Truman Library, Truman Papers, PSF–Subject File

Memorandum by the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board ( Symington ) to the President 1

Current History of National Planning Policy—Diplomatic, Economic and Military; and Reasons Why It Is Essential That These Three Segments of National Security Be Further Integrated

The situation in which the United States finds itself today is a critical one in which survival of all free nations is threatened by the ruthless aggression of Soviet Russia.

The United States and its allies are at war with the Soviets. This war has been expanding for some years on the political front, and for the past seven months has been waged on the military front.

The United States and its allies have been losing on nearly all fronts.2

If there is a single reason why we are losing this fight for survival, it is because the free nations of the world have allowed Soviet Russia to put and keep them on the defense everywhere.3

How the Soviets have maneuvered the free world into such a defensive situation is a long and complex history, the general tenor of which is that the Soviets have been operating for decades toward a single objective—world domination.

At the same time the free nations have gone through those same decades without any real organized program looking towards specific objectives.4

The history of how the Soviets have risen to such great power is well known, because they have constantly advertised their intentions; in fact a diminishing number of free nations have watched them move further toward those intentions, whenever and wherever they have encountered weakness, or lack of resistance.5

It is not equally as clear how the free nations arrived at where they are now—an untenable military position in Korea; in danger of losing the battle for Western Europe; and unless some organized and positive political action is taken soon against Soviet-Chinese aggression, likely to lose the political struggle also.6

It is probable that we are in this position because, until recently the United States has made little real effort to integrate its political, military [Page 22] and economic plans and programs. It is now clear that such integration is essential to national security.

General policy objectives have also been lacking; and despite the growing threat to national security, our policy for the most part has been one of letting democracy sell itself. This policy is not strong enough to match the organized and aggressive growth of communism.7

Nothing points up this failure better than the fact that during the past ten years the communist-dominated peoples of the world have increased from 188 million to over 800 million.8

The United States has had only limited objectives. In the economic field, through the Marshall Plan, etc., we have accomplished a great deal to preserve democracy against the spread of communism.9

But we have not taken political action comparable to the action displayed in our economic aid program.10

After voluntarily placing ourselves on the political defensive, the United States then resorted to a piecemeal policy termed “containment”.11

Containment, as it has been practiced, can be defined as that policy which believes it possible to restrict the authority of the Soviet to those regions in which their domination now prevails.12

This “containment” policy has resulted in the Soviets dictating the timing, the degree, and the direction of our planning. They, the enemy, have changed our planning almost at will, because all initiative has been in their hands.13

From this defensive position we have endeavored to meet communist aggression, wherever raised by the Soviets, with our dollars and our lives.

Containment as a policy has been and is a dangerous and extravagant policy. It leads to the maintenance of a large military structure, but with the necessity for scattering the components of that structure all over the world, in order to meet “localized” aggression.

Such a structure, in effect designed to be scattered, can only result in greater cost over a period than any democracy can afford.

This containment policy has also led the Armed Services into wasting time and energy in arguing how such “isolating” campaigns as Korea should be fought; when all concerned should be planning the military basis for direct political dealing with the Soviets.

Containment has resulted in disorganized military planning, with each Service recognizing primarily those threats which might arise [Page 23] in its area of interest; and thereupon citing its requirements accordingly.

Not only does the doctrine of containment place us at a disadvantage militarily, but also it deprives us of our most effective weapons against the Soviet in the political, economic and psychological fields.

Containment presupposes that democracy and the Soviet communism of the Politburo can live side by side. Such a premise could be sound if the Soviet did not relentlessly pursue the principle that communism can prevail only if every other government or form of government is either destroyed or subordinated to the Soviet Union.

The containment policy of the United States presupposes that a definite area of the world may be set aside for the imperialism of the Politburo. On one side of the line Soviet communism is acceptable; on the other side it is unacceptable.

But once we concede that Soviet communism is all right anywhere, we weaken our position; i.e., our appeal for allegiance, with all other nations and peoples.

Subtle distinctions have no meaning to the hungry or to the confused. It leaves them just as hungry and even more confused.

Soviet communism knows no such restraint, has no such theory of containment. It is proceeding successfully with its avowed program of world aggression.

