66. Summary and Conclusions of a Mini-Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Oman, Somalia, Kenya Facility Access


  • State

    • Mr. Reginald Bartholomew Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
    • Mr. David Gompert Deputy Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
    • Mr. Daniel O’Donohue Deputy Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
    • Mr. Robert Keely Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
    • Mr. Joseph Twinam Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
  • OSD

    • Mr. David Ransom Deputy Director, Near East and South Asia Region
  • JCS

    • RADM. J.A. Lyons Deputy Director for Political-Military Affairs, J–5
  • DCI

    • [2 names not declassified]
  • OMB

    • Mr. Randy Jayne Associate Director, National Security and International Affairs
    • Mr. Harry Shaw Chief, International Security Affairs Branch
  • White House

    • Mr. David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Mr. Jasper Welch
    • Mr. Fritz Ermarth
    • Mr. Gary Sick
    • Mr. Rutherford Poats

Summary and Conclusions


CIA reported indications of a near-term step-up of military operations in the Ogaden. It was agreed, therefore, that we cannot take new steps on access negotiations until these indications are confirmed or discredited. Meanwhile, State will review options, including “standing [Page 231] pat” on access negotiations. State will also develop diplomatic options for a demarche to Somalia on the Ogaden situation. (S)


A new proposal was tabled to include a $1 million package of improvements to an existing Kenyan facility, to facilitate joint ground training with the Kenyans. It was agreed that such joint training and the facility improvements were desirable. There was concern on timing because of political sensitivity at the start of the relationship, and because the SCC recently deferred a decision to request on-shore training in the area. The following approach was agreed, ad referendum to principals in the case of Defense and JCS:

a) Do not raise project with Kenya at this time.

b) Keep alive the prospect of joint training with Kenya (it is in the draft access agreement now with Kenya).

c) Raise the project as soon as (1) access agreement is in hand, (2) Congress has acted on other aspects of construction for FY 81, (3) the other aspects of Kenya program are in implementation.

d) Set aside sufficient funds for the project in FY 81 funds to permit financing in FY 81 if the timing track permits. (S)


It was agreed that the team to Oman will include Reg Bartholomew, State; David Ransom, Defense; Major General Irions, JCS; and Major Gerald Robinson, JCS. The Churchill team will be on hand to support. Bartholomew will present our case on the access agreement after presenting the President’s letter, the aide memoire on construction,2 and our economic offer. On hearing Oman’s concerns, he will make an on-the-spot judgment as to whether he and the Churchill team should begin negotiating technical details, or pitch a generalized fall-back position on which Oman could agree or reflect further. (S)

The aide memoire on construction was approved, except for the amended section on Musandam, to be sent around for clearance by DOD on 29 March. (S)

It was agreed that:

a) State will flesh-out the Joint Commission concept for presentation to Oman and begin planning on implementation.

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b) Delivery commitments stated in the Oman Aide Memoire are valid.

c) DOD will provide State with a paper outlining our approach to contracting in Oman (based on pre-qualification of bidders).3

d) The President’s letter on security assurances should be in the hands of the Bartholomew Team by Monday a.m.4 (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Defense/Security, Ermarth, Box 5, Middle East/Persian Gulf (Basing): 2–9/80. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. The minutes of the meeting were not found.
  2. No copy of Carter’s letter, as approved and sent to Qaboos, has been found. A draft prepared in PM/ISP and sent by Tarnoff to Brzezinski for approval under a March 21 covering memorandum is in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P800057–1179. The draft, prepared in response to Qaboos’ February 18 letter, incorporated the language agreed on at the February 29 SCC meeting. See Document 57. For the aide-mémoire on construction, see Document 72.
  3. The paper was not found.
  4. March 31.