1961-1963, Volume XVIII, Near East, 1962-1963|
Released by the Office of the Historian
257. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic
257. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/
Washington, May 27, 1963, 2:54 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15-1 UAR. Secret; Eyes Only Cane for Ambassador. Drafted by McGeorge Bundy and approved by Brubeck. On May 24, the Department of State instituted the codeword Cane for documents relating to the proposed Near East arms limitation initiative. A May 24 memorandum for the record indicated that all communications designated Cane would be handled as Eyes Only unless they required Roger Channel handling. Within the Executive Secretariat, Cane traffic was to be restricted to Brubeck, Little, Read, and Jensen. One copy of each message was to be sent to Bromley Smith at the White House and a second copy sent to Grant in NEA. There was to be no additional distribution. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, United Arab Republic, UAR/Israel Arms Limitation, 5/01/63-06/15/63)
3125. Please deliver following letter from President to Nasser soonest upon his return from Addis Ababa:/2/
/2/A copy of this letter with the last sentence deleted for security reasons was given to Ambassador Kamel on June 4. (Telegram 3232 to Cairo, June 4; Department of State, Central Files, POL 15-1 UAR)
"Dear President Nasser:
I have asked Ambassador Badeau to give you this letter and to talk it over with you. With the disengagement process in Yemen hopefully close to commencement it seems to me desirable to be in touch again in light of the developments of the past few weeks.
As I mentioned in my letter of 18 April,/3/ US policy has not changed, nor do I see any current reason to change it. Of course, the Congress also plays a major role in aid matters. However, it is my policy to continue our programs of economic assistance to the UAR and my hope that the Congress will continue to see it that way too.
/3/See Document 215.
I was struck, Mr. President, by several points in your long and thoughtful letter of 3 March./4/ You said that the UAR does not consider her mission as being the random distribution of the revolution among the other peoples of the Arab world, and expressed your belief that the best the UAR could furnish with regard to her revolutionary mission toward the Arabs was for her to be a practical example of the Arab's ability to evolve his life towards a better future. We sympathize with this belief and it is for this that we have sought and continue to seek to be of help to the UAR in creating a practical example.
/4/See Document 186.
In the meantime, however, I am sure you share my concern lest, in the current period of maneuver and flux in the Near East, untoward developments take place which will create acute problems for both of us. For this reason I want to express candidly why I am concerned.
First, I am deeply troubled that if Jordan becomes the cockpit of an Arab struggle the peace of the Near East might well be destroyed by Israel's intervention in Jordan, using the argument of its own security interest. We might be faced with a fait accompli. Should the other Arab states feel compelled to react in such a situation a major conflict might ensue--and one in which our assessment indicates that the Arab forces might not be at any advantage.
The arms race holds the seeds of disaster, too, for all of us. We are gratified that no Near Eastern state has undertaken development of nuclear weapons, and we will continue to counsel against such a policy. The progress being made by Israel and the UAR in the application of nuclear energy to peaceful purposes bears promise for the welfare of the people of the area. Without proper safeguards, however, power reactors can be diverted to military objectives. Thus, Israel could have the capability to develop nuclear weapons in the next few years if it were to divert its efforts in that direction. Offensive missiles now under development both in Israel and in the UAR would also add a new and dangerous dimension. Somehow, these dangers must be averted.
The US is urgently studying what we might do to help avoid serious trouble in the area. In this effort we are keeping Arab views and interests very much in mind. The fact that the security and integrity of Israel are of deep and lasting concern to the US is not a matter which has up to this point prevented the growth of friendly US-UAR relations, and I hope it will not do so in the future. Whatever measures we explore or restatements of our policy we feel compelled to make as a result of the developing situation will not be hostile to the UAR. Nor, as I indicated in my last message, are we against freely chosen Arab unity. As I believe we demonstrated in Yemen, we support the process of modernization in the Arab world. We are naturally concerned, however, that these movements not be at the expense of the security of Israel or of Arab states which, while themselves modernizing, choose to retain their present systems of government. By the same token, if we are opposed to aggression by one state against another in the area, we mean not only any Arab aggression against Israel but any Israeli aggression as well. We showed this in 1956, and mean it just as much today.
In sum, we will carefully measure our words and actions, insofar as these seem necessary, to make clear the basic principles of our policy. We want to steer an even course with all of our friends, and we hope it will not be made unduly difficult for us. With your concurrence, I should like to send a trusted associate to see you shortly on certain of these matters.
Sincerely, John F. Kennedy"
258. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, May 29, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 5/17/63-5/31/63. Top Secret. An attached note from Komer to Bundy, dated May 29, reads: "Behind this `Statesman-like' prose, Talbot and co. regard new BG letter as a step backward on terms of access to Dimona. More important, by postponing proposed inspection to at least end-1963, Israelis keep this bargaining counter in play for forthcoming negotiation. We'll have intelligence and AEC people tell us degree of risk involved in accepting BG's terms. Meanwhile, rather than reply to BG, we should let matter rest till McCloy exercise, which covers it."
Mr. Komer has requested comment on Prime Minister Ben-Gurion's reply to the President's letter of May 19,/2/ which pressed hard our case for semi-annual visits by American scientists, commencing in May.
/2/For the President's letter, see Document 252. A copy of Ben Gurion's letter is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 294, Pres. Kennedy-Johnson/Israel Correspondence: 1962-65.
On the debit side, the Prime Minister's reply assents to annual not semi-annual visits, commencing not this month but late this year or early in 1964. The conditions for the once-a-year permission are to be such as those for the visits which have already taken place. (This is potentially unsatisfactory since both previous visits were short and resulted in less than complete access.) The Prime Minister keeps a door open to the inauguration of other than peaceful programs in Israel when he states that, "we should have to follow developments in the Middle East" and "we in Israel cannot be blind to the more actual danger now confronting us". Finally, the Prime Minister would appear to be backtracking from the position he took with the President in May 1961 when he assented to visits by neutrals as well as Americans. In the present letter, he apparently seeks to make this "either-or" not both.
As to the pluses, the Prime Minister reiterates Israel's peaceful intentions regarding Dimona "as absolutely binding".
Our first objective in considering the matter of our response to the Prime Minister's less than fully satisfactory reply is to determine from the scientific and intelligence communities whether a single visit annually, supplemented by our other means of intelligence, would be adequate to keep ourselves informed of Israel's programs. We have requested such an evaluation urgently. If it is concluded that one visit a year is not adequate, we would have the alternatives of (1) a further Presidential letter pressing for more frequent visits on grounds of the technical considerations involved, not of questioning Israel's good faith, or (2) asking our emissary on disarmament to take this up in connection with his forthcoming trip.
/3/Read signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.
259. Airgram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State/1/
London, May 31, 1963.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL UK-US. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Eilts and approved by Courtney.
/2/Not printed. (Ibid.)
Transmitted herewith are pertinent Memoranda of Conversation of US-UK talks on the Persian Gulf held on April 23-24, 1963, in London./3/ Foreign Office Deputy Under-Secretary Sir Roger Stevens was the principal UK participant, while Assistant Secretary of State Phillips Talbot headed the US side. In accordance with Secretary Talbot's wish, the attached Memoranda were shown to the Foreign Office in draft form, and are consonant with the extensive (60 pages) British record of the talks.
/3/Attached but not printed. Additional documentation on the U.S.-U.K. talks in London on the Persian Gulf during April 1963 is ibid.; and ibid., NEA/NE Files: Lot 66 D 116, Persian Gulf (General).
The talks showed a general identity of views between the US and UK on Persian Gulf and related problems. In response to Secretary Talbot's specific inquiry, the British disclaimed any major concern about US actions in the Gulf. Divergent emphasis exists, however, on the two subjects set forth in the penultimate paragraph of this dispatch.
In essence, the UK's position is as follows: The Persian Gulf remains a vital interest to HMG, and HMG retains its willingness and capability to preserve the British position there. In addition to its specific treaty commitments in the Gulf, HMG considers its presence there as (a) a deterrent to Communist penetration, (b) insuring the continued availability of oil to the UK and European economies on reasonable terms, and (c) a contribution to the peace and stability of the Middle East. Of these, the continued availability of cheap sterling oil is pre-eminent. Any disruption of this availability would seriously jeopardize the British balance of payments position. Kuwaiti investment in the British securities market, while once an important policy determinant, is today of declining importance. A slow drawdown of Kuwait sterling balances is taking place. Any sudden, radical withdrawal of Kuwaiti sterling balances in London would still be a source of serious concern to the British.
The focus of British interests is Kuwait, and the entire elaborate, costly structure of British military deployment in the Arabian Peninsula is geared speedily to implement, on the request of Kuwait, the Anglo-Kuwaiti defense agreement of 1961. The spearhead of British troop dispositions for this purpose is in Bahrain; Aden is the major logistic and command post; Sharja and Masira are staging posts; strategic reserves are positioned in Kenya and the UK. The British regard their military defense commitment from Kuwait along the rimland of the Arabian Peninsula to Aden as "indivisible". Any disengagement from one point would adversely affect the others.
While Saudi Arabian stability is considered a potential future threat, HMG still sees the principal direct threat to Kuwait as Iraqi intentions. A more insidious danger is the prospect of a Nasser-dominated unity movement which, the British fear, could in certain circumstances prove irresistibly attractive to Kuwait. So long as the present Ruler of Kuwait lives, HMG believes he will not wish to dispense with his British defense commitment. Should a change of regime develop in Kuwait, the situation may alter and become more difficult to handle. A pro-Nasser revolt in Jordan would have profound implications in the Gulf, though less so than a change of regime in Saudi Arabia.
HMG has considered various alternative means of preserving the independence of Kuwait, e.g., a Great Power or UN guarantee and an Iraqi-Saudi pact, but has rejected them as inadequate or unfeasible. Though favoring Persian Gulf federation as a means of strengthening the viability of the Gulf states complex, HMG has no grand design for the area. It is not prepared to impose federation on them. It does not discount the possibility that some of the smaller states may eventually be absorbed by Abu Dhabi. Should the Anglo-Kuwait defense agreement at any time be abrogated by Kuwait, HMG's present estimate is that the British position elsewhere in the Gulf, particularly having in mind Abu Dhabi's prospects, probably still warrants the expense of maintaining a military commitment there. At the same time, however, HMG is acutely conscious of the political liabilities inherent in the British commitment to the Gulf states, both in terms of wider Anglo-Arab relations and domestic pressures at home.
Differences of emphasis exist between the US and UK on two points:
(1) Despite US urging, HMG is not yet persuaded that its early recognition of the YAR will further British interests in the Gulf and South Arabia. Though endorsing the current disengagement effort in Yemen, HMG still seeks some suitable peg on which eventual HMG recognition of the YAR can be hung without seeming to be appeasing Nasser or selling out the Aden Federation's security.
(2) HMG remains unpersuaded that the mutuality of interests between oil producing and consuming countries is sufficiently compelling to be a reliable safeguard that the Arab states would continue the uninterrupted flow of needed oil to Europe's expanding economy on present reasonable terms if they should somehow succeed in obtaining greater control of Gulf oil resources. Indeed, HMG is frank to say that, in its view, the present divided nature of the several oil producing countries of the Gulf constitutes the best safeguard to preclude "indecent behavior" by any one of them in respect of the West's oil requirements. In this connection, HMG fears that the cost of its growing oil requirements in circumstances involving some unified Arab control of Gulf oil resources would substantially increase to the detriment of already delicate British balance of payments situation.
The Department is requested to determine any additional distribution of this airgram and its enclosures.
Comment: Though producing nothing startlingly new or different, the talks were useful insofar as they have provided HMG with a greater sense of security as regards US intentions in the Persian Gulf. The British may be expected to cite these talks for some time to come in support of coordinated US and UK policy decisions pertaining to the Gulf.
For the Ambassador:
Joseph J. Wagner
260. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/
Washington, May 31, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 5/17/63-5/31/63. Top Secret/Cane.
Here is State's scenario for our UAR/Israel arms initiative./2/ Read especially p. 4ff on how we'd approach BG and Nasser.
/2/Not attached to the source text. Reference is presumably to Document 261.
The basic reason why Nasser might buy would be that Israelis are way ahead of him in nuclear field and will soon catch up in missiles. So he has a lot to gain. As to BG, our greatest leverage is that he wants a guarantee plus arms from us; nuclear self-denial is a price he knows he'll have to pay anyway, since we won't stand for proliferation. Ergo, he might accept a deal that gives him at least some assurance Nasser will be denied this option too.
The arrangement we propose is designed to be the least painful and visible which will still do the job: (1) It would cover only nuclear and "strategic" missiles, so as not to take away birds in the hand; (2) it would be tacit, private, and involve only separate arrangements with the US, not formal UAR-Israeli agreement; (3) it could be reasonably well policed by us, if both sides merely agreed to give us access.
Even so, I'd give this only a 50/50 chance at best. The basic suspicions of both sides will be hard to overcome. But we have no better idea of how to meet an urgent need, and it buys us time to stall on Israel security guarantee. Last but not least it provides a cover for such a guarantee: (1) if Nasser buys we tell him we have to give one to get BG signed on; (2) if Nasser refuses, we tell him we have to give one to protect Israel. So on these grounds alone it's worth the try.
If you take McCloy for another job, we're thinking of Gene Black as envoy. The chief reason for getting someone rolling fairly soon is that Israelis will start pressing us again shortly on the security guarantee.
/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
261. Memorandum by the Working Group on Near East Arms Limitation/1/
/1/Source: Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 80 D 102, JPG Master Copy Probe # 7 Jan 1963 (Arms/McCloy). Top Secret. Presumably this is the memorandum Komer forwarded to President Kennedy on May 31; see Document 260. Thirteen attachments, none printed, contain additional guidance on a variety of issues related to the arms limitation initiative. A handwritten note at the top of the source text reads: "The Secretary. (Return directly to Grant)."
