30. Letter From the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kaysen) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Rowen)0
Dear Henry: Attached is a comment on your draft of the military and related sections of the Basic National Security Policy which you sent to us on 22 May.1 These comments, which I have put together, reflect the views of the relevant people here and have been discussed with Mr. Bundy. The nature of our comments is such as to make it unnecessary at this time to attempt a detailed examination of the language of the document.
I will be glad to answer any questions, or discuss the comments with you at your convenience.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, JMF 3001 (14 Apr 61) Pt. 1, Sec 3. Top Secret.↩
- This May 19 draft is the enclosure to Rowen’s memorandum to McGeorge Bundy, dated May 22. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Carl Kaysen Series, BNSP 1/61-5/61)↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩
- Top Secret.↩
- The most explicit reference to counterforce in the draft paper reads: “Offensive countermilitary attack capabilities, active defenses and passive defenses, supported by warning and reconnaissance systems, should be able to reduce enemy residual military capability at least to levels that will avoid the strategic inferiority of U.S. residual forces, and if consistent with other U.S. wartime objectives, give the U.S. a strategic superiority.”↩
Other commentaries on the May 19 ISA draft BNSP include those of the JCS and Secretary Rusk. In memorandum JCSM-397-61 to the Secretary of Defense, June 12, the JCS reserved comment on general and local war strategy, but maintained that the draft gave the impression that “our security policy contemplates two entirely separate and distinct sets of forces” for limited and general war, that a precise distinction could not be made between local and general war, and that national security policy should be able to deal with China and the Soviet Union as separate entities as well as a common threat. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, JMF 3001 (14 April 1961), Sec. 2)
For Rusk’s comments, see Document 35.↩