93. Draft Paper Prepared by the Policy Planning Council0


[Here follow a table of contents and Part One, “Principles and Purposes.”]


I. Military Policy

A. The Role of U.S. Force

Force and policy. The positive and constructive objectives of national policy depend intimately and in a variety of ways on the existence of appropriate U.S. forces and the evident will to use them to protect [Page 310] vital interests of the free community. Now and for the foreseeable future U.S. military policy is a crucial determinant of the fate of the free community because our military strength is proportionately great in relation to our population and command over resources, and because the security of our allies is intimately dependent on our strength and will to exercise it. There is hardly a diplomatic relationship we conduct that is not colored by an assessment of U.S. military power and of the circumstances in which we are likely to bring it into play. In generating this power the motivation of men in the expert employment of weapons of war continues as a responsibility of the population at large. It is brought to and maintained at a fine edge of effectiveness by the nation’s military services, which provide a basic source of leadership for present and future generations of military men.
Major Missions. To sustain the free community, U.S. forces have four major missions:
To deter or deal with a direct nuclear assault against the U.S. or other vital areas.
To supplement allied and friendly forces in deterring or countering Communist non-nuclear attacks on the free community or in sea areas or on lines of communication vital to its survival.
To support friendly peoples against Communist and Communist-inspired efforts to undermine their governments and fragment their societies through subversive, paramilitary and guerrilla operations.

In the event of war to conduct hostilities so as to minimize damage to the U.S. and its allies, preserve their interests, frustrate opposing military forces, and bring about a conclusion of hostilities on terms acceptable to the U.S. and its allies. It is in the interest of the United States to achieve its wartime objectives while limiting the destructiveness of warfare, whether it be non-nuclear or nuclear, local or global; in this sense, it is a goal of U.S. policy that any war be a limited war.

For all these missions it should be recognized that effective deterrence has as its basis the evident military capability to prevent a potential enemy from achieving greater gain than loss by using force. While many other factors contribute to deterrence, this requirement for such a capability is constant and must be satisfied.

Supplementary Tasks. U.S. forces have three other important missions:
To provide within the free community a sense of security against Communist incursions and Communist political and psychological pressures, including threats of nuclear or non-nuclear attack against the U.S. or its allies.
To support American diplomatic and other efforts to minimize conflicts within the free community, to work toward peaceful adjustment [Page 311] of disputes and differences, and otherwise to promote U.S. and free world objectives.
To contribute, both directly and through military assistance and training programs, to the constructive modernization of underdeveloped nations.
The Special Imperatives of a Nuclear-Missile Age. The nature and consequences of nuclear war conducted with present and foreseeable delivery vehicles call for a military policy which can accomplish the purposes indicated above with a minimum likelihood that we would have to initiate the use of nuclear weapons in order to defend vital interests and, more generally, with a minimum risk of escalation toward general nuclear war.

The number of U.S. casualties and the scale of U.S. civil damage consequent on a major nuclear exchange is already great. It will increase with the passage of time.

The population of our European Allies is even more exposed.

These facts heighten the requirement for a policy aimed at limiting civil damage in the event of a major nuclear war; for generating, so far as possible, adequate non-nuclear defense alternatives; for maintaining—both to deter attack, to influence enemy targeting and to conduct operations—strong flexible, survivable and controlled strategic nuclear forces; and for seeking effectively inspected measures of arms control which would limit mutual powers of destruction while not reducing the free community’s relative capacity to deter or to deal with Communist attack.

B. The Objective: A Stable International Military Environment

5. Objectives of U.S. Military Policy. The fundamental objective of U.S. military policy which flows from these considerations is to create a military environment which will permit us to:

achieve maximum deterrence of deliberate aggression, and especially aggression with nuclear weapons.
minimize the likelihood of uncalculated, unpremeditated or unintended nuclear conflicts; to reduce the likelihood of accidents, misinterpretations of incidents and intentions, false alarms or unauthorized actions within any nation (including the U.S. or its allies); and to reduce the possibility that such actions might trigger major nuclear war.
deal successfully with aggression in ways which will not readily escalate and, especially, which will not deteriorate into general war under the pressure of crises and limited conflicts.

