129. Memorandum of Discussion at the 469th Meeting of the National Security Council0
[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and Agenda Item 1. “NATO in the 1960s.”]
2. Status of National Security Programs on June 30, 1960: The Military Program (NSC 6013)1
Mr. Gray called on Secretary Gates for an oral presentation on the annual report by the Department of Defense on the status of U.S. Military Programs as of June 30, 1960. Secretary Gates said the annual status report on the Military Program had been prepared in response to an NSC requirement. Mr. Douglas would present a summary of the report unless the President would prefer to open the discussion with questions instead of hearing the presentation. The President said he would like to hear the presentation.
Secretary Douglas said he hoped he could give in a general summary of a detailed report—a matter which always involved the problem of selection—a general impression of where, in the opinion of the Secretary of Defense, our military programs are at the present time. Mr. Douglas then read a brief summary of our actual and potential capabilities to fulfill current military commitments and basic objectives. (A copy of Mr. Douglas’ presentation is filed in the Minutes of the Meeting.)2
The President did not quite share the somber opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the U.S. had to be superior in all phases of preparation for war. His own belief was that it was becoming increasingly dangerous to assume that limited wars could occur without triggering general war. His conviction in this matter was growing stronger all the time as he heard more and more discussion of nuclear capabilities. He was becoming more and more concerned with the problem of deterrence. He believed our principal effort should be devoted to convincing the USSR that no matter what the Soviet Union does, it will receive a rain of [Page 495] destruction if it attacks the U.S. The President believed that all other military matters must remain secondary to the overriding importance of deterrence.
The President then remarked that the President-Elect had expressed the belief that there was no excuse for building so many aircraft carriers in view of the large number of Polaris missiles the U.S. would soon have. The President had indicated to Mr. Kennedy that in his view the aircraft carrier was an ideal limited war weapon; for this reason this Administration had supported the construction of aircraft carriers on the basis that they should be built specifically for limited war rather than for general war. Senator Kennedy had kept his own counsel on what he would do when he became President but it seemed likely that he intended to effect some economies in our aircraft construction schedules. Senator Kennedy had recently been briefed at Omaha and as a result of such briefing was apparently concerned about the possibility that we are overdoing things; that is, that we had an over-kill capability and an over-profusion of targets.
Secretary Douglas pointed out in connection with deterrence that on December 2 the Joint Chiefs of Staff had approved a national strategic target list and an integrated operations plan effective April 1, 1961.3 This list and this plan had been developed by a unified task force and were consistent with national security policy. Mr. Douglas felt this development was significant since the plan for the first time effectively integrated and provided for mutual support among all U.S. forces for a single initial attack. The President agreed that the developments mentioned by Mr. Douglas were great steps forward even though still more needed to be done. The President believed our guiding principle should be to let the USSR know that we have the power to destroy the Soviet Union if the latter attacks us. The President believed that the Soviet leaders would not dare attack if they knew their country would be destroyed.
Secretary Dillon said he had read the Communist Manifesto produced by the Moscow Conference of World Communist Leaders.4 This document contained a section on the horrors of general war and a separate section on local wars. Reading between the lines of the latter section, Mr. Dillon gained the impression that the Communists are not fully aware that it may be impossible to fight a local war without having it develop into a general war.
Secretary Herter noted that the military status reports in 1958 and 19595 contained some rather pessimistic conclusions. In 1958, for example, [Page 496] the report stated that if the then existing trends continued, the U.S. military superiority would be lost in the foreseeable future. The 1959 report stated that both the U.S. and the USSR would possess military strength of decisive proportions by 1962. In other words, the curve of military development seemed to be against the U.S. according to the 1958 and 1959 reports. Secretary Herter wondered whether this unfavorable trend had now been arrested. Mr. Douglas said that the statements referred to by Secretary Herter in previous reports were contained in a section prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He pointed out, however, that the statements he had just made in his summary evaluation had been approved by the Secretary of Defense after discussion by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose comments were reflected in the statement. Mr. Douglas recalled the statement Secretary Herter referred to, to the effect that both the U.S. and the USSR would have decisive military power in 1962, so that the victor would be the power which took the initiative. This year’s status report contained no comment on this subject. Secretary Gates said the JCS had received a copy of the presentation made by Mr. Douglas but had not been asked to approve it. General Lemnitzer said the presentation made by Mr. Douglas had been based on a JCS draft. The various Chiefs of Staff had made suggestions which had been incorporated in the presentation. Secretary Gates felt that a more thorough job had been done this year than in previous years. If the statements in previous status report had been coordinated Department of Defense statements, they might not have been couched in such strong language.
