378. Telegram From the Embassy in Lebanon to the Department of State1

3682. Department pass Defense. Paris pass CINCEUR, MAD. Deptel 4145.2 As suggested reference telegram I called on President Chehab this morning (accompanied by US Army Colonel Stines) to inform him of signature presidential determination for grant military assistance to Lebanon. In course of following discussion I made to him various individual points outlined reference telegram.

President Chehab expressed his great gratification at this development. His first inquiry was whether grant would include the radar equipment needed to forestall Syrian pressure on Lebanese armed forces to close gap in present Lebanese surveillance radar set-up against high flying Israeli reconnaissance planes. (I received impression from him Syrian pressure on this matter is continuing.) I assured him grant included the radar equipment recommended by our country team following his conversations on subject with Ambassador McClintock several months ago. (Embtel 2721, March 1)3 President also inquired [Page 654]as to total amount involved in grant. I said we had not received word as to precise figure but had impression it came to something just over a million dollars. Acting as pleased as child with new toy he asked number of other questions about technical specifications of equipment and breakdown by categories, on which Colonel Stines was able provide detailed information.

President was philosophical over my point that this was one-time grant considered sufficient by US to bring Lebanese armed forces up to satisfactory level logistically for internal security purposes and that henceforth GOL should look to 1953 Reimbursable Aid Agreement for any further military assistance. President said he was particularly gratified over present grant because it would enable GOL to free funds which might otherwise be budgeted for military requirements for much-needed social development projects.

Creel
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783A.5–MSP/6–2060. Secret.
  2. In telegram 4145 to Beirut, June 10, the Department indicated that a Presidential Determination had been signed that day for grant military assistance to Lebanon covering spare parts, training, ammunition, and radar. (Ibid., 783A.5–MSP/6–1560; included in the microfiche supplement)
  3. In telegram 2721 from Beirut, McClintock reported on a conversation with Chehab concerning military assistance, and recommended the provision of the radar equipment which Chehab felt was essential. (Department of State, Central Files, 684A.86B/3–160)