6. The Prospects for Stability. With care and prudence we may thus hope to create an environment which will reduce both the incentives of others to use force in international affairs and the instabilities inherent in an age of nuclear and missile armaments. The rest of this chapter [Page 312] examines the implications of this objective for the design and employment of major elements of U.S. military power: strategic forces; defense forces; general purpose forces; and anti-guerrilla forces. It also examines arms control and disarmament policy as an integral part of national security policy.

C. The Threat

7. Communist Strategy. A persistent characteristic of Communist military strategy has been its searching attention to specific gaps—regional and technical—in the defense of the free community. It has been, thus far, an evident purpose of Communist strategy to avoid a direct confrontation not only with U.S. main strength, but with positions of relative strength within the free community of other nations as well. Soviet policy appears to be based on pressure against particular areas of vulnerability (e.g., Northern Azerbaijan, Greece, Berlin, Indochina, South Korea, etc.) and particular types of vulnerability (e.g., the geographical position of Berlin, the inadequate defenses against subversion and guerrilla warfare in Laos and South Viet-Nam, etc.)

8. Future Threats. Given foreseeable U.S. nuclear capabilities, including, in particular, our powerful ability to strike second, it is estimated that the USSR will not deliberately take actions which would bring about general nuclear war. There is, nevertheless, always a possibility that the Soviets may miscalculate U.S. capabilities or misjudge U.S. intentions. They may calculate that their growing nuclear strength makes non-nuclear aggression, especially against areas believed to be not vital to U.S. interests, a feasible course of action. They may also under-estimate the importance attached by the U.S. to particular interests or areas, and initiate action in the belief that the U.S. will not respond. Accordingly, it is a first charge on U.S. military policy to make grossly unattractive and unprofitable a direct Soviet assault on the U.S. or on other vital areas, notably Western Europe. But a major lesson of postwar history is that U.S. and allied policy must also achieve, to the maximum degree possible, a closing off of all areas of vulnerability, if we wish to minimize the number and effectiveness of Communist probes. It is this lesson which calls for the U.S. and its allies to develop a fuller range of military capabilities, capable of covering as much as feasible of the free community, if they are to create a stable overall military environment.

The major gap in the U.S. and allied spectrum of capabilities lies at the non-nuclear end—both with respect to conventional forces and those whose mission is counterinsurgency. Although the military stance of the free community is basically defensive, the U.S. and its allies also require capabilities for limited overt and covert action in areas under Communist control. Such action must be carefully weighed in the light of particular circumstances, costs, and risks; but the U.S. cannot accept an asymmetry which allows Communist probes into the free community without possibility of riposte.

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D. Strategic Forces

9. Scale and Character of Strategic Nuclear Forces. Attainment of a stable military environment requires strategic nuclear forces sufficiently effective so that Sino-Soviet leaders would expect—without question—the Bloc’s present power position to be worsened drastically as a result of a general nuclear war. In assessing the appropriate scale of a U.S. effort designed to meet this requirement it should be borne in mind that the Soviet calculus must take into account not merely relative Soviet strength after a nuclear exchange but also its consequences for the Communist position in Eastern Europe, for the relative power of Communist China, and for the possibilities of maintaining Communist control over the Russian base.

To meet the objectives indicated above the U.S. should, for the relevant planning period through the mid-1960’s, maintain a sophisticated mix of delivery vehicles so dispersed, hardened, mobile and controlled that:

the USSR could not count with confidence, despite any technological break-through it might reasonably expect to score, upon neutralizing or blunting a large proportion of U.S. retaliatory power;
the U.S. could, even under unfavorable circumstances (e.g., an initial Soviet surprise attack), substantially reduce the military capabilities of the enemy.

To achieve not only the objectives indicated above, but also greater stability in the international military environment, our U.S. strategic forces and plans for their use should be designed so that they will continue an element of stability in grave international crises. Thus, our strategic nuclear forces should be sufficiently invulnerable so that their survival and effectiveness need not rest (i) on the U.S. striking first; (ii) on the U.S. taking in a crisis such “crash measures” to reduce these forces’ vulnerability as the Soviets might consider evidence of impending attack or as would materially reduce the forces’ operational effectiveness; (iii) on an instant U.S. response to ambiguous evidence of impending enemy attack.

