751.5 MAP/3–1750: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Secretary of State


1264. ReDepcirtel March 13, 1 a. m.,1 we have already reported (Embtel 902 of February 251) that response to NATMDAP by French public opinion characterized by absence enthusiasm because of conviction that French territorial integrity in event Soviet aggression not assured in present conditions and that outbreak hostilities would in any event spell physical obliteration France either from aggression or from subsequent “liberation”. Persistent howling for “peace” by Communists and fellow-travelers is not fooling majority French people but emotional vibrations set up by harping on this theme are thwarting positive reaction.

Basic approach to presentation MDAP program should in our view stress fact that NAT and MDAP are essential components US foreign policy designed establish permanent conditions peace and economic recovery. This means that MDAP should always be discussed in terms of a broader context than that provided by its purely military aspects.

The major aim of NATMDAP should be constantly emphasized, i.e.: create a deterrent to aggression by making it absolutely clear that an attack on one member means in effect an attack on all, with consequent total mobilization forces united countries.

We believe that every opportunity must be taken hammer home to European opinion this concept NATMDAP rather than to dwell on military, strategic and tactical factors which invite invidious comparisons relative strength armed forces Soviet Union with those west European countries.

The strength of MDAP lies not in what it provides in terms military statistics but in what it means as contribution to common task prevent aggression ever occurring.

Believe that major themes within above framework which can be most profitably stressed and interwoven into Congressional presentation from standpoint European psychology are in order of psychological importance:

The US appreciates that the concept of peace is indivisible, and that the security of US depends on establishment and maintenance of collective security from aggression among all countries united for purpose.
Mutual Defense Assistance Pact is measure fully consistent with UN Charter and serves support and strengthen UN.
Bole of US under NATMDAP is not limited to providing weapons of war for others to use. US realizes total security of nations determined protect themselves against aggression requires total contribution of which each capable on basis defense strategy agreed in common.
Recognition present exposed situation and past human and material losses and sacrifices European countries, and assurances that “we are all in front line defense” together.
US is confident that all participating countries MDAP are animated by single purpose and that each is prepared contribute fully to mutual aid.
US retains primary emphasis on economic reconstruction and development commercial exchanges in Europe and MDAP in no way modifies or contradicts this priority. On contrary, by contributing to establishment sense security it will encourage task rebuilding and liberalizing European economy already under way.

In general, themes and arguments which should be avoided are implicit in those to be stressed. However, most important pitfalls seem to us to be following:

Statements or implication that shipments of material to and increased military production by member countries will of themselves rapidly create military conditions of defense adequate for holding and repelling aggression. Europeans are prone to attribute to US oversimplified views on defense requirements and to look for evidence unrealistic attitude. Therefore statements and presentation must all times express sober realism.
Statements or implication that Europeans feel or should feel strong sense relief at this time because of implementation MDAP. We believe free European opinion more obsessed by prospect physical obliteration in event war than by assessment increased chances survival through NATMDAP.
Statements or implication to effect that brunt fighting will be borne by continental European infantry and that role US will be limited to push-button technical war of destruction.
Statement or implication that MDAP is measure for defense United States only. This means that wherever possible U.S. strategic interests should be associated explicitly with those other free countries.
Avoid use word “liberation” or allusions to possible strategic retreats whose connotation would be abandonment at any time of portion territory covered by Atlantic defense concept.

Sent Department 1264; repeated London 364; pouched Copenhagen, Rome, Brussels, The Hague, Oslo, Heidelberg, Luxembourg.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.