163. National Security Study Memorandum 2201


  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Deputy Secretary of State
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • U.S. Policy in the Middle East

The President has directed that a study be conducted of United States interests, objectives, strategy and policy toward the Middle East [Page 575] in the light of recent developments. The study should address our bilateral relationships with the principal countries in the area as well as the diplomacy of settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It should take into account the impact of our Middle East policy on our relations with countries outside the area.

—The study should reflect consideration of significant changes likely to take place in the region, within individual countries, and in the overall diplomacy of settlement.

—The study should consider the likely policies of outside powers, particularly the USSR, the European Community, Japan and China, with respect to the Middle East over the next several months.

—The study should examine closely the possibility of renewed Arab-Israeli hostilities and should make recommendations for U.S. policy in response to likely scenarios of renewed hostilities.

—The study should focus on developing alternative policies and recommendations for United States bilateral and multilateral relations with the countries of the Middle East, and with other major powers with respect to the Middle East, in the diplomatic, political, economic and military fields.

This study should be carried out by an NSC Ad Hoc Group composed of representatives of the addressees and the NSC staff and chaired by the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. It should be conducted on a close-hold basis and submitted not later than April 10 for consideration by the Senior Review Group prior to submission to the President.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 34, NSSMs, NSSM 220, U.S. Policy in the Middle East, Folder 4. Secret; Sensitive. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.