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120. National Security Council Report1

NSC 5707/8


Note by the Executive Secretary to the National Security Council


  • A. NSC 5602/1
  • B. Memo for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject: “Review of Basic National Security Policy: Proposed Council Agenda”, dated February 19, 1957
  • C. NSC Action No. 1675
  • D. NSC 5707; NSC 5707/1; NSC 5707/2; NSC 5707/3;NSC 5707/4; NSC 5707/5; NSC 5707/6; NSC 5707/7
  • E. Memos for NSC from Executive Secretary, subject: “Basic National Security Policy”, dated May 24, 1957
  • F. NSC Action No. 1728 2

The National Security Council, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Director, Bureau of the Budget, the Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, the Federal Civil Defense Administrator, the Chairman, Council on Foreign Economic Policy, and the Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, at the 325th Council meeting on [Page 508]May 27, 1957, discussed the draft statement of Basic National Security Policy contained in NSC 5707/7, prepared by the NSC Planning Board on the basis of the discussion at the NSC meetings on the NSC 5707 Series, in the light of the revision of paragraph 49 of NSC 5707/ 7 proposed by the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization, and the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, transmitted by the reference memoranda of May 24, 1957. The Council adopted the statement of policy contained in NSC 5707/7, subject to the amendments thereto set forth in NSC Action No. 1728-b.

The President has this date approved the statement of policy in NSC 5707/7, as amended and adopted by the Council and enclosed herewith as NSC 5707/8, and directs its implementation by all appropriate Executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, with the understanding that final determination on budget requests based thereon will be made by the President after normal budgetary review.

NSC 5707/8 supersedes NSC 5602/1, and is the basic guide in the implementation of all other national security policies, superseding any provisions in such other policies as may be in conflict with it. Progress reports to the National Security Council on other policies should include specific reference to policies which have been modified by NSC 5707/8.

The Secretary of the Treasury, the Director, Bureau of the Budget, and the Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, are being requested to prepare the study of the relation between U.S. gold reserves and the growth of U.S. foreign liabilities, referred to in the footnote to Section B—III of the enclosure. The Director, Office of Defense Mobilization, is being requested to prepare paragraph 48, on “Stockpiling”, in the light of the views of the interested departments and agencies, for submission through the NSC Planning Board to the National Security Council for consideration.

James S. Lay, Jr.3

[Here follows a table of contents.]

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1. The spiritual, moral and material posture of the United States of America rests upon established principles which have been asserted and defended throughout the history of the Republic. The genius, strength and promise of America are founded in the dedication of its people and government to the dignity, equality and freedom of the human being under God. These concepts and our institutions which nourish and maintain them with justice are the bulwark of our free society, and are the basis of the respect and leadership which have been accorded our nation by the peoples of the world. When they are challenged, our response must be resolute and worthy of our heritage. From this premise must derive our national will and the policies which express it. The continuing full exercise of our individual and collective responsibilities is required to realize the basic objective of our national security policies: maintaining the security of the United States and the vitality of its fundamental values and institutions.

Section A

Outline of U.S. National Strategy

2. The basic objective of U.S. national security policy is to preserve the security of the United States, and its fundamental values and institutions.

3. The basic threat to U.S. security is presented by the continuing hostility of the USSR and Communist China and their growing military and economic power; in combination with the unrestricted development of nuclear4 weapons, the weakness or instability in critical areas where there is strong pressure for economic or political change, and the menace of the intercontinental Communist apparatus.

4. The basic purpose of U.S. national strategy is to cope with these interrelated factors, without seriously weakening the U.S. economy, so as to minimize the threat to U.S. security and to create and maintain an international environment in which the United States can sustain its fundamental values and institutions.

5. The United States and its allies have no foreseeable prospect of stopping the growth of Soviet nuclear capabilities and of reducing Soviet armed strength—the core of Communist power—or of significantly reducing other basic Communist military strength, except by mutually acceptable agreements with the Soviets or by large-scale [Page 510]military action. The initiation by the United States of such military action for this purpose is not an acceptable course either to the United States or its major allies.