Secretary Herter felt that the current status report should be revised for the sake of the record to include an indication that the statements he had referred to in the 1958 and 1959 status reports were not considered appropriate for the 1960 status report. The President agreed with Secretary Herter. The current status report should say that the statements referred to from the 1958 and 1959 reports had been considered but that we no longer give them the weight we attributed to them in 1958 and 1959. Secretary Douglas said the Department of Defense did not necessarily disagree with the statements made in 1958 and 1959 but did not think they would be appropriate for the 1960 report. The President said the current status report should say something on this subject; the matter could not be left hanging in mid-air. Secretary Gates said that a paragraph would be added to the report which would bring the whole question into focus. The President noted that the Defense Department now had an opinion on this question which was not quite the same as it was in 1958 and 1959.
Secretary Herter then noted that Mr. Douglas in his presentation referred to the fact that our conventional capabilities had not kept pace with our nuclear capabilities. He asked whether this meant that our conventional capabilities had decreased. Secretary Douglas said both our [Page 497] conventional and our nuclear capabilities had advanced but our nuclear capabilities had advanced at a tremendous rate whereas the improvement in our conventional capabilities had not been as great. Secretary Herter felt this point should be clarified in the status report. He had received the impression that the U.S. was falling behind in conventional capabilities. He agreed with the President that limited wars in large numbers were unlikely. Nevertheless, U.S. conventional capabilities to fight a limited war were of great interest to our allies and to many neutral nations of the world. Mr. Douglas believed the report could be amended to call attention to recent improvements in our limited war capabilities. Both in NATO and in the Far East we have augmented our ground force capabilities by provision of short-range nuclear weapons. Secretary Herter pointed out that Mr. Douglas was referring to nuclear capabilities, not conventional capabilities. Mr. Douglas said there was no indication in national security policy that we do not expect to use our nuclear capabilities in a limited war.
The President then inquired about the project to retrofit M–48 tanks with diesel engines. He was under the impression that several years ago we had said we had exactly the tank we wanted and now we seemed to be retrofitting them. Secretary Brucker said that the tank we wanted was the M–60 with a diesel engine and a big gun. The M–48 was an old tank which was to be modernized with diesel engines. After some further discussion of the characteristics of M–47 [M–60?] and M–48 tanks, the President noted that we had carried forward programs for the improvement of a great deal of military equipment.
Mr. Gray observed that some months ago the Council had been informed that construction of our missile bases had fallen behind schedule. During the Planning Board discussion of the military status report, the Department of Defense had reported that there had been no further slippage in missile base construction schedules, even though the time lost earlier had not been fully made up. Secretary Gates confirmed the report that had been made to the Planning Board. The President felt it might be important to make a statement to this effect in the status report.
Mr. Gray then reported that the President had recently asked about the status of the Hound Dog missile. Mr. Gray’s information was that 25 Hound Dogs were operational as of June 30, 1960 and that 242 were projected for June 30, 1961. General White said that some difficulties had developed in the Hound Dog program which would delay operational capabilities. The President inquired as to the nature of the trouble. General White said that the Hound Dog, which was a complex weapon system, had not proven completely reliable. He believed the unreliability thus far revealed could be overcome after further testing. The President inquired about the Skybolt program. General White expressed the belief that Skybolt was an important weapon system for the future. The Skybolt [Page 498] was a ballistic equivalent of the Hound Dog. Secretary Gates reported that the Skybolt program had been cut back in the new budget, an action which might create difficulties with the U.K., which had been emphasizing the Skybolt. Some consideration had been given to cancelling the Skybolt program but as an alternative it had been retained in the budget, although at a lower level.
