191. Message From the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (Haig) to Secretary of State Vance, Secretary of Defense Brown, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Jones)1

1812. From General Haig SACEUR SHAPE Be. Subject: Greek Reintegration.

1. At the suggestion of Embassy Athens, I have asked Ambassador McCloskey to deliver the following personal message from me to Prime Minister Karamanlis:

Quote Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

It appears that we are now at an important and historic turning point in our mutual effort to return Greek forces to the integrated military structure. As you are aware, the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, was charged by the Secretary General of NATO to attempt to undertake a fact finding mission with a view to bringing about the early return of Greek forces to the integrated military structure. This effort [Page 586] has culminated in the proposal forwarded to General Davos and General Evren on 30 May 1979.2

I believe this final formulation satisfies every concern contained in General Davos’ letter to me of 10 May,3 with the exception of air defense coordination:

—No NATO documents are rescinded.

—National sovereignty is not infringed upon in any way. Rather, it is confirmed, especially for the airspace over the islands in the Aegean.

COMEDEAST remains and its boundaries are not directly challenged.

With respect to day-to-day air defense operations, clearly changes must be made to accommodate the already established command in Izmir and the anticipated new command in Larissa. My proposal visualizes that the coordination formerly effected by COMSIXATAF in Izmir will now be effected by COMAIRSOUTH’s advanced regional air operations center in Larissa. Most importantly, you can be assured that, in practice, CINCSOUTH’s coordinating functions will neither be technically unworkable nor create unacceptable situations for Greece.

What the Turkish position on this latest proposal might be is unknown to me because it falls far short of what they have insisted upon thus far. In any event, I consider it a reasonable compromise between what have been heretofore incompatible positions. Unfortunately, time permits no efforts for further modifications by me. Therefore, upon receipt of your decision, I must then proceed to seek the Turkish reaction prior to my final report.

We both understand the complexities of the problem. However, I remain hopeful that you will be able to make a positive response which I am confident will result in the prompt return of Greece to the integrated military structure under workable circumstances.



Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

General, United States Army Supreme Allied Commander


2. Warm regards. Al Haig.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–82–0205, Box 10, Greece 17 Oct 79. Secret; Eyes Only. Sent for information to USNATO for Ambassador Bennett, to [text not declassified] Athens for Ambassador McCloskey, to [text not declassified] Ankara for Ambassador Spiers, to [text not declassified] Bonn for Ambassador Stoessel, to the Department of State for Nimetz, to Naples for Admiral Shear (CINCSOUTH, and to Brussels for General Knowlton (USDELMC).
  2. Not found.
  3. Not found.