Minutes of Senior Review Group Meeting/1/
National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional
Files (H-Files), Box H-112, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1971. Top
Secret; Nodis. No drafting information appears
on the minutes. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. A
briefer record of the meeting was prepared in OASD/ISA by the Director of the
Near East and South Asia Region, Brigadier General Devol
John N. Irwin, II
Thomas P. Thornton
Christopher Van Hollen
B/Gen. Devol Brett
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
Col. James M. Connell
R/Adm. Robert O. Welander
Harold H. Saunders
Col. Richard T. Kennedy
Jeanne W. Davis
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
It was agreed that
Department will prepare by early next week a paper outlining what we see as a
desirable outcome of the imbroglio in
-We will get
a statement of food requirements in
Kissinger will raise with the President the question of the lapsing on August
10 of the licenses for further shipments of military equipment to
-The SRG will meet again on the question late next week (subsequently scheduled for Friday, July 30).
Kissinger: I thought we should have a review of
/2/ See Document 103.
As you know,
the President has asked for a game plan for the next two or three months, and
we have a number of problems. I want to be sure everyone understands that there
is to be no India-Pakistan war if we can prevent it; we are to do absolutely
nothing that might egg anyone on. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind
that there will be a drastic
Mr. Sisco: I agree: It is in our overriding interest to prevent a war. But the way we handle the Indians can either deter them or move them toward war.
Mr. Kissinger: That's true.
Mr. Sisco: If we assume that the only way to move the Indians is with a stick, I don't think we understand the Indian psychology. We need a combination of carrot and stick and some concentration on the proper way to use our leverage. Psychology and mood are important in terms of making the Indians believe that we are doing what we can to be helpful.
Kissinger: I agree, and we are quite prepared to do that, but the Indians must
not be under any misapprehension. We will do everything we can to ease the
refugee problem as long as
This is the key to the situation. The Indians are suspicious of us-they think
we are pro-Pakistan. They will understand pressure if they believe we seriously
want to help. But such pressure won't work unless we continue to push the
Pakistanis so that the flow of refugees slows or stops, with some possibility
of the return of the refugees to
Mr. Kissinger: I agree; we must make the greatest effort to get the refugee flow to stop. The Indians are not generating any refugees, are they? Or are they just discouraging them from going back?
Mr. Sisco: This will take simultaneous action on both sides. So
that, as far as
Mr. Kissinger: The Indian Ambassador told me they considered the UN request for observers an unfriendly act.
Mr. Sisco: I agree, we have to support
the Secretary General on both sides.
discussed the emerging confrontation between
Mr. Irwin: I
agree basically. But in order to get
Kissinger: Yahya is not making his acceptance of UN
presence dependent on acceptance by
Mr. Sisco: That's right; the Pakistanis have already responded favorably.
Kissinger: There is no question that this is an issue of profound emotion to
the Indians. My impression is that the Indians have a tendency to build to
hysteria from which they won't know how to escape. They could bring about a
major confrontation, and I am not confident that
Mr. Sisco: I agree that the Indian psychology is such that they
may well paint themselves into a corner to the point that the only alternative
they can see is the use of force. Given this mood, something like a continued
supply of arms to
Kissinger: But the Indians know that the amount of arms that is moving is
rather small. They know we have held in abeyance the one-time exception, and
that that was a big step. They also know they have received more
With regard to military equipment to
Mr. Kissinger: I have told them that. I have no specific view on your suggestion, but we must strike a balance between excessive reassurance and excessive frightening.
Mr. Irwin: Jha has said that we have helped them economically but never politically. They're really schizophrenic. They appreciate what we have done for them but are distrustful of us. Of course, they have never been with us politically.
Mr. Sisco: When many Americans think of
Kissinger: On the Pakistani side, it is my impression that Yahya
and his group would never win any prizes for high IQs or for the subtlety of
their political comprehension. They are loyal, blunt soldiers, but I think they
have a real intellectual problem in understanding why
Mr. Helms: I agree Yahya simply does not see any political solution.
Mr. Sisco: If the Indians come to the conclusion that there is no hope of any accommodation, this continued frustration could lead to what we would consider irrational Indian action.
Mr. Kissinger: The Indians have a right to want to get the refugees off their territory but they have no right to insist on any particular political formula to do so.
Mr. Irwin: I know the Prime Minister told you they would not insist on any formula but Jha is insisting on reinstitution of the Awami League.
Mr. Kissinger: That's true. They are at the same time supporting a liberation movement and saying that the Awami League has to come back. If we can get a planned program geared to the refugees coming back we might have a chance to pressure Yahya. He has been pretty good about the refugees.
