On Thursday, July 10, a squadron of 12 brown and green camouflaged F-4E Phantom fighter-bombers landed at Cairo West Air Base after a non-stop 13-hour flight from Moody Air Base in Georgia. A week earlier five C-141s and 28 C-5s airlifted some 4 million pounds of equipment and supplies and more than 500 US Air Force personnel from Dover Air Base in Delaware to Cairo West; this was the first Middle East dry run of the Air Force’s “bare base” capability. The squadron immediately began three months of intensive air combat exercises, code-named Proud Phantom, with the Egyptian Air Force’s new fleet of 35 Phantoms, to establish a “sister squadron relationship.” Proud Phantom’s unspoken mission is to test the suitability of Egyptian facilities for the future “projection” of US air power into the Middle East. “Our pilots will learn how to operate in a Middle Eastern desert,” said Col. Edward Redican. “There’s nothing like it in the US, with its dryness and fine dust.” [1] Gen. Lew Allen, when he announced the exercise in June, mentioned that future Egypt fly-ins might involve more sophisticated F-15s and F-16s, and even B-52 heavy bombers. [2]

At the other end of the region seven cargo vessels leased by the Pentagon were steaming toward the US base at Diego Garcia, crammed with M-60 tanks, 155-millimeter howitzers, amphibious tractors, and 30-days ammunition and supplies (including fresh water) for a marine amphibious brigade of 12,000. In California’s Mojave Desert, the Seventh Marine Amphibious Brigade was declared combat ready, and at Elgin Air base in Florida 2,400 paratroopers from the 18th Airborne Corps stationed at Fort Bragg jumped, in what may have been the largest airborne maneuver since World War II. Military Airlift Command chief Gen. Robert Huyser (whose mission to Iran in the last days of the Shah included planning with the Iranian military for a US-backed coup) bragged that the Elgin jump showed US capacity for “projecting power into any area on a no-notice basis.” [3]

The high visibility of these and other recent exercises suggests that an important function is to impress the US public in an election year that the Carter administration is “doing something” in the face of recent setbacks to US interests in the region. Carter’s Doctrine — that “any attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States” and “will be repelled by the use of any means necessary including military force” — has all the markings of an expensive, elaborate and very dangerous bluff. Though aimed at the Soviet Union, it could be triggered by political developments in any of the countries of the Gulf.

The Doctrine underscores the stake of US capital in the Middle East. One manifestation of the preeminence of the region is the US military relationship with regimes there. In the first half of the 1970s, US arms sales in the Middle East averaged $3.2 billion per year — more than the total sales ($2.3 billion) over the previous 15 years. Arms sales nearly tripled again from 1975 to 1979, to an average $8.9 billion per year. As a percentage of total US arms sales, the region jumped from 19.7 percent in the 1955-69 period to nearly 52 percent in 1970-74 and 69.4 percent in 1975-1979. The Middle East share of worldwide US military grants and credits in 1979 was 89.3 percent. [4] US armed forces’ procurement of weapons like the F-16 warplane and the M-60 main battle tank are currently subject to deployment priorities in Israel and Egypt. [5]

Carter focused his State of the Union speech against purported Soviet designs on the Gulf, but Secretary of Defense Harold Brown acknowledged a few days later that “international economic disorder could almost equal in severity the military threat from the Soviet Union.” In the Defense Department’s FY 1981 annual report, Brown noted “the particular manner in which our economy has expanded” so that “we have come to depend to no small degree on imports, exports and the earnings from investments for our material wellbeing…. Any interruption of goods and services could have the most serious near-term effects on the US economy. In no respect is that more evident than in the case of oil.” [6] While Carter called for selective draft registration as a symbol of patriotic resolve, Brown presented a $159 billion budget which concentrates “special attention and resources on the improvement of capabilities to get personnel and equipment quickly to potential trouble areas like the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea areas.” [7]

The Carter-Brown prescription for instant intervention was immediately challenged by congressional militarists like Sen. Henry Jackson, who asked “whether it’s wise to lay down a doctrine when there is serious doubt whether it can be upheld.” [8] In response the administration disclosed that a battalion of 1,800 Marines with an amphibious assault force including a helicopter assault ship and five other vessels were en route to the Arabian Sea to join the two carrier task forces (and their 150 warplanes) already there. [9] (A Marine Corps spokesman told MERIP that although this deployment was decided “at the highest level of government,” the Corps regarded it as “routine.” It was rotated out of the area in early June, but replaced by a battalion from the Mediterranean Sixth Fleet in July.) B-52 sorties from Guam to the Indian Ocean were also announced.

The Pentagon, stung by the Jackson challenge, leaked a classified report completed the previous spring, “Capabilities in the Persian Gulf.” The report endorsed the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) concept, and provided an upbeat assessment of the “projection balance” — the rate and amount of military forces that the US and the USSR could lift into the region by sea and air. It also incorporated assumptions typical of the entire RDF project. In any encounter with a Soviet interventionary force through Iran — a “worst-case scenario,” but one used by the administration to justify the RDF — rapidly deployed US forces would be necessarily inferior in men and weapons. Assuming the RDF would not be sent on a suicide mission, its function would be to serve as a tripwire which, if it did not halt Soviet intervention simply by being there, would trigger the use of US tactical nuclear weapons, most likely cruise missiles launched from US warships in the Indian Ocean.

In the more likely event of local insurgencies, the secret report recommended against US military involvement, for which “the Saudis, British, French and Jordanians (and perhaps in a few years the Egyptians) are all potentially better suited.” The report apparently did not discuss a third contingency, involving an attack by one regional state on another, such as an Iraqi move against Saudi Arabia. This case is frequently used by US spokespeople in justifying huge US arms sales to the Saudis. Interestingly, the authors did urge closer US ties with Iraq, along with pre-positioned US military supplies in Egypt and Israel, as concrete, immediate steps. [10]

The Carter administration has not indicated any such reticence to intervene in local insurgencies or state conflicts. In fact, it very nearly did so in the case of the border war between the two Yemens in February 1979. Recently there has been more stress on the need to intervene preemptively — in Harold Brown’s words, “upon receipt of even very early and ambiguous indications.” Several years ago Zbigniew Brzezinski displayed remarkable erudition about the history of imperialism in the Middle East when he pointed to the Fashoda incident of 1898, where the French beat the British to that Upper Nile outpost, but had to back down anyway, as an instance of the advantages of being “first.” [11] With Brzezinski and other rapid deployment buffs, preemption has become something of a password. RDF chief Lt. Gen. Paul Kelley told the press in June that he is “convinced with the utility of a preemptive strike… once you get a force into an area that is not occupied by the other guy, then you have changed the whole calculus of the crisis.” [12]

