[Page 28]

6. National Security Study Memorandum 171

TO

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

SUBJECT

  • Further Studies on Middle East Policy

Following the NSC meeting of February 4 on the Middle East,2 the President directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Near East, as a next step in developing a precise strategy, prepare the following papers for early discussion in the NSC Review Group and the NSC:

1. A description of an Arab-Israeli settlement which the US could support and which, if achieved, would reduce the likelihood of further Arab-Israeli hostilities. The following should also be included:

—Alternative terms of settlement where appropriate.

—Discussion of the respective contribution of the major alternatives described to reducing likelihood of future hostilities.

—A judgment on the likely acceptability of terms to the parties.

2. A discussion of alternative forms of US and international guarantees of a settlement and of Israeli security.

3. A plan of action which would relate the two-power and four-power negotiating tracks to each other and to our most significant bilateral relationships, including an estimate of chances of success and an analysis of where we would be if this course of action failed.

4. A possible plan of action detailing ameliorative steps to be taken if we judge that a general settlement is not possible now, including an estimate of chances of success and an analysis of where we would be if this course failed.3

[Page 29]

These papers should be forwarded to the NSC Review Group by February 13. The paper on basic US interests in the Middle East, requested in NSSM 2,4 should be forwarded at the same time if possible.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–135, National Security Study Memoranda. Secret; Exdis. A copy was sent to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness.
  2. See Document 5.
  3. The Review Group met on February 18 to discuss the NSCIG/NEA paper, “Further Studies on Middle East Policy.” The paper is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–135, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 17. No minutes of the NSC Review Group meeting have been found. A revised text of the paper is Document 8.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 3.