The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Sweden
96. Dept agrees review of NSC 28/1 desirable. Fol is current trend of Dept thinking on points raised in urtel 167, Feb 7, 6 p. m.
Shld Swed apply for admission into NAT we wld be favorably disposed provided other members agreed and provided such action had wide support within Swed. We do not now seek such application and barring some unforeseen development wld not expect to do so for at least several years. This position is based not only on lack of popular support in Swed for participation but also on such factors as our inability at this time to meet probable Swed demands for concrete steps to insure its security, possible effect on Sov policy toward Finland etc. This policy might of course be changed at any time by some such development as a Sov move against Fin (urtel 167).
We do, however, continue to desire that Swed move away from her attitude of neutrality and believe there is considerable scope for this without arriving at point where Swed wld be prepared for Pact membership. Continuation of our present policy of according priority on mil aid to Pact members and other countries that are clearly committed to opposing Sov expansion shld contribute to this end. We also believe there are advantages to Pact membership other than free mil equipment, such as participation in strategic planning, access to classified mil info and equipment, Govt procurement etc., which in addition to security provisions of Pact itself shld affect Swed opinion. We recognize that material change in Swed’s subjective neutrality attitude is long range goal and do not therefore attach same importance as you appear to do to current decisions on mil supplies. Difference wld appear to be one of timing and degree since we do not wish to force Swed decision.
With respect to radar application, approval wld probably involve approval of at least some of pending and possibly subsequent applications [Page 20] for airborne equipment to provide a balanced radar system. We also agree despite Boheman’s statement, requests for other military equipment are likely to follow. Without USGovt procurement, however, it appears unlikely Swed can obtain much important mil equipment under our current policy of letting Swed go “to the end of the line”.
We are inclined to weigh heavily fact Norway desires radar net in Swed for defense of Nor regardless of accuracy of Nor estimate of its importance. Our understanding is that equipment covered by present application involves no problem of release of classified material, and so far as we are aware is not desired by NAT members. If so, withholding license wld clearly be act of pressure with adverse consequences in Nor and Den and possible exploitation by Sov propaganda. We are therefore inclined to approve present application.
Foregoing which has not been discussed with Defense nor fully cleared within Dept intended to give you opportunity for any further comments you may care to make.