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March 11, 1964

National Intelligence Estimate Number 43-64, 'Prospects for the Government of the Republic of China'

The CIA assesses Taiwan's future in the wake of France's normalization of diplomatic relations with the PRC. The report covers US-Republic of China relations and likely developments in Taiwan's internal security, politics, and international recognition.

July 15, 1991

Memorandum of Conversation: Meeting with Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany on July 15, 1991

Bush, Kohl, and others discuss relations with France and France's views of NATO, talks between the US and the USSR over the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), safeguarding the Brazilian rainforest, the Uruguay Round of the GATT, support for economic reforms in the Soviet Union, and US-German relations.

May 20, 1991

Memorandum of Conversation: Meeting with Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany, May 20, 1991, 4:30-6:20 pm.

Bush and Kohl discuss Germany's place in Europe and in NATO, its relationship with France, the Uruguay Round of the GATT, and politics in France.

February 18, 1991

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation: Telcon with Chancellor Kohl of Germany, February 18, 1991, 12:04-12:32 p.m.

Kohl briefs Bush on a conversation he recently had with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati concerning the Gulf War. Bush and Kohl also discuss Soviet views on the conflict, as also recent exchanges between France and Germany on GATT negotiations.

September 7, 1993

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation: Telcon with Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany on September 7, 1993

Clinton and Kohl discuss the Uruguay Round of the GATT, the political and economic situation in Russia, and the upcoming meeting between Alija Izetbegović of Bosnia and Clinton.

October 1967

Alva Myrdal, 'New Roads to Disarmament'

The author of “New Roads to Disarmament," Alva Myrdal was head of Swedish disarmament policy from 1962 to 1973. In her 1967 paper presented at the Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, Belgrade, and Zagreb in 1967, Myrdalpositions nuclear disarmament in its broader context and elaborates on her visions of a new world order. She would publicize many of these same thoughts and observations in her 1976 book, The Game of Disarmament. How the United States and Russia Run the Arms Race. In 1982, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on disarmament.

July 30, 1955

Shortened Transcript of the Meeting held by the 2nd Chief Directorate of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR on July 30, 1955

This document is a 61-page transcript of the meeting of the SCD leadership held in Moscow on Saturday, July 30, 1955. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to discuss the progress report of the regional counterintelligence branch in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (the Second Department of the KGB of the Latvian SSR). However, the meeting went beyond the Latvian case and focused on the discussion of the overall deficiencies of Soviet counterintelligence at that time and the ways to deal with them.

June 10, 1960

Enrico Mattei, 'On the Decolonization of States and of the Economy'

This is the English translation of the translation, into Italian, of a French speech that Enrico Mattei (1906-1962) held in Tunisia in 1960 while negotiating an agreement in his function as the 1953 founder and director of Italy’s Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI)—a conglomerate that managed Italy’s energy needs and led Italy’s energy foreign policy, pleasing many citizens but displeasing some high-ranking officials.

Already in the 1950s Mattei openly supported independence movements, also French Algeria’s. Moreover, he was a sharp Western critic of the world’s dominant oil companies, British Petroleum (until 1954, Anglo-Iranian Oil Company), Royal Dutch Shell, and the five US firms Standard Oil Company of California, Gulf Oil, Texaco, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, and Standard Oil Company of New York, who in various combinations enjoyed oil monopolies in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. He talked of Anglo-Saxon oil imperialism and in the 1950s coined the moniker the “Seven Sisters”—after the seven Pleiades sisters of Greek mythology—for those companies, leaving out the Compagnie Française des Pétroles that formed part of Iran’s and Iraq’s consortium, too. Unable to break into these two consortia or into the Saudi one, he succeeded to circumvent the Iranian one, which had been midwifed by the US government a year after the 1953 CIA-led coup d’Etat against Prime Minister Muhammad Musaddiq, who in 1951 had nationalized Iran’s oil.

In 1957 Mattei and Iran’s monarch, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1919-1980; r. 1941-1979), cut a deal whose profit terms—75-percent for Iran, 25-percent for ENI—undercut the Iranian consortium’s 50-50 terms. The US government did not oppose the deal, hoping it would buoy the shah’s popularity and hence stabilize a Cold War client bordering the Soviet Union. When in 1959 Mattei signed an oil deal with the Soviet Union, he again shocked the consortia and now also Washington: for dealing with the Soviets, and because they sold oil for less than the consortia. (This deal was a contributing factor to a price cut by the large US companies in July 1960, which angered oil producing countries and triggered the birth, in September, of the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries, or OPEC, a project discussed from 1959 by Arabs including the Saudi Abdallah al-Tariqi.) In 1958 and 1960, Mattei negotiated deals inter alia with two minor Arab oil producers, Morocco and Tunisia, respectively. Moreover, he entertained contacts with the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale. In 1962 he died in an airplane crash that in 1997 was ruled to have been caused by a bomb—perpetrators unknown.

December 24, 1958

Contribution of Algeria to the Construction of Africa

Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, a French colony, Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) fought with the Free French Army in 1943-1944 in North Africa and Europe. In 1945, he was repatriated. After shortly working for Aimé Césaire (1913-2008), a famous politician and author who helped found the négritude movement in Francophone literature, he moved to France to study psychiatry. In 1952 he wrote the first text that would make him a worldwide leading postcolonial thinker; originally his dissertation, Peau noire, masques blanches (Black Skin, White Masks) analyzed colonial conditions’ mental effects on colonized subjects. (Another text, for which he would become even more famous, was the 1961 Les Damnés de la Terre [The Wretched of the Earth].)

