Created: 12/14/1956

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To estimate the consequences of alternative US courses of action with respect to the Baghdad Pact.


The effects of US adherence to the Baghdad Pact would largely depend on subsequent US policies in the area.we believe that US accession to the pact would be widely regarded, at least initially,trong Indication of US intention to oppose more actively and directly the extension of Soviet influence in the Middle East and toirmer stand against the efforts of Nasser and others to undermine the Westernin the area. The self-confidence and prestige of the Baghdad Pactand of Western-oriented elements in the other Arab states would beenhanced and that of theirreduced. US adherence wouldthe US to assume leadership ofmilitary planning and training, thuseakness which hasespecially apparent with the decline of UK strength in the area. It would probably also facilitate US access to bases in the pact countries.

n the other hand, US adherence to the pact would involve particularand hazards. The pact countries would almost certainly regard US as acknowledgment of their claims to preferential economic, military, and especially political support. Nasser and his supporters, with Sovietwould probably try totheir hold on Syria and Jordan and intimidate pro-Western elements in Iraq and Lebanon. We believe that Egypt and Syria are already going about as far in the direction of involvement with the Bloc as they now deem prudent, and that fear of losing their independence will continue to serveestraining Influence.if US membership in the Baghdad Pact, and subsequent US policies In the Middle Eastern area, should laterthem that the US had turned against them and firmly aligned itself with their local rivals and that they could no longer profit by playing the US and the USSR against each other, they would probably be less prudent in theirwith the USSR than they have hitherto been while still attempting to

preserve their independence. The Asian neutrals would tend to lose thethey have recently shown tothe US position on Middle Eastern matters in the UN.

he effectecision by the US not to join would also depend very largely on subsequent policies which the US might follow. By staying out of the pact the" US would probably retain some extra room for maneuver in dealing with Arab-Asian nationalism and with the USSR. However, effective cooperation inin which their interests are not identical with those of the US by Nasseruwarnd Sarraj

(Syria) is highly unlikely even if the US refrains from joining the pact. In view of the present disrepute of the UK in the Middle East and without full USand support, the Baghdad Pact would almost certainly lose its potentialilitary component integrated with Western defense arrangements.olitical association, it would probably be kept alive by its Moslem members if they were given USn the absence of US adherence or some effectiveUS policy, the memberespecially Iraq, would be in anposition in the face of Egyptian and Soviet pressures. )


Uncertainty about US policy in the Middle East, as exemplified particularly In the US relationship to the Baghdadas been an important factor In the complex power struggle which has been going on in the Middle East over the last two years. Despite its failure to Join, the US has shared in the opprobrium vented against the pact and its members by the USSR, by India and other Asian neutralists, and by Egypt and its Arab friends. Opponents of the pact have directly and indirectly sought to discourage USIts Middle East members, in turn, have repeatedly pressed the US toirm and open commitment to the pact.this pressure abated somewhat after the US decision in6 to participate in the economic and countcraubversiveof the pact organisation and to sit In

1 The Deputy Director for The Joint StanT, believes this sentence should readolitical assoclaUon, it wouldbe kept alive by Its Moslem members, but onlyhort time, even If they were given US support."

'See Appendix for major provisions of thePaet and summary of the development and present status of the pact organization.

as observer on the military side, these states remained unsatisfied. Pressure for USwas again applied following Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal at the end of6 and. In the wake of the Anglo-French military intervention in Egypt, has now been renewed with special urgency by the four Middle East members of the group.

he present members of the Baghdad Pact group joined It for widely varying reasons. While Turkey and the UK, andesser degree the other members, were influencedenuine desire toore effective defensive postureis the USSR in the Middle East, each adherent also hoped that membership would advance Its specialinterests In the area. The ruling groups of Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan probably expected to gain additional external support forthemselves in power. Iran also hopedS security commitment with Increased military aid. Pakistan wasesire to Improve its military positionis India, and to extend itsIn the Moslem Middle East Iraqmainly In hopes of increasing Itsin the Arab world,olitically

more acceptable form of defense agreement with the UK. and assuring an Increase of US military aid. The differences of interest among the members and the anomalousof the US havehe developmenttrong organization.

Nevertheless, the Middle East governments in the pact organization have for one reason or another all felt that their political and national interests would be best served by close ties with the West and with the US In particular, and that adherence to the pact was the best means of assuring increased US interest and support. Their present leaders, who are for the most part conservatives with pro-Western leanings, distrust the type of nationalism represented by Mossadcq and the RCC regime In Egypt. Their feeling that positive US action Is needed has been greatly intensified in recent weeksesult of Nasser's success In riding out thestorm, the Increased power andof the USSR in the Middle East, and the intense bitterness which has been generated throughout much of the Arab-Asian world against the Baghdad Pact's sole Western member, the UK.

