422. Memorandum from Kitchen to U. Alexis Johnson, October 261

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  • The Memorandum on Negotiation

The attached memorandum on “Negotiation” is submitted by the Rostow group. We believe that it makes several excellent points, and is in general a useful guide. However, there are two related points in it which we think have grave disadvantages which far outweigh the possible advantages.

Paragraph 5(b) on page 3 proposes that we should seek an “immediate” Allied decision to set up a NATO Southern Command multilateral seaborne force. In conjunction with this move, we would then urge the Turkish and Italian governments to place on the record their intent to phase out the Jupiter IRBMs.

Similarly, in paragraph 6(a) (ii), it is proposed that the US and USSR declare their intent not to facilitate procurement of MRBMs for land deployment in NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. This would appear to be of doubtful desirability in view of the fact that the Soviets have stationed no such weapons in the European Satellites, and would gain no advantage from doing so. On the other hand, while this might be used to strengthen NATO interests in a multilateral seaborne force, it might also be considered by some NATO powers as an unnecessary gesture limiting the future freedom of action of NATO. An agreement on such joint declarations might be an acceptable US concession as part of a broader US–USSR package agreement, but does not appear to be desirable in and of itself.

The chief difficulty that we see with both of these proposals is that they will stir up alarm and concern on the part of our Allies, probably without offering any compensatory inducement to the Soviet Union insofar as the Cuban missiles are concerned.

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They would both violate the valid and important principle stated in paragraph 3(b) on page 2 of this very paper: “It is essential to avoid any implication that we are trading off pre-crisis allied or US interests to secure removal of Soviet offensive weapons from Cuba. Failure on either of these fronts could undermine the alliance.”

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There is one other point in this paper to which we should like to draw your attention. On page 3, paragraph 5(a), it is suggested that: “assuming that negotiations take place before the Cuban issue is settled, we should make clear that, if negotiations do not succeed, we will take early action to remove Soviet offensive weapons.” We believe that this would be a desirable and significant step.

Ambassador Thompson shares our concern, and has told me that he intends to speak out against any kind of Turkish trade-off deal, including one transparently masked as a step toward a multilateral force. At the Rostow committee meeting which discussed this paper, Bill Tyler also expressed reservations on this point and NEA was very strong on the adverse reactions to be expected from the Turks. Ray Garthoff, who attended the meeting for G/PM, noted that the Turkish view (if not completely adverse) might be that a multilateral seaborne force would be a fine addition to NATO, while strenuously objecting still to any dismantlement of the Jupiters in Turkey.

This paper has gone from S/S to S, and will probably be acted on by the Secretary this morning. You may, therefore, want to note your comments to him at the earliest opportunity.

I should like to add one more comment on the proposal for US and USSR declarations against land deployment of MRBMs in Europe. The proposal as framed allows unlimited deployment of MRBMs in the USSR and the US, but this is a specious balancing since MRBMs in the US are obviously of no use, while the several hundred in the western USSR pose the major threat to western Europe. I believe that there would have to be strong compensatory advantages in any arms control arrangement that would include such a measure in order to offset the disadvantages of it.

  1. Rostow subcommittee memorandum on negotiation. Secret. 2 pp. DOS, S/S Files: Lot 65 D 438, Negotiations.