MEMORANDUM FOR PRESIDENTIAL EMISSARY
Arms Limitation and Control Arrangement for the Near East
A. [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
B. Both Israel and the UAR are also devoting increasing efforts to the development of strategic missiles. Israel will shortly overtake the UAR's present lead.
C. Israel, meanwhile, is seeking greater degree of security assurances from the U.S. through a public security guarantee.
D. The UAR's compulsion to counter such developments is likely to bring it into increasing dependence on the Soviet Union for its security.
E. Nuclear proliferation in the Near East, if allowed to continue unchecked, will reduce U.S. capability to intervene. It will also have a disturbing effect on world stability leading other larger countries to feel they must develop their own nuclear capability.
That the U.S. obtain Israel and UAR agreement not to acquire, at a minimum, (1) nuclear weapons and (2) surface to surface strategic missiles, and that the U.S. maintain unobtrusive, reasonably simple surveillance by the consent of the parties, which will complement their own efforts.
III. Plan of Action:
A. Undertaking an Initial Approach:
1. The Presidential emissary will undertake a secret probe, arriving in Cairo for a three day visit early in June, thence proceeding to a third country and returning via Israel. Both Nasser and Ben-Gurion will be apprised in advance by Presidential communication and firm assurance will be sought from both to keep the approach secret.
1. To impress on Nasser and Ben-Gurion the President's serious concern over the Near East arms race and the inherent risks if it escalates to nuclear levels.
2. To probe the motivations and ways to establish a simple and unobtrusive arrangement which would (a) ensure both the UAR and Israel that unconventional armaments (principally nuclear and offensive missiles) are being eschewed, and (b) would not entail interference with forces necessary for national security or programs for peaceful research in atomic energy or outer space.
3. To establish a basis for continuing a secret dialogue on the problem.
C. Topics to be Discussed:
1. Introducing the subject to Nasser (Tab A).
2. Introducing the subject to Ben-Gurion (Tab B).
3. Our general estimate of the UAR and Israel's advanced weapons programs (Tab C).
4. Possible arms limitation or control arrangements, both public and private, with attendant verification arrangements required for such schemes (Tab D--ACDA papers) which might be supplemented by (1) a more explicit assurance by the U.S. of the integrity of Israel and the Arab countries and (2) possible assistance for certain independent detection capabilities (Tab E). Primary emphasis will be on nuclear weapons and offensive missiles (Tab F--Range of Approach) but the discussion could also cover other areas such as bacteriological and chemical warfare weapons which are not considered to be a major threat (Tab G--Scientific Evaluation: Chemical, Biological, Radiological Weapons in the Near East).
5. Possible cooperative programs with the U.S. in the fields of atomic energy and outer space as a means of verification.
6. Suggestions on how Nasser might deal with Arab public opinion if an arrangement on arms limitation were to become public (Tab I).
7. Press guidance in case of a leak (Tab J).
8. The next steps which might follow an initial approach. (Identifying a local point of contact.)
9. The need to keep the approach secret.
1. While indicating our desire to be flexible, suggest that the key for controlled armaments is a quiet competent third party for the negotiation and implementing phases and stress the services which the U.S. can provide.
2. Indicate that no formal agreement is expected between the UAR and Israel; however, U.S. bilateral arrangements with each party would be expected at a minimum. At a later date, similar bilateral arrangements could be sought with other Near Eastern countries.
3. During the first round of the talks, if the Israelis should raise the subject of a security guarantee, emphasize that the longstanding U.S. interest in Israel's security is well known to the Prime Minister and a willingness to listen to Israeli views on the subject. Indicate, however, that progress on an effort to limit the development of sophisticated weapons in the Near East should not be tied to other issues any more so than we have tied our nuclear test proposals to the issues of Berlin and conventional disarmament. Also stress that a favorable Israeli attitude toward cooperation [1 line of source text not declassified] will be of critical importance, in fact virtually a condition precedent, to our serious consideration of his request for a more formal security assurance.
If there are positive indications during the first round that some adequate arms limitation arrangement might be developed, it might be appropriate to indicate, but only in the second round, that we might in due course be prepared to go further in providing some security guarantee to support the independence and integrity of each country, either by Presidential letter incorporating a unilateral statement of policy or by Executive agreement (Tab H).
E. Areas of Caution:
1. Avoid commitments or implied commitments relating to (a) more economic assistance (other than possible assistance in the field of nuclear energy or outer space), or (b) filling demonstrable gaps in defensive weapons. These would be subject to review after a workable arrangement could be developed.
2. Avoid spelling out possible sanctions which might be attendant to any proposed scheme, but record any suggestions (Tab K).
3. Do not support any proposal for direct confrontation or communication between Nasser and Ben-Gurion. If assurances of the bona fides of the other are requested, point out that this should become apparent as the dialogue for an arms control arrangement develops.
F. Special Areas for Study and Recommendation:
1. The degree of interest and sincerity of Nasser and Ben-Gurion to an arms limitation approach and their initial reaction to the range of the problem.
2. The arms limitation and inspection scheme most likely to succeed, whether the U.S. role should remain a unilateral one and the role of a security assurance in such a scheme.
3. The incentives which may be required.
4. The advisability of using State visits for Nasser and Ben-Gurion to further impress them of the President's determination.
5. Steps to follow up the initial approach.
IV. Favorable and Unfavorable Factors:
a. Has a great deal to gain since Israel has both a head-start and a far greater capacity in the nuclear field and will soon overtake the UAR in missile development, whereas the UAR's ultimate advantages lie in conventional fields;
b. Is not asked to give up existing weapons;
c. Will seek to obtain U.S. estimates of Israeli capabilities and monitoring of French involvements since he now lacks capabilities in these areas.
d. Will wish to be responsive to the U.S. since he will perceive advantages in encouraging the flow of U.S. aid and avoiding undue military and economic dependence on the Communist bloc;
e. Will foresee some future tactical advantage in building his stature in the Afro-Asian bloc as a world statesman opposed to nuclear testing and nuclear proliferation; and
f. Is under considerable and growing strain to allocate his small economic resources to development in order to cope with his rapidly increasing population and to meet its rising expectations.
a. Will fear that if he is placed in the position of appearing to make peace with Israel, it will be ruinous to his position in the Arab world.
b. Will suspect that the approach has been prompted by domestic U.S. political pressures aroused by the recent furor over German scientists in the UAR and that we are merely preparing the ground to give Israel a security guarantee.
c. Will fear that the arrangement might (i) weaken his position of leadership in the Arab and African world which require the UAR to be the strongest military power of the area, (ii) starve the military appetite for the latest and best in military equipment, (iii) weaken UAR military deterrence capabilities both with the East and West, and (iv) rob the UAR of its ability to develop its own weapons program.
d. Will fear appearing to be the tool of the U.S.
e. Will suspect that covert arrangements between the French and Israelis will continue in the nuclear and missile field despite any agreement.
f. Will lack confidence in the constancy of U.S. policy and remain suspicious that US-UAR relations remain very tenuous (e.g., attacks in Congress and the press, delays in fulfilling economic commitments, military measures to support Jordan and Saudi Arabia).
[1 paragraph (2 lines of source text) not declassified]
a. Will be more receptive to firm U.S. pressure since he is aware that Israel is, ultimately, dependent upon the U.S. for security and so seeks to increase U.S. involvement;
b. Recognizes the extent of U.S. opposition to nuclear proliferation and will seek to maximize his advantages within this context if he cannot circumvent it;
c. Might recognize that while early development of nuclear weapons offers Israel some major defensive advantages, it could be quickly self-defeating by forcing UAR to turn to the Soviets on Castro-like terms, and by providing the Soviets, or even Chicoms, with a golden opportunity for providing a nuclear guarantee for the Arab Near East;
d. Due to Israel's proclaimed peaceful aims and desires to build a national home, wishes to divert funds to developmental projects if this can be done in security; and
e. Will perceive no danger to Israel since, if successful, Israel's security will be enhanced; he may think that, if unsuccessful, what Israel regards as U.S. flirtation with Nasser will likely be ended.
f. Will find a U.S. security guarantee, even though conditioned upon Israeli agreement to an arms limitation arrangement, to be a powerful incentive.
a. Will view the approach with suspicion as it would mean giving up a tremendous, realizable increase in Israel's capability and rob Israel of a useful psychological weapon at the moment.
b. Will consider that the effect of the arrangement would inhibit Israel's freedom of action.
c. Will take the stance that this approach is unacceptable unless and until Israel first receives a public and written U.S. security guarantee coupled with joint military planning, access to U.S. weapons, and the demilitarization of the West Bank of Jordan.
d. Will seek to make use the approach as a device to gain support for other Israeli objectives both major and minor, namely: (i) continued high level U.S. economic aid; (ii) support for "direct negotiations" resolution in the UN; (iii) disavowal if [of?] UN resolutions on the refugees; (iv) avowal by the U.S. of its willingness to use economic aid to the UAR as a means of insuring compliance with Israeli objectives (boycott, Suez transit); and (v) identification of the U.S. with Israel's technical and aid programs in other countries.
V. After the Initial Approach:
A. If both sides wish further exploratory talks, a small staff will be sent to the field to lay the groundwork for the second approach, probably in July or early in August.
B. A fourth country will be brought into the picture if the nature of the response justifies it. (Tab L--Role of France and Soviet Union.)
VI. What We Hope To Eventually Accomplish:
A. While the emissary would describe different alternative schemes for arms limitation--both public and private, unilateral and multi-lateral--we would ultimately hope to wind up with the following largely secret arrangement:
1. An undertaking by both sides not to develop, test, manufacture, or import nuclear weapons or surface-to-surface missiles which would be "strategic" in terms of the Near East./2/
/2/The UAR's present missiles are largely show pieces which it might retain for that purpose. Present UAR missile development would be re-directed toward prestigious outer space programs. [Footnote in the source text.]
2. Peaceful nuclear programs and scientific space research programs would be declared and subject to safeguards, with the nuclear program preferably subject to IAEA safeguards.
3. A cooperative arrangement for prompt access for U.S. technicians to any potential production facility for nuclears or missiles considered suspicious by the U.S. or the other country [1 line of source text not declassified].
B. The non-importation requirement would be intended to preclude stationing on the territory of the two countries foreign troops equipped with such arms. The non-development and testing requirement would also preclude either side from conducting this activity within a third country.
C. The inspection systems devised to accomplish this purpose would not be elaborate or formalized. A few technical personnel would be assigned to our Embassies. Visits by technical personnel would be supplemented by normal U.S. intelligence gathering capabilities.
VII. Side Benefits Even if Approach Fails:
A. Even if we do not succeed, we will have a better idea of conditions and likely sticking points by both sides for an arms control arrangement. If we should undertake another initiative in the future, we will have an important point of reference.
B. Educative effect. Both Ben-Gurion and Nasser will have a better appreciation of the problem, economic costs, and risks involved if they try to develop unconventional weapons.
C. We will have greater freedom of action in the Near East to pursue unilateral means to stop nuclear escalation.
262. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Bureau of International Security Affairs, Department of Defense (Stoddart) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Nitze)/1/
Washington, June 3, 1963.
/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 65 A 3501, Yemen 000.1-1963. Confidential. Drafted by Evans. Copies were sent to William Bundy and Sloan. Stoddart was the Deputy Director for the Near East, South Asia, and Africa Region.
The actual dispatch of a UN observer group to the Saudi-Yemen border to supervise the disengagement negotiated by Ambassador Bunker still remains on dead center in New York. The Soviet Ambassador pleads no instructions from Moscow, and the Secretary General (SYG) is, as yet, unwilling to act in the face of probable Soviet insistence on a Security Council meeting, which the SYG hopes to hold tomorrow (Tuesday). The SYG has, however, told the Soviet Ambassador that, if he does not have instructions by today, the SYG will dispatch the advance party of the observer group regardless.
Meanwhile, Under Secretary Bunche indicates that preparations for the advance party are virtually complete. General Von Horn has indicated it will consist of 36 people, 12 of whom will be officers. Of these three will be Americans, for whom clearance has already been asked; the remainder will be drawn from the Netherlands, Italy, France, Australia, and Canada, all of whom have already agreed but the last two. The advance party will have its main group in Sa'na, a planning group in Beirut, a liaison officer in Jidda, and two observers in Hodeida. Once the advance party is established, the SYG expects to send observers primarily from Scandinavia, Yugoslavia, and Canada, if acceptable to the countries directly interested.
Assuming the Soviets insist on a Security Council meeting--primarily because of their insistence that the SYG not spend UN funds without Council approval--the SYG plans a short statement indicating his plans and a summing up by Council President Quaison-Sackey of Ghana. If the Soviets make a statement, others will want to reply and a short resolution may be necessary. The UAR, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia have agreed not to participate and the SYG is determined to avoid any resolution on the financing of the observer group. He is, therefore, most anxious that the UAR and Saudi Arabia agree to share the expenses of the group.
Reports persist that the political situation in the Yemen is deteriorating and that the Sallal regime cannot last. This finds some support in that three alleged coup plotters in Yemen were executed on 28 May and Sallal is believed to be seeking a union with the UAR as a way to save his regime. However, Sallal is planning a trip to Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad and probably Algiers, travel which would be unlikely if he expected an early coup.
Jonathan D. Stoddart/2/
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.
263. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
Washington, June 6, 1963.
/1/Source: Department of State, NEA/NE Files: Lot 68 D 100, POL 23-3-a, Civil National Police. Secret. Drafted by Bowling. A handwritten note on the source text indicates that Secretary Rusk saw the memorandum.