Some RDF proponents have acknowledged that “the most immediate threat to stability in the Indian Ocean area is not an overt Russian attack but rather internal instability, coups, subversion and so forth.” [13] But they have not juxtaposed this with any recollection that the presence of the large US base at Wheelus was of no use when Col. Muammar Qaddafi took power in Libya in 1969, or that thousands of US military personnel in Iran were of little avail in the face of the popular revolution there. Pentagon chief Brown still touts the RDF as one of four US “pillars of military power,” along with nuclear weapons, NATO and the US Navy. [14] Since Lt. Gen. Kelley “raised the flag” over the RDF headquarters at McDill Air Base near Tampa on March 1, his staff of 100 has grown to 253. This is more than matched by his appetite for troops. At his June news briefing he called for an expansion of the president’s authority to call up reservists from the present 50,000 to 100,000. “There’s not an upward number, upper limit” on the RDF, he said. “We’re talking several hundred thousand.” [15]

This RDF, not big enough for a war and not quick enough for a coup, also has plenty of obstacles built in, obstacles which may or may not get ironed out in the spate of recent multi-million dollar exercises. Kelley must requisition all his troops from the commanders of the other services, four-star generals who just may have other priorities for them in the event of a real crisis. Kelley, moreover, is subordinate to Gen. Volney Warner, head of Readiness Command, whose scope supercedes that of the RDF. On top of this, supplying and coordinating Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force units, with their frequently separate weapons systems, could be a logistical nightmare. [16] The deployments that have taken place so far — maintaining the two carrier task forces in the Indian Ocean, assorted large-scale exercises, the Cairo “bare base” lift, the B-52 sorties from Guam — have exposed serious strains in equipment maintenance and crew morale, making it clear why Kelley sometimes sounds more like a cheerleader than a commander for Armageddon. “I think that we in the military have to think in a positive vein,” he told the press in mid-June. “We hope that other people will think positive with us. If our friends don’t think we’re positive, they won’t be our friends very long. If our enemies don’t think we’re positive, they”ll be even more formidable enemies. If our neutrals don’t think we’re positive, then they probably won’t be our neutrals much longer. And last of all, and most insidiously, if our own troops don’t think we’re positive, then we might as well give up.”

Another set of difficulties relates to the US allies and clients, in Europe and the Middle East, who are the supposed beneficiaries of Carter’s stance. NATO countries have been asked to build up weapons and munitions stocks, arrange for quick reserve call-ups, and prepare commercial airliners for military transport service — all in case US forces would be shifted to the Middle East. [17] Japan is being pressed to augment its military role in East Asia. But European leaders have expressed opposition to Carter’s policy as both ineffective and dangerously provocative. The experience of October 1973, when only the dictatorship in Portugal allowed the US base facilities for rearming Israel, would be much the same today.

This makes the question of bases in the Middle East even more critical. “The viability of this military policy,” Undersecretary of Defense Robert Komer told a congressional committee, “depends critically on our access to facilities in the area.” [18] Brzezinski instructed Pentagon planners in December to determine which countries in the region could provide “host country support” for US forces. [19] A Pentagon team headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary Robert Murray took off for Saudi Arabia, Oman, Somalia, Kenya and Egypt to initiate negotiations, and additional survey missions involving construction engineers, military planners and diplomats have followed in quick succession. A survey of the US military relationship with the countries in the region and on the approaches to it shows the possibilities and limitations of assistance for US military deployment in the Middle East which each might provide.

The Western Approaches: Mediterranean Europe

As of April 1979, in addition to the “floating base” constituted by the Sixth Fleet, the US maintained 199 military facilities in active status in the Mediterranean, linked in a single command structure. “These outposts,” concluded a Congressional Research Service study, “collectively engage in defense missions that range from basic logistics and supply operations to highly sophisticated communications and intelligence collecting activities. [20] (The facilities are distributed as follows: Turkey 60, Italy 52, Greece 24, Spain 27, Portugal 22, France 4, Morocco 2.) The report took note of the particular vulnerability of the “resource-poor” countries of southern Europe to price and supply conditions concerning vital items like petroleum. The US, dependent on those facilities “to support its objectives in the Middle East…has a distinct interest in helping southern European countries limit their vulnerability in this area.” [21]

Portugal: At the western approach to the Mediterranean, the US has important staging and logistical installations in the Azores, under Portuguese sovereignty. Lajes Air Base was the only European base available for the US airlift of military supplies to Israel in 1973, and was “essential” for that mission.

Spain: The base at Rota is an important part of the Sixth Fleet communications network, linked with other facilities in Greece and with Bouknadel and Sidi Yahia in Morocco. Torrejon Air Base near Madrid maintains a tactical fighter wing assigned to any strike mission launched from Turkey or Italy into the Middle East.

Italy: The Sixth Fleet support complex at Naples is the major communications terminal and headquarters for NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe. Aviano Air Base is home for several squadrons of Air Force fighter-bombers, and a support base for intelligence operations is maintained at San Vito Air Station near Brindisi.

Greece: Hellenikon Air Base, near Athens, was used in the 1979 evacuation of US citizens from Iran. Greece’s main contribution is the Souda Bay Naval Base in Crete, a fuel and ammunition depot for the Sixth Fleet. Souda Bay, also used for antisubmarine reconnaissance, allows the US to project the Sixth Fleet far into the eastern Mediterranean and would be difficult to replace. Nea Makri is an important fleet communications center on the mainland and Heraklion, also on Crete, is a major electronic surveillance station.

Cyprus: Akrotiri, on Cyprus’ north coast, is the largest RAF base in the world. It and several smaller bases remained under British sovereignty following independence in 1960, and are out of the control of the Cypriot government. The US conducts U-2 reconnaissance flights out of Cyprus over Sinai to monitor the Egypt-Israel treaty implementation. The landing of some US Marines in Cyprus in April 1974 in connection with clearing the Suez Canal was interpreted by some Cypriots as a test of the possibility of a US takeover of British military rights on the island. [22]


Greek support for the US naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean is complimented by Turkish installations used for intelligence gathering and “forward positioning.” There are nearly 5,000 US military personnel in Turkey, mostly stationed at six major installations.