The National Security Council:6
- Noted and discussed an oral summary of the status of the military program on June 30, 1960, by the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, based on Part 1 of NSC 6013.
- Noted the President’s statement that he believed there was increasing question as to whether it could be assumed that there would be limited wars which would not lead to general war. He felt that this meant that our first responsibility involves maintaining a deterrent to general war, with all other military missions taking largely a supporting role. Noted the statement by the Secretary of State that, whether limited wars in the future were likely or not, the maintenance of adequate conventional capabilities for limited wars was still considered very important by our allies, and indeed by ourselves.
- Noted and discussed the view of the Secretary of Defense that some of the statements regarding unfavorable trends in U.S. military capabilities vis-à-vis the USSR, contained in the FY 1958 and 1959 status reports (NSC 5819 and NSC 5912), would not necessarily be appropriate under current conditions; and suggested that further comment on such statements be included in the FY 1960 report.
- Noted that, while delays were previously reported to the National Security Council in the construction schedule for missile bases at the first five sites, no further delays in those bases becoming operational after March 1, 1961, are presently anticipated.
Note: The above action, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretary of Defense.
3. U.S. Military Programs for FY 1962 (NSC Action No. 2151)7
Secretary Gates said that the initial budget guidance in the Pentagon was that the FY 1961 figures would be used as the basis for the FY 1962 budget. At the Quantico meeting he had asked the Armed Services for four different budgets: a budget incorporating a 5 per cent decrease, a budget holding firm at the FY 1961 level, a budget incorporating a 5 per cent increase, and a so-called “D-budget” incorporating all items which [Page 499] the Services considered necessary but which could not be squeezed into the other three budgets. It had also been decided that force levels would not be changed. Moreover, the budget preparations took account of the political guidance of the Secretary of State as to the international situation. The largest budget produced by this method called for $50.6 billion in New Obligational Authority. In the budget processing the Department of Defense had also reviewed each weapons system and category of forces and had tried to achieve a better balance between general and limited war capabilities. All figures on the budget had been furnished the Joint Chiefs of Staff so that they would have all necessary information for a separate review. Secretary Gates had held many meetings with the Service Secretaries and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who participated in the defense budget process this year to a greater extent than ever before. The budget which the Department of Defense will propose for FY 1962 was derived from the four budgets mentioned previously but does not closely resemble any one of them. He had been compelled to cut back certain military programs. One of the compelling reasons for the cut-back was the $23 billion in fixed personnel costs and in maintenance and operations costs. The new budget provided for no increase or decrease in personnel overall, although Navy personnel strength has increased by about 6000 and a small personnel reduction had been accepted by the Air Force. The National Guard had been reduced by 10 per cent. Many programs in the Research and Development area had been re-oriented and must be reviewed. With great difficulty intelligence programs had been reviewed and an effort had been made to hold them to the FY 1961 levels. Secretary Gates believed that further progress could be made in the intelligence area after the report of the Joint Survey Group was received. The new budget made no provision for additional costs resulting from balance-of-payments difficulties.
