17. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1

SUBJECT

  • Actions to Bolster Moderates Before Arab Summit

You asked at the last NSC meeting on the Mid-East2 about actions that could be taken before the Arab summit (December 20) to bolster the moderate leaders.

A number of steps have been taken, some of which are familiar to you:3

  • —The first shipment of internal defense equipment (3,000 M–14 rifles and other material totaling $1.5 million) has been airlifted to Jordan. King Hussein has also been informed of our readiness to consider [Page 56]his anti-aircraft and medium artillery needs. Assistant Secretary Sisco briefed his personal representative on our diplomatic position.
  • —For Lebanon, we have completed the sale of equipment necessary to improve the army’s capability to control the fedayeen, and have offered to help re-equip the Army with M–14 rifles. We are negotiating credit assistance via the Commodity Credit Corporation.
  • —State and our ambassadors have briefed each government on our position on an Arab-Israeli settlement in an effort to blunt distortions. The Secretary’s speech was designed to clear the record further.4
  • —For better or worse, the Four Powers are talking in New York.

The closer time has come to the summit, the more our reporting seems to indicate that the moderate participants will try to avoid closing any doors. But the dynamics of an Arab meeting can change prior intentions unpredictably.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 644, Country Files, Middle East, General, Vol. II. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.
  2. The NSC meeting occurred December 10. Minutes of the meeting are scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIII, Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1969–1972.
  3. A more detailed account of U.S. actions is included in a December 16 memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 644, Country Files, Middle East, General, Vol. II)
  4. See Document 15.