THE NATO PROBLEM: FRENCH FORCES IN GERMANY

Created: 4/18/1966

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INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

THE NATO PROBLEM: FRENCH FORCES LN GERMANY

DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE Office of Current Intelligence

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current Intelligence6

INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

The NATO Prohleir.: French Forces It: Germany

Introduction

A key element in the current France/NATO is the status of French forces in West Germany6 when, according to the present French timetable, those forces will no longer be committed to NATO. Although the French forces make some contribution to the over-all Western defense posture on the central front, they are important primarily because of their political significance for France and Germany and for manyatent fear of Germany. The issue also is the first major item in the French timetable. France can end the NATO assignment of its forces unilaterally, but tbe nature of any new agreement on the maintenance of non-NATO French forces iocouldong way toward setting the tone and style of future negotiations on the other problems that the Alliance will have to tackle. Allwill view the outcome on this issueignificant indicator of the strength of Frenchto press ahead, with or without compromise, in carrying out the rest of the program of withdrawal from NATO.

The French Position

At the same time that France has moved toItself from NATO's Integrated command, it has indicated that it would like to keep its forces in Germany. Paris has several reasons for hoping toilitary presence there. Relationsthe two countries have deteriorated, but De

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continues to recognize that he needs Germany if he is tourope militarily, economically and politically independent of the US. However, he is aware of the need to "contain" Germany so that it poses no threat to its neighbors. In the process of disentangling France from NATO, therefore, De Gaulle has sought to emphasize the continuing non-NATO links between the two countries.

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While generallyesire to maintain the French forces in Germanyuly, Paris has kept open the prospect that they will be withdrawn if satisfactory new arrangements cannot be reached.

Despite the repeated citation ofs the legal basis for retainingin Germany, Paris has acknowledged thatagreements may be needed. is aware it is entering into aon this as well as other it has concealed its minimum terms. of the kind of agreement Paris willare apparent. "

The French wouldbe supplemented bybetween the French military andwould deal with peacetime training andarrangements in war-time. Paris maylatter would be similar to the informalwhich govern relations between theand SACLANT.

In an effort to strengthen its hand, Paris has tied the issue of French forces in Germany to the

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agreements covering German use of French territory for training* and supply depots. France probably hopes to bargain for the best possible arrangements in Germany by offering Germany the continued use of

these facilities and overflight rights much needed for German air force training.

The West German Position

Thus far, Bonn hasairly firm position regarding the circumstances under which French forces can remain in Germanyuly. Foreign Ministry officials haveumber of difficult political and military problems which they feel must be resolved. Bonn insists that4 agreements constitute "oneoth legally and politically. In arriving at these agreements, Germany had made certainprincipally the right of other nations _to_sta--tion troops in Germany.' In return for this, Bonn had gained certainand the agreement that troops of the signatory powers in Europe would be under NATO command. Thus, the Germans contend, French forces cannot remain solely on the basis of4 convention once "integration is brokenhe presence of foreign troops under an integrated command of which Germanyart is acceptable, but lt would be an infringement of Gorman sovereignty for French forces to remainurely French command.

The Germans are as yet unsure what "the new legal status will lookne essential feature the Germans want is the right to ask the French to withdraw any time they consider that theis not working and that the French should similarly, be free to withdraw. Also, the Germans say they are determined to exact the same conditions from the French that the French enforce on theservice and training personnel in France.

Under the ten-year Franco-German Logistics Agreement of Paris agreed to make available to the Bundeswehr facilities for the storage and testing of German military equipment, and for the training of German troop units. Such facilities remain under French command, even in the event of hostilities, and they are administered by

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t ions are not mentioned inhe Agreement, but rather have been established, MinHnMsm either as separate German facilities or as joint rench-German installations, via post-Agreementtiations. The training of German troops in French rmy camps is carried out on the basis of annualfrom Bonn to Paris. roops are scheduled for auch training.

In view of the discrepancy between these tight French controls over German personnel in France and the relative independence of French forces inBonn's demands for reciprocity signal some hard bargaining ahead. Bonn also intends toommitment from the French to integrate their troops into NATO command in the event of war and tolearly defined peacetime mission.

Just as with France, these views probablyan initial bargaining position. Despite reservations, the Germans are now prepared toin exploratory discussions with the French on these questions. The first opportunity for such talks will be Couve'spril visit toegularly scheduled meeting under3 Franco-German Friendship Treaty. There is considerable public sentiment for retaining French forces and, given the strong German aversionreak with France, pressures for compromise are likely to mount as the talks progress.

Other NATO Reaction

Although Bonn has agreed to talk bilaterally with Paris, it has assured other NATO members that it considers this toacet of the France/NATO problem. The attitudes of the other European NATO members and especially the US will, therefore, have an important effect on the ultimate outcome of the French-German exchanges.

West Germany's primary responsibility ln the matter of the future of French forces on its

territory is recognized by the otherATO Allies. The smaller NATO countries, however, are sensitive to the need for close consultation among allllies over any major moves in response to French action, especially when it involves the future of the Germans in relation to the rest of the Alliance.

