Attention is invited to the divergent views with respect to particular
paragraphs in the enclosure, which are presented for resolution by the
It is recommended that the enclosed statement of policy, as adopted by the
Council, be submitted to the President with the recommendation that he
approve it as a general guide to all appropriate executive departments and
agencies, pending the preparation by the NSC
Planning Board of more definitive policy recommendations based thereon which
would supersede NSC 153/1.
Draft Statement of Policy Proposed by the National
,] September 30, 1953.
Review of Basic National Security
The Soviet Threat to the United
1. The primary threat to the security, free institutions, and fundamental
values of the United States is posed by the combination of:
- Basic Soviet hostility to the non-communist world,
particularly to the United States.
- Great Soviet military power.
- Soviet control of the international communist apparatus and
other means of subversion or division of the free world.
2. a. The authority of the Soviet regime does not appear to have been
impaired by the events since Stalin’s death, or to be likely to be appreciably
weakened during the next few years. The transfer of power may cause some
uncertainty in Soviet and satellite tactics for some time, but will
probably not impair the basic economic and military strength of the
Soviet bloc. The Soviet rulers can be expected to continue to base their
policy on the conviction of irreconcilable hostility between the bloc
and the non-communist world. This conviction is the compound product of
Marxist belief in their historically determined conflict with, and
inevitable triumph over, “world capitalism” led by the United States, of
fear for the security [Page 492] of the
regime and the USSR, especially in the face of a hostile coalition, of
distrust of U.S. aims and intentions, and of long-established reliance
on techniques of conspiracy and subversion. Accordingly, the basic
Soviet objectives continue to be consolidation and expansion of their
own sphere of power and the eventual domination of the non-communist
b. Soviet strategy has been flexible and will probably continue so,
allowing for retreats and delays as well as advances. The various “peace
gestures” so far have cost the Soviets very little in actual concessions
and could be merely designed to divide the West by raising false hopes
and seeking to make the United States appear unyielding. It is possible,
however, that the USSR, for internal and other reasons, may desire a
settlement of specific issues or a relaxation of tensions and military
preparations for a substantial period. Thus far, there are no convincing
signs of readiness to make important concessions to this end.
3. a.5 The capability of the USSR to attack
the United States with atomic weapons has been continuously growing and
will be materially enhanced by hydrogen weapons. The USSR has [or
shortly will have]† sufficient bombs and aircraft, using
one-way missions, to inflict serious damage on the United States,
especially by surprise attack. The USSR soon may have the capability of
dealing a crippling blow to our industrial base and our continued
ability to prosecute a war. Effective defense could reduce the
likelihood and intensity of a hostile attack but not eliminate the
possibility of a crippling blow.
b. The USSR now devotes about one-sixth of its gross national product to
military outlays and is expected to continue this level. It has and will
continue to have large conventional military forces capable of
aggression against countries of the free world. Within the next two
years, the Soviet bloc is not expected to increase the size of its
forces, but will strengthen them with improved equipment and training
and the larger atomic stockpile.
c. The Soviet bloc now has the capability of strong defense against air
attack on critical targets within the USSR under favorable weather
conditions, and is likely to continue to strengthen its all-weather air
4 a. The recent uprisings in East Germany and the unrest in other
European satellites evidence the failure of the Soviets fully to
subjugate these peoples or to destroy their desire for freedom; [Page 493] the dependence of these
satellite governments on Soviet armed forces; and the relative
unreliability of satellite armed forces (especially if popular
resistance in the satellites should increase). These events necessarily
have placed internal and psychological strains upon the Soviet
leadership. Nevertheless, the ability of the USSR to exercise effective
control over and to exploit the resources of the European satellites
remains intact, so long as it maintains military forces in the area.
b. The detachment of any major European satellite from the Soviet bloc
does not now appear feasible except by Soviet acquiescence or by war.
Such a detachment would not decisively affect the Soviet military
capability either in delivery of weapons of mass destruction or in
conventional forces but would be a considerable blow to Soviet prestige
and might impair in some degree Soviet conventional military
capabilities in Europe.
c. The Chinese Communist regime is firmly in control and is unlikely to
be shaken in the foreseeable future by domestic forces or rival regimes,
short of the occurrence of a major war. The alliance between the regimes
of Communist China and the USSR is based on common ideology and current
community of interests. With the death of Stalin and the Korean truce, Communist China may tend
more to emphasize its own interests, though limited by its present
economic and military dependence on the USSR, and, in the long run,
basic differences may strain or break the alliance. At present, however,
it appears to be firmly established and adds strategic territory and
vast reserves of military manpower to the Soviet bloc.