10. Presidential Control. The planning and design of U.S. strategic forces should offer an increasingly wide range of options, at alternative levels of violence and against alternative target systems, which the President or authorities pre-designated by him could review in advance and choose among in the event. Our strategic forces must increasingly be susceptible of discriminating and controlled use, under centralized military command, in accordance with such high level decisions. Highly survivable command, control, and communication systems should be developed and maintained (i) which provide for authorization by the President, or authorities pre-designated by him in case he is unable to function, of initial use of nuclear weapons under all circumstances, especially [Page 314] including periods of great tension or hostilities; (ii) which ensure, insofar as feasible, that conduct and termination of operations are also continuously and sensitively responsive to political decisions by the President or authorities pre-designated by him. The expectations of individuals about the occasions on which nuclear weapons would be used, and the methods of using them, should not be allowed to narrow to the point that flexibility in execution is in any way reduced.

11. General war may come about in a variety of ways (through pre-meditated attack, preemption, escalation, or inadvertence) and may take different forms, dependent upon the time when it occurs, the accuracy of U.S. intelligence estimates, the kinds of targets the enemy chooses to attack, and the capabilities of the U.S. to prevent repetitive or follow-up strikes. To fix in advance a specific pattern for the conduct of operations is virtually impossible, and our targeting plans and command-control system must, as has been indicated, be designed so as to enable the direction of operations by the President and authorities designated by him before or during the conflict. Within these limitations, pre-attack strategic nuclear planning and preparations will be aimed at:

reducing the strategic nuclear offensive capabilities of the enemy, and particularly his ability to mount repetitive attacks against U.S. and Allied population centers.
retaining ready, survivable strategic nuclear forces under centralized control for possible selective use against his urban-industrial centers; against other major elements of enemy strength; and for use in other ways which will contribute to c. below.
facilitating the conduct of negotiations designed to bring the war to an end on terms which are consistent with U.S. interests, as set forth in this paper.

The prospect of confronting reserve U.S. nuclear forces after any attack may give a potential enemy powerful incentive to refrain from planning or executing unrestricted attacks on U.S. or Allied civil society. Such ready forces, held in reserve and threatening—by their very exist-ence—surviving enemy targets, may also conceivably extend deterrence into the wartime period, and thus destroy the will of surviving enemy leaders to pursue unrestricted attacks or to continue the war. Moreover, the goal of ending hostilities on acceptable terms requires that plans and operational decisions preclude the prospect of an unarmed U.S. confronting armed opponents. For all these reasons, it is essential—whatever the size, composition and effectiveness of U.S. strategic forces—that the U.S. not disarm itself, by expending all ready strategic nuclear forces in initial attacks.

12. Optimum Use of Strategic Nuclear Weapons. A major problem in connection with the design and use of these strategic forces relates to the optimum use of nuclear weapons if we must initiate such use.

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On the one hand, since 1945 American policy has ruled out the initiation of nuclear attack on the Soviet Union as a means of bringing the cold war to an end and providing a definite victory for the Free World. Aside from its violation of our moral and political tradition a policy of initiating nuclear war was always shadowed by its consequences for Western Europe; and its rationality on strictly military grounds has been gradually reduced with the Soviet acquisition of medium and long-range nuclear delivery capabilities.

On the other hand, we are committed explicitly to defend the populations and territory of Western Europe, and we have similar though implicit commitments to use nuclear weapons rather than accept major defeat in Asia and the Middle East.

This situation immediately raises the question of whether, if we initiated use of nuclear weapons, a limited use of nuclear weapons with a concomitant risk of escalation of nuclear engagement by the other side would be the sensible course to follow, or whether an initial strike against Soviet strategic nuclear delivery systems would be the optimum course.

At the present time this question—involving complex problems of intelligence assessment and projection as well as evolving military technology—is subject to legitimate debate. The answer may well vary according to circumstances which cannot be foreseen in advance.