Incirlik Air Base, near Adana in the southeast, has “the most forward deployed land-based American aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean that are capable of launching a tactical nuclear strike in the event of conflict in the region.” [23] It is the home of the two Phantom squadrons of the USAF 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, and also serves as a Military Airlift Command transport terminal. Its potential role in Middle East hostilities is limited only by the reluctance of Turkish governments to date to be part of Washington’s anti-Arab or anti-Iranian maneuvers. Incirlik was utilized in the US invasion of Lebanon in 1958, and in supplying King Hussein of Jordan during the Black September attack on the Palestinian resistance in 1970.

The other major installations in Turkey include Sinop (electronic intelligence on the Black Sea), Pirincilik (long-range radar and communications complex, near Diyarbakir in the southeast), Golbashi (a seismic detection unit near Ankara), Iskenderun and Yumurtalik (storage for 20 percent of the Sixth Fleet’s fuel and other supplies, near the Syrian border on the coast), and Izmir (NATO area command, Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force headquarters). There are more than a dozen additional ammunition storage sites, some 14 early warning radar stations and 20 Defense Communications System sites. [24] US base agreements with Turkey go back to 1952. A Defense Cooperation Agreement of July 1969 consolidated and superceded previous agreements, but was voided by Turkey in retaliation for the February 1975 US arms embargo following Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus. In March 1976 the US Congress rejected a new Defense Cooperation Agreement by refusing to lift the embargo prior to a Turkish withdrawal from Cyprus. Some bases, including Sinop, were closed down, while others, including Incirlik, operated under a unilateral Turkish decree which expired in October 1979 but has been extended. On March 29, 1980, a new Agreement on Defense and Economy, of three parts and 14 annexes, was initialed in Ankara. Similar to the 1976 draft, it runs for five years, and covers some 27 facilities which formally would be under Turkish command. The agreement and its annexes has a number of secret provisions which have not been disclosed even to Turkish legislators, and are thought to expand US authority over the bases and broaden the scope of the “NATO commitment” rubric to include potential operations in the Middle East. This speculation was sharpened following unconfirmed reports that C-130s returning from the rescue raid in Iran in late April landed at Incirlik.

The new agreement clearly states that military cooperation is “limited to obligations arising out of the North Atlantic Treaty,” and specifically that deployments and rotations involving Incirlik are limited to “support of NATO Defense plans.” But Zbignew Brzezinski’s remark to a Turkish journalist that “Southwest Asia is of profound importance to NATO,” or NATO Secretary-General Luns’ stress on the need to “have a strategic perception that is not confined narrowly to the region of the North Atlantic Treaty” have not soothed Turkish suspicions. “Both Afghanistan and Iran,” Luns remarked recently, “even though outside the geographical boundaries of NATO, are still nonetheless very much Alliance business.” [25] The specific worry is that Turkish officials will not have the power to monitor American aircraft operations at Incirlik, since only US personnel “are responsible for and authorized to control US military aircraft.” [26]

The new military agreement is significant in focusing on the condition of the Turkish economy. Turkey has become the largest recipient of foreign assistance in the world with the recent IMF loan of $1.6 billion. According to top NATO officials, “the single greatest concern of the NATO command in the Mediterranean is the precarious state of the Turkish economy.” [27]


The joint air exercises at Cairo West Air Base this summer are the latest manifestation of the close military relationship that has developed between the US and Sadat’s Egypt. From a standing start in 1974, US aid to Egypt now exceeds $1 billion per year. The military credits extended or promised since the treaty with Israel in March 1979 exceed $4 billion; they are likely to reach at least $6 billion by 1984. [28] Sadat insists that he has not offered the US sovereign base rights, but this is a distinction without a difference: US bases in Spain or Britain, for instance, are formally under those governments’ sovereignty also, but are US bases nonetheless.

The first phase of the US-Egyptian military relationship was from 1974 through 1976. The US tried to soft-pedal Sadat’s repeated insistence on US arms. But it is clear that Kissinger planned from the beginning to nurture just such a relationship. [29] At the time of Sadat’s first visit to the US, in October 1975, Kissinger and Ambassador Herman Eilts coached him to stress Egypt’s “peaceful intentions” and need for economic assistance. The time was not yet politically ripe for an Egyptian arms request. [30]

The first request, for six “non-lethal” C-130 transport planes, came in early February 1976. Sadat had formalized the rupture with the USSR by abrogating the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. Kissinger still felt politically restrained from establishing the US as the key arms supplier to Egypt, and urged Britain and France to assume that role. But by the end of the year Sadat informed visiting US senators that the US had an “obligation” to supply him militarily. “I have proved myself to you,” he said. [31]

The next two years encompassed a new phase in the relationship. 1977 opened with a popular upheaval that shook the foundations of the Sadat regime and the composure of its supporters in the Arab world and beyond. Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf oil producers pledged transfusions of cash to prop up Egypt’s bankrupt economy, and assumed an even more prominent role as financiers of Sadat’s Western arms purchases. The Carter administration, which from the beginning had pointedly declined to rule out arms sales to Egypt, decided in the summer of 1977 to offer 14 additional C-130s and some pilotless drones for reconnaissance, to “enhance the Egyptian Armed Forces’ logistical and scheduling flexibility…given Egypt’s strategic position as an African as well as a Middle Eastern power.” [32] In this period of real and alleged Soviet and Cuban intervention in Ethiopia, Angola and Zaire, the Africa card was a potential trump, and had the added virtue of delicately suggesting that such arms would not be used against Israel. Toward the end of 1977, Sadat put a moratorium on payments of his $4 billion military debt to the Soviet Union. A few weeks later he went to Jerusalem.

The Carter administration kicked off arms sales in 1978 with a “package” of sophisticated (and distinctly lethal) weapons to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. While the others got the most advanced fighter-bomber in the US inventory, the F-15, Sadat had to settle for 50 F-5Es, which he had once dismissed as a “tenth-rate plane.” As the Washington Post observed, “the F-5s would not stand a chance against the Israeli Air Force, but represented a potent force in the context of Africa.” [33] Sadat, still banking on Saudi cash, supplemented this offer with 46 Mirage F-1s from France.

