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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • 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, '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.

  • March 21, 1963

    Report from Alessandrini to Piccioni concerning NATO MLF consultations

    Report by italian representative to the Atlantic Council A. Alessandrini on consultatons in Paris between the Birindelli and Lee groups regarding technological-military options related to Polaris A3-armed naval forces. Two annexes concerning survivability and costs.

  • May 10, 1963

    Report by Permanent Representative to NATO Alessandrini to Minister of Defense Andreotti

    Alessandrini's report to PM Piccioni and Minister of Defense Andreotti discusses current questions of defense that will be brought up in the upcoming Ottawa session. According to him, NATO should focus on its internal organization and in particular, developing a common nuclear force, despite the technical and political challenges of such project.

  • September 26, 1963

    Report from Alessandrini to Piccioni on NATO MLF

    Report by italian representative to the Atlantic Council A. Alessandrini to Deputy Prime Minister. The report assesses that the NATO MLF represents the only real chance for European countries to actively contribute to the elaboration of a Western political-military strategy. the MLF is also seen as potentially laying the foundations of european nuclear capability; for this reason a european provision is considered of paramount importance.

  • October 05, 1963

    Letter from Ducci to Quaroni

    Letter from ambassador R. Ducci on the need to establish a European Federation with autonomous nuclear capabily.

  • December 05, 1963

    Report from Alessandrini to Saragat concerning the Development of NATO MLF

    Report by italian representative to the Atlantic Council A. Alessandrini to Foreign Minister on the development since 1957 of a NATO Nuclear Multilateral Force. The paper discusses the positions of the various European NATO members and conducts an assessment related to Italy's position. Two annexes. Annex A: Basic Elements of the covenant; B, Summary of Paris consultations.

  • December 07, 1963

    Reminder from SMD to Adm. Tagliamonte

    Reminder by adm. A. Zamboni on organization and structure of NATO Multilateral Force, including its political, strategic, economic and legal features. Particularly prominent is the European Provision as discussed in several different fora.

  • December 10, 1963

    Memorandum by Ministry of Defense, 'NATO strategy'

    This correspondence between the Ministry of Defense and embassies in Washington and London discusses the current state of NATO's (nuclear strategy) and the different views held by France, Great Britain, Germany and United States.

  • January 24, 1964

    Note by Head of MD Cabinet on 10th Meeting of MLF Group

    Note on tenth meeting of the MLF group forwarded by MAE to Italian embassies in Washington,London, Bonn, Ankara,Atene, Bruxelles and Aja. Includes responses.

  • September 29, 1964

    MAE cables on Von Hassel Declaration

    Cables between MAE secretary general Cattani and Italian embassy in Bonn on declaration by defense minister Von Hassel.

  • March 10, 1965

    Note by Head of MD Cabinet on British Project

    Analysis of British ANF proposal and military considerations regarding defense of the European operational theater. The paper stresses that the proposal overlooks the issue, as it advances the idea of a strategic nuclear force external to Europe. Finally, it outlines criteria for organizing an Atlantic nuclear force which might better fit european military problems.

  • May 18, 1972

    Speech by the Minister of Defense Franco Restivo, 'Tactical use of nuclear weapons, in see, in the Mediterranean area' (NPG, Copenhagen, May 1972)

    Speech by the Minister of Defense providing an overview of the Nuclear Planning Group meeting in Copenhagen. Focuses on the problems of "when" and "why" of employment of nuclear arms in Europe.

  • May 24, 1972

    Memorandum by Chief of Defense Staff, 'Political-military considerations with regards to the ministerial meeting of the NATO Defence Planning Committee' (DPC), Bruxelles

    The document discusses the weak state of European defence in light of the threat posed by Warsaw Pact that continues to increase its capabilities. It underlines the minimal participation and marginal role of Italy in the alliance, demanding a more meaningful financial and military contribution.

  • July 18, 1972

    Nuclear Planning Group, 11th meeting at the level of Ministers of Defense (Copenhagen, May 18th-19th 1972)

    Document sent from Minister of Defense Tanassi to Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Topics discussed: comparison of strategic forces (NATO and USSR), studies on potential use of nuclear arms by member states, and the problems of internal consultation within NATO.

  • October 15, 1972

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Note, 'French military nuclear policy and its consequences for the European unification'

    The note suggests that French motives for developing nuclear capabilities are political rather than based on national security considerations. France seeks to insure a key role in global political and military balance, and its behavior creates unfavorable conditions for the development of common European defense.

  • December 27, 1972

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Telespresso (Circular), 'Ministerial session of the Atlantic Council, 7th-8th December 1972'

    Italian perspective on the NATO Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels that discussed the credibility of Western European defense. The document highlights the need for a unified and cohesive negotiation strategy among the allies.

  • January 24, 1973

    General Staff of Defense (SMD) Summary Report of the Ministerial Meeting of the NATO Defence Planning Committee (Bruxelles, 6th December 1972), sent by Minister of Defense Tanassi to Prime Minister Andreotti

    Summary of the Defense Planning Committee discussions about the Action plan 1973-78, the problem of standardization, and the common infrastructures program of NATO. It is concluded that there is no realistic alternative to US forces in Europe, and that signs of positive change in Soviet intentions should not be trusted.

  • June 27, 1973

    Telegram by Ambassador Pignatti to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'US-USSR Agreement on the prevention of nuclear war'

    The document describes initial reactions to the signing of the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War in Washington. The new agreement raises concerns over the bipolar focus of US-USSR relations, NATO's traditional strategy, and poses questions related to autonomous European defense.

  • June 27, 1973

    Telegram by Ambassador in Brussels Pignatti to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Soviet-American agreement on preventing nuclear war'

    Summarizes the first comments from Min. Foreign Affairs on the agreement Soviet-American for the Prevention of Nuclear War. It is said that the philosophy of this agreement appears to have contradictions with regard to the classic strategy of NATO and diminish the credibility of the latter. Conceptions NATO military will have to be updated in light of recent agreements and ongoing trends around the Russian-American bipolarity. Just because you are at a "secondary" compared to the two supergrandi, Europeans should take the opportunity arising from this new trend to seriously address the issue of their defense. The prospect more desirable at this stage is an acceleration of proesso European unification, including the appearance of its "independent" defense.