260. Memorandum From President Eisenhower to Secretary of Defense McElroy0

I have noted press reports about the Soviet objection to our deploying IRBMs into Greece. In December, 1957, when you, Foster and I went to the NATO meeting, we made our position absolutely clear that we would not try to induce any NATO nation to accept IRBMs for deployment in its territory. We made it clear also that we would be ready to make these available to any nation that voluntarily requested them and where we believed their deployment would be useful as a deterrent and for defense.

In connection with the foregoing, I should like to have the following questions answered:

Do we in fact have a firm plan for stationing IRBMs in Greece?
Did the Greek government initiate a firm request for these weapons?
Assuming the answer to be “yes,” did the appropriate NATO authority concur?
What additional numbers from the uniformed services would be stationed in Greece?
What would be the total number of such American strength in that country?
What particular advantage do we expect to gain from putting these weapons into Greece in view of the fact that country is both small and exposed?
Does the State Department see any great advantage in stationing these weapons in this particular country?
Finally, what additional sums for defense support and economic assistance will be requested of the Congress as a result of any such action?

I do not want this memorandum widely circulated or worked on by junior staffs. Except for a few statistics that I desire, these matters involve high policy and so I should like to have this paper handled by the fewest possible people.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 781.5612/6–359. Secret. A copy was sent to Dillon with a notation that reads: “Acting Secretary of State: Please note especially final paragraph. D.E.”