280. Notes of an Informal Meeting of the NSC Special Committee1


  • Katzenbach
  • McNamara
  • Vance
  • W.W. Rostow
  • McG. Bundy
  • E.V. Rostow
  • Battle
  • Sisco
  • Saunders


UN: Kosygin or Gromyko.2
Do we involve President?
Do we involve Rusk? (Return for 6:30 mtg.)3
McGB: Back off for a moment & look at our position.
  • —Constructive move in Goldberg’s resolution.
  • —Elements of the problem.
  • —Bargain with Nasser.4


  • —Get Israeli position.
  • —Dialogue with Arabs.

McGB: UNGA won’t produce a favorable resolution.

WWR: Territorial integrity & non-belligerence.


  • —Generalization: no 2/3 majority for resolution we could buy.
  • Sovs. Trying to bolster hands diplomatically.
  • —President shld go to UN & get out.
  • —Not going to get reasonable settlement next 2–4 months.

Consensus: No settlement 2–4 months.

Katz: Caveat: Important we don’t get into Kosygin-LBJ confrontation.5

McGB: Here’s where we were, are, are going.

Katz: Paper on the problems.

NEA consultants—call tonight for Thursday

IO consultants

McGB: Suppose Israeli demands shake down to

int’l guar. for Aqaba
Sinai back to UAR, perhaps demilitarized
West Bank—to Jordan, refugees,
more than demilitarized Syrian heights
condition of peace.

Could USG be sympathetic to that position?

Katz: At what point do we want to take substantive positions?6

McN: We can’t take position of any concreteness now or even next week. Don’t see how we can take a position. Speech ok.

McGB: Pres. can identify problems—leave parties to propose specific solutions. Pres. can say that UNGA can become propaganda debacle.

WWR: Refugees: criticize both Arabs & Israelis.


  • I—Bromide speech.
  • II—UN Debacle.
  • III—Someone else enumerate issues.7

McGB: Formulate interests of Arabs

—Self-respect in own national pursuits.


Belligerency: state of mind will continue.
Territorial question without US guarantee.8

McGB: I don’t see President asking Senate for guarantees.

McN: I don’t think we ought to get him into this.

[Page 464]

McGB: A deep policy question. How firm is the US commitment to Israel. Had the feeling Monday that we would not—in the end—have put troops in. Debate over this, especially if Israel had been attacked. US constitutional processes—none of these commitments ever backed by Congress.

McN: Territories. Israelis won’t ever depend on guarantees. Eban given lesson in US constitutional processes, and he won’t ever forget it.

McGB: US President will have to be residual military supplier.

EVR: Oil to neutralize Europe on arms.

LDB: Will be give in our position on territorial integrity. Question is when.

President’s statement.

Sisco: Here’s where we’ll give.

Sharm el-Sheikh.
Gaza—nobody wants it.
West Bank.

WWR: Arms control internal to region.

McN: Don’t get far out on elements of solution. Shld Pres. lead toward a solution?

McGB: No. Pres. by stating problems leads toward solution.

Nasser Options

CIA: Estimate: Can Israel hold what it’s won? What is cost to them? to us? How long can the [sentence incomplete]. Don’t ask Israelis.


Is military still loyal?
Can he cope with econ. problem?
Are Russians willing to stake him?9

Possibility of living with impossible. “I want him to fall.”


If army in control, turn over to cohorts
Unknown Col. Nasser
Totally to left (Ali Sabri) or pro-Western elements (unlikely)

Cld N. execute a diplomatic revolution & come to terms with Israel?

LDB: No.

WWR: Need good sophisticated estimate on economics. If he needed $5–600 million & USSR wldn’t, shyster.

[Page 465]

McGB: Thinks he cld make shift. Wldn’t we want to check one more time?10

LDB: Don’t get on policy again we can’t sustain.

CIA: The future of Nasser.11


Jobs to be done

Political paper on problems & assessments.
Draft speech.

Political team—Luke Battle: responsibility

EOB paper
  • —binocular view.
  • —Dick Ullman.


Speech: Goldberg-Sisco draft. EVR draft.13

Who’s the audience?

  • —US Jews
  • UN
  • —Most Am. people.

Nuclear: Kohler to look.

NPT: guarantees for non-nuclears.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Committee, Minutes and Notes. No classification marking. The meeting took place in Under Secretary Katzenbach’s office. The notes are Saunders’ handwritten notes of the meeting. See also Document 281.
  2. A June 13 letter from Foreign Minister Gromyko to Secretary-General Thant requested convening an emergency special session of the General Assembly “to consider the question of liquidating the consequences of Israel’s aggression against the Arab States and the immediate withdrawal of Israel troops behind the Armistice Lines.” (UN document A/6717)
  3. The word “Agenda” is written in the margin.
  4. “Lodge got invitation to go to Cairo. Not now. Lodge is a red flag to Israelis.” is written in the margin, followed by “Anderson.” Apparently a reference to Robert Anderson.
  5. The words “Agenda?” and “Draft speech to UN.” are written in the margin.
  6. “Consensus: President should make speech.” is written in the margin.
  7. The comments “McGB: that’s safer.” and “LDB: doubts we’ll know.” are written in the margin.
  8. “60 m. U.S.” and “2.5 m.” are written in the margin.
  9. The words “Food, Suez, Tourism, Cotton, Seed Crop, Oil” are listed in the margin.
  10. The words “‘Israel had the courage of our convictions.’—Reston.” are written in the margin.
  11. The words “Spanish Amb” and “Canadian Amb—Starnes” are written in the margin. John Kenneth Starnes was the Canadian Ambassador to the United Arab Republic.
  12. The names Eilts, Tasca, and Barbour are written in the margin.
  13. The words “By Wed. night” are written in the right-hand margin. The words “Dream world vs. real world.” are written in the left-hand margin.