9. Report by the Technological Capabilities Panel of the Science Advisory Committee1

MEETING THE THREAT OF SURPRISE ATTACK

[Here follow the undated letter of transmittal from the steering committee of the Technological Capabilities Panel to the President, a preface outlining the objectives and scope of the study, and a table of contents.]

Part I

SURPRISE: ITS NEW IMPORTANCE AND MEANING

[Here follow sections 1–3 entitled, “The Threat,” “The New Importance of Surprise,” and “The Revolution in Weapons: Its Nature and Significance.”]

4. A Timetable of Change in Our Military Position Relative to Russia

In order to clarify the effects of evolving technology on our military position relative to Russia, we have constructed a timetable showing the pattern of change that seems inherent in the developing weapons technology over the next decade or so.

This timetable reflects a careful evaluation of the present status and future trend of military technology, particularly the technology of air-atomic power. It also assumes the correctness of the current national intelligence estimates of the corresponding Soviet air-atomic power. It is obvious that a serious error in these estimates of Russian [Page 42]capabilities would destroy the foundations on which this timetable is constructed. At present we see no better alternative than to base our assumptions on these estimates.

A framework of this kind, showing the changes possible in our position relative to the USSR, is of fundamental importance in analyzing the problem of surprise, in planning our program of military technology, and in the formulation of broad national policy with respect to national security and to our relations with the USSR. The periods and possibilities described below must be considered in our planning if we are to give proper weight to the technological factors.

Period I—The Present Phase

Because of our air-atomic power we have an offensive advantage but are vulnerable to surprise attack.

Characteristcs

1.
Because of the strength of SAC and our large capability in atomic bombs, the striking power of U.S. is great relative to USSR.
2.
We do not yet have large multimegation capability.
3.
No reliable U.S. early warning; our defense system is inadequate; therefore SAC is vulnerable and U.S. is open to surprise attack.
4.
Evidence is accumulating that Soviets are developing their long-range delivery capability.

Effects

A.
Neither the U.S. nor the Soviets can mount an air strike against the other that would surely be decisive.2 The U.S., however, could mount a sustained air offensive that would inflict massive damage and would probably be conclusive in a general War.
B.
Because of our vulnerability, Soviets might be tempted to try a surprise attack. They might be so tempted in order to attack before we achieve a large multimegaton capability.

Period II (Starting 1956/57—Ending 1958/60)

We will have a very great offensive advantage relative to USSR and will be less vulnerable than previously to surprise attack.

Characteristics

1.
We will have achieved substantial numbers of multimegaton weapons in addition to our large stockpile of atomic bombs. Soviets will not have.
2.
Some improvement in Russian delivery capability.
3.
Both Russia and the U.S. are achieving increased defense capability but both continue vulnerable to surprise attack.

Effects

A.
Our deterrent power greatly increased; our military power relative to that of Russia at its maximum. The U.S. can mount a decisive air strike; the USSR cannot. In the event of conflict the U.S. would be severely damaged, but would emerge a battered victor even if the USSR mounted a surprise attack on the U.S.
B.
Because the U.S. will have a substantial stockpile of multimegaton weapons and the ability to deliver them on target, this is a period, possibly of short duration, when the U.S. will possess great relative military strength. Our military superiority may never be so great again.

An intensive study should be undertaken to determine what diplomatic and political policies will be most appropriate during Period II to turn it to our best advantage and to the advantage of the free world. These policies should recognize that any war which might occur would result in severe damage to the U.S. despite our great relative strength.

Period III

This is a period of transition from Period II to Period IV involving the occurrence in some order of the following characteristics:

Characteristics

1.
The development by the Soviets of a multimegaton capability. The firing of a multimegaton weapon would be positive evidence that the Soviets have begun to develop a capability with this weapon. The absence of such an explosion is not positive assurance that they have not begun to develop this capability. Although possible, the stockpiling of multimegaton bombs would be improbable without a test firing. The Russian test firing of August 1953 was not conclusive evidence of their ability to make a modern multimegaton weapon.
2.
The availability to the Soviets of a large number of high-performance jet aircraft capable of reaching U.S. targets.
3.
Substantial strengthening of U.S. defenses, including the achievement of an effective continental defense system and the reduction of the vulnerability of our strategic delivery systems.
4.
Continued improvement in U.S. delivery capabilities, probably offset to some extent by further improvement in Russian defense.

