"Special clandestine operations should be launched by the CIA to generate mistrust and hostility in American and world opinion against joint activity of [Africans and African-Americans], and to cause division among Black African radical national groups and their leaders." This was one of the scandalous recommendations contained in a report, NSCM/46, commissioned in March 1978 by President Jimmy Carter's administration. The report was put together by the National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Africa (which has just been uncovered by New African), and seems to explain why Africans and African-Americans have had long-standing difficulties working together. It appears to have been a deliberate US government policy to undermine cooperation between Africa and its diaspora in America. We publish below the full report, which started with a letter, written by Zbigniew Brezinski, the then US national security adviser, on 17 March 1978 addressed to the secretaries of state and defence, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and copied to the secretaries of the treasury and commerce, and the attorney general.
Subject: Black Africa and the US Black Movement
The President has directed that a comprehensive review be made of current developments in Black Africa from the point of view of their possible impacts on the black movement in the United States. The review should consider:
1. Long-term tendencies of social and political developments and the degree to which they are consistent with or contradict US interests.
2. Proposals for durable contacts between radical African leaders and leftist leaders of the US black community.
3. Appropriate steps to be taken inside and outside the country in order to inhibit any pressure by radical African leaders and organisations on the US black community for the latter to exert influence on the policy of the Administration toward Africa.
The President has directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Africa perform this review. The review should be forwarded to the NSC Political Analysis Committee by 20 April .
(Signed) Zbigniew Brezinski.
(On 20 April 1978, the National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Africa duly presented its report to the NSC Political Analysis Committee, for onward transmission to the president. Below is the full text of the report).
National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for Africa. Study response to Presidential Security Review Memorandum NSWC-46. Black Africa and the US Black Movement.
I. Objective of our policy toward Black Africa is to prevent social upheavals which could radically change the political situation throughout the area. The success or failure of our policy in the region depends on the solution of international and internal issues whose importance to the United States is on the increase.
US interests in Black Africa
A multiplicity of interests influences the US attitude toward black Africa. The most important of these interests can be summarised as follows:
If black African states assume attitudes hostile to the US national interest, our policy toward the white regimes; which is a key element in our relations with the black states, may be subjected by the latter to great pressure for fundamental change.
Thus, the West may face a real danger of being deprived of access to the enormous raw material resources of southern Africa which are vital for our defence needs as well as losing control over the Cape sea routes by which approximately 65% of Middle Eastern oil is supplied to Western Europe.
Moreover, such a development may bring about internal political difficulties by intensifying the activity of the black movement in the United States itself. …