148. National Security Study Memorandum 981


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Further Review of Israeli Arms Requests

As a follow-on to the procedures for initial review of Israeli requests for military equipment established by the Secretary of Defense, the President has requested that a study be prepared quickly outlining the principal Israeli strategies that could be supported against the Soviet and Egyptian missile defense complex west of the Suez Canal, their technical feasibility and their relation to political courses of action.

This study should include a range of options such as the following:

—a major effort to destroy the defense installations west of the Canal;

—a strategy for suppressing the effectiveness of the missile defense system and freeing the airspace for attack on front-line positions;

—a strategy for using means other than air attack for suppressing artillery fire and disrupting any effort to mass for attack on the west bank;

—a program for erecting an Israeli air-defense system on the east side of the Canal.

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Each of the strategies outlined should be related to a specific list of equipment required.

For the sake of comparison, a list of all current Israeli requests should be provided with a rationale for those major items not included in one of the packages.

Because of the close relationship between the provision of arms and U.S. diplomatic strategy the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Near East is charged with the preparation of this study and with the formulation of policy options in responding to Israeli requests. This and any following similar studies will incorporate the technical conclusions of the task force established by the Secretary of Defense.2

This study should be forwarded for consideration in the NSC through the NSC Special Review Group no later than the opening of business August 17.3

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–173, National Security Study Memoranda. Secret; Nodis. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. An analytical summary of the study is Document 152.
  3. The Ad Hoc Special Review Group meeting was held on August 19; see Document 153.