Assessing US-Lebanese Relations From the 1973 Israeli Raid to the Oil Embargo of 1973-74

By Jeffrey G. Karam
Submitted to Session P5102 (Analyzing the Lebanese-American 'Special Relationship': Unearthing New Archival Records from the Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan Libraries, 2018 Annual Meeting
Intl Rltns/Aff
All Middle East; Arab States; Lebanon; The Levant;
Arab Studies; Arab-Israeli Conflict; Mediterranean Studies; Middle East/Near East Studies; Security Studies;
LCD Projector without Audio;
Paper 2 analyzes US-Lebanese relations from the 1973 Israeli Raid on Lebanon to the OPEC oil embargo in 1973-1974. Existing scholarship has focused extensively on how the Arab oil-producing states used 'oil as a weapon' after the beginning of the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. However, there is little scholarship that examines the role and perception of oil-transit states, such as Lebanon, before and after the embargo. Drawing upon recently declassified records from the US National Archives, the Nixon Presidential Library, and the Central Intelligence Agency Archives, this paper examines how the lower and upper levels of American intelligence and diplomacy viewed Lebanon's role in the months before the Arab-Israeli showdown in 1973. By analyzing developments between the assassination of three senior PLO leaders in Lebanon and the oil embargo of 1973, the paper demonstrates that American policymakers were constantly wavering between pressuring the Lebanese government to contain Palestinian militants from carrying out attacks against Israel and maintaining the back channel between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Central Intelligence Agency.