5. a. The USSR does not seem likely deliberately to launch a general war
against the United States during the period covered by current estimates
(through mid-1955). The uncertain prospects for Soviet victory in a
general war, the change in leadership, satellite unrest, and the U.S.
capability to retaliate massively, make such a course improbable.
Similarly, an attack on NATO countries
or other areas would be almost certain to bring on general war, and in
view of U.S. commitments or intentions, would be unlikely. The Soviets
will not, however, be deterred by fear of general war from taking the
measures they consider necessary to counter Western actions which they
view as a serious threat to their security.
b. When both the USSR and the U.S. reach a stage of atomic plenty and
ample means of delivery, each will have the probable capacity to inflict
critical damage on the other, but is not likely to be able to prevent
major atomic retaliations. This could create a stalemate, with both
sides reluctant to initiate general warfare; although if the Soviets
believed that initial surprise held the prospect of destroying the
capacity for retaliation, they might be tempted into attacking.
c. Although Soviet fear of atomic reaction should still inhibit local
aggression, increasing Soviet atomic capability may tend to diminish the
deterrent effect of U.S. atomic power against peripheral Soviet
aggression. It may also sharpen the reaction of the USSR to what it
considers provocative acts of the United States. If either side should
miscalculate the strength of the other’s reaction, such local conflicts
could grow into general war, even though neither seeks or desires it. To
avoid this, it will in general be desirable for the United States to
make clear to the USSR the kind of actions which will be almost certain
to lead to this result, recognizing, however, that as general war
becomes more devastating for both sides the threat to resort to it
becomes less available as a sanction against local aggression.
6. The USSR will continue to rely heavily on tactics of division and
subversion to weaken the free world alliances and will to resist the
Soviet power. Using both the fear of atomic warfare and the hope of
peace, such political warfare will seek to exploit differences among
members of the free world, neutralist attitudes, and anti-colonial and
nationalist sentiments in underdeveloped areas. For these purposes
communist parties and other cooperating elements will be used to
manipulate opinion and control governments wherever possible. This
aspect of the Soviet threat is likely to continue indefinitely and to
grow in intensity.
7. Over time, changes in the outlook and policies of the leadership of
the USSR may result from such factors as the slackening of revolutionary
zeal, the growth of vested managerial and bureaucratic interests, and
popular pressures for consumption goods. Such changes, combined with the
growing strength of the free world and the failure to break its
cohesion, and possible aggravation of weaknesses within the Soviet bloc
through U.S. or allied action or otherwise, might induce a willingness
to negotiate. The Soviet leadership might find it desirable and even
essential to reach agreements acceptable to the United States and its
allies, without necessarily abandoning its basic hostility to the
Defense Against the Soviet
8. In the face of the Soviet threat, the security of the United States
- Development and maintenance of the necessary capability:
- To inflict massive retaliatory damage by offensive
strategic striking power;
- To provide U.S. and allied forces in readiness to move
rapidly to counter local aggression by Soviet bloc
forces or to hold vital areas and lines of communication
in case of general war; and
- To provide a mobilization base, and its protection
against crippling damage, adequate to insure victory in
the event of general war.
- Maintenance of a sound, strong and growing economy, capable of
supporting through the operation of free institutions such
capability over the long pull and of rapidly and effectively
changing to full mobilization.
- Maintenance of morale and free institutions and the
willingness of the U.S. people to support the measures necessary
for national security.
9. Within the free world, only the United States can provide and
maintain, for a period of years to come, the atomic capability to
counterbalance Soviet atomic power. Thus, sufficient atomic weapons and
effective means of delivery are indispensable for U.S. security.
Moreover, in the face of Soviet atomic power, defense of the continental
United States becomes vital to effective security: to protect our
striking force, our mobilization base, and our people. Such atomic
capability is also a major contribution to the security of our allies,
as well as of this country.
10. The United States cannot, however, meet its defense needs, even at
exorbitant cost, without the support of allies.
U.S. strategy including the use of atomic weapons, therefore, can
be successfully carried out only if our essential allies are
convinced [Page 496] that it is
conceived and will be implemented for the purpose of mutual security
and defense against the Soviet threat. U.S. leadership in this
regard, however, does not imply the necessity to meet all desires of
our allies [particularly in matters where their national interests
may be divergent from the basic requirements for the security of the
Our allies are, in turn, dependent on the United States for their
security: (1) they lack that atomic capability which is the major
deterrent to Soviet aggression; (2) most lack political and economic
stability sufficient to support their military forces. The United
States should be able for the foreseeable future to provide military
aid, in more limited amounts than heretofore, to our essential
allies. It should be possible in the near future, however, generally
to eliminate most grant economic aid if coupled with appropriate
U.S. economic and trade policies.