6. Hence, U.S. policies must be designed (a) to affect the conduct and policies of the Communist regimes, especially those of the USSR, in ways that further U.S. security interests (including safeguarded disarmament); and (b) to foster tendencies that lead them to abandon expansionist policies. In pursuing this general strategy, our effort should be directed to:

Deterring further Communist aggression, and preventing the occurrence of total war so far as compatible with U.S. security.
Maintaining and developing in the Free World the mutuality of interest and common purpose, the confidence in the United States, and the will, strength and stability necessary to face the Soviet-Communist threat and to provide constructive and attractive alternatives to Communism, which sustain the hope and confidence of the free peoples.
In addition to a and b above, taking other actions designed to foster changes in the character and policies of the Soviet-Communist bloc regimes:
By influencing them and their peoples toward the choice of those alternative lines of action which, while in their national interests, do not conflict with the security interests of the United States.
By exploiting differences between such regimes to disrupt the structure of the Soviet-Communist bloc.
By exploiting vulnerabilities within the bloc countries in ways consistent with this general strategy.
Destroying or neutralizing the international Communist apparatus in the Free World.

7. To carry out effectively this general strategy will require a flexible combination of military, political, economic, psychological, and covert actions which enables the full exercise of U.S. initiative. These actions must be so coordinated as to reinforce one another.

8. Provided that it is resolutely pursued, this general strategy offers the best hope of bringing about at least a prolonged period of armed truce, and ultimately a peaceful resolution of the Soviet bloc-Free World conflict and a peaceful and orderly world environment. Failure resolutely to pursue this general strategy could, within a relatively short span of years, place the United States in great jeopardy.

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Section B

Elements of National Strategy

I. Military Elements of National Strategy

9. A central aim of U.S. policy must be to deter the Communists from use of their military power, remaining prepared to fight general war should one be forced upon the United States. This stress on deterrence is dictated by the disastrous character of total nuclear war, the possibility of local conflicts developing into total war, and the serious effect of further Communist aggression. Hence the Communist rulers must be convinced that aggression will not serve their interests: that it will not pay.

10. If this purpose is to be achieved, the United States and its allies in the aggregate will have to have, for an indefinite period, military forces with sufficient strength, flexibility and mobility to enable them to deal swiftly and severely with Communist overt aggression in its various forms and to cope successfully with general war should it develop. In addition, the deterrent is much more likely to be effective if the United States and its major allies show that they are united in their determination to use military force against such aggression.

11. It is the policy of the United States to place main, but not sole, reliance on nuclear weapons; to integrate nuclear weapons with other weapons in the arsenal of the United States; to consider them as conventional weapons from a military point of view; and to use them when required to achieve national objectives. Advance authorization for their use is as determined by the President.

12. The United States will be prepared to use chemical and bacteriological weapons in general war to the extent that they will enhance the military effectiveness of the armed forces. The decision as to their use will be made by the President.

13. If time permits and an attack on the United States or U.S. forces is not involved, the United States should consult appropriate allies before any decision to use nuclear chemical or bacteriological weapons is made by the President.

14. In carrying out the central aim of deterring general war, the United States must develop and maintain as part of its military forces its effective nuclear retaliatory power, and must keep that power secure from neutralization or from a Soviet knockout blow, even by surprise. The United States must also develop and maintain adequate military and non-military programs for continental defense. So long as the Soviets are uncertain of their ability to neutralize the U.S. nuclear retaliatory power, there is little reason to expect them deliberately to [Page 512]initiate general war or action which they believe would carry appreciable risk of general war, and thereby endanger the regime and the security of the USSR.

15. Within the total U.S. military forces there must be included ready forces which, with such help as may realistically be expected from allied forces, are adequate (a) to present a deterrent to any resort to local aggression, and (b) to defeat or hold, in conjunction with indigenous forces, any such local aggression, pending the application of such additional U.S. and allied power as may be required to suppress quickly the local aggression. Such ready forces must be highly mobile and suitably deployed, recognizing that some degree of maldeployment from the viewpoint of general war must be accepted.