With the fall of the Pahlavi regime in early 1979, a third and current phase in the relationship commenced. Egypt offered to send advisers to Yemen in connection with US arms rushed to that country. Secretary of Defense Brown included Egypt in his February tour of military facilities in the region. A substantially higher level of US arms to Egypt was discussed, but Brown told Sadat that this would be “difficult” for the US to initiate in the absence of a peace treaty. [34] During Carter’s Middle East shuttle in March, Brown and Brzezinski huddled with Egyptian leaders for a “parallel set of discussions about Egypt’s long-range strategic position in the Middle East.” [35] When Sadat overruled his ministers to accept Carter’s final compromise proposal, one “highly placed official” observed that “Sadat is relying almost totally on Carter, not only for the peace negotiations, but also for Egypt’s economic and military needs.” [36]

The $4.5 billion package with which Carter “bought” the treaty included $1.5 billion in military credits for Egypt. This was in part made necessary by the Saudi refusal to support the treaty or continue funding Washington’s Cairo strategy. The hearings surrounding this aid package highlighted three important features of the relationship. First, the economic benefits of the Treaty were, for Egypt, largely illusory. Interest payments (at 11 percent) on the $1.5 billion and other military credits would amount to $35 million more than the total in economic aid. [37] Beyond this, the provision of sophisticated Phantom jets would drain off skilled labor and resources from the civilian economy, already plagued by the high rate of skilled labor emigration to the oil-rich states.

Second, it marked a greater US willingness to be Egypt’s main military patron. Secretary Brown’s equivocation is notable: “We would expect to be a major supplier, not the preponderant supplier, although we might in the end supply more than anyone else.” [38] The administration took pains to deny any intent of building up Egypt to replace Iran as the US gendarme for the region, even suggesting that the US had to humor Sadat a bit along these lines: “In practice when you talk with him and other Egyptian officials they realize the difficult condition of their armed forces now, difficult conditions of their economy.” [39]

Third, US officials were willing to be more explicit about the benefits of the relationship to the US, claiming that “modernizing the equipment of the Egyptian forces and establishing close relationships between the US and Egyptian military” are essential ingredients of this “profound shift in Egypt’s orientation.” [40] The Pentagon testified that “the US Office of Military Cooperation has established excellent rapport at all levels both in the Egyptian Ministry of Defense and the services directly involved in the US programs.” The application of this relationship to future domestic troubles was also clear: “We took these steps to enhance Egypt’s feelings of security and to provide the conditions under which Egypt may improve economic and social conditions. This combination of measures is aimed at strengthening Egypt’s ability to deal with’ the internal strains that inevitably accompany rapid development.” [41]

Deliveries of the new equipment began in the fall of 1979, leading to the presence for the first time of a number of US military technicians and advisers. By this time it was apparent that virtually all domestic US political restraints on the military relationship were off. No sooner had the first Phantoms and armored personnel carriers (APCs) been delivered, just in time for Sadat’s October 6 military parade, than the US was signing agreements for Egyptian co-production of a number of military items. [42] An August survey of the Egyptian military by a team of 20 top Pentagon officials led to the formulation that fall of Project Peace Vector. As presented by Assistant Secretary of Defense McGiffert to a closed session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in early December, Peace Vector will have the US provide over a five-year period from $2.5 to $6 billion in credits for the modernization of the Egyptian military. Initial deals would provide F-16 fighter-bombers and M-60 tanks. Following a consistent but subdued theme, the administration argued that the deterioration of the US position in the area, and Sadat’s isolation in the Arab world, made for an even greater US obligation to keep Sadat in power. This included placating the Egyptian officer corps with a plentiful supply of sophisticated weaponry. [43] As from the very beginning and in all of its stages, the US military relationship with Egypt was an integral part of Sadat’s “American strategy.” [44]

The relationship was heightened several notches further when two AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) planes flew to Qina Air Base in upper Egypt with 250 Air Force personnel to practice contingencies such as directing fighter bombers to targets and helping American ships in the Arabian Sea to set blockades. The State Department acknowledged the mission on January 8, following an Israeli disclosure, saying that the main purpose was to establish a “highly important” precedent. [45] “It’s the same thing we did with Saudi Arabia after the Yemenese caper in March,” said one Pentagon official. “We used them for training, familiarization and orientation flights over the Saudi land mass.” [46] Qina was the base used to launch the rescue raid in Iran in late April.

The US-Egyptian military relationship has emerged as a desperate counterpoint to the political upheavals in the region. Just as the initial caution in selling arms to Sadat has been cast to the wind, so too have reservations about Egypt’s role in the region. US strategists know that Sadat cannot replace the Shah. But his unabashed eagerness to provide Egypt as a doormat for US military incursions in the region makes Egypt “a uniquely attractive partner in security for us.” [47] Sadat’s enthusiasm for this role is indeed unique in the region, if not the world. At the end of May he told the International Herald Tribune: “Some sheikhs in the Gulf say, ‘We need nobody’s help.’ Well, they need help…; I clearly say that, despite their ignorance, I will defend them and I will give the US facilities to reach them if they are endangered.” [48]

The possibility cannot be far from his mind, or the thoughts of his benefactors in Washington, that the facilities may be useful too if Sadat’s reign is threatened.


Egypt’s new status as a US arsenal poses no threat to Israel. That country stands apart militarily as well as politically in the region. When Egypt was offered 50 F-5s in 1978, Israel received 75 F-16s and 15 F-15s. A US supplied aerial tanker fleet brings the entire Middle East region within their attack radius. Even prior to the multi-billion dollar arms deals that accompanied the “Peace” Treaty, Israel had increased its military strength by some 150 percent since the October war. The country has a highly developed military industrial complex of its own, built up with considerable US support following a 1971 Memorandum of Understanding. [49] It supplies 40 percent of Israel’s combat equipment, and its exports alone increased by some 30 percent in 1980. [50] The accompanying table demonstrates the extent to which Israel has been nurtured as a “strategic asset” by the US, regardless of administration. [51]

Israel’s close military relationship with the US has always retained a highly strategic character for both parties. Israeli coordination with the US in support of the Jordanian attack on the Palestinian resistance in 1970 is but one instance on the record. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that US strategists foresaw the advantages of the Israeli preemptive attack in June 1967, [52] and US policy in that period has never been satisfactorily explained. The October war, along with other Israeli combat experiences, provided a “live” test for US weapons systems against their Soviet counterparts. In the summary of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Stennis, the 1973 war “provided an example for high-intensity conventional weapons combat with massed armor engaged under a defense umbrella of air defense weapons, both surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns. The Israelis used US equipment in an overall weapons scenario typical of what could be expected in a NATO-Central Europe area war.” [53]

The question of US base rights in Israel has generally been considered moot by virtue of the political consequences it would have on US-Arab relations. The US Air Force has long had contingency plans for the direct use of Israeli air bases should US intervention be required to “rescue” Israel from military disaster. [54] In the spring of 1975, when the Turkish government revoked Sixth Fleet port rights at Istanbul and Izmir, a number of Israeli commentators urged that Haifa be offered as a replacement and a Hebrew University poll found that 40 percent of the Israelis questioned favored such an offer. [55] Foreign Minister Dayan, in September 1977, told inquiring US congressmen that Israel would favorably consider any such request from the US. [56]