In summary, Mr. Gates said the new budget provided for $42,930,000,000 in expenditures and for $41,855,000,000 in New Obligational Authority, an increase of $1.3 billion in expenditures and $510 million in NOA. To arrive at these figures a substantial cut-back in direct operations was necessary ($1 billion in the case of the Air Force). Secretary Gates said the details of this budget were still being changed. Last night he had met with the Service Secretaries and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and had solicited their attitude toward the new budget. He was sure that all military officers and civilian officials would support the budget adopted by the President when the President’s decision was made. Some of the Services, however, were unhappy as of now, believing that we were taking a military risk in adopting the new budget. This, he believed, was the Air Force attitude. Moreover, the Navy feels its future is not bright because it needs more ships and therefore more new obligational authority than the new budget permits. The Army feels the total budget [Page 500] figure is too low and should be increased by $1 or $2 billion. The Army feels the budget is a “division of shortages” and is concerned about the rate of modernization of the Army, even though the Army budget has been increased relatively more than the budgets of the other two Services. All the Services would like to have more manpower. Secretary Gates said that General Lemnitzer would now make a brief statement on force levels, after which he recommended that the President hear the views of the Service Secretaries and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Lemnitzer said his summary presentation was supported by a paper distributed to the Council members showing the changes in force levels.8 He reported that Army divisions would now have both nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities and that Army air defense capabilities would be enhanced by the National Guard. The budget provided for an Army personnel strength of 870,000 plus a National Guard of 630,000 (a 10 per cent reduction in the National Guard). The principal change in Army deployments was in the air defense field, resulting from a new low-level air defense missile capability. New deployments were made possible by absorbing personnel from deactivated units. Turning to the Navy, General Lemnitzer reported that by June of 1962 the Navy would have 817 combat ships. The active aircraft inventory of the Navy by that time would be reduced by some 400 planes. The major changes in Navy deployment for the period in question included placing seven Polaris submarines on station and slight reductions in the Mediterranean and Far Eastern fleets. In the Air Force, combat wings would be reduced from 96 to 84 by 1962. Manned aircraft would be reduced from 18,700 to 16,144. The Air Force expected to develop 13 Atlas squadrons, 14 Titan squadrons, and 12 Minuteman squadrons (9 hardened and 3 mobile) by 1962 although all these forces would not enter the inventory by that time. Personnel strength in the Air Force had been reduced from 825,000 to 822,900. Air Force re-deployments consisted principally of the reduction of tactical striking and reconnaissance units in Europe. General Lemnitzer concluded by requesting that the paper on deployments distributed to the Council members be returned.
The President wondered what savings could be effected in the military budget if an attempt were made to survey the National Guard reserve problem intelligently. He asked whether we were not now in a position, despite the political factor in the problem, to recommend one reserve force with a specified necessary mission. He thought we should abandon the idea of carrying 15–20 divisions overseas in general war because we know such an operation will be impossible after a nuclear exchange. He would like to see a start made in attacking this problem of the reserves. Secretary Gates said the savings would be very large if the [Page 501] National Guard and organized reserve problem could be solved. However, the problem was almost entirely a political one. The President said that the only hope for recovery and rehabilitation after a nuclear attack lay in the presence throughout the country of disciplined armed forces which could bring order out of disaster. Secretary Gates agreed with this concept but noted that the Army did not concur. Moreover, he thought there was little chance of selling the President’s concept politically unless it had firm military support. General Lemnitzer reported that National Guard and reserve training was placing increasing emphasis on civil defense responsibilities. Governor Hoegh reported that the National Guard now has a secondary mission of great importance, the support of state and local governments in the emergency and recovery phases following a nuclear attack. The National Guard would respond to the command of the state governors. He understood that training in civil defense measures was being carried forward. Secretary Herter felt that the concept of having the National Guard under the command of state governors was one of the great difficulties in this field. He said that in New England all estimates of fall-out pattern cut across the state lines of a great many states. The only hope for recovery and rehabilitation lay in a unified federal command of the armed forces in the area rather than in state command. General Lemnitzer said arrangements had been made for unified command of all the armed forces in an area.
