Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file

Memorandum of Discussion at the 209th Meeting of the National Security Council, Thursday, August 5, 19541



eyes only

Present at the 209th meeting of the Council were the President of the United States, presiding; the Vice President of the United States; the Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; the Director, Foreign Operations Administration; and the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Secretary of the Treasury; the Attorney General (for Items 1, 2 and 3); the Director, Bureau of the Budget; the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (for Items 1 and 2); the Federal Civil Defense Administrator (for Items 1 and 2); the Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers (for Items 1 and 2); the Acting Director, U.S. Information Agency (for Item 5); the Acting Secretary of the Army, the Acting Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force (for Items 1 and 2); General Twining for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (for Items 1 and 2); the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (for Items 1 and 2); Elbert P. Tuttle, Department of the Treasury; Robert R. Bowie, Department of State; the Director of Central Intelligence; the Assistant to the President; Robert Cutler, Special Assistant to the President; the Deputy Assistant to the President; the Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Coordinator, NSC Planning Board Assistants.

There follows a summary of the discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.

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[Page 701]

2. Guidelines Under NSC 162/2 for FY 1956 (NSC 5422/1; Annexes to NSC 5422; NSC 152[162]/2; NIE 11–5–54; NIE 13–54)2

Mr. Cutler presented NSC 5422/1 to the Council. He recalled that on June 24 and July 1 the Council had considered “Tentative Guidelines” (NSC 5422) and had directed the Planning Board to prepare a revised statement of guidelines on the basis of the Council’s discussions, further reviews by the departments and agencies concerned, and the progress reports on continental defense which were taken up at the Council meeting on July 1. NSC 5422/1 is the Planning Board’s compliance with the Council’s directive. Mr. Cutler noted that although the number of differing views has been greatly reduced in NSC 5422/1, there still persist a number of splits. When the Council has resolved these splits, and if it adopts the statement of policy, the Planning Board recommends that the paper be submitted to the President with the recommendation that he approve it as “Guidelines under NSC 162/2” for the development of national security programs by the appropriate departments and agencies for FY 1956, including the preparation of budget requests therefor.

Mr. Cutler then called the attention of the Council to the Appendices A and B of NSC 5422/1. He summarized the high points of Appendix A, “Estimate of the World Situation and Outlook Through Mid-1959”, as follows:

Soviet nuclear capability, both in weapons and delivery systems, has substantially increased.
Conflicts of interests and divisive forces have threatened unity of action by free world allies.
There is greater likelihood that Communist powers will seek to expand control by “creeping expansion” and subversion, rather than by overt attack.

With respect to Appendix B, Mr. Cutler noted that the budget receipts in the table on page 26 would be somewhat higher under certain assumptions made by the Council of Economic Advisers. Under these assumptions the figure of $58.5 billion for FY 1956 would become $60.8 billion, and the $60 billion for FY 1957 would become $62.2 billion. On a cash budget basis, which would include Social Security receipts of $3 billion annually, the indicated gap in the table, of $2.2 billion for FY 1956, would become $+.8 billion and the indicated balance for FY 1957 of $+.7 billion would become $+3.7 billion. Mr. Cutler noted also that the tabulation on [Page 702]page 26 was prepared on the basis of the President’s program submitted to Congress rather than on the tax bill as enacted.

Turning to the guidelines statement of policy, Mr. Cutler read the following as the six most basic guidelines in the paper:

We should maintain and protect our massive nuclear retaliatory capacity as a deterrent to, and for use in general war.
We should accelerate “continental defense” programs (including air-to-air rockets) to offset increased Soviet nuclear capabilities.
We should expect to cope with local aggressions (“brush fires”) with indigenous forces, provided with U.S. military assistance, economic defense support, and logistic support, and aided by mobile U.S. forces.
Communist “creeping expansion” and subversion is more likely than Communist armed attack. We should counter it with cooperative programs for economic growth, especially in Asia and parts of Latin America. We should also counter it by providing political support, covert operations, and military assistance for internal stability. We should be prepared, with maximum support of other nations, to give military support to friendly governments and forces against local Communists.
We should seek to strengthen the cohesion and determination of the free world to oppose Communist expansion by any means; but we should be ready to act unilaterally, if it is to our net advantage. We should continue to help build the strength and cohesion of Western Europe as the major power source. But we should also increase efforts in Asia to block Communist “creeping expansion”, being less influenced in the Pacific area by our European allies.
We should continue to operate under the basic policies in NSC 162/2, relating to defense against Soviet power and action and to the threat to U.S. economy and institutions; but we should be ready to increase certain military and mobilization programs as required to support our policies and to meet anticipated increases in Soviet capabilities.

