The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is responsible for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The editing of the series in the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, is guided by principles of historical objectivity and accuracy. Documents are not altered or deletions made without indicating where changes have been made. Every effort is made to identify lacunae in the record and to explain why they have occurred. Certain omissions may be necessary to protect national security or to condense the record and avoid needless repetition. The published record, however, omits no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision, and nothing has been excluded for the purpose of concealing or glossing over a defect in policy.

At the time of the compilation of this volume in 1987, the Department was guided in the preparation of the Foreign Relations series by official regulations first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. A new statutory charter for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series was established by Title IV of Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by the President on October 28, 1991. That new charter requires that the Foreign Relations series “shall be a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity.” The new charter also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published “not more than 30 years after the events recorded.”

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Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series

This volume is part of a comprehensive subseries of volumes that will document the most important issues in the foreign policy of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration. The subseries covers the years 1958 through 1960. Other volumes in the 1958–1960 triennium that cover the Middle East region are Volume XII, Near and Middle East, and Volume XIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute; United Arab Republic; North Africa.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The law requires that the published record contained in the Foreign Relations series must reflect all major foreign policy decisions and activities and include relevant documentation from all government agencies and entities involved in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support. The historical records of the Presidents and their national security advisers together with the still larger body of documentation in the Department of State are the principal sources for the Foreign Relations series. The National Archives and Records Administration, including the Presidential libraries that it administers, is the main repository and coordinating authority for historical government records and a major source for the documents and information included in the series. Specific sources used in preparing this volume and its microfiche supplement are described in detail in the List of Sources, pages XIIIXVIII.

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume XI

This volume and its microfiche supplement were planned and compiled as an integrated publication. Taken together, the two parts of the publication provide extensive documentation on U.S. relations with Lebanon and Jordan during the final 3 years of the Eisenhower administration. Given the bulk of extant records, however, this publication includes only a selection of the most important documents dealing with U.S. policy toward Lebanon and Jordan.

As such, the editor, Louis J. Smith, has chosen to focus the printed volume on the 1958 crisis that led to the introduction of U.S. forces into Lebanon and British forces into Jordan and to include the remaining documents for the period, which largely date from 1959 and 1960, in the microfiche supplement. In this manner, the 1958 crises, which defined the shape of U.S. relations with these two countries until the end of the Eisenhower administration, are treated primarily in the printed volume and are given editorial priority. Annotations in the printed volume identify by means of cross references particularly relevant documents contained in the microfiche supplement. In preparing the integrated publication, the editor has emphasized the diplomatic, [Page V] political, and military aspects of U.S. foreign policy rather than the economic, cultural, and informational relations between the United States and the countries of Lebanon and Jordan.

Several important topics have been used as the focal points for the selection of documents included in this publication. A primary objective of the publication has been to document the discussions, recommendations, decisions, and the flow of information that constituted the policymaking process in Washington during the crises that occurred in Lebanon and Jordan. In particular, the decisions that led to the introduction of U.S. military forces in Lebanon in July and U.S. support for the British landings in Jordan shortly thereafter are traced from the background considerations that took place during the 6 months preceding the crises to the aftermath assessments following the withdrawal of the troops in October and November.

Records on the management of the crises are particularly rich among the historical papers maintained by the Eisenhower Library. The centralized and decentralized files of the Department of State also include a large collection of presidential and National Security Council documents, a portion of which were selected for inclusion in this publication. Senior-level military decisions on the planning and implementation of military operations in Lebanon and the eastern Mediterrean theater were found and selected from the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff deposited at the National Archives.

Cable traffic between Washington and Beirut and Amman provides the most important source of documentation on the extensive negotiations that were conducted with the governments of Lebanon and Jordan over military support for the two countries. Most of the negotiations with the government of Lebanese President Camille Chamoun and the Jordanian government of King Hussein were conducted, on instructions from Washington, by Ambassador Robert McClintock in Beirut and Chargé Thomas Wright in Amman. Under Secretary of State Robert Murphy assisted those efforts during a special mission to the Middle East. Documents concerning these negotiations were selected from the central files of the Department of State.

The U.S. military operation in Lebanon, which the Lebanese Government requested, began on July 15 and continued until October. British troops began arriving at Amman airport on July 17 and remained in Jordan until the beginning of November. The editor has selected documents relating to the military activities from a wide range of files located in the Eisenhower Library and the Department of State. Department of Defense files, and particularly Joint Chiefs of Staff records, were important in documenting military decisions, coordination with British forces, and troop and fleet movements. The editor did not, however, seek to provide detailed documentation of U.S. and allied military operations in the Middle East.