- The effective use of U.S. strategic air power against the USSR
will require overseas bases on foreign territory for some years to
come. Such bases will continue indefinitely to be an important
additional element of U.S. strategic air capability and to be
essential to the conduct of the military operations on the Eurasian
continent in case of general war. The availability of such bases and
their use by the United States in case of need will depend, in most
cases, on the consent and cooperation of the nations where they are
located. Such nations will assume the risks entailed only if
convinced that their own security will thereby be best
- The United States needs to have aligned on its side in the world
struggle, in peace and in war, the armed forces and economic
resources of the major highly-industrialized non-communist states.
Progressive loss to the Soviet bloc of these states would so isolate
the United States and alter the world balance as to endanger the
capacity of the United States to win in the event of general war or
to maintain an adequate defense without undermining its fundamental
11. a. Under existing treaties or policies, an attack on the NATO countries, Western Germany, Berlin,
Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, and the American
Republics or on the Republic of Korea, would involve the United States
in war with the USSR, or at least with Communist China if the aggression
were Chinese alone.
b. Certain other countries, such as Indochina or Formosa are of such
strategic importance to the United States that an attack on them
probably would compel the United States to react with military force
either locally at the point of attack or generally against the military
power of the aggressor. Moreover, the principle of collective security
through the United Nations, if it is to continue to survive as a
deterrent to continued piecemeal aggression and a promise of an eventual
effective world security system, should be upheld even in areas not of
vital strategic importance.
c. The assumption by the United States, as the leader of the free world,
of a substantial degree of responsibility for the freedom and security
of the free nations is a direct and essential contribution to the
maintenance of its own freedom and security.
12. a.7 The United States should keep open the
possibility of settlements with the USSR, compatible with basic U.S.
security interests, [Page 497] which
would reduce specific sources of conflict,§ or the magnitude of the Soviet threat.
[Moreover, to maintain the continued support of its allies, the United
States must constantly seek to convince them of its desire to reach such
settlements.]║ But, in seeking to convince our allies that we
are anxious to reach acceptable settlements, we must not allow the
possibility of such settlements to delay or reduce efforts to develop
and maintain adequate free world strength, or to afford breathing-space
to the Soviets better to prepare for aggression.
b. It must be recognized, however, that the prospects for acceptable
negotiated settlements are not encouraging. There is no evidence that
the Soviet leadership is prepared to modify its basic attitudes and
accept any permanent settlement with the United States, although it may
be prepared for a modus vivendi on certain
issues. Atomic and other major weapons can be controlled only by
adequate and enforceable safeguards which would involve some form of
international inspection and supervision. Acceptance of such serious
restrictions by either side would be extremely difficult under existing
conditions of suspicion and distrust. The chances for such disarmament
would perhaps be improved by agreements on other conflicts either
beforehand or at the same time, or by possible realization by the
Soviets, in time, that armament limitation will serve their own
interests and security.
c. The United States should promptly determine what it would accept as an
adequate system of armament control which would effectively remove or
reduce the Soviet atomic and military threat, and what concession it
would be prepared to offer to obtain it.
Present State of the
13. a. The effort of the United States, especially since 1950, to build
up the strength, cohesion and common determination of the free world has
succeeded in increasing its relative strength and may well have
prevented overt military aggression since Korea.
b. In Western Europe the build-up of military strength and the progress
of economic recovery has at least partially remedied a situation of
glaring weakness in a vital area. NATO
and associated forces are now sufficient to make aggressive action in
Europe [Page 498] costly for the USSR and
to create a greater feeling of confidence and security among the Western
European peoples. But the military strength in Western Europe is not
sufficient to carry out its role of preventing a full-scale Soviet
attack from overrunning Western Europe. Nor will this goal be fully
achieved by continuing present rates of defense spending in Europe and
present rates of U.S. military assistance, even with the inclusion of
German forces in the presently-planned EDC. It is essential that the Western European states build
and maintain maximum feasible defensive strength. The major deterrent to
aggression against Western Europe is the manifest determination of the
United States to use its atomic capability and massive retaliatory
striking power if the area is attacked. However, the presence of U.S.
forces in Western Europe makes a contribution other than military to the
strength and cohesion of the free world coalition.
c. In the Far East, military strength of the coalition now rests largely
on U.S. military power plus that of France in Indochina, the UK in Malaya and Hong Kong, and the
indigenous forces of the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, and Nationalist
China. Any material increase will require the revival of the economic
and military strength of Japan.
d. The strength and cohesion of the coalition depends, and will continue
to depend, on the continuing strength and will of the United States as
its leader, and upon the assumption by each coalition member of a proper
share of responsibility.