The fallacy of attempting to “localize” aggression wherever it springs up, while at the same time carefully avoiding the basic issue with the actual instigator of current world unrest, Soviet Russia, has now shown itself all too clearly in Korea.

We went into Korea on highest principle: namely, participation in collective security action against aggression, and to restore peace and security.

Our aim was to localize this communist aggression by defeating North Korea, then to unify North and South Korea. We carefully minimized any connection between the communist forces in China and Moscow with the North Korean invasion.14

The Soviets allowed us to fight against their probably weakest satellite, with no string on Moscow, until the fighting had forced the commitment of a large majority of United States ground forces. When MacArthur15 came within a few miles of accomplishing the “local containment” objective, however, the Soviets then threw in the Chinese communists to wreck our offensive, at great cost to us in men and material, without affecting the basic hard core of Soviet strength.

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Since then the National Security Council has been concentrating on defensive guessing as to how to proceed without getting involved in “general war with China”.

In other words, the Soviets could and can take the offensive away from the United States when they choose, even in this “localized area”, and possibly because, on the basis of our announced policy, they feel that they can count on our not wanting a “war with China”.

If we can’t afford a war with China, however, how can we afford this “containment” policy—because, as in Korea, whenever and wherever we attempt to localize aggression to the point of success, the Soviets can throw in more forces to aid their further victory; and thus cause our further defeat.

Since this “containment” policy can eventually only bring us face to face with the threat of general war with the Soviets, is it not logical to proceed now to deal directly with Moscow on the political front?

Berlin is evidence the Soviets understand and respect a political policy of direct dealing. Moscow and the world believe that overt Soviet aggression against Berlin will result in general war. This belief must be the prime reason why the Soviets have not, and do not, move on Berlin.

The point is, a line has been drawn in Berlin for all the world to see and understand. The Soviets and the world believe that for the Soviets to cross that line means war with the United States and all that such a war implies. As a result, at least to date, the Soviets, despite their tremendous forces-in-being position in Eastern Europe, have not moved except through such annoying subterfuges as the Berlin Blockade and political maneuvers in the various gray areas.

What other reason could there be for the Soviets not moving against Western Germany and other NATO countries? Their chief fear, as Churchill16 pointed out two years ago, is our atomic bomb stockpile, plus our capability of delivery.

In effort to overcome this fear, however, the Soviets are rapidly building a stockpile of atomic bombs capable of crippling or destroying this country by means of a surprise attack.

The Soviets already have the planes capable of delivering such an attack.

The same principle of policy we are now utilizing in Berlin could be extended throughout the world.

The fact we do have an effective political policy as to overt Soviet action in Berlin is circumstantial rather than by design; because that affirmative policy is not characteristic of, or similar to, our over-all international policy.17

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Today the Soviets can dictate not only how and where we fight—but when; and so far they have been allowed to dictate the choice of weapons.

In this atomic era, knowledge of where and when we may have to fight a war with Russia might well be the difference between winning and losing. Any policy, therefore, which puts us nearer to knowing D-Day gives us that much better chance to survive.

It is now clear that an integrated program, looking towards national security, should be developed by the appropriate agencies, and submitted for the President’s approval.

This program should provide:

Agreement on basic objectives of the United States.
Analysis of the deterrents—threats—which might prevent the accomplishment of those objectives.
Agreement on assumptions as to the character and timing of these possible deterrents.

From this program, specific military, political, and economic plans could and should be developed to insure national security.

Prior to January, 1950, the (1) political and (2) military and (3) economic planning developed by the United States since the end of World War II had, in effect, been carried on separately.

There were some informal relationships between diplomatic positions taken by the United States, and military planning, but there was no formal integration of the two; and in any case there was no effort to integrate an economic program with the diplomatic and military aspects.

The first effort to develop such an integrated program was begun in January, 1950, when this government started to develop the basis for an international political program for the United States. This beginning was contained in the paper now known as NSC 68.18

NSC 68 started out as an effort to develop United States political, military and economic programs for at least the next five years.

This paper was born in a defensive climate, in reaction to the Soviet atomic explosion in September, 1949. As a result of that explosion the President asked the State Department and the Defense Department to draft a review of United States policies. (See attached chronology.)19

NSC was and is an effort to arrive at some of these basic assumptions; and to develop from those assumptions a program for national security.

