780.5/4–1150

Paper Prepared in the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs1
confidential

Inventory of Problems, Programs and Questions in the NEA Area Affecting National Security

a. conditions favorably affecting our national security

1.
The basically favorable attitudes and dispositions of most of the governments and peoples of the NEA area toward the United States as evidenced:
(a)
By the friendly reception accorded American nationals and diplomatic representatives,
(b)
By numerous and repeated requests of many of these governments for a closer and more binding relationship with the U.S. either in the form of a regional pact or bilateral arrangements with us alone,
(c)
By the granting of military air rights to us in such countries as Greece, Turkey, French Morocco, India, and Pakistan and air base rights in Saudi Arabia and Libya, and
(d)
By the overwhelming majority of the NEA countries voting with us in the UN General Assembly on almost all issues, including the resolution on the Essentials of Peace, on the continuation of UNSCOB and on the disposition of the Italian Colonies.
2.
The natural economic pattern of the flow of international trade, communications, shipping, investments being such as to suggest a continuing trend of strengthening ties, between the countries of the area [Page 240]and the U.S., the Commonwealth and other friends. One of many examples is the oil concession extended by Saudi Arabia to American interests and the repeatedly expressed desire of that country to have its resources developed only by American capital.
3.
The orientation of Greece, Turkey and Iran toward the western democracies, preventing the extension of Soviet control to the Near East, barring Soviet access to the Mediterranean, and largely protecting India and Pakistan from direct Soviet penetration.
4.
The potential value of the NEA area, particularly those countries on the periphery of the Soviet Union as possible bases or routes for counterattacks against the Soviet Union in the event of hostilities.
5.
Coordination of our common strategic interests in the area with the British deriving therefrom the benefits of their long established Cultural, economic, strategic and political ties with the several countries in the NEA area.
6.
The inclusion in the Commonwealth of India, Pakistan and Ceylon and the recently demonstrated willingness of the Commonwealth to accept responsibilities in the South Asian
7.
The existence in the United Nations of machinery for reaching peaceful settlements for the numerous conflicts arising in the area such as:
(a)
Influencing the Soviets to withdraw their forces from Azerbaijan in Iran;
(b)
The establishment of a truce and conclusion of armistice agreements between Israel and the individual Arab states;2 and,
(c)
The negotiation of a cease fire agreement between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.3
8.
The Soviet’s inept handling of its relations with certain of the NEA countries, particularly at the governmental, diplomatic levels

b. problems and conditions unfavorably affecting our national security

1.
The basic problem posed by the upsurge of nationalism among the peoples of the area and the withdrawal of the former metropolitan powers from direct control of their former dependencies, resulting in the creation of numerous political and military power vacuums. Many of the independent states of the area are weak and, consequently, attract Soviet attentions in the form of attempted subversions, and, rarely, direct intrusion.
2.
The suspicion in many NEA countries, particularly marked in India and Burma, of our objectives in the cold war and of our insistenee [Page 241]on private investment as the principal base of economic development. As capitalism is closely associated with imperialism in the minds of many of the peoples of the area, they are apprehensive that territorial imperialism on the part of the European powers is apt to be replaced by economic imperialism on the part of the United States.
3.
A failure on the part of most of the countries in the area to think and act in terms of their own responsibilities, combined with an inclination on their part to look unduly to external sources for solutions to many of their own problems. When unreasonable demands are made for American assistance, difficulties are created in our mutual relations, by our refusal or inability to extend aid sought.
4.
A resentment against our apparent discrimination in providing Western Europe with vast amounts of economic and military aid as contrasted with the relative trickle flowing to the NEA area, particularly the Arab states, Iran and the South Asian countries.
5.
The conviction of the Arab states that our support of Israel is inimical to their interests.
6.
The poverty, lack of industrial and agricultural development and social backwardness in the area, resulting in varying degrees of internal weakness in all the NEA countries and making them susceptible to communist penetration.
7.
The existence of numerous situations within the area which might lead to the outbreak of hostilities, such as the possibility of renewal of communistic supported warfare in Greece, the continuing pressures and threats of the Soviet Union against Turkey and Iran, the dispute between Israel and the Arab states over Palestine, the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir and other problems, the dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the border tribal area, and the internal strife in Burma complicated by the possibility of Chinese communist encroachment.
8.
The conflict between our normal political, social and economic policies and those of the metropolitan powers in Africa, both for furthering the aspirations of the African peoples toward economic betterment and the encouragement of democratic institutions directed ultimately toward self-government.
9.
A lack of appreciation and knowledge of the factual situation in the NEA countries on the part of the American public complicating the problem of winning public support for constructive programs in the area.
10.
The lack of a basis for constructive regional associations in the NEA area. In the case of South Asia, India would be the natural leader for such grouping but its dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, distrust by Ceylon, and the differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan [Page 242]over the tribal border area4 render difficult for the time being any such association.
11.
The difficulty of improving basic economic and social conditions in many countries of the NEA area where the governments and ruling classes are corrupt and inefficient and reluctant to attempt reforms which would affect their own selfish interests.
12.
The repugnance with which most of the peoples and governments in the NEA area regard racial discrimination as practiced within the United States.