Mr. Irwin: He has been good in what he says but we have some [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] indications that this is just a front. (to Mr. Helms) Does Yahya really intend to get many Hindu refugees back?
Mr. Helms: We just don't know with any certainty.
Mr. Sisco: There were two factors in the use of force against
the Hindus: (1) the fact that the primitive Punjabi peasants really took it out
on the Hindus, and (2) the basic
Mr. Kissinger: We could press Yahya on that, but not on accepting the Awami League. If we press him on the Awami League and he refused, that could be the basis for an Indian attack.
Mr. Sisco: We will have to nudge Yahya toward the Awami League. We will also have to do what we can to see that he does not try Mujib./4/ I will weigh in with Hilaly on that.
7430 from Islamabad; ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, POL 29 PAK)
But as long as the liberation forces are shooting up
Are there any Awami Leaguers left in
Mr. Kissinger: Yahya claims he could get 45 to 60 out of the 167 Awami Leaguers.
Mr. Van Hollen: That estimate is high.
It would help if he could find a few Awami Leaguers
who still had some respect in
Mr. Kissinger: He says he could get 45 to 60 of them and hold by-elections for the seats of all the others. We could either see him disenfranchise 167 out of 169 Assembly members or ask him to do something he might not be able to do. I talked with the Army Chief of Staff and he was harder than Yahya.
Mr. Sisco: I agree that Yahya does not have complete freedom of movement.
Kissinger: I am no expert but I think the situation could be building toward war.
Mr. Williams: I think that's too sharp a dichotomy. In the first place, I don't think Yahya can be talked out of his attitude toward Mujib. And the refugees can't be talked into going back unless there is some political accommodation.
But first we have to get the Indians to stop screwing around in
Mr. Williams: And when the famine conditions increase, we will have even more refugees.
Mr. Kissinger: Dick's (Helms) question is crucial. If the Indians are serious, they should stop screwing around with the liberation forces.
Mr. Irwin: Jha takes the position that the overall fighting has
stopped but that the refugees continue. He claims this is the result of
selective pressure by
Mr. Helms: It's a see-saw.
Mr. Sisco: It is the result of
(to Mr. Sisco) You mentioned
a possible Russian role. I never like to see us get involved with the Russians
any more than we have to, but the Russians did a rather good job at
Mr. Sisco: In any question of a UN presence, we will certainly
want the support of every Security Council member. Also,
Mr. Kissinger: Where does that leave us?
Mr. Sisco: With what we are doing now-trying to hit all things simultaneously.
Mr. Irwin: I think we can and should talk again to the Indian Ambassador here and possibly to the Russians.
Mr. Kissinger: I would like to get a better conception of exactly what it is we are trying to accomplish. If we are going to talk to the Russians, we had better be goddam sure we know what we are going to say.
Mr. Irwin: We will get together a scenario on exactly what we would say to the Indians, the Pakistanis and the Russians.
Mr. Helms: That's very important.
Mr. Kissinger: We must be clear in our own minds what constitutes a desirable outcome. What do we want the Pakistanis to do precisely?
Mr. Irwin: We want to reduce the flow of refugees to a trickle.
Mr. Kissinger: The Pakistanis will agree with that objective but we will have to tell them what to do to bring it about. Both the President and I have some money in the bank with them. We might get them to do something if we know what we want them to do.
Mr. Sisco: In approaching the Pakistanis I think we should say
that we are prepared to take certain actions with the Indians. We will tell
Williams: As long as the Pakistani army is both fighting and running the
country they won't be able to do much. It is absolutely necessary to get the
army out of the civil administration. They don't give a damn and they aren't very
good at it. That means speed up the process at least to get a quasi-Bengali
political apparatus in
Mr. Kissinger (to Mr. Selden): What does Defense think?
Mr. Selden: It's a good idea. We need a scenario.
Adm. Moorer: Before we can get the Pakistanis to do something,
Mr. Selden: Where do we get these refugee figures from? Are these Indian figures?
Mr. Waller: They are fairly accurate.
Mr. Sisco: They are using the figure of 7 million but it wouldn't make much difference if it were 5 million. The Pakistanis don't seriously question the figures.
Mr. Kissinger: If we have only three plus months and plan on talking to Hilaly and Jha, we must come up with some concrete ideas on what we want each side to do. If we then make this a yardstick for what we will do, we might have a chance.
Mr. Irwin: We will put something down on paper.
Kissinger: There is a related problem. Mr. Williams has pointed out that the
food situation in
Mr. Williams: This is why I am stressing the weaknesses in the administrative structure.
Mr. Kissinger: Can we express what we want in terms of an administrative structure? Can we internationalize food relief? We shouldn't just let this famine hit us unprepared.
