787.5 MSP/11–2553: Telegram

No. 1398
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Iraq1


302. Brit Emb informs that they shortly expect instructions from London to discuss with Dept general question of proposed US military assistance Iraq. Department now expects receive views of Defense on ME programs next week, and understands informally [Page 2362] funds for Iraq will be allotted. Department has stated view to Defense that prior discussions with Iraqi Government we should seek agreement with British on principles along following lines:

We recognize special Brit position Iraq, and importance this position for ME defense. Will endeavor avoid actions which might impair position.
In absence US plans for ME defense, we accept broad outlines UK plans for strengthening Iraq forces and agree fit our assistance programs to these plans.
US intends that equipment provided under its military assistance programs in area should consist principally of readily identifiable items of US manufacture, which should so far as possible in each country be concentrated in a particular unit or units. In case of Iraq, however, recognize that forces now organized on Brit TO&E. In programming equipment Iraq, therefore, prepared consider utilizing device off-shore procurement in UK to reasonable extent, and will take care that US equipment furnished of types which will not unduly complicate supply problem.
Problem one of identifying areas within which supply of equipment of US manufacture will both further program of modernization and improvement already agreed by Iraq and UK, and will stand out as a distinctly US contribution to programs.
In view of arrangements which Iraq already has with Brit, US will not seek place training mission in Iraq. However, this does not preclude acceptance some candidates for training in military school US.

Embassy comments requested on above.2

  1. Drafted by Daspit and cleared by NE.
  2. See telegram 315 from Baghdad, Nov. 28, infra.