131. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


  • Turkey


  • State

    • Warren Christopher, Chairman
    • Richard Cooper, Under Sec./ Economic Affairs
    • Matthew Nimetz, Counselor
  • Defense

    • Charles Duncan
    • James V. Siena, Dep. Asst. Sec/ Eur and NATO Affairs
  • Treasury

    • Arnold Nachmanoff, Deputy Asst. Sec for Dev. Nations
    • Robert Pelikan, Dev. Nations/ Finance
  • JCS

    • Lt. Gen. William Y. Smith, Assistant to Chairman
  • CIA

    • Dr. Robert Bowie, Dir/NFAC
    • Joseph Zaring, NIO/WE
  • OMB

    • James McIntyre
    • Edward R. Jayne, Assoc. Dir. Nat’l Security & Int’l Affairs
  • White House

    • David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Paul B. Henze, Notetaker
    • Henry Owen

The meeting was devoted to discussion of:

  • • the need to put more momentum behind the “Guadeloupe Initiative” to provide economic assistance for Turkey
  • • the need for additional military assistance
  • • methods of coordinating the process of assessing these needs within the Executive Branch, and
  • • strategy for gaining approval from the Congress of reprogrammed or supplemental funds that may be needed. (C)

There was unanimous agreement in the group on the urgency of the situation. The DOD representative stressed the overriding strategic value of Turkey [1½ lines not declassified]. The JCS representative underscored the psychological significance to the Turkish military leadership of stronger support commitments from us. (C)

It was agreed that German leadership in organizing multilateral economic assistance has been weak and that the German commitment [Page 407] to additional aid has been disappointingly small.2 The group recognized that to secure faster action and greater commitments of assistance from our allies we must move into a stronger lead position ourselves. Secretary Blumenthal will raise the urgency of Turkish economic assistance in a forceful manner at a dinner he is having on the evening of 7 March with his counterparts from Germany, the UK, France and Japan. (C)

Assistant Secretary Cooper declared that U.S. leadership on this issue is likely to produce the results we desired only if we commit more aid ourselves. He stressed the need for action as soon as possible but also underscored the fact that economic support for Turkey will have to continue in FY 1980 and FY 1981. (C)

Discussion of possible additional amounts and kinds of assistance led the Chairman to designate Mr. Cooper as Chairman of a Working Group which will meet immediately to develop a fully coordinated Executive Branch proposal for additional economic and military aid, as well as other possible measures such as FMS debt rescheduling, which the DOD representative suggested. The Working Group will aim to have a report for the President ready no later than 12 March 1979.3 (C)

The Director of OMB expressed a series of cautions about shortness of funds and Congressional attitudes as well as possible implications of other Middle East requirements. The Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs stressed the urgency of the problem and the need of the Executive Branch to assess needs in terms of realistic appraisal of where the U.S. interests lie. He said it was necessary to work with Congressional leadership to develop the kind of approach that would best serve our national interests. The Chairman directed that the Working Group reflect OMB concerns but declared that the Turkey problem was too pressing to be put off until an assessment of larger needs in the Middle East could be made. (C)

The group recognized the desirability of providing MAP aid for FY 1979 and continuing it in FY 1980. The DOD representative mentioned major co-production possibilities that he considered worth exploring. It was agreed that these should be examined as a second-stage effort once [Page 408] the framework of an immediate short-term economic assistance effort had been established. (C)

[1 paragraph (1½ lines) not declassified]

  1. Source: National Security Council, Carter Administration Intelligence Files, Box 20, PRC/I Minutes—1977–80. Confidential. Drafted by Henze. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. The institutional forum for Western aid to Turkey was the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, through which West Germany took the lead based on discussions at the Guadeloupe Summit in January.
  3. Poats forwarded Cooper’s report in a March 15 memorandum to Brzezinski. The report, which was distributed to the PRC members, concluded that Turkey required greater economic aid than either the United States or West Germany had previously calculated, and that a supplemental MAP program should be secured in Congress for funds in addition to the $200 million in FMS credits. Brzezinski wrote on Poats’ memorandum, “Is this enough? ZB.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 75, Turkey: 8/78–3/79)