70. National Security Council Report0

NSC 5906/1

[Here follow a note from Lay to the National Security Council and a table of contents.]



1. The spiritual, moral, and material posture of the United State 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 the basis of the respect and leadership which have been accorded our nation by the peoples of the world.

Our constant aim at home is to preserve the liberties, expand the individual opportunities and enrich the lives of our people. Our goal abroad must be to strive unceasingly, in concert with other nations, for peace, security and justice and to establish our nation firmly as the pioneer in breaking through new levels of human achievement and well-being.

These principles and fundamental values must continue to inspire and guide our policies and actions at home and abroad. 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 policy.

Section A

Outline of U.S. National Strategy

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

3. The basic threat to U.S. security is the determination and ability of the hostile Soviet and Chinese Communist regimes to direct their political [Page 293] and ideological influence and their rapidly growing military and economic strength toward shifting the power balance away from the West and, ultimately, toward achieving world domination.

The chief elements of this threat lie in (a) the Soviets’ possession of rapidly growing nuclear capabilities (which have made the Soviet leaders feel freer to adopt an aggressive posture in peripheral areas) as well as large conventional forces; (b) the Soviet regime’s ability and willingness to identify itself with various forms of political and social discontent and popular opposition to the status quo; to support subversive elements, including legal political parties, within free societies, to apply substantial resources for the purpose of fostering and exploiting various kinds of weakness and instability in all parts of the Free World; and, particularly in the neutralist and less developed societies, to take advantage of pressures for economic and social change; (c) the extent to which the totalitarian Communist leadership is able to act ruthlessly and rapidly and to repudiate agreements without being subject to moral restraints.

The first danger to U.S. security lies in any neglect on our part to retain adequate deterrent power. However, the danger to U.S. security from the Communist threat lies not only in general war or local aggression but in the possibility of a future shift in the East-West balance of power. Such a shift could be caused by a gradual erosion of Western positions via means short of force, and over time by a continued growth of over-all Communist strength at a rate significantly greater than that of the West. The U.S. ability to deal with the Communist threat is complicated by: (a) lack of sufficient Free World awareness of the nature, dimensions, and probable long-term duration of the crisis; (b) existing and growing uncertainty as to whether U.S. massive nuclear capabilities would be used to defend Free World interests; and (c) the possibility of serious differences in outlook and policy among Free World nations, including questions concerning the use of nuclear weapons.

4. The initiation by the United States of preventive war to reduce Soviet or Chinese Communist military power is not an acceptable course either to the United States or its major allies. Therefore, U.S. policy must be designed: (a) to reduce the threat of Soviet or Chinese Communist military power by other means (such as a safe-guarded arms control agreement with the USSR); and (b) in a time of relative nuclear parity and increased Sino-Soviet political and economic aggressiveness, to place greater emphasis on non-military measures.

5. The basic task for the United States is to minimize the basic threat by mobilizing and effectively employing, while seeking to preserve fundamental American values and institutions, U.S. and Free World spiritual and material resources over a long period and at an adequate and sustained level, in order to: (a) maintain adequate military strength to deter or successfully wage war and survive as a nation capable of controlling [Page 294] its own destiny, and civilian preparedness which will contribute thereto; (b) encourage sound and vigorous domestic economic growth and progress; (c) strengthen the integrity and unity of the Free World; (d) succeed in the over-all contest with the USSR for world leadership; and (e) engage in continuous diplomatic efforts to remove the causes of world tension through negotiation.

6. U.S. policies, for which the full support of the American people should be enlisted, and U.S. and other Free World resources effectively used to carry out the task described in paragraph 5 above, must be designed:

To support the desires and efforts of Free World nations to promote sound economic growth and acceptable political development in the Free World, as a means of taking the initiative not only to meet the Communist threat but also to create an international environment in which the values and institutions of freedom can be sustained.
To accelerate acceptable changes in the character and policies of the Sino-Soviet Bloc regimes.
To prevent the occurrence of general war without sacrificing vital U.S. security interests; or if general war occurs to prevail and survive as a nation capable of controlling its own destiny.
To deter Communist limited military aggression or, if necessary, to defeat such aggression in a manner and on a scale best calculated to keep hostilities from broadening into general war.
To prevent Communism from gaining political control of independent nations by subversion or other means short of war.
To destroy or neutralize the international Communist apparatus in the Free World.
To seek safeguarded arms control agreements as a means of reducing the threat of Sino-Soviet military power.
To preserve, for the people of the United States, the basic human concepts, values and institutions which have been nourished and defended throughout our history.

7. The United States should seek to foster understanding of the principles underlying American institutions and the life and culture of the people of the United States; to prevent distortions; and to correct them when they occur.

8. The United States must take fully into account the fact that the psychological impact abroad of our policies—domestic as well as foreign—plays a crucial part in the over-all advancement of U.S. objectives. It is essential, therefore, that along with the pertinent military, political and economic considerations, the psychological factor be given due weight during the policy-forming process. After specific policies have been determined, implementing actions and statements supporting these policies should be coordinated and presented publicly in a manner that will best advance U.S. objectives.

9. The national strategy outlined above requires a flexible and coordinated, overt and covert, combination of military, political, and economic [Page 295] actions, consistent with the national posture described in paragraph 1 above. This strategy is designed to achieve the basic objective of U.S. national security policy by deterring or being prepared successfully to wage general or limited war, and by effectively conducting the cold war with the Sino-Soviet Bloc for whatever period of time the basic threat to U.S. security may continue. The succeeding sections of this document amplify policy guidance as to the elements of this national strategy which are applicable to the various national security efforts. The following elements of national strategy should be applied to each national security effort in a manner which will on balance make the maximum contribution to the achievement of the objectives outlined above. Carried out with imagination, initiative and resolution, and with a proper and sufficient use of resources, this general strategy can enable the United States, as the leader of an interdependent Free World, to achieve its basic objective.

