248. National Security Action Memorandum No. 710


  • The Secretary of State

Having read the Department’s status report on the Cyprus situation,1 I am concerned over its gloomy tone. The inadequacies of the Makarios government, as contrasted with the discipline, energy, and able leadership of the local Communist Party, are most worrisome.

Perhaps we need some preventive medicine here to forestall further deterioration of this situation. Shouldn’t we at a minimum push the UK, Greece, and Turkey to take a more forthcoming approach? Moreover, in view of their limited resources, we should carefully review our own policy of relying on these guarantor powers to shoulder the principal share of the Western burden.

Since Cyprus’ real estate and strategic location are of considerable importance to us and to our allies, I would be grateful if the Department of State would advise me on what measures would best insure our holding on to it, including whatever use of US resources may be required.

John F. Kennedy
  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM 71. Secret.
  2. The “Status Report on Cyprus,” August 18, outlined the state of political and economic development in Cyprus during its first year of independence. (Ibid.)