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March 2, 1960

Maurice Couve de Murville, 'Reflections on France’s isolated pursuit of the constitution of an autonomous “deterrent”'

This Foreign Ministry analysis was written for French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville. It spells out the obstacles facing an independent deterrent two weeks after France’s first nuclear test on February 13, 1960. The author cautions that a “minor deterrent” of a few dozen 100-kilton atom bombs loaded on vulnerable, short-range Mirage IV A fighter-bombers would cost hundreds of billions of francs. Intermediate-range ballistic missiles with which to threaten Moscow would require an additional 8-10 years and a further cost of 500 billion francs (around $100 billion in 1960). In order to match the superpowers’ thermonuclear level, that figure could rise as a high as “several trillion” over more than a decade, during which time the United States and the Soviet Union might well leapfrog the French force de dissuasion.

October 2, 1967

Letter from Derek Day (Foreign Office) to Michael Palliser (Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister)

Responding to a request from Michael Palliser (Wilson's Private Secretary for foreign affairs), the Foreign Office's seasoned Europe-watcher Derek Day argued that the government needed to balance three – sometimes conflicting – UK interests. First, there was the position as a European power, particularly with regard to the ongoing EEC application. Second, there was the UK's status as a nuclear power, in which the UK shared “special responsibilities” with the US, exemplified by the UK's acquisition of Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missiles as its primary nuclear deterrent. Third, there was the desire to see a non-proliferation treaty concluded, which sometimes meant disagreement with both the United States and the Soviet Union. Day contended that the United Kingdom seemed to have been successful in positioning itself as understanding European anxieties, with Bonn having congratulated Wilson's administration on bring “good Europeans.” Day's assessment was seen and lauded by Wilson, who hoped that it was correct.

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 12, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 765 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Ambassador Hare met with Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Erkin about moving ahead on substituting Jupiter missiles with Polaris, emphasizing the “importance in Turkey’s getting in on ground floor of this significant move toward a stronger NATO.” Erkin implied that he was “impressed by the reasonableness of our proposals,” but believed that the public would have to be persuaded “that Polaris would be as effective as Jupiters in assuring security of Turkey.” Hare observed that visits to Turkish ports by Polaris submarines armed with ballistic missiles could help maintain Turkey’s “confidence” in the U.S. deterrent and in NATO.

November 9, 1962

Memorandum from William R. Tyler to the Secretary [Dean Rusk] through U. Alexis Johnson, 'Turkish and Italian IRBM's'

Seymour Weiss would push back against any efforts to remove the Jupiters, but he and others realized that President Kennedy had a “keen interest” in the matter and that Secretary of Defense McNamara had ordered that action be taken (assigning his General Counsel John McNaughton to take the lead). Nevertheless Weiss and Assistant Secretary of State William Tyler presented Secretary of State Rusk with a memorandum making the case against action on the Jupiters or at least postponing their removal until a “later time.” Paralleling arguments made during the crisis by Ambassadors Hare and Reinhardt, Tyler pointed to the “symbolic and psychological importance” of the Jupiter deployments. While Tyler noted parenthetically that the Italians had “given indications of a disposition to work toward the eventual removal of the Jupiters,” the U.S. could not phase them out “without general Alliance agreement,” including Italy and Turkey’s consent, “unless we are prepared to lay ourselves open to the charge of abrogation of specific or implied agreements.” Rusk was in the know on the secret deal, but his reference to a “later time” was consistent with it and signing the memo would have placated Tyler and Weiss.

November 4, 2020

Interview with Nabil Fahmy

Nabil Fahmy is a former Egyptian Foreign Minister and diplomat. He served as the head of the Egyptian delegation to ACRS as well as the head of Egypt’s delegation to most of the Steering committee meetings

September 18, 2020

Interview with Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross is a former US diplomat. He served as a member of the US delegation to ACRS. 

October 5, 2020

Interview with Robert Gallucci

Ambassador Robert Gallucci is a former US diplomat. He served as a member of the US delegation to ACRS.

August 18, 1968

Text of letter from Chairman of the USSR Council of Minister A.N. Kosygin to the President of the USA, L. Johnson

Letter to Lyndon Johnson about setting a date for negotiations called the Soviet-American Negotiations on the Question of Curbing the Strategic Armaments Race.

May 17, 1983


MAE DAP memo on resumption of negotiations on INF. Observations on Allied negotiating position regarding an intermediate solution. Discussion of the Soviet position (press conference by Foreign Minister Gromyko, statements by Secretary-General PCUS Andropov): The paper also discusses the issue of French and British national nuclear deterrents, deployment of Euro-missiles and Soviet SS-20, comments Allied countries and perspectives on the negotiations.