Section B

Elements of U.S. National Strategy

I. Military Elements of National Strategy

10. 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 general nuclear war, a danger of local conflicts developing into general 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.

11. 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 prevail in general war should one 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.

12. a. 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 Armed Forces of the United States; and to use them when required to meet the nation’s war objectives. Planning should contemplate situations short of general war where the use of nuclear weapons would manifestly not be militarily necessary nor appropriate to the accomplishment of national objectives, particularly in those areas where main Communist power will not be brought to bear. Designated commanders [Page 296] will be prepared to use nuclear weapons when required in defense of the command. Advance authorization for the use of nuclear weapons is as determined by the President.1

b. The U.S. nuclear stockpile should include, in varying sizes and yields, standard weapons, and clean2 weapons as feasible, to provide flexible and selective capabilities for general or limited war, as may be required to achieve national objectives.

13. The United States will be prepared to use chemical and biological weapons to the extent that such use will enhance the military effectiveness of the armed forces. The decision as to their use will be made by the President.

14. 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 and biological weapons is made by the President.

15. 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 Soviet leaders are uncertain of their ability to neutralize the U.S. nuclear retaliatory power, there is little reason to expect them deliberately to initiate general war or actions which they believe would carry appreciable risk of general war, and thereby endanger the regime and the security of the USSR.

16. Military planning for U.S. forces to oppose local aggression will be based on a flexible and selective capability, including nuclear capability for use in cases authorized by the President. Within the total U.S. military forces there must be included ready forces which, in conjunction with indigenous forces and 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 such aggression, or to hold it pending the application of such additional U.S. and allied power as may be required to defeat it quickly. 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. When the use of U.S. forces is required to oppose local aggression, force should be [Page 297] promptly and resolutely applied in a degree necessary to defeat such local aggression. Force should be applied in a manner and on a scale best calculated to prevent hostilities broadening into general war. Local aggression as the term [is] used in this paragraph refers to conflicts occurring outside the NATO area in which limited U.S. forces participate because U.S. interests are involved. Conflicts occurring in the NATO area or elsewhere involving sizable forces of the United States and the USSR should not be construed as local aggression. Incidents in the NATO area such as incursions, infiltrations and hostile local actions, involving the United States and the USSR, are covered by the NATO political directive and strategic concept.

17. In order to maximize the contribution of U.S. military power to the achievement of over-all national objectives, to the extent consistent with primary missions, the capabilities of U.S. military forces should be utilized in appropriate ways to reinforce and support overt and covert political, economic, psychological, technological, and cultural measures in order to achieve national objectives.

18. U.S. security is predicated upon the support and cooperation of appropriate major allies and certain other Free World nations, in providing and using their share of military forces in the common defense and in furnishing bases for U.S. military power. The entire overseas base system should continue to be reviewed periodically in order to assure that base requirements are adequately met and are related realistically to developments in weapons technology and other factors.

19. Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM’s) will be positioned only in those NATO and other Free World nations which demonstrate a desire to have them and officially request them. Proposals for the positioning of IRBM’s outside the NATO areas will be subject to approval by the President.

20. The United States should, as practicable, strengthen the collective defense system and induce Western European and other allies with well-developed economies to increase their share in collective defense. 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 carry out its obligations for their defense and possesses the capability to fulfill its commitments. In particular, to counter existing uncertainty, the United States should reaffirm that its nuclear weapons will be used, as necessary, to defend Free World interests.

21. The United States should continue efforts to educate the Free World as to the importance of nuclear weapons as an integral part of the arsenal of the Free World and the need for their prompt and selective use when required.

[Page 298]

22. Taking into account the protection of classified data, the essential requirements of U.S. forces and production capabilities, the United States should continue to provide to selected allies, capable of using them effectively, advanced weapons systems (including nuclear weapons systems with the elements required by law to be under U.S. control, readily available).

23. Special attention should be directed to assisting selected allies rapidly to develop and produce in concert, through NATO, their own advanced weapons systems (less nuclear elements), and to facilitating and increasing the exchange and utilization of Free World scientific and technological resources.

24. a. The United States should discourage:

The development by additional nations of national nuclear weapons production capabilities.
The acquisition of national control over nuclear weapons components by nations which do not now possess them.

b. Whenever the President determines it is in the U.S. security interests to do so, however, the United States should enhance the nuclear weapons capability of selected allies by the exchange with them or provision to them as appropriate of (1) information; (2) materials; or (3) nuclear weapons, under arrangements for control of weapons to be determined.

c. In anticipation of the possible acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability by such allies, the United States should now urgently consider within the Executive Branch plans for the development of NATO arrangements for determining requirements for, holding custody of, and controlling the use of nuclear weapons.

d. Legislation should be sought when and as necessary for b and c above.

