PPS Fixes, Lot 64 D 563

Memorandum by the Director of the Policy Planning Staff (Nitze) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

Mr. Secretary:

Draft Policy Statement for Submission to the NSC: Policy of the United States Toward the Reduction of Tensions and the Limitation of Armaments

1. This paper has not been addressed to the phasing or tactics of presentation of the ideas contained, it having been our purpose to see whether a comprehensive program for relaxing tensions which we could accept could be developed.

2. Any program for a comprehensive approach to the negotiation of a general relaxation of tensions involves certain great dangers:

a.
That portions of the comprehensive proposal will be taken out of context and be exploited as independent statements of U.S. position;
b.
That in the course of the necessarily long process of negotiation and implementation required, there will be a halt in the Western defense effort.

Both of these difficulties require the most careful consideration of the manner of presentation and of securing assurances of the Congress and of our allies that there would be no slackening of effort until the process is completed. A successful outcome would depend upon a concurrent increase in our present effort to build strength.

3. It is doubtful whether the position of the West is at present sufficiently strong to induce acceptance by the U.S.S.R. of the program set forth in the paper. We must, therefore, try to maximize the [Page 456]advantage to the West if proposals along these lines are advanced and are rejected by the U.S.S.R.

4. In advancing the comprehensive program described in the paper, the initial proposal at a CFM would be stated in broad terms. In order to guard against the dangers mentioned in 3 above, the details would be given only after it was discovered that the U.S.S.R. was willing to undertake negotiations on a comprehensive program and then only as progress was made in the negotiations.

5. Annex A to the paper, which deals with specific proposals for the settlement of problems in Europe and the Far East, is merely a rough draft. In its present form it is being handled as a matter of the highest security in the various bureaus and offices of the Department concerned.

6. It is our view that the proposed Annex C, dealing with a census and verification of armed forces and armaments, should be prepared by the Defense Establishment, working closely with the A.E.C. and Mr. Arneson’s office.2

Paul H. Nitze
[Attachment]

Draft Statement Prepared in the Policy Planning Staff 3

top secret

Draft Policy Statement for Submission to the NSC

Policy of the United States Toward the
Reduction of Tensions and the Limitation of Armaments

conclusions

1. The position of the United States Government has been and is support for the reduction and limitation of armaments. The President reaffirmed this position as recently as October 24, 1950, in his address to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The purpose of the Government in taking this position has also been made clear: it is that international peace and security based on freedom and justice and social and economic progress would be powerfully advanced by the reduction and limitation of armaments. The Government should maintain this purpose and position.

2. The high existing level of armaments is both a symptom of the conflict between the fundamental purpose of the United States and the Kremlin design as described in NSC 684 and also an independent [Page 457]cause of the present acute state of international tensions. There are, however, other important problems which are at once symptoms of the basic conflict and independent causes of tension. These include, in Europe, the failure to complete the Austrian treaty,5 the failure to unify Germany and to restore Germany to independent status by a treaty of peace, the excessive size of Soviet forces outside Soviet boundaries in Europe, the failure to observe the satellite treaties, and the various problems associated with the Iron Curtain. In Asia, these include the aggression against the Republic of Korea,6 the failure to conclude a Japanese peace treaty, the problem of Formosa,7 the rebellion in Indochina,8 and, in general, the aggressive attitudes and conduct of the Chinese Communist regime. These problems are all interrelated, and the terms of an acceptable settlement on any one of them must be considered in light of progress or lack of progress on the others. For example, action on Germany which might be acceptable in the context of a general relaxation of tensions in Europe might, taken alone, be positively dangerous to our interests.

3. International tensions have become so acute and so widespread that it seems unlikely that important progress can be made on any major issue except in the context of a comprehensive approach to the general reduction of tensions. At the same time, the mutual confidence which would be required to accomplish a general relaxation of tensions in a short period of time is lacking. It therefore seems necessary, if we are to maximize the possibility of agreement with the Soviet Union and to halt the deterioration of the international situation, to propose a comprehensive but gradual reduction of tensions to be carried out in such a way that the West and the Soviet Union will each be able for two or three years or more (a) to gain confidence in the other’s intentions by observing its performance or (b) to call off the process of reducing tensions if either side reaches the conclusion that the other is not performing in good faith.

4. Furthermore, such an approach also offers the best chance for the West to achieve a political success and the least risk of a political reverse. We must expect that the Kremlin will advance proposals, including a disarmament proposal, designed for maximum favorable impact on European and world opinion. We must expect, in other words, proposals with a superficial plausibility, equity, and simplicity. If the West reacts defensively to such proposals, advancing painstakingly the various sound reasons why they are not acceptable, the Kremlin may achieve an important political victory. The best chance [Page 458]for a political success by the West is to advance—first, if possible—our own comprehensive program for the reduction of tensions, to focus attention and discussion on it, and to reject, where necessary, specific Soviet proposals by stating that the solution of specific problems must be considered within the context of such a general adjustment of outstanding problems.

