LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
October 9, 1987
Senator Claiborne Pell,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: At your direction, the staff of the Committee on Foreign Relations conducted a review of the present situation in the Persian Gulf. Toward that end, staff members visited Iraq, the Soviet Union, and all six of the nations on the western side of the Gulf. Staff also visited the United States Central Command in Florida, the headquarters of the Middle East Force in the Persian Gulf, and the U.S.S. Ranger task group in the Gulf of Oman.
The resulting report covers the range of Persian Gulf issues before the Committee, including the military and political implications of reflagging and escorting 11 Kuwaiti tankers, recent developments in the war between Iran and Iraq, the status of U.S. naval deployments in the Persian Gulf, prospective arms sales to Gulf littoral nations, the status of diplomatic efforts to end the Iran-Iraq war, and the political and military consequences of Reagan Administration arms sales to Iran.
In connection with the study, Peter W. Galbraith traveled extensively through Iraq to gain a picture of that country's vulnerability in the conflict with Iran. His itinerary took him to Basra and the southern region, through the principal Shi'a cities of the South, to Baghdad, and deep into Kurdistan. In Baghdad, Galbraith had appointments with senior Iraqi officials in the Foreign Ministry, Oil Ministry, and National Assembly. Galbraith also visited Moscow, where he had discussions with Soviet officials on the Gulf.
Meanwhile, George W. Ashworth and Gerald E. Connolly traveled to all the Southern Gulf littoral states-Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Oman. At each stop they had appointments with ministerial rank officials responsible for foreign policy, defense, and petroleum iSl3ues. In addition, Messrs. Ashworth and Connolly visited U.S.S. LaSalle, the flagship of United States naval forces in the Persian Gulf, and U.S.S. Ranger, the aircraft carrier stationed in the Gulf of Oman.
Throughout the region, staff benefitted from the expertise and logistical assistance of able U.S. diplomats.
Our trip coincided with a time of increasing tension in the Persian Gulf, and the Committee will undoubtedly be seized with Gulf related issues for some time to come. We hope this report will assist the Committee in its deliberations.
George W. Ashworth.
Gerald E. Connolly.
Peter W. Galbraith.