Policy Planning Staff Files1

Report by the Policy Planning Staff 2

top secret


Premises and Conclusions Relating to Peace and U.S. Security


1. U.S. security and welfare are closely bound up with the peace and security of the world community. Aggression, anywhere, may jeopardize the security of the U.S. Such aggression may be direct, i.e. through armed force, or indirect, i.e. through measures short of armed force by one nation to deprive another of its independence.

2. Another world war would probably be a crippling blow to civilization.

3. Even with sincere and determined efforts to settle international differences by peaceful means, aggression, direct or indirect, may occur which would present such a critical threat to the security of the United States as to require the use of armed force.


4. The policies of the United States should be directed to the promotion of conditions of peace, the prevention of armed aggression, and the countering of indirect aggression.

5. The United States should seek security not only through its own national strength but also through the United Nations and collective and other arrangements consistent with the Charter.

6. Collective arrangements should ensure immediate and effective counter measures against those who violate the peace by armed attack.

7. It should be borne constantly in mind that, as a result of acts of indirect aggression, the U.S. may be presented with a critical threat to its security, or to the integrity of nations whose security is vital to our own. In such event the U.S. should consult with other countries whose security is similarly menaced with a view to taking appropriate action.

  1. Lot 64D563, files of the Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State, 1947–1953.
  2. This statement was prepared as the basis for an attached revision, not printed, of Section 2 of draft military assistance legislation which the Policy Planning Staff had been asked to prepare. The Under Secretary’s staff meeting of March 23 examined PPS/50 and approved it without major modification. (Regarding the composition and objectives of Under Secretary Webb’s regular staff meetings, see footnote 2, p. 283.) The attached revision differed substantially, however, from the Section 2 of the legislation ultimately submitted to Congress. Regarding the latter, see footnote 2, p. 361.