25. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1
- Your Meeting with Messrs. Lincoln, Anderson and Murphy (Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board)—11 a.m., Tuesday, June 16
Background: You will recall last fall having requested that Messrs. Franklin Lincoln, George Anderson and Robert Murphy visit selected countries from Morocco to Iran for the purpose of providing you with some extra-bureaucratic insights on the role of the United States in this area in conjunction with your thinking about a possible “Mediterranean policy.”2 They are meeting with you today to report their findings personally. Each gentleman can be expected to describe his impression of the particular area visited. From preliminary reports from two, you can expect the following:
- —U.S. policy is pro-Israel and anti-Arab.
- —The Soviet threat is real; close U.S. identification with Israel deprives the moderates of an alternative.
- —Further sale of Phantoms to Israel would be disastrous.
- —The Gulf States are alarmed at the lack of U.S. appreciation of its own national interest—$3.5 billion investment and $2 billion in oil and trade revenues.
- —The U.S. must begin a dialogue with the Palestinians.
- —The U.S. could compel Israel to a settlement in the Arab view.
- —The U.S., in the Arab view, has a role to play in settling the Arab-Israeli dispute which would bring peace and nullify Russian attempts to dominate.
- —Lebanon needs U.S. arms to keep the loyalty of its citizenry (especially in Southern Lebanon where fedayeen subversion is strong). Lebanon facing increasing difficulty in avowing its traditional close ties with the U.S.
Admiral Anderson [Report at Tab A]:4 George Anderson visited Italy, Spain, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. General impressions include:
- —A general trend in all of those countries to be more friendly to the Arabs.
- —The reality of the increasing Soviet naval presence as a threat to NATO’s southern flank and our Sixth Fleet. (We should resume military aid to Greece and enhance the Fleet.)
- —The plausibility of greater U.S. reliance on European familiarity with North Africa to uphold the free world position there. (Our clandestine work is especially weak.) [He may elaborate on his private knowledge of a possible Morocco–Spain–Portugal defensive arrangement which Morocco is suggesting.]
- —Evidence that the “lid” is being kept on Cyprus due to greater cooperation by the Greeks and the possibility of greater Greek, Turk, U.S. and UK efforts to move Cyprus toward a Western-oriented rather than just neutral position.
- —Evidence of good intentions on the part of the Greeks to be a friendly NATO member. As they feel secure, they will move toward parliamentary government; we can resume military aid while observing their performance.
- —Indications that the left-wing anti-NATO opposition in Malta may come to power in 1971. Greater U.S. cooperation with the British (they have the economic foothold there) would stem this, thus protecting our NATO command presence.
- —The need for more U.S. clandestine work in the Italian situation where the communists pose a threat—not as winners but—as a strong opposition force working to improve ties with the Soviet bloc.
Robert Murphy went to North Africa and to Italy, arranging his own schedule, and will report to you personally today.
Discussion Points: As you know, Wednesday’s NSC discussion5 will concentrate on the Mediterranean, Greece and Italy—a first effort in looking at the possibility of a U.S. policy for the broader Mediterranean. It has long been thought that the many states surrounding the Mediterranean were so diverse as to preclude any broad conceptual approach to this area. However, an examination of the various local and international forces that play across the area suggest now the plausibility of a less compartmentalized policy than in the past.
These three trips were conceived with that idea of providing you with some extra insights into this possibility of a broader Mediterranean policy. In this context, you may wish to:
- Ask each of these gentlemen to report on his personal reflections.
- Then ask what thoughts they have about a broad U.S. approach
to the entire area:
- —What do they feel is the main U.S. policy problem across this area?
- —What are the possibilities for an increased U.S. presence in the area outside the context of the Arab-Israeli dispute?
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 276, Agency Files, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. IV. Secret; Exdis. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. A handwritten notation at the end of the memorandum says: “No press photo.” According to Nixon’s Daily Diary for June 16, he met with members of PFIAB from 11:20 a.m. to 12:06 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) No other record of the meeting has been found.↩
- Documentation on the trips of PFIAB members is in ibid., NSC Files, Box 275, Agency Files, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vols. II and III.↩
- Tab B, March 10, is attached but not printed. All brackets are in the original.↩
- Tab A, January 15, is attached but not printed.↩
- See Document 26.↩