14. While the coalition is founded on common interest and remains
basically sound, certain factors tend to weaken its cohesion and to slow
down the necessary buildup of strength.
- Some of these factors are inherent in the nature of a coalition
led by one strong power. The economic and military recovery by our
NATO allies from their low
point of a few years ago, and the revival of Germany and Japan has
given them a greater sense of independence from U.S. guidance and
direction. Specific sources of irritation are trade with the Soviet
bloc, the level of the defense effort, use of bases and other
facilities, and the prospect of the discontinuance of U.S. economic
aid without a corresponding change in U.S. trade policies.
- The coalition also suffers from certain other weaknesses and
dilemmas. The colonial issue in Asia and Africa, for example, has
not only weakened our European allies but has left those areas in a
state of ferment which weakens the whole free world. Efforts by the
United States to encourage orderly settlements tend to leave both
sides dissatisfied and to create friction within the alliance.
Age-old issues such as divide France and Germany, or Italy and [Page 499] Yugoslavia, still impede
creation of a solid basis of cooperation against the Soviet
- Moreover, allied opinion, especially in Europe, has become less
willing to follow U.S. leadership. Many Europeans fear that American
policies, particularly in the Far East, may involve Europe in
general war, or will indefinitely prolong cold-war tensions. Many
consider U.S. attitudes toward the Soviets as too rigid and
unyielding and, at the same time, as unstable, holding risks ranging
from preventive war and “liberation” to withdrawal into isolation.
Many consider that these policies fail to reflect the perspective
and confidence expected in the leadership of a great nation, and
reflect too great a preoccupation with anti-communism. Important
sectors of allied opinion are also concerned over developments
within the United States which seem to them inconsistent with our
assumed role of leader in the cause of freedom. These attitudes
materially impair cooperation with our allies and, if not overcome,
could imperil the coalition.
- Fear of what a general war will mean for them is deeply rooted and
widespread among our allies. They tend to see the actual danger of
Soviet aggression as less imminent than the U.S. does, and some have
a fatalistic feeling that if it is coming they will not be able to
do much about it. In the NATO
countries, many have serious doubts whether the defense requirements
can be met without intolerable political and economic strains.
Certain of our allies fear the rearmament of Germany and Japan on
any large scale, and in Germany and Japan themselves strong currents
of opinion oppose it as unnecessary or dangerous. Moreover, in
certain countries, particularly France and Italy, grave domestic
problems have called into question not only the authority of the
governments but also the basic foreign policies and alignments which
they have followed. All these factors lead to allied pressure in
favor of new major efforts to negotiate with the USSR as the only
hope of ending the present tension, fear and frustration. This
pressure has increased with recent “peace gestures” of the new
Soviet leadership, which has made every endeavor to exploit it.
Whether these hopes are illusory or well-founded, they must be taken
into consideration by the United States.
The Uncommitted Areas of the
15. Despite the Soviet threat, many nations and societies outside the
Soviet bloc, mostly in the under-developed areas, are so unsure of their
national interests, or so preoccupied with other pressing problems, that
they are presently unwilling to align themselves actively with the
United States and its allies. Although largely undeveloped, their vast
manpower, their essential raw materials and [Page 500] their potential for growth are such that their
absorption within the Soviet system would greatly, perhaps decisively,
alter the world balance of power to our detriment. Conversely, their
orderly development into more stable and responsible nations, able and
willing to participate in defense of the free world, can increasingly
add to its strength.
16. In many of these uncommitted areas, forces of unrest and of
resentment against the West are strong. Among their sources are racial
feelings, anti-colonialism, rising nationalism, popular demand for rapid
social and economic progress, over-population, the breakdown of static
social patterns, and, in many cases, the conflict of local religious and
social philosophies with those of the West. The task of building firm
ties with these nations, counteracting neutralism, and solving their
problems is complicated by the general unreliability of their
governments and volatility of their political life. Outside economic
assistance alone cannot be counted on either to solve their basic
problems or to win their cooperation and support. In addition,
constructive political and other measures will be required to create a
sense of mutuality of interest with the free world and to counter the
U.S. Ability to Support Security
17.8 The United States must maintain a sound
economy based on free private enterprise as a basis both for high
defense productivity and for the maintenance of its living standards and
free institutions. Not only the world position of the United States but
the security of the whole free world is dependent on the avoidance of
recession and on the long-term expansion of the U.S. economy. Threats to
its stability or growth, therefore, constitute a danger to the security
of the United States and of the coalition which it leads. Expenditures
for national security, in fact all federal, state and local governmental
expenditures, must be carefully scrutinized with a view to measuring
their impact on the national economy.
