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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Archivio Andreotti's NATO Series

Giulio Andreotti (Rome, 1919-2013) was one of the most important figures in Italian politics after the Second World War. This collection, drawn from Andreotti's papers held by the Istituto Luigi Sturzo, features letters, telegrams, reports, notes, and memoranda written by officials from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the Ministry of Defense and various Italian Ambassadors and diplomatic advisers. The materials are broadly related to NATO affairs and include dossiers prepared by MAE officials for the sessions of North Atlantic Council, special meetings of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs or Ministers of Defense, Andreotti’s visits abroad, and visits of important international leaders in Italy. The materials were selected and described by Dr. Lodovica Clavarino as part of a joint Wilson Center-Roma Tre University-Istituto Sturzo project.  For further information, see the introduction by Leopoldo Nuti and Lodovica Clavarino, "The Giulio Andreotti Archive: A First-Hand Account of NATO." Image: North Atlantic Council Meeting, Lisbon, June 1985. From left: Carrington, Andreotti, Romano. Source: Istituto Luigi Sturzo, Busta 170_fascicolo 74_1985. Reproduction of this image without the prior authorization of the Istituto Luigi Sturzo is prohibited. All commercial use is forbidden.

  • May 28, 1960

    Report to the Minister of Defense Andreotti on the Trilateral Military Agreement

    Report on the Trilateral Military Agreement that Italy signed with Germany, France and England in 1957. Defense Ministers from those countries decided to increase military cooperation. This report to the Italian Defense Minister Andreotti is about the outcomes of the alliance in the ballistic sector.The document describes all new weapons developed and new aircrafts projects on the floor.

  • May 28, 1960

    Ministry of Defense Memorandum to the Minister of Defense Andreotti, 'Tripartite Military Agreement'

    A collection of progress reports from the sub-commissions of the Accordo Military Tripartito F-I-G of 1957, a military alliance between Italy, France, and Germany, summarizing achievements and future objectives regarding development of co-owned nuclear weapons.

  • October 29, 1960

    Ten-Year Strategy Report by the General Staff of Defense (SMD) on Military problems of NATO to Minister of Defense Andreotti

    This ten-year strategy report created by the SMD is about perspectives and problems that NATO should face in developing a military strategy. Topics: French nuclear strategy; NATO tactical and strategic nuclear weapons; the relevance of conventional weapons; possible improvement in the decision to use nuclear weapons; nuclear cooperation and integration in NATO countries.

  • October 29, 1960

    General Staff of Defense (SMD) Report, 'NATO military problems. Ten-year plan'

    Report on France’s plan to establish a policy of autonomic thermonuclear dissuasion and an analysis of the negative effects such a plan would have, including weakening of the NATO shield and increased risk of nuclear attack on Western Europe.

  • December 21, 1960

    Report by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Segni to the Minister of Defense, Paris meeting of the Atlantic Council

    This report describes the development and outcomes of discussions at the Atlantic Council, Paris meeting. Topics: contrasts between two different tendencies : extensive vision of NATO power (supported by Italy, Germany, Canada and others) and the restrictive vision of NATO (sponsored by USA, France and UK); colonies; economic development; increasing Soviet threat.

  • December 21, 1960

    Report to Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Segni

    Praise for Paul-Henri Spaak in helping NATO unify Western Europe and integrate the Allied states’ economic, political, and military objectives in their ongoing struggle against the Soviet Union.

  • February 07, 1961

    Memorandum by Admiral Corrado Tagliamonte to the Minister of Defense, 'British memorandum on NATO nuclear weapons'

    Observations of the SMD on two topics, "The British vision of NATO weapons" and "General Norstad to the Atlantic Council." It concludes with three handwritten pages by Alessandrini to Andreotti, 3 February 1961.

  • March 08, 1961

    Note Assessing Italian Strategic Vulnerability

    Evaluation of vulnerability to Soviet aggression due to Italy’s geographic location (the middle of the Mediterranean Ocean) and political position (mostly communist). Reporting on the decision to increase nuclear weapons as well as bolster the air force in order to protect Italy and surrounding Mediterranean countries, which becomes essential considering the Soviet Union has made open threats directed at Europe and NATO.

