30. National Security Study Memorandum 881


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • US Policy on Italy and the Northern Mediterranean

The President has directed a study of political developments in the Northern Mediterranean, particularly in Italy, Greece and Spain.

The study should consider the broad implications for US policy in the short and medium term resulting from the political evolution in this area. The implications of Soviet military, political and economic activities and influence in the Mediterranean should be assessed with particular reference to the effects on the countries of the Northern Mediterranean.

Prime focus should be placed on Italy.2 Recommendations should be presented on the scope of action the US might take to enhance political stability and effective government, to reduce the possibility of entry into the government of the Communist Party, and to improve the effectiveness of the US presence and interest in Italy. The President wishes to have Ambassador Martin present for the meeting of the NSC.

The President also wishes to have Ambassador Tasca present to review the situation in Greece and to recommend the degree of speed with which we should move in resuming military shipments. The prospects for the political evolution in Spain and Spain’s future role in the Mediterranean should also be reviewed.

The President has directed that the paper be prepared by an ad hoc group chaired by a representative of the Secretary of State and including representatives of the addressees of this memorandum and NSC staff.

[Page 116]

The study should be submitted to the NSC Review Group by February 27.3

Henry A. Kissinger 4
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1248, Saunders Chron File, NSSM 90. Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the U.S. Information Agency.
  2. In an attached February 12 memorandum to the President on the Italian political situation, Kissinger indicated that the NSSM “reflects your desire to have an early NSC meeting on the Northern Mediterranean . . . . The prime stress will be on Italy.” See Document 191.
  3. See Document 195.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.