1. Rioting is continuing today in Tehran and provincial cities; security forces are firing into all crowds./2/ We continue to estimate that security forces will crush rioters, though there is constant danger peasant soldiers might refuse to fire on mullah-led crowds during this season of strong excitation of religious feelings. The Shia hierarchy has in essence launched a civil war against the regime, in reaction to the Shah's reform program, particularly land reform and women's rights.
/2/Topol 1825 to Paris, June 14, reported violent rioting in Tehran on June 5 that spread to other cities following the arrest of Mullah Khomeini and other clerical opponents of the Shah's reform program. The riots were the most severe since the Mosadeq era and left approximately 200 killed, several hundred wounded, and extensive property damage. (Ibid., Central Files, POL 25 IRAN)
2. The Shah is probably in considerable danger of assassination, particularly if he should leave the palace. His death would bring political chaos.
3. There is no hard evidence of any important foreign role in the uprising. Communist propaganda has been anti-religious and tolerant of the Shah's reforms; mullahs are traditionally hostile to Russia and to communism. There are slight indications but no real evidence of Nasserite influence; Cairo radio has been agitating in favor of religious and tribal reaction against the Shah and his reform program.
4. There is real and constant danger to American life, particularly of imprudent individuals who venture into the streets.
5. Should the regime be toppled, religious leaders are probably incapable of forming a government, but their power and prestige would be such that any successor government would be neutralist and reactionary, at least in its early stages.
6. Should the disorders be repressed (today's and possibly tomorrow's events will be critical in this respect), religion as an active political force in Iran will have been dealt a mortal wound, but the Shah will be even more obliged to produce a quick political success in the implementation of his reform programs, since the destruction of the organized conservative opposition will leave a vacuum of political leadership which communists and pro-Mosadeq elements will try to fill. Long-term economic factors will have to be balanced against the pressure of immediate political needs. The Shah will be likely to press even harder on his reform path rather than to halt or retreat. Elections will in any case be delayed beyond present schedule for early summer./3/
/3/According to the record of the Secretary's staff meeting on June 7, "Mr. Talbot commented that the Iranian Government seemed to have weathered the situation arising from the disturbances in Tehran. The Secretary said that if in fact the Shah is now at a turning point, we should consider whether there is anything we can do to give him some support. He cited possible speeding up of deliveries under current programs or announcing some additional type of economic aid. Mr. Talbot confirmed that this is a turning point for the Shah and said that he would study what we might do." (Department of State, Secretary's Staff Meetings: Lot 66 D 147) A memorandum from Bowling to Talbot, June 12, contains further comments on the Secretary's request for actions that demonstrate support for the Shah. (Ibid., NEA/NE Files: Lot 68 D 51, POL 1 General Policy)
264. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/
Washington, June 7, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen, 6/63. Secret. A handwritten note on the source text reads: "(Taken from Pres. week-end reading dtd 6/7/63--Tab 1)."
Yemen news is both good and bad. U Thant finally decided that the Soviets were just stalling on an SC meeting, so under our prodding issued his report saying publicly: (1) he considers disengagement fully in effect; (2) is sending advance party of observers. However, the Soviets just told the SYG they'll have instructions Saturday. If these amount to another stall U Thant promises to send observers anyway. But if Soviets want an SC meeting, he'll have to agree to one--probably Monday, in which case observers will be delayed.
On the bad side, Saudis are violently angry at new UAR air raids (in obvious retaliation for continued gun-running--which Saudis continue to deny). Worse still, the Egyptians seem to be preparing new reinforcements for Yemen; if sent, these could undo everything. Crucial need is to get observers out pronto, so we're pressing the SYG either to have the SC meeting Saturday or to act. To establish the credibility of our worries, we may have to show U Thant some of the evidence, but it seems worth the risk at this point.
Meanwhile we're urging U Thant to send messages to Nasser and Faysal saying please don't upset the apple cart. We have also signalled our own people to tell both sides we regard disengagement as now underway and want to warn them against any more fiddling around.
Once disengagement is officially underway, we are committed to sending our eight F-100's. Saudis are pleading for them in light of UAR raids. Because of the way Saudis are lying to us, however, simple prudence dictates holding them up until we have concrete evidence observers are in place and disengagement has begun (as called for in original scenario). We've assured there's no personnel screening and have laid groundwork for early withdrawal of these aircraft as soon as things quiet down.
R. W. Komer
265. Telegram From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kaysen) to the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (Hart)/1/
Washington, June 8, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Countries, Saudi Arabia Security. Secret; Eyes Only.
Eyes only for Hart. The President wishes you to deliver the following message to Faysal unless in your judgment circumstances make it unwise:/2/
/2/Following renewed bombings of Saudi territory on June 8, Crown Prince Faysal wired an urgent plea that the situation had become intolerable and he could no longer depend on promises made. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 476, NEA Correspondence, Saudi Arabia; also telegram 1049 from Jidda, June 8; ibid., Central Files, DEF 6-3 US) Kaysen and Komer forwarded Faysal's message to Clifton for President Kennedy with a recommendation that the United States continue to withhold dispatch of the fighter squadron until U.N. observers were on the ground in Yemen, and with the text of a suggested response from Kennedy to Faysal similar to that printed here. A marginal notation on their memorandum reads: "President saw." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/1/63-6/14/63)
"I am deeply moved by your message, and can understand the depth of your feeling and frustration. As you know, Soviet stalling is behind the last minute delays in sending out the UN observers whose presence would eliminate in eyes world community any possible pretext for further attacks. We are using every means of pressure and persuasion to get the UN observers on the way, and I would urge you to instruct your own people to make certain the UN understands your equal sense of urgency. There will now be an SC meeting Sunday or Monday, following which the observers will be dispatched. They are already standing by near at hand.
"My personal emissary promised you that we would send a fighter squadron as soon as disengagement was fully in effect. We do not back out on our promises, and our squadron is ready. As you know, we have already sent the advance party to prepare the way.
"In the meantime, I urge that we both press the UN to take that essential action by which this painful impasse can be peacefully resolved. (You are my friend, as I am yours. So, while I fully comprehend the affront to your dignity, you will understand when I say that a course of statesmanlike restraint until the UN can act will be the true measure of your responsible leadership of your country.) I am deeply grateful for your reiteration of personal regard. You can be completely certain of my own warm and continuing friendship for you. In that spirit and until the UN can act I urge continuation of the statesmanlike restraint which you are displaying under these trying and aggravated circumstances."/3/
/3/The text printed here incorporates changes and additions proposed by Hart. These include insertion in the first paragraph of the words "eliminate in eyes world community any possible pretext for" and the addition of the last three sentences of the message. (Telegram 1050 from Jidda, June 9; Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 SAUD-UAR; a composite text is ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 476, NEA Correspondence, Saudi Arabia) Hart delivered the message in Jidda the afternoon of June 9 and stated orally that the United States had made strong representations to the UAR against its raids of Saudi territory. After reading the message, Faysal expressed his strong disappointment and referred on several occasions to the U.S. pledge to send an air squadron. (Telegram 1056 from Jidda, June 10; ibid., Central Files, POL 27 SAUD-UAR)
266. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, June 11, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, United Arab Republic, Nasser Correspondence. Top Secret; Eyes Only; Cane. No drafting information appears on the source text.
/2/Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 15-1 UAR) For President Kennedy's letter of May 27, see Document 257.
We interpret Nasser's letter as intending to convey the following:
1. Appreciation of President's mediation in Yemen; implied intent to cooperate in international control but with the caution that continued Saudi activity in opposition to the Yemen Republic would not be tolerated.
2. Appreciation for the President's reassurance regarding economic assistance; displeasure with Congressional criticism but understanding of the domestic situation producing it.
3. Laying of blame for Saudi and Jordanian internal difficulties at the door of active anti-revolutionary policies they pursuing in Yemen and elsewhere; implication they could be tolerated if they remain passive.
4. A willingness to consider new U.S. initiatives to ease the Arab-Israel conflict but implicit warning (e.g., allusion to Hawk transaction) that proposals framed primarily in terms of Israel's interest as a prelude to the U.S. elections would be unacceptable. UAR armaments program justified as necessary to redress arms balance.
The UAR has indicated to Ambassador Badeau that it is especially anxious to have a reaction to the letter as well as to know the timing and identity of the special emissary. It is recommended that a brief reply be sent stating that we welcome the letter and its frank expression of views as an indication that the UAR has an open-minded approach to the discussion of current issues. We would propose closing with the name of the President's emissary and the date on which we hope President Nasser may be able to receive him. If this recommendation is accepted, we will prepare a proposed reply when the name and date have been determined.
/3/Little signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.
267. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, June 12, 1963.
/1/Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 294, Pres. Kennedy-Johnson/Israel Correspondence: 1962-65. Secret. Drafted by Crawford on June 11 and cleared by Kretzmann (in draft), Talbot, and Strong.
On April 2, Ambassador Barbour presented to Ben-Gurion our request for semi-annual, full-access United States visits to Dimona to begin in May./2/ On May 19, the President wrote to the Prime Minister to stress the importance we attach to this issue. On May 27, Ben-Gurion replied, agreeing to annual visits, "such as have already taken place", beginning late this year or early in 1964. He referred to this as the "start-up" time of the reactor./3/
/2/See footnote 5, Document 293.
/3/See Documents 252 and 258.
The several branches of the scientific intelligence community (AEC, ACDA, CIA) agree that the Prime Minister's terms fail to meet our minimum requirements. A reactor of this size would at the optimum be discharged every two years if devoted to research, but at approximately six months intervals if the object was to produce a maximum of irradiated fuel for separation into weapons grade plutonium. For a reactor of this size, the IAEA minimum inspection systems calls for two inspections yearly, with far more complete controls than Israel is prepared to allow us. A visit before the reactor goes critical is essential because a more detailed observation of its structure is then possible than after its operation renders certain portions inaccessible.
The several agencies agree that we could be reasonably sure of the use to which the Dimona facility is put, if:
1. There is a June or July 1963 visit.
This schedule partially meets Ben-Gurion's once-a-year stipulation. We support it because we believe that politically it may be found acceptable. However, it was accepted with some reluctance by our scientists, who would prefer a semi-annual scheduling from the outset and who are also most insistent on the need for thoroughness covered in points 4 and 5.
A proposed further message from the President to Prime Minister Ben-Gurion is enclosed. The proposed message has been approved by the Secretary./4/
/5/Printed from a copy that indicates Little signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.
268. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy/1/
Washington, June 12, 1963.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27-5 US. Secret. Drafted by Seelye and Davies and cleared by Talbot. Komer forwarded this memorandum to President Kennedy on June 13; see Document 269.
You will recall that in a letter of October 25, 1962 you assured Crown Prince Faysal of "full United States support for the maintenance of Saudi Arabia's integrity" as Saudi Arabia "moves ahead successfully on the path of modernization and reform". Consonant with this assurance, you authorized your special emissary Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, while negotiating the Yemen conflict, to tell Faysal that a USAF fighter unit would be stationed in Saudi Arabia upon implementation of the Yemen disengagement agreement. In your message of March 1, 1963 conveyed by Ambassador Bunker you indicated agreement that "Saudi Arabia's integrity and stability must be defended against external intrusions". Ambassador Bunker told Faysal on March 7 that the USAF fighter unit would have the twin objectives of demonstrating United States support for Saudi Arabia and by its presence provide a deterrent to UAR air operations against Saudi Arabia.
Unfortunately, an endless series of delays, most recently resulting from Soviet stalling tactics in New York, has prevented the positioning of U.N. observers in Yemen, the formal commencement of disengagement and thus the dispatch of a USAF fighter unit. Meanwhile, the UAR has resumed air attack against towns well within Saudi Arabia, some of whose targets cannot be construed as military. In these circumstances Faysal, who has repeatedly emphasized that he places his primary reliance on and faith in the United States rather than the U.N., has concluded that the United States has let him down and is failing to live up to its assurances of protection. His critical message to you of June 8 reflects the depths of despondency into which he has sunk.
Your response of June 9 to Faysal's latest message, which indicated inter alia that the United States does not back out on its promises and will dispatch an air squadron to Saudi Arabia once disengagement is fully in effect, should help to assuage his feelings and hopefully for the moment prevent him from taking some ill-advised action. However, I believe that unless the United States air squadron is moved to Saudi Arabia as soon as the first detachment of U.S. observers arrives in Yemen--whether or not disengagement is construed to be "fully in effect" at this point--there is real danger that already seriously deteriorating United States-Saudi relations will reach a dangerous low point. I believe that establishment of a U.N. presence in the border area between Yemen and Saudi Arabia will minimize the risk of further UAR penetration of Saudi air space and confrontation with USAF aircraft.
The Security Council has now approved the dispatch to Yemen of U.N. observers to oversee the disengagement process./2/ The observers are expected to arrive about June 13. Accordingly, I recommend:
/2/The mission is described in a June 18 memorandum from Cleveland to Rusk. (Ibid., POL 27-14 YEMEN/UN)
1) that the USAF squadron which is now on 48-hour alert be ordered to proceed to Saudi Arabia as soon as we can certify that the first detachment of U.N. observers is in place;
2) that Prince Faysal be notified of the anticipated date of arrival of the USAF unit;
3) that the Saudi Government be informed that should evidence indicate that the agreement to suspend shipments to the Royalists is not being observed, the air unit would be withdrawn.
/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.
/4/Secret. Drafted by Kettelhut and cleared by Hewitt, Strong, Grant, Colonel Robinson, and Komer. Additional documentation regarding the mission and rules of engagement is in Department of State, Central File DEF 19 US-SAUD.