In 1953, Fanon agreed to become the head of the psychiatric hospital at Blida-Joinville, in French Algeria, for principally professional reasons—but got involved with Algeria’s Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) mere months after it started the war of independence in November 1954. His hospital treated both FLN fighters and Frenchmen and -women, including security personnel whose violent counter-insurgency work, including torture, had destabilized them. In 1956 he resigned, and in early 1957 fled to neighboring Tunisia, which had become independent in 1956. Moving up the FLN’s civilian command structure, he helped run its principal organ, El Moudjahid, and in 1958 became the ambassador to Ghana of the FLN’s Provisional Algerian Government.

In 1957 Ghana had become the second British African colony, after Sudan, to gain independence. Its leader, Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972, r. 1952/1957-1966), was a known pan-Africanist who continued efforts reaching back into the late 1800s, including the Fifth Pan-African Congress that he had co-organized in 1945 in Manchester. He believed true independence was possible only if African countries unite their energies. To this effect, his government inter alia organized conferences. The earliest one, the first Conference on Independent African States, took place in Ghana’s capital of Accre in April 1958; Ghanaian, Liberian, Ethiopian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Libyan, Sudanese, and Egyptian/United Arab Republic (UAR) delegates inter alia emphasized that they form one African family, whether they are Arabs or sub-Saharan Africans. Moreover, as Jeffrey Ahlman has shown in “The Algerian Question in Nkrumah’s Ghana, 1958-1960: Debating ‘Violence’ and ‘Non-Violence’ in African Decolonization” (2010), when the FLN arrived at the conference and, with UAR support, asked to be heard and accepted as Algeria’s voice, Nkrumah felt forced to consent. He did so although he was advocating decolonization by nonviolent means, which had worked in Ghana that, unlike French Algeria, was not a settler colony and not unified with the metropole. Differences between the FLN’s approach and Nkrumah’s, which was shared by some other Africans like the Kenyan Tom Mboya (1930-1969), showed also in the December 1958 First All-African People’s Conference (AAPC), to which the FLN was invited.

The text printed here is an English translation of the rendering, in El Moudjahid, of Fanon’s talk, in French, to the AAPC. It framed Algeria’s violentdecolonization experience as the model for Africa. The AAPC indeed was an important landmark in African discussions about the means of decolonization, and it was after this conference that Fanon became influential also outside the FLN.

July 11, 1957

Letter, Jacques F. [illegible] to John Kennedy

On July 2, 1957, US senator John F. Kennedy made his perhaps best-known senatorial speech—on Algeria.

Home to about 8 million Muslims, 1.2 million European settlers, and 130,000 Jews, it was from October 1954 embroiled in what France dubbed “events”—domestic events, to be precise. Virtually all settlers and most metropolitan French saw Algeria as an indivisible part of France. Algeria had been integrated into metropolitan administrative structures in 1847, towards the end of a structurally if not intentionally genocidal pacification campaign; Algeria’s population dropped by half between 1830, when France invaded, and the early 1870s. Eighty years and many political turns later (see e.g. Messali Hadj’s 1927 speech in this collection), in 1954, the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) launched a war for independence. Kennedy did not quite see eye to eye with the FLN.

As Kennedy's speech shows, he did not want France entirely out of North Africa. However, he had criticized French action already in early 1950s Indochina. And in 1957 he met with Abdelkader Chanderli (1915-1993), an unaccredited representative of the FLN at the United Nations in New York and in Washington, DC, and a linchpin of the FLN’s successful international offensive described in Matthew Connelly’s A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era (2002). Thus, Kennedy supported the FLN’s demand for independence, which explains its very positive reaction to his speech.

And thus, unlike the 1952-1960 Republican administration of Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) that officially backed the views of NATO ally France and kept delivering arms, the Democratic senator diagnosed a “war” by “Western imperialism” that, together with if different from “Soviet imperialism,” is “the great enemy of … the most powerful single force in the world today: ... man's eternal desire to be free and independent.” (In fact, Kennedy’s speech on the Algerian example of Western imperialism was the first of two, the second concerning the Polish example of Sovietimperialism. On another, domestic note, to support African Algeria’s independence was an attempt to woe civil-rights-movement-era African Americans without enraging white voters.) To be sure, Kennedy saw France as an ally, too. But France’s war was tainting Washington too much, which helped Moscow. In Kennedy’s eyes, to support the US Cold War against the Soviet Union meant granting Algeria independence. The official French line was the exact opposite: only continued French presence in Algeria could keep Moscow and its Egyptian puppet, President Gamal Abdel Nasser, from controlling the Mediterranean and encroaching on Africa

French officials’ responses to Kennedy were correspondingly harsh. So were most French newspapers. Regular French citizens reacted, too, writing Kennedy mostly critical letters, as the text printed here exemplifies. But about a quarter of these letters, which are kept at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, were supportive, for a slowly growing minority of metropolitan French criticized its government, mainly due to published accounts, by 1957 still mostly by Frenchmen, about the French army’s systematic use of torture in Algeria.

Pagination