EE files, lot 67 D 238, “Yugoslavia Military Talks”

No. 640
Paper Prepared by Oliver M. Marcy of the Office of Eastern European Affairs and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Camp, USA

top secret

Conclusions Reached at the Politico-Military Meeting with the British on Yugoslavia, April 16, 19521

At the politico-military meeting on strategic planning for Yugoslavia, held in the Department of State on April 16, 1952, the following points of agreement were reached (subject to the concurrence of the Foreign Office):

1. Procedure

It is essential to bring the French in immediately: to this end the United States will address a formal proposal to both the UK and French Governments suggesting tripartite politico-military talks on strategic planning for Yugoslavia.2
Strategic planning for Yugoslavia will not now be placed before NATO. It is inevitable that it will ultimately become a NATO problem. Once actual discussion has been initiated with the Yugoslavs, they will gradually find themselves dealing with NATO: this is desirable.
The three Ambassadors in Belgrade will, following the politico-military discussions with the French, make, in such manner as they deem most appropriate, an informal and highly confidential approach to Tito, informing him that the three powers are now desirous of entering into strategic discussions with the appropriate Yugoslav military authorities. They will underline that Admiral Carney will undertake these discussions on behalf of the three [Page 1284]powers. If Tito’s response is positive, the Italians will then be advised of the three powers’ intent to enter into such discussions with the Yugoslavs. The US favored the concept that such advice should be made on a diplomatic level by the three Ambassadors in Rome. The British tended to feel that the approach might be more appropriate on the part of Admiral Carney but agreed to present the US view to the Foreign Office. Following advice to the Italians, Admiral Carney will be instructed to enter into discussions with the Yugoslavs in whatever manner he and the Yugoslavs feel most appropriate.
The question of informing the Greeks must be given full consideration, but should not be permitted to delay progress towards the initiation of discussions with the Yugoslavs as outlined above.

2. Albania:

It was agreed that the various aspects of the Albanian question should be discussed outside the context of the present talks.

3. Token Forces:

It was agreed that no decision be reached at this time to commit or not to commit land forces to Yugoslavia in the event of hostilities. (General agreement regarding air support was reached in a prior meeting.)

  1. A summary transcript of the discussion at this meeting is supra.
  2. A note was inserted in the margin here, explaining that the British Government had interpreted this to mean that the United States, in approaching the French, would suggest “an approach to Tito” rather than propose “politico-military talks” between the three Western powers. The note also indicated that the United Kingdom was prepared to engage in talks with France should France so desire and that the U.S. participants had agreed to act upon this interpretation.