These four characteristics will occur somewhat gradually so that overlap in time is almost inevitable.

[Page 44]

Effects

A.
If our defenses against conventional attack are strengthened before the USSR has attained a multimegaton capability and adequate delivery forces, the deterrent power of the U.S. is increased. From the standpoint of military strength, this would continue to be a phase favorable to the U.S.
B.
Deterrent effect of U.S. power dangerously lessened if Soviet production of multimegaton weapons and an adequate conventional delivery capability is achieved prior to the development of an adequate U.S. warning and defense system and before we have achieved a reduction of the vulnerability of our strategic delivery systems. Under these conditions, Soviet possession of such weapons and delivery capabilities would place the U.S. in danger of surprise attack and possible defeat.

This situation might develop as early as 1958. If we permit our military position to worsen to this extent, we will be in a poor position to ward off Russion political and diplomatic moves or to make such moves of our own.

Period IV (Indefinite in length; possibly beginning within a decade)

An attack by either side would result in mutual destruction.

This is the period when both the U.S. and Russia will be in a position from which neither country can derive a winning advantage, because each country will possess enough multimegaton weapons and adequate means of delivering them, either by conventional or more sophisticated methods, through the defenses then existing. The ability to achieve surprise will not affect the outcome because each country will have the residual offensive power to break through the defenses of the other country and destroy it regardless of whether the other country strikes first.

The intercontinental ballistic missile can profoundly affect the military posture of either country with respect to Period III and Period IV. If the U.S. were to achieve an intercontinental ballistic missile capability first, it could maintain that position of advantage, described in III–A above, so long as the Soviets did not have this missile capability. If the Russians achieve an intercontinental ballistic missile capability first, they might gain a comparable position of advantage.

Period IV is so fraught with danger to the U.S. that we should push all promising technological development so that we may stay in Periods II and III–A as long as possible, and, if we pass into Period IV, may escape from it into another period resembling II or III–A.

It is recognized that Period IV would be a period of instability that might easily be upset by either side and that a world catastrophe might occur.

[Page 45]

Should we arrive at a condition where the contest is drawn and neither contestant can derive military advantage (i.e., Period IV), we need not assume that this state is unchangeable or that one country or the other cannot move again into a position of relative advantage. We see no certainty, however, that the condition of stalemate can be changed through science and technology. This does not mean that some now unimagined weapon or development, far afield from any present weapons system, might not provide an advantage to one side or the other.

Implications of the Timetable

The periods of relative military strength which we have delineated reflect our own appraisal of the technological, intelligence, and military factors affecting our military position in relation to that of Russia. While we originally had other objectives in constucting the table it is apparent that it has implications for our diplomatic policy and international negotiations. It seems clear, for example, that Period II (also Period III–A) may be from the standpoint of relative military strength a very favorable period for political moves and diplomatic negotiations.

We emphasize that even though our relative military strength may change in the manner suggested in the table, we still remain in a position where the United States can be grievously hurt.

The timetable points up other urgencies in our program. We must press forward in the United States to fill the gaps and correct the weaknesses in our offense and defense. Our capacity to maintain a position of advantage will depend upon our carrying through, thoroughly and without delays, the remedies already available, authorized, or planned to overcome present weaknesses.

We must also press forward to develop more sophisticated offenses and defenses. We must constantly seek new technological breakthroughs that will bring about significant advances in our military power. The Russians will certainly do everything possible to achieve an advantage by searching for big advances in their weapons technology.

In the succeeding parts of this report, we have sought to point out the places where we need to carry through, to expedite, and to complete currently accepted improvements in our weapons systems which will provide new strength in both offense and defense. We have sought to suggest the new decisions, undertakings, and developments which we believe to be important to the continued buildup of our military strength. We have tried to pick up those promising developments that might be important new advances in technology and in [Page 46]intelligence. All these things that we analyze, report upon, and recommend are designed to keep us in a position of advantage in terms of the timetable we have constructed.