The Council then considered the statement of policy in NSC 5422/1 paragraph by paragraph. With reference to paragraph 4,3 the President said he thought the speculation as to whether the Soviets will or will not become bolder was largely an academic exercise. In this paper we were only trying to establish the broadest [Page 703]lines of policy, and many future situations will have to be dealt with when they arise.

Mr. Cutler said the issue was whether, in our forward planning, we should assume the Russians would be bolder or less bold as a result of their growing atomic capabilities.

Secretary Dulles felt that the latter part of the paragraph contained a series of balanced guesses. He wondered whether such speculation was necessary.

Mr. Allen Dulles felt that the Council need not engage in such speculation, even though the Central Intelligence Agency was compelled to do so.

Secretary Wilson suggested that the last sentence of paragraph 4 be omitted.

Secretary Dulles said it might be important to speculate as to what would happen in specific situations—for example, what would happen if the Chinese Communists intervened in Indochina—but it was difficult to speculate on whether or not the Soviet bloc would become bolder in the total world picture.

The President said that paragraph 4, after the phrase “risk of war” in the seventh line, might well be deleted and a sentence added to the paragraph to the effect that Soviet reaction to this condition cannot accurately be foreseen, but the free world must remain on the qui-vive.

Mr. Cutler called attention to the different views with respect to paragraph 7,4 and to the possibility that the phrase “including the air-to-air rocket program” might be added after the word “programs” in the second line as a result of the Sprague recommendations.5 The President inquired whether the air-to-air rocket program had been mentioned in NSC 5408.6 He thought perhaps details of this nature should be mentioned in NSC 5408 rather than in this broad paper. Mr. Cutler replied that the air-to-air rocket program was not mentioned in NSC 5408 because it was brought to the attention of the Council in the Sprague recommendations after the adoption of NSC 5408. The President said we could still take the Sprague recommendations very seriously, even though we did [Page 704]not mention them in the broad guidelines paper. He felt that if we mentioned details such as the air-to-air rocket we might also have to mention such things as atomic artillery, Nike, etc. He added that if the air-to-air rocket program was of sufficient importance, a recommendation that it be given priority could be submitted to him in a separate memorandum.

Secretary Dulles recalled that the Council, in considering NSC 5408, has agreed that both military and non-military programs for continental defense should be carried forward as rapidly as possible, but he did not feel that it was necessary to have specific dates for their completion in the guidelines paper. Secretary Wilson agreed that sometimes dates, if mentioned in a paper, tend to become more important than the substance of the paper. He was opposed to emphasizing dates. Secretary Humphrey inquired whether the dates in paragraph 7 meant that we would go ahead and attempt to meet those deadlines even if it were not feasible or operationally desirable. Mr. Cutler said this was not the case.

Governor Stassen felt that we should accelerate continental defense programs, including early warning, and that in particular we should adopt a crash approach to the air-to-air rocket program, which was of such importance as to warrant an NSC decision. The President said it was quite proper for the Council to record its great concern. The Council could say that the air-to-air rocket program was so important as to be almost vital, and could decide that it should have top priority. However, he agreed with Secretary Wilson that the mention of specific dates in a policy paper tended to concentrate too much effort on merely meeting the deadline instead of on the best solution. He had no objection to an NSC recommendation as to the high priority of this program, but he did object to deadlines. Mr. Cutler said the Planning Board has inserted dates in this paragraph because of intelligence estimates which seemed to indicate that the time of greatest danger of a Soviet nuclear attack on the United States would be mid-1957. The President said he had no objection to including an estimate of the time of greatest danger.

