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The Tilt : The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 (Government Documents included)

The Tilt : The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 (Government Documents included)

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The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 , National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79 , Edited by Sajit Gandhi, December 16, 2002.

Today, on the 31st anniversary of the creation of Bangladesh, the National Security Archive published on the World Wide Web 46 declassified U.S. government documents and audio clips concerned with United States policy towards India and Pakistan during the South Asian Crisis of 1971.

The documents, declassified and available at the U.S. National Archives and the Presidential Library system detail how United States policy, directed by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, followed a course that became infamously known as "The Tilt."

The documents published today show :

- The brutal details of the genocide conducted in East Pakistan in March and April of 1971.

- One of the first "dissent cables" questioning U.S. policy and morality at a time when, as the Consulate General in Dhaka Archer Blood writes, "unfortunately, the overworked term genocide is applicable."

- The role that Nixon's friendship with Yahya Khan and the China iniative played in U.S. policymaking leading to the tilt towards Pakistan.

- George Bush Senior's view of Henry Kissinger.

- Illegal American military assistance approved by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger to Pakistan following a formal aid cutoff by the United States.

- Henry Kissinger's duplicity to the press and towards the Indians vis-à-vis the Chinese .
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The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971 , National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79 , Edited by Sajit Gandhi, December 16, 2002.

Today, on the 31st anniversary of the creation of Bangladesh, the National Security Archive published on the World Wide Web 46 declassified U.S. government documents and audio clips concerned with United States policy towards India and Pakistan during the South Asian Crisis of 1971.

The documents, declassified and available at the U.S. National Archives and the Presidential Library system detail how United States policy, directed by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, followed a course that became infamously known as "The Tilt."

The documents published today show :

- The brutal details of the genocide conducted in East Pakistan in March and April of 1971.

- One of the first "dissent cables" questioning U.S. policy and morality at a time when, as the Consulate General in Dhaka Archer Blood writes, "unfortunately, the overworked term genocide is applicable."

- The role that Nixon's friendship with Yahya Khan and the China iniative played in U.S. policymaking leading to the tilt towards Pakistan.

- George Bush Senior's view of Henry Kissinger.

- Illegal American military assistance approved by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger to Pakistan following a formal aid cutoff by the United States.

- Henry Kissinger's duplicity to the press and towards the Indians vis-à-vis the Chinese .
The Tilt The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971, he U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971, american response to bangladesh liberation war, bangladesh in 1971, মুক্তিযুদ্ধে আমেরিকার ভূমিকা, মুক্তিযুদ্ধে মার্কিন যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের ভূমিকা, ১৯৭১ এ মার্কিল ভূমিকার দলিল, মার্কিন যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের পররাষ্ট্র নীতি, দক্ষিণ এশিয়ায় মার্কিন নীতি, genocide conducted in East Pakistan, genocide in Bangladesh, killing of intellectuals, selective genocide, blood telegram, liberation war of Bangladesh, books about liberation war of Bangladesh, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ বিষয়ক বই ডাউনলোড, pakistani army atrocities in Dhaka university, Arrests of East Pakistan Intellectuals, killing of Bengali intellectuals

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The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971The Tilt The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971.htm[9/9/2013 6:53:32 AM]
 
Audio ClipNixon and Kissinger on
The Concert for Bangla Desh
Source: Nixon PresidentialMaterials Project, ConversationOval 553August 2, 1971, 9:45 AM, OvalOffice, The White House.
TheConcert for Bangla Desh
The former Beatle GeorgeHarrison, encouraged by RaviShankar, organized "The Concertfor Bangladesh" to raise moneyfor the refugees created by the political turmoil in East Pakistan.The day after the historic concert,Richard Nixon and HenryKissinger discuss the refugeesituation in East Pakistan and the potential for war between Indiaand Pakistan. Among the issuescovered in the conversation aredistribution of economicassistance and food aid, thestopping of American aid toIndia if a war is started, and thesuggested ramifications if theU.S. was to "screw Pakistan toooutrageously."
 Handwritten note from President Richard M. Nixonon an April 28, 1971, National Security Councildecision paper :"To all hands. Don't squeeze Yahyaat this time - RMN" 
The Tilt: The U.S.and the South AsianCrisis of 1971
National Security ArchiveElectronic Briefing Book No.79Edited bySajit GandhiDecember 16, 2002Print this pageJump to documentsWASHINGTON, D.C
. - Today, on the 31st anniversary of the creation of Bangladesh, the National Security Archive published on the World WideWeb 46 declassified U.S. government documents and audio clips concerned with United States policy towards India and Pakistan during the South AsianCrisis of 1971.The documents, declassified and available at the U.S. National Archives and the Presidential Library system detail how United States policy, directed byRichard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, followed a course that becameinfamously known as "The Tilt."The documents published today show:The brutal details of the genocide conducted in East Pakistan in Marchand April of 1971One of the first "dissent cables" questioning U.S. policy and moralityat a time when, as the Consulate General in Dhaka Archer Blood writes, "unfortunately, the overworked term genocide is applicable."The role that Nixon's friendship with Yahya Khan and the Chinainiative played in U.S. policymaking leading to the tilt towardsPakistanGeorge Bush Senior's view of Henry Kissinger Illegal American military assistance approved by Richard Nixon and 
 