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Another important goal of this publication has been to present selected documents recording the close coordination of U.S. policy with the British government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. This coordination involved a steady stream of communication between Washington and London, visits such as Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd’s to Washington in July, and telephone calls and letters exchanged directly between President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Macmillan. Memoranda, letters, and telegrams documenting this coordination were selected from the central files of the Department of State, from key files at the Eisenhower Library, such as the Eisenhower Diaries, the International Series in the Whitman File, White House Telephone Conversations, and the Macmillan–Lloyd Correspondence in the Dulles Papers.

Following the end of the crises and the withdrawal of U.S. and British forces in the autumn of 1958, U.S. policymakers continued to be concerned about the political and economic viability of Lebanon and Jordan. Jordan was believed to be particularly vulnerable, thus requiring high-level consideration. In general, however, officials in the Department of State and the Embassies in Beirut and Amman took over the watch. The President did become involved on occasion, as when King Hussein visited Washington in 1959 and 1960, but in the normal course of events the relations between the United States and Lebanon and Jordan were defined and maintained through the cables that passed between Washington and Beirut and Amman. The editor has selected for publication a portion of the available cables from the central files and lot files of the Department of State.

For this volume, the editor has not attempted to document particular U.S. intelligence operations or any significant contribution that U.S. intelligence made to the formulation of foreign policy. Intelligence records, including documents originated by the Central Intelligence Agency that are to be found among the collections of the Eisenhower Library, were consulted. That research was accomplished with the full cooperation and assistance of the CIA. It did not, however, result in the inclusion in this volume of any key intelligence analyses that contributed to the major political and diplomatic actions.

Completion of the declassification of this printed volume and its microfiche supplement, and the final steps of their preparation for publication, coincided with the development of procedures since early 1991 by the Central Intelligence Agency in cooperation with the Department of State that have expanded access by Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from among those records still in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Department of State chose not to postpone the publication of this volume to ascertain how such access might affect the scope of available documentation and the changes that might be made in the contents of this particular [Page VII] volume. The Department of State, however, is making good use of these new procedures, which have been arranged by the CIA’s History Staff, for the compilation of future volumes in the Foreign Relations series.

The declassification review process for this print volume and its microfiche supplement resulted in the withholding from publication of 4.2 percent of the documents originally selected for the print volume and 8.9 percent of the documents originally selected for the microfiche supplement. Deletions from documents dealing with developments in Lebanon were minimal, and related largely to minor references to intelligence matters. The editor is confident that the documents dealing with Lebanon, as presented in the print volume and the microfiche supplement, provide a comprehensive and accurate record of U.S. relations with that country during the 1958–1960 period. Most of the deletions from the proposed text of the print volume and the microfiche supplement were made in documents dealing with developments in Jordan. The still-classified documents omitted from the publication relate to matters of continuing sensitivity in U.S.-Jordanian relations. Consequently, the account of U.S. relations with Jordan printed here is incomplete and does not accurately reflect the full range of U.S.-Jordanian concerns. In the judgment of the editor, however, the documentation concerning Jordan originally intended for publication but denied declassification does not distort the record.

The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the National Archives and Records Agency’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, in particular David Haight.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Incoming telegrams from U.S. missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted. During periods of crisis and intense activity, especially immediately before, during, and after troop landings in Lebanon on July 15 and those in Jordan on July 17, the editor has not always been able to arrange some documents precisely in their chronological order. In these cases he has used his best judgment.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Obvious typographical errors are corrected, but other mistakes and omissions in the source [Page VIII] text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. The amount of material omitted because it was unrelated, however, is not accounted for. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in this volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information devived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts have been used when necessary to supplement or explicate the official record.

Declassification Review

Declassification review of the documents selected for publication was conducted by the Division of Historical Documents Review, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of State. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and whose disclosure reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information as is consistent with current requirements of national security and law. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


Dr. Louis J. Smith compiled and edited the volume in 1987 under the supervision of Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Gabrielle Mallon of the Office of the Historian prepared the lists of names and abbreviations. Althea W. Robinson and Rita M. Baker performed the technical editing. Barbara A. Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw production of the volume. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index to both the print volume and its microfiche supplement.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

February 1992