37. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Iran


  • State

    • Warren Christopher
    • David Newsom
    • Harold Saunders
  • Defense

    • W. Graham Claytor
  • JCS

    • General David Jones
    • General John Pustay
  • CIA

    • Admiral Stansfield Turner
    • Frank Carlucci


    • Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti**
    • John Shenefield**
  • Treasury

    • Robert Carswell**
    • Anthony Solomon**
    • Robert Mundheim**
  • White House

    • Jody Powell
    • Lloyd Cutler**
    • Hedley Donovan
    • Zbigniew Brzezinski
    • David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Colonel William Odom
    • Gary Sick
    • ** Present for domestic issues only.

[Omitted here is material on the situation in Iran.]

Political-Military Issues:

1. Middle East Facilities. Dr. Brzezinski relayed the President’s concern that Oman, Somalia, Kenya and Saudi Arabia have not yet been approached concerning the possibility of U.S. facilities in the first three countries. State noted that they had been preparing a diplomatic strategy while awaiting DOD’s recommendation of what would be needed. State, Defense and NSC will meet today to accelerate the process and draft prospective cables.2 One serious problem is the price. General Jones noted that the improvements in Masirah would require about $200 million in construction plus about $190 million further for operational costs over a five year period. That money is not in the budget. State also pointed out that there is enormous sensitivity at this moment about possible U.S. military action against Iran. There was a considerable [Page 139] risk that going to some of these countries with a general request at this particular moment risked a quick negative response. Dr. Brzezinski noted that a generalized request would serve to engage them in discussion without spelling out particulars which might be difficult to accept on the first round. All agreed that each of the potential host countries would require a quid and that it would be expensive. It was noted that there is no FMS credit or ESF money in the budget for any of the three countries in question.3 (S)

[Omitted here is material on the situation in Iran.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Brzezinski Donated Material, Subject File, Box 31, [Meetings—SCC 228: 12/13/79]. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. The minutes are not attached and were not found. Carter wrote “Zbig J” in the upper right-hand corner of the first page.
  2. No memorandum of conversation of this meeting has been found.
  3. In the left-hand margin next to this paragraph, Carter drew an asterisk and an arrow pointing to the bottom of the page where he wrote: “It is debilitating, once we (or I) decide to proceed on a plan, for us to begin finding so many ways to delay any action. We cannot decide at an SCC meeting what Oman, Kenya, or Somalia will say or demand. You cannot decide at an SCC mtg how budget demands will be met. If we run into obstacles in the future we’ll either surmount them, change the plans or drop the idea. Idle debates among ourselves don’t help. If you all detect an unpredicted problem after I’ve made a decision, come directly & immediately to me—otherwise, carry out my decision, without delay.”