15. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer) to Secretary of Defense Schlesinger1
- US Basing and Facility Requirements in the Middle East/Indian Ocean Area (U)
1. (S) The recent Middle East war and its aftermath clearly demonstrated the vital nature of oil to the United States and its allies. The effectiveness of NATO, freedom of the United States and its allies from coercion, and US relations with its allies can depend on sustained access to this resource.
2. (S) An initial assessment of US interests in the Middle East/Indian Ocean area indicates that continued access to vital regional resources may depend upon the ability of the United States to communicate effectively an unmistakable resolve to oppose threats to regional stability which would impact on vital regional interests. US efforts to promote stability in the region hinge upon the development of a relationship of mutual respect between countries of the region and the United States. Arab nations should be provided an alternate to the presence and assistance of the USSR. On the military’s side this can be done by insuring that current and future assistance efforts of military assistance and advisory groups, Defense Attachés, and military opera[Page 84]tion and support projects—e.g., engineers, training, and technical assistance teams—are carried out in a high quality, professional manner. Personnel exchange programs and orientation tours by all the Services should also be increased and given a high priority. Furthermore, the United States must develop the capability to establish a regional military force presence when and if required to promote stability.
3. (U) A detailed study of this problem is underway. It will provide a detailed examination of US national security interests and objectives and potential US military courses of action in the region.
4. (S) The initial assessment identified certain general facility requirements for the region. The extended leadtime required to complete the various negotiations indicates that the recommendations of the initial assessment should serve as a basis for preliminary diplomatic initiatives.
5. (S) Additional contingency planning in furtherance of US strategy for the Middle East is being prepared which encompasses capabilities which support operations in that area from the USEUCOM area. These contingencies will require base and operating rights in Turkey, Greece, and Italy. This requirement will be the subject of a subsequent memorandum.
6. (U) The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that a memorandum, substantially the same as that contained in the Appendix hereto, together with its Annex, be forwarded to the Secretary of State.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Summary: Moorer advised Schlesinger of U.S. basing and facility requirements in the Middle East after the Arab-Israeli War of October 1973.
Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD Files: FRC 330–78–0011, Middle East, 1974. Secret. A draft memorandum addressed to Kissinger is attached but not published.↩