The President said he failed to see the logic in having two types of reserve forces. Two forces were very expensive but were kept in being partly in response to the lobbies of the National Guard and the Reserve Officers Association. When we propose a 10 per cent reduction in the National Guard, Congress disallows the reduction. He would like a study made to indicate exactly what reserve forces we should have; he would like to recommend such forces and stick to that recommendation. General Lemnitzer said the National Guard formed a replacement pool of trained manpower. The President said that if General Lemnitzer was referring to a replacement pool for major combat operations, he would like to be shown how the replacements could be collected and transported to the battle areas after a nuclear attack. He felt we had not adequately studied the conditions which would prevail after such an attack. The Net Evaluation Subcommittee studies had indicated the large number of casualties that would result, the number of cities that would be destroyed, the fact that there would be no communications, and the problem of getting a government started again. The President feared we were thinking in World War II terms in dealing with the problem of the National Guard and the reserves. General Lemnitzer believed the reserves would play a vital role in recovery and rehabilitation after a nuclear attack. Moreover, the reserves would be extremely useful in limited war operations after the active divisions were deployed.[Page 502]
The President agreed that the reserves would have a certain role in limited war operations. He thought, however, that in general war, time was of the essence. It was, of course, necessary to have a disciplined force in the country for recovery and rehabilitation but he did not understand why both a National Guard and an organized reserve were required. With respect to the political problem, he thought no time was better than the present, when he was about to leave the office of President, to make new proposals. He believed a study should show what should be done from the standpoint of efficiency. The time had come to make recommendations for the kind of system we believe is needed. The President felt he could well afford to make recommendations of this character at the present time. General Lemnitzer pointed out that the paid strength of the reserves had been reduced by over 50 per cent since 1953. Further reductions are being resisted by the reserves. A reorganization of the reserves involving every governor was just being completed after a major effort at coordination. An attempt to achieve further reduction might result in upsetting this reorganization and starting over again.
The President observed that he had had the experience of seeing the National Guard called out to resist federal authority He did not believe the National Guard as such should be under the control of the states. Thus far we had not faced up to this problem. The President then asked whether the FY 1962 military budget contained any money for Dynasoar.
Secretary Gates said the new budget contained an item of $70 million for the Dynasoar project. The Air Force believed its requirements were double this figure. Ultimately, the Dynasoar program would cost $700 million. The question at issue was the rate at which the program would be developed. Dr. York said Dynasoar would cost at least $700 million and possibly more. The President asked to what use Dynasoar could be put when it was completed. Dr. York replied that completion of the project would result in the U.S. being ready to put a military man in space. Dynasoar was a follow-on to the X–15 and the NASA man-in-space programs. The present Dynasoar program was a research and development effort to effect a controlled and manned re-entry from space. The President felt that Dynasoar would be a desirable project to play around with if unlimited funds were available. However, he was not in the least impressed by the usefulness of Dynasoar as a project which would compete with other defense programs for scarce funds. The President then wondered how many Samos and Midas satellites we would have to put in orbit, assuming that these satellites became operationally feasible, and whether we could stand the cost. The President added that he had thus far been willing to retain the Samos and Midas programs in the budget because of the faith which scientists such as Dr. York had in them. Dr. York believed that Dynasoar was not nearly as important as the Samos and Midas programs.[Page 503]
General White expressed the view that the Dynasoar program was vital in order to keep the U.S. in the technological race. The President said that his comments on Dynasoar had been based on his view of the national security race rather than the technological race. General White said that Dynasoar opened up entirely new concepts of fighting a war. He believed Dynasoar was an essential part of the Air Force program. The President said General White had expressed one view of the matter but his (the President’s) view was diametrically opposed. Some of the research and development now going on was beyond imagining. The President felt that insufficient discrimination had been used in establishing priorities. He then asked how much Samos and Midas would cost by 1964.