5. A proposal for the reduction and limitation of armaments is an essential part of any comprehensive program for the reduction of tensions. This proposal should relate to all armed forces and armaments, for it has become clear that a reduction in certain types of weapons without a reduction in other forces and weapons would be dangerous to our security. In addition, progress in the reduction of armaments should be related to progress on other outstanding issues as indicated in paragraph 2 above. In other words, we will rely for the improvement of our security not on progress in the armaments field alone but on progress on many other problems as well. In this way action in the armaments field which, taken alone, would not provide a sufficient increase in our security to justify it, can be acceptable in conjunction with action on other problems. We can accept, in other words, a gradual approach on a broad front in place of a complete and perfect solution on a single front.

6. A gradual approach on a broad front to the reduction of tensions should include the following concurrent elements:

(a)
Sufficient concrete agreement and progress on other problems in Europe and the Far East to indicate a willingness on the part of the U.S.S.R. to work toward a reduction of tensions.
(b)
General agreement among the major powers on the broad outlines of a program pursuant to which a phased reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments could be accomplished with continuous observation and inspection of each party’s adherence to the specific agreements arrived at.
(c)
Agreement among the major powers on an immediate and continuing census and verification of armed forces and armaments, including para-military and police forces and atomic weapons, as a first step to secure the information on which a specific program for reduction and limitation could be worked out and to demonstrate the practicability of adequate inspection and verification.

recommendations

7. That the foregoing be approved as the general position of the United States Government.

8. That the Secretary of State be authorized to take a position in the proposed meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers in conformity with the above.

9. That negotiations in the Council of Foreign Ministers with respect to 6(a), (b), and (c) above, the Secretary of State be guided by the positions outlined in the attached Annexes A, B, and C, respectively, [Page 459]subject to such modifications and amendments as may be agreed between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense with the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Annex A

1. It is necessary to approach the problem of relaxing tensions on a broad front and to undertake negotiations on proposals for the solution of existing problems in Europe and the Far East and proposals for a census and verification and the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments. Not until such negotiations are substantially completed, would any of the major agreements arrived at become operative.

2. At the possible meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, negotiations could be undertaken among the Four Powers to determine what negotiating progress can be made on agreement with respect to a census and verification, and reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments and on proposals for the solution of existing European problems. If such progress is sufficiently great to make it appear possible that agreement can be reached, then the negotiations should be widened to include representatives of the Peiping regime for the purpose of negotiation for Peiping’s acceptance of agreements for a census and verification and reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments as well as proposals for the settlement of other existing problems in the Far East.

3. In the context of such negotiations as those described above, we could advance the following proposals:

A. Europe

1. Austria

a. The completion of a peace treaty.

b. Withdrawal of occupation troops from Austria.

c. Withdrawal of Soviet forces on the lines of communication through Hungary and Rumania.

2. Germany

a. Free elections and the creation of a unified Germany.

b. Reduction of occupation forces to agreed limits.

c. The completion of a peace treaty, which would provide for limiting German rearmament to one-half that which would be permitted a country under the criteria included in the agreement for the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments, together with inspection to assure compliance.

d. Withdrawal of all occupation forces from Germany.

3. Soviet European Satellites

a. Revision of the treaties of peace with Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria to provide for limiting their militarization to one-half that [Page 460]which would be permitted a country under the criteria included in the agreement for the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments, together with inspection to assure compliance.

b. Enforcement of the human rights provisions of the Satellite peace treaties.

4. Withdrawal of Alien Forces.

An agreement for the withdrawal of all alien forces from European countries after completion of the foregoing actions and the coming into operation of the agreement for the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments.

B. Far East

1. Korea

a. The termination of hostilities in Korea.

b. Free elections and the unification of Korea.

c. Withdrawal of all alien forces.

2. Japan

a. Completion of a peace treaty, which would provide for limiting Japanese rearmament to one-half that which would be permitted a country under the criteria included in the agreement for the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments, together with inspection to assure compliance.

b. Withdrawal of all alien forces upon the coming into operation of the agreement for the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments.

3. Indochina

a. Cessation of all Chinese assistance to Viet Minh forces.

b. To insure that such assistance ceases, observation and inspection in China in accordance with the system of observation and inspection included in the agreements for census and verification and reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments.

4. Formosa

a. Upon the completion of the above actions and the coming into operation of the agreement for the reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments, the demobilization of Nationalist forces in Formosa.

b. Political amnesty for members of the Nationalist forces and government and permission for them to remain on Formosa or return to the mainland and continue there without molestation.

5. Recognition of Peiping Regime

a. Upon completion of negotiations with the Peiping Regime on agreements for a census and verification and reduction and limitation of armed forces and armaments and on solutions of the foregoing problems in the Far East and upon the coming into operation of such agreements, diplomatic recognition through the exchange of ambassadors and admission of the Peiping Regime to the United Nations.

[Page 461]

Annex B

1. The U.S. Government has consistently advocated and continues to advocate international agreement on the reduction and limitation of armed forces and of armaments subject to proper safeguards.

