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 Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. Most of the sources consulted in the preparation of this volume have been declassified and are available for review at the National Archives and Records Administration.

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 the Department’s indexed central files through 1976 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). All of the Department’s decentralized office 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 Presidents Nixon and Ford as well as other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other Federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Henry Kissinger has approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. These papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford subseries of the Foreign Relations series.

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Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Ford Presidential Library, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still classified documents. In the time since the research for this volume was completed, the Nixon Presidential Materials have been transferred to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. The Nixon Presidential 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.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume E–9, Part 2

The 1973–1976 period was, in large part, a continuation of the complicated pre-embargo period, as the United States attempted to manage and adapt to the changing relationships among oil corporations, newly wealthy Arab states, and a strategic situation fundamentally altered by the success of the 1973–1974 oil embargo. Coupled with these issues was Kissinger’s desire to create a new, stable, strategic order in the Middle East and Indian Ocean region. Thus, nearly every department involved in the crafting of U.S. foreign policy was involved at the highest level, especially concerning the developing relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To a somewhat lesser extent, the Departments of State and Defense, and the NSC consulted in the formulation of policy concerning the British departure from its base at Masirah, the U.S. MIDEASTFOR deployment, and new military and diplomatic ties to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and the Yemens. Documentation for this volume necessarily came from a variety of sources and all levels of the administration policy-making apparatus.

The holdings of the Nixon Presidential Materials Staff at Archives II, specifically the National Security Council Files, are the most valuable resource for Nixon administration foreign policy at the highest level. It is in these files that high-level memoranda and discussions may be found relevant to the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. For the larger strategic issues, the NSC Institutional Files, or H-Files, are central sources for NSSMs, NSDMs, and related materials. Box H–068 in particular holds much of the record for strategic and economic discussions of Saudi Arabia, and the copious materials related to the attempt to formulate a new regional strategy that occupied the WSAG and SRG in the aftermath of the October War and embargo. These materials are interspersed with those more directly concerned with the war and embargo, making them perhaps the single most important source on U.S. foreign military and financial policy for the entire 1969–1974 period.

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In addition to the Institutional Files, within the same holdings are ancillary materials of great importance. The Saunders Files are notable, holding draft materials and a critical set of procedural memoranda tracing the path of policy through the departmental and NSC bureaucracy. The Kissinger Office Files, while less complete, are also useful in this regard. Additionally, the Agency Files and the Country Files are valuable, the latter especially so for Saudi Arabia. Much of the attendant supporting material is available in Record Group 59, the Department of State Central Files, although it is often clear from an examination of the NSC files that cable traffic of particular importance was copied and centralized for the use of principals and NSC Staff. Collections of Exdis and Nodis cables are far more prominent in the Nixon Presidential Materials than in the larger, more dilute RG 59 collection. Of markedly lesser importance for policy making are the Presidential Correspondence Files, Presidential Trip Files, and VIP Visits Files. These are also valuable for those researchers concerned with Kissinger’s shuttles, oil, and the Middle East peace process. For U.S.-Saudi Arabia or U.S.-Gulf state relations, the memoranda of conversation and correspondence between Nixon and King Faisal are the documents of interest.

The Gerald R. Ford papers at the Ford Library are of equal importance to those of President Nixon. Ford implemented many of the policies in the Middle East formulated by the Nixon administration, particularly those related to the broader financial relationship with Saudi Arabia. Kissinger’s concurrent tenure as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State also makes an examination of the Ford papers a necessity. The primary sources for the Middle East are the Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, and these are supplemented by the NSC Staff Convenience Files for the same area. The Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, the Backchannel Messages, and the Memoranda of Conversation files are all of great importance for establishing the details of Kissinger’s repeated trips to the Middle East, especially when he frequently stopped in Jidda, Ta’if, or Riyadh to brief Saudi leaders on his negotiations with Syria, Egypt, and Israel, and discuss bilateral issues at the same time. As with the Nixon Presidential Materials, most of the material on NSSMs, SRG meetings, and WSAG are to be found in the NSC Institutional Files (H-Files).