Mr. Helms: The difficulty is that they need 3.5 million tons of food and can only distribute 2 million.
Mr. Kissinger: Can we put them in a position to distribute more?
Mr. Helms: They have put a very weak man in charge of this.
Mr. Van Hollen: They have recently appointed Malik who has only limited competence. The best thing in his favor is that he is a Bengali.
Mr. Sisco (to Mr. Williams): Can you tell Henry what we have done specifically?
Mr. Williams: When M.M. Ahmad was here we told him he had a serious food problem coming up. We had a whole list of concrete steps that could be taken, including giving them $2 million to charter transport, but the army just doesn't give a damn and isn't good at this kind of thing anyhow, and the Bengalis won't level with the army about what the problems really are.
Mr. Kissinger: We can expect that every one of these problems will get worse over the next few weeks. If famine is inevitable with the resulting increase in the outflow of refugees, there will be strong pressures here at home. Should we be prepared to squeeze the Pakistanis on this? Maybe if we organize ourselves here, we can get them to do something there.
Mr. Williams: One of the big problems, of course, is that most food relief operations are close to the border and susceptible to Indian interdiction.
Kissinger: But if the food programs are internationalized, this might be a way
of restraining the Indians. They may be less likely to blow up an international
transport. (to Mr. Irwin) Put into your paper a
detailed program of what you want. We in this building are prepared to press
Williams: The Pakistani Army is very thinly stretched in
Mr. Sisco: We might think in terms of a massive emergency movement of transport which could be monitored by us or by an international group to see that it gets to the right place. We have two problems: the food that is getting there is not adequate for three months from now and the administrative structure cannot cope with its distribution.
Mr. Irwin: (to Mr. Williams): Have we got all the food into the port/5/ that the warehouses can take?
Reference is to the
Mr. Williams: Yes.
Mr. Kissinger: We need a statement of their requirements, what is actually there, and what the shortfall will be. The food situation can only get tougher. We should start to do our part now.
This will make
Mr. McDonald: We have prepared a detailed plan on this. A Department of Agriculture man came out and did a detailed study/6/ which we understand Yahya read personally. It spelled out specific policies and actions but none of its recommendations have been carried out.
/6/ See footnote 3, Document 102.
Mr. Kissinger: Maybe Yahya can't do it; maybe it requires an international effort. If Yahya were willing to have international observers in the villages maybe he could get the refugees back.
Mr. Williams: A UN structure has begun to be staffed.
Mr. Kissinger: It is true that the UN was very slow in supplying personnel?
Mr. Sisco: Yes, but it is moving pretty well now.
Mr. Williams: They are getting some people there and beginning to build a structure.
Mr. Sisco: They are still trying to get Indian agreement, of course.
Mr. Kissinger: Let's get a scenario early next week and have another meeting on this later in the week.Let's talk about military assistance now.
Mr. Irwin: You know our views. However, we now only have $14-$15 million to go and that's not going to go in the next two weeks. We would have originally recommended a complete embargo but now this may not be so significant. By August 10, $10 million of the outstanding licenses will have expired, with only $4 million left outstanding.
Mr. Sisco: We can let the pipeline slowly dry out. In part, of course, we will be influenced by the degree of success we have in modifying the Gallagher Amendment/7/ to permit us sufficient latitude.
/7/ Congressman Cornelius E. Gallagher (D-New Jersey) offered an amendment to pending foreign assistance legislation that called for the suspension of all military sales and economic assistance to Pakistan until the President could report to Congress that Pakistan was facilitating a return to stability in East Pakistan, and until the refugees from East Pakistan were permitted to return to their homes and to reclaim their lands and property. (Subsection (V) (1) of Section 620 of Chapter 2 of Part III of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended) The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in favor of the Gallagher amendment on July 15. On October 5 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted the language approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
If we are talking about a confrontation with
Mr. Sisco: We have put a hold on the one-time exception to our arms policy involving 300 APCs and some aircraft. We believe this hold should be maintained. Nothing has been delivered and nothing is scheduled to be delivered. Since March 25 no new licenses have been issued and we do not intend to issue any new licenses, although we have a hundred requests. There is about $15 million in the pipeline based on licenses issued before March 25.
Mr. Kissinger: I am not aware of any Presidential decision not to issue licenses.
Mr. Sisco: This was considered at your last SRG meeting./8/
/8/ See Document 32.
Mr. Selden: I think we need a definition of "arms."
Mr. Sisco: We will put in our paper what we think the policy is.
Mr. Kissinger: The Pakistanis complained specifically to me about a motor for some experimental tank. I just want to be sure we understand where we are. I agree the Pakistanis are not upset about arms now.
