Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The 1991 Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support, cooperate with the Department of State by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series have complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. All of the Department’s indexed Central Files through July 1973 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). Beginning in July 1973, the Department phased out the old subject-numeric Central Files, replacing them with an electronic system, the State Archiving System (SAS), which have been transferred to the National Archives and, as the Central Foreign Policy File, comprises part of the online Access to Archival Databases (AAD). The reader will note a period of overlap of the two systems existed during 1973, which is reflected in the citations found in this volume. The Department’s decentralized (or lot) files covering the 1969–1976 period, which the National Archives deems worthy of permanent retention, have been transferred or are in the process of being transferred from the Department’s custody to Archives II.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of President Nixon and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries and the Nixon Presidential Materials Project include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other Federal agencies including the National [Page XIV] Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Nixon’s papers were transferred to their permanent home at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, in Yorba Linda, California, after research for this volume was completed. The Nixon Library staff is processing and declassifying many of the documents used in this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication. Additional materials related to the foreign policy of the Nixon administration can also be found in the National Security Adviser files at the Ford Library. Dr. Henry Kissinger has approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. The papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford subseries of Foreign Relations.

Department of State historians also have full access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretaries of Defense and their major assistants. The Central Intelligence Agency has provided full access to its files.

Research for this volume involved special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Ford Library, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all of the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it has been extracted from still classified documents. The Ford Library staff is processing and declassifying many of the documents examined for this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXV

In the preparation of this volume, the editors made extensive use of Presidential papers and other White House records held, at the time of research, at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, in College Park, Maryland (Archives II). These files have subsequently been transferred to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. Within the National Security Council Files, several collections are invaluable. The Kissinger Office Files, especially the country files sub-collection, were critical for documenting the Nixon administration’s efforts to manage the Arab-Israeli dispute in the months leading up to the outbreak of hostilities, as well as the administration’s efforts to manage the conflict amidst the countervailing pressures of the U.S-Israeli bilateral relationship, relations with the Arab countries, domestic concerns, the Watergate investigations, and the Cold War. This collection yielded a large number of important high-level documents, including memoranda of conversations; correspondence with Soviet and Middle Eastern officials, including backchannel communications; intelligence reports; and extensive documentation related to Kissinger’s travels to the region during and immediately after the war. Similarly, the [Page XV] Country Files, Backchannel Messages file, Harold H. Saunders Files, Presidential Correspondence file, Presidential/HAK Memoranda of Conversations File, President’s Daily Briefing File, the President’s Trip Files, and the VIP Visit Files, are rich resources for documenting both the National Security Council’s (NSC) role in the crisis and President Nixon’s communications with the leaders of the Arab states, Israel, and the Soviet Union. Separate from the main NSC Files collection, the NSC Institutional Files, also known as the “H-Files,” contain records of high-level meetings, requests for studies, and presidential decisions; for this volume, this collection provided the crucial records of the Washington Special Actions Group (WSAG) meetings held following the outbreak of the war on October 6, 1973. Further NSC documentation can also be found in the NSC Secretariat Files.

One of the most important collections for documenting the war period is the Henry Kissinger Telephone Transcripts. As the October 1973 War began while Kissinger was in New York for the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly, the “telcons,” produced from notes taken by White House secretaries and from tape recordings, are an essential source for documenting U.S. diplomatic moves taken at the outset of the crisis. In addition to this collection at the Nixon Library, these transcripts have also been made available online by the Department of State and the National Security Archive. Documentation in this volume of the pre-war period is enhanced by the White House tape recording collection. These conversations, transcribed from recordings made by President Nixon’s secret taping system, in operation until its removal in July 1973, provides an intimate record of both U.S. policy considerations and the candid personal assessments of the situation by the President and his closest advisers. The President’s Daily Diary, in the White House Central Files, is useful for tracking the President’s daily schedule.

This Nixon Library’s documentation on U.S. decision making before, during, and after the October 1973 War is supplemented by the National Security Adviser Files at the Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Within these files, two collections were of particular importance to this volume. The Memoranda of Conversations collection covers nearly the entirety of the 1973–1976 period, making it almost as valuable a resource for research on the Nixon administration as it is for the Ford administration. Additional documentation on the October War can be found in the Scowcroft Daily Work Files. Moreover, the Papers of Henry Kissinger at the Library of Congress proved an important resource for rounding out the administration’s handling of the October War. While nearly all of the documentation in the Kissinger Papers related to the policy decisions of the Nixon administration on the Arab-Israeli dispute during 1973 can also be found at the Nixon Li[Page XVI]brary, the volume benefitted greatly from a number of important documents on the October War, including memoranda of conversations, found only in this collection.

In documenting the role of the Department of State in U.S. policy making, a number of sources are important. The Department of State Central Files, located at Archives II in College Park, Maryland, provide a rich repository of telegrams, memoranda of conversations, and intra-departmental correspondence on U.S. policy in the Middle East. For research on the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the October War in particular, the files within the POL 27 and POL ISR–US subject-numeric headings are the most valuable. However, any researchers working in Department of State files for 1973 should be aware that beginning in July of that year, the Department began to phase out the old subject-numeric system in favor of the new electronic State Archiving System (SAS). Documents from the SAS system have been transferred to the National Archives and comprise the Central Foreign Policy File. Declassified documents within this collection are available online in the Access to Archival Databases (AAD). This systemic transition occurred over the course of several months. As a result, readers of this volume will see overlapping references to both systems during the last five months of 1973. In addition to the Central Files/Central Foreign Policy File, the Department of State lot files should not be overlooked. With Henry Kissinger’s appointment as Secretary of State in September 1973, no research on the Department’s role in shaping the Nixon administration’s handling of the Arab-Israeli dispute would be complete without consulting the Office Records of Henry Kissinger (Lot 91 D 414) and the Transcripts of Secretary Kissinger’s Staff Meetings (Lot 78 D 443). Research into the Department of State’s role was enhanced by access to the appointment diaries of Secretary of State William P. Rogers which were made available to Department of State historians with the generous assistance of Secretary Rogers’ estate.

