S/S–NSC files, lot 66 D 148, “Solarium”
Memorandum for the Record by the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Cutler) 1
- Solarium Project
1. Upon the President’s direction and as a matter of urgency, the alternatives outlined in the attachment will be explored and presented to the National Security Council. The undertaking may be referred to as “Solarium”.
2. A working committee of The National Security Council, consisting of W. B. Smith, A. W. Dulles, and R. Cutler, will arrange the detailed plans for:
a. A Panel of about 5 qualified persons to draft precise and detailed terms of reference for each Alternative. Attached is a list of proposed names for such Panel. The Panel should meet for a week or so before May 31st, utilizing the Council offices and Staff. T. M. Koons, of the NSC Special Staff, is available to serve as Executive Secretary for this Panel and for the Teams set up under b.
The terms of reference should include directions to seek out all the factors that would go into planning a major campaign: forces needed; costs in manpower, dollars, casualties, world relations; intelligence estimates; time-tables; tactics in every other part of the world while actions were being taken in a specific area; relations with the UN and our Allies; disposition of an area after gaining a victory therein; influencing world opinion; Congressional action required; etc.
b. A separate Task Force of 3–5 qualified persons for each Alternative to be explored and presented. The preparation should be as for a War College project, and might be done at the War College, [Page 324] utilizing also its top personnel and facilities. The National Security Council would furnish whatever authority was necessary for urgent access to any and all material.
Each Task Force would work up its Alternative in the same spirit that an advocate works up a case for court presentation. In presenting an Alternative to the National Security Council, visual presentation (maps, charts, oral discourse) would be maximized. If possible, the Alternatives would be presented on the same or successive days in the White House. Target date for presentation should be as near July 1 as possible.
3. At the NSC Meeting on May 13, 1953, the President should describe “Solarium” in general terms, and enjoin strict confidence. The Council should realize what is under way for their future guidance.
- This memorandum is accompanied by a covering memorandum dated May 11, from Cutler to Acting Secretary of State Walter Bedell Smith, which reads: “I discussed the attached paper at length with the President today and he approved the same for prompt action. Changes made by him in the personnel suggestions (page 3) are included in this draft. I will telephone you later in the day relative to further action by our ‘working committee.’”↩
- A handwritten notation on the source text reads: “? Gen. John R. Deane, Rtd”.↩
- For text, see p. 305.↩
- For text of NSC 20/4, “U.S. Objectives With Respect to the USSR To Counter Soviet Threats to U.S. Security,” Nov. 23, 1948, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, Part 2, p. 662; NSC 68/2, “U.S. Objectives and Programs for National Security,” Sept. 30, 1950, see ibid., 1950, vol. i, p. 400; NSC 135/3, “Reappraisal of U.S. Objectives and Strategy for National Security,” Sept. 25, 1952, see p. 142.↩