c. programs in effect or planned to improve tede above conditions

1.
Political support through normal diplomatic channels and the United Nations to assist the NEA countries in realizing their legitimate objectives.
2.
In virtually all of the NEA countries first emphasis being laid on assistance in economic and social development. In Greece and Turkey, ECA is the principal instrument in this field. In Iran, reliance is placed on Iran’s own seven-year plan of development, which is expected to draw on its own resources and those of the International Bank. In Turkey, Israel, Liberia, Ethiopia, Egypt and Afghanistan Ex-Im Bank loans are currently available for developmental projects. In India, two IBRD loans have been approved for railroad and agricultural projects and a third is being considered for a power project. An irrigation and flood control program for Iraq is being considered by the International Bank.
3.
USIE programs in the entire NEA area for the wider dissemination of information so that United States policies and actions may be better understood.
4.
Mutual Defense Aid Programs for providing military equipment and training in Greece, Turkey and Iran.
5.
Scientific and cultural cooperation programs for the provision and exchange of scientists and technicians in the fields of minerals, research, agriculture, labor, irrigation, harbor development and child and women’s welfare. Educational advancement is being provided under the Fulbright programs.
6.
Proposed Point Four programs for technological development of backward areas having primary application to the NEA region.
7.
The proposed continuation and improvement of the Palestine refugee program to reintegrate some 750,000 Arab refugees into the economic life of the area by providing for employment in irrigation and other works projects.
8.
Proposed projects under section 303 of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949 for Burma, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan including military, economie and informational programs.
9.
Proposed request for congressional authority to furnish procurement assistance to Saudi Arabia, Burma, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Liberia to provide, on a cash basis, legitimate requirements of military equipment.
10.
A study in respect of possible United States action regarding a large part of the sterling balances of the NEA countries.

d. important questions which might be raised or previous answers confirmed

1.
What importance is attached to continuing the U.S. military bases in the area such as at Dhahran? Tripoli?
2.
What importance is attached to the acquisition of additional U.S. military bases or rights in the NEA area?
3.
What are the short and long range definitions of United States strategic interests in the GTI area? Africa? Near East? South Asia?
4.
Should the United States associate itself in security arrangements bilaterally or multilaterally with Greece, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia or other countries of the NEA area?
5.
Should the United States undertake military staff talks either as participant or observer with Greece, Turkey or Iran?
6.
What is our present strategic interest in acquiring stockpiles of strategic materials from the individual NEA countries where such materials are available?
7.
What Congressional and public reaction could be expected if Burma were to be lost to the communist bloc?
8.
In the event of demonstrated need, should the United States extend economic grant aid to Iran, India, Pakistan, Burma, or other countries of the NEA area in addition to assistance presently contemplated?
9.
In the event general authority is not obtained to broaden section 408(e) of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949 so that reimbursable aid might be extended to any country whose increased security is in the national interest, should authority be sought to extend reimbursable aid to Israel and the Arab states in addition to that presently contemplated for Saudi Arabia?
10.
As regards the balance of power in Asia, is it in the national interest of the United States that India or Japan or both should be built up to positions of ascendancy?
11.
As regards many of the countries of the NEA area, what devices are available and how far should we go to penetrate the crust of inertia, incompetence and selfishness at the top in order to bring about [Page 244]changes in the whole national picture which would provide a solid foundation for continuing resistance to communist pressures and penetration?
12.
From the standpoint of our security interests, what policies should be adopted toward countries such as India and Israel which are following an official policy of neutrality?
13.
What policy should be adopted with reference to the British shipment of arms to the Arab countries, particularly to Egypt, in the light of protests made to the United States Government by Israel and sources in this country?
14.
To what extent and by what means can emergent nationalism In the NEA area be made a constructive force against communism?
15.
Have we adequately foreseen the consequences of Point Four? In particular, are we preparing for obviously anticipated economic and financial follow through? Additionally, are we prepared for the short range impact, in terms of social unrest, of United States technological programs on the several NEA countries?
  1. Presumably the same document referred to in subsection 1 of the memorandum by Alton W. Hemba, April 10, p. 244. The undated source text was accompanied by a covering letter of transmittal, dated April 11, from David A. Robertson of NEA to certain Diplomatic Offices in the Near East, South Asia, and Africa summarizing the paper and requesting comments on or proposed additions to it. The paper and memorandum were sent to Addis Ababa, Amman, Ankara, Athens, Baghdad, Bangkok, Beirut, Cairo, Colombo, Damascus, Jidda, Karachi, Kabul, Monrovia, New Delhi, Rangoon, Tel Aviv, and Tehran. The Embassy in Saudi Arabia responded at some length in Despatch 281 from Jidda, May 13, and the Embassy in Egypt responded briefly in Despatch 1573 of July 3. Both of these despatches, neither printed, are in Department of State file 780.5. They are the only two responses to the source text found in Department of State files.
  2. For documentation on the armistice agreements between Israel and the Arab States, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, pp. 594 ff.
  3. For documentation on Kashmir, see ibid., 1947, vol. iii, pp. 179 ff,; ibid., 1948, vol. v, pp. 265 ff.; ibid., 1949, vol. vi pp. 1686 ff.; and pp. 1362 ff.
  4. For documentation on the Afghanistan–Pakistan dispute over the tribal border regions, see pp. 1446 ff.