For material on the Department of Defense’s contribution to Washington’s policy formulations, two collections stand out. The Diary of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas Moorer, provides an extremely valuable source for documenting the United States airlift to Israel and the military alert of October 24–25, 1973. The Moorer Diary also reflects the sharp disagreements between the Departments of Defense and State during the October 1973 War and presents a very different perspective on the conflict from that offered by Kissinger and his staff. The Diary was transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration, where it is held as part of Record Group 218 (Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) at Archives II. Likewise, the papers of James R. Schlesinger at the Library of Congress also provide useful documentation regarding both the airlift and the alert, though these are [Page XVII] far more limited in scope than the Moorer Diary. On the Central Intelligence Agency’s role, the Files of the Directorate of Intelligence and the Files of the National Intelligence Council proved the most valuable. It should also be noted that declassified CIA documentation related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the October War can be found online through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Electronic Reading Room on the CIA’s website.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • Central Files. See National Archives and Records Administration below.
    • Lot Files. For lot files already transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland, Record Group 59, see National Archives and Records Administration below.
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State
      • Central Foreign Policy File
      • Central Files
        • DEF 12–5 ISR
        • POL ISR–US
        • POL 7 JORDAN
        • POL 7 US/KISSINGER
        • POL 27 ARAB–ISR
        • POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR
        • POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR/UN
        • POL 27–15 ARAB–ISR
      • Lot Files
        • Office of the Secretary of State, Transcripts of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Lot 78 D 443
        • Office of the Secretary of State, Office Records of Henry A. Kissinger, Lot 91 D 414
        • S/S–I (Executive Secretariat) Files, Briefing Books: Lot 74 D 416
    • Record Group 218, Official Records of the Joint Staff
      • Records of Admiral Thomas H. Moorer Diary, October 1973
  • Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland (Now at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California)
    • National Security Council Files
      • Backchannel Files
      • Country Files, Europe: U.S.-USSR, USSR
      • Country Files, Middle East: Arab Republic of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East (General), Middle East War, Morocco; Secretary Kissinger’s Trip to Middle East
      • Harold H. Saunders Files: Jordan, Middle East Negotiations Files
      • Henry A. Kissinger Office Files:
        • Country Files
          • Europe, Exchange of Notes Between Dobrynin and Kissinger
          • Europe, USSR
          • Middle East, Dinitz
          • Middle East, Egypt
          • Middle East, Egypt/Ismail
          • Middle East, Jordan/Rifai
          • Middle East, Palestinians
          • Middle East, Rabin/Dinitz
          • Middle East, Rabin/Kissinger (Dinitz)
          • Middle East, Saunders Memoranda—Sensitive
          • Middle East, Saudi Arabia
        • Kissinger Trip Files
      • Henry A. Kissinger Telephone Transcripts
      • Presidential Correspondence
      • Presidential/HAK Memoranda of Conversations
      • President’s Daily Briefing File
      • President’s Trip Files
      • Subject File
      • VIP Visits File
    • National Security Council Institutional Files (H-Files)
      • Washington Special Actions Group Meetings
      • Washington Special Actions Group Minutes
      • National Security Council Secretariat Files
    • White House Central Files: President’s Daily Diary
    • White House Tapes
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • National Security Adviser Files
      • Memoranda of Conversation
      • Scowcroft Daily Work Files
    • Central Intelligence Agency
      • Files of the Directorate of Intelligence
        • Job 79T00861A
        • Job 79T01023A
      • Office of Economic Research Files
        • Job 80T01315A
      • Files of the National Intelligence Council (NIC)
        • Job 79R01012A
    • Library of Congress, Washington, DC
      • Papers of Henry A. Kissinger
        • Geopolitical File
        • Miscellany
      • Papers of James R. Schlesinger
    • Personal Papers of William P. Rogers
      • Appointment Books, 1973

Published Sources

  • Cline, Ray S. “Policy Without Intelligence,” Foreign Policy, No. 17 (Winter 1974–1975), pp. 121–135.
  • Kissinger, Henry. Crisis: An Anatomy of Two Foreign Policy Crises. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.
  • Kissinger, Henry. Years of Upheaval. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982.
  • Meir, Golda. My Life. New York: Putnam, 1975.
  • The New York Times
  • Nixon, Richard. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon. New York: Grosset and Dunlop, 1978.
  • Rabin, Yitzhak. The Rabin Memoirs. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979.
  • Sadat, Anwar el-. In Search of Identity: An Autobiography. New York: Harper, 1978.
  • United Nations. Yearbook of the United Nations, 1973.
  • United States. Department of State. Bulletin, 1969–1973.
  • United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard M. Nixon, 1973. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975.