The realignment of forces in the Middle East over the past year has awakened a much stronger interest on the part of the US in possible use of Israeli “facilities,” although this is still denied for the record. Prospects for a US-Israel-Egypt “condominium” were discussed, though, as a desirable consequence of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. James Reston wrote from Washington in mid-December that “there is agreement here — and support from both Israeli and Egyptian officials — that there must be some kind of new US military and political commitments from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.” Since these could not begin with an alliance involving Israel, “what is now being discussed is a series of bilateral military and security arrangements.” [57] An Israeli official who participated in the Blair House military talks with Egypt and the US in 1979 described those sessions as outlining not formal alliances “but a loose division of labor,” in which the US would supply the military assistance for Egypt to police the Arab world and Israel to protect the Sadat regime against retaliation. [58]

Zbigniew Brzezinski was surely expressing the frustration of other US officials besides himself when he complained that the Arab-Israeli conflict “is really irrelevant and the time has come to put it aside…. There are other dangers — internal and external — that the region confronts which are more ominous.” [59] Begin himself is second only to Sadat in his enthusiasm for US intervention. The Israelis requested joint maneuvers with the Sixth Fleet last fall, but Pentagon apparently demurred. [60] In early July an Israeli military spokesman denied, but the US Embassy in Tel Aviv did not, a London report that such maneuvers were now in the planning stage. [61] In May Begin told a visiting US congressional delegation that Israel is fully prepared to assist the US militarily in the region. “Right now the US needs high quality conventional military forces in the Middle East and needs to be able to use them carefully and expeditiously,” he said, emphasizing the capability of the IDF to play that role. [62]

The Israelis suggested that the US rather than Egypt take over the two sophisticated air bases it is vacating in the Sinai, but Sadat has publicly refused. As for the bases the US is now constructing in the Negev to replace those, some reports claim they are to be available for US use. [63]


When Jimmy Carter offered his famous “island of stability” toast to the Shah in Niravan palace on New Year’s Eve 1978, the plucky little king with the mustache standing with them was Jordan’s Hussein. Jordan is the classic mercenary state whose function and maintenance has always been linked with the Western powers’ need for an Arab pacification force. The regime is too vulnerable politically to offer base facilities except under the most dire circumstances. In recent years, though, Jordan’s policing function in relation to Palestinian nationalist and radical forces has been extended to the Gulf region. The US, which gradually supplanted the British as the King’s chief patron, has provided an average $120 million in military aid in the last half of the 1970s, and has doubled this rate for 1980 and 1981. Another $100 million is provided as “budgetary support,” which has amounted to about half of Jordan’s budget, thus covering operational military expenditures as well. Jordan provides over 100 military engineers and advisers to Oman, an undisclosed number of advisers and officers to Bahrain, 50 officers to the Yemen Arab Republic, and over 400 officers, including the armed forces’ chief of staff, to the United Arab Emirates. [64]

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has publicly declined US offers of troops and bases, notably in the course of Secretary of Defense Brown’s visit in Feburary 1979. However, the US role in constructing massive bases, providing weapons and maintenance, training, and advisory services at every level of the Saudi army, air force, navy and national guard, leaves little reason to doubt that the US could swiftly and effectively utilize any or all Saudi military facilities should the situation require it. Of the facilities in Saudi Arabia, the Congressional Research Service observed that “the Department of Defense would probably consider them bases if the Soviets enjoyed the same rights in lieu of the US.” The first Saudi base, the airfield at Dhahran, was built in 1944 to provide protection for Aramco installations. It was enlarged to become part of the Strategic Air Command network following the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 and was then the largest US installation between Germany and Korea. Since 1965 the US Army Corps of Engineers has constructed or contracted for $12.6 billion worth of military facilities, with another $9 billion projected by 1985 on the basis of present plans. [65] This includes the military cities of Khamis Mushayt, al-Batin and Tabuk, and the naval base at Jubayl on the Gulf.

Saudi Arabia, following surveys drawn up by the Pentagon, has over the past decade embarked on a military buildup that has little relationship to its present or future capabilities, especially in the area of manpower. In addition to the omnipresent Americans, Saudi forces rely on Pakistani, Taiwanese and Korean mechanics, and on Yemenis for more menial positions. When the base and headquarters of Jubayl is turned over to the Saudi Royal Navy in the near future, it will be operated and maintained by Hughes, Bendix, Holmes & Narver, a California firm. [66] A congressional study concluded in 1977 that “collectively the US military related presence in Saudi Arabia is close to one third of the entire American presence,” then an estimated 30,000. [67] Although figures are not available, the number has certainly increased since, as ever larger amounts of more sophisticated weaponry and munitions are brought in. The supply of munitions in particular (for example, the number of Sidewinder and Maverick missiles in Saudi Arabia is roughly double the number supplied even to Israel) strongly suggests that the country and its US-built bases are designed to serve as a potential arsenal that could be used by US forces in the event of a military emergency that threatened any long-term disruption of oil exports.

The fly-in of unarmed F-15s and two AWACS command planes (Operation Prized Eagle) in 1979 involved more than 300 US military personel, and some estimates are far higher. [68] The problems associated with Prized Eagle apparently had the effect of unnerving rather than reassuring the ruling family, but may have provided lessons for a more deadly mission in the future.

Oman and the Gulf

When Sultan Qaboos came to power in 1970 after British intelligence operatives overthrew, his father, he quickly moved to avoid a similar fate by establishing links with the US. Initially these were covert, taking the form of CIA funding for his personal security and intelligence force. An open military relationship commenced in January 1973, when Oman was declared eligible for Foreign Military Sales agreements.

