136. Editorial Note

The United States received increasingly frequent reports of factional struggles within the new Iraqi Government. As part of the briefing on “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security,” Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Cabell informed the participants at the 379th Meeting of the National Security Council on September 18 of recent developments in Iraq. According to Gleason’s memorandum of the meeting, September 18, Cabell stated that “Cairo and Nasser were manifesting great concern over factional struggles among the leaders in the new regime in Iraq.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)

At the next National Security Council meeting, September 25, also as part of the “Significant World Developments” briefing, Cabell noted that “the internal maneuvering for power” in Iraq “continued.” Cabell stated that, “despite factional differences on the political level, however, there was still obvious military cooperation between Egypt and Iraq despite the opposition of the Prime Minister and the cabinet to the union of Iraq with the United Arab Republic.” (Memorandum of discussion by Gleason of the 380th Meeting of the National Security Council, September 25; ibid.)

On October 1, Goodpaster prepared a synopsis of Intelligence and State Department items reported to the President. Included was the following information on Iraq: “In Iraq, Qasim has dismissed Arif as well as two more pro-UAR Cabinet members. Cairo seems to be trying to force Iraq into making an arms deal directly with the USSR.” (Ibid., Eisenhower Diaries)

The next day during the 381st Meeting of the National Security Council, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, as part of the “Significant World Developments” briefing, provided additional information on Arif’s dismissal and pressure by the United Arab Republic on Iraq. According to Gleason’s memorandum of October 3, Dulles reported: “In Baghdad Prime Minister Qasim had strengthened his own position by depriving former Deputy Prime Minister Arif of all his cabinet prerogatives and banishing him to West Germany as Ambassador of Iraq to Bonn. However, in all probability, said Mr. Dulles, we have not heard the last of Arif. Meanwhile Prime Minister Qasim did not favor a union of Iraq and UAR and his government seemed to be trying to move into a more independent foreign policy.” (Memorandum of discussion by Gleason, October 3; ibid., NSC Records)