Secretary Talbott said that forcing completion of a program by a specific date might actually delay the best solution to a problem and compel the use of inadequate materials. Governor Stassen suggested that the paragraph might be revised along the line of giving continental defense programs very high priority, having in mind what the Soviet capabilities would be by 1957. Secretary Wilson said the problem was not one of industrial bottlenecks, but of lack of scientific and technical knowledge and of trained people. The President said that he understood that the Planning Board had put dates in this paragraph in order to emphasize the importance of [Page 705]the continental defense programs. He felt, however, that their importance could be emphasized without using dates.

Mr. Cutler said that it was estimated that the Soviets would reach a high capability for nuclear attack by July 1957. However, he noted that use of the term “high priority”, or “highest priority”, is often upsetting at the lower levels of the Pentagon. Governor Stassen said that priorities might be upsetting, but that they often got results. He felt we would never be ready to defend against an attack unless we estimated the date of the attack and made our preparations accordingly.

Governor Peterson called attention to difficulties being experienced in the ground observer program. He said it was difficult to get civilian volunteers at a time when the military departments had not been able to complete their continental defense programs—for example, picket ships. He was willing to leave the dates out of this paragraph, but he understood that some people felt that not everything is being done that could be done to accelerate the continental defense programs. Secretary Wilson said he would be agreeable to stating in this paragraph that the continental defense programs should have a very high priority.

The President wondered whether or not quarterly outline progress reports on certain important continental defense programs should not be submitted to the Council. The NSC should have regular reports on anything of great importance, such as the air-to-air rocket program. Dr. Flemming endorsed the idea of quarterly progress reports. Secretary Wilson hoped that such reports would be no more than two or three pages long. The President said the kind of reports he was talking about might cover no more than two or three lines per project.

Governor Stassen hoped that it would be understood that the clause in paragraph 7, “continental defense programs set forth in NSC 5408”, would include the air-to-air rocket program. He feared that the Soviets would attain a high capability to attack the United States by 1957 but that our continental defense programs would not be ready before 1959. He then called attention to the need for expanding the electronics industry in connection with continental defense. Secretary Talbott said that every effort was being made to take care of electronics needs. The President said he would like a memorandum prepared for his information on the status of the electronics industry in relation to national security policies.

Secretary Dulles asked whether there was any deliberate holding back on the early warning program in order to synchronize it with the programs for destroying enemy bombers. Secretary Wilson replied that the two programs were going forward independently. Early warning, he added, would be valuable as a means of enabling [Page 706]dispersal of the civilian population, even if programs for destruction of enemy bombers were not ready. Secretary Dulles emphasized that early warning was also a deterrent factor in so far as it helped us protect our retaliatory capability.

The discussion then turned to paragraph 9,7 which indicated that in the event of general war the United States would use all available weapons and would make clear its determination to do so. The President inquired to whom we were going to make this clear. Some limitation appeared to be necessary in the paragraph, since we obviously did not want to make this clear to everybody.

Secretary Dulles felt that the paragraph should be revised to say that our planning should be based on the assumption that if general war occurs we will use all available weapons. He did not think it desirable to have the paragraph contain a mandate to boast of our nuclear capabilities.

Secretary Wilson referred to a memorandum he had received from the Army, stating that general war might be fought under varying conditions, including (1) a situation in which nuclear weapons have been used but have failed to produce a decision, and (2) a situation in which nuclear weapons have not been used by either side and are still available to each side. Mr. Cutler said that the question of mutual deterrents after both sides had reached atomic plenty might require further study. However, he thought it was understood that the United States could not have both large standing armies and great nuclear capability.

Secretary Wilson at this point noted the Joint Chiefs of Staff view that the guidelines paper needed a complete overhaul. Mr. Cutler then read the memorandum, “Department of Defense Position on NSC 5422/1”, distributed at the meeting (copy filed in the minutes).8 Mr. Cutler questioned the phrase in the second sentence of this memorandum, “the Department of Defense would continue the strength and composition of forces substantially as at present”. After rereading this sentence Secretary Wilson agreed that it should have been phrased “strength and composition of forces substantially as presently planned”.

