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Nato Fleet in Mediterranean Similar to Atlantic Fleet Proposed by Laird

December 23, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird has proposed that the Defense Planning Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) organize in the eastern Mediterranean “something analogous” to the NATO fleet operating in the Atlantic. State Department spokesman Charles Bray said today.

Bray said the proposal was made by Laird at the NATO conference two weeks ago and that it is now under study by the NATO committee. Bray, who revealed the information about the Laird proposal in response to reporters’ questions, refused to give specific details about it. But it is understood that the purpose of a NATO fleet in the eastern Mediterranean would be to supplement the US’s Sixth Fleet there and help offset Soviet naval strength in the area.

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