Local aggression as used in this paragraph refers only to conflicts occurring in less developed areas of the world, in which limited U.S. forces participate because U.S. interests are involved. The prompt and resolute application of the degree of force necessary to defeat such local aggression is considered the best means to keep hostilities from broadening into general war. Therefore, military planning for U.S. forces to oppose local aggression will be based on the development of a flexible and selective capability, including nuclear capability for use as authorized by the President. When the use of U.S. forces is required to oppose local aggression, force will be applied in a manner and on a scale best calculated to avoid hostilities from broadening into general war.

16. U.S. security is predicated upon the support and cooperation of appropriate major allies and certain other Free World countries, in providing their share of military forces and in furnishing bases for U.S. military power (although U.S. dependence on such bases is likely to diminish over the long run). The United States should take the necessary steps to convince its NATO and other allies that U.S. strategy and policy serve their security as well as its own, and that, while their full contribution and participation must be forthcoming, the United States is committed to their defense and possesses the capability to fulfill that commitment. The United States should strengthen as practicable the collective defense system and utilize, where appropriate, the possibilities of collective action through the UN.

17. The United States should continue efforts to persuade its allies to recognize nuclear weapons as an integral part of the arsenal of the Free World and the need for their prompt and selective use when required. Taking into account the protection of classified data, the essential requirements of U.S. forces, production capabilities, and the likely availability of funds, the United States should continue to provide to allies capable of using them effectively advanced weapons systems (including nuclear weapons systems less nuclear elements).

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18. The United States should continue to provide military and support assistance to dependable allied nations were such assistance is necessary to enable them to make their appropriate contributions to collective military power. To the extent possible without sacrifice of U.S. security, the United States should seek to reduce requirements for military assistance by encouraging selected recipient countries (principally non-European) (1) to reduce large indigenous forces maintained to resist external aggression to a size commensurate with both the economic ability of the allied country to support and with the external threat, placing reliance for additional support on U.S. capabilities, and (2) to emphasize police-type forces for internal security purposes in lieu of large indigenous military establishments.

19. The United States and its allies must reject the concept of preventive war or acts intended to provoke war. Hence, the United States should attempt to make clear, by word and conduct, that it is not our intention to provoke war. At the same time the United States and its major allies must make clear their determination to oppose aggression despite risk of general war; and the United States must make clear its determination to prevail if general war eventuates.

20. Dynamic research and development for military application are a necessity for the continued maintenance of an adequate U.S. military posture and effective armed forces. Without increasing effectiveness in the research and development field, U.S. weaponry may in the future fall qualitatively behind that of the USSR, with concomitant danger to U.S. security. U.S. research and development must be carried out with full recognition of this potential danger. Moreover, the United States must speed up, by all practicable steps, the means whereby important scientific discoveries can be translated into an appropriate flow of new weapons to the armed forces.

II. Political and Economic Strategy

21. Political and economic progress in the Free World is vitally important (a) to maintain the effectiveness of the military deterrent by preserving the cohesion of our alliances and the political basis for allied facilities and capabilities; (b) as an end in itself, in strengthening the vitality and well-being of the free nations; and (c) to create the conditions which over time will be conducive to acceptable change in the Communist bloc. Behind the shield of its deterrent system, the United States should place relatively more stress on promoting growth and development in the Free World and constructive evolution in the Communist bloc.

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A. Strengthening the Free World

22. The United States should take adequate actions for the purpose of (a) creating cohesion within and among all the free nations, remedying their weaknesses, and steadily improving the relative position of the Free World; (b) destroying the effectiveness of the Communist apparatus in the Free World; and (c) combatting the effects of Soviet bloc diplomatic and economic activities in the Free World. Success in these endeavors will depend heavily on the degree to which the United States and its major allies can attain agreement on objectives and actions to achieve them, consistent with basic U.S. objectives.

