59. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1
- Putting Israeli Request in Perspective
Mrs. Meir has left us with two substantial requests—for 75 more jet aircraft (50 A–4s and 25 F–4s) and for help in meeting a projected $1.2 billion balance of payments deficit 1970–1974.
Although I believe you are sympathetic, you will need to know what is involved before you make final decisions. There are budgetary implications in the request for credit on the military sales, which go far beyond the planes—some $500–600 million in total purchases per year are projected for FY 70–74. There may even be some need for legislation in responding to the request for financial assistance. Israel probably even wants to go back on the AID list, so we shall have to look at all our options.
To provide you with the necessary analysis of costs and options, I propose setting up two NSC Ad Hoc Groups to be run in a combined effort by my program analysis and operations staffs with participation by the involved departments.
1. The first study would analyze for you Israel’s projected military requirements and U.S. options in helping to meet those requirements.
2. The second would analyze Israel’s projected requirements for financial help and U.S. options in responding.
When these studies are completed, Joe Sisco’s Interdepartmental Group would prepare a policy paper for you.[Page 202]
Finally, I would suggest telling the Israelis generally what our planned timetable for response is—without committing you on the nature of the response. If we can persuade them that we are not stalling but meeting your [their?] legitimate needs and that our timetable will not hurt them, I think we might keep them from turning on the domestic pressure.
That you approve the above procedure as embodied in the two NSSMs attached (Tab A and Tab B).2
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 605, Country Files, Middle East, Israel, Vol. III. Secret; Exdis. Sent for action. Printed from a copy that indicates Kissinger signed the original. All brackets are in the original except “[their?]”, added for clarity.↩
- Nixon initialed his approval on November 6. The attached NSSMs were signed by Kissinger; see Documents 62 and 63. A single NSC Ad Hoc Group was established to consider Israeli assistance requests.↩