10. Letter from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Warnke) to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Leddy)1

Dear John:

Regarding the Department of State’s draft of February 16 on the question of US-Danish nuclear weapons policies,2 I would like to propose the attached preliminary revision as a basis for a joint State-Defense position.

I understand that your staff has assured mine that the final US position will not be communicated to the Danish Government until there has been full review in both our Departments of the Danish position.


Paul C. Warnke


The following is a draft of an Aide-Mémoire (or Note, PM etc., depending upon the form in which the Danish Ambassador presents the Danish position to the Secretary), in response to the anticipated Danish request for an exchange of notes on nuclear weapons in and over Denmark and its territories.

The United States Government is prepared to give the Danish Government assurance on a confidential basis that we will not store nuclear weapons in Greenland except with Danish approval.
The United States Government is also prepared to give the Danish Government assurance on a confidential basis that we will not overfly Greenland with aircraft carrying nuclear weapons except in consultation with the Danish Government. It must be recognized, however, that in circumstances of extreme emergency the situation may make advance consultation difficult.
Fundamental security considerations prohibit the USG from publicly commenting in any way on the deployment or movement of its nuclear weapons.

The United States Government recognizes that the Danish Government desires that a public statement be made on the immediate question of the B-52 crash in Greenland. The USG suggests that if the Danish Government feels it must make a statement, it might be along the following lines:

“The Government is satisfied that United States activities in Greenland are and will continue to be in accord with Danish nuclear policies.”

The USG could, of course, in no way confirm or comment on any such statement issued by the Danish Government.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, DEF 12 US. Secret.
  2. The February 16 draft, a copy of which is in the Department of State, Danish Desk Files: Lot 73 D 167, Thule Crash—Internal Memos, was based closely on the talking points forwarded to Leddy by McKillop on February 13 (attachment to Document 8).
  3. Secret; Exdis.