REVISED "MISSION" AND "RULES OF ENGAGEMENT"
a. Mission: The mission of the deployed air unit is:
(1) To conduct training exercises and operations with Saudi air forces in cooperation with USMTM as part of our overall efforts through the years to improve Saudi forces and as evidence of continuing U.S. interest in the internal stability and security of Saudi Arabia. (The element of "show of force" is manifested by the military presence of the unit in Saudi Arabia and is acknowledged as an explicit element of the mission. However, no references will be made officially or unofficially, formally or informally, to the effect that a "U.S. show of force" is an essential element of this unit's mission.)
(2) To provide a limited air defense capability to Saudi Arabia to deter UAR air operations over Saudi Arabia should such air operations be resumed.
In the event the UAR resumes air operations over Saudi Arabia and UAR aircraft are detected and/or intercepted by operational USAF fighter aircraft in Saudi Arabia during the accomplishment of the mission as outlined in paragraph "a" above, this information will be reported by highest priority precedence message to the JCS. Pending receipt of instructions from the JCS, the employment of the U.S. air unit will continue to be in accordance with the terms of the mission set forth in paragraph "a" above.
b. Rules of Engagement: The following rules of engagement may be made effective only if directed by the JCS after the decision has been made at the highest government level:
(1) USAF fighter aircraft, within their capability, will intercept and identify all unidentified aircraft violating the territorial air space of Saudi Arabia.
(2) Upon interception and failure to identify as friendly, the aircraft will be considered a hostile intruder and USAF fighter pilots will exert every measure, short of actual firing at the "intruder," to induce it to land or alter course to exit Saudi Arabian territory. These measures may include maneuvers, tactics, and signals, as well as commands on international radio frequencies. If these measures are successful, USAF fighter aircraft will escort the "intruder" aircraft to the Saudi Arabian border or to the nearest suitable airfield.
(3) If the foregoing steps to induce "intruder" aircraft to either land or depart Saudi Arabian air space are not successful, USAF fighter aircraft will escort the "intruder" aircraft, continuing harrassment, until one of two situations occurs, i.e., either
(i) the "intruder" follows directions to land or depart Saudi Arabian air space, or
(ii) the "intruder" is observed to commit a "hostile" act. In this event, USAF fighter aircraft will destroy the "intruder."
(4) For purpose of these rules of engagement, a "hostile" act is defined as firing or maneuvering to fire at USAF or allied (Saudi Arabian) aircraft, opening bomb bay doors, strafing, rocketing, or bombing Saudi Arabian territory.
269. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Kennedy/1/
Washington, June 13, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/1/63-6/14/63. Secret.
We need your OK on sending air squadron to Saudi Arabia.
Faysal is panting for it, and Rusk urges in attached/2/ that we tell him now we're sending it to arrive concurrently with the deployment of the first detachment of UN observers along the border (hopefully Sunday or Monday). Bunker agreement called for holding off until disengagement had actually begun, but State argues strongly we need to reassure Faysal soonest and that squadron will in fact deter UAR. We would hold the fighters themselves till sure observers were in place.
Second problem arises from Congressman Celler's unfortunate revelation (NYT Monday)/3/ that Jews were now included in US elements in Saudi Arabia. Saudis felt compelled to issue a public denial, but their Foreign Minister assures us (Jidda 1075)/4/ that "if we don't ask you any questions, you need not say anything to us." US press will undoubtedly query, but we'd say accurately here there was no discrimination (but play in low key) and let Faysal control things from his end. I agree with State that if we went to Faysal and posed yet another hurdle he might go off the deep end.
/4/Dated June 13. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-7 US)
We may have some flurry over this problem but our position is clear and defensible. DOD is nervous over a possible incident, but I'd suggest you OK State's plan. If Faysal causes trouble, he'll lose much more than we, so odds are against real trouble.
3d problem is leak on our restrictive rules of engagement, which has caused a scream of pain from Saudis (Jidda 1077)./5/ We propose allowing daily sweeps to Jizan area (40 mi. back) at first, but then restrict to weekly./6/
/5/Not printed. (Ibid., DEF 6-3 US)
/6/Komer wrote the final paragraph by hand. At the bottom of the page, Komer wrote the following list: "1. Find out cols [?]--ship him out.
"2. Tell mil.--no talk abt rules of engage.
"3. Dictate what Hart and CO [?] is to know.
"4. Pres doesn't want US planes shooting."
On June 15, JCS telegram 1261, DTG 151510Z, amended the rules of engagement to provide that if hostile aircraft were encountered, U.S. aircraft were authorized to exercise an inherent right of self-defense if attacked. The telegram also directed that the text of the Mission and Rules of Engagement not be disclosed to or discussed with Saudi personnel. (Memorandum for the record on White House stationery, June 28; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/15/63-6/30/63)
270. Editorial Note
On June 13, 1963, in telegram 1222 to CINCSTRIKE and CINCNELM, DTG 131953Z Jun 63, the Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that the President had approved the deployment of an air unit to Saudi Arabia, using the codeword Hard Surface, to consist of eight F-100D tactical fighter aircraft and one transport-type command support aircraft. The telegram conveyed a description of the "Mission" and "Rules of Engagement" attached to Document 268. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Saudi Arabia, 6/1/63-6/14/63) The Department of State instructed the Embassy in Jidda to inform the Saudi Government of the deployment in telegram 827, June 14, 3:27 p.m. The Department also directed that the Saudi Government be reminded that the dispatch of the air unit was predicated on the complete cessation of all forms of Saudi assistance to the Yemeni Royalists. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-3 US)
On June 14, Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Saqqaf summoned Hart to convey Prince Faysal's demand that the U.S. Government publicly denounce Congressman Celler's statement regarding the sending of Jewish servicemen to Saudi Arabia and his decision not to let any U.S. servicemen enter the Kingdom until he received a U.S. response to this demand. (Telegram 1080 from Jidda, June 15; ibid.)
At the Secretary of State's staff meeting on June 14, Talbot reported:
"The projected Hard Surface air squadron to Saudi Arabia has been temporarily suspended. This is the result of the public controversy on the presence of US personnel of the Jewish faith in Saudi Arabia. The President will consider this matter this morning. The Secretary deplored the newspaper coverage of this delicate matter at this time and asked Mr. Manning to consider giving a background off-the-record to the press urging no further disclosures at this time for fear of preventing a settlement satisfactory to the US." (Department of State, Secretary's Staff Meetings: Lot 66 D 147)
On June 15, JCS telegram 1259, DTG 150537Z, directed that the movement of all U.S. forces going to Saudi Arabia be halted. (Memorandum for the record on White House stationery, June 28; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/15/63-6/30/63) Also on June 15, Talbot responded to Hart in telegram 838 to Jidda that "Discrimination issue of such over-riding importance here that would be totally out of question for USG capitulate to Faysal's request we `denounce' Celler statement." (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-3 US)
Subsequently, Hart, acting under detailed Department of State instructions, sought to persuade Faysal either directly or through Saqqaf to withdraw the ultimatum. (Instructions and telegraphic reports are ibid.) When these entreaties failed to resolve the matter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 17, in telegram 1277, DTG 172120Z, advised that operation Hard Surface would not be implemented prior to June 21 and ordered forces to return to their staging basis under CINCSTRIKE. (Memorandum for the record on White House stationery, June 28; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Saudi Arabia, 6/15/63-6/30/63)
On June 16, the Department of State proposed that Faysal's concerns be alleviated through a proposed statement by the Department's Spokesman in response to a question at a press conference that would indicate that Saudi Arabia retained its visa policy respecting persons of the Jewish faith, but that this had not arisen in cases of U.S. servicemen serving in Saudi Arabia and that the United States upheld a nondiscrimination policy in this matter. (Telegram 843 to Jidda, June 16; Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-3 US) Hart subsequently negotiated the content of the statement with Saqqaf, and Faysal's agreement was finally obtained on June 27. (Instructions and reports are ibid.)
On June 29, in conjunction with the announcement that the United States was sending a training mission to Saudi Arabia (Operation Hard Surface), the Department of State Spokesman affirmed that Saudi Arabia had not altered its visa policy with respect to persons of the Jewish faith and still retained the sovereign right to screen applicants for visas on the basis of its own policies. The Spokesman then reconfirmed: "Our own policy of non-discrimination among American citizens on grounds of race, creed or color is firmly established. Our efforts have been directed to obtaining at home and abroad recognition and acceptance of this principle." In response to a question, the Spokesman said "As regards United States air units which have undertaken or will undertake joint training exercises with Saudi forces no problem has arisen with respect to their entry into Saudi Arabia on a transient basis." (Circular telegram 2253, June 29; ibid., DEF 19-2 SAUD-US)
271. Memorandum From V. H. Krulak of the Office of the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Taylor)/1/
SACSA-M 349 - 63
Washington, June 13, 1963.
/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, CJCS 091 Iran (13 June 63). Secret. A covering memorandum indicates that the memorandum was written at Taylor's request.
1. In the memorandum which forwarded you a copy of the DIA appraisal on the subject for your reference in connection with the Special Group (CI) meeting of today,/2/ it was noted that a detailed discussion would be forthcoming. This memorandum is designed to meet that requirement and for use in possible discussions with USCINCEUR on your forthcoming trip.
/2/According to the minutes of the Special Group (CI) meeting on June 13, the Special Group discussed a Department of State followup report. (Department of State, Special Group, Counterinsurgency Files: Lot 68 D 51)
2. DIA's study is attached at Tab A./3/ Additionally the views of USCINCEUR and CINCNELM were solicited by DIA, and are attached to DIA's appraisal as independently prepared studies. USCINCEUR's on-the-spot appraisal (at Tab B) is a most valuable, pertinent and carefully considered analysis; the most significant portions are underscored. CINCNELM's estimate is at Tab C.
/3/All tabs are attached to the source text but not printed.
3. USCINCEUR and CINCNELM agree in general with DIA's appraisal, however USCINCEUR views the current threat to internal security as more passive than do the others.
4. The appraisals address the following topics:
a. General Degree of Seriousness of Current Threats to Internal Security. In outline the consensus is that the internal security situation in Iran should be considered as critical but not yet uncontrollable. It is a situation to which we should address immediate and serious attention, especially within the next 18 months, the most potentially critical period of the Shah's directed revolution. Subsequently, the next 3 or 4 years will be critical until the Shah achieves more firm new political bases of support.
USCINCEUR believes that "In view of the mounting dissatisfaction among an increasing number of diverse and geographically dispersed elements in Iran, the current threat to internal security is believed to be greater than at any time since the Shah was forced to flee the country in August 1953," and that there is "evidence of dissatisfaction in the Iranian Armed Forces", and that this combined with widespread discontent present a potential serious threat to the government.
b. Extent of External Subversive Support and Identity of Sponsors, Especially in Regard to Current Indications that Such Support May Be Coming From the UAR.
With regard to foreign support, considering Egyptian President Nasir's well-known animosity toward the Shah and the opportunities available to Nasir, it is considered probable that at least some Egyptian financial support was provided the Iranian religious leaders, possibly channeled thru the Shia in Iraq. It is doubtful if such support was a major factor behind the urban disturbances however.
Although there is some illicit arms traffic across the Persian Gulf, probably destined for tribal dissidents, there is no evidence that would link such smuggling with the operations of any foreign government.
c. Current Capabilities of Iranian Security Forces to Maintain Order (Army, Gendarmerie, National Police).
To date the Shah's main political opposition, the National Front, and the major tribes who are traditionally anti-Shah have not committed themselves overtly to active participation. USCINCEUR believes that should additional trouble spots develop, the security forces would be incapable of coping with even a moderate increase in disorders similar to those continuing to exist in Fars. Additionally in view of the heavy commitment of forces (see Tab D) (Tribal/Urban Disorders, Casualties and Participants) in the urban centers, in Kurdistan and in the southern tribal areas "it is questionable where troops to reinforce these areas would come from."
DIA states that "Prior to the recent outbreak of tribal dissidence in southwestern Iran, the IIA was considered capable of dealing successfully with any internal threats to internal security. The Army's generally poor performance in controlling the tribal dissidence in the Fars-Khuzistan area has altered this appraisal. Although tribal insurgency in southwestern Iran now appears on the wane, the degree to which this diminution resulted from purely military control measures is speculative. However, we believe that the IIA still can maintain order in the face of localized outbreaks of tribal dissidence."
The Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie is capable of performing its assigned mission of maintenance of internal security, law and order in Iranian rural areas under normal conditions. It has only a limited capability to deal with problems of local dissidence and in the event of widespread or serious local disorder it must call upon the IIA for assistance.
Iran's National Police, as evidenced by complete inadequacy in recent events, failed "through fear and lack of leadership" to demonstrate any control capability. Our AID-sponsored Public Safety Program deserves thorough review now.
d. Loyalty of Army and Its Morale, Especially in Face Increasing Demands on it for Internal Security Duties.
USCINCEUR estimates that the Army has so far proven loyal but there are sectors and cliques in the Armed Forces where evidence of serious dissatisfaction is present, and which could be exploited during widespread unrest.
DIA believes that, "overall morale in the IIA has generally been described as low, with some exceptions attributed to the capabilities of individual unit commanders. The morale of the IIA units participating in suppression of tribal disturbances in the southwest has been reported as very low, but with no indications as to variations between particular units. Much of this results from the Persian's natural aversion to violence, particularly where personally involved. At least some improvement in morale among these units may be anticipated with the decrease in tribal hostilities and the even superficial appearance of military successes. In connection with the urban disturbances, the demonstrated effectiveness of the IIA has probably had a beneficial effect on the morale of the units involved."
e. Possibility of Coalition on National Level of Dissident Elements in Urban Centers and Insurgent Tribal Areas.
DIA states that "the possibility of establishment of an effectively coordinated, centrally controlled coalition of diverse Iranian opposition groups is remote", however, "effective coordination under unified or external leadership of opposition elements would constitute an extremely grave threat to governmental stability".