18. The economy of the country has a potential for long-term economic
growth. Over the years an expanding national income can provide the
basis for higher standards of living and for a substantial military
program. But economic growth is not automatic and requires fiscal and
other policies which will foster and not [Page 501] hamper the potential for long-term growth and
which will operate to reduce cyclical fluctuations.
19. Excessive government spending leads to inflationary deficits or to
repressive taxation, or to both. Persistent inflation is a barrier to
long-term growth because it undermines confidence in the currency,
reduces savings, and makes restrictive economic controls necessary.
Repressive taxation weakens the incentives for efficiency, effort, and
investment on which economic growth depends.
20. Under normal [peacetime]** boom conditions
the Federal Government should have a budget surplus. At present, it has
a deficit. [At the same time, tax rates are so high and the structure of
the tax system so bad that normal economic incentives for long-term
growth are seriously restricted.]††
21. In spite of the reimposition of tax rates at approximately the peak
levels of World War II, expenditures have risen faster than tax
receipts, with a resulting deficit of $9.4 billion in fiscal year 1953.
Despite anticipated larger receipts, without the imposition of new
taxes, and assuming substantially unchanged world conditions, a deficit
of $3.8 billion is estimated for fiscal year 1954.
22. a. Under existing law, tax reductions of $5 billion a year will
become effective next January. A proposal to impose substitute taxes
therefor would be a reversal of policy.
b. Additional revenue losses of $3 billion a year are due to occur on
April 1, 1954. Congress has not acted on the President’s recommendation
that these reductions be rescinded. Even if the $3 billion reduction is
rescinded, or offset by revenue from new sources, large deficits would
occur in FY 1955 and FY 1956 at present levels of
23. The economic problem is made more difficult by the need to reform the
tax system in the interests of long-term economic growth. Inevitably,
many of the changes necessary to reduce the barriers to growth will lead
to a loss of revenue in the years immediately following their adoption.
[Because income tax rates are already repressive, and at the upper
levels have reached the point of diminishing returns,]‡‡ any additional revenue would have to be
secured by new taxation on a broad base.
24. The present high level of the Government debt further complicates the
financial and economic problems of the country. Substantial [Page 502] additional borrowing could
come only from sources which would be inflationary.
25. There is no precise level or duration of Government expenditures
which can be predetermined in advance, at which an economic system will
be seriously damaged from inflationary borrowing on the one hand or from
destructive taxation on the other. The higher the level of expenditures,
the greater is the need for sound policies and the greater are the
dangers of miscalculations and mischance. These dangers now are
26. The requirements for funds to maintain our national security must
thus be considered in the light of these dangers to our economic system,
including the danger to industrial productivity necessary to support
military programs, arising from excessive levels of total Government
spending, taxing and borrowing.
27. Modifications of the foregoing fiscal policies to promote long-term
growth may be necessitated for a limited period: (1) to deal with
short-term cyclical problems or (2) to achieve overriding national
objectives that justify departure from sound fiscal policies.
The Situation as to U.S.
28. a. The national security programs of the United States rest upon the
manpower to operate them, the economy to produce the material for them,
and the financial resources to pay for them.
b. In order to carry on our existing military programs we must utilize
substantially all the qualified manpower annually coming of military
age. Any considerable increase in the military demand for manpower would
have to be met through enlarged compulsion on citizens of maturer age,
through increased expenditures for enlistment and reenlistment
incentives, and through longer enlistments.
c. The continuing development of more complicated weapons, machines, and
devices used by the military greatly increases the need for military
manpower possessed of higher skills, and emphasizes the need for
expanded technical training and retention of technically trained
The manpower factors mentioned in b and c above present limitations upon
our national capacity to operate our present military programs, or to
extend their size or technological requirements, unless we are prepared
to move towards further restrictions upon the freedom of individual
citizens. Significant moves in that direction would tend to alter the
character of the free institutions and values which our security
programs are designed to preserve.
29. Support for the necessary security programs, based upon a sound
productive system, is ultimately dependent also upon the soundness of
the national morale and the political willingness of the country to
support a government which it feels is holding the proper balance
between the necessary sacrifices and the necessary defense.
