429. Editorial Note

Throughout the summer of 1957, American officials continued to view the situation in Yemen with increasing uneasiness. Concern focused primarily on the prospects of increasing Soviet influence in the area and the lack of an effective American presence to counter the prospects of Russian military and economic assistance. On May 13, during a meeting attended by Secretary Dulles, Herter, Murphy, Henderson, Allen Dulles, and Kermit Roosevelt, among others, Rountree, at the Secretary’s request, initiated discussion on the situation in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Regarding the situation in Yemen, the memorandum of conversation reads:

“Soviet penetration was noted and Saud’s awareness and un-happiness with this. The Imam is playing into the hands of the [Page 762] Russian technicians and Russian policy …. The need for a U.S. Mission there was emphasized even though there is no present budget plan for a Mission.” (Memorandum of conversation by Howe, May 13; Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199)

At the May 28, June 4, and June 11 meetings of the Intelligence Advisory Committee, the question of Soviet-Egyptian influence in Yemen and the problem of opening a mission were discussed. (Ibid., INR Files: Lot 58 D 776, IAC Meetings)

On July 3, at the 329th meeting of the National Security Council, the President presiding, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles noted that the Soviet Union was supplying Yemen with “large shipments” of military equipment which would necessitate the deployment of Soviet experts to train the Yemeni Armed Forces. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)