The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major 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 charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts that contributed to the formulation of policies and records that provided supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

The editors of this volume are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing. Although [Page IV] this volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, the Foreign Relations statute, allows the Department until 1996 to reach the 30-year line in the publication of the series.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of the Foreign Relations series for the years 1961–1963. The subseries presents in 25 print volumes and 5 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the administration of President John F. Kennedy. The record of U.S. policy toward the nations of the Near East during 1961–1963 has been compiled in two print volumes and one microfiche supplement.

This volume presents the documentary record with respect to the nations of the Near East, including the Arab-Israeli dispute, for the period beginning in July 1962 through December 1963. The previous volume in the series, volume XVII, covered the period from January 1961 through June 1962. A separate microfiche supplement will comprise additional documentation, regarded by the editors as significant but of somewhat lesser importance for the entire 1961–1963 triennium.

For the purpose of this subseries, the editors have defined the Near East as including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, the United Arab Republic, the nations and principalities of the Arabian Peninsula, and Iran. The record of U.S. policy toward Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya is presented in volume XXI, Africa.

The documents in the print volumes XVII and XVIII are arranged in one chronological sequence; a Topical List of Documents is printed on pages XLIIILXV.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editor believes that in terms of access this volume was prepared in accordance with the standards and mandates of the statute, although access to some records was restricted, as noted below.

The editors have had complete access to all the retired records and papers in the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the decentralized “lot files” of the Department at the bureau, office, and division [Page V] levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. Certain intelligence-related files, which had not been retired and were maintained in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, were unknown to the Department historians at the time this volume was compiled. Arrangements have been made for Department historians to have access to these records for future volumes.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have access to the papers of President Kennedy and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of this documentation has been made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Department of State historians also have full access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense and his major assistants.

As noted above, the Foreign Relations statute requires that the editors have full and complete access to all records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions. Since early 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency, in cooperation with the Department of State, has provided expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records still in the custody of that Agency. Department historians’ expanded access was arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency. This access arrangement coincided with the research of volumes for the 1961–1963 triennium. As Department of State and CIA historians have continued to work out the procedural and scholarly aspects of this access, the variety and quantity of documentation made available and selected for publication in the volumes is expanding. For this volume, the CIA historians made relevant intelligence files available to the editors. The specific CIA files are named in the List of Sources (pp. XVXXV).

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made [Page VI] regarding issues that cannot be documented in the volume but will be addressed in a microfiche supplement or in bibliographical notes.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The compiler-editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publications, the editors gave priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records (which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes).

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
Documentation that illuminates special decision-making processes that accomplished the policies recorded in particular volumes;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Scope and Focus of Documents Researched and Selected for Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, Volume XVIII

The research and editing of this volume was completed in 1993. In general, the editor defined a “major issue” as one that received high-level attention within the U.S. Government, from the President, key White House aides, or Cabinet-level officials; and/or had long-range repercussions for U.S. foreign policy and interests in the region. While it was impossible to include the details of U.S. policy on every issue, documentation has been included, either in the print volume or the microfiche supplement, that delineates basic U.S. policies toward the countries in question.

The primary focus of the documents in this volume is on the foreign policymaking process of the U.S. Government, including documentation illuminating policy formulation and major aspects and repercussions of its execution. Emphasis is placed on official memoranda that reveal policy positions, show differences within the U.S. Government over policy formulation, summarize developments and positions regarding an issue, contain intelligence or military assessments, and describe decisions or actions taken at the National Security Council. Some key instructions sent to diplomatic posts in the region are included when they demonstrate the details of the execution of foreign policy. Memoranda of conversations with foreign leaders both abroad and in Washington were selected to provide additional information on the origins and impact of foreign policy decisions.

The editor selected only the most important reports from diplomatic posts containing descriptions and assessments of the political and economic situation, social conditions, and technological and scientific concerns, and the records of the most significant conversations held with foreign leaders and their diplomatic representatives. Details of specific military and economic assistance programs or their implementation are not included. The print volumes and the microfiche supplement contain [Page VIII] finished U.S. intelligence assessments but do not deal with intelligence sources and methods.