The British connection remained strong. An estimated 500 British officers and NCOs are the backbone of the sultan’s forces and “hold key command positions in almost all segments of the Omani military structure.” [69] The sultan received something of a scare last year when a number of contract officers resigned in response to military pay increases in Britain and the fall of the dollar (to which the Omani currency is tied) against the pound. The squadron of Jaguar fighters — the core of the Omani air force and entirely dependent on British pilots and aircraft engineers — dropped seriously below strength. [70]

Omani military manpower, like the civilian labor force, has been “poached” by migration to the richer gulf states, especially the UAE. There Omanis make up between 60 and 80 percent of the armed forces, attracted by shorter hours, better pay and less discipline. In Oman they are replaced by recruits from Baluchistan and other parts of Pakistan. Three of the five infantry battalions in the Southern Oman (i.e., Dhofar) Brigade are Pakistani Baluch. [71]

US base rights in Oman, and particularly the RAF base on Masira island, have been targeted by US planners at least since 1973. In September 1973 a US Army colonel, George Maloney, paid a three-week visit to Oman. His report focused mainly on the situation in Dhofar, but observed that Masira had a “significant” air strip and necessary support facilities. In June 1974 Qaboos informed the British of US interest in the “occasional use” of Masira, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Sidney Sober visited Muscat in September for discussions. In January 1975 Qaboos made a “private visit” to Washington, where he stayed at Blair House and was feted at the White House. Despite contrary advice from US officials, Ford and Kissinger offered Qaboos TOW anti-tank missiles. Ten days later ten launchers, 180 missiles and two advisers were airlifted to Oman. Britain has continued to be Oman’s chief military supplier, and other US sales — mainly helicopters and rifles — have been small in comparison with the brisk arms trade with the rest of the Gulf. A congressional study in 1977 noted, though, that “the absence of FMS prospects…does not accurately reflect the reality of an apparently intense desire among Omani officials for ‘discreet assistance,’ especially in the area of training.” [72]

In June 1980 the US announced that Oman had agreed to allow the US military the use of Omani “facilities” in return for some $100 million in military aid. For Qaboos, the arrangement locks the US into backing his regime, which had previously depended on the Shah of Iran for this service. Even before the British relinquished Masira in March 1977, the US had been using it for refueling P-3 antisubmarine patrol planes based on Diego Garcia. Since November 1979, US C-141 cargo planes have used Masira to ferry supplies to the two carrier task forces in the Arabian Sea area. [73] In April, Undersecretary of Defense Robert Komer testified that the US was seeking to upgrade for use the air bases at Seeb and Thumrayt as well as Masira, and the ports of Mutrah and Salala. [74] Thumrayt and Salala are in Dhofar province, which was pacified militarily just a few years ago only with the assistance of thousands of Iranian troops and their US-supplied equipment.

Bahrain: US military links with Bahrain date from the establishment in 1946 of the US Army Persian Gulf Command at Jufayr, forerunner to the present five-ship MIDEASTFOR based there. After Bahrain’s independence from Britain in 1971, the US dealt directly with the ruling family. MIDEASTFOR’s formal homeporting status was terminated in June 1977, but the Department of Defense still maintains an Administrative Support Unit there “to carry out administrative functions, including support of ship and aircraft visits.” Access to facilities has continued unimpeded. Britain continues to be Bahrain’s chief source of military goods, and British and Jordanian officers are the backbone of the security forces. Recent Bahraini interest in standardizing its military force with that of Saudi Arabia could result in greater arms purchases from the US.

Kuwait: Kuwait initiated talks with US arms corporations in 1971, and Pentagon survey teams visited the country in 1972 and 1973. Antiaircraft missile systems have been Kuwait’s main acquisition; an estimated 80 US military personnel work in Kuwait in conjunction with these sales. Because of the ruling family’s sensitivity to this presence, what is usually called the Defense Attache Office is termed the more neutral US Liaison Office Kuwait.

United Arab Emirates: The UAE recieves no US military assistance; Britain and France are its main suppliers. Purchases from the US have been limited to C-130 transports and several helicopters. Because the chief of staff is a Jordanian officer who has been mandated to standardize the Union Defense Force along Jordanian lines (which since 1973 have been reorganized along US lines), a greater US role, at least indirect, can be anticipated.

Yemen Arab Republic: A US military role in North Yemen became prominent in February 1979 when President Carter used the outbreak of fighting on the border with the Soviet-backed People’s. Democratic Republic of Yemen to push through a sizable package of arms to Sanaa, financed by and routed through Saudi Arabia. There was a temporary buildup of US military personnel to over 100 in Yemen itself, and more in Saudi Arabia. Saudi ambivalence about the consequences of developing a strong army and central government in the YAR has resulted in many US items not reaching Yemen at all. Such complications regarding North Yemen’s political future suggest that a US military presence or involvement there might have to be sizable to be decisive. Jordanian officers play a key mercenary role in the YAR.

Horn of Africa

US plans for military bases in the Horn seem to have been checked at least temporarily by political complications in the region. Facilities offered by Kenya at Mombasa amount to little more than what has been available for years as a port of call for the MIDEASTFOR and other ships in the Indian Ocean. It is also relatively distant from the Gulf.

Somalia: Base facilities at Berbera were described by US congressmen in 1975 as “the most comprehensive naval support facility available to the Soviets anywhere.” Its 15,000 foot runway makes it the only base in the region capable of handling B-52 bombers, and its new harbor, storage, and pipeline facilities make it an ideal port for US warships. Saudi Arabia, which provides some aid and whose livestock purchases account for 83 percent of Somalia’s hard currency, has strongly urged the US to acquire base rights in Somalia. The regime of Siad Barre, though willing in principle, has put a high price tag on any deal: as much as $2 billion in military and economic aid, and no restrictions on its use in the Ogaden conflict with Ethiopia. The US, which in the past has winked at Egyptian provision of arms to Somalia using US-supplied C-130s, is resisting Barre’s demands, and threatening to settle for the combination of Omani and Kenyan facilities. Berbera does represent a more substantial acquisition, though. Pentagon planners responsible for rapid deployment would forego it with great regret. It remains to be seen whether the US refusal of Barre’s terms is genuine and not a bluff. Somalia, for its part, is desperately poor, with few sources of income. The regime will not dismiss lightly a US offer of several hundred million dollars.

Djibouti: Prior to the recent US buildup, France had the largest western naval presence in the Indian Ocean. The Giscard government used the visit of Defense Secretary Brown in early July to criticize the US buildup as a factor undermining stability. According to French defense sources, Franco-American naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean has been “excellent.” French facilities at Djibouti, according to these sources, would “probably” be made available in an actual crisis, but the French warn that this would be jeopardized by any advance publicity or formal agreement. [75]

The Eastern Approaches: Diego Garcia and the Indian Ocean

The Soviet facilities at Berbera were the ostensible reason for the enlargement of the US base at Diego Garcia beginning in late 1975. This included an extension of the runway to 12,000 feet, making it possible to land flying tankers to refuel warplanes in flight, and even B-52s in an emergency, and dredging the harbor to accomodate nuclear aircraft carriers and their support ships, along with 30 days of fuel storage.

Diego Garcia is a 40-mile-long horseshoe-shaped island 1,000 miles south of India and 2,300 miles from the Persian Gulf. The US negotiated its takeover from Britain in the mid-1960s, including the payment of some $14 million for the British to dispose of the native population. [76] Because of congressional resistance to any US military extension into the Indian Ocean in the early 1970s, Diego Garcia was built up as a “communications facility,” including highly classified intelligence gathering equipment.

