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January 19, 1963

Joint Chiefs of Staff Message to U.S. CINCEUR [Commander in Chief European Command], 'Rationale of the JUPITER Decision'

That the Commander of U.S. European Command (CINCEUR), Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer, was a critic of the Jupiter removals may have informed a Joint Chiefs of Staff decision to send him a background paper explaining U.S. decisions that could also be used for discussions within NATO.   The backgrounder provided information comparing the reliability, vulnerability, and survivability, among other features, of the Jupiter and Polaris missiles. While the withdrawal of Thor and Jupiter missiles reduced Western “nuclear potential,” those reductions would be offset by an increase from 350 to about 800 U.S. strategic ballistic missiles, “some of which will be assigned to NATO targets.” Further, it “may be assumed that there will be no reduction in the present expectation of timely damage to the ACE [Allied Command Europe] targets presently covered by the Jupiters.”

January 18, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1250 to the American Embassy Rome

This message, intended “only” for Ambassador Reinhardt, included information for use in backgrounders for officials and journalists, but only with the Department’s consent. It included comparisons of the Jupiter and Polaris missiles, a brief discussion of possible targeting arrangements for Polaris, and the possible timing of the introduction of Polaris and the phase out of Jupiter missiles.  One point concerned “Equating of Italy and Turkey with Cuba.” U.S. officials were advised to make no comment on the matter, but if raised, officials should observe that when the Soviets equated missiles in Cuba with Jupiters in Italy and Turkey “we absolutely refused accept any such comparison or deal.” A version of these points would soon go to Fanfani’s foreign policy adviser, Carlo Marchiori.

January 18, 1963

Memorandum from John W. Bowling to Francis E. Meloy, 'Jupiter Negotiations - Ankara'

Compared with the negotiations with Italy, the talks with Turkish officials were complicated and slow moving.  One problem was Foreign Minister Erkin’s “mistaken impression” that Turkey would have a role in “manning” Polaris submarines. As desk officer John Bowling observed in this memo, Ambassador Hare saw that as a “grotesque” misunderstanding of the U.S. negotiating position, and the State Department’s reply rejected proposals for any Turkish role in commanding and staffing the submarines. All the same, Bowling saw the need for some Turkish involvement, including Turkish observers on the Polaris submarines “from time to time” and a “carefully phased” program of instruction in the U.S. beginning with “familiarization training” in the Polaris weapon system.

Other complications involved the provision of F-104Gs, including Turkey’s request to increase the number of fighter-bombers in the first squadron, which Bowling wrote was “literally impossible,” and the U.S. inability to provide a delivery date for the second squadron.  He suggested that the U.S. encourage more progress with Ankara by providing information on the state of the negotiations with Italy. Optimistically, Bowling thought it “possible” to reach a “satisfactory solution in ten days or so.”

January 17, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 780 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

In light of the Fanfani visit to the U.S., and the likelihood that the Jupiter-Polaris arrangement would be publicized, the State Department asked Hare for his estimate of Turkish reactions. Hare reported that Erkin was “perturbed” that an “impression” was being created that Turkey was “trailing behind Italians” on the Jupiter replacement issue. With a  Senate debate forthcoming on the matter, Erkin did not want it to look like he was “sleeping at [the] switch” but also did not “want [to] get out in front.” Not knowing what would be said in Washington, he was not sure what “line” to take. Erkin and Hare agreed that Erkin could say in Parliament that the government was “fully informed” and would take a position that was consistent with “Turkish best interests.” Turkish officials would continue to be concerned by the appearance that they had “been outdistanced by the Italians.”

January 17, 1963

American Embassy Rome Telegram 1411 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

In mid-January 1963 Harvard University professor Henry Kissinger met in Rome  with senior Italian political leaders, all the way up to Fanfani and President Antonio Segni, to discuss U.S.-Italian relations, including the Jupiters.  At that point Kissinger had no official role in government, although during 1961-1962, he had been a White House consultant. According to his report to the Embassy, the Italian leadership understood “intellectually” why the U.S. wanted to remove the missiles but it was sorry that Italy was losing its “one-up” position among non-nuclear members of NATO.  (No one mentioned that Italy retained special status as a country that the U.S. had to consult before it  used nuclear weapons based there.) Segni felt some “pique” that the Jupiter decision had been made during the missile crisis and that three months had passed before his government learned of it.  “Almost everyone” believed, Kissinger told the U.S. Embassy, that there had been a U.S.-Soviet “agreement” on the Jupiter withdrawal, with the 1 April deadline seen as an important clue.

