244. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson 1

Here is another flowery, but essentially bread and butter letter which we urge you send to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in lieu of inviting him for an early visit here.2 Faisal has been angling to come.

Our Saudi friends need recurrent massage of this sort because of their nervousness over attack by the UAR troops in Yemen. We see little evidence that this is likely (and are just as happy to have 50,000 UAR troops in Yemen rather than deployed against Israel), but we see merit in periodically reassuring Faisal. We also want to sell about $200 million in US planes and other hardware to the Saudis instead of letting the UK and France get the sale. Finally, we want to protect our billion dollar oil investment.

I’ve carefully gone over this non-letter. It says nothing we haven’t said before, and will be strictly private. The length arises from custom of the country. We beg your indulgence.

R. W. Komer 3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, Saudi Arabia, King Faisal Correspondence, Vol. I. Secret.
  2. Document 245.
  3. McGeorge Bundy initialed below Komer’s signature.