I agreed that West Ger-

many, and the US and UK in view of their special re-would consult together to prepare aposition or. the question of the French Li Germany. This agreement was contingentother Allies being kept informed and consulted any final positions are

Thus far, the other Europeans have sought toituation which isolates France and they hope to preserve as much as possible Of the exist-ing political-military relationship. On the specific issue of French forces in Germany, most Europeansat least in general agreement that the Alliance should not set conditions which would clearly leadrench withdrawal. For many Europeans, theof French forces symbolizes the French-^jerman relationship which has helped stabilize western Europe since the.

As in the broader NATO problem, the US is here also caughtilemna. Significant politicalmay result if France stays ln Germanypecial basis and thereby encourages other NATO members to press for accommodation of theirinterests. Moreover, bilateral French-German arrangements could have the effect of dilutingcooperation with the US or with the whole multilateral structure of NATO. Against this, the US must weigh the effect of French withdrawal on French-German reconciliation which the US hasand on the Alliance military posture on the central front.

The Military Aspects

ilitary point of view the loss of French air space and French territory for training and in-depth defense and the removal of US and NATO bases in France, ore serious prospect for the

Alliancehange of status of French forces ln Germany or even their complete withdrawal.

There are two Trench divisions and anin the western part of the French sector These units are somewhat under strength andequipment deficiencies. Their complete with- from Germany would be an appreciable

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As part of its ground force contribution, Francehas ten batteries of Honest John tacticalurface missiles armed with US-controlled nuclear The US hastrong stand on its legal obligation to remove US warheads from the Frenchonce the NATO commitment of those missile forces is ended. There has been some indication from other NATO nations, however, that they hope the US would notriori an agreement which would enable the French forces touclear capability. Io addition to the Honest John batteries, there areOOs equipped with US-controllcd nuclear weapons and two sections of French Nikeorces have US nuclear warheads.

French forces in Germany probably makeatest contributions in the area of air defense.

the loss of French

air defense squadrons iiour ol the five squadrons are located in France) and Nike and Hawk batteries willap in the present air defense coverageunich-Stuttgart axis. On the other hand, rance will probably be reluctant to lose the early MEnHiMSYrs warning information generated by US and Alliedocated in the eastern part of West Germany and by IjWMKMSYtt

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Air Defense Ground Environment (KADGE) when it becomes operational. Although there is considerable reason for both sides to workontinuing air defense arrangement, the fundamental divergencethe US and trench positions on Alliancemay make reconciliation difficult in the case of air defense, where extensive peacetime integration is especially necessary to make it effective.

The Legal Rights of France ln West Germany and Berlin

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The decision as to whether and under whatTrench forces will remain in Germany isa political qdc: the legalities of

:roops> from NATO command does not affect certain legal rights which it held originally as one of the four occupying powers and retained, with the termination of the occupation, under4 conven

relate to Berlin, to Germanytions of reunificationeace settlement. They provide that France can station troops in Germany insofar as they are required for the exercise of these rights and that tho security of the troops must be assured.

All of these rights existed before the creation of NATO and continued to exist thereafter. hange in Franco's relation to NATO would not affect the rights which it held as one of the occupying powers and retained thereafter. Under international law, these rights would lapse only if France, by withdrawing its troops, ceased to be able effectively to exercise these rights.

The conflict between Bonn and Paris over whether4 Convention can continue to provide thefor French forces in Germanyarticularly complex legal problem. The Germans argue that the Convention and4 agreements constitute "one system." If Germany then declares thats no longer valid insofar as France is

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would the whole complex of agreements then be binding on the other signatories, especially Germany? Bonn has indicated that it would consider its own commitment to keep its troops under NATO command to be unchanged despite the French default.

substituted for the present multilateral Convention might have the advantage of not putting in question the status of any of the agreements,

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the basis for the status and presence of French forces in Berlin is the unconditionalof Germany, confirmed ln an agreement signed in France's right toilitary presence was not affected by the ending of theregime in Vest Germany or its inclusion in

drawal from NATO would not have any legal effect on France's right to remain in Berlin because NATO agreements have never been applied there and Allied forces in Berlin areart of any NATO command.

The Case of Berlin

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of the official French communicationsthe present NATO crisis have mentioned the future status of French troops in Berlin. France, of all the Allies, has traditionally heldtrictof the four-power responsibilities in the city and has generallyolicy of main-

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France is probably aware, however, that it may be able to obtain concessions for its troops inby intimating that if they cannot be maintained, French forces in Berlin would be withdrawn, thus calling into question the Allied position carefully constructed during the lastears.

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relationship between Live ua and SHAPE has resulted from the necessity toBerlin contingency planning with SHAPE, ainco the implementation of such plans rinks eacala tlon with ultimate NATO involveraont. The fact that General Lemnitzcr is the commander of Live Oak as well as SACEUR has contributed to this relationship

tlon at SHAPE wan based on convenience and that SHAPE had no "organic responsibility" for Berlin access, which he describedripartite the

from France^sTignT^ofT^rauseful occasion forthe entire Live Oak operation, which was set up to cope with problems "whose urgency and seriousness have diminished." Live Oak's Integrated command structure may also pose problems of principle for Paris.

Whether France intends to push for changes in tho organization of Live Oak and its relationship to SHAPE now or only to raise the Berlin issueargaining counter is not yet clear. The basic French Interest ln retaining its role ln Berlin would appear to dictate that France not push the matter too far.

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