WASHINGTON (Sep. 27)
President Nixon ordered yesterday $5 million in emergency relief for Jordan’s civilian casualties and assigned the new Under Secretary of State John N. Irwin 2nd to take charge of the United States relief effort. This effort will include encouraging voluntary agencies and international organizations to provide relief. Earlier, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard stated that the U.S. will replace ammunition and arms that the Jordanian army lost fighting guerrillas and Syria. The aim of the replacement program, he said, would be to increase Jordan’s capacity to defend itself. There was some hints here that the U.S. would provide Jordan with additional jet fighters. Mr. Packard suggested that weapons might be included beyond that which Jordan had when the fighting broke out last week. Although he declined to specify whether the U.S. might supply more jet fighters he noted that the U.S. had previously supplied Jordan with F-104 jets.
Mr. Packard, in his interview with newsmen, also stated that “cheating” by the Soviet Union along the Suez Canal during the cease-fire, which involved movement of missiles in the stand-still zone, called for a reappraisal of Soviet intentions that could affect other potential agreements. “If you can’t have an agreement where people go ahead in good faith it raises questions whether you can have an agreement on anything else,” he said. Mr. Packard also noted that Israel’s massing of strong armored forces near the Jordan-Syria border has been a “reasonable” exercise of self-defense. He said it was his opinion that Israel would welcome a strengthening of Jordan’s defensive powers since it is in Israel’s interest to have a “stable country on that side of the line.” Mr. Packard also expressed criticism of U.S. allies in Europe for failing to help police Middle East affairs. “The Middle East and its oil is much more important to Europe than it is to us,” he asserted. He said he personally supported a proposal made recently in a Chicago newspaper to let NATO have a role in policing the Middle East but doubted this proposal would find much support.