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


  • Security Assistance for Southwest Asia


  • State

    • David Newsom, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
    • Matthew Nimetz, Under Secretary for Science, Technology, & Security Assistance
    • Reginald Bartholomew, Director of Politico-Military Affairs
    • Peter Constable, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East & South Asian Affairs
  • Defense

    • Ambassador Robert Komer, Under Secretary for Policy
    • Erich vonMarbod, Deputy Director Defense Security Agency
  • JCS

    • Lt. General John Pustay, Assistant to the Chairman
    • Brig. General David Palmer, Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs
  • CIA

    • Robert Ames, National Intelligence Officer for Near East & South Asia
  • OMB

    • Edward Sanders, Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs
  • White House

    • David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Major General Jasper Welch
    • Brig. General William Odom
    • Captain Gary Sick
    • Major Christopher Shoemaker
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DOD Security Assistance Paper

David Aaron stated that the purpose of the meeting was to examine the security assistance implications of our Persian Gulf security framework. (S)

Komer said that we had not adequately addressed our security assistance requirements in the region. We are spending $25–30 billion on improving our own capabilities but recommending only a ten percent increase in security assistance for the region. Yet, regional cooperation and capabilities are critical. The DOD paper2 represents a first-cut at what we really need to spend and the figures presented are probably low. SecDef and the JCS are both solidly behind the paper. (S)

David Aaron asked how these figures could fit into the ZBB process. (S)

Komer responded that these are additive requirements and cannot substitute for any existing program within the DOD budget. However, the security assistance recommendation can substitute for add-on U.S. requirements which would be needed to support an effective Persian Gulf strategy. The marginal security assistance dollar is probably worth more than the marginal defense dollar. Moreover, the amounts recommended in the DOD paper involve relatively modest outlays. The MAP recommendations simply face up to the facts of life in the region in that many states are simply unable to pay for their security needs. (S)

Nimetz opined that DOD and State have already prepared our FY 1982 security assistance budget and have recommended modest increases, but OMB is opposing this. The budget process will certainly oppose the new additions unless the pay-offs of such additions are clearly defined. Nimetz was also concerned with the skewing of our security assistance in favor of the Middle East-Persian Gulf area. (S)

Komer said that he recognizes the budget problems and that is why DOD suggested the SCC route. Security assistance is a policy issue and the SCC ought to raise it to the President. (S)

Bartholomew argued that insufficient analysis had been done on what it is we want security assistance to do for us and whether or not additional security assistance would help us achieve our security objectives. (S)

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Nimetz and Komer argued that we can’t provide assurances on this score until negotiations are joined which in turn requires that money be in the budget early. (S)

David Aaron suggested that we need to look at security assistance in relation to the DOD budget and that some sense of ranking of security assistance programs in an overall national security budget be developed. All agreed that would be useful. (S)

Sanders said the best budgetary approach was to prepare alternative packages which would be put into the budget presentation. The President could then decide which of several large chunks to add to his basic budget. (S)

Newsom added that the President may want to present the package to Congress as a major supplemental. (S)

Komer suggested that he and Nimetz work together to create a joint State-Defense issues paper for the budget presentation. (S)

Nimetz suggested that the paper be limited to recommendations on security assistance and not include the more general foreign affairs budget. (S)

David Aaron agreed and instructed State and DOD to complete the paper by November 7. (C)

Newsom urged that we develop a Congressional strategy to show the role that security assistance has in our overall security posture. (S)

Komer agreed and suggested that we should pursue Persian Gulf initiatives first and at a later time go for a more global expansion. (S)

David Aaron then turned the discussion to MAP, pointing out that the President has stood firm on his decision to eliminate MAP and will need strong justification to change his mind. (S)

Nimetz then argued that concessional credits may be an alternative to MAP. He did not agree that “forgiveness” for states other than Israel was practical. (S)

FMS to Saudi Arabia

The discussion then turned to supply military equipment to Saudi Arabia. David Aaron made a strong argument that we are allowing ourselves to become hostage to equipment requests from Saudi Arabia and other oil producers. He said that we should have stood firm in denying additional F15 equipment to the Saudis from the outset. (S)

Newsom pointed out that the Saudis and others can turn to alternative sources for equipment and this limits our control of their arms acquisitions. (S)

David Aaron urged that we look at military balance implications for each arms sale. (S)

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Komer argued that what we need to do is have close military relationship with the Saudis so that we can better focus their equipment requests. (S)

[Omitted here is material on India.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 124, SCM 151, 10/28/80, Mini SCC, Security Framework. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. The minutes are not attached and were not found. Odom sent the Summary of Conclusions to Brzezinski and Aaron under an October 29 memorandum, noting: “In sum, the Mini-SCC was unusually productive: what promised to be a Defense-State debate turned into a cooperative effort to address the toughest issue: resources.” (Ibid.)
  2. The October 23 Department of Defense overview paper, prepared in Komer’s office, sought to “(1) Identify the most useful potential indigenous military contributions; and (2) Maximize the range of our military assistance programs so that they can be used optimally to enhance indigenous capabilities which in turn will enhance the collective deterrent/defense effort.” (Ibid.)