76. Memorandum From Peter Rodman of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
- IG Paper on U.S. Policy in the Persian Gulf
A summary of the IG paper on the Gulf is attached.
The IG paper itself—actually a draft by State—is not worth reading.2 Hal Saunders and Dick Kennedy agree that it is a disaster. It devotes one paragraph to analysis of Soviet policy, while it spends a full page on the need for advance planning in setting up a Foreign Service post in Dubai. It presents three options:
- Do Nothing (which it concludes would be “an abdication of responsibility”),
- Encourage the UK to Stay On (which would be “unworkable”), and
- Manifestation of Greater U.S. Interest (i.e., “we can do a good deal in small ways …”).
The first two options are discussed and are dismissed in one paragraph each, and the rest of the paper is devoted to spelling out the operational details of the third (e.g., setting up a Foreign Service post in Dubai). The paper is also about a year out of date.
Saunders is lighting a fire under the IG to try to get a better paper. The Review Group is tentatively scheduled to meet February 16. With Saunders’ assistance, I plan to work on an Issues Paper.3 I will try to get something to you by mid-January.[Page 243]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–156, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 66. Secret. Sent for information. Rodman wrote his summary of the Interdepartmental Group paper after consulting with Saunders. (Memorandum from Rodman to Saunders, October 23; ibid.)↩
- “Future U.S. Policy in the Persian Gulf,” undated, was drafted by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Near East and South Asia. (Ibid.) The revised version was eventually discussed at the June 5, 1970, Review Group meeting. See Documents 82 ↩
- A draft of the paper, “Outline of Persian Gulf Issues Paper,” January 21, 1970, is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 16, HAK Administrative and Staff Files, Persian Gulf: Drafts.↩
- A handwritten notation reads: “What’s that?” These are Kissinger’s comments, relayed from San Clemente by Anthony Lake and written into the margins by William Watts. (Memorandum from Watts to Rodman, January 7, 1970; ibid., NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–156, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 66)↩
- A handwritten notation in the left margin reads: “Absolutely.” Another handwritten notation at the end of the paragraph, reads: “Iraq.”↩
- A handwritten notation in the margin next to paragraphs D and E reads: “You must give me more detail or I won’t understand.”↩
- A handwritten notation reads: “Agree—option’s silly.”↩
- A handwritten notation reads: “This is the question. Must be many options.”↩
- A handwritten notation pointing to the first part of this sentence reads: “Like what?”↩
- A handwritten notation reads: “How?”↩
- A handwritten notation reads: “What are issues of Soviet-Iranian relations?”↩