Opposition to the Baghdad Pact has been various and complex in motivation. Although the pact Is only one factor among many which have caused strains and pressures In theEast, it has served as one of the focal points for anti-Western sentiment in the area, andarget for propaganda attacks on the West It has been Included in Nehru's criticism of military pacts In general asto create discord and diminish theof peace. It is also considered In India as further evidence of US support of Pakistanis India. Nasser has viewed the pacthreat to his leadership in the Arab world andew intrusion of Western colonialism. Egypt and Syria have both regarded itK-US device to build up Iraq, and have used It as one Justification for looking to the Soviet Union for material aid. Many Arabs have seen the pacteans by which the Western Powers might attempt toeace with Israel. The USSR has probably regarded the pacttep toward theof the area of Western bases along its exposed southwestern flank.

6 the US issued areaffirming Its support of theand asserting that it would viewto the "territorial integrity orof Middle Eastern pactwith the "utmosthiswill probably provide the Baghdadwith some added sense ofand give them some assistance Into domestic criticism. However. Itcertainly not satisfy theirUS adherence to the pact.

Consequences of Early US Adherence to the Baghdad Pact

US adherence to the Baghdadbe regarded at least initially as aof US Intention to opposeand directly the extension ofin the Middle East, and to takeatunci against the efforts of Nasserto undermine the Western positionarea.esult,ecisiona considerable effect In dissipatingof US indecision which, overtwo years, has discouraged thegovernments, weakened the willor uncommitted elements Instates to stand up against Egyptiananti-Western pressures,greater boldness on the partseeking to undermine the

least initially, the self-confidenceof the Baghdad Pactof Western-oriented elements In thestates would be considerablyand opportunists among thewould probably be more cautiousties with the Bloc. In time,Eastern countries might adherepact. The pro-Western governmentfor example, would probably bein Joining If convinced that Itsufficient backing to protectprobable counterpressures.Arabia has opposed the Baghdad Pact

in the past and hasenerally pro-Egyptian line, King Saud is desirous of strengthening his country's ties to the US. Recently King Saud has become concerned about the revolutionary and pro-Soviet aspects of Egyptian and Syrian policy and about the financial ill-effects of Egyptian sabotage of the Suez Canal, and it is possible that this opposition to the pact may present it appears unlikely that Saudi Arabia could sufficiently reconcile its conflicts of interest with the UK and the Hashemi les to permit It to join the pact. It also appears unlikely on the basis of present evidence that Jordan could be induced to join.

US adherence would be welcomed by the UK, France, and probably most otherEuropean countries as an Indicationorceful US policy on Middle Easternwas emerging. It might lead theseto believe that, despite US disapproval of Anglo-French military intervention in Egypt, the US would cooperate in otherto protect the special Western position and interests in the Middle East

The effect of US adherence to the Baghdad Pact on the military situation in the area would depend mainly upon the concreteof the US under the pact. The US would from the time of ]olning be enabled to participate in and assume leadership inmilitary planning and training; this wouldeakness which has become especially apparent with the decline of UK strength in the area. US membership in the pact would probably facilitate US access to bases in the pact countries. However, any effort to establish effective indigenous defense components in the pact areahole wouldifficult and lengthy, and probably costly process. If the US attempted to meet the probable demands of the Individual pactthe cost would be greatly increased.

adherence to the Baghdad PactInvolve particular responsibilitiesUS membership would beany appreciable length of time onlywere the first stepore positiveThe Baghdad Pact countriescertainly regard US adherence toas acknowledgment of their claims to preferential economic, military, and especially political support They would probablythe US as committed to support them against their rivals In the present arms race in the area. If the US did not give broad support to the pact members, their present misgivings about the wisdomro-Pact, pro-US policy probably would recur and might become intensified. There wouldrowing tendency to regard the act of adherence and any minor aid received in connection with it as empty gestures designed merely tothe Baghdad Pact group.

S adherence to the Baghdad Pact would arouse bitter opposition in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Nasser and his supportersovehreat to their interests in the area, and would probably react with efforts to strengthen their hold on Syria and Jordan and to undermine and intimidate pro-Western elements in Iraq and Lebanon. They might resort to organized sabotage of Tap-line, ARAMCO, and other US properties in the Middle East. They would almost certainly consider the US move as justification for an intensified anti-Western policy. We believe that Egypt and Syria are already going about as far in the direction of involvement with the Bloc as they now deem prudent, and that fear of losing their independence will continue to serveestraining influence. However, if US membership in the Baghdad Pact, and subsequent US policies In the Middle Eastern area, should later convince them that the US had turned against them and firmly aligned itself with their local rivals and that they could no longer profit by playing the US and the USSR against each other, they would probably be less prudent in their relations with the USSR than they have hitherto been while still attempting to preserve their