The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971The Tilt The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971.htm[9/9/2013 6:53:32 AM]
Henry Kissinger to Pakistan following a formal aid cutoff by theUnited StatesHenry Kissinger's duplicity to the press and towards the Indians vis-à-vis the Chinese
Background
Pakistan's December 1970 elections, the first free democratic elections for the National Assembly in Pakistan's history, saw Sheikh Mujibur (Mujib)Rahman's East Pakistan-based Awami League party (AL) win 167 out of 169 seats contested in Pakistan's Eastern flank, giving the AL a majority and control of the 313-seat National Assembly. This was the first time that political power in Pakistan would be concentrated in its Eastern half.(1)West Pakistan's loss of political power over East Pakistan was devastating.Threatened by this development, on March 1, 1971, with the Assembly set toopen in two days, the military dictator General Agha Muhammad YahyaKhan (Yahya), postponed the opening indefinitely. Outraged by the West'sdisregard for their political rights, the ethnically Bengali East Pakistanis took to the streets demanding that Yahya and West Pakistan respect the electionresults.On March 25, 1971, West Pakistani forces, commanded by General Yahyaand the Martial Law Administrator, Lt. General Tikka Khan began a self-destructive course of repressive actions against their fellow Pakistanis in theEast. The Martial Law Administrators did not discriminate, targeting anyonefrom Awami Leaguers to students. Large numbers of Bengalis -- Muslimsand Hindus, businessmen and academics -- were killed during this period of martial law. The final tally of the dead, as reported by Mujib wasapproximately three million.(2)As a result of the violence and instability caused in East Pakistan by thegenocide, an estimated ten million Bengalis had fled across the border toIndia by May 1971.(3)The refugees were problematic for two main reasons:first, they created a strain on the Indian economy, an economy just comingto terms with development. Secondly, a group of refugees known as theMukti Bahini, referred to by the Indians as "Bengali Freedom Fighters" wereusing India as a base from which to launch guerrilla attacks in efforts tofight against West Pakistani oppression.The refugees became too much for India to handle. Eventually tensions between India and Pakistan grew uncontrollable, and among other things, thelack of a political solution in East Pakistan and Indian support for theguerrilla fighters led to war between the two neighbors. The end result of theconflict was the splitting of Pakistan into two separate states: Pakistan in its present form and an independent Bangladesh.
The U.S. Tilt Towards Pakistan
Discussing the martial law situation in East Pakistan during March of 1971,President Richard Nixon, in his February 9, 1972 State of the World report toCongress indicated that the "United States did not support or condone thismilitary action." Nevertheless, the U.S. did nothing to help curtail the
 
The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971The Tilt The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971.htm[9/9/2013 6:53:32 AM]
genocide and never made any public statements in opposition to the WestPakistani repression.(4)Instead, by using what Nixon and Kissinger called quiet diplomacy, theAdministration gave a green light of sorts to the Pakistanis. In one instance, Nixon declared to a Pakistani delegation that, "Yahya is a good friend."Rather than express concern over the ongoing brutal military repression, Nixon explained that he "understands the anguish of the decisions which[Yahya] had to make." As a result of Yahya's importance to the Chinainitiative and his friendship with Nixon and Kissinger, Nixon declares thatthe U.S. "would not do anything to complicate the situation for PresidentYahya or to embarrass him. (
)." Much like the present situation post 9/11, Washington was hesitant to criticize Pakistan publicly out of fear that such a tactic might weaken the dictator's support for American interestsAs the conflict in the Sub-continent began to grow, so did criticism of American policy leanings toward Pakistan. The administration denied thatany specific anti-India policy was being followed. Declassified documentsshow that in addition to tilting towards Pakistan in its public statements, theU.S. also followed a pro-Pakistan line in the UN, in discussions with China,and on the battlefield as well. Not only did the United States publicly pronounce India as the aggressor inthe war, but the U.S. sent the nuclear submarine,
U.S.S. Enterprise
, to theBay of Bengal, and authorized the transfer of U.S. military supplies toPakistan, despite the apparent illegality of doing so.(5)American Militaryassistance was formally cutoff to both India and Pakistan. A combination of  Nixon's emotional attachment to General Yahya and his dislike for IndiraGandhi, West Pakistan's integral involvement with the China initiative and Kissinger's predilection for power politics greatly influenced American policy decision-making during this conflict.
New Documentation
The fact that the conflict occurred over 30 years ago makes it possible nowto look at United States actions and policy through documents released at the National Archives under the U.S. government's historical declassification program. The record is far from complete: numerous materials remainclassified both by the State Department, CIA and other agencies as well asthe Nixon Presidential Materials Project. Nevertheless, the availabledocuments offer many useful insights into how and why Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made important decisions during the 1971 South AsianCrisis.Highlights from this briefing book include:Cable traffic from the United States Consulate in Dacca revealing the brutal details of the genocide conducted in East Pakistan by the WestPakistani Martial Law Administration. In the infamous Blood telegram(
), the Consulate in Dacca condemns the United States for failing "to denounce the suppression of democracy," for failing "todenounce atrocities," and for "bending over backwards to placate theWest Pak[istan] dominated government and to lessen any deservedly

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