[Here follow sections 5–13 entitled “Nuclear Striking Power,” “Defense of North America,” “Overseas Communication: Information and Early Warning,” “Intelligence,” “Maintaining Alertness,” “Need for Skilled Military Manpower,” “Strategic Planning and Technology,” “Toward a Weapons Spectrum for Limited Wars,” and “A Sense of Urgency without Despair.”]

Part II

LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

1. General Recommendations

We recommend that:

1.
After review by the President and the National Security Council of the “Timetable of Change in Our Military Position Relative to Russia,” consideration be given to the recommendation in this timetable that an intensive study be undertaken to determine what diplomatic and political policies will be most appropriate during Period II to turn it to our best advantage and to the advantage of the free world. (See pages 10 through 13, Part I.)3
2.
The National Security Council formally recognize the present Air Force program for the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile as a nationally suported effort of highest priority.
3.
Actions be taken to permit the present unacceptable ground vulnerability of the Strategic Air Command to be reduced more rapidly. We recommend, further, that the emergency measures, discussed on page 68 of Part III,4 be carefully examined by the National Security Council in relation to the immediacy of the threat.
4.
The National Security Council examine the specific recommendations we have made for strengthening our continental defenses with a view to incorporating them in an early revision of NSC 5408.5
5.
The National Security Council examine the technical, procedural and personal links by which early warnings are translated into responsive national action. We recommend, further, that a mechanism be established within the Executive Office of the President for promoting and monitoring the planning and execution of readiness tests.
6.
The National Security Council establish policies and take actions which will permit the full exploitation of the intelligence and other advantages which can be made available to us through the establishment of stations on the polar pack ice, particularly on the Eurasian rim.
7.

The National Security Council initiate preparatory studies of the problems of international negotiation in the following areas growing out of recommendations of this report.

a.
Atomic Weapons in Air Defense. Negotiations with Canada to provide our air defense forces with authority to use atomic warheads over Canada.
b.
Extension of the Planned Early Warning Line. International negotiations for the seaward extension of the Distant Early Warning Line from Greenland via Iceland and the Faroes, to join future NATO warning systems.
c.
Remote Sea Monitor Line. International negotiations for the installation of a submerged, sea traffic monitor line extending from Greenland to Iceland and to the United Kingdom.
8.
A re-examination be made of U.S.-Canadian continental defense relationships with a view toward bringing about still more effective cooperation between the two countries.
9.
A re-examination be made of the following principles or practices of international law from the standpoint of recent advances in weapons technology:
a.
Freedom of the Seas. Radical extension of the “three-mile limit” to permit control of surface and subsurface traffic from the coastline to beyond the likely striking range of sea-launched nuclear missiles.
b.
[remainder of paragraph (4½ lines of source text) not declassified]
10.

An agency be established, or designated, having responsibility for investigating the reliability of the overseas communications networks, and for planning and promoting technical and other improvements needed to achieve a considerable reduction in the vulnerability of our overseas communications.

We recommend, further, that a communications office be established, or designated, having responsibility for the continuous collection and evaluation of information on the current performance of all vital links of the overseas communications networks; and that this, or a related office, have responsibility for coordinating the rapid interchange and rerouting of traffic in the event of widespread interference with our communications.

11.
A study group be appointed to undertake an exhaustive examination of the techniques and the weapons technology for peripheral wars. Such a technical study might be but a part of a more comprehensive examination of the peripheral war problem.
12.
A study, as a follow-up to this present report, be sponsored by the Executive Office of the President within two years. The technology of national defense is dynamic in nature and requires continual review and evaluation to take into account international and political, as well as technological change.

2. Specific Recommendations

A For Still Further Strengthening Our Striking Power, we recommend that:

