249. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President’s Chief of Staff (Haldeman)1

It is imperative that the President understand the circumstances under which last night’s WSAG on the Middle East was convened:

  • —At approximately 9 PM, General Haig received a hot line call from 10 Downing Street initiated by the Prime Minister’s Assistant, Mr. Greenhill.
  • —In behalf of the Prime Minister, Mr. Greenhill insisted on knowing U.S. intentions with respect to Jordan, stating that the Prime Minister was very concerned about King Hussein’s decision to force a showdown with the Fedayeen.
  • —As General Haig told you last night on the phone, Mr. Green-hill indicated that the Prime Minister wished to discuss the situation personally with the President.
  • —Because of these circumstances, I judged it imperative to have all feasible courses of action prepared for the President’s consideration in the event the call came through.
  • —As you know, Dave Packard, Admiral Moorer, Joe Sisco and I were at Airlie House when the situation developed and this group decided to return to the White House to prepare answers to specific questions posed by the Prime Minister and to make the necessary preparations for a possible head-to-head discussion between the President and the Prime Minister.
  • —The memorandum which I sent the President this morning was prepared jointly by Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard, Chairman of the JCS Moorer, Assistant Secretary of State Sisco and his assistant, Mr. Seelye.

I believe it is most important that you make the foregoing circumstances crystal clear to the President at the earliest possible moment so that he understands the context in which last night’s meeting was convened and also understands the fact that the contents of the memorandum represent the view of the group.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–077, Washington Special Actions Group Meetings, WSAG Meeting Jordan 9/15/70. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. A handwritten notation on the top of the memorandum indicates the date of the memorandum to be September 14; however, it presumably was written on September 16 after the WSAG meeting from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. on September 15. See footnote 3, Document 246.