The Nassau Steering Group devoted its January 3, 1963, session to Jupiter removal diplomacy. Ambassadors Finletter, Hare and Reinhardt were present as well as McGeorge Bundy and Defense Department General Counsel John McNaughton. While the papers on the Jupiter that the committee prepared remain classified, the discussion summarized here covered some of the key issues. One was to avoid the word “withdrawal” when discussing the Jupiters and to use the word “replace” instead, as in replace Jupiters with Polaris SLBMs. Moreover, because of concern about leaks, there would be no reference to an April 1, 1963, deadline in communications with the Italians and Turks. As April 1 would be six months after the Cuban crisis, State Department official Seymour Weiss wanted to “go to the mat” to keep any dates out of the official discussions because he worried that too much specificity would raise suspicions of a “deal” or would sound like an “ultimatum.” Nevertheless, an April 1 date would be used for the timing of the stationing of Polaris submarines in the Mediterranean and some U.S. interlocuters would see it as a deadline.
The Steering Group also addressed the problems raised by the early deployment to Turkey of F-104Gs; making the fighter-bombers available by May 1963 would require the rerouting of planes that had already been assigned to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Denmark, Norway, and Greece. There would be a delay in deploying nuclear bombs for the F-104s until they were outfitted with Permissive Action Links (PALs), as required by President Kennedy, which was not likely to occur until later in the year.