The most complete record of Department of State actions is the aforementioned Record Group 59. For this volume, the files of the POL series related to the countries of the peninsula were of value. The FN Saudi Arabia files are also of importance for discussions of petrodollar and military contracting topics. Also in the same collection are the Lot Files, of which the Kissinger Lot File, containing memoranda of conversation and the records of the Regional Staff Meetings are extremely valuable and not reproduced elsewhere.

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By the time of this volume’s publication, many, if not all, of the Embassy and Desk records currently in the custody of the Department of State will have been transferred to Archives II and incorporated into Record Group 84. These Embassy files are of enormous value, and the Embassy files for Saudi Arabia, in particular, are meticulously kept and provide a critical set of parallel documentation supporting the high level discussions of policy in the NSC and Departments of Defense and State. The Embassy files of the smaller posts, while less complete, are still crucial sources for policy discussions on topics such as Masirah Island, arms sales to Yemen Arab Republic and Jordan, and the Dhofar conflict.

The Henry A. Kissinger Papers in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress were absolutely invaluable for this volume. These papers contain copies of telegrams and memoranda of conversation, along with copies of nearly every decision or action memorandum that concerned Kissinger during his tenure as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. The Geopolitical Files and Subject Files were the most valuable sections, and the Saudi Arabia files of particular importance.

The Department of Defense was a key player during this period, and the records of that Department, Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, are crucial and form a parallel record for decisions on military sales, the joint commissions with Saudi Arabia, the discussion of NSSMs, and the implementation of training programs, as well as an important source for the Northrop and Lockheed defense commissions scandal. This record group contains memoranda from Secretaries of Defense Elliot Richardson, James Schlesinger, and Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretaries William Clements and Robert Ellsworth, and numerous other officials.

The records of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council Intelligence Files for the Nixon-Ford administrations were helpful for finished intelligence, intelligence memoranda on Saudi Arabia, and Soviet strategy.

