Joint Chiefs of Staff on Defensible Borders
(June 29, 1967 declassified: June
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY
Subject: Middle East Boundaries
Reference is made to your memorandum,
dated 19 June 1967, subjects as above, which requested
the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, without regard
to political factors, on the minimum territory, in
addition to that held on 4 June 1967, Israel might
be justified in retaining in order to permit a more effective
defense against possible conventional Arab attack and
terrorist raids. [emphasis added]
From a strictly military point
of view, Israel would require the retention of some captured
territory in order to provide militarily defensible borders.
[emphasis added] Determination of territory to be
retained should be based on accepted tactical principles
such as control of commanding terrain, use of natural
obstacles, elimination of enemy-held salients, and provision
of defense in-depth for important facilities and installations.
More detailed discussions of the key border areas mentioned
in the reference are contained in the Appendix hereto.
In summary, the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding
these areas are as follows:
a. The Jordanian West Bank.
Control of the prominent high ground running north-south
through the middle of West Jordan generally east of the
main north-south highway along the axis Jennin-Nablus-Bira-Jerusalem
and then southeast to a junction with the Dead Sea at the
Wadi el Daraja would provide Israel with a militarily defensible
border. The envisioned defensive line would run just east