As originally written in the first quarter of 1950, the fundamental assumption of NSC 68 was that by 1954 the Soviets would in all probability have a stockpile of atomic bombs—along with the capacity for delivering them—a stockpile sufficient to launch a lethal attack upon the United States.

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(Some of us believe that by the now generally agreed upon new critical date of mid-1952 the Soviets will have the atom bombs as well as the planes necessary to deliver a severely crippling attack.)

The paper stated that between 1950 and 1954 the United States should build enough defense to deter the Soviets from launching such an attack.

But NSC 68 then emphasized that the political and military programs underway (at the time NSC 68 was first written in early 1950) were totally inadequate to obtain any such defense.

The paper recommended a “rapid and sustained build-up of United States military, political, and economic programs”, if by 1954, the United States was to be in a position to deter Soviet attack.

Subsequent to the issuance of NSC 68 the President directed the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee comprised of representatives of the agencies concerned with developing those programs necessary to implement NSC 68 conclusions.

The discussions of this Ad Hoc Committee, particularly in the two months before South Korea was invaded, developed differences of opinion as to the validity and meaning of the conclusions of the paper. Some felt that NSC 68 did not adequately outline such United States defense weaknesses as lack of proper intelligence and lack of long-range military strategic planning.

In another area of disagreement the State Department and CIA representatives did not agree with the conviction of others that the Soviets would probably utilize their atomic strength once it had been achieved.

These differences were outlined in a draft memorandum circulated by the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council on June 6, 1950, entitled “Differences in Planning Assumptions in NSC 68”. This outline said:

“The general build-up of U.S. strength advocated by NSC 68 results from an analysis and estimate of the Soviet threat to the United States and of the measures requisite to counter this threat.

“Differences of opinion regarding the measure, that is, the over-all program, arise because of the serious difficulty inherent in the problem.

“Major emphasis in NSC 68 is placed on the U.S. build-up as the means of compelling the Soviet Union to abandon its designs against the U.S. without recourse to a shooting war—that is, to enable the United States over a period of years to win the cold war.

“In the connection, however, NSC 68 emphasizes the serious risk that the Soviet Union, confronted by indisputable evidence that the U.S. is winning the cold war, might resort to armed attack rather than face the consequences of defeat.

“It is for this reason that NSC 68 insists on the importance of the military aspect of the U.S. build-up as a shield behind which all the other resources and weapons of the United States for prosecuting the cold war can be marshalled and deployed.

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“But beyond this argument in favor of the build-up of U.S. strength, NSC 68 also stresses the threat of a surprise Soviet atomic attack on the United States and its allies at any time in the future (and more especially during and after 1954) that the Soviet Union estimates that it is in a position to defeat the United States by such a surprise blow.

“At the least, NSC 68 estimates that under existing U.S. programs and defense measures the Soviet Union, if it chose to resort to surprise atomic attack, could, during or after 1954, deliver a devastating blow to certain strategic targets in the United States and Canada.

“Starting from these estimates and assumptions, most of the programs under NSC 68 conclude that the United States build-up in strength, while it should be rapid, must be thought of primarily as a means of winning the cold war and of avoiding a shooting war.

“Accordingly, these programs accept a large measure of calculated risk, in that they do not contemplate an effort to place the United States in a posture of complete readiness, or of mobilization for war in 1954, with the economic controls required by such a state of readiness. They stem from the conclusion that our national security demands we achieve our objectives by the strategy of the cold war, building up our military strength in order that this strength may not have to be used.

“Other programs, while recognizing that the build-up advocated in NSC 68 is in part a means of enabling the United States to avoid armed conflict with Russia, does not accept the calculated risk which the first set of programs is willing to take: namely, ‘that the Soviet will not attack us by 1954 or earlier’.

“Accordingly, the program for civil defense, for example, is based on the assumptions that ‘the best, but by no means certain defense against Soviet attacks lies in . . . a government-wide-organized program which more aggressively prosecutes and better integrates the so-called cold war activities in conjunction with . . . the maximum military and civil defense obtainable . . . plus a retaliatory bombing force sufficient to impress the Soviet with the belief that a lethal atomic attack on the United States means a lethal atomic attack on Soviet Russia’.

