384. Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey 0
Washington, December 18, 1962, 8:17 p.m.
523. Eyes only for Ambassadors Reinhardt and Hare. Subject: Jupiter Missiles.
- This message is strictly FYI. No distribution should be made of this message and tight security should be maintained.
- The Secretary and Secretary McNamara, in separate conversations at Paris discussed subject of removal of Jupiter missiles from Turkey with Sancar and Erkin, and McNamara discussed removal of Jupiters from Italy with Andreotti.1
- Proposal advanced by McNamara was for dismantling of the Jupiters by April 1, with these missiles to be replaced by Polaris stationed in Mediterranean. Each government informed they could participate with SACEUR in targetting of Polaris.
- Proposed replacement was explained in terms of a desire to modernize Alliance missile capability removing a highly vulnerable system which, during the Cuban crisis, provided inviting target to the Soviets should US have been forced to undertake military action against Cuba. In view of high vulnerability and advancing obsolescence, these systems should be replaced with more modern and effective system prior to onset of any new crisis which might, for example, occur in the near future over Berlin. In this way Alliance would have benefit of more effective deterrent force while denying to the Soviets an opportunity to bring political pressures to bear by threatening attacks against vulnerable Jupiter missiles.
- Andreotti appeared not overly disturbed by the US proposal though he indicated to Secretary McNamara that Italy would not itself wish to raise question and that initiative would have to come from the US. Also stated important that action, if taken, should be prior to spring elections in Italy.
- McNamara also indicated to Andreotti that while US was of view that SETAF should be taken over by Italians, US was prepared to continue support for at least an interim period and that we would be [Page 741] prepared to modernize SETAF by replacement of Corporals by Sergeants, such action to be related to Jupiter removal.
- Turkish MOD Sancar appeared more cautious and reserved in his response. Though he agreed to “submit and expose” US views to Turkish government, he said substitution of more secure weapon system for Jupiter must take into account all political and military factors. Indicated that core of problem was Turkey’s confidence in its Allies; that there was need to avoid moral depression either in people or Army. Warned against creating impression that “best of Allies was leaving Turkey to a condition of aloneness.” McNamara indicated that replacement by more efficient and invulnerable Polaris system should preclude these concerns.
- Sancar also raised question re delay in delivery of F–104–G’s. Requested acceleration of delivery. McNamara indicated dificult to accelerate but would work to resolve problem. McNamara stated that it would be appropriate to link announcement of an earlier delivery date with replacement of Jupiters.
- At Lord Home’s dinner for NATO delegations, Turkish PermRep (with several NATO nationalities represented at same table) opened Jupiter question himself and in strong terms expressed resentment that Turkey had been victimized through being pressed to receive Jupiters when most other members NATO turned them down. Tenor his conversation was that Jupiters were no good, that they created special problems for Turkey and that NATO decision to deploy Jupiters was irresponsible in that other members did not really cooperate.
- Following McNamara’s talk with Defense Minister, Erkin mentioned matter informally to Secretary in a friendly and relaxed mood saying that he saw no difficulty provided ways and means were found to make it clear that US was continuing a military presence in Turkey and was firmly committed to Turkey’s defense.
- Importance of maintaining strictest security was emphasized in conversations with Turkish and Italian governments. Should you be queried by representatives of Turkish or Italian governments, Secretary does not think it advisable for you to attempt to amplify US proposal. We are now working out next steps for following up on US proposal. For example, we have in mind that Secretary of Defense McNamara might soon visit Southeast Asia and would stop off in Ankara for discreet talk with highest Turkish officials. If, therefore, matter is raised with you suggest you merely refer to talks in Paris and indicate will request further instructions.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 7821.56311/12–1862. Top Secret. Drafted by Weiss and Johnson; cleared by Talbot, Davis, Kitchen, Kent, and the Department of Defense (ISA); and approved by Johnson. Also sent to Rome.↩
- Rusk reported on his conversation with Erkin in ed Secto 3 from Paris, December 12. (Ibid., 811.82/12–1262) Memoranda of the McNamara–Sancar and McNamara–Andreotti discussions are ibid., Conference Files: Lot 65 D 533, CF 2198.↩