258. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Secretary of State Vance1


  • Situation in Lebanon (C)

The situation in Lebanon appears to be deteriorating.2 Specifically, there appears to be a growing risk of renewed internal conflict which could trigger external involvement. (S)

The President would appreciate your analysis of the present situation and your suggestions of concrete steps we might take to minimize [Page 857] the risks of a serious conflict and promote Lebanese stability. Please let me have your comments by June 12, 1979. (S)

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Box 58, Lebanon: 11/78–7/79. Secret. Copies were sent to Brown and Turner.
  2. In a June 1 memorandum to Brzezinski, Sick observed that there was “growing evidence of a purposefulness in Israeli and Christian policy in Lebanon which could create a major crisis as early as this summer” and outlined a “worst case but plausible interpretation of present intentions and possible outcomes” of the situation. Sick concluded that the implications of the escalation of violence in Lebanon, including the continued shelling of UNIFIL positions by Haddad’s forces and the bombardment of Palestinian encampments, for U.S. policy in the region were “sufficiently grave to demand more systematic, high-level consideration that has been the case to date.” (Ibid.)