23. In the face of divisions, fears, and weaknesses, which in many cases the Communists can exploit, the United States must choose between (a) taking timely action to help remedy such conditions, or (b) allowing the situation to deteriorate with the prospect of later trying to prevent Communist gains by more costly and less certain measures, or even military action. The ability of the Free World, over the long pull, to meet the challenge and competition of the Communist world will depend in large measure on the capacity to demonstrate progress toward meeting the basic needs and aspirations of its peoples.

24. Two of the basic problems in the economic field are: (a) industrialized areas require further economic growth and expanded trade; and (b) the less developed areas seek to develop and modernize their economies and must also maintain a substantial volume of exports of primary products. It should be within the capacity of the Free World, with U.S. initiative and leadership, to turn these two problems into mutually supporting assets for the promotion of appropriate economic strength and growth.

25. A necessary condition for such strength and growth is a high level of international trade within the Free World. In order to foster this, the United States should (a) continue to press strongly for a general reduction of barriers to such trade; (b) take the lead by reducing further its own tariffs and other trade restrictions over the next few years, with due regard to national security and total national advantage; and (c) also support sound moves to widen the convertibility of currencies.

26. a. The United States should encourage and support movements toward European unity, especially those leading to supra-national institutions, bearing in mind that the basic initiative must come from the Europeans themselves. The United States should continue the policy of providing financial and other assistance to promote such integration.

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b. The United States should encourage and assist the development of the sounder relationship between Europe and Africa which is now emerging.

c. The United States may find it expedient to continue economic assistance to certain European countries, such as Spain, Yugoslavia and Turkey, to assist them in achieving stability and growth while maintaining necessary military forces.

27. a. Dangers to Free World stability are particularly acute in the less developed areas. The United States should support and foster economic growth in these areas in order to increase political stability and Free World cohesion. The task of speeding up economic growth and promoting stability presents a multitude of political, social, and economic problems, and calls for some changes in traditional habits and attitudes and for greatly expanded training in administrative and technical skills.

b. New capital investment is a prerequisite to growth. Utilization of private investment should be encouraged to the maximum feasible extent. Local capital will have to be supplemented by the provision of capital from abroad. In addition to external public and private investment and IBRD loans, the United States must be prepared to continue an economic development assistance program on a substantial and long-term basis, to help achieve the economic progress essential to U.S. interests.

28. a. U.S. foreign economic programs should be designed to:

Promote conditions of sound development in less developed nations in order to retain and strengthen them as members of the Free World.
Demonstrate to those nations that they can progress economically without becoming dependent upon the soviet bloc or endangering their independence.
Recognizing that it is not U.S. policy to endeavor in each instance to match Soviet offers, counter so far as practicable the apparent attractiveness and damaging effects of the Soviet bloc economic offensive.

b. The United States should be prepared to use economic means available to it to promote conditions of sound development in less developed nations where:

The political and economic situation is important to the security of the United States.
Such development cannot be financed by local capital or other non-Communist foreign assistance.
Such assistance will be effectively used and recipient governments are willing to take appropriate measures, when necessary, toward that end.

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c. The total level of U.S. economic assistance worldwide should be consistent with the objectives we seek to achieve in the world, such as peace, the security and economic vitality of the United States, the independence of the new states, long-range security interests, and the development of future markets. Increases in economic development assistance should, to the extent politically and militarily feasible, be offset by decreases in other economic or in military assistance programs.

d. In order to make the most effective use of economic aid resources and to facilitate planning of longer-term projects and programs necessary for economic development, the Executive Branch should obtain authority for a fund to make loans for economic development repayable whenever necessary in local currencies.

29. U.S. financial assistance alone cannot produce satisfactory economic growth in less developed areas. External assistance should be used in a way to promote local self-help, incentives, and initiative in mobilizing local resources and developing sound programs. In addition to the provision of financial assistance, the United States should devote more effort (by training programs, aid to local institutions, and providing competent advisers) to the development of local leaders, administrators, and skilled personnel, recognizing that such people are essential for using and managing other resources effectively.

