The publication Foreign Relations of the United States, constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. Thevolumes in the series include, subject to necessary security considerations, alldocuments needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policydecisions of the United States together with appropriate materials concerningthe facts that contributed to the formulation of policies. Documents in thefiles of the Department of State aresupplemented by papers from othergovernment agencies involved in the formulation of foreign policy.
The basic documentary diplomatic record printed in the volumes of the series isedited by the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State. The editing is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and inaccordance with the following official guidance first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925:
There may be no alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating the placein the text where the deletion is made, and no omission of facts which were ofmajor importance in reaching a decision. Nothing may be omitted for the purposeof concealing or glossing over what might be regarded by some as a defect of policy. However, certain omissions of documents are permissible for thefollowing reasons:
- To avoid publication of matters that would tend to impede currentdiplomatic negotiations or other business.
- To condense the record and avoid repetition of needless details.
- To preserve the confidence reposed in the Department by individuals andby foreign governments.
- To avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities orindividuals.
- To eliminate personal opinions presented in despatches and not actedupon by the Department. To this consideration there is one qualification: inconnection with major decisions it is desirable, where possible, to show thealternative presented to the Department before the decision was made.
Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, Volume XII
This volume, originally compiled between 1977 and 1980, presents documentationilluminating the most important U.S. Government decisions and policies towardthe Near East as a region and toward Iran and Iraq. The regional compilationfocuses on major U.S. diplomatic, politico-military, and economic policies, particularly relating to possible U.S. involvement in the Baghdad Pactorganization and the formulation and execution of the Eisenhower Doctrine. Separate bilateralcompilations on Iran and Iraq detail general U.S. political and economicpolicies toward these two countries with a particular emphasis on theirinvolvement in the Baghdad Pact and the question of extending U.S. militaryassistance. Additional documentation relating to these topics can be found inother volumes dealing with the Near East during this period ( Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, Volumes XIII through XVII), in the compilation on U.S.national security policy in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, Volume XIX, andin the compilation on the stockpiling of strategic resources and on commodityagreements in Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, Volume X.
In selecting the contents of this volume, the editors sought to include documentsthat provide insights into the foreign policy decision-making process of the U.S. Government, including the range of options considered and rationales forfinal decisions by the President. These include memoranda of discussions at National Security Council meetings, formal policy papers prepared for the National Security Council, National Intelligence Estimates and other important U.S. assessments of developments within the region, memoranda defining policyoptions and recommendations prepared in the Department of State and to a lesserextent the Department of Defense, internal discussions within the U.S.Government concerning major policies, and conversations and communications withforeign leaders during which key U.S. policy questions were discussed. Given theimportance that the United States attached to the position of the United Kingdomin the area, the editors made a special effort to document significant Anglo-American discussions on the region.
The editors selected documents that dealt with the formulation of policy ratherthan with the execution of policy decisions, although some coverage is given topolicy guidelines sent abroad and reactions and information received from U.S.diplomatic missions. U.S. Government documentation on the Near East for thisperiod is voluminous and the editors were able to include only a small amount of U.S. diplomatic reportage from the area, internal Department of Stateassessments, or details relating to policy execution including U.S. assistance [Page V] programs. Records of only the mostsignificant of numerous conversations between U.S. officials and foreign leadersand diplomats are presented here.
The editors based their selection on the documentary collections at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and in the centralized and decentralized filesof the Department of State. These sources were exhaustively researched. Theeditors also reviewed some records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff available at the National Archives and Records Administration in 1979, but they did not undertakean extensive search of Department of Defense files. A number of Department of Defense documents printed in this volume, found at the Eisenhower Library and in Department of State files, contain a detailed exposition of the Department of Defense position on several key issues.
For this volume, which was completed between 1977 and 1980, the editors have notattempted to document particular U.S. intelligence operations or any significantcontribution that U.S. intelligence made to the formulation of foreign policy.The editors closely reviewed the intelligence documentation, including recordsoriginated by the Central Intelligence Agency, included in the Eisenhower Library. That research was accomplished with the full cooperation and assistanceof the CIA. It resulted in the inclusion in thisvolume of some key intelligence analyses that contributed to major political anddiplomatic actions. The complete list of files consulted in the preparation of this volume is on pages XI–XVI.
Completion of the declassification of this volume and the final steps of itspreparation for publication coincided with the development of procedures sinceearly 1991 by the Central Intelligence Agency in cooperation with the Department of State that have expanded access by Department historians to high-levelintelligence documents from among those records still in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency. The editors chose not to postpone the publicationof this volume to ascertain how such access might affect the scope ofdocumentation available to them and the changes that might be made in thecontents of this particular volume. The Department of State, however, is alreadymaking good use of these new procedures arranged by the CIA’s History Staff. The editors intend to identify and publish insubsequent volumes of the Foreign Relations series, or insome other appropriate manner, significant declassified intelligencedocumentation obtained as a consequence of such broadened access.
The declassification review process for the documents originally selected forthis volume, outlined in more detail below, resulted in withholding frompublication approximately 7.5 percent of the original manuscript. Most of thesepages concerned U.S. military contingency planning for the region. Informationwas also withheld relating to U.S. intelligence activities and references tonuclear weapons. The remaining [Page VI] documentsprinted here provide a full account of most of the major foreign policy issuesconfronting the United States in the region, but do not necessarily cover allsignificant details relating to these policies.
The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, in particular David Haight; the National Archives and Records Administration; and other specialized repositories whoassisted in the collection of documents for this volume.
The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Incoming telegrams from U.S. missions are placed according to time of receipt inthe Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time oftransmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time anddate of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.
Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented byguidance from the Editor in Chief and the chief technical editor. The sourcetext is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or othernotations, which are described in the footnotes. Obvious typographical errorsare corrected, but other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an omission inroman type. Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate text that has beenomitted because it deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or because itremained classified after the declassification review process (in italic type).The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the numberof lines or pages of source text that were omitted. All ellipses and bracketsthat appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.
The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, originalclassification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote alsoprovides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President, his major policy advisers, or both read it. Every efforthas been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and thisinformation has been included in the source footnote. If two or more differentaccounts of a meeting or event of comparable value are available and one or moreis already declassified and published, the editors chose to print the stillunpublished one and obtain its declassification.
Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material notprinted in this volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and summarize and provide citations to public statementsthat supplement and elucidate [Page VII] theprinted documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-handaccounts has been used when applicable to supplement the official record.
Declassification Review Procedures
Declassification review of the documents selected for publication was conductedby the Division of Historical Documents Review, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of State. The review was made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the criteria established in Executive Order 12356 regarding:
- military plans, weapons, or operations;
- the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, orplans relating to the national security;
- foreign government information;
- intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligencesources or methods;
- foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
- scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to nationalsecurity;
- U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
- cryptology; and
- a confidential source.
Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and appropriate foreign governments regarding documents ofthose governments. The principle guiding declassification review is to releaseas much information as is consistent with contemporary requirements of nationalsecurity and sound foreign relations.
Paul Claussen and Nina J. Noring edited the compilation on U.S. regional policiestoward the Near East. Edward C. Keefer prepared the compilation on Iran and Will Klingaman that on Iraq. The volume was prepared under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. Lynn Chase and Brett D. Bellamy prepared thelists of sources, abbreviations, and names. Althea W. Robinson and Rita M. Bakerperformed the technical editing. Barbara A. Bacon of the Publishing Services Division oversaw production of the volume. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.
Bureau of Public Affairs