284. Summary of Conclusions of a Mini-Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Security Issues in the Arabian Peninsula


  • State:

    • Under Secretary Lucy Benson, Security Assistance, Science and Technology
    • Harold Saunders, Asst. Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
    • William Crawford, Deputy Asst. Sec., Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
    • George Lane, U.S. Ambassador to Yemen
    • Daniel O’Donohue, Deputy Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
  • DOD:

    • Robert Murray, Deputy Asst. Sec., Near Eastern African, and South Asian Affairs
    • Gen Richard Lawrence, Commander, U.S. European Command Operations Planning Element, Saudi Arabia
    • Henry Gaffney, Director for Near East and South Asia
    • David Ransom, Deputy Director for Near East and South Asia
    • LtCol William Boice, Aide to General Lawrence
  • ACDA:

    • Henry Blechman, Asst. Director, Weapons Evaluation and Control Bureau
    • Alan Platt, Arms Transfer and Economics Division
  • JCS:

    • LtGen William Smith
    • Rear Admiral James A. Lyons, Jr., Asst. Director for Politico-Military Affairs
  • DCI:

    • Robert Bowie, Director, National Foreign Assessment Center
    • [name not declassified], Asst. NIO for Near East and South Asia
  • OMB:

    • Randy Jayne, Assoc. Dir., Nat’l Security & International Affairs
  • White House:

    • David Aaron
  • NSC:

    • Gary Sick
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The Mini-SCC met to hear Major General Richard Lawrence’s report on the findings of his team in Saudi Arabia and North Yemen. He outlined for the group the major deficiencies in organization, management and staff in both the Saudi and the Yemeni armed forces. He proposed a number of changes in present command structure and the assistance and advisory role of the United States to improve the military capabilities of both countries. (S)

The group agreed that an interagency study was required of the triangular U.S.-Saudi-Yemeni relationship, to be folded into the on-going review of security issues in the Arabian Peninsula. The study should address the question of how much we wish to emphasize the U.S. role as opposed to the present situation of a U.S. role which is essentially derivative from Saudi policy. If a greater U.S. role is required or desirable, how should U.S. participation be strengthened? How can we profit from the availability of Jordanian military training and assistance? What would be the political implications of an increased U.S. role? Does the U.S. military role need to be balanced by a greater effort in the economic and political sphere? (S)

Based on the findings of this broad review of U.S. objectives and policy, the specific recommendations for command restructuring in the field will be examined. (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 120, SCC 068, 05/17/79, Mini SCC, Arabian Peninsula Security Issues. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. The minutes are not attached and were not found.