No. 852


Memorandum by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Bradley) to the Secretary of Defense (Marshall)1

top secret

Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense

Subject: Yugoslav Request for Military Assistance.

In accordance with the oral request made by Mr. Lovett to General Bradley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have formulated the following as a basis for reply to the letter from the Deputy Under Secretary of State, dated 17 January 1951,2 in which it was stated [Page 1720] that the Department of State desired to be informed whether any items whatsoever on the Yugoslav lists might be made immediately available to the Yugoslav Government ….
In view of the worsening world situation and the increased threat of aggression against Yugoslavia, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from the military point of view, now are of the opinion that it would be in the security interests of the United States to modify their previous recommendation that no military assistance be delivered to Yugoslavia until aggression has actually occurred. They perceive no objection, from the military point of view, to deliveries of military items … to Yugoslavia under the procedure outlined in subparagraphs 6a and b below.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the following types of items included in the Yugoslav lists might be stockpiled for . . . delivery to the Yugoslav Government …: certain United States obsolete military equipment, certain items of captured German equipment in Europe, and certain British equipment in Canada. In accordance with the terms of a tripartite agreement, arrangements for the supply of the German war matériel and the British equipment to Yugoslavia would require prior clearance on the political level with the Governments of the United Kingdom and of France. These items would not be in competition with matériel intended for allocation to Title I MDAP countries.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that, except in token amounts, no items on the Yugoslav lists can be made available by the Department of Defense to the Yugoslav Government under conditions of immediate … delivery. On the other hand, OPC (Office of Policy Coordination) might make immediately available certain of its stocks for this purpose.
In order further to meet the immediacy of the Yugoslav requirement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that token amounts of standard equipment be made available from United States stocks, perhaps from Europe, … delivery of this matériel being made by an appropriate agency of the United States Government other than the Department of Defense (see subparagraph 6b below).
With respect to certain items on the Yugoslav lists, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that obsolete United States military equipment and/or captured enemy equipment under United States control be provided. In addition, they also recommend that, subject to prior clearance on the political level, certain German war matériel and other suitable equipment of foreign origin be furnished Yugoslavia. This, in all probability, will require a period of from four to six months. In this connection, arrangements along the following lines appear to be necessary: [Page 1721]
Mutual Defense Assistance Program funds already appropriated* could be diverted without resort to a Presidential order … for the purpose of establishing a stockpile of military equipment in an accessible location outside the borders of Yugoslavia; and
Once the stockpile is created, Presidential authorization might be extended to the appropriate United States agency (not connected with the MDAP function) to draw … upon the stockpile and to make immediate deliveries to Yugoslavi.…
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Omar N. Bradley
  1. As noted in the covering memorandum attached to the source text, Lovett directed his staff to send a copy of this memorandum to Matthews; no other distribution of this memorandum was made by the Secretary of Defense.
  2. Document 830
  3. There are now some $475,000,000 of Additional Military Production (AMP) funds for which no substantial AMP projects have been approved. [Footnote in the source text.]