389. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Turkey0

623. Paris for Finletter and SACEUR. Joint State–Defense message. Embtel 795.1 Following is USG response to Turk “conditions” on acceptance our proposal. You may use your own discretion as to timing and channel conveyance to GOT, and supplement as circumstances require with other background information in your possession. Re penultimate para Reftel, we continue share Turkish preference NATO channel. You will be informed on progress discussions with Italians. You may indicate to GOT general status these discussions and that there is no thought of giving Italians advantages over those offered Turks.

As set forth previously in Under Secretary’s talk to NATO and in recent State of Union message to Congress,2 U.S. is aiming at creation of multilaterally-controlled and manned NATO seaborne nuclear force, and we count on Turk cooperation in forthcoming negotiations and discussions within NATO. We intend pursue this vigorously with our NATO allies, but process will doubtless be very long and involved. Acceptance of our proposal for replacement Jupiters with Polaris would, we feel, be important psychological step toward eventual agreement for force we envisage, but Polaris Mediterranean force now proposed is not model for multilateral force. Any attempt by US and Turkey to so shape the Mediterranean force might disrupt the process of reaching consensus on true multilateral force in NATO, and might set in motion process resulting in misunderstandings and jealousies. We cannot undertake to endanger and possibly undercut vast project of NATO multilateral nuclear force by considering at this time question of command and control on bilateral basis. Therefore Turk suggestion re command of Polaris vessels cannot be even considered at present time. We urgently request Turks to prevent leaks to effect that this subject was even brought up during course our discussions.
Turkish proposal for training of full spare crews Polaris submarines implies, as does Turkish proposal for specific command structure, [Page 751] bilateral decisions on future shape of NATO multilateral force, assuming as it does that Polaris submarines will be manned by Turkish crews. Question of eventual Turkish role in manning and control of projected NATO multilateral force must be resolved in larger context NATO-centered discussions. At present time US laws regarding access to nuclear propulsion plants constitute barrier which US must consider in context overall legislative requirements in moving toward multilateral force objective.
Question of Turkish observers aboard Polaris submarines remains to be worked out before commitments can be made. Program of observers would pre-empt and hamper effort toward NATO acceptance mix-manned concept eventual NATO nuclear force. There would be no objection to having SACEUR staff officers, including, of course, Turkish officers, as observers on board Polaris submarines from time to time at the discretion of the force commander. Turkish officers could participate, of course, in the targeting and operational planning of the Polaris submarines.
USG shares obvious Turkish concern re early operability in Turkey of F104G weapons system. Filling out of initial F104G squadron by four additional aircraft as desired by Turks will be done as rapidly as the aircraft are available, within a few months after arrival of the first 14 aircraft. Training of both pilots and maintenance personnel is a priority matter if early delivery date is not to be wasted. Turk instructor pilots will be sent to earliest opening US 104G school, and intensive training program contemplated for Turkey. At present moment, full mobile training unit with equipment which had previously been scheduled for overseas service in another country is being held in US on standby basis, ready to proceed to Turkey immediately upon conclusion of agreement replace the Jupiters. Turks are aware difficulty and complexity training program, we therefore confident Turks will understand seriousness our purpose in anticipating sensible date delivery second squadron F104G’s approximately one year following delivery first squadron.
Turkish Navy is vital element in defense of NATO area. USG has no intention abandoning Turkish Navy in allocating appropriations for military assistance. In fact, we are requesting appropriations for FY 64 which will permit us to fund additional vessels for Turkey.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 782.56311/1–1963. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Bowling; cleared by Meloy, Talbot, Rusk, McNamara, and the Department of Defense; and approved by Kitchen. Repeated to Rome and Paris.
  2. Telegram 795, January 19, provided the Embassy’s analysis of Turkish objectives and suggestions for U.S. negotiating strategy. (Ibid.)
  3. For text of Ball’s January 23 statement on European unity, see Department of State Bulletin, February 11, 1963, pp. 195–197. For text of President Kennedy’s January 14 State of the Union Message, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, pp. 11–19.