“The authors of this program believe that before NSC 68 can be effectively implemented with respect to programs and costs, a decision must be made on the following questions: ‘Are we or are we not faced with the possibility of Soviet attack on this country, and if so, in what form might the attack come, and what is the earliest date by which it might be of lethal impact?’”

In other words, some felt that more than partial mobilization as a cold war negotiation base was immediately necessary.

This difference of opinion among government agencies was not resolved; nor was it ever formally brought to the attention of the President.

Those who argued in favor of a “calculated risk” justified this position on the grounds of doubt that the Soviets intended to use the atomic bomb for other than defensive purposes. They also argued that our defense by 1954 could be sufficient to deter, or failing that, repeal Soviet attack.

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Those who argued against taking this “calculated risk” expressed conviction that the Soviets intended to use any element of force they had at hand whenever and wherever it would support their program of aggression and that we could not by 1954 build sufficient defense to repel, let alone deter, a Soviet atomic attack.

It was agreed by all that nobody could be sure of Soviet intent; but it was also agreed that the adequacy or inadequacy of the United States defense program could only be established after the Defense Department had supplied the other interested Government agencies with the details of that program.

The Korean invasion ended all the long, and at time bitter, disagreement between Government departments as to whether the Soviet intended to use force when it was considered expedient.

During recent months, however, in discussions of NSC 68, there has continued a clear difference of opinion between those who still favor “containment” as a policy, and those who believe containment is not practical, either from an economic or a military standpoint.

The State Department contends that this country should have enough military power to deal with any form of Soviet aggression. Each time it becomes necessary to confront a local situation, however—Formosa, Greece, Iran, Indo-China—the State Department argues that military reaction if necessary at all should be on a localized basis.

In each instance the JCS representative and the Defense Department representative on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council both pointed out that the military capabilities at the moment were insufficient to handle any additional localizing action over and above Korea; and that the military requirements necessary to localize a series of Koreas would require a military establishment that could not be supported by any possible alliance of the democracies.

As part of its position, the military stated that the forces contemplated in NSC 68 would be adequate—

“(a) to provide a reasonable initial defense of the Western Hemisphere and essential allied areas, particularly in Europe.

“(b) to provide a minimum mobilization base while offensive forces are being developed.”

The military feels, however, that these forces “will not be adequate to defeat the probable enemy unless augmented by full mobilization of the United States and her allies.”

In connection with this basic difference as to what NSC 68 really means, the position of the National Security Resources Board has always been that this difference cannot be written away; that the only solution is a top level decision in favor of one interpretation or the other.

Until this difference is resolved, the State Department apparently will continue to regard NSC 68 as a guide for “localizing” aggression, [Page 29] whereas the Defense Department may continue to promulgate military requirements based on their view that the policy of localizing aggression is impossible of fulfillment.

Until there are adequate military requirements which are based on current strategic guidance that reflects a fixed foreign policy for the United States, this country cannot plan effectively for its military, industrial, and civilian mobilization. The one great deterrent to the effective carrying out of statutory planning tasks has been failure to receive the information necessary to lace together in intelligent fashion the resources of the United States with the military and minimum civilian requirements.

Such requirements as have been furnished have come as bits and pieces, unrelated to any over-all planning for national security.

From the information available, our understanding of the reason for the failure of the military to present adequate requirements is that until recently the Armed Forces had done little forward planning on a joint basis.

During the first post-war years there was little war planning of any sort; and that done was on an individual dual service basis.

There are two types of war plans. One, the “capabilities” type, is based on the employment of forces in being to meet an assumed emergency. This type plan is necessarily under constant change.

The other is the long-range strategic plan developed for a possible general war.

This long-range strategic plan is also intended to provide the basis of mobilization planning, budget planning, and foreign military assistance programs.

Any “capabilities” plan is supposed to be a component part, at that particular moment, of the long-range strategic plan.

Since mobilization planning, however, is primarily based on long-range strategic plans, the present discussion will be limited to that latter type.

The genesis of the first long-range strategic plan was Mr. Forrestal’s20 directive to the three Services in 1948 for joint forward planning in connection with the budget for the Fiscal Year 1950. This was to be the basis for the first jointly prepared, three Services integrated, budget received from the Military Establishment.