Mr. Sisco: Not at all; they are grateful that we haven't stopped entirely.
Mr. Kissinger: What happens when the licenses expire?
Mr. Sisco: It will be a year before everything that is in the pipeline has been delivered. But we have agreed that we will not renew licenses or issue new ones.
Mr. Selden: We still need a definition of "arms." Are we talking about such things as tires and spark plugs?
Kissinger: I don't want to reopen the whole question of arms for
Mr. Sisco: It would be suicide to resume deliveries.
Mr. Kissinger: And the Pakistanis don't want it.
Mr. Sisco: We will get a statement of our position on paper.
Mr. Kissinger: Do the Pakistanis understand that the pipeline is closing on August 10?
Mr. Sisco: Let me be sure you understand. By the middle of August $11 million of the $15 million worth of licenses will have been used or will have expired. This does not mean that the material will have been delivered. It will be somewhere in the pipeline.
Mr. Kissinger: Can it be delivered after August 10?
Mr. Van Hollen: Some of it will have been shipped by August 10.
Mr. Irwin: But if it isn't shipped by August 10 it would not be permitted to be shipped.
Mr. Kissinger: How much of the $10 million will be shipped? Do the Pakistanis know they are under the guillotine?
Mr. Sisco: They will still have $4 million left.
Mr. Kissinger: Not even the Indians can make something out of that. In other words, by August 15 we will have done exactly what the President did not want to do in June except for $4 million.
Mr. Saunders: I don't think anyone here understood what the effect would be.
Mr. Noyes: You understand that everything from the Defense Department is still under a complete hold.
Mr. Irwin: We hope that when the military supply fades out, we can get the same effect from humanitarian and food assistance.
Mr. Kissinger: Isn't this a stricter embargo than 1965?
Mr. Van Hollen: No, we had a complete embargo for some months in 1965-66. In 1966 we began providing non-lethal equipment and in 1967 we began giving them spares for equipment that was considered lethal.
Mr. Irwin: Of course, they can buy spark plugs and things commercially. They are only barred from getting them out of FMS stocks.
Mr. Kissinger: So we have cut off economic and, in effect, we are cutting off military assistance by indirection. All we did was give them an additional six weeks.
Mr. Sisco: What do you mean "six weeks"?
Mr. Kissinger: In June the President specifically did not approve cutting off the supply of military equipment. Now you are getting it by indirection.
Mr. Sisco: We have done nothing differently. The deliveries to which we were committed are already made. It is a question of whether or not we make new commitments.
Mr. Van Hollen: The President's reply to our recommendation was to continue present policy.
Kissinger: I will find out exactly what he thought present policy was. I
thought it was that the licenses were to continue. I will find out if it is the
President's policy to put this degree of pressure on
Mr. Van Hollen: The Munitions Control Group say they can't determine the amount but it will be substantially less than $11 million. The licenses are valid for only a year.
Mr. Irwin (to Mr. Van Hollen): Can they be extended?
Mr. Van Hollen: No.
Mr. Kissinger: You can damn well extend them if you are told to. If 90 percent of the material is shipped and then the licenses lapse, that's one thing. If 5 percent is shipped, that's another. The Pakistanis don't know what we are doing to them. They are not pressing for new licenses. It has not penetrated that of the material that was licensed in March, 90 percent may be cut off on August 10.
Mr. Van Hollen: It should have; we have told them.
Mr. Kissinger: But they may not realize that goods purchased under license and not yet shipped can't be shipped. We don't want the Pakistanis to believe that we have put it to them in a devious way.
Mr. Sisco: No one can tell us how much of the $11 million will have been shipped by then.
Mr. Van Hollen: But the feeling is that a substantial proportion will not be shipped.
Mr. Irwin: We should make sure the Pakistanis understand this.
Mr. Van Hollen: The Pakistani Military Supply Mission here knows the exact status of the shipments. They bug Defense about it all the time.
Mr. Kissinger (to Mr. Noyes): Do I understand you think some spare parts should be opened up to them?
Mr. Noyes: We have $11 million in Defense stocks that are being held completely. These are mostly spare parts and the Pakistani military are constantly asking us about them.
Just today the Pakistani Group Captain asked me about starting cartridges for
the B-57s. The shipments have been licensed but are still being held in our
Mr. Kissinger: When was this hold order issued?
Gen. Brett: April 4.
Mr. Kissinger: Who issued that order?
Gen. Brett: Mr. Packard. Then, following the April 19 SRG meeting, the supplies were opened up again. Then we understood Mr. Packard and Mr. Sisco had agreed to reinstitute the hold and we got an order from Packard in writing to hold back.
Mr. Kissinger: Thank you.