The upgrading authorized in 1975-1976 was completed this year. In 1978 aircraft shelters, troop quarters and a naval facilities engineering command were funded. During the buildup of two carrier task forces in the Indian Ocean in November 1979, the 436th Military Airlift Wing airlifted an entire Navy helicopter mine removal squadron to Diego Garcia. [77]

By 1979, Diego Garcia had been turned into “a full-scale naval and air support facility.” [78] The communications facility of 274 personnel in 1973 is now a base with quarters for 1750 Americans on the island, plus 2000 additional personnel on the destroyer and submarine tenders based there. As of this spring, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were studying plans for a $1 billion expansion of Diego Garcia, including runway facilities for regular B-52 use.

The US also has a satellite tracking station at Mahe Island in the Seychelles, 1,200 miles east of Zanzibar, employing USAF and NASA personnel and serving as a communications link with Diego Garcia.

Philippines: Potential difficulties in using allied base facilities along the Mediterranean route from the US to the Middle East have enhanced the importance of the Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base in the Philippines as an alternate route. Reponsibility for the Indian Ocean region was shifted from the European to Pacific Command back in 1972. Clark is equipped to move 3,500 tons of cargo a day, and to set up “bare bases.” Subic Bay is the home port for the Seventh Fleet and the supply point for the carrier task forces that have been deployed in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. The Marine battalion dispatched to the area in January started off in Hawaii and embarked for the Middle East from Subic. Flight time from Clark to Diego Garcia is about 7.5 hours; ship time from Subic is ten to 14 days. [79]

Australia: During a visit to Washington in January, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser offered the US use of a new naval base at Cockburn Sound on the southwest coast as a home port for US warships in the Indian Ocean. [80] Two US bases already exist in Australia: A communications base on the northwest cape near Exmouth serves as a key link between Washington and the Polaris submarines operating in the southern hemisphere; a communications facility at Pine Gap in central Australia receives satellite intelligence concerning the Soviet Union and monitors Soviet missile activity. In July a Pentagon team surveyed airfields in Australia capable of handling B-52s earmarked for Indian Ocean deployment. [81] Australia regularly participates in Western naval exercises in the Indian Ocean.

The Carter Doctrine in History

Early in 1980, in an atmosphere of disarray and confusion apparently brought on by setbacks to US policy in Iran and Afghanistan, an unnamed “senior official” in the Carter administration remarked that US policy, particularly regarding the Soviet Union and the Middle East, was “up for grabs.” [82] As a statement of fact, this was preposterous, and reflected no awareness of the forces and interests that have determined the parameters and objectives of US policy in this century. On a more immediate level, though, it conveyed the mixed sense of frustration and opportunism which fed into the belligerent posturing of the Carter Doctrine. Carter’s self-declared inspiration for this pose of presidential resolve is Harry Truman, author of an earlier interventionist doctrine that bears his name. [83] As with Carter in 1980, Truman’s specific concern in March 1947 was the Middle East. References to the importance of the region’s “great natural resources” for the perpetuation of “free enterprise” in “all nations” and ultimately for “the very existence of our own economy” were expunged from the final text of Truman’s message to Congress in favor of abstractions like “democracy,” but the material concern of US strategists was hardly mistakable. [84]

Another feature common to both doctrines is their propensity to interpret local nationalist or leftist challenges to the status quo as emanations of an overarching Soviet threat, constant through time and indiscriminate in its appetite. But perhaps the most telling similarity is the shared vulnerability of both presidents to the irresistible demagoguery of an imminent election campaign. As one close observer of Carter’s campaign put it, things have to be done to give the apppearance of action and command…. And there’s a pretty high threshold of what you have to do to be credible. You can’t get away with inviting too many hockey teams to the White House…. The problem of having a limited number of options is that some of the things you do look a little bit strange. [85]

Carter’s performance has been a parody of Truman’s, for reasons that have to do with the profoundly different underlying conditions facing the US today. In the aftermath of World War II, the US stood unchallenged in its economic primacy. The Truman Doctrine was a product of this historically unique time, a piece of an assertive strategy aimed at shaping an environment in which US supremacy would flourish and not wither. The imperative was to mold an institutional framework to guarantee the safety of investments and access to resources and markets, and to mobilize popular support domestically for policies of economic aid and military intervention essential to this project.

At this basic level, the contrasts between the doctrines of 1947 and 1980 are stark. US military superiority globally or regionally is no longer absolute, thus lending a measure of dangerous bluster to the 1980 version. More fundamental is the decline in US hegemony over the world capitalist economy. The US share of world markets for manufactures has fallen steadily against competition from European and Japanese rivals. The dollar has been decisively undermined as the world’s reserve currency, and thus as an instrument and manifestation of US predominance. The US economy, dependent on international markets for imports, exports, and investments to a degree unprecedented in the modern era, is more vulnerable to developments outside of the direct control of US capital.

In the post-war period, US investments in the Middle East oil industry have been a core component of the US position in the international economy. For the 1966-1975 decade, exempting the extraordinarily profitable year of 1974, when the rate of return on Middle East investments was 332 percent, the average rate of return on Middle East investments was 66.4 percent, against an average rate of return on all direct investment abroad of 11.9 percent. [86] Looked at another way, the Middle East represented an average 3 percent of all US direct investment in this period, but between 20 and 25 percent of total earnings from direct investments abroad. In recent years the Middle East has taken over 10 percent of total US exports, in addition to purchases from US multinational corporations based abroad. Beyond the realm of these statistics, the refining and marketing activities of the US oil giants in Europe and the world are premised on supplies of Middle East oil. The functional dependence of the main industrial countries — the prime locus for the overseas investment and trade activities of US corporations — is practically incalculable.

The vulnerability of US capital to developments in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere corresponds in time with a protracted period of stagnation and contraction in the world economy. The consequent inability of the US — and to one degree or another the other capitalist countries as well — to resolve its economic difficulties by tapping into an expanding world market intensifies political conflict domestically as working and poor peoples confront an alarming deterioration in their living conditions.

The concrete material interests of US capital in the Middle East are thus refracted and amplified through a multiple set of contradictions at the domestic and international levels. The very complex and intractable character of these crises impels the current (and prospective) US political leadership to seize upon the notion of military intervention as a “fix” that will simultaneously divert popular attention from the structural roots of the crises and scare off potential challenges to the prevailing political order in the Middle East.

