330. Memorandum From the President’s Special Consultant (Bundy) to President Johnson1


  • Military Aid Policy in the Middle East

After fighting broke out, we stopped all aid shipments to countries that broke relations with us. For those that did not break, we let the pipeline flow beyond the depot but blocked new approvals. Now in order to get back into business with the moderates, State and Defense recommend a number of selective exceptions to that “no-new-approvals” policy.

The attached paper2 describes the specific shipments they would like to turn loose. They include no heavy combat equipment and no lethal items, except for a few important for defense or internal security. In cost, they add up to about $170 million from past programs, but would involve no financing not already authorized or contemplated before the fighting.

That sounds like a lot, but $145 million is for two sales programs in Saudi Arabia for improving mobility (vehicles, no tanks or arms, training, construction of maintenance facilities), weapons maintenance and repair and for purchase of one C–130. The next largest is the sale to Israel of $16 million in spare parts for tanks and defensive Hawk missiles. The rest are dribs and drabs of spares and support equipment to Morocco, Libya, Lebanon and Jordan (see page 2 bottom).3

The one new program to be negotiated would be the $14 million in credit you approved for Morocco’s King Hassan in February. Though this might include APC’s and transport aircraft, the lead time on those items ranges from 18 to 36 months.

The most controversial item on the list is the sale of 100 APC’s to Israel, but you’ve been over that many times.

In Libya, we are still hoping to spin out our talks on Wheelus and would go ahead with one C–47 aircraft and a variety of spares, commo and automotive equipment. We would hold the 10 F–5 aircraft we’ve agreed to sell until we see how the base talks go. Bob McNamara wonders [Page 582] whether we might leave our domestic flank open to go ahead with anything when the Libyans have just asked us to leave Wheelus, but he does not feel strongly. Nick Katzenbach thinks going ahead would improve our negotiating position.

McNamara also wants to flag the problem of domestic reaction to any relaxation of our ban now such as Senator Church’s speech. I don’t feel these programs are visible enough or military enough to cause a big ruckus—except for the Israeli APC’s if they leak. He doesn’t feel strongly about Morocco and Tunisia and recognizes that Saudi Arabia is a case by itself. My own view is that the list is pretty carefully drawn to exclude troublesome items and we have to go ahead with the Arabs if we’re going to let Israel buy.

McG. B.

Approve exceptions as described

See me4

The Jordan program a million or so—not fully priced in its new form5—would not include any of the ammo originally programmed, any aircraft or any equipment relating to the F–104 sale6 (first 4 planes were scheduled for delivery in September). It would include such things as automotive, commo and small arms repair parts, clothing, optical equipment and general spares.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Jordan, Visit of King Hussein, 6/28/67. Secret. Sent through Walt Rostow.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Reference is to the paragraph added after the options at the end of the memorandum.
  4. Neither option is checked. On June 30 Rostow sent a message to the President at the LBJ Ranch saying that it was important to have his decisions that day on three items that could be funded with FY 67 money. They were: the sale of a C–130 to Saudi Arabia, the $9.9 million weapons maintenance and repair program in Saudi Arabia, and the $14 million credit sale for Morocco. He also noted that all Israeli military aid was suspended until Johnson’s decision and added: “Evron asked me about this today, but after their move on Jerusalem you may be in no hurry.” A handwritten note by Jim Jones on Rostow’s message indicates that Johnson approved the three fiscal year items. (Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Special Committee Files, Arms Limits)
  5. The words following “Jordan program” to this point are handwritten.
  6. Concerning the sale of 18 F–104s to Jordan, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XVIII, Document 283.