129. Memorandum From the Chief of the Near East and Africa Division, Directorate of Plans (Roosevelt) to the Deputy Director for Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency (Becker)1
- Proposed Modifications of NSC 107/22
1. As you requested in our conversation on Friday, 3 October, I am forwarding this comment on the proposed modifications.
2. Generally speaking we would strongly favor the changes suggested by the Defense Department if the United States is actually in a position to back the position it would take. We are inclined to be dubious, however, as to the effect locally of assignment of United States token forces to the region. Such assignment might make the Soviet Union even more reluctant to intervene openly in the Middle East, but I believe similar reluctance could be instilled by other means, such as a declaration that the United States feels that the continued independence of Iran is essential to its own security, and interference therewith would be regarded as a causus belli. I am very much afraid that United States forces, even small forces, in the region would provide added fuel to Communist and other anti-Western propagandists.
3. So far as the effect upon our own capabilities is concerned, it is probably safe to say that we would be able to arm, equip and direct the activities of substantially larger guerrilla forces if we were able to count upon the presence nearby of regular American forces. Thus our paramilitary capabilities might be increased. It is possible, however, that our PW activities would be hampered for the reasons indicated in the last section of paragraph 2 above.