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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sessions: U.S. Policy Toward the Middle East

(May 5-18, 1967)

May 5, 1967 - Tanks to Iran

But I would like to ask this question: One other thing we have not covered are the tanks to Iran, but I would like to ask, the idea, as I understand it, is that the State Department, the Pentagon or both together tried to balance this situation, and I was terribly shocked to find how magnificently modern the UAR air force was when I went through there in January 1966. That was nailed down and verified in January 1967.

For example, they have 49 of the new SU-7, which is better than the best Migs.

General Carroll. That is correct.

Senator Symington. There are none of those in the Far East at all, and they had over 101 Migs which are as good as those in the Far East.

Under these circumstances, who does this balancing act, because I am convinced they are much superior to the equipment of the Israelis, who, as you know, are having trouble with the other countries.

Who is the one who does the balancing, is that done in State, to the best of your knowledge, or is that done in Defense, or do you not know?

General Carroll. This involves policy determinations that I do not participate in, although I do make contributions to the information being considered insofar as order of battle is concerned.

May 18, 1967 - United States Foreign Policy With Respect to The Middle East and Vietnam

[Editor's Note.--In June, 1967 Israel won a six-day war against its Arab neighbors, seizing the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River, and Syria's Golan Heights. The crisis started on May 5, when El Fateh terrorist raids into its territory caused Israel to threaten military retaliation against Syria, where the terrorists were based. On May 14, Egyptian and Syrian troops began amassing on Israel's borders. On May 19, the U.N. Emergency Force in the Gaza Strip withdrew at Egypt's request, a move that Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol protested as increasing the danger of war. The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session from May 24 to 30, but reached no decision other than appealing to all sides for peace.

On June 5, Egypt, Jordan and Syria simultaneously launched military attacks on Israel. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser declared that they fought to ``eliminate the shadow of Zionism from Palestine and restore it to Arabism.'' However, Israel's ability to destroy the Arab states' air forces permitted Israeli troops to win swift and sweeping victories on the ground. Israel took the Gaza Strip and then the entire Sinai Peninsula, the Jordanian portions of Jerusalem and other territories on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and the high grounds from which Syria had bombarded Israeli territory. Although the major powers stayed out of the conflict, the United States supported Israel while the Soviet Union sided with the Arab nations.]

Sources: Federation of American Scientists