Dr. York replied that Samos could be bought in either large or small amounts; that is, reconnaissance flights could take place frequently or as infrequently as once a year. The President believed that if Samos proved to be technically feasible, its sponsors would want a reconnaissance flight every day. Dr. York said that in the case of Midas a large number of satellites would be needed because Midas was a warning system and moreover, a warning system which was very expensive to build and operate. The cost of Midas would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. However, a warning system was a very important thing to have. Secretary Douglas said it was impossible to tell at the present time whether Midas would ever become operational. The present level of the Midas program was, however, essential in order to determine whether Midas was operationally feasible. In response to a question from the President, Dr. York said that putting one Samos in orbit three years from now would cost about $10 million. The President asked how long a single Samos would need to reconnoiter the USSR and Communist China. Dr. York said the vehicle could cover the whole of the Soviet Union in a matter of days; perhaps a dozen flights would be required to cover the USSR. Secretary Douglas said a vehicle might be kept in orbit for as long as ten days; it would attempt reconnaissance only during periods of good weather.
The President believed that Dynasoar as well as a great many research and development projects were useful concepts but he was unable to understand what practical utility a great many of these concepts would have. In his view, the defense of the U.S. depended on a balance of moral, economic, and military factors and would not be achieved by military factors alone. Financial circles abroad know of our dollar problem and were closely scrutinizing our budget. If the new budget provides for a large deficit, the result would be loss of confidence abroad and further gold withdrawals.
General Lemnitzer said the Joint Chiefs of Staff faced the problem of a lack of intelligence from inside the Soviet Union. The Chiefs were [Page 504] working in a complete intelligence vacuum. Mr. Dulles said he did not think there was a complete intelligence vacuum. For example, we know when the Soviets launch missiles. General Lemnitzer said the Joint Chiefs had less information now about Soviet activities than they had ever had before. Mr. Dulles agreed that we were getting less information now than we were able to obtain at the time U–2 flights were permitted.
Secretary Gates asked whether the President would like to hear the views of the military services. The President said he would but warned that he was difficult to convince.
Secretary Brucker said the Army would accept the final budget and support it. The budget difficulties of the Army began in 1957 with the Deutschmark problem. Until then Army was receiving in excess of $300 million a year from Germany. The Army’s procurement troubles which began in 1957 had resulted from postponing $200 million in procurement each year. The Army was now languishing from loss of adequate procurement for four years. The Army is now in difficulties because there is inadequate provision in the present budget for modernization which will be needed 18 months from now. The Army has been pressing the balanced forces concept and the idea of dual capability weapons such as Davy Crockett and Pershing. The President asked whether the Army could afford to fire Pershing with an ordinary warhead. Secretary Brucker replied it was possible to fire Pershing with a conventional warhead. Continuing, he said that 162 Army Ordnance items had been improved so markedly that analagous old equipment was completely obsolete. However, the Army could not afford to procure the improved items in adequate numbers. The Army needed “modernization money” in its budget to re-equip itself with the improved items.
The President inquired about the cost of keeping an army division in Europe as compared with the cost of maintaining it in the U.S. Secretary Brucker replied that it cost more to keep an army division in Europe or Korea than in the U.S. Mr. Stans estimated that the difference in cost was about $50 million per division per year. The President said he had always been annoyed at the idea that we had to keep the equivalent of six army divisions in Europe indefinitely. Every time we broached the idea of redeploying some divisions from Europe, there is talk about the possible break-up of NATO. He believed it was time for us to find out whether NATO was really as fragile as this talk suggested.
Secretary Brucker believed the Army could save millions if it were allowed to modernize its equipment. He referred to the M–113 personnel carrier which weighed half as much as the old personnel carrier and did a more effective job for half the cost. Secretary Douglas said large quantities of M–113’s were provided for in the budget. Secretary Brucker gave as a further example the M–60 tank which he said cost less than the M–48 or the M–48 retrofit. Moreover, the M–60 had a better gun, a greater [Page 505] radius, and was more maneuverable. Secretary Gates said the improved equipment referred to by Secretary Brucker was being budgeted for the Army. The issue was how quickly could the entire Army be re-equipped. Secretary Brucker said that a great deal of army modernization could be effected by a slight increase in the Army budget.
Secretary Herter inquired about airlift capabilities in the new budget. Secretary Gates replied that a substantial number of Lockheed–130 planes were provided for in the budget.