Basic Problems of National Security
30. a. To meet the Soviet threat to U.S. security.
b. In doing so, to avoid seriously weakening the U.S. economy or
undermining our fundamental values and institutions.
Nature of the Soviet Threat
§§31. The Soviet threat to United States security has
two aspects: a. With increasing atomic power, the Soviets have a
mounting capability of inflicting very serious [and possibly
crippling]║║ damage on the
United States. The USSR will also continue to have large
military forces capable of aggressive action against countries
of the free world. Present estimates are, however, that the USSR
will not deliberately initiate general war during the next
several years, although general war might result from
¶¶ 31. a. With increasing atomic power, the
Soviets have a mounting capability of inflicting very serious
[and possibly crippling]║║ damage on the United States. The USSR
will also continue to have large military forces capable of
aggressive action against countries of the free world. Present
estimates are, however, that the USSR will not deliberately
initiate general war during the next several years, although
general war might result from miscalculation.
|b. The Soviets will continue to seek to divide and weaken the
free world, and to isolate the United States, using cold war
tactics and the communist apparatus. Their capacity for
political warfare against the United States as well as its
allies* will be enhanced by
their increased atomic capability.
||b. The Soviets will continue to seek to divide and weaken the
free world, and to isolate the United States, using cold war
tactics and the communist apparatus. Their capacity for
political warfare against the United States as well as its
allies* will be enhanced by
their increased atomic capability.
|(The members other than Treasury and Budget consider that the
points in para. 32 opposite are adequately covered in para. 39
† 32. a. A sound, strong, and growing U.S.
economy is necessary to support over the long pull a
satisfactory posture of defense in the free world and a U.S.
capability rapidly and effectively to change to full
mobilization. The United States can dangerously weaken its
economy, its capacity for high productivity for defense, its
free institutions, and the incentives on which its long-term
economic growth depends, either:
||(1) By spending for defense against the Soviet threat, over a
sustained period, largely in excess of its annual revenues;
||(2) By adding substantial new or higher taxes to its high tax
rates and bad tax system, over a sustained period, in an attempt
to avoid inflationary deficits.
||b. A recession in the level of U.S. economic activity could
seriously prejudice the security of the free world.
||c. Our existing military programs utilize substantially all
our qualified manpower annually coming of military age and call
for increasingly higher technological skills. Significant
increases in military manpower might tend to alter the character
of the free institutions and values which our security programs
are designed to preserve.
Defense Against Soviet Power and
33. In the face of these threats, the United States must develop and
maintain, at the lowest feasible cost, requisite military and
nonmilitary strength to deter and, if necessary, to counter Soviet [Page 506] military aggression against
the United States or other areas vital to its security.
- The risk of Soviet aggression will be minimized by maintaining
adequate offensive retaliatory strength and defensive strength. This
must be based on massive atomic capability, including necessary
bases; an integrated continental defense system;‡
ready forces of the United States and its allies suitably deployed
and adequate to deter or counter local aggression; and an adequate
mobilization base; all supported by the determined spirit of the
- Such strength is essential to counter the Soviet divisive tactics
and hold together the coalition. If our allies were uncertain about
our ability or will to counter Soviet aggression, they would be
strongly tempted to adopt a neutralist position, especially in the
face of the atomic threat.
34. In the interest of its own security, the United States must have the
support of allies.
- The military striking power necessary to retaliate depends for the
foreseeable future on having bases in allied countries. Furthermore,
the forces required to counter local aggressions must be supplied
largely by our allies and cannot be furnished by the United
- The loss of major allies by subversion, divisive tactics, or the
growth of neutralist attitudes, would seriously affect the security
of the United States.
35. United States policies must, therefore, be designed to obtain the
cooperation of our allies and strengthen the cohesion of the free
- a. Our allies must be genuinely convinced that our strategy is one
of collective security. The alliance must be rooted in a strong
feeling of a community of interest and firm confidence in the
steadiness and wisdom of U.S. leadership.
- b. Cooperative efforts, including equitable contributions by our
allies, will continue to be necessary to build the military,
economic and political strength of the coalition and the stability
of the free world.
- c. Constructive U.S. policies, not related solely to
anti-communism, are needed to persuade uncommitted countries that
their best interests lie in greater cooperation and stronger
affiliations within the rest of the free world.
- d. To enhance the capacity of free world nations for self-support
and defense, and to reduce progressively their need for U.S. aid,
[Page 507] the United States
should assist in stimulating international trade, freer access to
markets and raw materials, and the healthy growth of underdeveloped
areas. In this connection, it should consider a modification of its
tariff and trade policies.
