The Acting Secretary of Defense
the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: This is in reply to your letter of 26 June 19531 concerning planning for the defense of the Middle East in which you requested Defense Department views as to what form of Middle East planning arrangements we should now seek to establish under existing circumstances.
Your letter pointed out that, whereas the policy of the United States Government has been to proceed with planning arrangements on the assumption that Arab cooperation would be won and a Middle East Defense Organization established at a later date, the Department of State is now convinced of the improbability of effecting [Page 410]Middle East defense arrangements, which would include the Arab States, until there has been a significant political improvement in the region.
There is enclosed for your information a copy of a memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff dated 11 August 1953 which states, in substance, that planning for the defense of the Middle East is continuing both within the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and that such planning arrangements are acceptable for the immediate future. The Department of Defense concurs in these views.