The U.S. embassy report on Kissinger’s findings arrived at the State Department the morning of 17 January 1963, with instructions for the Executive Secretariat to limit its distribution. Apparently the report, with its comments linking the Jupiters to the Cuban crisis negotiations, touched a nerve with Dean Rusk.  He instructed Assistant Secretary Tyler to inform U.S. Embassies in Europe that Kissinger had no official role, they should not help him meet high-level officials, that he did not represent the “Adm’s views,” and that “we want to discourage him,” although as a “distinguished professor” he should be “treated with courtesy and friendliness.”  Consequently Tyler drafted and sent that same day an “eyes only” telegram to U.S. ambassadors reminding them of Kissinger’s non-official status.  Rusk did not explain what Kissinger had done that irritated him, but with his interest in dispelling rumors of a secret deal, he was probably irked not only by the thinking of Italian officials but by the fact that other State Department officials, including code clerks, would see the Embassy telegram, as limited its distribution was.

January 17, 1963

Minute of Understanding [between President Kennedy and Prime Minister Fanfani]

The two leaders signed off on a “minute of understanding” expressing their understanding on the MLF, replacement of Jupiters with Polaris by April 1, the substitution of Sergeant for Corporal missiles, and the possibility of using the Jupiters for “space experiments.” In accordance with Fanfani’s request, the minute was retyped to leave out the reference to bases in the Mediterranean.

January 17, 1963

Diary Entry of Aminitore Fanfani for 17 January 1963 [Excerpt]

In the morning, Fanfani met with his advisers, and they agreed to accept the Jupiter-Polaris arrangement. He then met with Kennedy for a series of conversations on East-West issues and the developing countries. During their private meeting, Fanfani conveyed to Kennedy the conditions for the agreement—Polaris submarines would not be based in Italy, and Italy would be a participant in the MLF and a member of the NATO committee establishing it. As he noted in his diary, Fanfani asked that language referring to “bases in the Mediterranean” (“which could lead one to suppose they are in Italy”) be removed from the “minute of understanding” of the meeting. Kennedy accepted the stipulations, and a memorandum of their understanding was prepared.

January 16, 1963

Memorandum to the Secretary of State [Dean Rusk] from McGeorge Bundy

During the luncheon for Fanfani, Bundy sent Rusk this short memo about the Fanfani-Kennedy conversation, noting the former’s concern that removing the Jupiters could lead to attacks from the right about “softness toward left-wingers who want the missiles out.” When Kennedy spoke with McNamara after the meeting, he asked him to emphasize to Fanfani the military advantages of replacing the Jupiters with Polaris. McNamara wanted to emphasize that very point to offset any talk of a “nefarious Cuban bargain” with the Soviets. Bundy also highlighted the debate between George Ball and McNamara over whether Jupiters and Polaris should be mentioned in the communique on the Fanfani-Kennedy discussions.

January 16, 1963

Diary Entry of Amintore Fanfani for 16 January 1963

Fanfani covered the events of the day in this journal entry, noting that he told Kennedy he would make no commitment on the Jupiter-Polaris replacement until he spoke with McNamara. With McNamara, Fanfani emphasized the point about using the Jupiter base for space launches. Both Kennedy and McNamara denied that there was a trade with the USSR, with McNamara emphasizing the risks posed by the Jupiters during the Missile Crisis.

January 16, 1963

Memorandum of Conversation between Aminitore Fanfani, Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, and the President [John F. Kenndy], 'Modernization of Nuclear Missiles in Italy and the Miditerranean'

Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani’s visit to the U.S. was an opportunity for he and President Kennedy to reach “a meeting of the minds” on the Jupiter-Polaris problem. The two had several conversations during the next two days on East-West relations, NATO nuclear issues, and the developing world, among other topics.  During this conversation, with only the U.S. translator present, Kennedy explained to Fanfani that Polaris/Sergeant missiles as a replacement for Jupiter/Corporals, along with Italian participation in an eventual MLF, should be announced as “whole package” rather than to have “the different points of decision simply leak out, without coherence and possibly at the wrong moment.” He believed that the main elements of the agreement would find “general approval” among most political groupings in Italy. When Fanfani brought up the possibility of announcing the U.S. request on Jupiters and Polaris and then taking it to his government, Kennedy emphasized the need for quick action, adding that it would “not be desirable to allow for prolonged discussion” of the package.

At Fanfani’s request, Kennedy explained the arrangements for Polaris missions in the Mediterranean, which operated out of a base in the Iberian Peninsula (Rota, Spain), and the various options for an MLF, either surface or submarine ships. Such an approach, Kennedy believed, was a way to improve the “position of the West.” Accepting Kennedy’s assertions about the dangers of the Jupiter missiles, Fanfani nevertheless saw a “psychological” problem involving the “prestige and strength” of Italy’s armed forces. Kennedy “indicated lively interest” in Fanfani’s question as to whether the Jupiter bases could be used for “cooperative peaceful space efforts.”

At the meeting’s conclusion, Kennedy “stressed that by the following morning they should be able to combine four or five points into a proposal that would strengthen the Italian and American position within the framework of the Alliance, thus making this meeting a gain in its cohesiveness and hence political strength.”