- [e.11 In subsequent fiscal years the
United States should further curtail economic grant aid and loans to
other nations of the free world.]§
36. a. In Western Europe, a position of strength must be based mainly on
British, French and German cooperation in the defense of the continent.
To achieve a stronger Europe, the United States should support, as long
as there is hope of early success, the building of an integrated
European Community (including West Germany and if possible a united
Germany), linked to the United States through NATO. In Western Europe the United States should press for
a strong, united stable Germany, oriented to the free world and
militarily capable of overcoming internal subversion and disorder and
also of taking a major part in the collective defense of the free world
|The United States must continue to assist in creating and
maintaining agreed European forces, but should reduce such
assistance as rapidly as the United States concludes that the
European economies can assume this burden.║
||Progressively lessened military aid should be given to the
regional grouping in Western Europe.¶
b. In the Far East, strength must be built on existing bilateral and
multilateral security arrangements until a more comprehensive regional
collective security becomes feasible. The United States should stress
assistance in developing Japan as a major element of strength. The
United States should maintain the security of the off-shore island chain
and continue to develop the defensive capacity of Korea and Southeast
Asia in accordance with existing commitments.
c.12 In the
Middle East, a strong regional grouping is not now feasible. In order to
assure during peace time for the United States and its allies the
resources (especially oil) and the strategic positions of the area and
their denial to the Soviet bloc, the United States should build on
Turkey, Pakistan and, if possible, Iran, and assist in achieving
stability in the Middle East by political actions and token military and
limited economic and technical assistance to other countries in the
d. In other areas of the free world the United States should furnish
token military aid, and limited technical and economic assistance, to
other free nations, according to the calculated advantage of such aid to
the U.S. world position.
a. A partial redeployment of U.S. forces from Europe and the Far
East might contribute to continental defense, increase mobile
reserves, and lead to a better division of defense burdens among
||37. a. As presently deployed in support of our commitments,
the armed forces of the United States are overextended, thereby
depriving us of mobility and initiative for future military
action in defense of the free world.
|b. Under present conditions, however, any major withdrawal of
U.S. forces from Europe or the Far East would be interpreted as
a diminution of U.S. interest in the defense of these areas and
would seriously undermine the strength and cohesion of the
||b. Our diplomacy must concentrate upon clarifying to our
allies in parts of the world not gripped by war conditions that
the best defense of the free world rests upon the mobility of
U.S. forces, centrally based; upon our political commitment to
strike back hard directly against any aggressor who attacks such
allies; and upon such allies’ own indigenous security
|c. Continued study of our strategic concepts will determine
the most effective deployment of our military forces.
||c. A determine should be made whether, with the understanding
of our allies, it would better promote the national security
reasonably soon to initiate, and during the next few years to
carry out, the redeployment toward the United States of the bulk
of our land forces and other forces not required to guard
overseas bases. Such redeployment cannot be instituted from the
Far East, until an acceptable settlement is there obtained of
existing war conditions.
38. a. In specific situations where a warning appears desirable and
feasible as an added deterrent, the United States should make clear to
the USSR and Communist China, in general terms or with reference to
specific areas as the situation requires, its intention to react with
military force against any aggression by Soviet bloc armed forces.
b.14 The United States should use special
weapons whenever they are required by the national security; it should
make known this intent at an appropriate time, and secure as far as
possible the understanding and approval of this decision by friendly
governments and peoples.
Protection of US. Economic System**
Defense Against the Threat to the U.S.
Economy and Institutions††
|39.15 a. A strong healthy and expanding U.S.
economy is essential to the security and stability of the free
world. In the interest of both the United States and its allies,
it is vital that the support of defense expenditures should not
seriously impair the basic soundness of the U.S. economy by
undermining incentives or by inflation.
||39. a. Barring basic changes in the world situation, the
Federal Government should bring its total annual expenditures
into balance, or into substantial balance, with its total annual
revenues and should maintain over-all credit and fiscal policies
designed to assist in stabilizing the economy.
|b. The United States must, however, meet the necessary costs
of the policies essential for its security. The actual level of
such costs cannot be estimated until further study, but should
be kept to the minimum consistent with the carrying out of these
||b. The form of Federal taxation should be changed to encourage
long-term economic growth; but the over-all level of Federal
taxation should remain sufficient to achieve a substantially
balanced federal budget.
|c. If defense costs do not materially exceed current levels,
it is believed that they can be met without serious damage to
the free economic system of the United States if they are
financed by appropriate tax and fiscal measures. Without
minimizing the strong opposition to high taxation, it is
believed that the United States public can be expected to
support the requisite measures and expenditures if our security
needs are fully understood.
d. [c.]16 Every effort should be
made to eliminate waste, duplication, and unnecessary overhead in the
Federal Government, and to minimize Federal expenditures for programs
that are not essential to the national security.
e. [d.] The economic potential of private enterprise should be maximized
by minimizing governmental controls and regulations, and by encouraging
private enterprise to develop natural and technological resources (e.g.
f. [e.] The United States should seek to maintain a larger and expanding
rate of economic activity at relatively stable price levels.