30. U.S. political policies must be adapted to conditions prevailing in each less developed area. The United States should not exert pressure to make active allies of countries not so inclined, but should recognize that the independence of such countries from Communism serves U.S. interests even though they are not aligned with the United States. The United States should provide assistance on the basis of the will and ability of such countries to defend and strengthen their independence, and should take other feasible steps which will strengthen their capacity to do so.

31. The United States cannot afford the loss to Communist extremism of constructive nationalist and reform movements in colonial areas in Asia and Africa. The United States should seek (a) to work with, rather than against, such forces when convinced they are likely to remain powerful and grow in influence; and (b) to prevent the capture of such forces by Communism. Where disputes or tensions involve the relations of a major U.S. ally with a colonial or dependent area, the United States should use its influence in behalf of an orderly evolution of political arrangements toward self-determination, and should seek to strengthen the forces of moderation in both the colonial and metropolitan areas.

32. The United States should continue its full support of and active leadership in the United Nations and specialized agencies, and should seek to make maximum use of the UN for the settlement of [Page 517]international disputes and as an instrument of collective security. The UN forum, moreover, can serve and should be used as an effective means to mobilize Free World opinion in support of U.S. policies, to expose Soviet propaganda and activities, and to exploit the vulnerabilities of Soviet management of the satellite empire.

33. The United States should actively continue to carry out its programs for the peaceful uses of atomic energy in order to maintain U.S. leadership and initiative in this field.

34. In countries vulnerable to subversion, the United States should, as one of its objectives, assist in the development of adequate local internal security forces, recognizing that direct action against the Communist apparatus must rest largely with the local government concerned. The United States should:

Seek to alert vulnerable countries to the methods and dangers of Communist subversion.
[remainder of paragraph (15 words) not declassified]
[remainder of paragraph (14 words) not declassified]
In the event of an imminent or actual Communist seizure of control, take all feasible measures to thwart it, including military action if required and appropriate to cope with the situation.

B. Means of Directly Influencing the Communist Bloc

35. a. The primary means for influencing Soviet conduct must be adequate political, military, and economic programs and actions. The USSR and Communist China cannot be expected to revise their methods of operation or their practical goals more conformably to U.S. interest unless further Communist expansion is prevented, present Communist techniques of pressure and inducement are effectively countered, and the relative position of the Free World is manifestly improved.

b. The Free World has in addition such specific means of influencing Soviet conduct as East-West relations, the negotiating process, and the exploitation of Soviet bloc vulnerabilities. U.S. policies on each of these subjects should be designed to achieve a consistent effect, and should be carried out so as to be compatible with basic national security strategy and so as not to weaken the will to resist Communism in the Free World.

36. In utilizing East-West relations, negotiations and exploitation of vulnerabilities to influence Soviet conduct, the United States should seek (a) to reduce the likelihood or capability of Soviet aggression or subversive expansion; (b) to give to the Communist regimes a clear conception of the true U.S. and Free World purposes, including uncompromising U.S. determination to resist Communist aggressive moves and uphold freedom; (c) to convince the Communist leaders that alternatives exist to their present policies which would be acceptable [Page 518]to the United States and which they might come to consider compatible with their own security interests; (d) to correct the distorted image of the West which has been sedulously cultivated for years inside the USSR; (e) to encourage the Communist regimes to take measures which would make more difficult a reversal of peaceful policy and which might over the long run lead to basic changes in the outlook or character of Communist regimes; (f) to expose the true nature of Communist imperialism.

37. In East-West relations the United States should continue to sponsor proposals for a selective expansion of Free World-Communist bloc contacts, which are chosen with a view to:

Maintaining Free World initiative and leadership for genuinely reciprocal reductions of the barriers to free communications and peaceful trade;
Increasing the acquisition of useful intelligence concerning the Communist bloc; and
Avoiding a net disadvantage to the United States from such contacts;

and which, if accepted, would favor evolution in the Soviet society and economy toward peaceful development, or, if rejected, would expose the persistence of expansionism behind the facade of Soviet tactics and propaganda. In considering proposals for such Free World-Communist bloc contacts, the United States should take account of the effect of the U.S. example upon other free nations more vulnerable to Communist penetration.

