from East Pakistan and if a peaceful settlement is reached in East Pakistan with the ". . . lawful representatives of the East Pakistani population to whom the power will be transferred and conditions will be created for return from India of all East Pakistani refugees."

(5) India will not impose its will on the East Pakistani people who themselves will determine their fate.

(6) Necessity that the foregoing confidential agreement does not vary from the U.S. public position with specific reference to the unilateral movement of U.S. Naval forces.

(7) Requirement that the Government of Pakistan now agree to political settlement in East Pakistan on the basis outlined.

(8) Willingness to maintain close contact with the President through the established confidential channels.

From the foregoing it is apparent that the Soviets have delayed just long enough to ensure the collapse of Pakistani forces in the East which in turn will ensure that the will of the East Pakistani population will be expressed in favor of total independence. Thus while the Soviets have avoided any reference to Bangla Desh Government or independence they have established criteria which will have that effect. I see no reference in the official Soviet response to the unofficial language used by Vorontsov with you on Sunday which referred to a one-Pakistan solution when he confirmed that India had no designs on West Pakistan./6/ Under the formula underlined by the Soviets therefore we have the advantage of a guarantee of preserving West Pakistan but at the same time it is apparent that the Soviets will insist on conditions in the East which will be tantamount to the creation of an independent East Pakistan which is the likely outcome of the expression of the will of the victorious Bangla Desh. At best we can assume that we have an arrangement which will preserve West Pakistan intact, but it will unquestionably fall short of what will be an acceptable arrangement in the East to either the Government of Pakistan or the PRC.

/6/ Reference is to the 10:05 a.m. telephone conversation on December 12 during which Vorontsov read to Kissinger the text of the message from the Soviet leadership (Document 284) he was preparing to deliver to the White House. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)


297. Telegram From the President's Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) in the Azores/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.

Washington, December 14, 1971, 0924Z.

WH 11162. Deliver urgently as soon as addressee is awake on December 14, 1971.

By separate message/2/ I have forwarded Soviet response. It is apparent we will have to take following steps:

/2/ Document 296.

(1) Agree on suitable proposal and language for a negotiated settlement of conflict either in or outside of framework of UN. I am still awaiting reply from UK on language changes to their resolutions suggested last night.

(2) Urgently notify Farland and Government of Pakistan, as well as PRC, of course of action to be pursued.

(3) Bring State and bureaucracy on board with respect to whatever course of action is decided upon.

(4) Consider issue of recalling fleet. (I would hold up pending acceptance by Soviets of final course of action decided upon.)

(5) Regardless of channels used for completing negotiations, decide on strategy for concluding UN involvement in situation.

With respect to PRC I believe Soviet proposal is sufficiently disadvantageous to dictate that we allow Government of Pakistan to coordinate with PRC and leave primary initiative to them. I think Paks will buy this proposal at this time even though complete East Pakistani independence is likely outcome.

Please advise.


298. Letter From Pakistani President Yahya to President Nixon/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusive; Eyes Only. The text of this letter was transmitted in message 1091 from Islamabad at 0926Z on December 14, which is the source text, with instructions to deliver it to Kissinger for Nixon, and to deliver a copy to Ambassador Raza.

Islamabad, December 14, 1971.

My Dear President Nixon,

You must have been informed of the massive supply of tanks of various types including amphibious tanks, heavy guns, anti-aircraft guns and other equipment which the Russians have already slipped through to India in December in addition to the enormous quantities of arms and ammunition that had already reached India during the month of November, by air and by sea.

The Russian proposal about the cease-fire, withdrawal and negotiations has by now clearly been demonstrated to have been only a hoax. They are pursuing filibustering tactics in the Security Council. This does not leave any doubt about their aim of making the military conquest of East Pakistan a fait accompli. The passage of time is clearly playing into the hands of the Russians. We are convinced that, after acquiring East Pakistan, they would let the Indians turn their might single-mindedly against West Pakistan for which they have already begun to equip the Indians.

