Learn about the beta

62. Draft Paper Prepared by the Policy Planning Council0

This paper was discussed at the Secretary's Policy Planning Meeting on December 12. Most speakers were not identified by name. The “emphasis on less developed areas drew favorable comment.” While the “idea of a viable community of free nations found favor,” it “was pointed out that the community should not become a pretext for the less savory forms of neutralism.” Also, “the view was advanced that the paper was too much of an essay and not enough of an action paper, but this would be corrected by Mr. Rostow's proposal for adding Part II to the paper.” Rostow stated that the issues in Part II should be limited to those of direct concern to the President. (Summary of discussion, drafter not indicated; ibid.)


[Here follows a table of contents.]


1. Introduction. This paper outlines a strategy, which could provide a sense of coherence and direction to our total effort in the national security field. It is not intended to furnish a complete guide to every policy action, but rather to provide an over-all doctrine which will be relevant to the more important issues we face. Our decisions on these issues are most likely to be mutually consistent and reinforcing if they are based on a clearly defined strategic doctrine.

2. National Objective. Our basic national purpose is to help in the creation of a world environment in which a nation with values and purposes such as ours can flourish. Such an environment will be one in which countries can concert to promote their progress and security, without losing their freedom in the process. That environment can best be described as a “community of free nations”. A sustained US effort toward this end is needed not only to fulfill our positive purposes but also to defeat the Communist’ attempts to shape in their own image the order which will emerge from the present era of revolutionary change.

I. Needed Tasks

3. Constructive Tasks in Less Developed Countries. The community of free nations must be one in which less developed countries can progress toward becoming modern societies. We should use all the instruments of [Page 223]national policy—diplomacy, military aid, programming guidance and technical aid, capital assistance, and trade policy—to help them achieve evolutionary modernization. We should give higher priority to this objective than to the promotion of special ties with these countries or to securing their support for our political policies. We should urge other Atlantic countries and Japan to take the same view, and to act vigorously on it.

4. Defensive Tasks. The community of free nations must also be made secure against war and aggression. We should meet indirect aggression, the most urgent threat, primarily by strengthening the total capacity of governments under attack to mount effective politico-military programs in defense of their societies.

We should use US forces to defeat direct aggression in such a way as to defeat its purposes with minimum risk of escalation. This will require not only substantial and mobile conventional forces but also a reasonably stable over-all strategic situation, i.e., one which is unlikely to degenerate into general nuclear war under the pressure of crises and limited conflicts. We should seek to create such an environment by maintaining an effective, invulnerable, and flexible nuclear striking force and by prosecuting adequate active and passive nuclear defense programs. The same purpose will be served by an arms control policy which looks to feasible stabilizing measures in the near term, e.g., safeguards against war by miscalculation and against nuclear proliferation, as well as to the long-term goal of general and complete disarmament.

II. Needed Framework

5. The Atlantic Community. To prosecute these constructive and defensive tasks we must mobilize the strength of nations, and groups of nations, which can deploy substantial resources beyond their borders. The European Community is such a grouping; we should vigorously support the movement toward European integration. A major purpose of US foreign policy should be to work toward an effective partnership between Europe and the US, through institutions of the Atlantic Community. We should seek vigorously to strengthen these institutions and the resulting capacity for common action. This partnership should be capable of embracing Japan in the economic sphere at the earliest possible time.

6. Other Ties Between Free Nations. We should, at the same time, seek to develop manifold ties, embracing as wide a range of human activities as possible, which will permit the developed and less developed nations to work effectively together, and which will limit their ability to harass each other or to act with utter irresponsibility. We should work to strengthen bilateral ties, regional associations, and the UN to this end. [Page 224]Such relationships are the warp and woof of the community of free nations.

7. Relations With Communist Nations. We should try to manage our relations with the Communist nations so that they will not divert us from constructive tasks in the free world, and so that they will promote long-term constructive evolution in the Bloc. To this end:

We should seek continuing communication with the Soviets, in business-like attempts to avoid crises and reduce the risk of war, and we should promote exchanges and cooperative ventures conducive to useful change in the USSR. When crises erupt, we should seek to resolve them in a way which will restore equilibrium without incurring the increased costs and risks that would be required to alter the existing balance of advantage drastically in our favor.

We should seek contacts, and extend and encourage assistance, designed to encourage helpful trends in Eastern Europe.

We should move toward policies which will place the onus for continued hostility between Communist China and the US more squarely on Peiping and thus mobilize greater free world support in resisting Chinese Communist expansion. We should try to create a political climate in which the Sino-Soviet rift will prosper; we should not go out of our way to make it look as though Khrushchev's preference for negotiation over fighting is a vain one; and we should make clear that the contrary Chinese view, if put to the test, is likely to entail swift disaster.

Our response to the Soviet ideological offensive should center upon projecting and explaining our own efforts to build a community of free nations. We should promote a free world consensus on this central goal. We should not be drawn away from this goal by a presumed need to react to Communist political and propaganda initiatives, but should seek to keep the focus where it belongs: on our opportunities and affirmative purposes in the free world.

[Here follows the body of the paper; see the Supplement.]

  1. Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, BNSP 1961-1962. Secret. The complete paper is 78 pages long, in addition to the summary printed here. For text, see the Supplement. It forms the attachment to a memorandum from McGhee to the Under Secretary and most Assistant Secretaries, stating that the paper represented a “major effort of the entire Policy Planning Staff during recent months” but would need to “undergo many changes of detail before it can hope to meet general approval.” McGhee asked for comments.