40. To support the necessarily heavy burdens for national security, the
morale of the citizens of the United States must be based both on
responsibility and freedom for the individual. The dangers from Soviet
subversion and espionage require strong and effective security measures.
Eternal vigilance, however, is needed in their exercise to prevent
degeneration which might involve the intimidation of free criticism. It
is essential that necessary measures of protection should not be so used
as to destroy the national unity based on the lasting values of freedom,
not on fear.
Reduction of the Soviet
|41. While the United States must seek to improve its relative
power position and may succeed in doing so, the Soviet threat
can be substantially reduced only through settlements which both
the United States and the USSR find it in their interest to
accept. Obviously, any acceptable settlements must not
compromise the basic security of the United States.‡‡
||41. Short of initiating general war, substantial reduction of
the Soviet threat over a longer period can be accomplished only
by actions designed to bring about a negotiating attitude in the
USSR and its resulting accomodation to the security of the
United States and that of the free world.§§
To maximize the chances of settlement, the United States and its
allies should make clear to the leaders and people of the USSR that
they are prepared to accept a settlement recognizing the territorial
integrity and internal political and economic organization of the
USSR, provided that the USSR foregoes external expansion and
domination of other peoples and joins in an effective program of
arms limitation under proper safeguards.
- The United States should, therefore, keep open the possibility of
negotiating with the USSR and Communist China acceptable and
enforceable agreements, whether limited to individual issues now
outstanding or involving a general settlement of major issues,
including control of armaments.
- The willingness of the Soviet leadership to negotiate acceptable
settlements, without necessarily abandoning hostility to the
non-Soviet world, may tend to increase over time, [if Soviet
stability and influence are reduced and]║║ if the United States and its allies develop and
increase their own strength, determination and cohesion, maintain
retaliatory power sufficient to insure the destruction of the Soviet
system should the USSR resort to general war, and prove that the
free world can prosper despite Soviet pressures.
42. As a means of reducing Soviet capabilities for extending control and
influence in the free world, the United States should:
- Take overt and covert measures to discredit Soviet prestige
and ideology as effective instruments of Soviet power, and to
reduce the strength of communist parties and other pro-Soviet
- Take all feasible diplomatic, political, economic and covert
measures to counter any threat of a party or individuals
directly or indirectly responsive to Soviet control to achieve
dominant power in a free world country.
- Undertake selective, positive actions to eliminate
Soviet-Communist control over any areas of the free
43. a. Measures to impose pressures on the Soviet bloc should be designed
primarily to create [should take into account the desirability of
conditions which will induce the Soviet leadership to be more receptive
to acceptable negotiated settlements.
b. Accordingly, the United States should take feasible political,
economic, propaganda and covert measures designed to create and exploit
troublesome problems for the USSR, impair Soviet relations with
Communist China, complicate control in the satellites, and retard the
growth of the military and economic potential of the Soviet bloc.
[c. The United States should not, however, initiate aggressive actions
involving force against Soviet bloc territory. Limited actions within
our capabilities would not materially reduce the Soviet [Page 514] threat even if successful. Moreover, they
are likely materially to increase the risk of general war, would place
serious strains on the coalition, and might well destroy the chances of
agreement with the USSR on the more fundamental aspects of the Soviet
44. In the face of the developing Soviet threat, the broad aim of U.S.
security policies must be to create, prior to the achievement of mutual
atomic plenty, conditions under which the United States and the free
world coalition are prepared to meet the Soviet-Communist threat with
resolution and to negotiate for its alleviation under proper safeguards.
The United States and its allies must always seek to create and sustain
the hope and confidence of the free world in the ability of its basic
ideas and institutions not merely to oppose the communist threat, but to
provide a way of life superior to Communism.
45. The foregoing conclusions are valid only so long as the United States
maintains a retaliatory capability that cannot be neutralized by a
surprise Soviet attack. Whenever there is substantial evidence that the
USSR is likely to develop the capability to knock out our atomic
striking power, the entire policy of the United States toward the USSR
will have to be radically re-examined.