Conference flies, lot 59 D 95, CF 98

Memorandum by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Bradley) to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense (Lovett)
top secret

Subject: Middle East Command and Place of Turkey and Greece in the NATO Command Set-up.

The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff feel that political considerations require that Greece and Turkey be placed, at least initially, in an existing NATO command; i.e., under General Eisenhower. We have a chart showing this command arrangement in the Mediterranean. However, the solution shown on this chart should not be considered as a governmental position as it has not been approved by the Secretary of Defense or the Department of State. Further, it has not been discussed with Greek and Turkish representatives nor the Military Representatives Committee. It has been discussed with the French and British on the military side but it was emphasized that it is only a tentative view and may be changed after further discussions.

We feel that we should avoid any decision on this matter at the Rome meeting because:

It cannot be decided until Greece and Turkey are formally members of NATO and participate in the decision.
We do not have a firm position.
The matter has not been discussed by the Military Committee.

Before action is taken the Standing Group should prepare a formal position paper which can be shown to the other countries concerned, including Greece and Turkey and their views obtained.

[Page 714]

Turkey insists that the Middle East Command does not include territory of Turkey. As thus defined the Middle East Command is no longer a NATO command, involves no NATO territory and no action should be taken on such command here at Rome, nor should we take any action on the association of such a Middle East Command with NATO.

O[mar] N. B[radley]
  1. The copy in the JCS file carries the date “22 November 1951”.