  • March 15, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'American attitude toward NATO - President Kennedy's declarations'

    Letter from the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs analyzing President Kennedy’s State of the Union Address. Despite stating his commitment to cooperating with NATO, the minister suspects that Kennedy has other priorities. The letter suggests that if the Kennedy expresses hesitancy in creating a nuclear force, European nations including Italy will move forward with or without American support.

  • March 22, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'American attitude toward NATO - German opinions'

    Letter expressing Germany’s opinion that the defense of Europe is impossible without using nuclear weapons as an intimidation tactic and horror at the United States’ suggestion that Europe can defend itself with conventional weapons alone. Defense of Germany should be NATO’s top priority because if Germany falls, the rest of Europe falls. The letter also references NATO’s difficulty in developing a cohesive strategy because each country is too concerned with protecting its own territories and assets.

  • April 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Admiral Corrado Tagliamonte to the Minister of Defense, 'American attitude toward NATO. President Kennedy's declarations'

    Report submitted to the Italian Minister of Defense regarding President Kennedy’s opinion that NATO should not construct a special nuclear force since the US has already developed a nuclear deterrent. According to the Kennedy, the creation of an additional deterrent would be useless and a waste of resources.

  • April 08, 1961

    Memorandum by the Aeronautical Attaché and the Military Attaché in Washington, 'USA. President Kennedy's message to Congress on the Defense budget 1961-1962'

    Description of NATO’s new directives for the 1961-1962 year, as they were presented by President Kennedy. NATO has decided on a comprehensive defense strategy which includes increasing the nuclear capabilities of submarines, airplanes, and long-range missiles while developing new non-nuclear weapons.

  • April 27, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'NATO strategy. Conversation between our Ambassador in London and Lord Home'

    Letter recounting a meeting between the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the British Foreign Secretary regarding NATO’s weapons development. Nuclear weapons should never be employed unless absolutely necessary and instead serve as an intimidation tactic to deter Soviet aggression. The necessity of increasing NATO’s arsenal of conventional weapons to match that of the Soviets was also stressed.

  • April 28, 1961

    Memorandum by General Staff of Defense (SMD) for Minister of Defense Andreotti, 'Chief of staff's visit to the US'

    Report of the head of the Italian defense department’s recent trip to the United States. Of importance was the discussion of NATO’s long-term plan (ten to fifteen years), the strategic defense of the Balkans, the maintenance of the United States’ NATO forces in Europe, and the need to push development of conventional weapons to avoid having to employ nuclear weapons.

  • May 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Procedure for the decision to use nuclear weapons'

    In the use of nuclear weapons for a purpose other than response to an attack, NATO members must reach a majority agreement rather than a unanimous vote. Furthermore, this majority vote must include the United States.

  • May 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Political consultation'

    This letter outlines the problems NATO faces as relations between member and non-member countries are complicated by conflicting interests. Not only is NATO struggling externally to play the field between free and communist countries in forming its alliances, but also internally to reconcile the different objectives of imperialist and non-imperialist countries and form a cohesive defense strategy.

  • May 01, 1961

    Note, 'US strategic orientations; consequences on NATO strategy'

    The document presents the argument that nuclear weapons can and should be employed even in cases where they are not absolutely necessary because the cost of developing and maintaining conventional weapons is too high. Therefore, NATO should consider raising its ‘nuclear threshold’ to allow more atomic weapons to be developed in Europe and in the United States.

  • May 02, 1961

    Memorandum by General Staff of Defense (SMD) for Minister of Defense Andreotti

    Document announcing the official abandonment of the policy of massive retaliation as a "deterrence" strategy. Opinion of the Italian senior minister of defense regarding the need for a more flexible NATO defense strategy in order to respond to any type of act of aggression is also presented.

  • May 15, 1961

    Telegram by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP) to Minister of Defense, 'Opinion sharing between Brosio-Acheson on NATO nuclear weaponry '

    This document is related to Brosi's discussion with Acherson on NATO nuclear weaponry and strategy. Brosio underlines how the American nuclear strategy is rejected by European countries. Most of them are skeptical and take distance from Americans' willingness to use nuclear weapon against their enemies. In this sense, Acherson as representative of the American government, is ready to discuss the topic at a multilateral level.

  • May 15, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'Conversation Brosio-Acheson. NATO's nuclear weapons'

    Report on the United States’ development of nuclear weapons plans without consulting other NATO members and an analysis of the tensions between the United States (particularly Acheson and Herter) and Western Europe in regards to who should lead the nuclear weapons program.