1.
The development of an intercontinental ballistic missile (with about 5500 nautical mile range and megaton warhead) continue to receive the very substantial support necessary to complete it at the earliest possible date.
2.
There be developed a ballistic missile (with about 1500 nautical mile range and megaton warhead) for strategic bombardment; both land-basing and ship-basing should be considered.
3.
The program for the development of high energy aircraft fuels, and propulsion systems capable of using them, be approved and receive strong support.
4.
Supplies of high energy aircraft fuels adequate for development and testing of engines and equipment be manufactured and made available at an early date.
5.
The program directed toward development of aircraft nuclear propulsion systems continue to receive strong support and that the program include a propulsion system for bombers.
6.
The Strategic Air Command be provided additional bases in numbers sufficient to permit its bombers to be airborne towards target within the warning interval, as well as to limit to a reasonable number the bombers at risk at each base.
7.
The new significance of the striking power of small aircraft, which would come with the availability of lightweight megaton bombs in quantity, be taken into account in future planning.
8.
The Department of Defense conduct further studies and experimentation to determine the feasibility of a seaplane nuclear bomber force.
9.
As a first step in comparing the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the United States and the USSR in a possible nuclear air war, a comprehensive comparison of U.S. and USSR Bravo, Romeo, and Delta target systems be undertaken in the context of a single symmetric study, using common terms of reference and a common framework of analysis.
10.
For planning purposes, the maximum yield per weight of nuclear weapons be taken as [7 words not declassified].
11.
For U.S. defense planning purposes, it be considered technically feasible for the USSR to deliver, by ship or by submarine, very large and heavy, though expensive, bombs having yields up to about [2 words not declassified],
12.
For U.S. defenses planning purposes, it should be considered technically feasible for the USSR to construct, for clandestine introduction into the United States, nuclear bombs having yields as high as megatons.
13.
Current studies directed toward better understanding of the radiological hazards that may result from the detonation of large numbers of nuclear weapons be continued.
14.
Plans for the military use of nuclear bombs should not at this time be restrained because of the long-term radiological hazard.

B. For Strengthening Our Continental Defense

Recommendations Essentially Covered in NSC 54086

1.
We endorse the planned Distant Early Warning line, including the seaward portions, and urge its installation without delaying for technical or geographic refinements. We recommend early installation of the proposed extension of the North Canada Line to Greenland and shifting to the northern terminus of the Atlantic extension from Newfoundland to Greenland, in accordance with the suggestion of CONAD.
2.

We endorse the planned additions of long-range radars and gap-filler radars to the continental United States and Canadian radar nets, including extensions of contiguous radar coverage to seaward (Atlantic and Pacific).

Recommendations for Extending or Changing Emphasis in NSC 54087

3.
We recommend that nuclear warheads be adopted as the major armament for our air defense forces and that this step be implemented by:
a.
Expeditious development, procurement, and deployment of sufficient weapons to provide a high kill capability at an early date.
b.
Commencement of negotiations with Canada to provide defense forces with authority for instant use of atomic warheads wherever needed over Canada.
c.
Use of the high-altitude shot at the next atomic test series as a springboard for a public information program with the dual objective of allaying possible civilian fears and informing our enemies and allies that we are using our atomic capabilities for defensive purposes.
4.
We recommend an intensified effort to create effective defenses at low and very high altitudes, and a broadened attack on the basic technical problems involved. Important elements of this program are (specific recommendations are given in Part IV, Sections 3 and 5):8
a.
Interim rules, pending completion of the warning and continental radar nets, to keep Nike batteries in alert status and free to fire on aircraft above a predetermined altitude.
b.
Firm planning for the evolution of a radar net to match the needs and capabilities of the SAGE system.
c.
Further development of air-to-air and ground-to-air nuclear weapons.
d.
Development of interception systems and tactics specifically for high-altitude combat.
e.
A bold attack on the critical problems of fire control and guidance for combat at low altitudes.
f.
Accelerated development of specific low-altitude weapon systems.
g.
A broad program of research and development in the field of radar.
h.
An extensive and realistic study of the technical and tactical innovations needed to fight an air battle in the presence of determined enemy jamming and electronic cover.
i.
A greatly enlarged program of field and operational trials and experiments to support the developments and investigations recommended.
5.
We recommend that defenses against attack from or over the sea be—in plan, organization, and operation—an integral and coordinate part of the over-all continental defenses; this can be achieved only if the responsibilities, missions, and means now under the authorities of CONAD, CinCLant, and CinCPac are coordinated for joint action.
6.
We recommend that programs for submarine detection and surveillance systems be advanced and modified as follows:
a.
[remainder of paragraph (2½ lines of source text) not declassified]
b.
[remainder of paragraph (5 lines of source text) not declassified]
7.
We recommend that a positive program to invigorate our non-military defenses be instituted by:
a.
Immediate initiation by the Federal Civil Defense Administration of a study of the casualties expected from typical thermonuclear attacks under various conditions of evacuation and shelter. This study, which should be made by a group with access to all necessary classified [Page 51]data, should point out at an early date the factors influencing the proper balance between shelters and evacuation and provide data for individual community planning.
b.
Prompt formulation of a new national civil defense policy designed to cope with the new threat from thermonuclear weapons and radioactive fall-out from surface bursts.
c.
Clear statements of this policy by the President and other high government officials, informing the public of the nature of the threat, the anticipated effects of thermonuclear weapons and the defense measures designed to give all individuals maximum opportunity for survival. These statements should provide the leadership required to five public assurance that, when this policy is implemented, megaton bomb attacks will not produe national collapse.
d.
Re-examination and re-statement of the proper relationships that must exist between civil and military authorities in order to cope with the disaster conditions that may follow a large-scale attack.
e.
Providing the Federal Civil Defense Administration with authority and the necessary funds to carry out an orderly and continuous research and development program designed to solve its own particular problems.
f.
Further attention to measures to reduce the vulnerability of our essential civilian-supporting industries, in addition to those measures now directed toward the dispersion of direct war-supporting industries.