Governor Stassen said that if, in our opinion, the United States must use all available weapons in order to survive in the event of general war, we should proceed at once to prepare U.S. and allied public opinion for the use of such weapons. The President doubted the wisdom of preparing world opinion for some of the things we [Page 707]may have to do in case of war. He thought it would be better to continue to emphasize constructive peace. To attempt to educate public opinion now on the weapons that might have to be used in war might produce very great strain on our alliances. He felt it was possible to talk to the U.K. leaders in a realistic way on this subject, but educating British public opinion would be a very different matter.

Secretary Wilson then referred to a request he had received from General Collins that the statement on the U.S. position regarding nuclear weapons, read by the Secretary of State at the NATO meeting in Paris on April 23, 1954,9 be made available to members of the Standing Group of NATO. Secretary Wilson added that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had approved of this statement and thought it could be useful in NATO military planning. Secretary Dulles agreed that his statement of April 23, which had been carefully prepared in collaboration with Defense, could be used by the military planners as they thought wise.

Reverting to the question of preparing public opinion for the use of nuclear weapons, Secretary Dulles agreed with the President’s approach. He said that talk of atomic attack tended to create “peace-at-any-price people” and might lead to an increase of appeasement sentiment in various countries. The Russians are smarter on this question because they never talk about using atomic weapons. The President said the Russians had mentioned atomic weapons from time to time. For instance, they have said that the United States no longer has an atomic monopoly.

. . . . . . .

Secretary Wilson said the Department of Defense expected to continue the 1955 force levels through 1956; that it would price these force levels with continental defense programs added, and take a new look at its plans about December 1. The President remarked that war plans were never completed. He thought that war planning was the heart and soul of the military machine because planning kept everyone on his toes, but the plan itself was probably not worth very much. He added that it was frustrating not to have plans to use nuclear weapons generally accepted. Secretary Wilson said that the idea of using nuclear weapons involved a big change in military thinking, and that it took time to get everyone to accept this change.

The discussion then turned to the problem of local Communist aggression. Secretary Dulles pointed out that the second sentence of paragraph 1210 required the United States to use U.S. forces in [Page 708]defeating local aggressions. He had thought that the principal factor restraining local aggression by the Communists was the deterrent nuclear power of the United States.

The President said that the theory of retaliation falls down unless we can identify the aggressor. In many cases aggression consists of subversion or civil war in a country rather than overt attack on that country. In such cases it is difficult for us to know whom to retaliate against.

Secretary Wilson suggested that paragraph 12 be omitted. He felt the United States would have to determine its policy on a case-by-case basis. Secretary Dulles noted that in negotiations for a Southeast Asia pact he had been proceeding on the assumption that there would be no build-up of U.S. military power in Southeast Asia sufficient to stop an aggressor. The second sentence of paragraph 12 would require building up a great Southeast Asia force similar to NATO forces.

Mr. Cutler pointed out that the U.S. forces used against local aggression might be mobile forces and would therefore not necessarily be stationed in the area threatened by aggression. Secretary Wilson said that paragraph 12 meant that we would have to keep another 200, 000 men ready to move in the direction of local aggression. Secretary Dulles said that he had already warned the countries that might participate with us in a Southeast Asia pact that the United States would not be stationing large military forces in Southeast Asia. Secretary Wilson referred to the idea sometimes advanced, that we might use air and naval forces against aggression without committing ground forces. He was opposed to this idea; he thought we should not send our Air Force or Navy into combat if we were not willing to commit the Army also.

Governor Stassen inquired what would happen if the Chinese Communists helped Indonesian Communists seize one of the Indonesian islands. Would we passively accept this situation, or would we use U.S. forces to clean it up?

The President said that it would be fatal to our national security to have relatively immobile U.S. forces stationed all around the globe. If major war occurred while we were in such a situation we would be helpless. He thought we had to depend on the indigenous [Page 709]victims of aggression for some of the fighting. If people don’t want to be free and won’t fight for freedom, he added, there is not much we can do. But if they fight hard and need help, we can send the Marines and the Air Force. The United States can’t become an armed camp. If we get many more divisions tied down the way we have some tied down in Korea now, we will have to go to general mobilization.

