315. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan 1

783. Amman’s 700.2 Rountree today informed British Embassy Officer we desired consult UK in light view we were coming around to, i.e., that we should not meet Jordanian request for two additional brigades. He explained we had had requests from HKJ not only for two brigades but also for substantial quantities new equipment for existing forces, as well as increased budgetary support for army expenditures during current Jordan fiscal year, all of which would require additional US financial aid to Jordan in amounts far beyond our intention to provide. Rountree stated that since flat turn-down at this time of request for two brigades might have serious repercussions we did not propose to tell King and Rifai at present of our decision. We proposed instead to take up suggestion made by King and Rifai (Amman’s 700) that US send survey group composed military and economic experts to make on-the-spot study of Jordan military situation with reference King’s requests both for two brigades and additional equipment for existing forces. Outcome survey might be US decision supply additional equipment for existing forces. However, offer to dispatch mission, while couched in terms designed avoid undue Jordanian disappointment, would also seek avoid any implication that task of mission was to work out implementation of already-taken decision furnish assistance.

British Embassy Officer undertook transmit foregoing Foreign Office. He commented that he believed Foreign Office had hoped we could offer at least minimum program for two infantry brigades. He inquired as to what effect implementation our proposal might have on problem British troop withdrawal.

Rountree replied that according our latest information Rifai no longer making direct connection between withdrawal and agreement provide two additional brigades.

Foregoing should not be revealed to Jordanians pending receipt specific instructions from Dept which will not be forthcoming until after further consultation with British.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 785.5–MSP/8–3058. Secret. Drafted by Lakeland and Rockwell and cleared by Rountree. Also sent to London.
  2. Document 308.