25. a. The United States should continue to provide military and support assistance to nations whose increased ability to defend themselves and to make their appropriate contributions to collective military power is important to the security of the United States. To the extent possible without sacrifice of U.S. security, the United States should seek to reduce requirements for military assistance by encouraging recipient nations to maintain only those indigenous forces which are of a size and composition commensurate with the external threat and in so far as practicable with their economic ability, taking due account of U.S. capabilities and collective security arrangements. In each instance where an external threat exists, it should be determined whether one or both of the following objectives are appropriate for the armed forces receiving assistance: (1) to enable the recipient to contribute to its own self-defense; (2) to enable the recipient to contribute to collective security efforts. While forces maintained for the foregoing purposes will also help meet internal [Page 299] security needs, these needs should normally be met by encouraging the maintenance of police and constabulary-type forces.

b. The United States should also be prepared to provide limited military assistance to other selected nations which are demonstrating a willingness to defend and strengthen their independence, in order (1)to influence such nations toward a Free World alignment, or (2) to seek to prevent them from falling within the Communist sphere of influence.

c. Consistent with U.S. security, support of police and constabulary-type forces should be used as a means: (1) of satisfying future requests for military assistance by countries having no existing military establishments or agreed military missions, and (2) of reducing, in other cases, requests for the support of additional military forces, where these requests cannot otherwise be discouraged.

26. In furthering U.S. objectives, the United States should, in appropriate cases, encourage and support the participation of indigenous military and para-military forces in less developed nations in economic, social and psychological programs provided that such participation will not significantly detract from the capability of the forces so engaged to perform military missions which the United States considers essential.

27. 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 remain determined to oppose aggression despite risk of general war and must make this determination clear. The United States must also make clear its determination to prevail if general war occurs. To strengthen the deterrent to limited aggression and to reduce the danger of limited aggression expanding into general war, the United States should, in appropriate cases, make timely communication of its intentions.

28. a. Dynamic research and development for military application are a necessity for the continued maintenance of effective armed forces and an adequate U.S. military posture. The military technology of the United States and its allies required to support these objectives should be superior to the military technology of the Soviet Bloc. During any nuclear weapons test moratorium, research and development should go forward as rapidly and as far as possible on nuclear weapons even though nuclear testing is not permitted.

b. The United States must tap the basic and most advanced research of the nation, both private and governmental, so that it can rapidly take advantage of new discoveries, including those related to outer space, which may profoundly influence military technology. Moreover, the United States must speed up by all practicable steps the translation of [Page 300] research and development into an appropriate flow of new weapons and equipment to the armed forces.

c. Measures should be undertaken to increase mutual support between the United States and its allies in selective research and development for military application.

II. International Political and Economic Strategy

29. So long as the United States and its allies maintain an adequate deterrent posture, the Sino-Soviet Bloc, although not abandoning its use of force, can be expected to place chief reliance on political, economic and subversive means (including the provision of military assistance) to further its objectives, taking advantage of its rapidly growing economic strength and its considerable maneuverability in directing the use of its economic resources. The United States must therefore devote increased attention to the non-military aspects of the world-wide contest with the Sino-Soviet Bloc.

A. Strengthening the Free World.

30. 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 Sino-Soviet Bloc. The ability of the Free World to deal successfully with the competition of the Sino-Soviet Bloc will depend in large measure on demonstrated progress in meeting the political, economic and ideological aspirations of Free World peoples. In the long run, it is in the interest of the United States and of the Free World that this progress be accompanied by the spread of individual freedoms and the growth of democratic institutions and practices. In helping to remedy conditions throughout the Free World which are readily susceptible to Communist exploitation, the United States should take timely action designed to avoid further deterioration which might require more costly and less certain measures (including military action), to reverse.

31. The United States should continue to provide leadership for the Free World, directing both U.S. political and economic policies to this end and implementing them with vigor, initiative and imagination. Accordingly, the United States should act:

To increase in all Free World nations: (1) mutuality of interest and common purpose; (2) confidence in the United States through better understanding of its national purposes and as a result of its actions; and (3) the will, strength, and stability necessary to maintain their independence.
To convince Free World nations that the political, economic and ideological aspirations of their peoples can be better realized within the [Page 301] Free World than under the Communist system; and to assist them in their efforts to realize such aspirations.
To neutralize the Communist apparatus in the Free World.
To prevent the political and economic efforts of the Sino-Soviet Bloc from subverting or gaining political control of independent nations or undermining Free World economic institutions.
To obtain a substantial increase in the over-all contribution from the industrialized nations of Western Europe to the security and progress of the Free World, including intensified support and encouragement of sound economic progress in the less developed nations.

32. The United States should continue its full support of, and active leadership in, the United Nations and the related intergovernmental organizations, and do what it can appropriately to strengthen these organizations and to foster responsible and constructive attitudes to meet changing circumstances. It should seek to make effective use of the United Nations to settle international disputes; to promote collective security, through measures to avert or limit local conflicts; to advance dependent peoples and less developed nations through such measures as technical assistance and trusteeships (without, however, the UN’s becoming an instrumentality for development financing); and to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character. The United Nations can serve and should be used to the extent possible to mobilize Free World opinion in support of U.S. policies, to expose inimical Communist aims and actions, and to counter Communist propaganda. The United States should continue to utilize the UN mechanism for diplomatic and other contracts, particularly in the realm of quiet diplomacy and for intelligence. In implementing the basic policies stated above, the United States should continue to take into account the implication for the attainment of U.S. objectives of the changing composition of the United Nations, particularly as it may affect the voting situation in the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies.

33. 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 work, as appropriate, with organizations which reflect progress toward such integration or increased cooperation among European nations.3

34. While reserving its right of independent action, the United States must adapt its policies to preserve the alignment of allied and certain [Page 302] other friendly nations with the United States in world affairs and to provide clear evidence of the dependability and value of the friendship of the United States. In this connection the United States should make effective and appropriate use, consistent with bilateral and international cooperation, of regional collective security systems, such as NATO, OAS and SEATO, and other regional arrangements. Maintaining the vitality of the NATO Alliance is essential to carrying out effectively our national strategy to meet the threat of the Communist Bloc.