Secretary Humphrey said that paragraph 12 stated the kind of situation that is most likely to occur, and should therefore receive very careful consideration.

Governor Stassen felt that even though we could not, as pointed out by the President, station troops all around the world, we nevertheless might want to use U.S. forces to clean up certain situations. The President agreed that this was indeed the case.

At this point Secretary Humphrey said that he was compelled to leave the meeting to go to the Hill and try to get the debt limit raised in order that Uncle Sam could pay his bills for the next few months. He added that he did not expect the debt ceiling to be raised very much, and that hereafter he would have to request that it be raised again every time a deficit occurred. A deficit of $4.1 billion was now contemplated. Budgetary receipts might be enough less than anticipated so that the deficit would become $5 billion unless expenditures were reduced. Secretary Humphrey therefore suggested (1) that all programs be put on an austerity basis, and (2) that if we decided we must have something new and cannot get it by readjusting approved programs, we should go back to Congress and ask for a tax increase. In other words, we should pay as we go. He added that he was not suggesting that we give up anything we really need for national security, but the need should be so great that we should be willing to ask for more taxes.

The President believed that no one would disagree with Secretary Humphrey. However, he said, there is another side to the picture. If we do need some new program for our national security, let’s not quarrel with the consequences. For instance, if we need an air-to-air rocket program, let’s not be afraid to say so and ask for the taxes to get it. The President added that we were always trying to eliminate unnecessary expenditures.

Secretary Wilson said that of course two-thirds of our expenditures related to defense, but not all the unnecessary expenditures occurred in Defense.

Secretary Dulles, with reference to paragraph 13–d,11 said that [Page 710]the greatest need of threatened areas was defense support, which ought to be mentioned in the paragraph.…

Dr. Flemming said that he had no objection to the omission of the bracketed sentences at the end of paragraph 13–e.12

With respect to paragraph 14,13 Mr. Hughes said that the clause “recognizing that increased efforts in certain programs, involving increased expenditures, should be made as required”, appeared to confer blanket authority for continuous increase of expenditures. The Bureau of the Budget felt that any increased expenditures should result from the process of normal budgetary review rather than from a paragraph in an NSC paper.

The President asked whether the insertion in paragraph 14 proposed by Budget, “through revision of priorities”, meant that each new program would displace some old program. Mr. Hughes replied in the affirmative. The President said that it would not always be possible to eliminate an old program in order to make room for a new one, but that an effort in this direction should of course be made in each case.

Secretary Wilson saw no need for this paragraph. He added that Defense should not always be asked to knock out something old in order to get something new.

Mr. Cutler suggested that the paragraph might indicate that efforts would be made to adjust priorities when a new program was proposed, and that ultimate decisions would be subject to the normal budgetary processes.

The President said that a new program would have a greater chance of adoption if it did not require an increase in over-all expenditures. He felt sure, however, that the military departments were aware of the importance of a sound economy and that the [Page 711]normal budgetary processes were a sufficient check on expenditures.

Mr. Cutler then summarized Section II of NSC 5422/1, “Maintenance of the Cohesion of the Free World”. Secretary Dulles called attention to paragraph 16–c.14 He said he did not disagree with the idea of persuading our allies of the need to halt further Communist expansion, but he feared that this aim was not readily attainable. Our allies will not go to general war to halt indirect aggression.

The President asked Secretary Dulles what we would do if Indonesia openly embraced Communism. Secretary Dulles said we probably would have to take some action such as supporting non-Communist elements in a counterrevolution and imposing a naval blockade. He believed, however, that Britain and France would refuse to take any action in this contingency. The President said there was some evidence that the British were becoming more amenable to our point of view.

Governor Stassen wished to emphasize paragraph 18,15 which, if the bracketed clause were retained, would be the only paragraph in the paper pointing toward a rollback of Soviet power. Secretary Dulles hoped that the bracketed clause in paragraph 18 would be omitted, because it implied that the rollback would take place only in Asia. He thought there should be long-range plans for a rollback in the satellites, in Iran, etc., but he wished to emphasize that these plans would have to be very long-range indeed.

