March 30, 1971: Telephone conversation between Nixon and Kissinger

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 367, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.

San Clemente, California, March 30, 1971, 9:35 a.m.


P: What’s new today?

[Omitted here is discussion of issues unrelated to South Asia.]


K: In Pakistan it continues, but there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.


P: No. Are we pressing?


K: No, we may remove the American civilians.


P: That’s okay.


K: But even that we won’t do before Thursday./2/


/2/ April 1.


P: But we should just stay out-like in Biafra, what the hell can we do?


K: Good point.


P: I don’t like it, but I didn’t like shooting starving Biafrans either. What do they think we are going to do but help the Indians.


K: They have been ambivalent about it anyway.


P: They are ambivalent about everything.


K: That Consul in Dacca doesn’t have the strongest nerves.


P: Neither does Keating. They are all in the middle of it; it’s just like Biafra. The main thing to do is to keep cool and not do anything. There’s nothing in it for us either way.


K: It would infuriate the West Pakistanis; it wouldn’t gain anything with the East Pakistanis, who wouldn’t know about it anyway and the Indians are not noted for their gratitude.


[Omitted here is discussion of issues unrelated to South Asia.]