203. Editorial Note

During the period 1965–1967, senior U.S. policymakers, concerned that the return to power of George and Andreas Papandreou could open the door to the radicalization of Greek politics and permit the Communist Party to obtain influence in Greece, debated possible courses of action within the 303 Committee. (Concerning the role of the 303 Committee, see Note on U.S. Covert Actions and Counter-Insurgency Programs, above.) Some officials in the Johnson administration believed that the United States should take active steps to strengthen a moderate regime as well as weaken the political base of the Papandreous, leaders of the Center Union Party. The President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy opposed such a course of action. He contended that reporting on the situation in Greece did not bear out such apprehensions and that political lines were not clearly drawn. The 303 Committee first tabled the issue and later, upon considering it a second time and not reaching a decision, referred the matter to Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Rusk rejected such a program because he believed the security risk outweighed any possible gains that could be achieved. Ultimately, the Johnson administration endorsed no such programs for Greece.