90. Minutes of a Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1


  • Possible Soviet Moves in Egypt


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Mr. Rodger Davies
  • Defense
  • Mr. Richard Ware
  • Mr. Robert Pranger
  • JCS
  • Lt. Gen. John W. Vogt
  • CIA
  • Mr. Thomas H. Karamessines
  • NSC Staff
  • Mr. Harold Saunders
  • Col. Robert Behr
  • Mr. Keith Guthrie


1. A US position for dealing with possible Soviet moves in Egypt must be ready within one week. The WSAG will meet on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 112 to draw up an initial position and will meet again Monday, February 163 to give the problem further consideration.

2. In connection with preparation of the US position the following papers should be prepared:

a. Assistant Secretary Sisco should submit on February 9 proposals for intensifying our diplomatic efforts to bring about a cease fire and, in this context, to warn the Soviets against further intervention in Egypt. These proposals should take into account the possible usefulness of a renewed cease-fire effort in dealing with public opinion pressures, staving off a further Israeli request for aid, and placing the onus on the Soviets for escalating the Arab-Israeli conflict.

b. For WSAG consideration at its February 11 and 16 meetings the military situation in the Middle East and the options open to the United [Page 294] States should be reviewed. This review should be related to the existing contingency plans, particularly Tab H (action by Soviet naval forces) and Tab D (responses to Soviet overt intervention in renewed Arab-Israeli hostilities) of the WSAG contingency plan of October 1969.4

The analysis should take into account the overall power situation in the Middle East and not just the Arab-Israeli dispute. State and CIA should coordinate in preparing this aspect of the study.

c. The ad hoc Under Secretaries group is to meet Monday, February 16 to consider the paper that has been prepared on aid to Israel.5 This paper must be coordinated with current contingency planning and should discuss what aid levels to Israel are appropriate in the light of foreseeable Soviet moves. It should also consider tacit US Government facilitation of Israeli military purchases in the US.

[Omitted here are the minutes, which are printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XII, Soviet Union, January 1969–October 1970, Document 130.]

  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. See Document 91.
  3. This meeting did not take place.
  4. See Document 57 and footnote 2 thereto.
  5. Summarized in Document 93.