35. With respect to less developed nations electing a neutral foreign policy, the United States should recognize that the independence of such nations from Communist control meets the minimum U.S. objective. While avoiding in so far as possible courses of action which appear to reflect more consideration by the United States for neutrals than for friendly nations, the United States should support such neutral less developed nations if they are demonstrating a willingness to defend and strengthen their independence. The United States, while providing incentives where feasible for the eventual incorporation of less developed nations in effective regional collective defense systems, should avoid exerting pressures to make active allies of nations not so inclined. At the same time, the United States should constantly seek means of encouraging a maximum identification of interests and attitudes between these neutral nations and the United States and its allies, and should promote practical forms of cooperation in non-military fields of activity.

36. While maintaining correct diplomatic and other relations with recognized governments, the United States should also through appropriate channels maintain contact with selected elements of the non-Communist opposition to recognized governments in a manner which: (a) will not seriously impede the achievement of the U.S. objectives through the recognized government; or (b) will not associate the United States with efforts to overthrow recognized governments.

37. The United States should continue its traditional support for ultimate self-determination for dependent territories in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It should seek (a) to work with, rather than against, constructive nationalist and reform movements in these territories when convinced of their present or potential power or influence; and (b) to prevent the capture of such movements by Communism. It should give timely and appropriate political support to newly emergent states, including support for UN membership if qualified. In areas of recent or emerging independence, the United States should, whenever it appears desirable, encourage federation or other appropriate larger political groupings, both among the newly independent states themselves and between them and other Free World states, including the European metropoles, so as to minimize the number of politically weak and economically [Page 303] non-viable nations created. Where disputes or tensions involve the relations of a major U.S. ally with a dependent area, the United States should, when in the Free World interest, use its influence in behalf of an orderly evolution of political arrangements toward self-determination, and should seek to strengthen forces of moderation in both the dependent and metropolitan areas.

38. In addition to its own actions outlined above, the United States should, in both dependent and newly independent areas, encourage Western European nations to recognize and work with responsible nationalist forces and to accept such changes in political relationships as may best preserve over the long term a pro-Western, or at least a neutralist, orientation as well as strong economic and cultural ties to the West. The United States should encourage and, to the extent feasible, rely on Western European nations to influence and support their respective dependent or recently dependent areas so long as such encouragement and reliance are consistent with U.S. security interests. If and when such encouragement and reliance are not in the U.S. interest, the United States should determine its own independent course of action in each case by taking into account: (a) the need for establishing friendly working relationships with the newly emerging states; (b) the need to incline these states toward the Free World rather than toward the Communist world; (c) the effect of our policies on Free World states having a colonial heritage; and (d) the need for maintaining Free World harmony, including friendly relationships and consultations as appropriate with the metropolitan powers.

39. a. In nations vulnerable to Communist 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 nations to the methods and dangers of Communist subversion.
Conduct civil police and other overt and covert programs and activities to combat Communist subversive forces and techniques.
Encourage and assist friendly nations to develop covert operations coordinated with our own activities.
In the event of an imminent or actual Communist seizure of control from within, take all feasible measures to thwart it, including military action if finally required and appropriate to cope with the situation.

b. The United States should be prepared, if required to protect U.S. interests, to take similar actions against subversion or armed rebellion by non-Communist elements hostile to U.S. interests.

40. Wherever feasible without creating antagonism in Free World nations toward the United States, the United States should encourage those nations which are particularly vulnerable to Communist subversion [Page 304] to minimize their political and cultural contacts with the Sino-Soviet Bloc, to avoid extensive use of Sino-Soviet Bloc technicians, and to limit other Sino-Soviet Bloc economic contacts to those required for the conduct of such trade and economic aid programs as they consider it advisable to accept.

41. Recognizing foreign labor’s importance to the fulfillment of U.S. national security objectives, the United States should utilize appropriate means for encouraging democratic labor elements to support and advance U.S. interests and to defeat Communist efforts to infiltrate and control foreign trade union organizations. Whenever desirable, from the standpoint of U.S. national security interests, the U.S. Government should seek coordinated efforts in this field with those of U.S. trade unions and other organizations.

42. The foreign economic policy of the United States should be directed to the promotion of strong, healthy, and expanding Free World economies. To this end, the United States should:

Foster a high level of international trade and investment within the Free World by: (1) continuing to press strongly for a general reduction of trade barriers within the Free World; (2) maintaining a liberal import policy, and seeking to reduce further its own tariffs and trade restrictions over the next few years on a reciprocal basis in accordance with established trade agreement principles having due regard for foreign policy objectives, national security and total national advantage; (3) taking into account the impact on our foreign policy objectives (especially the collective security effort) of any proposed actions which would adversely affect imports from friendly countries; (4) encouraging the further extension of convertibility of currencies and the elimination of discriminatory trade and currency restrictions; (5) encouraging the expansion of private enterprise and investment for Free World development, especially in less developed nations; and (6) promoting both governmental and private international economic cooperation.
Provide economic assistance at a total level consistent with the objectives we seek to achieve in the world, being prepared to provide such assistance (on a grant or loan basis as appropriate in the particular circumstances) to Free World nations when other means of attaining over-all U.S. objectives are insufficient and when these objectives can be advanced significantly thereby. Any 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.
Conduct the disposal of U.S. surplus agricultural products abroad so as to be consistent with and to give support to our foreign policy objectives and to avoid material injury to the trade of friendly nations.