As you know Pakistan has the will to defend itself but for this determination on our part to have any meaning, our supply lines must be kept open and adequate equipment to withstand the increasing Indian power should flow through them while there may still be time.

The American assistance has to assume, without any further loss of time, meaningful dimensions. I am most grateful to you for what you are doing in getting some help reach us through third parties, but the volume of this assistance cannot possibly match the arms build-up by Russia in India. The American intervention in the situation does not only have to be credible but also tangible and meaningful. Time has come for the United States to go beyond warnings and démarches if its determination to punish aggression across international borders is to have any effect on the Soviet Union and India. The Seventh Fleet does not only have to come to our shores but also to relieve certain pressures which we by ourselves are not in a position to cope with. In this connection, I have sent a specific proposal through General Raza about the role the Seventh Fleet could play at Karachi which, I hope, is receiving your attention./2/

/2/ On December 13 Haig sent a telegram to Kissinger in the Azores that transmitted the text of a letter to Kissinger from Raza which had just been delivered to the White House. The letter requested that the Seventh Fleet be used to keep the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea open to Pakistan and to deter the Indian Navy from attacking Pakistan's harbors. (Telegram WH 11146 to Lajes Air Field, the Azores; ibid., Box 432, Backchannel Files, Backchannels To/From HAK )

Now that the Russians have been exposed and India stands isolated in the world community, I am sure that American public opinion will readily understand the measures that you take as intended to preserve the fabric of international law and order and to enable a sovereign state to survive against the aggressive onslaught of a neighbour several times its size and backed by a super power like the Soviet Union. I am convinced that the public opinion in Pakistan is ready and waiting for the adoption of such measures by the United States. The understanding we have reached is ready to develop immediately into an alliance.

The perfidy in the sub-continent may not be the only move by the Soviet Union to counter. There are already reports that the Soviet Union is telling the Arabs about the futility of a United Nations with the sound implication that, in order to achieve their objectives, they too may have to resort to arms. This eventuality causes us considerable concern, because it is bound to erode the solid Arab support that we have enjoyed so far, apart from pre-empting the growth of favourable public opinion in Arab countries as a result of your timely support to Pakistan.

I am sure you will agree that time is of essence. We are paying a heavy price for each hour and I shall be anxiously waiting for your response.

With warm personal regards,

Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan
H.P.K., H.J.,
General


299. Backchannel Message From the Ambassador to Pakistan (Farland) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71-12/16/71. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusive; Eyes Only.

Islamabad, December 14, 1971, 1055Z.

1092. When I returned home from seeing Yahya this noon, he telephoned to say that while his instructions to Bhutto remained valid, in the event India insisted on pursuing the war. "I will have to have twenty B-57s immediately." I told him I would pass this message along, without assurances. Warm regards.


300. Telegram From the Consulate General in Dacca to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27-14 INDIA-PAK. Secret; Flash; Exdis. Repeated to Islamabad, New Delhi, Calcutta, and USUN. The text of this telegram was repeated by the White House to Kissinger in the Azores in telegram WH 11170. The Department of State repeated it to Rogers in telegram Tosec 41. Both cables were sent to Air Force One. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 643, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan)

Dacca, December 14, 1971, 1250Z.

5637. Subject: Niazi Cease-Fire Proposal.

1. Lt. Gen. Niazi telephoned me at 1720 hours today to ask that I receive him urgently in my office. He appeared in company of Major General Rao Farman Ali and said that bombing of Dacca city this afternoon had convinced him that the fighting must be stopped immediately to prevent further bloodshed, even though, he said, his troops were still in good positions and were not in danger at the moment.

2. General Farman Ali had in his possession a rough draft of a proposal he wished me to transmit to New Delhi so that it could be communicated through Indian channels to the Indian field commander in East Pakistan. After some discussion, the following proposal was drawn up in the form of a letter to me, signed by General Niazi and his signature attested by General Farman Ali:

"In order to save future loss of innocent human lives which would inevitably result from further hostilities in the major cities like Dacca, I request you to arrange for an immediate cease-fire under the following conditions:

(A) Regrouping of Pakistan armed forces in designated areas to be mutually agreed upon between the commanders of the opposing forces;

(B) To guarantee the safety of all military and paramilitary forces;

(C) Safety of all those who had settled in East Pakistan since 1947;

(D) No reprisals against those who helped the administration since March 1971.