he USSR has long regarded elimination of the Baghdad Pact as an important goal of its Middle East policy. US adherence would probably increase Soviet fears about theof US military power in the area. Although it would almost certainly provide additional deterrents to direct Soviet military

intervention In the area covered by the pact, the USSR would probably Intensify itsin other Middle Eastern countries. The USSR would almost certainly encourage Egypt and Syria in their efforts to counteract the US move, and would probably furnish, or offer to furnish. Increased amounts of military equipment and technical personnel. Local competition for arms would probably thus be stimulated. The USSR would almostIntensify its efforts to identify Itselfwith the Arabs in opposition to Israel. It is possible that the USSR might seek to set up military alliances with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, though we believe that the Soviet leaders would prefer to remain free of treaty commitments to these countries. leaders would probably issue newto the West, possibly underlined by threatening military gestures. We continue to believe, however, that the USSR would seek to avoid actionserious threatajor military clash with the West.

US adherence to the Baghdad Pact would almost certainly be strongly condemned by the Indian government, and probably by other neutralist governments as well, such asand Indonesia.

US adherence to the Baghdad Pact would probably not of Itself have any appreciable effect on Israoll courses of action. In that it wouldtrengthening of US ties with on? rlcment in the Arab world, that led by Iraq. It would cause some concern and probably some protests In IsraeL However, the Israeli leaders would probably consider US adherence to the pactove in the directionarder policy toward Nasser and would therefore at least privately see some merit In it. On balance, the Israelis would probably view the US commitment as ancontribution to their security,In view of the Soviet Union's present highly critical attitude toward Israel.they would probably take advantage of the situation to bring new diplomatic and propaganda pressure on the USecurity commitment to Israel.

The timing or US action in Joining the Baghdad Pact would be of great importance. On the one hand, the leaders of the Baghdad

Pact countries are under increasing pressures; the pact is now Imperilled and might collapse at an early date if the US does not Join. On the other hand, by Joining the Baghdad Pact at the present stage In the Middle East crisis, the efforts of the UN in the area would be at least temporarily complicated, and perhaps badly hampered. The difficulty of getting Nasser and his friends, backed by the USSR, to agree to an acceptable settlement of the Suez Issue would probably be Increased The Asian neutrals would tend to lose thethey have recently shown to support the US position on Middle Eastern matters ln the UN. Many UN members would consider that the US hadisturbing factor into the midst of delicate negotiations. Theseeffects could be offset only if the US were able to convince UN members that Its Joining of the Baghdad Pact would contribute to the achievement of Middle Eastern stability. It would be difficult bo to convince them were the US to join the Baghdad Pact In the midst of the present crisis.

Consequences of Continued US Refusal to Adhere to the Baghdad Pad

he consequences of continued US refusal to Join the Baghdad Pact (and to support it vigorously after Joining) can scarcely bewithout some knowledge of. orconcerning, the alternative US policies which would be followed tn the area. We have no such knowledge orew pouits can be made, however, even without postulating US policy alternatives: ThePact concept has shown surprising vitality in the present crisis. In view of the present disrepute of the UK ln the Middle East and without full US participation and support, the pact would almost certainly lose Its potentialilitary component Integrated withdefense arrangements. The US would thereby lose the present opportunity toand organize the military strength of the pact areahole.oliticalhowever, the Baghdad Pact wouldbe kept alive by Its Moslem members, if the US, without Joining the association.

should nevertheless provide encouragement and support to It, and give some preferential treatment to Its members.

In the absence of some effectiveUS policy, the member governments, having unsuccessfully urged the US to join, and being already dissatisfied with what they have considered US unwillingness to support Its friends, would be in an exposed position because of the increased pressures from Egypt and the USSR and the sharp decline in the strength and acceptability of the UKounterweight. Iraq's government would bearticularly precarious position because of its relative isolation in the Arab world and its vulnerability to criticism for being tied too closely to the British. Conservative elements would probably try to retain control, but the eventual result would probably be theof an unstable government, with adecline in Iraq's reliabilityource of oil for the West. While the problem would not be so acute for the other Baghdad Pact members, the Shah of Iran would almost certainly have increased misgivings about Iran's exposed positionls the USSR and would probably face increased domesticfor having veered away from Iran'sneutralism. Pakistan's leaders would almost certainly face increased domestic criticism led by leftist and reactionaryleaders. Although the pact has little popular support In Pakistan. Iraq, and Iran, elements throughout the Middle East disposed to look to the US for support would be further weakened. Failure of the US to take some positive action in the Middle East wouldcertainly arouse misgivings elsewhere in the free world.