13. Current Policy. In order not to foreclose this issue of optimum initial U.S. use of nuclear weapons, it is important to preserve utmost flexibility in our plans and posture. Three propositions warrant special comment in this connection.

We should try to convey to the Soviets: (i) That we do not intend to mount an initial strategic strike if their forces do not transgress the frontiers of the free community; (ii) that if they do we would strike first under certain circumstances if this was necessary in order to protect our vital interests; (iii) that we are not so prone to mount an initial strategic strike in the event of grave crises or limited conflict as to maximize the incentive for the Soviets to take a pre-emptive action in these contingencies. This is, in effect, the manifold message we have conveyed with respect to West Berlin.
We must not lock ourselves into plans and assumptions regarding an initial U.S. strategic strike against Soviet nuclear delivery systems, which could play somewhat the same role in a major international crisis that the great powers’ mobilization and war plans played in 1914, e.g., create such pressures for early military moves, in order to destroy enemy nuclear forces, as to deny diplomacy the time it needs to resolve the crisis peacefully.
We have not and should not set an absolute requirement that our strategic forces be able substantially to destroy all Soviet nuclear delivery [Page 316] systems in a first strike. For one thing, such an objective does not appear practical.

E. Active and Passive Defense

14. Active Defense. The prime objectives of active defense systems are to improve stability by:

helping to protect U.S. retaliatory forces;
preventing the enemy from cheaply and easily wreaking devastation on U.S. population and industrial center;
accomplishing maximum attrition of the attacking force and complicating enemy planning.

Attainment of the second of these objectives will present increasing difficulty as the USSR develops more sophisticated weapons systems; hence, the actual level of resources to be devoted to this mission should be reconsidered frequently and thoroughly.

15. Passive Defense. Passive defense measures will not preclude the USSR from inflicting heavy damage on the U.S. should it wish to do so. If it were the primary enemy purpose to overcome passive defense measures, there are numerous weapons options available to him. A more reasonable assumption, however, is that the allocation of resources to long-term and costly development of inter-continental weapons systems would not be significantly affected by U.S. measures of passive defense designed to reduce loss of life from nuclear attack. In the light of the various circumstances under which hostilities might be conducted, passive defense has three main purposes:

To prevent or limit avoidable fatalities or casualties from nuclear conflict not involving massive attack directly upon U.S. population centers. This purpose can be separated into two parts: the first, limitation of casualties and fatalities from blast, heat and other immediate effects of nuclear detonations; the second, limitation of casualties and fatalities from fallout, spreading fires and other indirect effects of nuclear detonations. The first can be accomplished only through a combination of active and passive defense measures; systems to accomplish this on a nation-wide basis are not yet sufficiently efficient to warrant their adoption. The second can be attained by a system of fallout shelters, together with local organization, planning and training to use the system.
To maintain continuity at all feasible levels of government. This will require particular attention to such tasks as establishing and promulgating lines of succession to official positions; providing for the safekeeping of essential records; establishing control centers and alternative sites for government emergency operations; and providing for the protection and maximum use of essential government personnel, resources and facilities.
To strengthen, mobilize and plan for the management of the nation’s resources in the interest of current and future national security. In this connection, continuing attention must be given to planning, training, stockpiling, research and development, and other preparations necessary to: (i) the stabilization and organized direction of the civilian economy in times of national emergency; (ii) the prompt initiation of post-attack industrial rehabilitation programs necessary to national survival, rehabilitation and recovery; and (iii) the proper organization of remaining human and material resources.

These passive defense steps are essential, lest the U.S. socio-economic system collapse or be distorted into an unacceptable form even following an attack of limited scale not directed primarily against our civil society. Sustained effort and public education by the Federal Government will be required for their execution. Care should be taken, however, not to generate unwarranted expectations as to what such programs can accomplish, not to allow these measures to divert public attention and energies from other needed national security tasks.

