22. Paper by the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Cutler)0
Washington, May 1, 1958.
MAJOR FACTORS INFLUENCING REVIEW OF BASIC POLICY
- First. The realization that both sides are capable of delivering massive nuclear devastation (regardless of which side strikes first) increasingly deters each side from initiating, or taking actions which directly risk, general nuclear war.
- Second. During this time of nuclear parity and mutual deterrence: (a) there is growing doubt in the Free World whether the United States will use its massive nuclear capability, except in retaliation to direct attack on the United States or its forces, leading to a growth of neutralism and a weakening of Free World alliances; (b) the USSR will be more bold—especially toward less developed and uncommitted nations—in economic penetration, in political action, and perhaps in probing through means of limited military aggression.
- Third. Weakness or instability in less developed or uncommitted nations, and their primary aim for “modernization”, renders them vulnerable to expanding Sino-Soviet political and economic penetration.
- Fourth. Changes in top Kremlin personnel do not indicate a deterioration or disintegration in the Soviet regime’s policy or determination to achieve world domination for Communism.
- Fifth. A U.S. massive nuclear retaliatory capability, invulnerable and sufficient to deter general nuclear war, and to prevail in such a war if it comes.
- Sixth. A U.S. flexible and selective capability (including nuclear) to deter or suppress limited military aggression; realizing that the chances of keeping a conflict limited—whenever major areas or causes are involved—are at best not promising.
- Seventh. Advances in Soviet military technology and scientific skill.
- Eighth. The false images presented by Communism to the world of U.S. intentions and objectives, and of the USSR as the advocate of “peace and disarmament”.
- Ninth. The adverse effect of the U.S. economic recession upon a healthy, expanding U.S. economy, which is essential to the security of the United States and the Free World.
- Tenth. The ability of the Soviet and Chinese Communist regimes to direct their economic strength in support of internal and external policies which seek world domination.
- Eleventh. The American people lack appreciation of the extent of the crisis facing the United States.