USCINCEUR states that "until the Shah can consolidate his strength and prestige the government will remain vulnerable to possible overthrow", and, "Iranian security forces would be hard pressed to deal effectively with the situation if insurgency increased simultaneously with urban and rural disorder."
5. Of all the varying nuances in estimates of the threats, capabilities, loyalties, etc., the fact remains clear that a serious threat to internal security exists in one of our most strategic assets, in the face of a social and economic revolution, and that subversive forces would be alert to exploit any critical situations. The U.S. will be identified with whatever the outcome may be, and enhanced assistance in the whole spectrum of counterinsurgency is not only required but we are believed in Iran to be committed to provide it. USCINCEUR summarizes the immediate requirements most clearly as follows:
"Primary emphasis on US assistance in this problem is the responsibility of the Department of State. A straight-forward and forthright approach to the Shah and his governmental agencies appears most logical. This approach should be definitive in its recommendation and should clearly indicate the fallacy of military suppressive actions. It should provide a psychological theme, methods of disseminating the theme, mobilization of existing resources for distribution of subsistence items provided; programs to control and coordinate the land reform projects".
"Specific assistance at this time should include:
a. US food supplies for tribal areas (to be issued by IIA under supervision of US military advisors).
b. Expedited police training under AID auspices emphasizing riot-control measures.
c. Special psychological operations assistance by USIA.
d. CINCEUR HQS, assisted by the MAAG and COMSOTFE, is presently finalizing a follow-on counterinsurgency Mobile Training Team Program for Iran. However, this is aimed at the longer term threat, particularly that of externally supported insurgency. We do not recommend hurried dispatch of training teams under present conditions."
V. H. Krulak
Major General, USMC
272. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia/1/
Washington, June 14, 1963, 5:17 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-3 US. Secret; Operational Immediate; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Kettelhut; cleared by Hewitt, Davies, Admiral Chew (JCS), Little, Colonel Robinson (G/PM), Sloan (OSD/ISA), and Komer; and approved by Grant. Also sent to Dhahran, CINCEUR, CINCNELM, and CINCSTRIKE and repeated to Cairo.
830. Joint State-Defense message. Jidda's 1071 and 1077./2/ Highest levels USG deeply concerned over unauthorized disclosure to and discussion with Saudi personnel re mission and rules of engagement for operation Hard Surface in violation previous instructions this subject. You are directed take all necessary action to prohibit any further unauthorized disclosures and discussions these subjects. Hard Surface command will coordinate closely with Country Team to ensure successful execution of operation in delicate atmosphere.
/2/Dated June 12 and 13. (Ibid.)
USG implementation operation Hard Surface has been and is contingent upon disengagement UAR-Saudi forces in Yemen. While we are honoring USG commitment to SAG and providing Hard Surface forces for purpose training and joint exercise with Saudi troops, we do not intend this be hostile action toward UAR, and for that reason operating mission and rules of engagement were carefully drawn to preclude possibility any action which could be construed to be offensive in military sense. At same time operating mission and rules of engagement do not prohibit Hard Surface forces from exercising inherent right self-defense. Accordingly, we have amended mission and rules of engagement to reflect this fact. The following mission and rules of engagement will apply to Hard Surface operations. They will not be disclosed to or discussed with Saudi personnel.
"Mission: The mission of the deployed air unit is:
(1) To conduct training exercises and operations with Saudi air forces in cooperation with USMTM as part of our overall efforts through the years to improve Saudi forces and as evidence of continuing U.S. interest in the internal stability and security of Saudi Arabia. (The element of `show of force' is manifested by the military presence of the unit in Saudi Arabia and is acknowledged as an explicit element of the mission. However, no references will be made officially or unofficially, formally or informally, to the effect that a `U.S. show of force' is an essential element of this unit's mission.)
(2) To provide a limited air defense capability to Saudi Arabia to deter UAR air operations over Saudi Arabia should such air operations be resumed.
(3) In the event hostile aircraft are encountered by Hard Surface forces in the execution of the mission set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) above, the U.S. aircraft is authorized to exercise the inherent right of self-defense if attacked.
Rules of Engagement. In the event the UAR resumes air operations over Saudi Arabia and UAR aircraft are detected and/or intercepted by operational USAF fighter aircraft in Saudi Arabia, the following rules of engagement may be made effective only if directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff after the decision has been made at the highest government level.
(1) USAF fighter aircraft, within their capability, will intercept and identify all unidentified aircraft violating the territorial air space of Saudi Arabia.
(2) Upon interception and failure to identify as friendly, the aircraft will be considered a hostile intruder and USAF fighter pilots will exert every measure, short of actual firing at the `intruder,' to induce it to land or alter course to exit Saudi Arabian territory. These measures may include maneuvers, tactics, and signals, as well as commands on international radio frequencies. If these measures are successful, USAF fighter aircraft will escort the `intruder' aircraft to the Saudi Arabian border or to the nearest suitable airfield.
(3) If the foregoing steps to induce `intruder' aircraft to either land or depart Saudi Arabian air space are not successful, USAF fighter aircraft will escort the `intruder' aircraft, continuing harassment, until one of two situations occurs, i.e. either
(i) the `intruder' follows directions to land or depart Saudi Arabian air space, or
(ii) the `intruder' is observed to commit a `hostile' act. In this event, USAF fighter aircraft will destroy the 'intruder.'
(4) For purpose of these rules of engagement, a `hostile' act is defined as firing or maneuvering to fire at USAF or allied (Saudi Arabian) aircraft, opening bomb bay doors, strafing, rocketing, or bombing Saudi Arabian territory."
Hard Surface operational units will be authorized operate to within forty (40) miles Saudi-Yemen border and may be utilized periodically for flights over Jizan but on a lesser frequency than recommended Jidda's 1077.
With ref photo recon capability and requirement, mission of Hard Surface as set forth above does not require photo recon capability and therefore will not be part exercise complement. In event circumstances change or there requirement for photo recon capability we will consider provision of RF aircraft.
273. Memorandum for the Record/1/
Washington, June 15, 1963, 10 a.m.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, United Arab Republic, Nasser Correspondence. Secret; Cane. Drafted by Komer on June 20. Copies were sent to Bundy and Kaysen. Separate accounts of this meeting were prepared by Eilts on June 18 (Department of State, NEA/IAI Files: Lot 72 D 438, Authority to Consider Steps for NE Arms Limitation Probe) and by McCone on June 17 (Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80 D 01285A, DCI (McCone) Files, Memoranda for the Record).
President's Meeting on McCloy Exercise,
Saturday, 15 June 1963, at 10:00 a.m./2/
/2/On June 4, Ball and Talbot discussed with John McCloy the possibility of his serving as Special Emissary for the Near East Arms Limitation Initiative. (Memorandum from Talbot to Rusk, June 4; Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/MCCLOY) McCloy subsequently accepted the assignment. Hermann Eilts, Political Officer for the Middle East at the Embassy in London, was summoned to Washington to assist McCloy in the initiative. (Telegram 6253 to London, May 23; ibid.) Wreatham Gathwright of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency also assisted McCloy.
John J. McCloy
William C. Foster
R. W. Komer
The President opened by asking about the nature of the guarantee we might have to give the Israelis in connection with our desire both to avoid a blow-up over Jordan and to stop a nuclear arms race. Talbot explained the State Department's hope that we would be able to frame this in terms of assurances to both sides, building on the President's reaffirmation of the essence of the Tripartite Declaration and hopefully stopping short of any bilateral arrangement with Israel alone which would get us into real trouble with the Arabs.
The President asked how we could follow nuclear or missile development in Egypt. McCone pointed out that we could use photography and other means. He doubted that we could discover everything they were doing in an R&D way but we could probably find out if they were manufacturing missiles or nuclear weapons. McCloy added that our scheme would involve a certain amount of mutual inspection of both sides.
McCloy felt that the issue of reassurances or guarantees to Israel would come up very early in his discussions with BG. Even before this, what should he say to Nasser if Nasser asked what we were going to say to the Israelis in order to sign them on to our scheme? McCloy suggested we tell Nasser that we contemplated no alliance against the Arabs. Beyond this he felt he should not get into this subject.
The President said that the current exercise grew out of two things, our concern over nuclear weapons and the risks of war over Jordan. Even a security guarantee to Israel was not without its attractions to Nasser, because if Jordan blew up Nasser had only two options. He'd either have to stand aside or move in, but in the latter case he wasn't prepared sufficiently so he'd get licked. Thus it would be in Nasser's interest to have us give Israel a guarantee if this would lead the Israelis to agree not to move in Jordan. So from our point of view we should give Israel reasonable assurances in return for their agreement not to move into Jordan or to develop nuclear weapons. We should make clear to Nasser that our proposals were "not any Zionist plot", but genuinely designed to meet his worries as well as Israel's. If McCloy is unsuccessful, we're likely to have both sides developing nuclear weapons and the Israelis moving into Jordan on the earliest excuse they can find, in order to get it over with while they are still ahead.
McCloy pointed out that BG might not want to pay the price of any arms control limitation because he thinks he can get a guarantee from us anyway. The President agreed that this might well be Israel thinking.
Talbot and Komer explained that the Israelis didn't just want a unilateral US security guarantee; their maximum objective was a full-fledged defensive alliance with close joint planning about how we would come to their help under various contingencies and also substantial military assistance. Komer thought there might be some ways in which we could have quiet staff talks which would at least explain to the Israelis what our capabilities were. Talbot demurred that it would be very hard to keep these quiet or to limit them to what we propose to do. The President thought there was nothing wrong in staff talks about how we would come to Israel's help. Talbot said that staff talks plus equipment would give us a military relationship with one side in the Arab-Israeli controversy and perhaps compromise our relations with the other side. The President asked whether we sold equipment to the Arabs. Talbot and Nitze explained we gave limited assistance, mostly on a sales basis, to the Iraqis and Saudis in particular. We might also sell some jets to Lebanon. McCloy felt that selling equipment would be less dangerous than staff talks, because the latter would bring us down on the side of the Israelis.
The President asked "what do we say to BG if he asks us about Jordan?" If the Israelis move in Jordan and we acquiesce in their taking the West Bank, we are in trouble with the Arabs; if we pull a Suez and force the Israelis to get out of the West Bank, we are in trouble with them. We are in the soup either way. Talbot felt that if we gave a guarantee of help to the Israelis alone, the Soviets would have a great opportunity to give a guarantee to the Arabs. This would be no good. The President said we want to stay out of the politics of the area. All we want to do is to prevent Israel from going to the West Bank, which would inevitably involve us one way or the other. Talbot urged that we keep the Jordan and nuclear issues separate, although they were obviously related.
McCloy indicated his strong desire not to get into the guarantee or Jordan issues. He would prefer to keep his approaches strictly to the arms limitation. The President seemed agreeable, but said that if Nasser asks what we are going to do about Israel, let's tell him we will prevent aggression by either side as indicated in the President's 8 May press conference statement./3/ What we could tell the Israelis would be a tougher problem.
/3/See Document 238.
Bundy interjected that the Israelis will be looking at what political pressure they can bring to bear before the 1964 elections. McCloy agreed, saying they already seemed to be mounting a major campaign. Talbot's view was that McCloy should not get into the guarantee problem but should say that our consideration of any guarantee would be "critically dependent" upon Israeli reaction to our arms control proposals. It was generally agreed that opposition to nuclear proliferation was one issue on which US opinion would be solidly behind the Administration. It was therefore our best bargaining lever with Israel.
McCloy raised the question of what he should say if Nasser indicated he would talk about nuclear controls but not about missiles. Nasser seemed enamored of missiles, largely because of the prestige they gave him in the Arab world. The President didn't see too much difficulty if the control arrangements were limited to nuclear weapons alone. Missiles were not much good without nuclear warheads, so they would not give either side a great new military capability.
However, McCone said that we must protect against the surreptitious entry of nuclear warheads, perhaps from France on the Israeli side or even from the USSR to the Arabs. Bundy pointed out this was why missiles were important. The consensus was that we should make every effort to have missiles included in any arms control scheme, but would consider nuclear weapons alone if we had to.
The President asked whether the arrangement was to be kept entirely private, or whether Nasser might make a public statement. It was agreed that this might be feasible if he could make some form of unilateral declaration, e.g. that he was not going for nuclear weapons because he felt Africa should be a nuclear free zone. Foster pointed out that the UAR had taken a strong stand against nuclear weapons at the Geneva Arms talks. It was pointed out that the Egyptians have allowed IAEA inspections, but McCone said that IAEA controls only cover reactors so couldn't take care of the entry of warheads from outside. He regarded the Egyptians as very poor in the reactor business and doubted they would represent much of a nuclear threat on their own. McCloy's last question was whether he should get into the field of CBR weapons in light of the Israeli contentions that the Egyptians were developing these. He wondered whether we could get a covenant whereby each side would deny itself this option. The President thought this would be fine if we could get it but the consensus seemed to be that we should not insist on this expansion of the arrangement unless it seemed easy to get./4/
/4/On June 18, posts in the Near East were informed that President Kennedy had named McCloy to be his Special Emissary to discuss with the UAR and Israel the Near East arms spiral, particularly unconventional weapons. McCloy was scheduled to visit Cairo June 26-29 and would visit Israel in mid-July. The Department emphasized that strictest secrecy should be maintained about the talks. (Telegram 945 to Tel Aviv, June 18; Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/MCCLOY) A complete collection of Department of State telegraphic traffic relating to McCloy's mission is ibid., S/S Files: Lot 67 D 262, Chronology on Arms Limitation in Arab-Israel Area Code Name-Cane April 1963 to March 1964.
274. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel/1/
Washington, June 15, 1963, 1:56 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 294, Pres. Kennedy-Johnson/Israel Correspondence: 1962-65. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Crawford on June 14; cleared by Kretzmann (in draft), Davies, Talbot, Lloyd, and Rusk; and approved by the President.