F. General Purpose Forces

16. Scale and Nature. A third major element in our effort to achieve a balanced and stable international military environment should be the maintenance of U.S. and allied general purpose forces adequate, not only to accomplish prescribed general war tasks but also, in situations less than general war, to use force within certain limits to defend allied and friendly peoples and areas without taking actions involving a high probability of nuclear war.

In determining the scale of U.S. non-nuclear forces needed to meet this requirement, three conceivable types of Sino-Soviet ground-air non-nuclear attack should be considered: (i) major assault, based on full use of forces in being which are deployed or readily deployable to the area under attack; (ii) lesser forms of aggression, at any level up to major assault; (iii) all-out assault, based on full mobilization and use of all manpower and material reserves.

U.S. general purposes forces should be strong enough in combination with available allied forces:

to frustrate, without using nuclear weapons, major non-nuclear assault by Sino-Soviet forces against areas where vital U.S. interests are involved, long enough—at a minimum1—to give the Communists a full opportunity to appreciate the risks of the course on which they are [Page 318] embarked and then to afford diplomacy an adequate opportunity to end the conflict;
to frustrate in sustained combat, without using nuclear weapons and without any time limits, non-nuclear aggression at any level less than major assault by Soviet or Chinese Communist ground and air forces;
to contribute to general war missions in the event of all-out Sino-Soviet attack, so long as this does not significantly interfere with or detract from the general purpose forces’ primary missions, which are to deter and deal with conflicts less than general war.

In addition, general purpose forces should be able to maintain, without using nuclear weapons, control of required sea bases and sea-areas in the face of non-nuclear naval and air attack against such sea lanes and sea areas.

General purpose forces should be increased in quantity and improve in quality (e.g., through modernization of materiel stocks) as necessary to attain the above objectives. In so doing, account should be taken of the fact that, although the reserve call-up of 1961 was under the then existing circumstances as essential military and political act, we cannot assume the threats we will face will be so infrequent, dramatic and unambiguous as to make recurring reserve call-ups (except as indicated in paragraph 23) a politically feasible or technically desirable means of meeting the objectives outlined above.

U.S. general purpose forces should also be:

Sufficiently mobile so that they could respond promptly and simultaneously in needed numbers to two substantial threats in areas where such threats can reasonably be expected and where they would directly threaten vital U.S. interests—notably in Europe and Southeast Asia.
So trained, organized, and equipped as not in any way to be dependent on nuclear weapons in such sustained combat as may be necessary fully to discharge the missions prescribed under (i) and (ii), above, in regard to major Communist assault and lesser aggressions.
Afforded sufficient logistic support (including advance construction and pre-stocking, where feasible, of needed facilities in or near possible overseas combat areas) to permit discharge of the missions indicated above.

A longer term, but clearly desirable, objective of U.S. policy would be to create U.S. general purpose forces sufficiently substantial so that they could frustrate, in conjunction with available allied forces and by non-nuclear means, major Sino-Soviet non-nuclear assault against a maximum number of those areas involving vital U.S. interests, without any time limit. Prompt consideration should be given to the question of whether steps additional to those called for in the preceding paragraphs [Page 319] should eventually be taken to achieve this objective, in respect to both U.S. and allied forces. The resources available to the U.S. and its allies in manpower, financial and production terms place this objective within our capabilities. Action to achieve the objective, however, would require difficult political decisions for the people of both the U.S. and its allies. New approaches to this problem should be studied intensively.

The possibility should be examined that, even with an increase in free world non-nuclear strength within likely limits, U.S. and allied forces might not be able to frustrate major non-nuclear assault in some regions without (or, in the event the opponent were to respond in kind, even with) local use of nuclear weapons, so that the threat of U.S. initial use of strategic nuclear weapons would remain essential to deterring attack on these areas. The political and military implications of any such conclusion should be the subject of urgent study.

17. Contingency Planning. Within the limits of capabilities which exist or are to be firmly planned in accordance with the policy set forth in paragraph 16, contingency plans should exist for a non-nuclear response by general purpose forces to each likely form of Communist non-nuclear aggression short of all-out attack. Preparations should be such as to permit immediate execution of these plans.

