386. Editorial Note

In briefing the National Security Council on December 11 on significant world developments affecting U.S. security, Allen Dulles offered the following assessment of developments in Jordan, which prompted a response from the President:

“Mr. Dulles stated that there was also a plot against King Hussein in Jordan, a plot directed from a new and unusual source, namely, one of the Bedouin tribes. We have been less concerned than some others about the likelihood of this plot succeeding but both King Hussein and his Prime Minister, Rifai, are at the moment greatly concerned about the violability of Jordan and we fear that they will undertake plots with the objective of trying to detach Syria from the United Arab Republic and join Syria to Jordan. In this connection Mr. Dulles also stressed the need to watch for mounting hostilities between Syria and Israel as a result of border incidents. It was somewhat worrisome that [2 lines of source text not declassified].

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“The President inquired of Mr. Dulles whether the latter had more information to indicate connivance between Jordan and Israel. Mr. Dulles replied that there was no evidence of conniving between the two states but that the actions of the one might trigger the actions of the other and they might then move along parallel lines. The President inquired whether such parallel movement would not have the result of lining up all the rest of the Arab world against Jordan and Israel. It seemed to the President that something was going on in this area that did not clearly meet the eye. Mr. Dulles agreed with the President and suggested the possibility that the French might be involved in something. While he doubted any dramatic moves in the near future, the situation needed to be closely watched. The President said that as far as he was concerned, he suspected the worst.” (Memorandum of discussion at the 390th Meeting of the National Security Council, prepared by Gleason on December 11; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)