938. Verbatim text. Eyes only for Ambassador. Following letter from President should be conveyed PriMin Ben-Gurion:/2/
/2/The letter was not delivered because Ben Gurion resigned on June 16. Telegram 939 to Tel Aviv, June 17, instructed the Embassy to hold the letter pending further instructions. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Israel, 6/1/63-6/20/63)
"Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
"I thank you for your letter of May 27/3/ concerning American visits to Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona. I know your words reflect your most intense personal consideration of a problem that is not easy for you or for your Government, as it is not for mine.
/3/See Document 258.
"I welcome your strong reaffirmation that the Dimona will be devoted exclusively to peaceful purposes. I also welcome your reaffirmation of Israel's willingness to permit periodic visits to Dimona.
"Because of the crucial importance of this problem, however, I am sure you will agree that such visits should be of a nature and on a schedule which will more nearly be in accord with international standards, thereby resolving all doubts as to the peaceful intent of the Dimona project. [4 lines of source text not declassified]
"Therefore, I asked our scientists to review the alternative schedules of visits we and you have proposed. If Israel's purposes are to be clear to the world beyond reasonable doubt, I believe that the schedule which would best serve our common purposes would be a visit early this summer, another visit in June 1964, and thereafter at intervals of six months. I am sure that such a schedule should not cause you any more difficulty than that which you have proposed. It would be essential, and I take it that your letter is in accord with this, that our scientists have access to all areas of the Dimona site and to any related part of the complex, such as fuel fabrication facilities or plutonium separation plant, and that sufficient time be allotted for a thorough examination.
"Knowing that you fully appreciate the truly vital significance of this matter to the future well-being of Israel, to the United States, and internationally, I am sure our carefully considered request will again have your most sympathetic attention.
"John F. Kennedy"
In conveying foregoing, you should stress that exhaustive examination by the most competent USG authorities has established scheduling embodied in President's letter as minimum to achieve a purpose we see as vital to Israel and to our mutual interests. Scientific reasons for this are that (a) only a visit before criticality can fully establish features of a reactor--this is reason for requested early summer visit which we hope could be this month or next at latest; (b) it is widely known and accepted by knowledgeable international scientific community that, if intended for ultimate production of weapons grade plutonium, a reactor of this size would be operated to burn a single fuel load approximately every six months, whereas for peaceful purposes optimum burn-up time would be about two years--this is what makes it essential that after mid-1964 visits be scheduled semi-annually.
275. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Arab Republic/1/
Washington, June 15, 1963, 5:25 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15-1 UAR. Secret; Operational Immediate. Drafted by Eilts; cleared by Grant, Lloyd, and McGeorge Bundy (in draft); and approved by Talbot.
3479. Eyes only Cane for Ambassador. Please deliver following letter from President to Nasser and advise date and time of delivery:
"Dear President Nasser:
I have received your letter of June 7/2/ and read it with interest. I welcome the frankness with which you expressed your views therein. As you so rightly suggest, only of such frankness is better understanding of our common problems developed. I shall continue to be no less frank in setting forth the concerns of my Government.
/2/See Document 266.
First of all, Mr. President, let me express my personal gratification that, as a result of the Security Council action of June 11, U.N. observers are now on their way to Yemen. Disengagement can now begin in earnest. The constructive role of your U.N. delegation and your Embassy in Washington in helping to make this possible has been most useful. I can see no real alternative to all parties working to make this disengagement a success.
Second, in considering the spectrum of the problems which we both face, I am persuaded that none is more important than that of the continuing arms race in the Near East. Recently, each passing year has seen more advanced weapons introduced into the area. Unless checked, even nuclear weapons may be a possibility in the not too distant future. As I indicated in my letter of May 27, I believe it would be useful to send a trusted associate to explore with you what we might jointly do to arrest the dangerous spiral of the arms race.
I have been heartened to hear from Ambassador Badeau that you would welcome the visit of such a personal representative, and have asked Mr. John J. McCloy to speak for me in this matter. One of America's most distinguished citizens, Mr. McCloy has a long record of public service and unmatched experience in the arms control sphere. He has my full confidence. I understand that it would be convenient for you to receive Mr. McCloy between June 26 and June 29 and I will ask him to visit Cairo at that time.
Mr. McCloy will be accompanied by two officials of the Department of State to assist him. I hope you will agree that in order to insure their effectiveness these talks be held in strict secrecy and without any publicity.
Sincerely, John F. Kennedy"
276. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Brubeck) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, June 19, 1963.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, AID (US) IRAQ. Secret. Drafted by Wolle and Killgore and cleared by Talbot. An attached note prepared by the Department of State Duty Officer on June 18 reads: "The White House has requested a brief, factual information memorandum on current economic and military assistance to Iraq since the coup d'etat. It should cover both recent aid and also any that may be in prospect for the near future."
United States Military and Economic Assistance to Iraq
We have continued our relatively small development grant program in Iraq since the coup d'etat of February 8, 1963. This is primarily a participant training program under which Iraqi officials, technicians and educators are trained in the United States in their fields of specialization. It also includes a technical subscription service under which books are made available to returned participants and the financing of a contract whereby Texas University provides nine professors in science and engineering for the Baghdad University faculty. Before the Iraqi coup, this entire program was running at a level of about $800,000 annually. After the coup it was increased to about $1 million at our Embassy's recommendation.
We have expressed our willingness to consider Export-Import Bank project financing in Iraq, although no formal applications are now pending. An application may be submitted after the visit this month of an Iraqi Airways delegation to discuss the possible purchase of three Boeing 727 jet aircraft. Other Export-Import Bank project possibilities are American-built electric power generators and telephone equipment.
The Iraqis have recently indicated interest in obtaining foodstuffs, tobacco and possibly cotton under PL 480. Our Agricultural Attaché from Beirut is now in Baghdad assisting the Embassy in developing concrete PL 480 recommendations. In view of Iraq's generally good foreign exchange situation and prospects, we will probably favor a program under Title IV of PL 480. We are supporting the Minister of Health's informal request for reinstatement of the Title III PL 480 milk distribution program for mothers and children to be administered by UNICEF, and the initiation of a school lunch program under the direction of CARE.
Under his authority to provide emergency relief in cases of foreign disasters, our Charge d'Affaires presented a check for $10,000 to the Government of Iraq in late May for relief to Iraqi flood victims.
In the military field, $100,000 was allocated to Iraq under MAP in Fiscal Year 1963, although only $61,000 was spent, exclusively on training Iraqi military personnel in American military schools. In Fiscal Year 1964 $146,000 is being requested under MAP. At the Iraqi Government's request, the United States has agreed to sell, for cash, 40 light tanks, 12 tank transporters, 500 heavy trucks and 15 large helicopters. No agreements for sale have actually been concluded. In addition, the United States has, at Iraqi request, inspected for serviceability five F-86 fighter aircraft and thirteen 8-inch howitzers, provided when Iraq was a member of the Baghdad Pact.
Our undertakings in the military field are consonant with our arms policy for Iraq, which permits the selling of military materiel needed by Iraq for legitimate defensive and internal security purposes.
The enclosed communications relating to an arms policy for Iraq and to economic relations with Iraq may be helpful in giving perspective to actions taken on these questions since the coup d'etat of February 8, 1963.
/2/McKesson signed for Brubeck above Brubeck's typed signature.
277. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Emissary for Near East Arms Limitation (McCloy)/1/
Washington, June 19, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, United Arab Republic, UAR/Israel Arms Limitation, 06/16/63-07/10/63. Secret; Cane.
Here as promised is my own personal slant on the arguments best calculated to persuade Nasser that our arms limitation gambit deserves real thought on his part.
(1) Essentially, our desire is to examine with Nasser and then the Israelis on a strictly private basis whether some alternative to a nuclear/missile arms race wouldn't be to everybody's advantage. We merely ask Nasser to examine our proposition carefully. We've carefully designed it to be evenhanded; we're not asking the UAR to do anything we won't ask Israel to do. Indeed one might even argue that the balance of strategic advantage in our scheme would be in the UAR's favor simply because the Israelis would be denying themselves a capability they are much closer to realizing.
(2) So our best argument with Nasser is that the Israelis would be quite likely to come out ahead in any escalation of the arms race. It is simple fact that Israel's 25 MW reactor (which we have no evidence is going military at present) would nevertheless give them a capability of doing so if they chose. We also rate them high on missile development, so Nasser should be careful about an arms race here as well.
(3) We should think Nasser would be worried about the possible belligerence of an Israel possessing such mass destruction capabilities, which we could not prevent them from using (even if we cleaned up after the event a la Suez).
(4) We doubt missiles alone without nuclear warheads make much sense except as psychological weapons. And we doubt the USSR would give nuclears to Nasser any more than we would. It has never given them to any of its own satellites, including China (indeed this is one of the big issues in the Sino-Soviet dispute).
(5) In any case, if the UAR should get a major weapons edge, we would find it almost impossible to resist Israeli pleas for comparable capabilities. The Hawk example is a good one here.
(6) Nasser's chief concern may be doubt that the US could or would enforce a nuclear/missile ban on Israel. We should counter that we are prepared to make this a basic issue of confidence; our whole policy is based on non-proliferation. If we oppose weapons for the French, even at the cost of major differences with De Gaulle, we certainly are going to oppose Israel having them. To do otherwise would undermine our whole global policy. So Nasser can be reassured that we would do everything necessary to make sure Israel lived up to a nuclear/missile ban. By the same token, however, we could not do so unless we could reassure the Israelis that the Arabs would not acquire nuclear capabilities either.
(7) Nasser may think that if the US is so opposed to nuclear proliferation it wouldn't let the Israelis have nuclear weapons in any case. Our riposte is that while we are totally opposed to Israeli nucs, we can't stop the Israelis any more than we can the French from going nuclear unless we can offer them something like a mutual self-denial pact with the Arabs in return. Regrettably this option is not open to us with the French.
(8) Should Nasser argue that, while the US might deny Israel nuclears, the French would continue helping, our response could be that Israel values its ties with the US more than those with France. We are confident that we can get Israeli acquiescence but only if Nasser plays ball too. At any rate, why not try?
(9) Our hope is to work out some scheme which would be politically palatable to Nasser and Israel. For example, we are deliberately avoiding any restrictions on conventional weapons, simply because we feel that this would be too complex and because we do not see either side denying itself birds in the hand. It would be more sensible to start with birds in the bush. Recognizing the political risk to Nasser of engaging publicly in anything that might be construed as an agreement with Israel, we would also favor the maximum degree of tacit, private understanding feasible.
As to the Israelis, we are essentially counting on their desire for firmer US security commitments to buttress our approach. Our position is that we cannot even consider such commitments unless we are sure Israel is not traveling the nuclear road. If Israel meets this requirement, then it is obviously to her advantage to be sure that Nasser doesn't travel the nuclear road either. If you would like, I could elaborate my ideas on the Israeli approach later.
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
278. Memorandum From the Acting Chief of Staff of the Defense Intelligence Agency (Glass) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
S-18, 373/P - 3
Washington, June 21, 1963.
/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 65 A 3501, Yemen, 000.1--1963. Secret. No drafting information is on the source text. A stamped notation reads: "Noted by Mr. Sloan." An attached note indicates that Sloan forwarded the memorandum to Komer at the White House on June 25.
(C) Soviet/Bloc Activity in the Yemen/2/
/2/Another estimate of Soviet involvement in Yemen, prepared by the Office of National Estimates of CIA on July 24 is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen, 7/63. The estimate concluded: "The Soviets, in the absence of effective competition, have established an imposing presence in Yemen. Unless they make serious blunders in their relations with the Yemenis, the Soviets stand to have a favorable `image' and a friendly atmosphere in which to operate for years to come." A memorandum prepared by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research on "Soviet Airport Project in Yemen" (RNA-31), dated June 28, and other memoranda on the subject are in Department of State, NEA/NE Files: Lot 66 D 116, Yemen, USSR.
1. Reference your Memorandum I-8372/63 of 14 June 1963 requesting an assessment of Soviet/Bloc activity in the Yemen, the following information is provided.
2. Soviet/Bloc activity in the Yemen began as early as 1956 with the signing of a military aid agreement which provided the Imam of Yemen with approximately $30,000,000 worth of arms and equipment. Included in these shipments were IL-10 piston ground attack aircraft, piston trainers, helicopters, transports, T-34 medium tanks and rocket launchers. Most of this equipment was placed in storage and allowed to deteriorate. Prior to the revolution, Soviet technicians built the modern port of Hodeida and improved several airfields. In addition, the Chinese Communists built the present highway between Hodeida and the capital, Sana. Immediately following the revolution in September 1962, the Soviets assisted Nasser in meeting the military requirements of the new Yemen Arab Republic and apparently have provided some military equipment to the YAR directly.
3. Soviet and Bloc influence in the Yemen is being enhanced by a growing number of instructors and technicians. It is estimated that there are now approximately 1,000 Soviet technicians in the Yemen engaged primarily in airfield construction and the instruction of Yemeni personnel in the use of Soviet equipment. Russian pilots are flying transport missions and probably bomber operations against the Royalist forces. Soviet instructors are teaching at the Taiz military school and scholarship grants for study in the USSR are being made available to Yemeni students.
4. In late May 1963, at least 500 Soviet personnel began construction of a jet airfield north of Sana at al Raudha on the site of the present UAR military airfield. On 15 June, the US air officer who commands the detachment engaged in airlift operations for the UN Yemen Observation Mission (UNYOM) observed the construction work in the al Raudha area. The Russians are engaged in building a hard-surface runway parallel to the existing 12,000-foot packed dirt and gravel airstrip there. As of 15 June, approximately 1,000 feet of heavy rock foundation had been completed but no surface material had been laid. The strip appeared to be 100 to 150 feet wide. Russian women apparently are driving some of the gravel trucks of which some 50 were observed. A large quantity of heavy earth-moving equipment is also being used, and all the equipment appeared to be of Soviet manufacture. It has been reported that construction will begin shortly at Hodeida on a 700-unit housing project and an electric station plus the completion of an artesian well system. Other economic aid projects are reported to be under consideration.
