Commander of U.S. Mediterranean Fleet Says Israel Can Be Protected

Vice-Admiral Charles R. Brown, Commander of the U.S. Mediterranean Fleet, today told the National Press Club that his force could, in event of Arab-Israel hostilities, either enter Israel to protect her or enter Arab states to protect them from Israel.

The Admiral pointed out that the fleet could take either punitive or police action against the aggressing side in an Arab-Israel outbreak. He spoke in response to a question which sought to elicit the lines of effective action the Sixth Fleet could take to implement the American commitment to aid the victim of aggression in event of Arab-Israel hostilities

Admiral Brown replied that this was a difficult question to answer in that he did not know what Arab countries might be involved. But if the Arabs were attacking Israel, and the Arabs were in the wrong, Admiral Brown envisaged a situation in which U.S. forces could enter Israel to protect her. He added, however, that if Israel attacked the Arabs, the United States could similarly enter Arab territory to repel Israeli aggression.

The Admiral indicated that the whole question was so broadly hypothetical and speculative that he had no conception of exactly how American military force might be applied if an Arab-Israel war developed. He minimized the importance of the Russian submarines provided to the United Arab Republic. He thought these submarines were actually operated by Egyptian crews because they now “have bumps in them and are getting awful rusty.”

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