10. Editorial Note

On February 14, NSC 5511, “A Net Evaluation Subcommittee,” was approvd by the President to supersede NSC 5423 (see footnote 4, Document 1). The President’s action was in keeping with the recommendation of the Net Capabilities Evaluation Subcommittee that a permanent procedure be established to ensure a “continuous evaluation” and a “continual watch for significant changes; such procedure to provide for a report to the National Security Council at least once a year.” This recommendation was adopted by the Council at its 222d meeting on November 4, 1954. (NSC Action No. 1260–b; Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)

According to the directive in NSC 5511, the Net Evaluation Subcommittee was to provide “integrated evaluations of the net capabilities of the USSR, in the event of general war, to inflict direct injury upon the continental U.S. and key U.S. installations overseas, and to provide a continual watch for changes which would significantly alter those net capabilities.” These evaluations were to be submitted to the Council by October 1 of each year and were to “Relate to the situation on a critical date normally about three years in the future.” In addition to these annual reports, the subcommittee was to submit a new evaluation whenever it felt that a change had become apparent “that would significantly alter the net capabilities of the USSR.”

The subcommittee established pursuant to this directive was chaired by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and included the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization, the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference, and the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security. Lieutenant General Harold L. George, USAF. (Ret.), was appointed by the President to serve as director.

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On October 27, the National Security Council heard an oral presentation of the subcommittee’s first annual report (see Document 38). On May 24, 1956, NSC 5511 was superseded by a new directive bearing the same title, NSC 5605, which was itself superseded on December 24, 1957, by NSC 5728. Subsequent evaluation reports, also in the form of presentations to the National Security Council, were formulated by the subcommittee in response to the new guidelines set forth in each of these two directives, the first of which also added the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Committee to the subcommittee.

NSC 5511 and NSC 5605 are not printed. (Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5511 Series and NSC 5605 Series, respectively) For the subcommittee’s presentation of the 1956 and 1957 Net Evaluation, see Documents 100 and 162, respectively.

Regarding NSC 5728, see footnote 6, Document 162.