38. The United States should continue its readiness to negotiate with the USSR whenever it appears that U.S. security interests will be served thereby. Such negotiations have additional importance in maintaining Free World initiative and cohesion, and are desirable in order to probe the intentions and expose the meaning of Soviet policies. The United States and its major allies should be prepared to sponsor genuinely reciprocal concessions between the Free World and the Communist bloc which would leave unimpaired the net security position of the Free World and which would contribute to the ultimate peaceful resolution of the Communist threat. The United States should not, however, make concessions in advance of similar action by the Soviets, in the hope of inspiring Soviet concessions. Until the USSR evidences a modification of its basic hostility toward the non-Communist world through concrete actions, agreements should be dependent upon a balance of advantages to the non-Communist world and not upon implied good will or trust in written agreements.

39. The United States in its own interest should, as interrelated parts of its national policy, actively seek a comprehensive, phased and safeguarded international system for the regulation and reduction of [Page 519]armed forces and armaments; concurrently, in related, parallel steps, make intensive efforts to resolve other major international issues; and meanwhile continue the steady development of strength in the United States and in the Free World coalition required for U.S. security. As the initial step in this international arms system, the United States should give priority to early agreement on and implementation of (a) such confidence-building measures as the exchange of military blueprints, mutual aerial inspection and establishment of ground control posts at strategic centers; (b) all such measures of adequately safeguarded disarmament as are now feasible; and (c) measures likely to forestall nations not now possessing nuclear weapons from developing a capability to produce them. The acceptability and character of any international system for the regulation and reduction of armed forces and armaments depend primarily on the scope and effectiveness of the safeguards against violations and evasions, and especially the inspection system.

40. In the exploitation of Soviet bloc vulnerabilities, the United States should design its policies and programs (a) to promote evolutionary changes in Soviet policies and conduct in ways that further U.S. and Free World security; (b) to weaken the ties which link the USSR and Communist China and bind their satellites; (c) to encourage bureaucratic and popular pressures inside the bloc for greater emphasis by the regimes on their internal problems, and on national interests in the satellites; and (d) to undermine the faith of the Communist ruling classes in their own system and ideology. The effort should be to pose for them the necessity of devoting attention and resources to these needs or facing increased disaffection with the regime or the satellite relationship if these needs are ignored. When feasible, the Executive Branch should seek changes in legislation relaxing present restrictions on the use of economic aid to foster the development of independence among the Eastern European satellites.

41. In applying this strategy to Communist China the United States must take account of non-recognition of the regime, the hostility of the regime, its aggressive policy, and the undesirability of enhancing the power and influence of Communist China relative to free Asian nations. Moreover, the United States should not overlook any possibility, however remote, of fostering among the Chinese people demands for an alternative to the Communist regime. However, the United States should continue its willingness to participate in talks with, or including, Communist China on specific subjects on an ad hoc basis where the general objectives of its political strategy against the Communist bloc would be served thereby.

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C. Foreign Information and Related Programs

42. a. Strong foreign information, cultural exchange, educational exchange and comparable programs are vital elements in the implementation of U.S. policies. U.S. policies and actions should be presented in a manner which will advance U.S. objectives, and their psychological implication should be carefully considered in advance.

b. In interpreting abroad U.S. policies and actions, the United States should seek to (1) project an image of the United States which reflects the fundamentally peaceful intent of U.S. policies, while making clear our determination to resist aggression; (2) delineate those important aspects of U.S. life, culture and institutions which facilitate understanding of the policies and objectives of the United States; (3) persuade foreign peoples that U.S. objectives will actually aid the achievement of their legitimate national objectives and aspirations; (4) expose Communist aims and actions and adequately counter Soviet propaganda; (5) encourage evolutionary change in the Soviet system, along lines consistent with U.S. security objectives and the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of the USSR; (6) assure the satellite peoples of the continuing interest of the U.S. in the peaceful restoration of their independence and political freedom.

