Referring to the telegram on McNamara’s meetings with Andreotti and Sancar, Dean Rusk requested that Ambassadors Hare and Reinhardt to return to Washington for consultation as soon as feasible “to assist in developing plans to implement” the gradual withdrawal of the Jupiter missiles. To avoid raising suspicions, Rusk explained that their “return should not be simultaneous but should be arranged so as to permit overlap in Washington.” As the Turkish matter was more complicated, he advised Hare to return before Reinhardt. The “immediate objective will be to formulate best possible tactics to employ in relation to respective governments.” The Ambassadors could “very confidentially inform Foreign Ministers and/or Defense Ministers purpose of return, indicating they will be working on technical and military aspects of proposal in preparation for further consultation with both governments.”
December 14, 1962
Memorandum of Conversation between Robert S. McNamara, Robert S. McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Paul H. Nitze, Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA), Ilhami Sancar, Minister of Defense Turkey, 14 December 1962
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
During his meeting with Turkish defense minister Sancar, McNamara raised the risks posed by, and to, the Jupiter missiles and the need to withdraw those “obsolete” missiles and replace them with Polaris SLBMs. Turkish officials would play a role in targeting the missiles at NATO military headquarters. Worried about the implications of withdrawing the Jupiters, Sancar expressed concern about the impact that removal of the missiles would have on Turkish “confidence” in the U.S., the need to avoid “moral depression” (meaning morale) among “the people or the army” and stressed that the U.S. (“the best of allies”) was leaving Turkey “to a condition of ‘aloneness.’” McNamara did not believe that substituting Polaris for Jupiters would have that impact. Both agreed on the importance of proceeding in secrecy.
When Sancar observed that the late delivery of F-104G’s would adversely affect morale, McNamara said that an earlier date would be possible and suggested the possibility of announcing earlier delivery with the removal of the Jupiters. McNamara added that “time was of the essence.”
The State Department later sent a telegram to the ambassadors in Italy and Turkey reporting on McNamara’s meetings with Andreotti and Sancar.
December 22, 1962
Department of State Telegram 537 to the American Embassy Ankara
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