93. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Energy
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Persian Gulf Security Framework (U)

My memorandum of June 3 outlined the basic structure of our security framework for the Persian Gulf and laid out some near-term goals.2 Since then, we have made considerable progress in a number of areas. Much more, however, remains to be done. This memorandum provides a summary of our current efforts, which the President has reviewed, to achieve the near-term goals presented in the June 3 memorandum. It also outlines the direction the security framework should take in the future. (U)

Current Status of Goals

A. Military Component

Command Arrangements. Notwithstanding notable progress, improvements are still needed. The goal is one command for both the [Page 301] RDF and all other military activities in the region, including military assistance. (S)

RDF Exercises in the Region. The President approved a comprehensive CY 1980 exercises plan for the region which includes the RDF. We will conduct an RDJTF battalion-sized exercise in Egypt this month. A plan for CY 1981 needs to be developed for interagency review. (S)

Basing Access. We have completed formal agreements with Oman, Kenya, and Somalia. We have agreed in principle with Egypt to use Ras Banas. We must continue our efforts to obtain an access agreement acceptable to both Egypt and the Congress. We also need to continue discussions with Saudi Arabia on overbuilding and prepositioning. (S)

Institutionalized Security Ties with Saudi Arabia. We have reached agreement in principle to establish a Joint Military Commission with Saudi Arabia.3 Less formal consultations are underway now which we should use as the basis for the initiation of the JMC. (S)

B. Foreign Policy Component

The Autonomy Negotiations. Little progress is evident, although we are keeping the talks alive. (U)

Improved Relations with Pakistan. These ties remain tenuous, although it appears that Zia is not prepared to strike a deal with Moscow. Pakistani-Saudi cooperation is improving, providing us with an indirect hedge against Zia yielding to Soviet pressures. The Zia meeting with the President helped reaffirm U.S.-Pakistani relations.4 (S)

Better Relations with Oman and Somalia. We have formally initiated the Joint Economic Commission with Oman and are preparing to begin upgrading Omani facilities, in accordance with our access agreement.5 We have signed an access agreement with Somalia, and the Somalis claim to have withdrawn their regulars from the Ogaden, although our intelligence does not confirm this. We continue to move cautiously but positively in our relations with both states. (S)

The Hostage Problem. A solution may be forthcoming. (U)

C. Economic Component

Security Assistance. We have not made progress in expanding our aggregate security assistance program in the region. DOD, State, [Page 302] and the DCI all agree that this is a crucial aspect of our security policy. (C)

Influence Over Saudi Aid. We have discussed the distribution of Saudi aid with the Saudi leadership. The JMC will provide us with an institutionalized forum for pressing this issue. We are separately encouraging more Saudi assistance for Somalia. (S)

Oil. The oil outlook is generally favorable, although the impact of the loss of Iraqi oil is yet to be felt. Saudi Arabia and others are helping make up for the Iraqi shortfall. Prices are stable and consumption in the West is down. We have begun to fill the strategic petroleum reserve. The Venice Summit and actions by the IEA have helped convince oil producers that we are serious about our energy policies and have helped stabilize the oil market. (S)

D. Intelligence Component

Progress is being made in this area. (C)

Goals for the Future

In addition to the areas outlined above where much remains to be done, we should develop analysis and come to decisions in the following areas in the near future:

A. Military Component

Budget Issues. We now need to address the budget implications of the third strategic zone. (C)

Relations with Saudi Arabia. We need to ensure that the close ties developed over the course of the Iran-Iraq war6 carry over after the conflict. We also need to determine a course of action to help us overcome the F–15 issue. (S)

B. Foreign Policy Component

Autonomy Negotiations. It is time to rethink our basic approaches and develop a more effective scheme. (C)

Post-hostage Iran. Once the hostages have been released we will need to review our overall policy toward Iran. (U)

Iraq-Iran War. We need to review our policies toward the war in light of its stagnation and any resolution of the hostage issue. (C)

Turkey and Pakistan. We need to devote special attention to improving ties with Turkey and Pakistan. Continued fear of Soviet [Page 303] incursions in Pakistan, and the new government in Turkey may provide opportunities for new initiatives. (S)

C. Economic Component

Economic Assistance. We need to seek greater U.S. economic and security assistance to the region. We also should encourage our allies to contribute more for both economic and military aid. (C)

Oil. Continued progress on oil pricing, availability, and conservation is critical. (U)

Saudi Regional Assistance. We should continue to seek to influence Saudi aid in the region in support of our security framework. (C)

General Economic Issues. We should review trade and financial relations with states in the region and recommend policy changes that seem appropriate in light of our regional security concerns. (U)

D. Intelligence Component

We should continue to integrate our intelligence efforts throughout the region into a region-wide program. (C)

These issue areas have been selected to help build on the progress we have made to date. I invite your comments on these near-term goals and your suggestions of other areas requiring attention by the SCC on the Security Framework. They should be submitted by November 14.7 (U)

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P870008–0297. Secret.
  2. On June 3, Brzezinski sent a memorandum to these same addressees summarizing the military issues, foreign policy issues, economic issues, intelligence issues, and future goals for the Persian Gulf security framework. (Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 81B00112R, Subject Files, Box 16, Folder 32: (SCC) Middle East Security Framework)
  3. See Document 217.
  4. A memorandum of conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XIX, South Asia.
  5. See Document 81.
  6. On September 22, war between Iran and Iraq commenced with ground and air attacks on Iranian territory by Iraqi forces.
  7. The State and Defense Department responses are Documents 95 and 96. Turner responded to Brzezinski on November 18, noting that “the Agency’s views concerning most of the foreign policy and economic components have already appeared in various artforms but may bear selective restatement during SCC discussions.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 63, Military Facilities in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, 9–12/80) Other agency responses are summarized in Document 97.