10. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


  • Summary of Conclusions: PRC Meeting on Southwest Asia and Saudi Arabia


  • State

    • Warren Christopher (Chairman), Deputy Secretary
    • David Newsom, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
    • Harold Saunders, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
  • Treasury

    • Secretary Blumenthal
    • Anthony Solomon, Under Secretary for Monetary Affairs
    • Fred Bergsten, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs
  • Defense

    • Secretary Brown
    • Charles Duncan, Deputy Secretary
    • David McGiffert, Assistant Secretary for International Security
  • Office of Management and Budget

    • Dr. John White, Deputy Director
    • Ed Sanders, Associate Director for International Affairs
  • Commerce

    • Stanely Marcuss, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Regulations
  • Energy

    • Harry Bergold, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff

    • General David C. Jones
    • Lt. General William Smith
  • Central Intelligence Agency

    • Dr. Robert Bowie, Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment
    • Robert Ames, NIO for Near East and South Asia
  • White House

    • Dr. Brzezinski
  • National Security Council

    • Thomas Thornton
    • William Quandt
    • Rutherford Poats

The PRC met to discuss the broad question of strategy in Southwest Asia (the region from Yemen to Bangladesh) as well as specific issues relating to Saudi Arabia. (S)

1. Regional Strategy. There was a broad consensus on the existence of domestic instability in many parts of this region that either has [Page 28] external effects or could be exploited by outside forces. While there are many interrelationships, differences within the region preclude a single strategy except in the broadest terms. The Indian subcontinent, Iran and the Arabian peninsula do, however, comprise logical sub-regions. The group recognized that there was no clear correlation between amounts of resources expended and positive results; the region is sufficiently important, however, that we should make a major effort to get whatever resources we believe are necessary, and we should develop greater flexibility in applying resources such as security supporting assistance. Several members commented on the need for better analysis of the economic problems of the area and how they relate to political and security factors. The State Department also offered to circulate a list of current US commitments to the states of the region. (S)

2. South Asia. With specific regard to the subcontinent, there was general acceptance of the strategy proposed by the meeting of the Subcontinent Chiefs of Mission in Colombo2—reassure Pakistan to enhance its sense of security; provide economic assistance and limited military sales to Pakistan; recognize the prominent and promising role of India; seek to reduce Indo-Pakistani tensions; encourage regional cooperation; and promote Sino-Indian dialog. There was no support for expanded military arrangements along the lines of CENTO. State, NSC and other concerned agencies will draw up specific recommendations for action in implementing this South Asian policy and will explore it with our Ambassadors in the region. Deputy Secretary Christopher is seeking to reschedule his consultations in India3 and Pakistan4 for mid-February. This would be an appropriate time to discuss our ideas directly with the parties. The need to assess Indian and Pakistan sensitivities was noted. (S)

[Omitted here is material unrelated to South Asia.]

5. Capabilities for Action. We need to look at our economic and military resources for meeting the needs of some of the countries in the region. A suggestion was made that we might try to shorten lead times for delivering certain types of military equipment by advance purchasing. This would help to overcome the belief that we are unable to respond quickly to meet the requests of our friends. (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Donated Material, Subject File, Box 25, (Meetings—PRC 88: 1/23/79). Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. The Summary of Conclusions incorrectly describes the meeting as a Presidential Review Committee meeting. The minutes of the meeting were not found. Brzezinski sent the Summary of Conclusions to Carter under a January 29 memorandum, requesting that he approve it. Carter initialed the memorandum. (Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 72, PRC 088, 1/23/79, Saudi Arabia and Southwest Asia)
  2. See Document 9.
  3. See Documents 129131.
  4. See Documents 325 and 326.