Upon assuming office, the Ronald Reagan administration was faced with what it perceived to be a serious strategic dilemma: the instruments at its disposal were judged inadequate to the task of protecting US and other western interests in the Middle East-Persian Gulf region. The administration’s derived formula for righting this dilemma in the region was dubbed “strategic consensus.” Domestic and external complexities imposed the need for compromise even to the point of consciously undermining some of the administration’s primary foreign and security policy objectives. The assumption that the PLO evacuation from Beirut removed Lebanon from the administration’s agenda led to the conclusion that with Lebanon “over,” the time was ripe for reinvigorating the Arab-Israeli peace process. Interestingly, the administration twice exhausted the Jordanian king’s reservoir of excuses and forced him to state publicly his refusal to endorse the Reagan Plan unconditionally.