2. On October 24 the President suggested that the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission and the Commission on Conventional Armaments be merged.

3. The progress of work in the United Nations could be greatly accelerated if there were agreement among the powers represented on the Council of Foreign Ministers on the broad outlines of a workable program.

4. Such a program requires concurrent progress in the reduction of tensions other than the level of armaments.

5. Such a program should cover all weapons and armed forces. In order to simplify the problem of definition and minimize the danger of circumvention, all police, internal security and paramilitary forces; should be included in the definition of armed forces.

6. Such a program should eventually include all nations; however, agreement among the powers having substantial forces may be an adequate starting point.

7. A workable program should involve five major elements:

a.
Agreement as to the purposes of the program.
c.
Agreement as to the general criteria to cover the size and composition of permitted forces.
c.
The submission by each country of national programs designed to conform to the purposes and to be within the criteria and the negotiation of revisions of such programs so that mutual agreement as to their conformity is arrived at.
d.
The putting in effect of an adequate system of inspection and verification.
e.
The phased implementation of the agreed programs.

8. The U.S. believes that the purposes of such a program should be approximately as follows:

a.
to bring about, as one part of a general program for relaxing international tensions, for increasing the security of nations, and for decreasing the danger of war, a reduction and limitation of the armed forces and armaments of the parties;
b.
to initiate such measures as may be required to ensure that each party will have notice of a violation of this agreement by any other party;
c.
to create as soon as possible by these and other means relations between the parties which will permit the broadening of the agreement to include other nations with the objectives of eventually securing the adherence of all nations to a system for the reduction and limitation of armaments and of transferring the responsibility for supervision of the system to the United Nations;
d.
to reduce as soon as possible the burden of armed forces and armaments and to encourage by this and other means increasing progress toward the realization of the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.

9. The criteria which would govern the reduction and limitation of armaments by the parties should be along the following lines:

A. Conventional armed forces and armaments.

(1)
Armed forces including paramilitary, internal security, and police forces, shall be limited to a percentage of the population (for instance, one percent), with an absolute ceiling (for instance, one million persons).
(2)
The proportion of gross national product used for military purposes shall be limited (for instance, to five percent).
(3)
Certain weapons (for instance, tanks, aircraft, and submarines) shall be limited in number and characteristics. (The limitation might vary between the parties in accordance with the requirements peculiar to their defensive position.)

B. Unconventional armaments.

(1)
Stocks, production, and use of biological and chemical weapons shall be prohibited.
(2)
Atomic energy activities shall be dealt with in accordance with the U.N. plan or with some other plan which is equally or more satisfactory.

C. Inspection. A plan for observation and inspection shall be worked out which would ensure notice of violation.

(1)
With respect to atomic energy, the requirements of such a plan will depend on the answers to the questions stated in paragraph 10 below.
(2)
With respect to biological and chemical weapons, it may not be possible to develop a plan which will ensure notice of violation but provision should be made for such observation and inspection as is practicable.

10. It must be expected that the Soviet Union will be unwilling to accept the U.N. plan, and that it probably will reiterate its previous proposals. In this contingency, the question arises whether, if satisfactory progress appeared to be possible on other issues, including the reduction and limitation of conventional armed forces and armaments, the U.S. should itself propose that the four powers consider the problem of developing an alternative to the U.N. plan. Before any such proposal could be made, the U.S. would have to be satisfied that some alternative plan was a practical possibility and that this alternative would be preferable, in the context of a general adjustment of problems with the Soviet Union, to a continuation of international relations along their present course. The two main possibilities to be considered are: [Page 463]

(1)
Would it be possible to permit atomic energy activities for peaceful purposes, to prohibit stocks of fissionable materials except as authorized for peaceful purposes, and to devise an inspection system which would give us confidence that Soviet preparations for war would be detected? How would this judgment be affected if provision were made for the maintenance of agreed stocks of fissionable materials? Would it be possible to develop a variant of the U.N. plan which would not involve international ownership but would provide for participation in operation on a reciprocal basis and would it be possible by such participation to guard against prohibited activities?
(2)
Would it be possible to prohibit atomic energy activities and some or all facilities and to devise an inspection system which would give us confidence that Soviet preparations for war would be detected?

  1. A marginal notation on the source text indicates that this document was seen by the Secretary of State and returned to Mr. Nitze.
  2. R. Gordon Arneson was Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for atomic energy policy.
  3. Drafted by Paul H. Nitze, Director of the Policy Planning Staff, and Robert W. Tufts, Staff Member.
  4. NSC 68, “United States Objectives and Programs for National Security,” a report to President Truman, April 14, 1950, is printed in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, p. 234.
  5. Documentation on United States policy with respect to Austria is presented in volume iv.
  6. For documentation on the Korean War, see volume vii .
  7. For documentation on the question of Formosa, see ibid.
  8. For documentation on United States policy with respect to Indochina, see vol. vi, Part 1, pp. 332 ff.