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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • 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.

  • May 30, 1961

    Memorandum by Chief of Defense Staff Aldo Rossi to Minister of Defense Andreotti, 'NATO new strategic approach'

    Rossi describes the recent trend of the US Administration to want to turn away from the doctrine of Massive Retaliation, towards the acquisition of a new strategic concept that includes an increase in the "nuclear threshold." In order for Italy to continue to lead the defense of central and southeastern Europe against the Soviet Union as well as address its internal social and political crises, the United States must provide Italy with financial assistance.

  • June 14, 1961

    Report by Permanent Representative to NATO Alessandrini to Minister of Foreign Affairs Segni

    Alessandrini writes regarding the Minister Of Foreign Affairs speech on the problems of NATO's military, including its nuclear strategy. Despite the assurances of the United States, Europeans fear of having to fight conventional Soviet forces.

  • June 14, 1961

    Report by Permanent Representative to NATO Alessandrini to Minister of Foreign Affairs Segni

    Report on the imbalance between nuclear and conventional weapons in NATO’s defense program. The Allied powers have reduced their production of planes and ships in favor of nuclear weapons development, which worries Alessandrini because conventional weapons have not decreased in importance since the start of the Cold War.

  • June 17, 1961

    Memorandum by General Staff of Defense (SMD), 'Atlantic Alliance's strategy - National military way of thinking'

    Summary of NATO’s nuclear defense strategy, stressing the importance of utilizing both conventional and nuclear weapons and refraining from using more nuclear power than is absolutely necessary to combat Soviet aggression.

  • August 23, 1961

    Message by Permanent Representative to NATO to the Minister of Defense, 'General Norstad's petition to the Council'

    Italian official Pinna Caboni summarizes the military report delivered by General Norstad regarding the threat of attack on Berlin, evidenced by the presence of Soviet troops near the city. According to General Norstad, immediate action must be taken to mitigate the threat of nuclear attack on Berlin in the interests of Germany as well as all of Western Europe.

  • October 17, 1961

    Report by Chief of Defense Staff Aldo Rossi, 'The military situation of the armed forces of the Soviet bloc and of its alleged allies and those of NATO countries and their allies'

    A report on the discussions which occurred at a meeting of the Atlantic Council, during which the relative military powers of the Soviet Block and Western Block were compared. The different positions and threats posed to various NATO nations were also discussed. Finally, the report laid out plans for nuclear, submarine, and aerial weapons development to ensure that the Soviet Block’s military power never exceeds that of the Western block.

  • December 18, 1961

    Report by Permanent Representative to NATO to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Recent ministerial session of the Atlantic Council'

    Report on the growing threat of a Soviet blockade of Berlin, the focal point also of a meeting of the Atlantic Council in Paris in December, 1961.

  • December 18, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'Alessandrini's (RICA) report to MAE Segni'

    Report on the growing threat of a Soviet blockade of Berlin, the focal point also of a meeting of the Atlantic Council in Paris in December, 1961.

  • May 19, 1962

    Memorandum by Chief of Defense Staff Aldo Ross to Minister of Defense Andreotti

    Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of accepting the terms of nuclear warfare proposed at a NATO meeting in Athens. Whether or not to respond to a Soviet nuclear attack with an atomic weapon of equal strength was debated at the meeting, as well as the role that conventional weapons would play in such a conflict.

  • September 20, 1962

    Report by Permanent Representative to NATO Alessandrini, 'Emergency plans for Berlin'

    Report on NATO’s emergency plan to protect Berlin if the Soviets try to blockade the city. The plan consists of three parts: diplomatic negotiations, limited military action, and large-scale military action. Alessandrini outlines the conditions in which each phase would be implemented if Berlin finds itself under Soviet attack.

  • December 04, 1962

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

    Italy's permanent representative to NATO Alessandrini writes to PM Andreotti in preparation for the upcoming Paris summit. He shares general remarks about the state of the alliance and current issues in international relations focusing on the German question, Cuba, and Sino-Soviet relations.

  • January 01, 1963

    Note by SMD on Inter-Allied Force

    Note by Gen. Aldo Rossi on aims, composition and structure of the Nuclear Interallied Force and potential advantages for Italy.

  • January 01, 1963

    Note by SMD on Denuclearization of the Mediterranean

    Note by gen. Aldo Rossi against Soviet proposal for denuclearization of the Mediterranean, which would deny Italy a nuclear deterrent through NATO.

  • January 01, 1963

    Note by Piero Vinci to Andreotti on MLF

    Note by Minister's cabinet head Piero Vinci on political and technical issues related to MLF in preparation for discussions with President Kennedy. Also discussed are changes to NATO Standing Group and nomination of gen. De Martino as vice chairman of the Military Committee

  • 1963

    Report, 'Point 2. NATO situation'

    Discussion of the relative roles of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and France in NATO and a proposal to revise the role of NATO as the threat of a Soviet attack increases.