43. Dangers to Free World security arising from economic weaknesses are particularly acute in the less developed areas where they arise [Page 305] out of the disparity between low levels of economic achievement and the aspirations of peoples for more rapid improvement in living standards, rapid population increases, bitter national and colonial disputes, internal political instability, and increasingly vigorous Communist efforts toward economic penetration. The United States should vigorously support and encourage sound economic growth and development in these areas. To this end, recognizing that major changes in traditional habits and attitudes, greater technical and administrative skills, and more capital will be required, the United States should:

Encourage less developed nations to undertake desirable political, economic and social reforms.
Encourage governments of individual less developed nations to follow policies and develop institutional arrangements which would facilitate mobilization of local capital for domestic economic development and would promote both domestic and foreign private investment.
Press Free World industrialized countries to facilitate movements of private capital abroad and to supply public capital to less developed nations and, where appropriate, to join with the United States in combined efforts to build economic strength in the less developed nations.
Utilize and support the efforts of Free World international financial institutions to the maximum extent possible to promote economic development and to bring about economic reforms in less developed nations.
Facilitate the movement of U.S. private investment abroad, especially by tax and other incentives applicable to less developed nations.
Make U.S. public capital available in adequate amounts on a long-term basis for the purpose of supplementing the capital available from other sources for sound economic development in less developed areas. U.S. lending agencies should be assured of continuity in order to contribute to this purpose.
Continue to emphasize its own technical assistance programs and devote more effort, and encourage similar action by other Free World nations, to the development of local leaders, administrators, and skilled personnel, by strengthening educational institutions, by greatly expanding training in administrative and technical skills and by providing competent advisers.
Increase its contact and exchange opportunities for citizens of less developed nations.
Encourage greater use of scientific and technological developments to overcome obstacles to economic progress.
Encourage less developed nations to expand educational facilities and opportunities, especially in administrative and technical fields, and to share their knowledge and techniques with each other.
Emphasize the broader objectives of economic development which include the enhancement of the dignity of the individual and the preservation of human freedoms as well as the defeat of poverty, disease, and undernourishment.
Continue to the fullest extent practicable, and taking into account all relevant economic and political considerations, to utilize U.S. assistance so as to promote and encourage private enterprise in the less developed countries.

44. a. In implementing the policies in paragraph 43 above, the United States should not encourage aspirations for economic development in excess of economic capabilities, or unrealistic expectations of external economic assistance, and should accordingly seek to support economic actions which are within the limits of practical realization.

b. Without minimizing the need for appropriate initiative on the part of the United States in encouraging sound economic progress in the less developed areas, it should be recognized that the basic initiative as well as the primary responsibility for economic growth, and for providing the bulk of the resources required for development, must remain with the less developed nations themselves. In its actions the United States should seek to avoid giving the impression that the United States is guaranteeing or underwriting the achievement of specific rates of economic growth or the fulfillment of over-all economic targets in less developed countries.

45. In order to meet the challenge posed by the Sino-Soviet Bloc economic offensive, the United States should:

Vigorously press forward its own positive programs to promote economic development in less developed areas.
Make the less developed nations fully aware of the opportunities open to them to achieve economic progress through expanding trade with the United States and the rest of the Free World, through private capital and through the effective utilization of the economic and technical assistance offered by the United States and other Free World nations.
Alert less developed nations to the probability that the Sino-Soviet Bloc will attempt to utilize trade and assistance programs as a technique for political subversion.
Nonetheless maintain a flexible posture which seeks to minimize damage to U.S. prestige in the event of acceptance by less developed nations of economic relations with the Sino-Soviet Bloc, recognizing that in general less developed nations can be expected to trade with and accept economic assistance from the Bloc whenever it appears to be economically or politically advantageous to them.
In general, avoid attempts to counter each and every move in the Sino-Soviet Bloc offensive. However, such measures as may be feasible in particular circumstances (including in very exceptional cases only, [Page 307] direct actions in aid or trade taken specifically for this purpose) may be taken to discourage less developed nations from: (1) accepting Sino-Soviet Bloc aid in certain particularly sensitive fields of a kind or on terms which would be damaging to their security; and (2)engaging in trade with the Sino-Soviet Bloc at levels sufficient to create undue economic dependence on the Bloc, or on terms or under conditions seriously prejudicial to U.S. interests.

B. Influencing the Communist Bloc.

46. a. In addition to political, military, and economic programs and actions to prevent further expansion of Communist influence and steadily to improve the relative position of the Free World, the United States, where appropriate in cooperation with other Free World nations, should seek to influence the Communist Bloc by:

Giving to the peoples of Communist nations, as well as those of the rest of the world, a clear conception of the true U.S. and Free World purposes, including uncompromising U.S. determination to resist Sino-Soviet Bloc aggressive moves and uphold freedom; and otherwise to correct the distorted Communist view of the world.
Making clear to the peoples of Communist nations, as well as those of the rest of the world, that the Free World opposes the Sino-Soviet Bloc because of Communist imperialism, continued use of violence and subversion, and its denial of human liberty and dignity to peoples who have come under its domination.
Convincing the Communist leaders and their peoples that there are alternatives to their regimes’ present policies which would be acceptable to the United States and which they should come to consider compatible with their own security interests.
Encouraging the Communist regimes to take measures which make more difficult the reversal of policies more acceptable to us.

b. Advantage should be taken of every suitable opportunity to accomplish paragraph a above by such measures as expansion of Free World-Soviet Bloc exchanges and contacts, appropriate liberalization of restrictions of peaceful trade, exploitation of Sino-Soviet Bloc vulnerabilities, and the negotiating process, appropriate use of information media, and peaceful cooperation with the USSR in fields not inimical to U.S. security. The United States and the Free World should carry out these measures so as not to affect adversely the Free World’s will to resist Communism, taking the initiative whenever possible and with a view to making a favorable impact upon the Free World, including uncommitted peoples.

