115. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1 2


  • Message From Ambassador Moynihan

Ambassador Moynihan has sent me a message containing his views on our arms supply policy for Pakistan and has asked that they be passed to you in connection with your seeing President Bhutto’s emissary. His main points are:

“Promise Pakistan anything but arms.”
He realizes that the $1.1 million worth of equipment which already legally belongs to Pakistan but has been held up by the embargo should be released. He says that if there are any noises about this in New Delhi, “I will tell them to pipe down.”
He fears, however, that anything beyond this, including the 300 APCs on which the Paks made a down payment under your 1970 one-time exception, would have a “devastating” impact on our relations with India.
Moynihan believes that anything that can be interpreted as even a symbolic rearming of Pakistan will play right into the hands of the increasingly strong “left totalitarians” in India.
Finally, he warns against feeding the “fantasies” which the supply of U.S. arms has induced in Pakistan in the past “with disastrous results to themselves, and certainly no notable advantage to American foreign policy.”

Comment: Ambassador Moynihan thus argues strongly for our continuing to maintain an embargo (except for the $1.1 million which the Paks already own) [Page 2] on arms supply to Pakistan. As you know, he is firmly seconded by Secretary Rogers. The other side of the case has been stated in my decision memo enclosing the Secretary’s memo.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 203, Geopolitical File, Pakistan, Chronological File, 8 March 1973–11 May 1974. Secret. Sent for information. Nixon appended a lengthy handwritten comment: “K—Moynihan will be desperately disappointed—do your best to reassure him—pointing out the overriding consideration (in confidence) which leads to this one time exception—also point out—letting the balance get too much on India’s side could lead to another war & to China intervention.” In telegram 2632 from New Delhi, March 7, Moynihan had first stated his objections to Pakistani arms sales to the Secretary of State. (Ibid.)
  2. President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger summarized cables from Ambassador Moynihan in which the Ambassador evinced strong opposition to potential resumption of U.S. arms sales to Pakistan.