258. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Duncan) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Deliveries to Yemen (U)

(S) As requested, I have directed the Army to provide 64 M60A1 tanks to Yemen on the schedule set forth in my memorandum to you of December 15, 1978.2 The delivery schedule for armored personnel carriers and C–130 aircraft also will be as indicated in that memorandum.

(S) We have reviewed the F–5 delivery schedule again, as requested at today’s Mini-SCC meeting.3 I confirm that the only F–5 aircraft available from production in the right configuration are the aircraft now scheduled for Thailand and Jordan. Thailand has 4 F–5Es scheduled for delivery in April–July 1979. These are advance attrition replacements for the 18 F–5 aircraft Thailand already has. Jordan has F–5 deliveries beginning in August, 1979 and continuing, on present schedule, through January, 1981. These Jordan aircraft are part of a 30-aircraft purchase under the MAP Program, and will supplement the 42 F–5s already in the Jordanian Air Force.

(S) There are two options for expediting delivery of 8 F–5E aircraft to Yemen:

1. Divert to Yemen the 4 aircraft now scheduled for Thailand in April–July, 1979, and 4 aircraft now scheduled for Jordan in August–September, 1979. Pay back the Thailand and Jordan programs in 24 months.

2. Divert to Yemen the 4 Thailand and the 4 Jordanian aircraft, as in option 1. Pay back Thailand in October, 1979–January 1980. This [Page 806] will delay deliveries to Thailand for only 6 rather than 24 months, but will require Jordan to wait 24 months for all 8 aircraft, rather than for only the 4 aircraft in option 1.

(U) Please let me know if you wish the DoD to act on either of these alternatives.4

CW Duncan Jr
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Subject File, Middle East, Box 92, YAR: 9–12/78. Secret. Copies were sent to Christopher and Benson.
  2. Presumably a reference to Document 257.
  3. A mistaken reference to the Mini-SCC meeting held December 19. With regard to North Yemen, the Summary of Conclusions of this meeting states: “The program developed by Defense for speeding up deliveries to North Yemen was reviewed, including expedited delivery of 64 tanks. DoD agreed to look again at the diversion of F–5s from Thailand, with the objective of delaying Thai deliveries as little as possible.” (Summary of Conclusions of Mini-Special Coordination Committee Meeting, December 19; Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East, Stoddard File, Box 122, Special Coordination Committee (SCC) Meetings: 11–12/78)
  4. In the lower margin an unknown hand wrote: “DA [David Aaron] approved #2, answer relayed by phone 12/20—WFAR.”