47. a. The United States should encourage expansion of U.S.-Soviet Bloc exchanges and selective expansion of Free World-Soviet Bloc exchanges, and continue to sponsor specific proposals, which are chosen particularly with the view to:

Sustaining current ferment in the thinking, and fostering evolutionary trends within the Bloc.
Maintaining Free World initiative and leadership for advantageous reductions of barriers to free communications and peaceful trade.
Increasing the acquisition of useful intelligence concerning the Sino-Soviet Bloc and scientific information.
Avoiding a net disadvantage to the Free World from such contacts.

If such proposals are rejected by the Bloc, we should utilize these rejections to expose the reality behind the Soviet facade.

b. In considering proposals for U.S.-Soviet Bloc contacts, the United States should: (1) weigh the potential advantages against the adverse effect of the U.S. example upon other Free World nations more vulnerable to Communist penetration; and (2) discreetly inform Free World nations that expansion of U.S.-Bloc contacts does not signify acceptance of Soviet Bloc attitudes, but rather is a means of influencing such attitudes toward more acceptable conduct.

48. Interference in the trade between the Free World and the Sino-Soviet Bloc should take place only where a clear advantage to the Free World would accrue from such interference.

49. a. The United States should continue to participate in the multilateral security controls on trade with the Sino-Soviet Bloc. These controls should apply against the Bloc such economic defense measures by the United States and by the Free World as will retard the growth of the war potential of the Bloc and reduce its unity. The United States should use its influence to the greatest degree feasible to maximize the effectiveness of such trade controls.

b. The United States should conform its unilateral controls on trade with the European Soviet Bloc to those agreed multilaterally except as to those unilateral controls which will achieve an adverse impact on the war potential of the European Soviet Bloc or which will clearly advance U.S. policy objectives.

c. The United States should continue to apply its financial control against, and its embargo on trade with, Communist China and North Korea, and its embargo on exports to North Vietnam.

50. a. In the exploitation of Sino-Soviet Bloc vulnerabilities, the United States should design its policies and programs to: (1) accelerate evolutionary changes in Sino-Soviet policies and conduct which will advance U.S. and Free World security and policy objectives; (2) weaken the ties which link the USSR and Communist China and the controls by which these nations dominate other nations; (3) exploit divisive forces within the Bloc; (4) encourage popular pressures on the Bloc leaders for greater emphasis on the legitimate needs and national aspirations of their peoples, such as greater liberties and improved standards of living; (5) undermine the faith of the Communist ruling classes in their own system and ideology; and (6) develop closer contacts with the peoples of the [Page 309] Eastern European nations in ways calculated to build on traditional feelings of friendship and respect for the United States.

b. In order to foster the development of internal freedom and national independence among the Soviet-dominated nations of Eastern Europe and Poland when judged to be to the net strategic advantage of the Free World, appropriate legislation should be sought, and necessary administrative changes should be made, relaxing present restrictions on the provision of economic aid.

51. The United States should continue to conduct negotiations with the USSR, on any issue and through any appropriate channel, whenever it appears that over-all U.S. interests will be served by such negotiations. Negotiations with the USSR should be designed to help maintain Free World initiative and cohesion, to probe the intentions and expose the meaning of Soviet policies, and to resolve specific differences on terms advantageous to the United States. All such negotiations should also be directed, ultimately, toward the peaceful resolution of the basic Communist threat; but the United States should recognize that there is little prospect that the process of negotiation will eliminate this threat during the foreseeable future, and also that useful agreements on specific issues may be possible even in the absence of a general settlement. The United States and its major allies should be prepared to sponsor mutual concessions between the Free World and the Sino-Soviet Bloc which will afford net advantages to the United States and which will leave unimpaired the over-all security position of the Free World. The United States should not, however, make concessions in advance of similar action by the Soviets in the hope of inspiring Soviet concessions. Agreements actually reached with the USSR should be dependent upon a balance of advantages and not upon implied good will or trust in written agreements. Agreements affecting strength and deployment of military forces should include provisions for effective safeguards against violations and evasions.

52. Efforts to develop safeguarded arms control measures should be continued with particular urgency, and agreement thereon sought, in an effort to reduce the risk of war attendant on the increased possibility of achieving surprise and on the growth and proliferation of nuclear and strategic missile delivery capabilities. It should therefore be a major objective of the United States, in its own interest and as interrelated parts of its national policy, actively to seek a comprehensive, phased and safeguarded international system for inspection against surprise attack and for the regulation and reduction of conventional and nuclear armed forces and armaments; to make intensive efforts to resolve other major international issues because a comprehensive arms control agreement will depend upon the resolution of some of these issues; and meanwhile, to continue the steady development of strength in the United States and [Page 310] in the Free World coalition required for U.S. security. As an initial step in developing this international arms system, the United States should give priority to early agreement on the implementation of measures designed to reduce the risk of general war. 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. Because in the future U.S. security will depend increasingly upon information and intelligence of Soviet military capabilities and intentions, the development of such an inspection system within the Soviet Union assumes, in and of itself, significance to U.S. security.

53. In applying the strategy in paragraphs 46–52 inclusive to Communist China, the United States must take account of non-recognition of the regime, the special hostility of the regime, its aggressive aims, 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.

