87. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Lebanon 1

4814. We are disturbed at tenor of Embtel 4756.2 We do not intend allied forces be used in Lebanon unless factors specified Deptel 42713 are present. You should certainly disabuse Chamoun of thought that allied landings would be for purpose of facilitating removal of General Chehab. We have come to believe it is almost a sine qua non that Lebanon have had full recourse to orderly processes of UN before finally requesting and receiving friendly assistance (Deptel 4790).4 This process would naturally take several days once decision have further recourse to UN taken. If Lebanese security requirements demand removal of Chehab at once this obviously cannot be done within context prior allied landing which, if it took place, would be aftermath of further UN consideration of matter at Lebanese initiative.

FYI. First contingent of US forces, around 1, 600 men, could arrive within 8–12 hours if US should decide to provide assistance to GOL. Remainder of US forces could arrive within 24 hours of same decision. You should not convey this information to Chamoun at this time.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 783A.00/6–1658. Top Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Rockwell and cleared by Wilcox in draft and by Dulles. Repeated to London and USUN.
  2. Document 85.
  3. Document 31.
  4. Document 82.