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February 1963

Department of Defense Briefing Book, Mr. Gilpatric’s Visit to Rome 11-12 February 1963

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)

Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric visited Rome in February 1963 for meetings with Prime Minister Fanfani and Defense Minister Andreotti. The Jupiter missiles were on the agenda and this lengthy briefing book conveys the tacit linkage between the Jupiter dismantling and the range of nuclear and conventional forces issues that were then under discussion. They included, among others: the possible deployment of Polaris aboard the cruiser Garibaldi, “with the US retaining custody of the warheads”; the long-standing Italian quest for help in the development of a nuclear-powered submarine; and the conclusion of an arrangement for a co-production of M-113 armored personnel carriers in Italy.

Perhaps the most striking part of this compilation is the paper reviewing the Italian experiment to use the cruiser Garibaldi as a delivery vehicle for Polaris missiles.  According to the briefing paper, the main U.S. objection to the Garibaldi proposal had less to do with its technical aspects than with the broader NATO context. The problem with a bilateral deal was political, namely the Garibaldi’s potentially negative impact for the creation of a multilateral NATO force, including the potentially adverse repercussions for Turkey and West Germany.” The former could see it as an “unfair advantage to Italy ... in the  matter of [the] adequacy of a replacement for Jupiter missiles,” while the latter could see it giving Italy “some of preferred status.”

Not included in the copy that went to the State Department are the probably more sensitive papers on Polaris forces and the “Assignment of Forces” to NATO.


Document Information


National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 59, Records of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political and Military Affairs, 1961-1968, Box 6, Mr. Gilpatric’s Visit to Rome, 11-12 February 1963. Contributed by Bill Burr and Leopoldo Nuti.


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Briefing Book


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)