269. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Rusk and the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Kohler)1


The Sec referred to Berlin’s 13382—is there anything in the wind in withdrawing troops. K said it is in the budget thing. He has not seen that one but asked if the Sec saw the one from Dowling to CINCEUR3 to plan beginning perhaps in Feb the return of 21,000 troops. This is the ’63 budget situation. This was discussed with Nitze et al. in the Berlin Task Force Mtg this a.m. They are aware of the problems and will try to come up with some answers. The Sec thinks at this time it would be frightful.K thinks it is for planning and he told them the assumption they could start in Feb was not valid. The Sec said to get a message for Clay and we should check it with the WH. K said the Pentagon is doing a first draft and are sympathetic to our warning of the political consequences.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192. No classification marking. Drafted by Bernau.
  2. Telegram 1338, January 15 (received at 12:36 p.m.), recorded Clay’s concern at the idea of withdrawing troops from Germany during the present crisis. (Ibid., Central Files, 762.0221/1-1562)
  3. Presumably reference is to telegram 1650 from Bonn (repeated to Paris), in which Dowling raised his strong concerns about the impact the return of 21,000 troops to the United States would have on West Berlin, West Germany, NATO, and the Soviet Union. (Ibid., 762.0221/1-1262)
  4. On January 16 Norstad sent a telegram to Lemnitzer indicating his concerns about the reduction. (ECJCJ 9-00740; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Germany, Berlin, Cables)