Unpublished Sources

  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, Files of the Department of State
    • Central Files. Central files are the general subject files for Department of State materials. The 1969–1972 period includes two sets of materials (1967–1969 and 1970–1973) organized by a subject-numeric system. This system consists of seven broad categories: Administration, Consular, Culture and Information, Economic, Political and Defense, Science, and Social. In particular, the Political (POL) and Defense (DEF) related files are important to this Foreign Relations volume. Within each of these divisions are subject subcategories. For example, Political and Defense contains four subtopics: POL (Politics), DEF (Defense), CSM (Communism) and INT (Intelligence). Numerical subdivisions further define the subtopics.
    • The following represent the most important central files utilized for this volume:
      • FN 9 Saudi Arabia
      • PET 17 U.S.-Saudi Arabia
      • POL 2 Saudi Arabia
      • POL 7 Saudi Arabia
      • POL 23 Oman
      • POL 27 Arab-Israeli
      • POL 30 South Yemen
      • POL Iran-Saudi Arabia
      • POL Kuwait
    • Lot Files. These files have been or will be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 59.
    • Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177
    • Post Files. These are the papers of the regional embassies, and are at the time of compilation part of Record Group 84, under the control of the Department of State. At publication time they have been or will be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 84.
    • Abu Dhabi Embassy Files
      • Lot 79F121, DEF, STADIS (Various), 1976
    • Doha Embassy Files
      • Lot 79F187, POL 1–2, Gulf
      • Lot 79F187, POL 1–3, Qatar
      • Lot 79F187, POL 7, Visits
      • Lot 79F187, POL, Political Affairs and Relations 1975
      • Lot 79F187, POL, Political Affairs and Relations 1976
    • Jidda Embassy Files
      • Lot 79F79, POL
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5 Agent’s Fees
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5 Jordan
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5 Jordan January–April
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5 Northrop/F–5
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5, Bahrain
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5, Lockheed
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 7 Visits, Abdullah
      • Lot 79F80, POL 15–4, Denmark File (corruption)
      • Lot 79F80, POL Northrop & Lockheed
      • Lot 79F80, POL Northrop & Lockheed 1975
      • Lot 79F80, DEF 12–5.13, Northrop
    • Manama Embassy Files:
      • Lot 78F118, POL 15, Government (Saudi Arabia), Classified
      • Lot 79F118, 1976 Subject Files, DEF 21–5, Armaments/Procurement & Sales
      • Lot 79F118, DEF 15, COMIDEASTFOR
      • Lot 79F118, POL 15, Bahrain Government
    • Sanaa Embassy Files:
      • Lot 70F206, DEF 19, Military Assistance/YAR Arms
      • Lot 79F206, POL 7, Visits, Prince Sultan
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • National Security Adviser
      • Backchannel Messages
      • Kissinger Reports on U.S.S.R., China, and Middle East Discussions, 1974–76
      • Memoranda of Conversations
      • NSC Institutional Files (H-Files)
      • NSC Staff for Middle East and South Asian Affairs, Convenience Files, 1974–77
      • Presidential Agency File
      • Presidential Country Files for Middle East and South Asia, 1974–77
      • Trip Briefing Books and Cables for Henry Kissinger, 1974–76
  • Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland (Now at Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, California)
    • Agency Files
      • CIA
      • Country Files
        • Kuwait
        • Middle East
        • Middle East, General
        • Saudi Arabia
        • Trucial States
        • Yemen
      • Harold H. Saunders Files
        • Chronological Files
        • Middle East Negotiations Files
          • Saudi Arabia
      • Kissinger Office Files
        • Country Files
          • Middle East
          • Kissinger Trip to Middle East, November 5–10, 1973
          • Middle East, Kurdish Problem
          • Middle East, Saudi Arabia
      • Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts
        • Chronological Files
      • Presidential/HAK Memcons
      • National Security Council Institutional Files (H-Files)
        • Meeting Files
        • National Security Study Memorandum Files
        • Policy Papers
        • Senior Review Group Minutes Files
        • Washington Special Action Group Meeting Files
        • Washington Special Action Group Meeting Minutes
      • Presidential Correspondence.
        • Saudi Arabia, King Faisal, 1972–75
      • President’s Daily Brief
      • President’s Trip Files
      • Subject Files
        • NIEs
          • VIP Visits
        • Visit of Prince Fahd
    • White House Central Files
      • President’s Office Files
        • President’s Handwriting File
    • White House, Council on International Economic Policy
  • Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, Washington, D.C.
    • Henry A. Kissinger Papers
      • National Security Council, Committees and Panels
        • Senior Review Group
      • Geopolitical Files
        • Middle East Chronological File
        • Saudi Arabia
        • U.A.E.
  • Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia
    • Files of the Office of the Director of Intelligence
    • Office of Current Intelligence Files (DI/OCI)
      • Job 79T00866A
      • Job 79T00889A
      • Job 79T01022A
      • Job 85T00353R
    • Office of Economic Research
      • Job 80T01315A
    • Executive Registry Files
      • Job 79M00467A
      • Job 80M01009A
      • Job 80M01048A
      • Job 80M01066A
    • Files of the National Intelligence Council
      • 79R01012A
      • 79R0102A
      • 79R01099A
  • Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
    • Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
      • 330–79–0049
      • 330–82–0274
    • Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (OASD/ISA)
      • 330–76–117
      • 330–77–0054
      • 330–78–0001
      • 330–78–0002
      • 330–78–0011
      • 330–78–0038
      • 330–79–0037
      • 330–79–0040

Published Sources

  • U.S. Department of State. Department of State Bulletin, 1969–1976. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969–1972.