A joint Ad Hoc Committee of the three Services thereupon attempted to formulate a budget which would enable the Armed Forces to be prepared to prevent disaster to the United States in case of war with Russia.

The history of this attempt included the Key West meetings.

Upon receipt of the military requirements developed at these meetings, Mr. Forrestal asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to submit requirements [Page 30] demanding less expenditures; and it all ended with the imposition of a 1950 budget ceiling of $13.4 billion. This ceiling in itself largely determined the forces which the Military Establishment could maintain.

This first attempt at joint monetary planning was hindered by the fact no war plan for the period in question was available to this budget committee.

Until the Fiscal Year 1951, all recent military budgets had been prepared in a similar manner; i.e., a budget ceiling was imposed.

In response to a Munitions Board request for strategic guidance in mobilization planning in 1948, the JCS provided such direction for the first three years of a typical war, under estimated conditions at that time. In September, 1948, the JCS then gave this guidance to the three Services for (1) development of Service operational plans and (2) development of the requirements necessary to implement them.

Upon the submission by each Service of its requirement, the Munitions Board then added the three uncoordinated segments in order to determine the total requirements.

In the meantime, in order to secure some requirements estimates in advance, the Munitions Board requested the Services to develop flash estimates on 240 key items.

It was on these estimates that the NSKB first ran feasibility tests, and thereupon found some critical items impossible of attainment. Many requirements were greater than known available resources.

Early in 1950 the Munitions Board again asked the Services to list their requirements as soon as possible; these requirements this time to be based on current plans.

The Munitions Board later expressed dissatisfaction to the Services with what was given the Board as a planning base, because, although this information presented a general picture of the build-up of requirements over the first two years of a possible war, requirements for the third year were completely out of balance.

This out of balance condition resulted from the JCS planners using an earlier and obsolete plan for the third year.

The Munitions Board also criticized the planning information received, because, although agreed upon by the three Services as to policy and procedure, it was not jointly developed by the Services as to requirements. Therefore, neither the Munitions Board nor the NSRB had any real requirements against which to balance resources; nor is this information yet available to this Board.

Early in 1950 the JCS began work on an integrated long-range strategic plan. This is the current military strategic plan now related to NSC 68.

This plan was one for use in event war begins July 1, 1954. It was presumably the first JCS effort to afford a single basis for (1) emergency [Page 31] war planning, (2) mobilization planning, (3) budget planning and (4) foreign military assistance.

In practice, however, said plan does not provide a basis for planning programs on these essential subjects, because the mobilization plan now being used is partially based on a previous one which did not contemplate holding the continent of Europe for more than the first few weeks of a general war. The new long-range strategic plan, however, as originally conceived, included plans for building the Western Europe defense to where, if war broke out in 1954, Soviet forces might be held along a line at the River Elbe.

Just when the military decided to include a defense on the Elbe as part of our military strategic planning is not known to the Resources Board. It is understood, however, that the decision was made sometime in the spring of 1950.

In any case, this change took place at the time the military planners understood there was no longer a budget ceiling upon their planning. This realization presumably developed from the President’s emphasis that, without regard to cost, what he wanted was a military estimate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff as to what forces were required to meet the danger outlined in NSC 68.

Presumably this late change from a minimum defense of Europe to a full defense of Europe was a reflection of NSC 68, because this paper was the first effort to really integrate military planning with political policy. As such, therefore, it was an attempt to support the commitments the United States had made through such measures and pronouncements as the Marshall Plan and NATO, all intended to fortify Western Europe against aggression.

At any rate, although the current long-range plan and NSC 68 are understood to have been separately conceived, they have since been joined, and said long-range plan is now the JCS basis for the development of military requirements implementing NSC 68. It is also the basis for some elements of United States commitments to NATO.

The extent of United States force commitments to NATO are not entirely known to the National Security Council; therefore, it is not possible to make recommendations based on all the facts.

Now that the new critical date has been moved up two years from 1954 to 1952, however, the fallacy of using this latter long-range plan as a basis for formulating a current national defense structure is all too evident; because, if this latter plan was doubtful of accomplishment by 1954, it is obviously impossible by 1952.

The NATO forces considered essential by mid 1954 are understood to have included around 80 air groups; (exclusive of American strategic air power), of which 8 tactical groups were to have been furnished by the United States.