Secretary Franke9 said the Navy had two budgetary problems; people in uniform and obsolescence. With respect to the first problem, the complexity of modern weapons and modern ships required more personnel whose training period had to be longer. Moreover, industry had been successful in getting trained personnel away from the Navy. As a result, a big in-put was required for a small output. The Navy had closed a great many installations already and was endeavoring to close additional ones. However, every time a proposal is made to close a Navy installation, opposition develops in Congress. The Navy is now trying to close three shipyards, one of which is in Boston. Secretary Franke doubted that the Navy could continue to do its job with the present personnel ceiling of 625,000 men plus 175,000 marines. The second problem, that of obsolescence, involved the replacement of old equipment with new and more expensive equipment. Adequate replacement was not feasible under present budgetary limitations. It could not be said that the Navy was fully modern at the present time.
Admiral Burke said that in 1964 or 1965 when new ships now being built would enter the fleet, over half of the fleet would still be comprised of World War II vessels. Modern ships needed to have six to seven times the sonar and ASW capabilities of World War II ships. It was possible that the Navy would have World War II equipment in action ten years from now. As a result of delay in ship replacement, the Navy would face serious problems five to ten years in the future. The President noted that the Navy was putting a great many resources into Polaris and attack submarines. He wondered what the face of warfare would be like five to six years from now and what naval measures we should take now to induce the USSR to estimate that it would not be profitable to attack the U.S. He asked whether Admiral Burke was suggesting that all old naval vessels should be replaced.
Admiral Burke said he was not suggesting ship-for-ship replacement. Polaris submarines were causing the Soviet Union a great deal of concern. The Soviets were doing everything possible to develop missile submarines of the Polaris type. The U.S. must maintain a Polaris submarine [Page 506] capability and at the same time must have an attack submarine capability in order to destroy enemy missile-launching submarines. Moreover, there was always the possibility of a limited war for which we would have to furnish forces. It was essential for the Navy to have the limited war capability of protecting the forces which would be engaged in a limited war overseas. The President believed that limited war capabilities should not have the same priority as general war capabilities. Admiral Burke pointed out that anti-submarine warfare capabilities were needed by the Navy for both limited and general war.
Secretary Sharp said that the Air Force would also support the budget finally decided on by the President. He did not know whether General White would agree but he believed that the present modernization program for the Air Force, although not as large as he would like, was probably adequate. The Air Force would like to construct “building blocks” for future warfare. Dynasoar and Midas were examples of these “building blocks.” One solution to the budgetary problem might be a NATO force. If the Air Force could achieve the ability to rotate its forces, it might be able to reduce its overseas commitment. An important Air Force economy policy consisted of closing bases and depots. The Air Force had recently announced the closing of four bases, two in Republican territory and two in Democratic territory. The Air Force would continue an effort to reduce its personnel but it must go on with a development program so that it would have the advanced weapons it needed in the event of war in the future. The difference between a quite adequate budget and one which was slightly marginal was in the order of 1 or 2 per cent.
The President said that anyone who sat in the center of the budgetary pressures as he did was apt to be sensitive. He hesitated to oppose his dedicated old associates in the military services. The only thing he could do was to ask the officers who formed the “hinge” between the people and the armed forces to take into consideration all the problems that impinge on him, e.g. the soundness of the dollar and its relationship to defense problems and to a balanced budget. The President believed that a balanced budget would be a tremendous service in helping to solve the dollar problem. There was, however, very little he could do to effect large savings. Military officers who made decisions could have a real effect on the budget. Even if new taxes are suggested, the point of diminishing returns would soon be reached. The President realized that on a “scare” basis, budgets could be increased for a year or so but he was now talking about the next fifty years. The U.S. had to be strong in all fields. We could not destroy morale by forced measures and economic controls which might destroy the economy. He believed it was the duty of military officers to get along with less if at all possible. He realized it was also the duty of military officers to ensure the military safety of the U.S. but he [Page 507] believed that no absolute assurance on this point could ever be given. Our principal objective must be to convince the Soviets that they cannot attack us with impunity. The President then said he wanted, with respect to the FY 1961 budget, to make sure that this government could continue to operate until next June without going further into debt.