III. Domestic Strength and Other National Security Measures5

43. Sound U. S. Economy

A strong, healthy and expanding U.S. economy is essential to the security and stability of the Free World. The level of expenditures for national security programs must take into full account the danger to the United States and its allies resulting from impairment, through inflation or the undermining of incentives, of the basic soundness of the U.S. economy or of the continuing expansion of the U.S. economy under a free enterprise system.
The Federal Government should maintain overall credit and fiscal policies designed to assist in stabilizing the economy and make a determined effort to keep its expenditures below its anticipated revenues by an amount sufficient to permit some reduction in the public debt and from time to time to provide for tax reductions; recognizing that the United States must continue to meet the necessary costs of the programs essential for its security.6
All Federal expenditures, especially those not essential for the national security, should be held to a necessary minimum. Every effort should be made to eliminate waste, duplication, and unnecessary overhead in the Federal Government.
The United States should also seek (1) to maintain a higher and expanding rate of economic activity at relatively stable price levels, and (2) to maximize the economic potential of private enterprise by minimizing governmental controls and regulations and by encouraging private enterprise to develop natural and technological resources (e.g. nuclear power).

44. Internal Security. Internal security measures should be made adequate, by strengthening them as necessary, to meet the threat to U.S. security of covert attack by the Soviet bloc on the United States by means of sabotage, subversion, espionage and, particularly, the clandestine introduction and detonation of nuclear weapons.

45. Civil Defense. An essential ingredient of our domestic strength is an improved and strengthened civil defense program which seeks, by both preventive and ameliorative measures, to minimize damage from nuclear attack. An effective civil defense program requires an increasing degree of Federal responsibility, support, and influence on the Civil Defense activities of the States.

46. Support by U.S. Citizens

No national strategy to meet the Soviet threat can be successful without the support of the American people. During a time of increasing Soviet nuclear power, the determination of U.S. citizens to face the risks involved in carrying out such national strategy will be of increasing importance. Continuing efforts should be made to inform the American people of the demands on their spiritual and material resources necessary to ensure U.S. security by political, military and economic means during a period of armed truce, which may either continue for many years or be broken by an atomic war.
Eternal vigilance is necessary in carrying out the national strategy, to prevent the intimidation of free criticism. Necessary protective measures should not be used to destroy national unity, which must be based on freedom and not on fear.

47. Mobilization Base. The mobilization base (military and non-military) should be designed to meet the requirements of (a) general war, initiated by the enemy with an atomic onslaught or as a result of hostilities which were not intended to lead to general war, (b) cold war, and (c) military conflict short of general war. Emphasis should be given to those elements that will increase U.S. D-day readiness and capability. The base should meet the following objectives:

Maintenance of the active forces in a condition of optimum readiness to execute initial wartime missions.
Maintenance and support in a high state of readiness of those selected reserve forces so essential to the execution of initial wartime missions as to require their being given priority treatment.
Maintenance and support of phased expansion to M + 6 months force levels.
The capacity to meet the combat requirements of all forces which would be mobilized by M + 6 months.
Pre-D-day provision and positioning of resonably protected stocks of selected supplies and equipment outside the United States to insure that U.S. forces surviving the enemy atomic attack will have a reasonable capability of performing assigned initial tasks effectively despite substantial interruption of resupply from the United States during the initial phase of war.
Maintenance and support of the industrial capacity to conserve and replenish stocks that may be used in a local war.
Development and maintenance in a high state of readiness of measures essential to survival as a nation, including minimum civilian needs and continuity of government.

Implementation of mobilization base objectives should emphasize immediate combat readiness and effectiveness, reflect any planned reductions in the over-all physical size of the military establishment, and provide for increased selectivity aimed at bringing the mobilization base structure, including equipment and standby facilities, in consonance with strategic concepts.

