NEA Files: Lot 55–D36
Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State
The American Paper
After detailed discussion and careful deliberation, and after a full exchange of views with both American and British military advisers, we have arrived at the following basic conclusions:
- Since the basic objective of the foreign policy of the United States is the maintenance of world peace in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Government of the United States must be concerned with any situations which might develop into international armed conflict. The Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East is an area in which such situations exist at the present time.
- The security of the Eastern Mediterranean and of the Middle East is vital to the security of the United States. (It is understood that the British Government has already arrived at the conclusion that the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East is vital to the security of Great Britain, but has not as yet made policy decisions based on this conclusion.)
- The security of the whole Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East would be jeopardized if the Soviet Union should succeed in its efforts to obtain control of any one of the following countries: Italy, Greece, Turkey, or Iran.
- In view of the foregoing, it should be the policy of the United States, in accordance with the principles, and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, to support the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. As a corollary of this policy the United States should assist in maintaining the territorial integrity and political independence of Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Iran.
- In carrying out this policy the United States should be prepared to make full use of its political, economic, and, if necessary, military power in such manner as may be found most effective. Before resorting to the actual employment of force, the United States should exhaust political and economic means, including recourse to the United Nations. Any resort to force should be in consonance with the Charter of the United Nations and, so far as possible, in cooperation with like-minded members of the United Nations.
- It would be unrealistic for the United States to undertake to carry out such a policy unless the British maintain their strong strategic, political and economic position in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, and unless they and ourselves follow parallel policies in that area.
- One of the greatest dangers to world peace may be the failure of the Soviet Union to understand the extent to which the United States is prepared to go in order to maintain the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. It should, therefore, be the policy of this Government to make evident in a firm but nonprovocative manner the extent of the determination of the United States to assist in preserving in the interest of world peace the security of the area.