The Secretary of Defense (Wilson) to the
Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: In view of recent developments which seem to indicate that the establishment of a Middle East Defense Organization is not probable within the near future, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have restated the concept under which they believe military aid to the Middle East should be administered. Their concept has been approved and adopted as the Department of Defense position. Paragraphs of interest to the Department of State excerpted from the memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff follow:
“In our memorandum dated 23 January 19531 (reference b of your memorandum), we expressed the view that the problem of military aid to the Middle East (ME) falls into two phases. This memorandum assumed that a Middle East Defense Organization (MEDO) would be established during the first phase of this program. Inasmuch as recent developments indicate that the establishment of a MEDO will be postponed indefinitely, it is considered desirable to restate our concept of the nature of these two phases. The first phase would be in the nature of a priming operation and modest in scope, designed primarily to establish a politico-military climate favorable for obtaining the participation of the individual states in planning for the defense of the ME. In this first phase, it would not be possible to relate individual allocations to an over-all plan. Second phase aid would be apportioned on the basis of detailed studies concerning requirements for defense of ME and these studies must necessarily be made by some form of Allied military planning organization in collaboration with the Arab States. As stated in this 23 January memorandum, we supported an increase of $100,000,000 in FY 1954 Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP) funds for military aid to ME countries as a part of the first phase.
“In arriving at a suitable force basis for the initiation of first phase military aid programs we are of the opinion that the type and size of the forces should:
- “a. Be based generally on the size of the military establishments currently maintained by ME countries, with a view toward modernization rather than expansion.
- “b. Contribute initially to internal security and establish a foundation for eventual incorporation into an effective ME defense force.
- “c. Be in consonance with the technical ability of the indigenous personnel”.
As established in previous correspondence with the Department of State and as pointed out above, the first phase of this program is considered to be primarily for the purpose of establishing a politico-military atmosphere favorable for obtaining the participation of the individual states in planning for the defense of the Middle East. Except as allocations for the first phase may affect the second phase of the program, it is not possible to relate the initial allocations of aid to each country of the Middle East to an over-all military plan. In this connection, your attention is invited to the “Survey of Current U.S. Base Requirements Outside the Continental U.S.” which will be forwarded to the Department of State within the next few days.2
Accordingly, the Department of State is requested to set forth the political factors which should be taken into consideration by the Department of Defense in planning the execution of the first phase of the program for the Middle East area.