In staying out of the Baghdad Pact,the US would avoid various dlsadvan-

'The Deputy Director for Intelligence, The Joint Staff. beBcveathis sentence should read* -Aspolitical association, however, the BiEh-dad Pact would probably be kept alive by iU Moslem members, but onlyhort lime, even if the US. without Joining tho association, should provide encouragement and supporty giving some preferentialuges Inevitably entailed in Joining. It would refrain from giving the neutralists this new ground for accusing it of preoccupation with military alliances; it would remain freeew association with the UKolonial area context; It would not be aligning Itself with certain Middle Eastern countries against their local rivals; and It wouldew source of friction with the USSR. Thus the US, staying outside the Baghdad Pact, would probablyetter chance of retaining the credit it has won in the Arab-Asian world by Its stand on Israeli, British, and Frenchintervention In Egypt. Moreover, by refusing toirm treaty corrimltment, It would retain some extra room forIn dealing with the Arab-Asian neutralists and with the USSR, and it might beetter position toomprehensivewith the forces of nationalism and anticoloniallsm in the Arab-Asian world. It might also helpore favorable atmosphere for efforts to resolve the Suez and Arab-Israeli disputes In the UN.

bstention of the United States frommembership In the Baghdad Pact would not contribute materiallyeneral detente between the US and the USSR regarding the Middle East; adherence would probablyUS-Soviet relations and would adversely affect our relations with India and otherstates In Southeast Asia. Achievement of effective cooperation in situations in which their Interests are not identical with those of the US by Nasseruwarnd Sana] (Syria) is highly unlikely even If the US refrains from Joining the this timebecause of its effect on Nassermight complicate pendingrespecting the Suez Canal. Neither Joining nor refraining from Joining thePact would in itself help materiallysolving the important Middle Eastern problems,ecision as to the timing of adherence might have important significance depending upon the nature of the USfor dealing with the issues among the Arab states and between the Arab states and Israel.



The Baghdad Pact organization la anof the "northern tier" concept of regional defense advanced by the US3 following the failure of previous Westerntoegional defense grouping based on Egypt and the Arab states. The "northern tier" concept first materialized In4 when Turkey and Pakistan, the two "anchor" states, Joinedooseproviding for limited defenseThis was superseded onhen Turkey succeeded in persuading Iraq to sign the present Baghdad PactThe UK adhered to the pact onakistan joined the newin September, and Iran, after muchadhered Inritish efforts to secure Jordanian adherenceackfired badly, and the strength of the organization has remained at five members.

he "Pact of Mutual Cooperation"at Baghdad between Turkey and Iraq Iseclaration of Intent andno binding cornmitments. Howovor, the parties do pledge themselves to "cooperate for their security and defense consistent with the UN Charter" and to determine what specific measures should be taken as soon as the pact enters into effect. The pact, which remains in effect for five years and Is renewable for additional five-year periods, permits accession by any member of the Arab League or any other state (Israel Implicitly excluded)concerned with the security and peace of the Middle East The pact provides for the formationermanent council at the ministerial level. It also contains the usual undertakings not to interfere in anotherInternal affairsledge to settle disputes ln accordance with the UN charter.

An exchange of letters between the Iraqi and Turkish Prime Ministers at the time of signing the pact recorded theirthat the pact would enable their"to cooperate effectively in resisting any aggression directed against either of them" and "to work In close cooperation for effecting the carrying out of the UN resolutionsPalestine."

At the time of its adherence, theubsidiary base agreement with Iraq to replace the Anglo-Iraqi Treatyhis special agreement ended Britain'salliance with Iraq, specificallyIraq from obligations outside Its ownand providing for Iraqi assumption of command over the existing British bases in Iraq. However, the agreement obligates the UK to come to Iraq's aid in the event of attack or threatened attack and provides for close and continuous collaboration between the armed forces of the two countries.assignment of British Instructors to the Iraqi armed forces, joint military planning and exercises, and technical assistance In the installation of an antiaircraft warningThe agreement also gives the UK the right to store military supplies in Iraq and permits overflights, landing, and servicing of British military aircraft in Iraq. British maintenance personnel are stationed in the country and visiting squadrons of aircraft are permitted In Iraq under the agreement.

Following Pakistan's accession to the pact the permanent council was convened ininith the USand other ranking US officials present as observers. The session decided that

terial meetings would be held at leastear. The members appointed deputywith ambassadorial rank to meet more frequently. The organization's seat is at Baghdad,ermanent secretariat has been established. Military, economic, and countersubversive committees have been set up. Following an offer of assistance by the UK, plans to establish an atomic energycenter were announced at the second meeting.

lthough the US is not formally aof the pact organization, It hasIn Its activities sinceelegation headed by Deputy Underof State Loy Henderson attended theCouncil meeting in Tehran. The US is represented on the economic and counter-subversion committees of the pact, hasa military liaison group at the pact headquarters, and has contributed financial support and personnel for maintenance of the permanent secretariat.

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