134. Letter From the Chairman of the Quantico Vulnerabilities Panel (Rostow) to the President’s Special Assistant (Rockefeller)1
Dear Mr. Rockefeller: At your invitation, a group of eleven persons knowledgeable in many fields important to the American-Soviet struggle, have met as a Panel at Quantico, Virginia, from 5–10 June, to explore methods of exploiting Communist bloc vulnerabilities at this crucial state of world affairs. As your designated Chairman, and on behalf of my colleagues, I am herewith transmitting the reports and recommendations of our group.
All of us appreciate the freedom of action you gave us to develop our own guidelines of investigation. We soon discovered that several significant vulnerabilities could be identified and that fruitful courses of action could be developed only if we looked at the total political and security problems facing the U.S. at this juncture.
We have no expectation that we have produced either a magic formula for positive U.S. action or a substitute for the staff considerations currently under way in the responsible Government Departments. We offer these recommendations and the papers that underlie them as a supplement to those considerations. It is our hope that responsible officials will find our efforts constructive and that use can be made of the many concrete suggestions included in the Panel results.
The over-all report of the Panel and its four appendices represent a general group consensus.2 We had neither the time nor the data to make, as individuals, definitive commitments of judgment on all the recommendations and on every line of text. But we forwarded these documents confident that they deserve serious consideration by the Government. We are also submitting ten papers prepared by individual Panel members. Many ideas from them have found their way into our joint recommendations; but time did not permit the Panel to evaluate the texts fully. I personally deem them an extremely interesting product of the week’s work.
All of us appreciate the contributions made by governmental representatives toward this Panel and, in particular, the willing help of the responsible officials from your office, the Departments of [Page 217]State and Defense, of CIA, USIA, NSC, and OCB, who took of their precious time to join us periodically in our discussions.
The one impression which stands out in my mind is the unanimous belief of the Panel members that the U.S. now enjoys a significant but transitory period of over-all strength vis-à-vis the Soviet bloc. The next two or three years afford the United States the opportunity to negotiate from a strong position for genuine concessions by the enemy without sacrifice of essential positions of strength. Such negotiation, along with a vigorous and urgent development of potential Free World strength, could create the conditions for victory in the cold war.
May I express our appreciation for having had this opportunity to serve.
- Dr. Frederick Dunn
- Director, Center of International Studies
- Mr. CD. Jackson3
- Time Life
- Dr. Ellis A. Johnson
- Director, Operations Research Office
- Dr. Paul Linebarger
- School of Advanced International Studies
- Dr. Max Millikan
- Center of International Studies, MIT
- Dr. Philip Mosely
- Director, Russian Institute
- Dr. George Pettee
- Deputy Director, Operations Research Office
- Dr. Stefan Possony
- Air Intelligence Specialist, Department of the Air Force
- Dr. Hans Speier
- Rand Corporation
- Dr. Charles A.H. Thomson
- Brookings Institution
(Center of International Studies, MIT)
- Source: Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 66 D 148. Secret.↩
- Only the summary of recommendations of the report is printed below. The five chapters, four appendices, and five tabs comprising the bulk of the report are not printed. Copies were transmitted to President Eisenhower and the Department of State, and on June 16 a copy of the summary of recommendations was sent to Secretary Dulles by Murphy. (Ibid.)↩
- A personal account of CD. Jackson’s participation in the Quantico Panel is in Eisenhower Library, CD. Jackson Papers, Time–Life Log 1955.↩