145. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan 1

454. For Talbot. Ref: Amman tels 4442 and 445.3 You are authorized offer increase amount of credit to fifteen million and to promise expedite delivery of ground equipment as much as possible. (Communications items in very tight supply and probably could not be delivered before end of 1966, while APC’s in great demand and also subject considerable probable delay. Conversion of tanks, if insisted upon and agreed upon, would take at least two years according Defense.) You should leave King under no illusion that we can promise that expedited delivery will mean delivery within one or two years even for all of equipment not specifically mentioned. FYI. This is for both technical and political reasons. End FYI.

You are not authorized make new offers on tanks or supersonics at this time. Hope you can persuade King accept first 100 tanks as M–48’s with promise discuss A3’s later. If King still insists on either point, you should say you will return Washington and arrange further consideration, although you cannot promise what outcome will be.

This does not mean that acceptable deal for King ultimately foreclosed but growing feeling here is that final agreement with Jordanians on any package will be extremely difficult sell in U.S. as well as in Israel if full discussions have not been held previously with Israelis. Plans not yet finalized, but hope to get Presidential Mission to Israel by weekend.

You should of course do your best persuade King to postpone visit to Cairo. If invitation to Khammash to come to Washington in about ten days will make this possible you authorized to extend it and/or promise your own early return Amman if necessary.

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FYI. Discussion continuing here at highest level but doubt any further definite decisions will be made before your return. End FYI.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, DEF 12–5 JORDAN. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Jernegan, cleared by Komer, and approved by Ball. Repeated to Tel Aviv.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 143.
  3. Telegram 445 from Amman, February 9, commented on telegram 446 to Amman (Document 142). In it, Talbot supported sending a special emissary of Harriman’s stature to Israel to try to persuade the Israelis that a U.S. arms sale to Jordan was the best available alternative. He agreed that the real choice was between selling arms to both Jordan and Israel or selling arms to Israel after Jordan obtained Soviet equipment, and he urged that he be given authority to tell Hussein the United States was prepared to make available a squadron of F–104s in 1968. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, DEF 12–5 JORDAN)