160. Editorial Note

At the 396th Meeting of the National Security Council on February 12, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles briefed the Council on “Significant Developments Affecting U.S. Security.” Included in that report was the following assessment of the new cabinet in Iraq:

“Turning to the situation in Iraq, Mr. Dulles said that the recent changes in the make-up of the Cabinet in that country had not come as a [Page 381]surprise despite the selection of ten new Cabinet ministers. There were, he said, differing views as to the significance of the change among ourselves, between ourselves and the British, and perhaps even between the intelligence community and the U.S. Ambassador in Iraq. Was this or was it not a move in the direction of the Left or in the direction of Communist control of Iraq? There were in any case many Iraqis who feel that the point has now been reached when they must make a choice between Nasserism and Communism. On the other hand, as individuals the new ministers themselves were not so bad. In the intelligence community, however, we do think that the trend represented by these Cabinet changes was slightly in the Communist direction. As for Nasser, he did not really seem to know what to do about what was happening in Iraq.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)