In those conditions, the Pakistan armed forces and paramilitary forces would immediately cease all military operations.

I would further abide by any resolutions which the Security Council of the United Nations may pass for the permanent settlement of the present dispute.

I make this proposal with full authority vested in me by virtue of my position as martial law administrator of Zone B (East Pakistan) and Commander Eastern Command exercising final authority over all Pakistan military and paramilitary forces in this area."

4. Niazi asked that I indicate in my transmittal message that he was prepared to name a representative immediately to discuss the details of his offer with an Indian counterpart, and he hoped that the Indian commander would do the same immediately, so that negotiations could begin at once.

5. Generals Niazi and Farman still wish to avoid use of word "surrender".

6. You will note that Niazi states that he has full authority to take above action. When I questioned him specifically whether any concurrence was required by President Yahya or anyone else in Islamabad, his reply was definitely "No".

7. Niazi will send his ADC to my office in about two hours from now, when he hopes some sort of reaction will be available. He is very anxious that some progress be made before daylight tomorrow, when he fears a resumption of bombing in Dacca.

8. In regard to Niazi's authority to act, I should also point out that Governor A.M. Malik has left the governor's house and has placed himself under the protection of the International Red Cross, thus abdicating any governmental function. General Farman Ali said that Malik had submitted a letter of resignation./2/

/2/ In telegram 224441 to Islamabad, December 14, the Department instructed Farland to see President Yahya to ascertain what, if anything, he wanted the United States to do with Niazi's cease-fire proposal. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK) Farland responded that Yahya had indicated, through Sultan Khan, that General Niazi had full authority to act along the lines reported in telegram 5637 from Dacca. Yahya authorized the transmittal of the proposal to New Delhi and to Bhutto in New York. (Telegram 12548 from Islamabad, December 14; ibid.) The Department was leery of being put into the position of facilitating negotiations between Indian and Pakistani military authorities. (Telegram 224564 to Islamabad, December 14; ibid.) The Embassy in New Delhi was instructed, therefore, not to deliver Niazi's cease-fire proposal to the Indian Government. USUN was instructed to give the message to Bhutto with the suggestion that he might want to pass it to the Indian Foreign Minister in New York, or pass it through the UN Secretary General. (Telegram 224925 to New Delhi, December 14; ibid.) Bhutto chose not to deliver the message. After confirming that Yahya wanted the message delivered, the Department instructed USUN to deliver the message to the Indian delegation with the caveat that the United States took no position on the contents of the message. (Telegram 225265 to New Delhi, December 15; ibid.)


301. Telegram From the Embassy in Pakistan to the Department of State/1/

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK. Top Secret; Flash; Nodis.

Islamabad, December 14, 1971, 1321Z.

12537. Subject: Discussion with Pres. Yahya re Ceasefire-Dec. 14. Ref: Dacca 5627; Dacca 5628;/2/ Islamabad 12507;/3/ and Islamabad 12538./4/

/2/ See footnotes 2 and 3, Document 296.

/3/ In telegram 12507 from Islamabad, December 14, Farland reported that he had requested an urgent appointment with President Yahya in discuss the possibility of a cease-fire in East Pakistan. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 573, Indo-Pak War, South Asia, 12/14/71-12/16/71)

/4/ In his report to President Yahya on December 13, Governor Malik warned that, according to his information, the Indian army intended to kill all West Pakistanis in East Pakistan, both military and civilian. He and his cabinet felt that Pakistan had to accept any cease-fire terms dictated that would prevent a massacre in East Pakistan. (Telegram 12538 from Islamabad, December 14; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 27 INDIA-PAK)

1. Summary: President Yahya acknowledges that military situation in East Pakistan has hopelessly deteriorated. He provided me with Governor Malik's Dec. 13 report of chaotic conditions. Because military situation now irretrievable and for over-riding humanitarian reasons, Yahya is giving Bhutto widest possible latitude at UN to effect ceasefire and troop withdrawal. End summary.

