39. Memorandum From A. Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger1


  • U.S. Security Policy Toward Greece
[Page 139]

In response to NSSM 215,2 the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs has sent the President a review of U.S. security policy toward Greece, with emphasis on U.S. policy3 and [1 line not declassified]. The concerned agencies—State, Defense and CIA—have also submitted comments and recommendations on the NSSM response.4 An analytical summary of the response is at Tab II.5

By way of background, the Government of Greece, following announcement of Greece’s plans for military withdrawal from NATO,6 requested that the United States enter into formal negotiations on the future of the U.S.-Greek security relationship, including the status of U.S. bases and facilities on Greek soil. The first round in these negotiations was held in mid-February at Athens;7 the second session will open on April 7, also at Athens.

During this same general period, [11/2 lines not declassified] within the Departments of Defense and State.

The NSSM response, supported by agency comments and recommendations, affirms the U.S. objectives in bilateral negotiations of preserving intact the fundamentals of the U.S.-Greek security arrangement [less than 1 line not declassified] while encouraging Greece’s return to full participation in NATO. At the same time, the study states that the U.S. should seek to regain full effective use of those U.S. facilities considered most important to U.S. security interests adding that if concessions are necessary to obtain Greek support for these principal U.S. objectives, the United States should agree to consolidation or reduction of facilities considered least essential to retain. State—while concurring in these objectives—adds that the negotiators must be provided maximum flexibility in order to safeguard U.S. interests while accommodating Greek needs.

As there is interagency consensus on U.S. objectives in the negotiations, I see no need for an SRG meeting. At the same time, [2 lines not declassified] I believe it would be correct to have the President formally approve the U.S. position in a decision memorandum.

[Page 140]

The memorandum for your signature to the President at Tab I8 would forward the NSSM response and related agency comments/recommendations, and your recommendation that the President approve the position on negotiations agreed to in the NSSM response. With the President’s approval, the accompanying NSDM for your signature would so inform the agencies.


That you sign the memorandum for the President at Tab I.9
With the President’s approval, that you sign the accompanying NSDM.10
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, NSC Staff for Europe, Canada, and Ocean Affairs: Convenience Files, 1974–1977, Box 10, Greece, Greek Base Negotiations 1975 (3). Secret. Sent for action. Concurred in by Clint Granger and Jan Lodal of the NSC staff. There is no indication that Kissinger saw the memorandum.
  2. Document 33.
  3. Sisco forwarded the paper on February 8. A copy is in the Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–33, NSSM 215.
  4. Colby relayed CIA’s concurrence in a memorandum to Kissinger on February 20; Deputy Secretary of Defense Clements relayed the Department of Defense’s concurrence in a February 22 memorandum; and Springsteen relayed the Department of State’s concurrence in a memorandum to Scowcroft on March 7. (Ibid.)
  5. Printed as Document 40.
  6. See footnote 2, Document 20.
  7. See Documents 35 and 36.
  8. Attached but not printed.
  9. There is no indication that Kissinger signed the memorandum.
  10. Printed as Document 43.