780.5 MSP/8–3053: Telegram

No. 149
The Ambassador in Egypt (Caffery) to the Department of State1

top secret

271. Third RECNE meeting held Cairo August 28–29. Present: Caffery (chairman) Berry, Moose, Lynch, Russell, Bruins, Jones, Jernegan and Daspit (State), Paul (FOA), Sievers and Eveland (Defense). Summary record being prepared for pouching by September 11.

Highlights of meeting included:

I. United States military aid 1954.

On basis assumption reported by Washington representatives that any possible requirements for Egypt–Iran–Pakistan would be met from reserve funds Title II RECNE accepted proposal whereby $30 million from subsection 202(b) directed to other Arab States and Israel.
Agreed as much as two-thirds of $30 million should be allocated to Iraq and Syria with token programs in other Arab States and Israel and probably slightly larger program in Saudi Arabia (Jones, who did not arrive Cairo until after discussion this item dissents).
Formula for preventing United States military aid being used for local aggression would be joint planning with United States participant. [Garble] believed acceptable to all receiving Near East countries. (Moose adds provided Syrian program large enough.) Suggest one MAAG to handle both Jordan and Lebanon if small size of programs justifies.
ACSP pure propaganda document and can play no useful role our military planning in area except be possible source of language for use in eventual regional agreements. Setting up United States–United Kingdom–French–Turkish MEDO in Near East would confuse and irritate Arabs. Attempts seek combinations Arab States with Turk–Pakistan would be premature for present. Military aid program should be kept bilateral at beginning.
RECNE recommends following timetable of action for all countries except Egypt which special case (see Department telegram 69 to Cairo):2
Joint Chiefs of Staff should proceed with military planning taking into consideration broad principles set forth above and presently available data.
At earliest possible moment, chiefs of mission should approach Near East governments informing them availability military aid. If Near East governments interested, United States Government would like send out small survey team for [Page 414] joint study of needs and determination items United States could supply. (Throughout negotiations United States emphasis should be on material, rather than dollars.)
Arrival of survey team and joint study. Submission of concrete recommendations to United States Government within 10 days to two weeks of arrival.
Negotiations and signing of bilateral agreement.

End military recommendations RECNE. Other recommendations in immediate following message.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Ankara, and the Arab capitals.
  2. Telegram 69 to Cairo, July 15, transmitted the President’s reply to a letter of July 11 from Naguib regarding the Suez Canal Base. For documentation on this subject, see Documents 947 ff.