294. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Sale of Phantom Aircraft to Greece

In my memorandum to you of May 26, 1970 (enclosed)2 I indicated that we thought there were compelling arguments favoring the sale of F4(E)F Phantoms to Greece but that we believed the decision on the sale should await the resumption of normal military assistance relations with Greece.

On September 22 we announced the lifting of the partial embargo on military aid shipments to Greece. Other reservations about the sale which existed in May of this year appear to have been largely overtaken by events. The provision of Phantoms to Israel subsequent to our May memorandum has canceled out any difficulty we might have otherwise faced on this score in providing them to the Greeks. The sale of Phantoms to the Greeks will nevertheless likely stimulate a probable Turkish request for the provision of these expensive aircraft under grant aid. But the seriousness of Greek negotiations for the purchase of high performance aircraft from France likely makes the Turkish problem inevitable whether or not we sell Phantoms to the Greeks.

The military case for selling Phantoms to Greece remains strong. We will, in the circumstances, proceed to inform the Greeks of our willingness to sell these aircraft to them. In any case, deliveries will likely not begin before two years from the date of acceptance of the offer to sell.

Theodore L. Eliot, Jr.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 593, Country Files—Middle East, Greece, Vol. I Jan 69–Oct 70. Secret; Nodis.
  2. Attached but not printed.