5. While some Egyptians and some Yemenis view the growing Soviet influence in the Yemen with alarm, Soviet aid is likely to continue and may be increased. From the Soviet viewpoint, the Yemeni Revolution has provided a made-to-order opportunity for the Soviet Bloc to identify itself with a revolutionary cause. In keeping with their policy in other Middle Eastern countries, the Soviets have been willing to supply military and economic assistance even though the activities of local Yemeni Communists are strictly curtailed. The Yemen has an added strategic significance for the USSR because of its proximity to Aden, the Horn of Africa and the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
6. From the Yemeni viewpoint, Soviet aid is welcome generally because of the poverty-stricken state of the government and because it tends to provide a counter to the overwhelming Egyptian influence. From the Egyptian viewpoint, Soviet and UAR interests in the Yemen coincide at the moment; both wish to protect and secure the revolutionary regime and they are cooperating toward that end. If and when the republican regime is consolidated in the Yemen, the Soviets will almost certainly attempt to play a more independent role and this will bring them into conflict with Egyptian interests. Nasser is unlikely to be willing to permit any challenge to his predominant position of influence in the Yemen. He can be expected to pressure the YAR to curtail Soviet and Bloc activities to the extent necessary to maintain this position.
Robert R. Glass
Brig. Gen., U.S. Army
279. Telegram From the Embassy in Iran to the Department of State/1/
Tehran, June 24, 1963, 5 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL IRAN-US. Secret.
1150. Fol paras from memo of a conversation held recently between Shah [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]:
1. The disturbances of the week of June two were naturally unhappy event and could have been avoided if SAVAK had functioned effectively and acted in good time. However some benefits may derive from the now obvious facts that the govt cannot necessarily be cowed by street riots into resigning and that the armed forces will do their duty and use firearms in a disciplined manner when necessary. The death toll is probably about 125 persons, with possibility a few more who were wounded and carried off by friends to places where they died later and were not reported. It was a mistake to delay the use of weapons by the troops the first day. This mistake will not be repeated on future occasions. In any case probably a good lesson has been learned by all, and although further outbreaks are not precluded, it is unlikely that anything as serious will occur again. It is noteworthy that not a single regularly employed factory or other type of regularly employed worker participated in the disturbances. There were, however, bazaar employees, South Tehran gangsters and riffraff, and many unemployed. The main direction of the riots came from the freedom movement and the clergy, but the real force behind the troubles, including also those in FARS, is the reactionary landlords and clergy, the latter receiving massive financial help from both inside and outside the country.
Comment: This statement considered of interest although it does not change Emb-[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] assessment of disturbances or forces behind them.
2. Nothing can stop the "White Revolution" now and certainly no reactionary groups can succeed. In this connection the Shah proposes to do some house cleaning among the people surrounding him, for example, there is that weak old man, Court Minister Ala, who is really of no importance. He and his friends rushed to the Shah during the troubles, wringing their hands and proclaiming the need for an immediate change of govt and negotiations with the Mullahs and other dissidents. There is another useless group like that, including people like Sherif-Emami and Entezam. The problem of finding the right people to carry out the revolution must be solved soon, and also the Shah must be more ruthless in dismissing those officials who fail to measure up to their capabilities.
Comment: Emb will watch process of "ruthless dismissal" with great interest. (Note: Entezam is NIOC Chairman who was offered PriMin before Alam.)
3. Elections will be held on 26 Shahrivar 17 Sept. The study of suitable candidates is proceeding and the elections will be carried out well and in a manner which can cause no complaints. There will be no political parties at this time, although a single political party will be established after elections to become the main political force in the future.
The new political party will be organized, at least in the initial stages, by Hassan Ali Mansur and his progressive group. Mansur himself has a good reputation and is an honest man, which is more than can be said for his father; he can be counted on to do a conscientious job, although it is doubtful that he has the leadership qualities to lead the party effectively when it becomes fully active. Probably the Shah will have to provide that leadership himself, or at least the drive.
Comment: We have been coming to the conclusion Shah intended to use Mansur and his "progressive group" as a nucleus around which to organize and produce Majlis candidates among professional and businessmen, particularly in Tehran. If the Shah actually names Hassan Ali Mansur as head of a new political party, or "reform league" and expects serious political results from this organization, he will indeed have to provide the leadership himself. Hassan Ali Mansur is, to put it mildly, no charismatic leader.
4. The Mullahs involved in the recent disturbances seem disposed to negotiate with the govt. There is really no negotiating to be done as they will have to accept the full reform program as it now stands. They are in no position to make demands, but possibly some magnanimous, generous gesture may be made to help them save a little face if they are willing to be cooperative. In order to dispose of the Mullah problem once and for all, it is proposed to establish soon a ministry dealing with religion and supervising all religious foundations, trusts, and activities. This will permit Mullahs to be placed on a govt salary basis, which should simplify the question of control greatly. Of course there will be resistance to this system, but such resistance should be fairly easy to break.
Comment: Whether or not the pacification of the Mullahs and their reduction to a considerably lesser role in Iran affairs proves to be "fairly easy", we believe that the Shah will in the end succeed in his endeavors./2/
/2/On August 3, the Embassy in Tehran reported: "Prime Minister office tells us Ayatollahs Khomeni, Qomi, Mavallati were transferred August 2 to `house arrest' following abrupt change circumstances. Implication was new proposals offering better basis settlement Government/Mullah dispute have been offered. Ayatollahs will be under government control `for some time to come.'" (Telegram 119 from Tehran; ibid., POL 29-1 IRAN)
5. Persian influence must be expanded in the Gulf as rapidly as possible, although there are no means to do so at the moment. Greater commercial contacts with the Gulf Sheikhdoms must be promoted to orient them toward Iran. With current developments in Yemen, where the United States seems to be favoring Nasser's position, there is real danger of the eventual establishment of a base for Egyptian bombers and submarines, with a sharp alteration of the present balance in the Persian Gulf.
Comment: Although Shah much calmer on this subject at time of Cairo unity talks, this statement is reminder he is insistent in his beliefs that Nasser represents a danger to Iran.
6. There is considerable Soviet pressure for cultural programs of various kinds in Iran. The Shah hopes that the US can step up its cultural programs involving visiting orchestras, musicians, dance groups, and others in order to counter the Soviet offensive in these fields.
In response to a query about reports of a program to encourage Irano-Soviet tourist activity and of the possibility of an Irano-Soviet civil aviation agreement, the Shah replied that he had heard nothing of the tourist matter, and was opposed to tourist exchange. As regards the air agreement, negotiations will take place as it is difficult to decline to hold them. However, Iran will insist on full reciprocity and the right to use foreign pilots in Iranian planes overflying Soviet territory to Moscow. He followed this by a plan for American assistance in setting up a strong, independent national Iranian airline.
Comment: His statement regarding air agreement with Soviets is in line with what PriMin told Ambassador.
280. Memorandum From Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kaysen)/1/
Washington, June 26, 1963.
/1/Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Yemen, 7/63. Secret.
Badeau's conversation with Ali Sabri (Cairo 2430)/2/ brings into focus the new phase of the Yemen exercise. Egyptians now admit that military situation may have deteriorated to a point where they can't pull out large numbers of troops yet. Ball and Harriman are concerned that our forcing substantial UAR withdrawals would leave Yemen in chaos with Soviets waiting to fill the vacuum.
/2/Dated June 25. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 YEMEN)
So State has three cables in the mill:
1. They're describing dilemma to London, Cairo, and Taiz/3/ and seeking ideas for negotiated settlement among Yemeni parties to civil war. Approaches by some members of Sallal's cabinet lead State to see an opening.
/3/Reference is to telegram 3679 to Cairo, June 26. (Ibid., POL 26 YEMEN)
2. Harriman and Ball with AID opposition are even considering limited subsidy to keep Yemeni government going. They would tell Badeau to discuss with Egyptians how to make a republican regime viable once the civil war is settled.
3. They're instructing USUN to brief U Thant on problems of present disengagement exercise and need to bring UAR into line./4/ They're suggesting UN press Nasser for his withdrawal timetable to keep Saudis on disengagement track.
/4/Reference is to telegram 3245 to USUN, June 26. (Ibid., POL 27 YEMEN)
Basic question now that we've hopefully staved off a UAR-Saudi clash is how to end the civil war in Yemen and make Yemen a stable state. As Sabri implies, Nasser can't abandon the republican regime until the civil war ends. He's committed to it, but it's too weak to hold its own. So disengagement now depends on ending civil war because Faisal may break loose again if Nasser doesn't begin withdrawing troops. State is tackling this next set of problems; I'll keep you posted.
281. Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State/1/
Jidda, June 28, 1963, noon.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-3 US. Secret; Operational Immediate. Sent to CINCNELM unnumbered and repeated to COMAFELM and the Department of State where it was received at 8:40 a.m. The source text is the Department's copy.
1133. For Dept only: To be delivered at opening of business June 28.
1. Hard Surface 28-12-40 June.
2. While CINCNELM well aware problems that could arise during commitment of Hard Surface forces under current mission, following discussion designed to focus attention on particular facet which could pose difficult decision for U.S. once forces in place, and hence offered for advance consideration.
3. During meeting Tuesday between Ambassador Hart and DepFonMin Saqqaf, latter raised question of what U.S. would do if UAR continues to drop bombs on Saudi villages after forces arrive. "Would U.S. wait for UN to act?" he asked. Ambassador replied that U.S. actions governed by Bunker agreements. DepFonMin's question doubtless inspired by Sunday bombing, first since 8 June, and is indicative Saudis will not let matter rest if additional bombings occur once unit in place.
4. Recurrence of bombings is continuing UAR capability and could be undertaken for political reasons not least of which are embarrassment to USG, offer of proof to SAG that USG will not live up to its guarantees, and evidence to dissident Saudi elements that SAG in fact relying on straw man for its support.
5. Significant point in Embassy view is that SAG not so concerned with specifics of U.S. guarantee as with its broad intent which, as Saudis see it, is that U.S. will get them out of trouble. They neither aware, nor concerned, with limitations of Hard Surface forces, only with what they consider to be spirit of Bunker promises. (See AmEmbassy Jidda 251450Z Apr.)/2/
/2/Not further identified.
6. We are fully aware here of:
(a) Restrictive nature of Hard Surface mission, reasons for which explained in joint State-Defense message received here as Deptel 830 of 14 June,/3/
(b) Limited capability Hard Surface units to provide a realistic air defense posture, and
(c) Difficulties within capability of providing air defense with Hard Surface forces, even if later authorized by modified mission.
These limitations will become apparent to Saudis and also to UAR if bombings continue after Hard Surface units in place. Current guidance permits flights over southwest from time to time, but not on daily basis as recommended by Ambassador in Embtel 1077./4/ Lesser frequency should suffice so long as UAR refrains from further attacks. However, should bombings continue, Saudis will expect U.S. to act, and if U.S. does not, could be accused of failing to carry out guarantees to SAG by President in letters and through Ambassador Bunker. U.S. prestige, in this case, is on the line, and the dilemma foreseen months ago by CINCNELM becomes a reality.
/4/Dated June 13. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 6-3 US)
8. Nub of question is that mission Hard Surface forces is inconsistent with what Saudis believe mission to be. This is not intended as challenge to validity mission assigned by JCS but rather to point out difficulties likely to arise as result this discrepancy. Either Saudis must be apprised real mission and extent U.S. commitment or U.S., and in this case those here on scene, must be prepared with suitable answer to respond to Saudi requirements which exceed current mission.
9. Ambassador Hart cognizant that CINCNELM aware this possibility but believes, and I agree, that this question should receive early consideration in order that appropriate courses of action are plotted to cope with dilemma if it arises. On basis latest mission statement, accompanying guidance contained in Deptel 830, and current delicate atmosphere, it obviously not possible to disclose to Saudis restrictions on Hard Surface units.
10. It is recommended, therefore, that CINCNELM explore with JCS modification of Hard Surface operational restrictions to permit intensified overflights to within 40 miles of border with reduced emphasis on training during interim, such modification to be invoked only if problem arises after units in place; otherwise schedule of training with random flyovers of border and other areas from time to time as now planned would be followed. Would be most helpful if stand-by authority granted to undertake such modified operations as necessary to respond to pressures arising from continued UAR bombings, bearing in mind, of course, U.S. desires to avoid any appearance of hostile action toward UAR. Scheduling would be held to minimum consistent with requirement.
11. It would appear this is type of problem that can best be dealt with locally and under general guidelines for objectives to be attained. Present mission and operating instructions allow little flexibility in meeting this situation. We need maneuvering room which now not available without prior reference to Higher Authority.
12. In consideration of Hard Surface capability, frequent flyovers of southwestern regions are of doubtful value in stopping a determined UAR effort, but they might be sufficiently credible to achieve desired objective of terminating bombings. If not, we must be prepared for the remaining alternative of implementation first phase of CINCNELM OPLAN 200-6. Preliminary conditioning for this eventuality might well be initiated, since, in essence, we will be committed to this route once Hard Surface units are deployed./5/
/5/At their meeting on July 1, the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed telegram 1133 from Jidda, with regard to what future action should be taken in the event that the bombings of Saudi territory continued and the situation escalated. After some discussion, the Joint Chiefs agreed that the Joint Staff would review the directive under which the squadron would operate to ensure that it was realistic. (Note to Control Division by Colonel R.C. Forbes, Deputy Secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 1; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, 9180/3100 (27 February 63))
13. Ambassador Hart has read foregoing and fully concurs.
282. Memorandum for the Record/1/
Washington, June 28, 1963.