The Carter Doctrine is a reflexive and clumsy confrontation with the trajectory of social forces in the Middle East region, and thus with history. The US possesses the physical tools for military intervention, but the correlation of political forces in the region and the world does not endow such intervention with much promise of success. The great danger is that technological proficiency might be substituted for a comprehensive appreciation of the situation, especially as the political and economic crisis widens and deepens in this country.


[1] Baltimore Sun, July 11, 1980; Newsweek, July 14, 1980.
[2] Washington Post, June 20, 1980.
[3] Los Angeles Times, July 9, 1980.
[4] Figures based on data from Department of Defense, Foreign Military Sales and Military Assistance Facts (Washington, December 1979), and AID, Office of Planning and Budgeting, US Overseas Loans and Grants: Obligations and Loan Authorizations, July 1, 1945-September 30, 1979.
[5] Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 2, 1980.
[6] Released January 26, 1980, p. 26.
[7] Michael Klare, “Have RDF, Will Travel,” The Nation, March 8, 1980.
[8] New York Times, February 2, 1980.
[9] New York Times, Feburary 13, 1980.
[10] New York Times, February 2, 1980.
[11] In an article in Encounter in 1968, as recounted in the New Yorker, May 1, 1978. See also MERIP Reports 85 (Feburary 1980).
[12] Transcript of news briefing at the Pentagon, June 18, 1980.
[13] Undersecretary of Defense Robert Komer in hearings before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Department of Defense Authorization for Appropriations for FY 1981, February 21, 1980, p. 445.
[14] New York Times, February 19, 1980.
[15] Kelley transcript, p. 6.
[16] A good review of those problems is Thomas Toch, “Rapid Deployment: A Questionable Trump,” Baltimore Sun, July 6, 1980.
[17] New York Times, April 14, 1980.< br /> [18] Washington Post, April 3, 1980; Baltimore Sun, July 6, 1980.
[19] New York Times, December 10, 1979.
[20] “United States Foreign Policy Objectives and Overseas Military Installations,” prepared for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, April 1979, p. 47.
[21] Ibid., p. 46.
[22] Michael Attalides, Cyprus: Nationalism and International Politics (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979), p. 159.
[23] “US Foreign Policy Objectives,” p. 64.
[24] In addition to “US Foreign Policy Objectives,” see Konrad Ege, “US and NATO Bases in Turkey,” Counterspy (Summer 1980).
[25] A good discussion of the treaty can be found in the Atlanta Constitution, June 7, 1980. The Luns quote is from the International Herald Tribune, July 1, 1980.
[26] Atlanta Constitution, June 7, 1980.
[27] New York Times, June 19, 1980.
[28] Washington Post, December 11, 1979; New York Times, January 21, 1980.
[29] New York Times, April 20, 1974 and June 23, 1974. See also William Quandt, Decade of Decisions (Berkeley, 1977), pp. 210, 232.
[30] New York Times, October 27, 1975.
[31] Washington Post, November 14, 1976.
[32] Senate hearings on the C-130 sale, September 1977, pp. 3-4.
[33] Washington Post, October 7, 1978.
[34] New York Times, February 18, 1979.
[35] Washington Post, March 9, 1979.
[36] New York Times, March 25, 1979.
[37] Hearings before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, April-May 1979, p. 78.
[38] Ibid., p. 139.
[39] Ibid., p. 105.
[40] Ibid., p. 80.
[41] Ibid., p. 115.
[42] Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), October 23, 1979.
[43] Washington Post, December 11, 1979.
[44] For a fuller discussion of the “American strategy,” see “Sadat’s Desperate Mission,” MERIP Reports 64 (February 1978).
[45] Washington Post, January 9, 1980.
[46] Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 14, 1980.
[47] Testimony of Assistant Secretary of State Harold Saunders to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, Foreign Assistance Legislation for FY 1981 (Part 3), February 7, 1980, p. 91.
[48] International Herald Tribune, May 31, 1980.
[49] See Klare and Volman, “Arms Imbalance,” MERIP Reports 64 (February 1978).
[50] Davar, June 8, 1980.
[51] Quandt, p. 163.
[52] See Quandt, pp. 48-59.
[53] Senate Committee on Armed Services, Hearings on FY 1975 Authorization for Military Procurement, Research and Development, and Active Duty, Selected Reserve and Civilian Personnel Strengths, Part II, February 1974, pp. 380, 381.
[54] New York Times, December 1, 1974.
[55] FBIS, May 21, 1975. See also Jerusalem Post (weekly), May 13 and June 10, 1975; Maariv, May 19, 1975; and Yediot Aharonot, August 18, 1975.
[56] Washington Post, September 22, 1977.
[57] New York Times, December 16, 1979.
[58] Newsweek, July 14, 1980.
[59] US News and World Report, December 31, 1979.
[60] Newsweek, November 26, 1979.
[61] JTA Bulletin, July 7, 1980.
[62] Jerusalem Post, May 11, 1980.
[63] Newsweek, July 14, 1980.
[64] House Committee on International Relations, Staff Survey Report, US Arms Policies in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea Areas: Past, Present and Future (December 1977).
[65] House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, Activities of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Saudi Arabia (June 25, 1979), p. 5.
[66] Ibid., p. 26.
[67] US Arms Policies in the Persian Gulf, p. 45.
[68] MERIP Reports 85 (February 1980), p. 4.
[69] US Arms Policies in the Persian Gulf, pp. 55.
[70] Financial Times, January 28, 1980.
[71] Ibid.
[72] US Arms Policies in the Persian Gulf, p. 59.
[73] New York Times, April 6, 1980.
[74] Washington Post, April 3, 1980.
[75] Washington Post, July 6, 1980.
[76] Washington Post, September 9, 1975.
[77] Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 1980.
[78] New York Times, February 1, 1980.
[79] New York Times, August 14, 1977; Testimony of Friends of the Filipino People to the UN Conference on Disarmament, June 7, 1980.
[80] Washington Post, March 22, 1980.
[81] Washington Post, July 19, 1980.
[82] New York Times, January 9, 1980.
[83] New York Times, January 13, 1980.
[84] The quotes are from an early draft by Truman’s close adviser on domestic political strategy, Clark Clifford (see my Middle East Oil and the Energy Crisis, pp. 39-45). Clifford was drafted into service for the Carter Doctrine as special emissary to India (New York Times, February 13, 1980).
[85] New Yorker, April 14, 1980, p. 165.
[86] Computed by Jim Paul from the annual reports on overseas investment in the Survey of Current Business, September 1967 through August 1976.

How to cite this article:

Joe Stork "The Carter Doctrine and US Bases in the Middle East," Middle East Report 90 (September/October 1980).

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