Documentation selected by the editor for inclusion in the microfiche supplement provides additional details on the major issues covered in both volume XVII (published in 1994) and volume XVIII. Also included in the supplement are selected documents on certain bilateral relations not included in the print volumes. The annotation to printed documents contains references to some, but not all, documents included in the microfiche supplement. The supplement also includes several lengthy attachments to printed documents and the discussion sections of National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates, the summary portions of which appear in the print volumes. In these cases, the printed document contains editorial references to the appropriate microfiche document. The volumes may be used without the supplement, but the microfiche should be used in conjunction with the printed volumes.

The major topics and issues covered in volume XVIII are as follows:

U.S. policy toward the conflict in Yemen and relations with the United Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia. The large amount of documentation on this subject in the volume reflects the extensive attention it received from the Kennedy administration. The material covered includes the U.S. response to the overthrow of the Yemeni monarchy and subsequent civil war in that country; background to the U.S. recognition of the Yemeni Republic in December 1962; U.S. efforts to mediate the conflict, including the mission of Ellsworth Bunker; and the dispatch of a U.S. air squadron to Saudi Arabia (Operation Hard Surface) in July 1963. The selection of documents reflects the regional nature of the Yemen conflict, with emphasis on U.S. relations with the United Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia, rather than on the situation in Yemen per se. The documents record how the U.S. initiative to improve relations with UAR President Gamal Abdul Nasser waned as the United States sought to assuage Saudi Arabia’s concerns for its security. The volume concludes with growing U.S. Congressional opposition to the administration’s program of economic assistance to the UAR.
Israeli security issues and the Near East arms question. Emphasis is given to administration efforts to meet Israel’s security concerns, including the decision in August 1962 to supply Israel with the Hawk missile, the first major weapon system provided to Israel by the United States. The volume records administration efforts to respond to Israel’s request for a U.S. security guarantee and includes documentation on U.S.-Israeli military discussions in November 1963. The volume also documents the U.S. desire to avert the introduction of advanced weapons in the region, President Kennedy’s concern over Israel’s nuclear program, and the mission [Page IX] of special Presidential emissary John J. McCloy to Cairo to discuss the possibility of mutual arms limitation by the UAR and Israel.
Policies toward the Arab-Israeli dispute. Special coverage is given to U.S. support for the initiative to resolve the Palestinian refugee question (Joseph Johnson mission), and the initiative’s demise. The volume also records the U.S. position on a number of Arab-Israeli issues, including incidents of violence, deliberations in the United Nations, the Jerusalem question, Israel’s desire for direct negotiations with its Arab neighbors, and the growing importance of the Near East water question.
U.S. policy toward Iran. This volume documents U.S. relations with Iran during the Shah’s implementation of an extensive program of social and economic reforms which the Kennedy administration had urged him to undertake. It also records the U.S. response to the first signs of violent resistance to the Shah’s regime from Iran’s Islamic religious community.
Other significant U.S. policies in the region. The volume also records U.S. support for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during a crisis that developed during the spring of 1963, the U.S. responses to coups d’etat in Syria and Iraq leading to changes in government, the U.S. reaction to inter-Arab unity talks in the spring of 1963, and U.S. concern over developments relating to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. 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.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the 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. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed [Page X] in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted 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. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this print volume and from the microfiche supplement because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The unnumbered 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 the 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 derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and assists with any access and/or clearance problems that arise. Time constraints prevent the Advisory Committee from reviewing all volumes in the series.

This volume has not been reviewed by the Advisory Committee.

Declassification Review

The declassification review of this volume between 1993 and 1994 resulted in the decision to withhold less than one-half of one percent of the documents originally selected. The remaining documents provide [Page XI] an account of the major foreign policy issues confronting, and the policies undertaken by, the U.S. Government concerning the Near East during this period. The most significant excised material pertains to U.S. concern with the possibility of Israeli development of nuclear weapons, but the thrust of U.S. policy is clearly documented in the remaining material.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. 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 the disclosure of which 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, subject only to the 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 the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library, in particular Suzanne Forbes, who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume. Mary McAuliffe of the Central Intelligence Agency History Staff assisted in arranging access to that agency’s materials. Officials at the Department of Defense, especially Sandra Meagher, and officials at the National Defense University also deserve special thanks.

Nina J. Noring planned, compiled, and edited the material presented in this volume, under the supervision of General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie. [Page XII] Rita M. Baker and Deb Godfrey did the copy and technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw the production of the volume. Juniee Oneida prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

July 1995