260. National Security Decision Memorandum 3151


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget


  • Military Assistance for Israel

The President has reviewed the NSSM 231 response2 and the options for military assistance for Israel which were discussed at the National Security Council meeting of January 13, 1976.3

The President has decided, in response to Israel’s revised request for military equipment from the United States, which was submitted to the Department of Defense on January 8, 1976,4 that the United States Government should approve the placement of orders by Israel under FMS and commercial procedures for military equipment of a value not exceeding a total of about $2.0 billion, as indicated by the list attached at Tab A.5 The Government of Israel will be permitted to request revisions in the list, particularly with respect to quantities of specific items, [Page 918] provided the revisions are consistent with the overall value and types of equipment on the list.

The President has also made a determination with respect to Israeli requests for certain weapons and equipment of an advanced, sophisticated or politically sensitive nature, as indicated in the list at Tab B.6

A Middle East Arms Transfer Panel, composed of representatives of the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the NSC Staff and chaired by the representative of the Department of Defense, will be constituted within the National Security Council system to control the transfer of arms and equipment under FMS and commercial procedures to Israel and such other countries of the Mideast as may be designated.

The President has also directed that Israeli requests for production and delivery of items contained on the list at Tab A, or any subsequent revision, should be handled in accordance with the standard procedures of the Department of Defense for sales to foreign countries. Any exceptions to standard procedures for arms transfers or amended requests for high sensitivity items should be referred, through the Middle East Arms Transfer Panel, to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Israel’s needs for the acquisition of weapons and military equipment are to be kept under continuous review. An interagency review will be conducted annually, or more frequently if necessary, by the Middle East Arms Transfer Panel for consideration by the Senior Review Group and, if necessary, the NSC, prior to the OMB submission of budget review materials to the President for the following fiscal year. In preparation for each annual review:

The Director of Central Intelligence will prepare an overall assessment of the Middle East military balance and situation projected over a period of five years. This assessment should include an estimate of both the most likely and the worst-case threats to Israel.

The Department of Defense will prepare an analysis of current Israeli arms requests and future plans for weapons procurement, including the impact of these requests and plans on future fund requirements, on U.S. inventories and procurement and on commitments to other nations for arms transfers, and the early identification of sensitive technology.

The Department of State will assess Israeli requests for military arms, equipment, supplies and technology, and the impact which providing such items would have on the Middle East and world political situation.

[Page 919]

The Office of Management and Budget will prepare an assessment of the funding implications of the Israeli requests.

With regard to Israel’s desire to conclude an agreed logistic plan for emergency resupply of military equipment and supplies in the event of resumed hostilities in the Middle East, the President has authorized the Department of Defense to continue preliminary talks with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to elicit and to evaluate specific Israeli views, and to make appropriate recommendations, through the Middle East Arms Transfer Panel and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, to the President.

The President has approved the continuation of cooperation between Israel and the United States regarding military co-production, research and development, and technology transfer, under existing Department of Defense procedures and the examination of requests on a case-by-case basis, under the general guidance of the Middle East Arms Transfer Panel.

Brent Scowcroft
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–79–0050, Box 2, Israel, 091.3, 1976. Top Secret; Sensitive. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. See Documents 243 and 244.
  3. See Document 254.
  4. The Israeli list has not been found.
  5. Tab A is attached but not printed.
  6. Tab B is attached but not printed.