131. Minutes of a Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1


  • Middle East


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
  • Mr. Rodger Davies
  • Defense
  • Mr. G. Warren Nutter
  • Mr. Robert Pranger
  • JCS
  • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
  • Col. Frank W. Rhea
  • CIA
  • Gen. Robert E. Cushman, Jr.
  • Mr. Thomas Karamessines
  • NSC Staff
  • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
  • Mr. Harold Saunders
  • Mr. Keith Guthrie


The WSAG reviewed the status of contingency planning for military-supported evacuation from Arab nations and for military intervention in response to possible requests for assistance from friendly Arab governments threatened with overthrow by outside and/or indigenous forces. The objective is to be able to provide the NSC a complete analysis of alternatives and implications in the event the NSC is faced with a decision on whether to take military action to meet a crisis in one or more Arab countries.

The WSAG Middle East Working Group will prepare a study setting forth the pros and cons of military intervention at the invitation of a friendly Arab government.2 The study will be a general one dealing with all countries in which the United States might be asked to take military action in support of friendly governments (including Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia). However, the study will identify special factors applicable only to individual countries. It should specify what the US can reasonably expect to accomplish within a given time [Page 453] frame. The study will be submitted for consideration at an early meeting of the Special Review Group.3

For Libya and Kuwait the WSAG Middle East Working Group will prepare a chronological listing of steps to be taken and assignment of responsibilities for action in the event of a crisis. In addition, the Working Group will insure that the contingency plan for each country includes an annex specifying the number and location of US nationals in that country. The JCS will prepare a listing of various alternative routes for staging troops to the Middle East, with information about the time factors involved.

The WSAG agreed that it would be desirable to hold advance consultations with the UK to see if British bases on Cyprus might be available for staging US troops. The State Department is to look further into the possibility of consulting with the British.

In connection with possible use of Greek facilities, the WSAG agreed that it was important that the studies and plans being prepared contain a full assessment of the availability of Greek bases under various contingencies.

[Omitted here are the minutes.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–114, Washington Special Actions Group, WSAG Minutes (Originals) 1969 and 1970. Secret; Nodis. All brackets are in the original except those indicating text omitted by the editors. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
  2. The study, “U.S. Response to an Appeal for Support by King Hussein of Jordan,” undated, is ibid., Box H–078, Washington Special Actions Group Meetings, WSAG Meeting Jordan & Israel 6/22/70.
  3. The next Ad Hoc Special Review Group meeting was held on July 9; see Document 133.