2. At my request, I met with President Yahya in his residence at 1130 hours local, Dec. 14. The conversation ensued for an hour and 45 minutes. FonSec Sultan Khan was present during most of the meeting.

3. I informed President Yahya that a flash wire/5/ from my Consul General in Dacca, Herbert A. Spivack, reported that he had this morning received a phone call from Governor Abdul Motaleb Malik saying that he and Maj. Gen. Rao Farman Ali were prepared to submit to him (Spivak) certain proposals for a ceasefire, saying that a ceasefire was absolutely necessary inasmuch as the situation had become hopelessly worsened. Malik had assured the Consul General that the proposals would carry their signatures and would have the approval of President Yahya. I went on to say that shortly thereafter I had received another flash message/6/ from Consul General Spivack indicating that these proposals, according to Governor Malik, would not be forthcoming inasmuch as "General Niazi had stated that negotiations are taking place in Islamabad between the central government and Ambassador Farland, and that there was no need for me (Malik) to convey any proposals."

/5/ Reference is to telegram 5627 from Dacca, cited in footnote 2 Document 296.

/6/ Reference is to telegram 5628 from Dacca, cited in footnote 3 Document 296.

4. I then asked Yahya if the GOP had had further thoughts over and beyond our last conversation of Dec. 12 (Islamabad 12415)/7/ during which he had informed me that, on the matter of ceasefire, he was prepared to do "anything reasonable under the circumstances"; and raised the question of whether or not GOP was now prepared to go beyond the UNGA resolution.

/7/ The reference is in error; the correct citation should be to telegram 12414 from Islamabad, December 12. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-1973, POL 27 INDIA-PAK) Telegram 12414 is published in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 176.

5. Yahya said that the situation in East Pakistan had continued to deteriorate, and this deterioration was taking place at a much [more] rapid rate than anticipated. Consequently, for humane reasons, it was necessary to minimize the bloodshed which was occurring, and that he wanted me to know that the bloodshed being inflicted both by the military and civilian populations was reaching "holocaust" proportions.

6. In our previous conversations, Yahya noted, the subject of ceasefire had been discussed only in general terms and without reference to specifics; however, current conditions now require USG be informed of specific determinations of GOP. Consequently, Yahya said that, when he received my call, he was in the process of instituting a request for me to come to see him this morning.

7. Also, he advised me that he had attempted to call Governor Malik this morning but the communication system was largely inoperative and no satisfactory conversation was concluded. He added that his call to Malik was predicated upon a communication from the Governor which he had received yesterday and which now prompted his (Yahya's) current evaluation and thinking. He read and then, at my request, gave me a copy of Governor Malik's report, asking that I send it to the Department. It is being dispatched separately by reftel Islamabad 12538.

8. Because of his now firm decision that the military situation in East Pakistan was chaotic and irretrievable and that, for over-riding humanitarian considerations, he had decided to give Vice Prime Minister-designate and Foreign Minister-designate Zulfikar A. Bhutto the widest possible latitude in his approach to the United Nations to effect a ceasefire and troop withdrawal. Yahya went on to say that the Foreign Office had prepared and processed a communication to him spelling out his commission in detail. Yahya added that Bhutto would get in touch with Ambassador Bush at the USUN and would convey to him the substance of the reported message. At this juncture I asked Yahya if he would care to elaborate at this time upon Bhutto's commission. Yahya replied that the communication to Bhutto was couched in Foreign Office jargon but what it said in brief was "do the best you can under the circumstances."

9. Yahya concluded the conversation by telling me that he would advise Governor Malik of our meeting and of his decision to give Bhutto widest discretion. Also, he said he would be sending military instructions to General Niazi to continue moderate defensive activities during present diplomatic maneuvering, but with every effort being made to reduce loss of life.

Farland


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