197. Notes of a Meeting of the Special Committee of the National Security Council1


  • President
  • Sisco
  • McNamara
  • Battle
  • Fowler
  • Clifford
  • Rusk
  • W.W. Rostow
  • Katzenbach
  • McG. Bundy
  • Wheeler
  • Saunders
  • Helms

Katz: Jordanian problem

VOA team

McGB’s Other reasons.

Wh. Iraqi brigade. One reason Israelis fired up is to get at Iraqi & Egypt. troops.

150 Israeli tanks (brigade) crossed & heading toward Damascus.

Egyptian commandos

Iraqi troops

Eilat cutoff

Get at Syrians

Pr: Want to take most competent people in & outside small working group to det. what probs are & what needs be done. Perhaps some help in solving probs of Viet. Russian Am. trouble—trade out. But enough probs ahead.

Want regular meetings initially—decisions to this meeting—ahead of anything else. Not anything else more important.

McGB. Sparkplug. When he speaks, he speaks for me.

McGB: Ongoing work.

[Page 352]

Special requirements just down road.2

Continuing intelligence assessment of—not just tanks—but of attitudes in ME to what’s going on. DCI (ways of asking questions: what are people now likely to think.) Keep on top of pol. thinking without getting in way of day to day business.
Keeping depts. in touch in economic relationship.
  • Solomon: oil coord.
  • —Deming: money link
  • —Walter Levy
  • —Bator.
Information coordination: pressures to say I’ll be in touch with Depts.
  • Marks
  • Christian
  • B—
  • Not deal with day-to-day fires.
1 [4].
How we & USSR relate to one another. Short-run picture not appetizing.

DR: Congr.: Get on Israeli bandwagon. Isr. success.

Resupply problem. We sympathetic to Israel’s needs. Israel will be in with bills, we ought to meet.

Leading questions:

West Bank
Seize & operate Canal.

Divided opinion on how deal with those that have broken [relations].

—Withdraw charge before we resume.

Relieved that we didn’t have to get military involved.

No criticism except on “neutrality”—Javits.

No blank check—Jav., R. Kenn.

Sym: give our airmen in Viet some freedom.

Pr.: What will bill be?

Wh. 800 op tanks left.

Damascus: Phase III. Balance has changed.

Sources of supply.

  • Fr.—acft
  • Br.—art
  • US—tanks
  • Switz.

DR: Morse: close: force prev. resupply Arabs.

Pr: [Illegible.] Viet. Sovs?

Pr: Sovs. Rebuild.

Helms: Sovs have taken awful prestige blow. These come pretty hard.

Sovs going to come back hard.
Leadership could be affected.
It didn’t read sit. in Viet. any better than ME.
  • —No rocket rattling (1956, 8)
  • —Does this strengthen moderates or Hawks?
  • CPs in ME dead.
  • Arab reaction in UN.

Missile crisis—Test Ban Peacemaker.3

DR: We can’t make Isr. accept puny settlement.

Arms: Sov. arms limitation bureaucracy.

NY: Linking withdrawal to peace settlement.

Isr: GAA: badly when face Arabs together. Remember 1949.4

Refugees & pol. desolation.

Paradox: now they have 700,000 refugees.

Strong group.

Mtg, late in day.

Wkdays at 6:30, always stop before. Sit. room.

Sats at 11:00. (Not commit to this Saturday yet)

DR: Policy questions urgent:


Do we coop. with multilat. agencies, WFP, WHO, FAO, UNWRA.5

—surly view.

McGB: prepare good just.

Gin up supplementary emergency problems.

McN—Egypt on the ropes.

Fowler—Econ. rehab. prog. for Egypt. Can’t do it for Nasser.

WWR: Regional development bank. Unleash Gene Black. Break Nasser.

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  • —Special reg. fund in World Bank.
  • —Mil. Coup?

Katz: Med. aid.

  • —Appropr. Hard to get fr. Congr.
  • —UNWRA.
  • —Pressure to cut UNWRA.

UN: How to handle tactical problem.

[illegible]: What about UAR?—Pres. of Sec. Council & SYG to go out.

Arms: Our 155’s that shelled.6

Pr.: Not going to be blackmailed.

Stop arms to Arabs; resupply Isr.

Cliff.: Good case on past shipments. Defy anyone make good case.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Special Committee Files, Minutes and Notes. No classification marking. The meeting was held from 6:32 to 7:55 p.m.; the President left the meeting from 7:03 to 7:32 p.m. Rusk arrived 10 minutes late because he had been on Capitol Hill. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary) The notes are Saunders’ handwritten notes of the meeting. The only formal records of the Special Committee meetings are memoranda for the record summarizing the committee’s decisions, drafted by Saunders and based on his notes. Very brief notes of the meetings by Helms are in Central Intelligence Agency Files, DCI Files: Job 80–B01285A, Box 11, Folder 12, DCI (Helms) Miscellaneous Notes of Meetings, 1 Jan 1966–31 Dec 1968.
  2. “This is more operational than I had judged from first talk.” is written in the margin next to the three points below.
  3. “Cld they retrieve by delivering in Viet or NE.” is written next to these points.
  4. The words “Hussein. [Illegible.] Viable? Alternatives” appear in the margin.
  5. “$14 m. cash. $8 m. kind.” is written in the margin next to this point.
  6. “Where we have control we have acted.” is written next to the points on arms. Bundy’s June 8 memorandum for the record recording decisions at the June 7 meeting includes only one point, which reads as follows: “After discussing the importance of keeping close watch on our shipments of military equipment to Arab countries, it was agreed that we must be able to demonstrate that we have acted to halt shipments over which we still have control. We can do nothing about those shipments now on the high seas (many of which have already passed to the recipients’ title) and should prepare a good brief explaining our allowing them to proceed.” (Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Special Committee Files, Minutes and Notes)