The President suggested that a paragraph of the paper might indicate that while the time of a significant rollback was far in the future, nevertheless we should watch any opportunities and prepare plans for an earlier contracting of Soviet power.

Secretary Dulles said he had no objection to inclusion of the bracketed sentence in paragraph 20.16 The President added that [Page 712]this bracketed sentence was a G–2 estimate. In this connection the President expressed some doubt that a strong U.S. initiative toward arming Germany would be a means of compelling the ratification of EDC.

Secretary Dulles wondered whether the term “reduced barriers” in paragraph 24–d also included the idea of not raising barriers. The President thought the term probably referred to the total effect; that is, a few barriers might go up, but most of them would come down, so that the net effect would be one of reduction. Secretary Dulles suggested that paragraph 24–d should state that the principles contained in the President’s message of March 3017 should be applied to imports.

The Council then discussed Section III of NSC 5422/1, “Mobilization”. Secretary Wilson proposed that paragraphs 28 and 2918 be omitted. He said the figures in these paragraphs were inaccurate and out of date. Dr. Flemming said he had no objection to bringing the paragraphs up to date, but felt that the basic problem stated in these paragraphs should be pointed out. Mr. Cutler said the figures contained in the paragraphs were those provided the Planning Board by the Defense representatives. Secretary Wilson said a [Page 713]check in Defense had revealed that the figures were wrong. The President said the Council couldn’t pass on this kind of question, and suggested that Defense should be careful hereafter to provide the Planning Board with correct information.

Secretary Wilson said that no plans existed to maintain the present mobilization base after present defense orders run out. He felt that plants working on defense orders should also be working in part on civilian production, so that adjustments between defense and civilian orders could be made as necessary. He would like to see a separate paper prepared on the maintenance of the mobilization base.

Dr. Flemming said a policy on current production and the mobilization base was being worked out. However, the question must be faced whether we can afford to halt current defense production altogether. We don’t know whether we can afford to let current defense production go below a certain figure. As an example of one way of maintaining current production, Dr. Flemming referred to “upgrading the stockpile”, i.e., taking bauxite out of one stockpile and converting it into aluminum for another stockpile. The President felt that maintaining the mobilization base was of the greatest importance. He endorsed the idea of upgrading the stockpile, as well as the idea that defense contractors should be working partly on civilian needs. Mr. Cutler suggested that Section III of the paper might be referred to ODM, with the collaboration of others, for revision.

At this point Dr. Burns was asked to present the views of the Council of Economic Advisers on Appendix B, “Fiscal and Budgetary Outlook”. Dr. Burns said that the terms “surplus” and “deficit” depended on the method of budgetary accounting. If Social Security income and expenditures were included in the table in Appendix B, the indicated deficit of $3 billion would vanish and something like a balance would be achieved. Moreover, on the receipts side it would be possible to estimate $2 billion more revenue in 1956 by making more optimistic assumptions regarding employment than the authors of the table had made. Finally, the table had been prepared before Congress took action on taxes. As a result of Congressional action, tax receipts would be somewhat higher in 1957. In summary, Dr. Burns said, if optimistic assumptions are adopted the picture is a great deal more rosy than the table in Appendix B indicates. The President said he had no objections to occasional optimism.

The National Security Council:19 [Page 714]

Discussed the reference report on the subject in the light of the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff circulated at the meeting.
Adopted the statement of policy contained in NSC 5422/1, subject to the following changes:
Paragraph 4, line 7: Place a period after the words “risk of war” and substitute for the remainder of the paragraph the sentence: “Because Soviet action under this situation cannot be accurately predicted, the free world will have to be especially vigilant.”
Paragraph 7: Delete the bracketed sections and substitute therefor “and give to these programs very high priority, having in mind that it is estimated the Soviets will reach a high capability for strategic nuclear attacks by July 1957.”
Paragraph 9: Revise to read as follows:

“9. Planning should be on the assumption that, if general war should occur, the United States will wage it with all available weapons.”

