217. National Security Study Memorandum 2171


  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Deputy Secretary of State
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Security Policy Toward Oman

The President has directed that a review and updating of past studies be carried out regarding United States Government security and strategic interests in Oman.

The study should:

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—examine the political and strategic importance of Oman for the Persian Gulf and South Arabia, including the importance to the United States of Omani oil;

—review the continued viability of the US policy of regional cooperation in Oman and the Gulf, as set forth in NSDM 92 and 186, as the basis for maintaining security in the area;

—assess the need for the United States Government to expand its role in the training or equipping of Omani forces;

—assess the need for access to facilities on Masira or elsewhere in Oman to support possible US force deployments or for other military purposes in the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea;

—determine the probable impact of an increased US military presence in Oman and the Gulf on those other states most directly concerned (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, South Yemen, Jordan, India, the UK and the USSR).

Pending completion of this study, there should be no official or informal United States Government survey of facilities which might be used or needed by US aircraft on Masira Island, or of additional Omani military needs which might be met by US assistance.

The study, which should include recommendations where appropriate for changes in US policy toward Oman, should be carried out by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for the Near East and South Asia and submitted not later than February 24, 1975. This study should be conducted on a close-hold basis.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Summary: President Ford directed a study of U.S. strategic policy toward Oman.

    Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Institutional Files, Box 13, NSSM 217. Secret; Sensitive. NSDMs 92 and 186 are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970, Documents 91 and 120.