18. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1


  • Turkish and Greek DCAs

The DCA with Turkey was negotiated in the winter of 1975–76 and signed in March 1976. The DCA with Greece was negotiated in part in 1976, then held up for nearly a year by the Greeks and completed only in the summer of 1977. It was initialled on 28 July 1977 but Karamanlis has delayed signing it.

Both DCAs replaced earlier agreements which were declared invalid in the wake of the Cyprus crisis of 1974. Both involved months of difficult, detailed negotiation over the exact status of our military installations in Greece and Turkey, import and export of equipment and supplies, status of our personnel, communications arrangements, rights of access [less than 1 line not declassified] and some supporting facilities by the Greeks and Turks. In both countries four major installa[Page 77]tions and two dozen minor and auxiliary installations are covered. In both countries the negotiations involved a serious process of give-and-take but the agreements which emerged are sound and clear, and we feel they protect our basic interests effectively, while at the same time providing the basis for real, constructive cooperation with our two allies. They are better than what we had before.

Both agreements include commitments to supply military assistance: $700 million over four years for Greece and $1 billion over four years for Turkey. Per capita and in terms of the size of their armed forces, the provision of aid is more generous for Greece than for Turkey.

The importance of the DCA to the Turks goes well beyond its specific provisions. They see it as evidence of our basic politico-military commitment to them as allies and as reaffirmation of their status as full members of the western alliance. The Greeks are less emotionally attached to their DCA—and have shown themselves willing to delay every step connected with it as a means of forestalling restoration of the Turkish-American relationship.

If we were to abandon the DCAs the Greeks would see this as a triumph over the Turks and the Turks would feel outwitted by the Greeks. Relations between the two countries would be seriously damaged. If the Turkish DCA were presented separately to the Congress and rejected, the Turks would consider the American alliance as it has existed for 30 years at an end and might leave NATO. The Greeks do not see their DCA as essential to the preservation of their relationship with the United States, but Karamanlis must recognize that the DCA provides the most practical avenue for reassociating Greece with the United States and with NATO. If the Turkish DCA is separately ratified, Greek interest in having theirs signed and ratified will doubtlessly increase sharply.

Ratification of both DCAs is the most clear-cut and evenhanded way of laying the basis for settlement of Greek-Turkish differences and restoration of both these countries to full participation in the western alliance and the European and North Atlantic communities.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 75, Turkey: 1–12/77. Secret. Sent for information. A stamped notation reads: “The President has seen.” The memorandum is attached as Tab A to a memorandum to Brzezinski from Henze. In a draft of the covering memorandum to Brzezinski of December 7, Henze noted that he had heard “casual suggestions” about dropping the Greek and Turkish DCAs, which he thought would be a “recipe for disaster.” (Ibid.) Brzezinski wrote above the first paragraph of his memorandum to Carter, “Response to your query.” Carter wrote at the top of the page: “Zbig, Assess [with] Fritz [Mondale] & Frank [Moore] best strategy for Congressional action—JC.” Hutcheson forwarded the memorandum to Mondale, Brzezinski, and Frank Moore on December 9. (Ibid.)