S/S–NSC Files, Lot 63 D 351, NSC 68 Series

Memorandum for the National Security Council by the Executive Secretary ( Lay )

top secret

Subject: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security

References: A. NSC 68 Series1
B. NSC Action No. 393b 2
C. Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject, “Review of the Current World Situation and Ability of Force Being Maintained to Meet United States Commitments”, dated April 26, 19513

The Senior NSC Staff has been studying the present status of the NSC 68 programs and in this connection has had the benefit of reports by representatives of the Department of Defense, the Office of Defense Mobilization and the Bureau of the Budget. The Senior NSC Staff has also studied the two memoranda by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (circulated by Reference C) which deal with the same general problem. On the basis of its study and consideration of this subject, the Senior NSC Staff recommends that the National Security Council take the following actions:4

Direct the Senior NSC Staff to prepare, with the assistance of appropriate executive departments and agencies, the following reports for Council consideration:
A review of the status of the programs described in NSC 68/4, including an analysis of any difficulties which may be impeding or preventing their successful execution.
Recommendations regarding any revisions or modifications of the policies and programs contained in NSC 68/4.
In order to clarify the relationship of a above and the President’s directive to the Secretaries of State and Defense, contained in NSC Action No. 393b, recommend to the President that the second sentence of this directive be amended to read as follows:

“However, since this paper points out that the programs contained in it are not final, I hereby direct the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense to maintain a continuing joint review of the politico-military strategy of this Government.”

Recommend to the President that he establish under White House auspices a staff group, including representatives of appropriate executive departments and agencies, to coordinate efforts to obtain public understanding of approved NSC policy recommendations, consistent with considerations of security.

James S. Lay, Jr.
  1. For documentation on the NSC 68 series, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, pp. 126 ff.
  2. See footnote 4, p. 13.
  3. Ante, p. 60.
  4. At its 93d Meeting, June 6, the President presiding, the National Security Council approved the recommendations of the Senior Staff (NSC Action No. 487; S/S–NSC Files, Lot 66 D 95).