/1/Source: Department of State, Special Group, Counterinsurgency Files: Lot 68 D 451. Secret. Drafted by Dingeman.
Minutes of the Meeting of the Special Group (CI)
10:30 a.m., Friday, June 28, 1963
Governor Harriman, The Attorney General, Mr. Gilpatric, Mr. Bell, General Taylor, Mr. Murrow, Mr. Forrestal, Mr. Karamessines vice Mr. McCone
Ambassador Holmes and Mr. Bowling were present for Item No. 1
Mr. Fisher, Mr. Godfrey were present for Item No. 2
Captain Mack was present for Item No. 3
Mr. Maechling was present for the meeting
1. Progress Report on the Internal Defense Plan for Iran
Mr. Bowling reviewed the highlights of the progress report on the Internal Defense Plan. He pointed out that the Army had performed well in quelling the recent Mullah-inspired severe riots in Tehran and other cities. There was no indication that the tribal groups were involved in these riots. He believes that the most serious threat to internal security still emanates from developments in Kurdistan. Tribal unrest in the south is diminishing and the Iranian Government is now distributing food in this area and the military forces are now being redeployed. Despite these developments, the Shah is determined to push ahead with the reform program, and elections will probably be held in September.
Mr. Bowling commented that conflicting reports have been received on the effectiveness of the national police in handling the recent riots and that the Country Team is preparing a detailed analysis of their performance. This analysis will be reviewed by an Interagency Police Group to determine whether or not expanded U.S. efforts are required.
In response to the Country Team's request for five additional warrant officers with military police background, as advisors for the Gendarmerie, Mr. Gilpatric stated that if the Ambassador believes these advisors are required, the Department of Defense will take the necessary action to provide them. Ambassador Holmes responded that he still believed that the warrant officers should be so assigned. Mr. Gilpatric agreed to make available the five warrant officers requested.
Ambassador Holmes commented that the National Police did not behave very effectively in the recent riots, but on the other hand no one anticipated that the riots would reach such serious proportions. In any event, they would have been beyond the police capability to handle and the military would have been required to intervene. He believes that existing police support programs are adequate and desires to review the situation before submitting any recommendations for additional programs. The Ambassador observed that he does not believe that serious riots will break out again as the security forces will be alert to take proper precautionary measures. He added that favorable developments resulting from these riots were that the reliability of the Army was demonstrated, and major student groups did not actively participate in the actual rioting.
Ambassador Holmes in commenting on the economic situation pointed out that efforts are being made by the Country Team to modify the conservative fiscal policy of the Iranian Government. He stated that a principal reason for business stagnation was the lack of confidence in the economic and land reform programs. The Ambassador is hopeful that we will be able to make progress in stimulating understanding and action by the Iranians to solve these economic problems.
Ambassador Holmes briefly reviewed the land reform program developments and pointed out that this program is going well.
In response to the Attorney General's question, Ambassador Holmes reviewed the youth programs in Iran. He observed that the situation in the University of Tehran has improved to a considerable extent.
[Here follow items 2, 3, 4, and Miscellaneous on unrelated subjects.]
James W. Dingeman
Special Group (CI)
283. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Arab Republic to the Department of State/1/
Cairo, June 28, 1963, 3 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 US/MCCLOY. Secret; Priority; Eyes Only-Cane. Received at 11:27 a.m. and repeated to London for Talbot.
2470. From McCloy. Part I.
Accompanied by Ambassador Badeau, I met with Nasser at 7 p.m. Thursday and spent 2 hours with him. After a brief chat with President in which the Ambassador said he was fully acquainted with the substance of Mr. McCloy's visit, he left in order to give full freedom for a private exchange of views.
Nasser was most affable recalling our previous meetings and the work which had been done in connection with the canal clearance,/2/ etc. After thanking him for conforming to my convenience in setting the time of my visit I stated that at the instance of the President and the Secretary of State I was calling upon him on a matter which deeply concerned them, namely the avoidance of an ascending nuclear and missile arms race between GUAR and Israel. What follows is the substance of my presentation:
/2/Reference is to McCloy's role in helping to facilitate the clearance and reopening of the Suez Canal following the 1956 Arab-Israeli war. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1955-1957, vol. XVI, pp. 1175 ff. and vol. XVII, pp. 467 ff.
I stated that the President was deeply interested in the stability of the Middle East so that economic progress could continue there free of the diversions which an arms race involved. The United States had many important interests in the area and was most anxious to preserve Middle East stability and its own good relations with the UAR as well as with the other countries of the area. An intensive arms race particularly in the field of nuclear and missile development was contrary to the interests of both the US and the whole Middle East area. I stated that the President felt that in this respect there was a clear common interest which could serve as a basis for a sound program from which both the UAR and Israel could benefit.
These weapons were fantastically expensive and their continued development would certainly diminish the resources which could otherwise be employed in the economic development of the countries concerned. Moreover, an arms race of this character would be bound to create instability, an increase in tensions with the constant menace of a nuclear catastrophe which could produce destruction of a character which would destroy all Nasser had been seeking to accomplish and with consequences no one could accurately appraise. The outbreak of nuclear weapons here would certainly greatly increase the chances of US involvement and this consideration gave the US added cause for seeking the means by which the threat could be removed. As a consequence I had been asked to present to him a proposal by which the UAR would renounce the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons and check the further development or use of offensive missiles. This would constitute an act of statesmanship on his part which might have a greatly beneficial effect not only in this area but on the whole world. In this connection the President would be prepared to consider what safeguards could be appropriately erected to protect the UAR in the event of such renunciation. The proposal would not encompass any agreement or deal with Israel; would not compel the discounting of any present capacity in this field and could take the form of either a public or private undertaking as the circumstances warranted. The President was fully aware that any such renunciation would require a compensatory commitment on the part of Israel.
Furthermore, the US would make its services available to assist in the observance and inspection of the critical sites so as to give assurance to both sides that no breach of the commitments was being committed. If US inspection or observance was not acceptable, perhaps an adequate form of UN observance could be instituted with the support of the US. Israel as he knew had a sizable reactor which when completed could be used for the purpose of manufacturing material for use in weapons though we had no information that the reactor was presently being used for such a purpose. This would involve adequate observance of the operations of reactors and observance of the missile development in both countries to see that no extension of present capacities was taking place in the missile field. We know that the UAR is making real efforts in the missile field and Israel knows it. This with the employment of German experts has induced a vigorous reaction in Israel and if further efforts were made in this direction it could bring about a condition in Israel where the temptation to manufacture material for nuclear weapons would be very great. We have viewed this primarily from the point of view of our common interests. Nasser's desire to increase the well being of his people coincides with our interest in avoiding proliferation of these weapons and the consequent tensions it would induce. If you are generally skeptical of our objectivity where matters affecting Israel are concerned, I urge you to consider carefully our deep concern over the introduction of nuclear and offensive missile weapons in the Middle East area whether they be in Israeli or Arab hands.
I am not here to discuss the specific modalities with you but for the moment we would like to have you weigh carefully the proposal in its general form. We are anxious to have your reactions and any suggestions or comment you may have in regard to it. We can discuss the modalities later if you express an interest. I am prepared to discuss while I am here any suggestions or comments you may have and if I am not in a position to make definite proposals in response to them I feel that I or Ambassador Badeau are in a position to obtain prompt and clear statement from my government in this respect.
I propose to leave not later than July 1 for Athens. In the meantime I am at your service and I suggest we meet again on Saturday at the same time after you have had an opportunity to weigh the proposal. I stated that we had not discussed this matter with the Israeli government but we would contemplate an independent approach to them along the same lines if the circumstances warranted it.
We would hope the matter could be kept confidential so that our respective consideration of the matter could continue unimpeded by premature disclosures. I am prepared to do what I can to bring the matter to a point where the appropriate officials of the governments could take over. Though the matter is not one which must be concluded immediately there are conditions such as the likelihood of a Chinese nuclear explosion, the potentiality of Israel's nuclear development, and the increased tensions resulting from the missile development in the UAR which all point to the need of a timely consideration of the problem.
I then stated my plans for a visit to Greece and the islands and suggested that Ambassador Badeau and Mr. Eilts accompany me on my next visit to him on Saturday.
Nasser listened attentively to my presentation throughout and then stated that he felt this required careful consideration and consultation with his advisers, particularly with his Chief of Staff, Marshal Abdul Hakim Amer, who was now in Yemen and who would not return to Cairo until July 4 or 5; that one day's interval was scarcely sufficient for him to give the matter the attention it demanded particularly in the absence of the Chief of Staff whose judgment he must obtain.
In the meantime, he would give me his immediate reactions for what they were worth:
First he repeated to me accurately the high points of the proposal as he understood them and he then said he would like to ask me one preliminary question. Why was I asked to come to him with this proposal at this particular time? What in my judgment had prompted the President to bring this matter up now? I told him that it was a matter which the President had in his mind for some time; that I presumed the pending discussions with the Soviet Union had something to do with it as well as the danger of escalating Middle East tensions which I had previously outlined but that I thought my own convenience had much to do with the particular date of my arrival. I pointed out that I had told the President and the Secretary that I was going to Greece with my daughter in accordance with a long standing plan; that I had engagements at home in July which I felt I had to meet and that I had suggested I could come to Cairo prior to my Aegean trip if they wished me to and that this as much as anything had fixed the date of my visit to Cairo. He seemed to accept this though it was evident he was puzzled as to the reason for the timing. (Badeau seems to feel that the pending unification discussions may make the consideration of the question at this time somewhat awkward for him and that he is suspicious of the stepped-up pressure at home for a security guaranty by Israel.)
Next he said he saw several difficulties offhand that he would tentatively express now. The first was that he might find difficulty in explaining why the UAR should at this time be singled out from all the non-nuclear powers to make this commitment and the second was the problem of inspection or observance.
The UAR had traditionally taken a very firm view against any form of inspection. They had always refused it in any form and for him to reverse his position presented real difficulties. He referred to the refusal of Egypt to yield inspection rights even to arms which had at one time been offered under the mutual aid program. I pointed out that Israel would be expected to make the same or a similar commitment. Moreover, it was conceivable that other middle East countries might join him even though they had neither nuclear or missile capacity. He interposed the suggestion that all the non-nuclear powers in the UN might make the same commitment to which I replied that this was impractical in view of the time element as it would result in an interminable debate and delay. He said he could understand this. He then added that even though the US stood as the intermediary, it would still appear as an Israel-UAR arrangement and this might have difficulties for him. I pointed out that the UN might be the intermediary and that his own pronouncements at Belgrade and elsewhere were in keeping with any such undertakings on his part. Thinking out loud, he suggested that perhaps it could be arranged that in response to a written inquiry by the President to him regarding his intentions he could give a written reply: 1) He had no intention whatsoever of engaging in nuclear weapons and 2) he had no intention of attacking Israel. This he might be willing to do and he might not object to the full publicity of any such correspondence. His strategy was purely defensive. It was counter strategy rather than attack strategy, as he put it. At this point he narrated a full history of Israeli attacks beginning in 1952 through 1956, his request for weapons, the refusal by Britain, France and the US to give him weapons after these attacks and his final appeal to the Russians. In the course of this he spoke of the action taken by the US at the time of the Suez crisis and he again repeated his appreciation of that action. He also referred to what he felt was generally improved relations with the US. He stated he had to have planes to offset the Israeli strength in the air, particularly due to the French sale of Mirages to the Israelis and he had to have missile strength to offset the surface to air weapons which the Israelis had. Without these he would have no counter threat.
He said he was developing his own armament industry so that he would not be dependent on a foreign power for ammunition and planes. He said his missiles were designed only for high explosives. He had sought without success to find something more powerful than TNT but he could not find anything between TNT and a nuclear warhead. His missiles could carry from one to two tons of TNT: his guidance system was a very simple one, non-electronic with a margin of error from one percent to five percent and the largest missiles had a range of six hundred kilometers. They were comparable to an improved Victor 2, much less complicated and less expensive than the Redstone or the Honest John which he mentioned by name.
The Soviets had given him a small experimental research reactor and a small electronic plant for the manufacture of devices which could be used as a means of supply for his military requirements. He had no electronic industry as such. I gathered the electronic plant was not yet operational.
He then asked me how I envisaged the inspection system. I told him that I thought it would be a very simple unobtrusive plan whereby a few experts could make visits to the critical sites, say three or four people with no on-site installations such as we were talking about with the Russians. He replied that there would be nothing to inspect in the way of nuclear reactors in Egypt as he had none capable of producing nuclear war material. How did I envisage an inspection of the missiles? I told him I thought there would be some means of checking launchings both in Israel and the UAR with occasional visits to the launching areas but this was a matter for technical discussions. He repeated several times that I could report to the President that he had no intent or desire to manufacture nuclear material and he had no intention of attacking Israel.
I told him that I thought we would consider in return for his renunciation of the modern offensive weapons some assistance to him in the development of nuclear energy for non-military purposes and perhaps if he were interested, some assistance in space experiments but he seemed to show little interest in the latter. He said he thought his offhand reactions would be the same on Saturday as they were now but indicated that he would be glad to see me together with Badeau and Eilts on Saturday in case he or we had any further intermediate thoughts but that he would have to have more time than this for a more thoughtful reply. He indicated that he would prefer a visit after my Athens trip and if this were inconvenient for me he could communicate through Badeau after he had a chance to consult his advisers and give the matter his full consideration.
I intend to leave Monday morning, July 1, for Athens and can be reached through the Embassy there. After Saturday meeting I will give thought to advisability of next steps.
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