Mr. Stans said a new budget never pleased everyone. He believed the new military budget was a good budget since it seemed to spread dissatisfactions quite widely. He believed this budget could be lowered somewhat if the proper decisions were possible. However, the Bureau of the Budget had participated closely in the formulation of the military budget this year and he believed the present budget was realistic and that he could not conscientiously press for significantly lower amounts. On the other hand, he would oppose any action looking toward an increase in the new military budget.
The President said he was convinced that everyone would support the new military budget. He wanted the best possible corporate decisions made on these military problems since no one man could be sure that his decisions were correct. He would like to find out what percentage of increased security the U.S. would obtain for each percentage of increased cost. We must avoid authorizing advanced scientific programs now which will saddle us with enormous costs five to ten years from now. He realized that many people were estimating that we would have a greater GNP in the future. He wondered, however, whether any greater economic growth was possible without inflation, in which case our monetary unit would be dollarettes instead of dollars.
Mr. Gray said the Record of Actions would show that subject to the normal budgetary process and final action by the President, U.S. military programs for FY 1962 as recommended by the Secretary of Defense were generally consistent with national security policy objectives. Secretary Herter said he had one reservation to this proposed recommended action. He had not seen the details of the military budget and, therefore, felt it was difficult to go on record as endorsing the budget. He wondered whether it would not be preferable to state in the record that the military budget had been reported to and discussed by the Council but that no formal action had been taken. Mr. Gray felt it would be preferable to indicate in the record that the budget as outlined by the Secretary of Defense at this meeting was generally consistent with current national security objectives. Secretary Gates added that he could not conscientiously put forward a budget which would in his view violate national security policy.[Page 508]
The National Security Council:10
- Noted and discussed an oral summary by the Secretary of Defense of the general outline of his recommendations as to the U.S. Military Programs for FY 1962, supplemented by an oral statement on the subject by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; in the light of comments thereon by the Service Secretaries and the Chiefs of Staff.
- Noted the President’s conviction that the time had arrived to make a realistic analysis of the National Guard and Organized Reserve Programs with a view to determining, in the light of practical judgments as to currently foreseeable wartime conditions, whether the two types of Reserve units are still required and what actual missions they might be expected to perform, the number of personnel required, and the appropriate extent of Federal control and support.
- Agreed that, subject to the normal budgetary process and final action by the President, the over-all outline of the U.S. Military Programs for FY 1962, as recommended by the Secretary of Defense at this meeting, is generally consistent with national security policy objectives.
Note: The above action, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretary of Defense.
[Here follow Agenda Items 4. “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security,” and 5. “U.S. Policy Toward Korea.”]
- Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Boggs.↩
- Complete copies of NSC 6013 are ibid., Records of the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, NSC Series, and in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, Policy Papers File. A copy without the sections on “The Military Program” and “The Atomic Energy Program” is in Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 6013 Series. “The Military Program” is ibid., S/S–NSC Files: Lot 71 D 171, NSC 6013. Part of the latter section is in the Supplement. Although attached to a December 7 covering memorandum from Lay to the Council, that section contains later modifications that apparently resulted from the discussion above.↩
- Not found.↩
- See footnote 5, Document 127.↩
- Reference is to the Declaration published on December 5 by the 81 Communist Parties attending the Moscow Conference of World Communist Leaders.↩
- See footnote 1, Document 36, and footnote 1, Document 79.↩
- The following paragraph and note constitute NSC Action No. 2341, approved by the President on December 17. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)↩
- See footnote 12, Document 79.↩
- Not found.↩
- William B. Franke, Secretary of the Navy.↩
- The following paragraphs and note constitute NSC Action No. 2342, approved by the President on December 17. (Department of State, S/S–NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)↩