Recommendations Requiring New Action

8.
We recommend further development of the warning and surveillance system by:
a.
Early installation of a radar line 500 to 700 miles from our continental boundaries to provide the required unmistakeable signal of an actual attack and to provide tracking information on which to base deployment of defensive forces. The planned mid-Canada line would furnish the northern element of this line.
b.
Extension of the Distant Early Warning Line from Greenland via Iceland and the Faroes to join the NATO warning system (virtually non-existent at present) at some point recommended by shape. Long-range, land-based radars should be used wherever possible. They should be installed as soon as feasible, regardless of when other components can become operational. By themselves they could give satisfactory cover, except at low altitudes midway between stations.
c.
Consideration of ultimate replacement of the Alaska–Hawaii line by a system of fixed radars along the Aleutians plus an overwater line to Midway. Such a system would increase initial warning and reduce the overwater link.
d.
Determination of the effectiveness of Airborne Early Warning planes in trailing unknown aircraft crossing the Distant Early Warning Line, as a step toward developing a distant surveillance capability.
e.
Experimentation with fixed radars and listening devices and with irregular Airborne Early Warning patrol planes in important areas near the enemy’s perimeter, particularly in the neighborhood of his forward launching bases. Should they prove effective, consideration [Page 52]should be given to their permanent adoption in appropriate areas (e.g., in refueling areas)—for intelligence purposes, to give possible early alert of potential attack, and to harass the enemy.
9.
To exploit the full potentialities of defense in depth, to protect our peripheral cities, and to minimize the danger from large bombs anywhere within our borders, we recommend continuing outward extension of the combat zone, by:
a.
Providing a zone of radar surveillance for about 300 miles beyond the programmed extensions of contiguous radar coverage over the Atlantic and Pacific; this need would be met by the zonal coverage provided by the radar line of recommendation 8a.
b.
Extending prime radar coverage northward to approximately the mid-Canada line and low-altitude coverage (gap fillers) to a distance well beyond the heavily populated regions of Canada; taking steps to enable our interceptors to supplement the Canadan defense forces in this region (i.e., by obtaining the necessary agreements and bases).
c.
Exploiting future improvements in interceptor ranges by corresponding extensions to seaward of the full weapons control capability, and of the surveillance-only zone beyond. [Note: Extension of the Atlantic zone may ultimately justify elimination of the Greenland–Azores warning line (recommendation 1), provided the Greenland–Iceland–Europe line (recommendation 8b) has been installed.]9
d.
Immediate development and installation of effective data processing and transmitting equipment and procedures to integrate overwater surveillance information into a system linked with the land-based “ground environment.”
10.
Drastic revision of the function and traditional form of the interceptor aircraft to conduct effective combat at very high altitudes. We believe that the burden of speed and maneuverability in combat must be shifted to the air-to-air missile, and that the interceptor must become a launching platform having adequate radar and the range and mobility needed to marshal forces against a concentrated attack. We recommend a broad program of study and development to understand and exploit the potential of guided missiles in air-to-air combat.
11.
In order further to improve our sea defenses, we recommend that:
a.
[remainder of paragraph (3 lines of source text) not declassified]
b.
[remainder of paragraph (6 lines of source text) not declassified]
12.
We recommend that comprehensive programs be instituted to provide effective control of surface and, insofar as possible, subsurface traffic in both oceans from the coast lines to beyond the likely striking range of sea-launched attacks. For proper implementation: [Page 53]
a.
International arrangements should be made for the establishment of information reporting procedures and of control measures.
b.
Studies should be made of appropriate changes in the concept of the “three-mile limit” to permit actions in keeping with the threat; for realistic implementation of any policy changes, the missions of the Coast Guard and Navy must be amended and forces increased to equal the tasks of inspection and control.
c.
Sea traffic plots should be established utilizing modern techniques for correlating, analyzing, storing and displaying traffic information gathered from both military and civilian sources. Traffic patterns as well as individual ship movements should be care fully watched.
d.
Maximum utilization should be made of the surface surveillance capability of the seaward components of the air defense radar system.
e.
The feasibility of shore-based low-frequency radar for long-range detection and tracking of surface traffic should be vigorously explored and, if warranted, systems should be installed.
13.
Although the technical problems that must be solved in attaining a defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles are extremely complex, there are sufficiently promising leads to justify an expanded and accelerated research effort on a broad front. Accordingly, we recommend that there be established a strong, balanced program of theoretical and experimental investigations of the basic problems of detection, interception and destruction. We suggest that the newly established Special Panel of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board give early consideration to the formation of a full-time technical group to carry out a rapid but thorough examination of the entire problem, with the objective of laying the framework for the expanded program.
14.
One important element of defense against ICBM attack— warning in minutes—is attainable. We recommend the immediate initiation of component development, engineering design and planning for the installation of a radar detection system to provide the maximum practicable amount of warning on the approach of ballistic missiles to the United States from likely launching areas.

