77. Letter From John Foster Dulles to McElroy1

Dear Mr. Secretary:
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It is my understanding that at the next meeting of the NSC on July 24 you are to report on the key military paragraphs (13 and 14) of NSC 5810/1.

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It seems to me that, in the light of our two recent conversations concerning the “strategic concept”, much work still remains to be done in our two Departments before a final recommendation can be made to the President concerning these paragraphs. If you agree, I suggest that you advise the President that both of our Departments would like to have this matter deferred for several months.

In the meantime, I suggest that we urgently undertake a joint study to determine whether we can begin to move toward a new strategic concept. I do not conceive that we should abruptly abandon our present concept, but I am increasingly convinced that we shall have to adopt a more flexible alternative within the next few years. Therefore, I believe planning should now start for the weapons systems and doctrines which will be needed to support such a change.

If you agree, I will ask Assistant Secretary Gerard C. Smith to stand ready to meet with your people to develop the necessary study for our consideration. It might be well to inform the President also of our intended joint study.

Sincerely yours,

John Foster Dulles
  1. Source: Question of a new strategic concept. Top Secret. 1 p. NARA, RG 59, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351.