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This would have meant that the nations of Europe were to contribute by mid 1954 some 72 air groups. Part of the equipment, planes, ineluded in these 72 groups are to be supplied by MDAP.

An amount of this MDAP equipment—perhaps the planes for about 4 groups—should be available by that date, according to present production schedules.

If the ability to furnish that equipment by 1954 was doubtful, the same plan, but moved up to 1952, is obviously impossible.

Although now the need for a maximum national defense structure must be met two years earlier; viz., 1952 instead of 1954, the mobilization agencies have been given no evidence that the additional forces being developed, above and beyond the “interim forces” authorized by NSC 68/4 in December 1950,21 are being balanced toward the possibility of a war in 18 months.

Nor is there evidence that these outdated force requirements being developed by the Army, Navy and Air Force are being integrated by the three Services into a single requirements plan.

The negative effect of this condition upon any proper mobilization planning cannot be over-emphasized. Revised full mobilization requirements now under development in the Defense Department are based on strategic assumptions which appear to be both internally uncoordinated and at least partially obsolete.

In summary, this paper presents those steps which must be taken to (1) mobilize the resources of the United States in the face of the great and growing danger of communist aggression, and (2) develop a coordinated plan which will insure carrying out this mobilization with minimum waste in men, materials, money and time.

The second point is vitally important because, provided this nation can now prevent war through rapid rearmament, it must still face the growing danger of economic disaster resulting from very high military expenditures necessary for itself and its allies over a period of years. No plan, therefore, which involves preventable waste should be acceptable.

This paper shows why a clear and positive foreign policy is essential to the future security of the United States. It also shows why such a policy should be based on a long-range concept, instead of one based on reaction to the action of other nations.

Without a clear and positive foreign policy, our military leaders cannot draw up the long-range strategic plan which is essential to national security.

Without such a long-range plan it is impossible for the Armed Services to furnish accurate information to the Munitions Board or anybody else as to the valid demands of the services necessary to implement both plan and policy.

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Present requirements requests sent the civilian planning agencies by the Munitions Board cannot and do not reflect such accurate planning.

As a result, it is today impossible to utilize the resources of the United States with efficiency.

Such inability might result in the defeat and enslavement of this country. Therefore there should be established promptly a national policy against which to plan and build our national defense.22

  1. This undated and unsigned memorandum by NSRB Chairman Symington was apparently transmitted to the President in early 1951.
  2. Marginal notation on the source text by the President: “Not true”.
  3. Marginal notation by the President: “No[t] true. Berlin, Greece, Turkey, Korea.”
  4. Marginal notation by the President: “Not true. The formation of U.N., Rio Treaty, Atlantic Treaty.”
  5. Marginal notation by the President: “Would be very dangerous—if true which it isn’t.”
  6. Marginal notation by the President: “Bunk—all of it.”
  7. Marginal notation by the President: “This page is drivel founded on false premises!”
  8. Marginal notation by the President: “More bunk.”
  9. Marginal notation by the President: “We have won this one.”
  10. Marginal notation by the President: “Is that so!”
  11. Marginal notation by the President: “More bunk on the same false premise.”
  12. Marginal notation by the President: “Not at all. Yugoslavia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Greece, Iran etc.”
  13. Marginal notation by the President: “More bunk.”
  14. A question mark appears in the margin at this point.
  15. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, United States Forces, Far East Command, and Commander of United Nations Forces in Korea.
  16. Winston S. Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1940–1945; thereafter, Leader of the Conservative Party.
  17. A question mark appears in the margin at this point.
  18. For text of NSC 68, “United States Objectives and Programs for National Security,” April 14, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, p. 234.
  19. The chronology does not accompany the source text.
  20. James V. Forrestal, Secretary of Defense, September 17, 1947–March 27, 1949.
  21. For text of NSC 68/4, “United States Objectives and Programs for National Security,” December 14, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, p. 467.
  22. The following notation by the President appears at the bottom of the final page of the source text: “My dear Stu, this is [as] big a lot of Top Secret malarky as I’ve ever read. Your time is wasted on such bunk as this. H.S.T.” The source text, bearing the President’s comments, is located in the President’s Secretary’s File. No evidence has been found to indicate that it was ever returned to Mr. Symington.