C. For Improvement and Better Use of Our Intelligence

1.
Because we are unable to conclude that the United States surely will, or surely will not, have useful strategic warning in the event of a surprise attack, we recommend that our planning take serious account of both possibilities.
2.
The fact that the probability of strategic warning increases with the size of the attack gives added support to the recommendations that our striking forces be further dispersed and that our defenses be strengthened.
3.
We must find ways to increase the number of hard facts upon which our intelligence estimates are based, to provide better strategic warning, to minimize surprise in the kind of attack, and to reduce the danger of gross overestimation or gross underestimation of the threat. To this end, we recommend adoption of a vigorous program for the extensive use, in many intelligence procedures, of the most advanced knowledge in science and technology.

[numbered paragraphs 4–10 (½ page of source text) not declassified]

D. Through Better and Safer Communications

Overseas communications systems less vulnerable to jamming and sabotage are urgently needed. Without them, messages containing strategic-warning information may not reach our intelligence centers at a critical time. We recommend the following technical improvements in communications equipment:

1.
Immediate steps be taken to insure equipment integrity in the face of possible sabotage.
2.
The program for increased transmitter power be given all possible encouragement.
3.
Further study in improved antennas be carried on very actively.
4.
Consideration be given to the value of adaptation of RCA self-checking code system equipment to military circuits.
5.
Tests and other work on the NOMAC system be carried on with highest priority.
6.
Further studies of feasibility and usefulness be made of high-speed (Squirt) transmission.
7.
Further study be made of multifrequency switching to determine whether such military equipment should be developed.
8.
In the design of future equipment, consideration be given to possible use of facsimile in the case of jamming.
9.
The services be prepared to use CW (hand code) operations in cases where experienced operators can be provided.
10.
Operational tests be made of the communications zone indicator (COZI) system under jamming conditions and, if results prove favorable, that the equipment be added to the communications system.
11.
Jamming tests be made at reasonable intervals under conditions that will tax to the limit the ability of those charged with operating the facilities to use evasive techniques, alternate routings, and their operational understanding.
12.
Extensive studies and tests be made immediately to determine the jamming characteristics of forward-scatter transmissions and that where it appears effective the services be encouraged to install such systems where geographic conditions permit.
13.
Further work on the development of the Janet equipment for meteor-trail transmissions be encouraged.
14.
Further study and evaluation of the artificial satellite transmission system be made.
15.
The merits of Voice of America point-to-point circuits be studied in detail and, if the results look promising, immediate steps be taken for the implementation of a conversion program.
16.
The problem of cable vulnerability be given thorough study in the light of the present political situation and modern technology for mining and cable cutting.
17.
Efforts be made to bring to a conclusion present studies to determine:
a.
If an old cable between San Francisco and Guam is worth acquiring and rehabilitating.
b.
Whether a completely new broad-band cable in the Pacific area should be planned.