48. Stockpiling.7 The United States should not authorize further procurement8 for additions to the Strategic Stockpile authorized under P.L. 520, 79th Congress, beyond the 3-year procurement priority levels, except in those limited cases where procurement, within the long-term objectives described in the Presidential directive of April 14, 1954, is necessary to maintain the vital domestic production component of the materials mobilization base.9

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49. Intelligence. The United States should develop and maintain an intelligence system capable of collecting the requisite data on and accurately evaluating:

Indications of hostile intentions that would give maximum prior warning of possible aggression or subversion in any area of the world.
The capabilities of foreign countries, friendly and neutral as well as enemy, to undertake military, political, economic and subversive courses of action affecting U.S. security.
Potential foreign developments having a bearing on U.S. national security.

50. Manpower. The United States should develop an adequate manpower program designed to:

Expand and improve scientific and technical training
Provide an effective military training system based so far as possible on equitable principles.
Maintain the necessary active military forces with an adequate number of career leaders, specialists and the highly trained manpower required for modern war.
Develop and maintain suitably screened, organized and trained reserve forces of the size necessary for selected missions in the early phases of war, and for the phased expansion to M + 6 months force levels.
Strike a feasible balance between the needs of an expanding peacetime economy and defense requirements, and develop incentives and improved public attitudes which will improve the ability of the armed forces and essential defense-supporting activities, including research, to obtain, in relation to normal commercial activities, highly trained scientific and technical manpower.
Provide effective manpower mobilization plans and an appropriate distribution of services and skills thereunder in order to meet the manpower requirements of any type of national emergency.

51. Research and Development. The United States must achieve and maintain a rate of technological advance adequate to serve its over-all national security objectives. To this end there are required:

Increased awareness throughout the nation of the importance to national security of technological advance and of the need for greater motivations for our youth to pursue scientific careers.
Strong continuing support by the U.S. Government for basic and applied research, in proper balance.
Improved methods for the evaluation, collation and dissemination of U.S. and foreign scientific information.
The fostering of foreign, or cooperative U.S.-foreign, scientific endeavor in friendly countries.
Facilitation of wider application by industry, within the bounds of security, of the results of governmental research and development including that performed for military purposes.

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As research and development is translated into an operational capability with new weapons, there should be an attendant continuing review of the level and composition of forces and of the industrial base required for adequate defense and for successful prosecution of general war.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5707 Series. Top Secret.
  2. Regarding NSC Action No. 1728, see footnote 13, supra.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
  4. [Attachment]
  5. As used in this paper, the term “nuclear” refers to any military device of any size or purpose which utilizes energy released in the course of nuclear fission or fusion. [Footnote in the source text.]
  6. A study will be made by Treasury, Budget and CEA of the relation between U.S. gold reserves and the growth of U.S. foreign liabilities. [Footnote in the source text.]
  7. Except in the event of some unforeseen critical emergency of an international or economic character, it is not intended to request for any Fiscal Year through FY 1962 an appropriation for the Department of Defense above the planning figure for FY 1959 (see NSC Action No 1643). [Footnote in the source text. Regarding NSC Action No. 1643, see footnote 7, Document 101.]
  8. The notation “(Revised 7/12/57)” typed on the source text indicates that this paragraph and footnotes 8 and 9 below became NSC Action No. 1747–b as agreed to at the NSC meeting on July 11, and approved by the President on July 12. See the NSC memorandum of discussion, vol. X, p. 703.
  9. This limitation would not apply in those cases where commitments have already been made to purchase or otherwise acquire materials for the Strategic Stockpile or for transfer to it under the Defense Production Act or Commodity Credit Corporation programs, unless any such commitments can be canceled with advantage to the Government. [Footnote in the source text.]
  10. Through FY 1958 new mobilization base procurement could include lead, zinc, and battery-grade manganese (synthetic dioxide). At the current rate of purchase in accordance with the Presidential directive of April 14, 1954, the long-term objective for zinc would be reached in almost a year and the long-term objective for lead would be reached in almost two years. New purchases of zinc and lead for the Strategic Stockpile will end on the implementation of the long-range minerals program now before the Congress, even if this date precedes the attainment of the long-term objectives. [Footnote in the source text.]