C. Informational, Educational, Cultural and Psychological.

54. Foreign informational, cultural, educational and other psychological programs are vital elements in the implementation of U.S. policies and should be selectively strengthened. In these programs increased efforts should be made to influence civilian and military leaders, especially those visiting or being trained in the United States, toward a better understanding and appreciation of the values, the motives, and the policies of the United States. In addition, the United States should, wherever not counter-productive, coordinate its programs with those of our allies in this field in order to attain maximum impact.

55. The acceptance by the people and governments of foreign countries of the presence on their soil of official U.S. personnel4 directly affects our capability to achieve our national security objectives. To this end, programs should be developed and improved to encourage and strengthen the natural inclination of the individual American to be a good representative of his country and to promote conduct and attitudes conducive to good will and mutual understanding. Each department and agency and senior representatives overseas should seek (a) to ensure that U.S. official personnel understand the importance to the United [Page 311] States of their role as personal ambassadors, (b) to develop programs that promote good personal relations between foreign nationals and U.S. personnel, and (c) to ensure that the total number of U.S. official personnel in each country is held to a strict minimum consistent with sound implementation of essential programs.

III. Other Elements of National Strategy

56. Domestic Economic Strength.

A sound and vigorous domestic economy is essential to assure our national security, including the security and stability of the rest of the Free World.
The goal of our economic policy is the achievement, within a framework of free competitive enterprise and reasonable price stability, of vigorous, orderly and sustainable economic growth and progress, including the efficient employment of resources at high levels. The United States should promote the continuing expansion of production, employment opportunities and incomes—consistent with the necessity to:
Avoid inflation, which would impede achievement of long-term economic growth, create serious inequities and distortions within the economy, and damage our ability to compete in world markets.
Minimize direct government controls and regulations.
Toward the above goal, the Federal Government should:
Seek to maintain confidence both internally and abroad that the value of the dollar will be maintained in the years ahead.
Strive for a vigorous, orderly and sustainable economic growth; promote a climate of confidence in which economic growth will take place by giving the fullest play practicable to private initiative and competition, and maximum free rein to incentives to work, to produce, to save, and to invest; promote efficiency and seek to eliminate impediments to growth whether found in restrictive practices of business or organized labor, in government subsidy programs, in trade barriers or elsewhere in the economy; promote the development of a vigorous and expanding international trade and investment between the United States and other Free World countries.
Make a determined effort to hold Federal expenditures to levels which over time will permit reductions in the public debt and tax changes which will encourage private initiative and long-range economic growth, remaining prepared to increase taxes if necessary to avoid extended budgetary deficits.
Nevertheless, expenditure levels must be adequate to provide for all programs essential to U.S. security; in determining the essentiality of expenditure programs the long-range security and social objectives of maintaining orderly economic progress within a framework of reasonable price stability and free competitive enterprise must be taken fully into account.
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57. 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.

58. 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.
Such a civil defense program should include certain measures, as approved by the President, to carry out the concept of fallout shelter for protection of the population against radiation hazards.

59.5 Mobilization Base.6 The mobilization base consists of the military logistics base and the civilian readiness base and should emphasize those elements that will increase U.S. D-Day readiness and capability.

Military Logistics Base.7 The military logistics base should be designed to provide for the forces and the logistic requirements of: (a) cold war, (b) opposition to local aggression, and (c) general war. The general objective of the military logistics base is to achieve a degree of war readiness which will provide for meeting foreseeable military contingencies. The highest priority will be placed upon achieving and maintaining optimum readiness for the active forces. To achieve this objective, implementation of the military logistics base planning, in addition to providing for a continuing deterrent (including force and equipment modernization), should be sufficiently flexible to meet the requirements of the following: [Page 313]
Cold war including periods of heightened tension.

Opposition to local aggression, in accordance with paragraphs 12–a and 16 above, by:

U.S. active forces, supplemented as necessary, without degrading the general war posture to a militarily unacceptable degree.
Allied forces, to the extent it is essential they be provided support for combat operations from U.S. resources.

Planning for cold war and opposition to local aggression will include arrangements for the timely provision of personnel and combat essential matériel to ensure the continued maintenance of an acceptable general war posture.


General War:

The active forces as of D-Day.
The selected reserve forces having an initial general war mission.
Additional forces necessary for continued support and reconstitution of forces required to achieve national objectives.

Planning for general war will include appropriate consideration of nuclear damage.

Civilian Readiness Base. The general objective of the civilian readiness base is to provide for the mobilization and management, for war and survival purposes, of all resources and productive capacity not under military control which can be made available to meet essential military and civilian requirements in any international emergency affecting U.S. national security interests. In developing this base, emphasis will be placed upon meeting the following goals:
Support of the military logistics base, as set forth in a above.
Implementation of the national policies set forth in paragraphs 58 (Civil Defense), 60 (Strategic Stockpiling) and 64–g (Manpower).
Maximum feasible support from US. trade and other economic policies for both the cold war efforts of the United States and the wartime readiness posture of U.S. industry and that of our allies.
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.
Development of plans essential to national recovery in the event of general war.

60.8 Strategic Stockpiling. A stockpile of strategic and critical materials as authorized under P.L. 520, 79th Congress, should be maintained. Objectives for the strategic stockpile should be determined on the basis of the time required for supplies of materials in a national emergency to match essential needs of the emergency. Pending a determination of the [Page 314] essential needs of the nation after a nuclear attack (including reconstruction), the planning period should be limited to a maximum of three years, provided that until such determination is made the “maximum objective” should not be less than six months’ usage by the U.S. industry in periods of active demand.

61. 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 nations, 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.

62. Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. The United States should actively pursue programs for the peaceful uses of atomic energy Objectives should include advancement of knowledge in this field, strengthening of the U.S. national economy, and furtherance of cooperative efforts with other nations, both through bilateral arrangements and through multilateral agencies such as IAEA and EURATOM. Continue strong U.S. leadership and support of the IAEA and give special attention to exploiting through the IAEA practical peaceful applications of nuclear energy in less developed countries. Attention should also be given to formulation of an IAEA control system of internationally acceptable safeguards against diversion of nuclear materials to non-civilian use.

63. Outer Space. The United States should continue actively to pursue programs to develop and exploit outer space as needed to achieve scientific, military and political9 purposes, Objective should include: (a) a broad-based scientific and technological program in space flight and planetary-interplanetary exploration which will extend human knowledge and understanding; (b) a military space program designed to extend U.S. military capabilities through application of advancing space technology, without invading the responsibilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; (c) a civil space program designed to promote the peaceful uses of outer space; and (d) as consistent with U.S. security, achievement of international cooperation in the [Page 315] uses of and activities related to outer space—for peaceful purposes, and with selected allies for military purposes.10

64. Manpower. The United States should develop and maintain manpower programs designed to:

Channel a larger share of our resources to achieving higher standards of education and training for the rapidly increasing numbers of young men and women, with special emphasis on meeting the needs of science, technology, education and government service.
Develop incentives and public attitudes which will cause a sufficiently larger share of our manpower to enter research and other pursuits required to accomplish national security objectives.
Expand the training of U.S. technical, scientific, and management personnel to further U.S. objectives in less developed nations.
Provide an effective military training system which recognizes the need for full utilization of skills, both civilian and military, and is, so far as possible, equitable.
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 to support the military logistics base (paragraph 59–a).11
Provide effective manpower mobilization plans: (1) to meet military requirements; and (2) to channel manpower into priority tasks under emergency conditions, including the immediate post-attack requirements of civil defense.

65. 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 science, of technological advance, and of the need for greater motivations for qualified youth to pursue scientific careers and engineering 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 nations.
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.

As research and development results are 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 war.

66. Scientific Cooperation. In view of scientific, political, psychological and intelligence interests, the U.S. Government should encourage and support U.S. participation in selected, unclassified international scientific programs where cooperative international planning and execution are required for optimum scientific progress.

Section C

Essential Support of U.S. National Strategy by U.S. Citizens

67. a. The support of the American people is essential to the success of a national strategy to meet the threat to our national security. Information, simply and fully presented, offers the best means of enlisting this support. To this end every reasonable effort should be made to declassify information bearing on the national security so that it can be given wide public dissemination in clear form.

b. Our nation, our institutions, the principles we hold dear, and our very lives are now in great danger. This great danger to the United States and to all free nations, may persist for a long time. While this threat is taking on new dimensions, the determination of U.S. citizens to face the risks and sacrifices, and their willingness to support the demands on their spiritual and material resources, necessary to carry out this national strategy will be crucial.

c. Continuing efforts should be made to develop a comprehension among the American people of these needs and of the fact that our national strategy provides the best hope that war can be averted and our national security objectives achieved. Steadfastness, wisdom, courage, and readiness to sacrifice, rather than the complacent pursuit of peacetime living, are required to assure their survival during a period of crisis which may continue for many years.

d. Eternal vigilance to prevent intimidation of free criticism is also necessary in carrying out the national strategy.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/P-NSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 5906 Series. Top Secret.
  2. Paragraph 12–a of NSC 5906 was approved by the President with the understanding that it is not to be interpreted as a change in policy but rather as a clarification of existing policy with respect to the use of nuclear weapons and the requirement for maintaining balanced forces. [Footnote in the source text.]
  3. Nuclear weapons capable of being exploded with greatly reduced radioactive debris. [Footnote in the source text.]
  4. Deletion of the second sentence of paragraph 26 of NSC 5810/1 does not indicate that assistance to Euratom, the European Productivity Agency, the NATO Science Program, or the OEEC Scientific and Technical Personnel Program should be discontinued. [Footnote in the source text.]
  5. As of March 32, 1959 there were 1,072,498 military and citizen employees of the United States and their dependents in foreign countries and possessions. [Footnote in the source text.]
  6. The text of paragraph 59 printed here reflects revisions made on October 14, 1959; see Document 74.
  7. “For planning purposes, the mobilization base is defined as the total of all resources available, or which can be made available, to meet foreseeable wartime needs.

    “Such resources include the manpower and material resources and services required for the support of essential military, civilian, and survival activities as well as the elements affecting their state of readiness, such as (but not limited to) the following: manning levels; state of training; modernization of equipment; mobilization matériel reserves and facilities; continuity of government; civil defense plans and preparedness measures; psychological preparedness of the people; international agreements; planning with industry; dispersion; and stand-by legislation and controls.”

    (This is the definition of the term “Mobilization Base” adopted by NSC Action No. 1756, subsequently approved by the President.) [Footnote in the source text.]

  8. The military logistics base is defined as the total of all resources available, or which can be made available, to the military effort in order to meet foreseeable wartime needs. [Footnote in the source text.]
  9. The text of paragraph 60 printed here reflects revisions made on December 3, 1959; see Document 80.
  10. The term “political” includes consideration of psychological factors. [Footnote in the source text.]
  11. This paragraph will be subject to reconsideration following the current review of “Preliminary U.S. Policy on Outer Space” (NSC 5814/1) by the National Aeronautics and Space Council. [Footnote in the source text.]
  12. The text of paragraph 64–f printed here reflects revisions made on October 14, 1959; see Document 74.