E. For Better Maintenance of Equipment, we recommend that:

1.
A professional “hard core” military maintenance force for each service be developed of sufficient stability to satisfy future military needs for maintenance personnel.
2.
Careful and continuing study be given to the effects of the recently enacted re-enlistment bonus, and, if enacted, of the proposals contained in the President’s recent message to Congress to determine whether stonger incentives are required to correct the precarious lack of highly trained maintenance personnel.
3.
Greater efforts be made to develop a career motivation for skilled maintenance personnel by providing an organizational environment that recognizes the skill attainments of such personnel and that permits a greater range of promotional opportunities.
4.
More attention and emphasis be given to long-range personnel planning in the highly skilled technical manpower areas, and to the impact that planned new weapons systems will have on future requirements for technical maintenance personnel.
5.
The specific use of industrial contractors for the maintenance of weapons systems in the ZI and overseas be given more extensive study by the Department of Defense. This requires investigation of the kinds of military operations that can be served through industrial maintenance contracts and of ways in which civilian maintenance can be adapted to the military system, particularly under conditions of emergency.
6.
Consideration be given by each service to the organization of a select corps of maintenance personnel willing to serve extensive periods of time in the Arctic area, in anticipation of expanded military operations in that area.
[Page 56]

[Here follow Part III with a section entitled: “Nuclear Striking Power: An Element of Defense;” Part IV with a section entitled: “Defense of North America;” Part V with a section entitled: “Intelligence: Our First Defense Against Surprise;” Part VI with a section entitled: “Overseas Military Communications;” Part VII, entitled “Skilled Manpower in the Armed Forces;” and an Appendix containing a history and organization of the Technological Capabilities Panel and an organization chart.]

  1. Source: Department of State, S/S–RD Files: Lot 71 D 171. Top Secret; Restricted Data.

    The 42-member Technological Capabilities Panel of the Science Advisory Committee of the Office of Defense Mobilization was formed in response to a Presidential request made to the committee at a White House meeting on March 27, 1954, that a study be made of U.S. technological capability to reduce the threat of surprise attack. The resulting panel, frequently referred to as the Killian Committee after its director, Dr. James R. Killian, Jr., interpreted its mandate broadly. The committee set as its objective an examination of the current vulnerability of the United States to surprise attack and an investigation of how science and technology could be used to reduce that vulnerability by contributing to the following five developments: An increase in U.S. nuclear retaliatory power to deter or at least defeat a surprise attack; an increase in U.S. intelligence capabilities to enhance the ability to predict and give adequate warning of an intended surprise attack; a strengthening of U.S. defenses to deter or blunt a surprise attack; the achievement of a secure and reliable communications network; and an understanding of the effect of advanced technology on the manpower requirements of the armed forces.

  2. Decisive is defined as follows: (1) ability to strike back essentially eliminated; or (2) civil, political, or cultural life reduced to a condition of chaos; or both (1) and (2). [Footnote in the source text.]
  3. These pages comprise Part I, Section 4, printed above.
  4. Not printed.
  5. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 1, p. 609.
  6. In grouping our recommendations we have considered as incorporated in NSC 5408 those approved programs described in the November 1954 Progress Reports on NSC 5408. [Footnote in the source text. Copies of these progress reports are in Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5408 Series.]
  7. In grouping our recommendations we have considered as incorporated in NSC 5408 those approved programs described in the November 1954 Progress Reports on NSC 5408. [Footnote in the source text.]
  8. Not printed.
  9. Brackets in the source text.