82. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (Boone)1

The JCS are concerned in regard to possible developments in the event that negotiations starting in London 16 August fail to produce satisfactory resolution of the Suez Canal problem. In view of the above and with due consideration of delicate public relations aspects involved, you should do all practicable to insure optimum readiness to undertake on short notice tasks related to protection U.S. interests and evacuation measures from Egypt and other Arab countries in the Middle East. In the latter category, JCS feel that U.S. ground forces up to one RCT might possibly be called upon to protect oil fields and installations in vicinity of Dhahran. Augmentation of present air lift capability in Europe to extent this can be done without adverse public reaction will be made subject of separate message2 to CINCUSAFE, info other addressees.

  1. Source: JCS Records, CCS.092 Egypt (7–28–56). Top Secret. Transmitted as JCS 908488, also sent to USCINCEUR, CINCUSAREUR, and CINCUSAFE. The source text is enclosure “A” to a note from the Joint Secretariat of the JCS to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The note indicates that the Joint Chiefs at their meeting on August 15 agreed to dispatch the message printed here and a second message (enclosure B, not printed) to U.S. commanders in chief throughout the world which would personally alert them to the possibility that the Middle East situation could deteriorate rapidly if the London Conference failed to resolve the Canal problem.
  2. To be dispatched by Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force. [Footnote in the source text.]