Created: 10/13/1959

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Mr. G. Lewis Jones Assistantear Eastern and South.Asian Affairs Department of State

Contingency Planning Regarding Iraq


1. At the last meeting of the Working Group onndertook toaper listing the various contingency situations with which we might be faced In the near future* in order that plans may be drawn for possible courses of action.

2. Before listing specifichould like to review the current picture in Iraq, as we see it, and what we know about the plans andof other countries which are directly concerned with developments inside Iraq. The full implications of the assassination attempt on Qaslm cannot be assessed as yet. Prior to this event, we had continued tothat, despite certain evidence that he wasa measure of control over Communist activities and was bringing to Justice at least some of theof the Kirkuk affair, other recent acts, culminating in the executions ofeptember, had probably caused an irreparable breach between Qnaira and Nationalist elements within the country. If any clue can be taken from the frequent references to "lmperalisCs" Induring the past few days, there would seem totrong possibilityurther orack-down on the Nationalists. This, In turn, is likely to Increase the chances that they willesperate attempt toQaaira from the scene and to Install themselves in power. It is certain that the Communists, whose lives nd future would be at stake, would resist any such action on the part of the Nationalists, andes-perate struggle for power would then ensue. The outcome cannot be predicted with any confidence. According to


ui1 UUP All UU - _

strength and cohesion of Natlbmtxis^ Jie pre

suggests that the

the Communists feel that they wouldtop in any such struggle.

, -

Nationalists arebj.ji tu uall for outside assistance unless, as seems highly doubtful, they can quickly and decisively consolidate their position.

It is virtually certain thatall for assistance would be to other Arab States. We know that Nationalist elements inside Iraq are in touch with the UAR, and we also know that the UAR is seriouslyintervention under certain circumstances. We believe that the UAR would prefer to conceal their hand to the maximum extent possible. Intervening indirectly through the use of tribal elements, Iraqi exiles, and perhaps commandos. We do not know the extent to which the UAR would consider direct military intervention. We also know that certain Iraqi Nationalists have been in touch with the Jordanians. It appears that this group is largely representative of elements which were inprior to theh Revolution, although they have maintained contacts Inside Iraq since that time. Further evidence may temper this conclusion, but It now appears that there is no coordination of effort between the Iraqis who are in touch respectively with the UAR and with Jordan.

Nor is there as yet any coordination of plans or purpose between Nasser and King Husayn. Nasser has stated that Husayn's participation In any responseall for help from Nationalists within Iraq would be counter productive, to say the least. Husayn maintains his deep distrust of Nasser and his motives, and firmly believes that he would enjoy the supportarge majority of Iraqis if matters ever camehowdown.

A recent revival of the propaganda war between the UAR and Jordan appears to have killed, at least temporarily, the prospectseeting between Husayn and Nasser. Ifeeting were to occur in the near future, the outcome would be difficult to predict, but we believe it unlikely that they could ever agree on speciflo Joint plana for an operation into Iraq. The position of the Saudi Arabs In all this is unclear, but we believe that under any circumstances their participation would be marginal.

5- It is impossible to make our own contingency plans without taking into account the likely attitudes of non-Arab countries who would be vitally interested in the eventlowup in Iraq. As we see it, their attitudes can be summarized as follows:

e. Turkey The Turkish Government (even accountinglight difference of view between the Foreign Office and theremains convinced that Qasiraincere Nationalist, and should be generally supported and protected against the intrigues of Nasser. Their attitude, in the event of theof Qasim, would depend on the circumstances which ensue, but it is safe to say that they would look with extreme disfavor on any attempt by the UAR to intervene, even in responseall for help from the Nationalists. Wethat the Turks areompletely unrealistic view as to the danger of thethreat to Iraq, but we see no evidencehange ln this view despite what wetoapidly deteriorating situation.

b. IranThe Iranians are deeplyabout the Communist menace to Iraq, and its possible Implications regarding their own internal stability. They too, however, view Nasser with the greatest distrust, and would be presently Inclined to throw their support to Husayn, and perhaps get involvedif outside intervention became The Shah is scheduled to meet soon with King Husayn and it ls predictable that this meeting will result in firm pledges of mutual support.

Israel The Israelis wouldrave view of Arab intervention in Iraq,by Nasser, whom they consider to be their number-one enemy. It is possible that they would seize upon the fact of outside Arab intervention in Iraq as an opportunity for military action against either the UAR or Jordan, or both. It should be noted that the

d. United Kingdom |

|Their attitude in the event of sotte form of Arab intervention from outside is not clear. It is known,that they would consider Nasserof Iraqerious threat to theof their vital positions ln the Middle East.


The above background ls Incomplete ln manybut we believe that it is relevant to aof the contingencies with which we might be faced ln Iraq, and of the manner in which we should prepare to deal with them. As for the contingencies themselves, there are any number of possibilities, but most of those which would demand prompt policy decisions by the United States are premutations and combinations basedingle central factthe removal of Qaalm.

If, by the time this happens, the Nationalists have become completely demoralized and the Cotamunlsts take over quickly and without major incident, the interested governments would be faced with grave decisions which are beyond the scope of this paper. Alternatively, If the Nationalists take over in the same manner, and without apparent external assistance, there would appear to be no major problem. The more likely contingency, however, would

eriod of prolonged disorder and confusion, withand Communist elements each calling for help. In view of the Communist apparent strategy to date of identifying themselves as true Nationalists, there would appear to be little likelihood of Soviet intervention, ln the absence of overt military intervention froa other countries. In any event, Soviet intervention in Iraq directly, would present difficult loglstloal problems.

8. The most pressing, and at the same time most complicated problem will arise if antl-Coiumunistcall for help. To lummarlEe on the basis ofreported above, the United States should beto deal with some or all of the following:

request by Nasser for moral,and material support forand directed by the UAR. Althoughwould probably be Indirectlt might become direct under

similar request from Husayn,probably consider directreadily than Nasser;

,0. Prom either Husayn orequest for guarantees against invasion by Israel;

Iranian request for supportefforts to eliminate Barzanl andprincipally throughfriendly Kurdish elements withinIranians would also exert everyto have us support Husayn's

representations fromor the Israelis to the effectshould be forced to keep handsIraq.


10. Under any contingent circumstances, lt Is obvious that diplomatic discussions would have to be

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