Approved Summary of Conclusions and Agreements Reached at a Meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the United States and United Kingdom1

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United States2 United Kingdom
General Bradley Marshal of the Royal Air Force
General Vandenberg The Lord Tedder
General Collins Field Marshal Sir William Slim
Admiral Sherman Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Admiral Davis Sir John Slessor
Admiral Duncan Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fraser
General Gruenther Air Marshal Sir William Elliot
General Landon General Sir Neil Ritchie
General Lindsay Air Chief Marshal Sir George Pirie
Admiral Lalor Admiral Sir Cyril Douglas-Pennant
Colonel Ladue Captain The Honorable Richard Coleridge
Brigadier C. R. Price
Colonel Street

item 1

It was generally agreed that the basic difference in regard to the timing of Soviet intentions was not too important, if we agree, and we do, that the primary and important task is that both the U.S.–U.K. increase our capabilities vis-à-vis Russia as rapidly as possible.

item 2

With regard to the several questions raised under this heading the following summary of conclusions was made:

Rearmament of Germany. That the question of how much pressure the French Government can stand on the matter of the rearmament of Germany is a delicate one and that the matter should be discussed at the meeting of the U.S. State–U.K. Foreign Office Conference, October 26th.3

Forces. It is understood that the United States can make no commitment of forces for the Middle East area, in event of war, although [Page 1687] the Strategic Air Command would strike targets which would assist in the defense in this area.

It was agreed that the United States would examine the question of sending a carrier to the Persian Gulf as a show of force in the event of uprising in Iran.

Middle East Area Study. It was agreed that Admiral Carney, General Arnold, and General Evans, together with General Tate as overall Middle East air advisor,4 representing the United States, would confer with the CINCs Middle East in regard to a determination of capabilities and feasibility of successful operations in this area.

U.S. Chiefs of Staff agree in general with the concept as laid down in the British Chiefs of Staff paper on global strategy, including priorities contained in paragraph 57 of that paper (D.O.(50)45).5

Bases. It was agreed that it was desirable to consider the possibility of the United States and U.K. presenting a common front to the Egyptian Government in order to secure necessary base facilities in Egypt. It was further agreed that the matter would be discussed, at the U.S. State–U.K. Foreign Office Meeting, 26 October.

Cold-War Aid. It was understood that the United States would furnish military assistance to Iran but no forces would be committed for this area in the event of war.

Israel. It was concluded that no action should be taken in connection with this country at the present time and that no public discussion should be made regarding its attitude toward the Western or Eastern alignment.

item 3

It was agreed that both the U.S. and U.K. desired to avoid the possibility of a war with Communist China. It was further agreed that General Harding (British) and General Brink (U.S.) should be directed to confer with General Juin (Fr) in order to make a fact-finding report in regard to whether or not the situation in Indo-China is reparable.6 It was further understood that each representative would report back direct to his own Government and that this should not be considered an international conference. In connection with discussions on Siam and Burma it was agreed that consideration would be given to setting up missions in those countries or strengthening missions where such exist already, with a view toward increasing capabilities to withstand the spread of Communistic influence, and, further, that this should be discussed at the political-military meeting.

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item 4

Covered under Item 2 above.

item 5

It was noted that the Turkish G–3 now in the United States would talk with the Standing Group on NATO planning on November 3d. It was generally concluded that Admiral Carney, General Arnold, and the British Air Force representative in Turkey should confer in order that the planning in that area be coordinated. It was further agreed that when the Greek G–3 makes his appearance he should be directed to confer with Admiral Carney. It was also concluded that it would be desirable to bring pressure upon the Greeks to cease their agitation for the return of Cyprus to that country, and that further discussion on this latter subject should be held at the political-military talks on 26 October.

item 6

Certain conclusions pertaining to this item appear in Item 2 above. Additional conclusions pertaining to cold-war possibilities were that if there should be in Persia a USSR-inspired tribal invasion or action similar to Korea, the situation would be placed before the United Nations. In the event of a revolution within the country a show of force might assist in maintaining the status quo.

item 7

It was concluded that the report rendered by the U.S.-U.K.-French Commanders in Germany was adequate and that each commander should revise his plans and coordinate them with the other commanders as appropriate.7 It was agreed that General Lecheres8 might be informed of this conclusion during his present visit. It was further concluded that in the event of the blockade of Berlin any new airlift could only be of approximately fifty per cent of the size of the former airlift. It was noted that the British reinforcements in Berlin would be effected by an increase in the number of men and equipment in existing units. This is a subject which should be discussed at the political-military meeting.

item 8

It was concluded that the Ramsey–Collins 1948 ANZIM–CINCPAC boundary was satisfactory and that planning in this area should be coordinated by Admiral Radford9 with the Chief of the Australian Staff.

[Page 1689]

item 9

It was agreed that the British would inform the U.S. as to whether or not substitution of one gun battalion for an automatic weapons battalion for the defense of U.S. bases in the U.K. was satisfactory, and further whether or not an increase of 2500 to 3500 spaces in U.S. strength was acceptable.

item 10

It was generally concluded that the present composition of nationalities of the Standing Group was acceptable, for NATO, but that further conversations between the U.S. and the U.K. Chiefs of Staff would be necessary in the event of global war. The U.S. position is that in event of war the Standing Group would be enlarged to include all Chiefs of Staff of the three member nations.

item 11

It was concluded that periodic meetings of the U.S.–U.K. Chiefs of Staff were desirable and would be continued; further that consideration would be given toward holding a Planners meeting, perhaps in January, and other meetings as occasions arise later on.

  1. Neither the agenda nor minutes of this meeting has been found in Department of State files.
  2. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS); Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; Adm. Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations; Rear Adm. Arthur C. Davis, Director of the Joint Staff, JCS; Vice Adm. Donald B. Duncan, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations; Lt. Gen. Alfred M. Gruenther, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, U.S. Army; Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Landon, Director of Plans, U.S. Air Force; Maj. Gen. Richard C. Lindsay, Deputy Director for Strategic Plans, Joint Staff, JCS; Rear Adm. William G. Labor, Secretary, JCS; and Col. Laurence K. Ladue, Deputy Secretary, JCS.
  3. The reference is probably to the minutes, infra.
  4. Adm. Robert B. Carney, Commander in Chief of U.S. Naval Forces in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean; Maj. Gen. William H. Arnold, Chief of the Joint Military Mission for Aid to Turkey; Maj. Gen. Vernon Evans, Chief, U.S. Military Mission with the Iranian Army; and Brig. Gen. Robert F. Tate, Chief of the U.S. Air Force Group, Joint Military Mission for Aid to Turkey.
  5. Not printed. According to the priorities stated in paragraph 57 the primary burden for defense in the Middle East would fall on the Army “which should be in a position as soon as possible to have at disposal a reserve for cold war emergencies.” Second priorities in the Middle East for the British were a share in the defense of the Egyptian base and “control of the Mediterranean sea-route for as long as possible in conjunction with the United States Navy and its denial to the enemy.” (611.41/6–750)
  6. Gen. Sir John Harding, Commander in Chief of the British Far East Land Forces; Brig. Gen. Francis G. Brink, Chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Indochina; and Gen. Alphonse Pierre Juin, French Resident General in Morocco.
  7. The report under reference has not been identified further. Presumably it concerned the establishment of a unified command for Allied forces in West Germany and defense against attack from the East.
  8. General of the Air Force Charles Lecheres, French Representative on the NATO Military Committee.
  9. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, Commander in Chief Pacific, and U.S. Pacific Fleet.