A Word Of Warning (Vol. 37, Issue 1)
Once again, despite the Soviet arms buildup in Egypt, the Nixon Administration is postponing its decision on resuming miltary sales to Israel. This step is part of the administration’s “even-handed” policy which, it thinks, will encourage the renewal of peace negotiations in the Middle East. Yet, under the guise of “even-handedness,” the United States has recently increased arms supplies to Jordan. The U.S. decision to supply Hussein’s army with tanks, personnel carriers, M-16 rifles, radar, and other equipment will undoubtedly transform an infantry-oriented army into a strong mechanized force. Combined with a massive Russian arms supply to Egypt, British aid to the Jordanian Air Force, and French plane sales to Arab nations, the U.S. decision to delay aid to Israel, and its assistance to Jordan are serious threats to Israeli security.
The U.S. military aid to Jordan may have been influenced by the current relative quiet along the Jordan-Israel border and by the recent border clashes along the Jordan-Syria frontier. The Nixon Administration, however, must be reminded of events this summer in Morocco, Jordan, and the Sudan, and must realize that no Arab leader, King Hussein included, is assured of long tenure in office or even long life. The guns along Jordan’s northern border today may tomorrow join the Egyptian guns pointed at Israel and her soldiers. The only deterrent for such an attack lies in the arms now being delayed in Washington.