155. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State1

5435. Subject: Jordanian Intervention—Part II. Ref: Amman 5434.2

1. King’s thinking goes as follows: He has had urgent plea from Sadat (which Khammash has just delivered) for Jordan to take one of two actions to ensure Syrian survival: Let fedayeen back to attack Israel [Page 440]from Jordan or send units to Syria to bolster Syrian forces. King cannot accept first. Sadat’s plea adds to urgency of Assad’s continual calls for assistance. Thus the first pressure on King is appeal from Arab brothers for help.3

2. Second pressure is belief that Jordan cannot stand aside when all of Arab world becoming involved. If it does, it will be pariah and target. It is long-term continued existence of Hashemite regime that preoccupies King.

3. Third pressure—or rationalization—is belief that presence of Western-oriented Jordan together with Saudis in battle area will prevent complete radicalization of Arab world in direction of Soviets.

4. Next cable4 will discuss planned deployment of Jordan force, which will hopefully not be in battle area but on left flank.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 618, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, IX, January–October 1973. Secret; Flash; Nodis.
  2. In telegram 5434 from Amman, October 11, 1455Z, Brown reported that he had just met with the King and that the “gut issue” was the King’s statement that “before Syrian war ends, Jordan has to be in.” The Ambassador stated that Hussein said he could delay matters for 36 hours unless there was an imminent possible collapse of Syria and that he hoped that the Secretary could work miracles. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 7982 from Tel Aviv, October 11, 2340Z, Keating reported that he had met with Allon, who wanted to share with him his “elation” over developments on the Syrian front where the Israelis had broken through in two areas, were consolidating and resting during the night, and would press on early the next day. He emphasized, however, that the Israeli Government had no intention of taking Damascus. Israel would continue to hit military targets in Syria with the primary aim of knocking out what remained of the Syrian air force and military equipment. After Syrian military effectiveness was destroyed, Israeli forces would be sent to Sinai. Allon also expressed the hope that Israeli success in the north would deter Hussein from joining in on the Syrian side. (Ibid. Box 610, Country Files, Middle East, Israel, Vol. 12, March–October 1973)
  4. In telegram 5436 from Amman, October 11, 1515Z, Brown reported that the Jordanians had replied to the Syrians and Sadat that they could not afford to send a division. Instead they were talking about sending a brigade, which they wanted to station on the left flank of Golan, using supply routes through desert and open country just to the west. This also would be the easiest place from which they could get back to Jordan, if necessary, and it would keep them out of direct contact with Israeli forces. (Ibid., Box 618, Country Files, Middle East, Jordan, IX, January–October 1973)