S/S–NSC files, lot 63D351, NSC 67
Statement of Policy Proposed by the National Security Council2
The Communist Threat to Italy
- The United States should:
- Continue to make full use of its political and economic resources to assist in preventing Italy from falling under the domination of the USSR and to assist the Italian Government in meeting the communist threat so long as that Government evidences a determination to oppose communism.
- Seek to prevent acceptance by Italy of a position of neutrality particularly by promoting continuation of Italy’s anti-communist attitude.
- Continue the display, with the concurrence of the Italian Government in each case, of United States military forces in Italian waters and airspace.
- Recognizing that it is important to the security of the United States and other NATO countries that Italy meet in full its defense obligations as may be agreed in NATO, notwithstanding the military limitations of the Italian Peace Treaty, take diplomatic action as appropriate to assure that the Treaty limitations do not prevent Italy from meeting its joint defense obligations.
- In the event of an external attack against Italy, the United States should make such use of its military power as it may agree to be necessary under the North Atlantic Treaty in accordance with the purposes and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations or other international agreements.
- In the event either that an armed communist insurrection
receives assistance from outside Italy, or that a portion of
Italy falls under communist domination by armed insurrection or
other illegal means, the United States should:
- To the extent practicable in the light of conditions existing at the time, act through the United Nations and NATO to restore peace in Italy and the authority of the legal Italian Government.
- Suspend aid to communist-dominated areas.
- Strengthen its support of the legal government and increase military assistance as practicable for areas under the latter’s jurisdiction.
- To the extent required by the situation, take measures to strengthen the military power in being of the United States.
- In consonance with over-all strategic concepts, recognizing that the integrity and security of Italy are inseparable from the security of the North Atlantic area and the Eastern Mediterranean, and in consonance with the international commitments of the United States, make such use of U.S. military power as may at the time be appropriate to prevent Italy from falling under communist domination.3
- In the event of an external attack against Italy, or in the event that an armed Communist insurrection receives assistance from outside Italy, or that a portion of Italy falls under communist domination by armed insurrection or other illegal means, the United States should encourage the legal government of Italy to ignore any remaining military restrictions of the Treaty of Peace with Italy.4
- In the event that the communists gain participation in the Italian Government by legal means and threaten to achieve control of the Italian Government, or in the event that that Government ceases to evidence a determination to oppose communist internal or external threats, the United States should initiate measures … designed to prevent communist domination and to revive Italian determination to oppose communism. Further, the United States should take military measures in collaboration with other North Atlantic Treaty nations to counter communist actions which would threaten the strategic position of the United States in the Mediterranean.
- Any commitment of United States armed forces to the Italian area beyond that contemplated in paragraph 1c. above will be considered in the light of recommendations by the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time.
The source text, along with a cover sheet and a note by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, James S. Lay, Jr., was circulated as a draft to members of the NSC and designated NSC 67/3 of January 5, 1951. Prepared by the NSC Staff on the basis of an initial Department of State draft, this statement of policy resulted from Deputy Under Secretary of State Matthews’ memorandum of October 12, 1950, which recommended that NSC 67/1, April 21, 1950 ( Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, p. 1486), be revised in light of events in the Far East. While the statement of policy remained applicable, Matthews believed that the policies for contingencies needed change. (S/S–NSC files, lot 63D351, NSC 67 series)
On the basis of suggestions submitted by Matthews, the first revision of NSC 67/1 was drafted and circulated to the members of the NSC as NSC 67/2 of December 29, 1950. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and Department of Defense staff members objected to several parts of NSC 67/2 and their suggested changes were incorporated in the final approved text which is printed here. The differences in text between NSC 67/2 and NSC 67/3 are noted in footnotes below. NSC 67/3 was approved by the National Security Council on January 10 and then sent to the President for his approval. The President approved of NSC 67/3 on January 11 and directed that it be implemented by all appropriate departments and agencies under the supervision of the Secretary of State.↩
Subparagraph e in NSC 67/2 read as follows:
“In consonance with over-all strategic plans, make such use of its military and naval power as it may deem necessary in accordance with the purposes and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty, or other international agreements which use might entail any of the following steps:
- “(1) Strengthening United States military forces in the Mediterranean area outside of Italy at such places and in such manner as may be most effective.
- “(2) Upon request of the legal Italian Government and after consultation with the British and other NAT countries, deploying forces to Government-controlled sections of peninsular Italy to support the legal Government in its efforts to restore its control over Italian territory.
- “(3) Deploying forces to Sicily or Sardinia or both, with the consent of the legal Italian Government and after consultation with the British and other NAT countries, in strength sufficient to occupy these islands against indigenous communist oppostion.”
At the request of the staff members representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Resources Board, this subparagraph was deleted and replaced by the text of subparagraph e recommended by the Department of Defense and printed here.↩
- Paragraph 4 was a new addition to the revised report; it did not appear in NSC 67/2. Paragraphs 4 and 5 in NSC 67/2 were renumbered as paragraphs 5 and 6 in the source text.↩