351. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


We may already be in early stages of a new Yemen flare-up. Reports indicate Faysal already started a massive resupply effort to stem royalist disaster as long ago as 24 August. UAR probably knows about it. Thus, unless Faysal/Nasser talks now going on produce a quite unlikely accommodation, trouble is ahead.

Brits are actively abetting Faysal, giving him direct contrary advice to ours. Meanwhile, Rusk has been manfully fobbing off UK pressures, most recently Harlech coming in today.2 I’ve been helping NEA feed him counter-arguments (see attached).3

My constant pitch to NEA is that overreacting now (with UK, Saudis and Nasser) is a lot wiser than trying to stem flood once it breaks. If LBJ thought we ought to be brutal in telling UK not to commit [Page 663] us over Malaysia, same analogy holds good for ME. This could be done at Tuesday lunch, if events wait that long. I’ll do a brief, but would you entertain moving earlier?4

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Arab Republic, Vol. II. Secret.
  2. A memorandum of conversation recording the Secretary’s September 10 discussion of Nasser’s activities in the Middle East with the British Ambassador, Lord Harlech, is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330, Sept. 1964.
  3. Not attached.
  4. A handwritten notation in the margin reads: “Give me a call. McGB