243. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Jordan1

230885. Joint State/Defense/AID Message. Subj: Jordan’s Internal Defense. Ref: Amman 6263.2

Embassy authorized to respond to Jordanian overtures for more substantive discussions of problems of Jordan’s internal defense. Begin FYI. Jordan’s potential qualification for internal defense assistance will be subject to mid-September SIG meeting. Discussions should not be postponed on this account. End FYI.
Public Safety Assistance. Believe it important early in discussions with GOJ to make clear stringency of USG funding situation and hence likelihood that any acquisition of PSF equipment or commodities would be on purchase basis. In this connection you may wish to call attention to deep cuts in FAA authorizations and current high levels of Jordanian foreign exchange reserves. You may also wish to refer to substantial grant assistance previously provided under public safety program which has not yet been fully utilized by PSF. At this stage discussions should be limited to Jordanian requirements under various contingencies that may arise in coming months.
Other Internal Defense Assistance. Following represents our current thinking. We agree that most immediate threats to GOJ are popular rioting and fedayeen action. In controlling these threats additional equipment and manpower may be less important than improved training and deployment of personnel and equipment assets now available to regime. We also believe that it is not unreasonable to assume that in certain circumstances the regime may be required to reduce its static border defenses in order to deal with internal disturbances. The forces available for internal security cited in reftel, twelve battalions or equivalent totaling over 6,000 men, should represent an effective security force without additional increases. Should these not prove adequate in [Page 475] any given situation, redeployment of other forces would be normal and expected next step. We assume that some of equipment we now delivering (e.g. APCs) will be made available for internal security forces.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 23 JORDAN. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Robert P. Paganelli (NEA/ARN); cleared by Director of AID’s Office of Near Eastern Affairs John Eddison, Assistant AID Administrator for Near East and South Asia Maurice J. Williams, Murray and Colonel Bradburn (DOD/ISA), Seelye, Senior Regional Adviser for Regional Affairs in NEA John Buckle, Battle, and Claus W. Ruser of the Senior Interdepartmental Group; and approved by John P. Walsh.
  2. In telegram 6263 from Amman, August 22, the Embassy reported that King Hussein and his advisers had asked the United States to consult informally on measures to strengthen Jordan’s internal security arrangements. The Embassy noted that the Fedayeen constituted a growing threat within the country. (Ibid.)