Paragraph 12: Revise the second sentence to read: “For this purpose the U.S. should be prepared to assist, with U.S. logistical support and if necessary with mobile U.S. forces, indigenous forces supplemented by available support from other nations acting under UN or regional commitments.”
Paragraph 13–d: After the word “training” insert “and defense support”.
Paragraph 13–e: Delete the bracketed section.
Paragraph 14: Place a semicolon after “NSC 162/2” in line 3; delete the bracketed section; and add at the end the following sentence: “Final determination on all budget requests will be made by the President after normal budgetary review.”
Paragraph 16–c: Reword as follows:

“c. To seek to persuade its allies of the necessity to halt further significant Communist expansion, direct or indirect.”

Paragraph 18: Delete the bracketed section, and in lieu thereof insert a new paragraph following paragraph 19 (renumbering subsequent paragraphs accordingly) to read as follows:

“20. Although the time for a significant rollback of Soviet power may appear to be in the future, the U.S. should be prepared, by feasible current actions or future planning, to take advantage of any earlier opportunity to contract Communist-controlled areas and power.”

Paragraph 20: Include the bracketed sentence.
Paragraph 22: Include the bracketed section.
Paragraph 24–d: Reword as follows:

“d. Apply the principles relative to U.S. imports contained in the President’s March 30 message to Congress on the Randall Report.”

Section III: Referred to the Office of Defense Mobilization in collaboration with the Department of Defense, the Foreign Operations Administration, and the Bureau of the Budget, for revision and resubmission to the Council by September 10.
Agreed that the next progress reports on the implementation of the continental defense programs set forth in NSC 5408, in accordance with paragraph 7 of NSC 5422/1 as revised, should be submitted on November 15 instead of December 15.

. . . . . . .

Marion W. Boggs
  1. Drafted by the Coordinator of the National Security Council Planning Board Assistants, Marion W. Boggs, on Aug. 6.
  2. For information on NSC 5422/1, see footnote 1, supra. For text of NSC 5422, June 14, see p. 647. For text of NSC 162/2, Oct. 30, 1953, see p. 577. For information on NIE–11–5–54 and NIE 13–54, see footnote 5, p. 648.
  3. Paragraph 4 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “This situation could create a condition of mutual deterrence, in which each side would be strongly inhibited from deliberately initiating general war or taking actions which it regarded as materially increasing the risk of general war. However, the free world powers are becoming increasingly cautious about joining in actions which they believe will enhance the risk of war, while the Soviet rulers will most probably believe that they can take increasingly positive actions without running substantial risk of war. On the other hand, they will continue to have great respect for U.S. nuclear power, to be uncertain of what actions may provoke its use, [and to refrain from actions which promise only local gains while carrying the risk of leading to the use of this power against the USSR.]”

    The bracketed portion is annotated as follows: “Defense, ODM and JCS dissent.”

  4. Paragraph 7 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “The U.S. should accelerate its military and non-military programs for continental defense set forth in NSC 5408 to the fullest extent deemed feasible and operationally desirable [with a view to bringing them to a high state of readiness by July 1957,] [with all possible elements of the early warning system in place by July 1956]”.

    The bracketed portions are annotated as follows: “State, Defense, Budget and JCS dissent”, after the first set of brackets; and “Treasury, Defense, Budget and JCS dissent”, after the second set.

  5. Regarding the Sprague recommendations, see the editorial note, p. 698.
  6. For text, see p. 609.
  7. Paragraph 9 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “If general war should occur, the United States should wage it with all available weapons and should continue to make clear its determination to do so.”

  8. Memorandum not found; for information on the minutes of NSC meetings, see footnote 1, p. 394.
  9. For text of this statement, see vol. v, Part 1, p. 509.
  10. Paragraph 12 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “To permit appropriate flexibility in the capability of deterring or defeating local aggressions, the U.S. should be prepared to defeat such aggressions without necessarily initiating general war. This requires that the U.S. maintain and be ready to use for this purpose requisite U.S. forces in conjunction with indigenous forces, supplemented by U.S. logistical support and by available support from other nations acting under U.N. or regional commitments. However, the U.S. must be determined to take, unilaterally if necessary, whatever additional action its security requires, even to the extent of general war, and the Communists must be convinced of this determination.”

  11. Paragraph 13–d of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “Provide military aid and training to threatened areas where such aid can effectively contribute to internal stability or the creation of strength in regional areas.”

  12. Paragraph 13–e of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “In instances of civil war, be prepared, with maximum free world support, to take military action in support of friendly free world governments or forces fighting against elements under Communist control; the decision whether to take such action being made in the light of all the circumstances existing at the time. [The United States should be prepared to prevent by all the means at its disposal, including military intervention, where necessary, the loss of millions of people to communism. It should not be deterred by the fear of being accused of supporting colonialism where the loss is imminent and reform is impossible within the time limits available.]”

    The bracketed portion is annotated as follows: “Proposed by ODM.”

  13. Paragraph 14 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “Program Guidance Under Section I

    “Present and planned implementation of programs should continue to be guided by paragraphs 9, 10, 34 and 40 of NSC 162/2, recognizing that increased efforts in certain programs, involving increased expenditures, should be made [through revision of priorities] as required to support national security policies and to meet anticipated increases in Soviet-Communist capabilities.”

    The bracketed portion is annotated as follows: “Proposed by the Bureau of the Budget”.

  14. Paragraph 16–c of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “To seek to pursuade its Allies of the necessity to confront the Soviets with unmistakable evidence of an unyielding determination to halt further significant Communist expansion, direct or indirect, [even if that involves grave risks to general war.]”

    The bracketed portion is annotated as follows: “State dissents.”

  15. Paragraph 18 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “The relative susceptibility of much of free Asia to the Communist tactic of creeping expansion requires that the U.S. devote greater efforts than heretofore to this region. The U.S. should exert its leadership in the Pacific toward the creation of a position of strength calculated to block Communist expansion [and eventually to contract Communist-controlled areas and power] in the Far East and Southeast Asia. In its Pacific role, the United States should be less influenced by European allies than in respect to Atlantic affairs.”

    The bracketed portion is annotated as follows: “Proposed by Defense and JCS.”

  16. Paragraph 20 of NSC 5422/1 reads:

    “The U.S. should attempt to gain maximum support from the free world, both allies and uncommitted countries, for the collective measures necessary to prevent Communist expansion. As a broad rule of conduct, the U.S. should pursue its objectives in such ways and by such means, including appropriate pressures, persuasion, and compromise, as will maintain the cohesion of the alliances. The U.S. should, however, act independently of its major allies when the advantage of achieving U.S. objectives by such action clearly outweighs the danger of lasting damage to its alliances. [In this connection, consideration should be given to the likelihood that the initiation of action by the U.S. prior to allied acceptance may bring about subsequent allied support.] Allied reluctance to act should not inhibit the U.S. from taking action, including the use of nuclear weapons, to prevent Communist territorial gains when such action is clearly necessary to U.S. security.”

  17. For President Eisenhower’s Special Message to the Congress on Foreign Economic Policy, Mar. 30, 1954, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, pp. 352–364.
  18. Paragraphs 28 and 29 of NSC 5422/1 read:

    “Presently projected production of military hard goods (excepting nuclear components) will not provide adequate expansion of capacity to produce newer weapons to replace those which have become obsolete. Under present projections for FY 1957, $10 billion of the total military hard goods expenditures of $12.5 billion will be allocated to aircraft, guided missiles and ships, leaving only $2.5 billion for all other items. In FY 1954 expenditures for such other items were $6.8 billion.

    “Should general war commence in FY 1957, the U.S., even if it should escape damage by enemy action, could produce only about $36 billion of end items within 12 months of M–Day, as against a current possibility of producing about $55 billion of end items in 12 months. These estimated low rates are premised on limitations of end item productive capacity. Essential needs of the civilian economy would impose no limitation on defense hard good production up to a limit of about $70 billion a year. Capacity thus limited, even with end item reserves then in hand, would provide a mobilization potential below that considered adequate to support a general war.”

  19. Paragraphs a–c constitute NSC Action No. 1194. (S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) files, lot 66 D 95, “NSC Records of Action”)