18. Conduct of Local War. In conducting local war the U.S. should:

seek to bring the war to a conclusion on terms satisfactory to the U.S., and make clear to the enemy the specific political objectives for which the U.S. is fighting where this will contribute to doing so;
be prepared to fight locally in direct conflict with Sino-Soviet forces;
protect the interests of the friendly people involved;
seek to control the scope of intensity of the conflict to minimize the risk of escalation to general war, recognizing that this may sometimes require controlled and deliberate intensification of the conflict;
conduct military operations so as to limit damage in the area of conflict and enhance allied solidarity and effectiveness.

19. Deployment and Use of Tactical Nuclear Weapons. We can no longer expect to avoid nuclear retaliation if we initiate the use of nuclear weapons, tactically or otherwise. Even a local nuclear exchange could have consequences, for example, for Europe that are most painful to contemplate. Such an exchange would be unlikely to give us any marked military advantage. It could rapidly lead to general nuclear war.

A very limited use of nuclear weapons, primarily for purposes of demonstrating our will and intent to use such weapons, might bring Soviet aggression to a halt without substantial retaliation, and without escalation. This is a next-to-last option we cannot dismiss. But prospects [Page 320] for success are not high, and there might be acutely undesirable political consequences from taking such action.

It is also conceivable that the limited tactical use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield would not broaden a conventional engagement or radically transform it. But these prospects are not rated very highly.

Highly dispersed nuclear weapons in the hands of troops would be difficult to control centrally. Accidents and unauthorized acts could well occur on both sides. Furthermore, the pressures on the Soviets to respond in kind, the great flexibility of nuclear systems, the enormous firepower contained in a single weapon, the ease and accuracy with which that firepower can be called in from unattacked and hence undamaged distant bases, the crucial importance of air superiority in nuclear operations—all these considerations suggest that local nuclear war would be a transient but highly destructive phenomenon.

Studies of the use of nuclear weapons, either for battlefield or interdiction purposes, are under way and should be urgently prosecuted. Pending the completion of these studies, tentative guidelines are:

Scale and Nature: U.S. forces should have sufficient tactical nuclear capabilities (i) to deter enemy initiation of tactical nuclear warfare; (ii) to enhance (in conjunction with a manifest U.S. intent to use nuclear weapons, if necessary) the primary deterrent, which is and will continue to be, posed by U.S. non-nuclear and strategic nuclear capabilities, to major or all-out Communist non-nuclear assault; (iii) to be able to use tactical nuclear weapons selectively for military advantage, if circumstances should arise (e.g., at sea or in the air) where we would gain militarily from a local nuclear exchange and where such an exchange would be unlikely to cause escalation; (iv) to permit a very limited use against valid military targets in other circumstances, primarily in order to demonstrate our will to resist aggression.
Organization and Deployment: U.S. and allied tactical nuclear capabilities should be so deployed, and their command and control should be so organized as: (i) to preserve carefully the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons; (ii) to ensure that initial use of tactical nuclear weapons—even after non-nuclear hostilities have begun—will take place only on the President’s decision; (iii) to ensure that continuing control will be exercised over use of tactical nuclear weapons, within limitations established by the President at as high a level of authority as is consistent with the character of the conflict and the likely grave consequences of a nuclear mistake. In order to accomplish the purposes indicated above and ensure that nuclear weapons are as immune to accidental or deliberate unauthorized use as is consistent with their operational effectiveness: (i) High priority should be given to incorporating, as a matter of urgency, all needed and operationally feasible technical safeguards in nuclear weapons specified by the President in [Page 321] allied and in U.S. hands; (ii) U.S. custodians of warheads in allied hands should be given the training, equipment, [2-½ lines of underscored source text not declassified]; (iii) Periodic review of these arrangements and safeguards and of the state, command and control, organization, and deployment of U.S. and allied nuclear weapons and of their nuclear components should be undertaken to ensure that they are the optimum from the standpoints indicated above.
Use: Tactical nuclear weapons should be used in local war only when it is clear that the objectives stated in paragraph 18 would be furthered by, and could not be attained without, use of nuclear weapons. In determining whether this condition exists and, if so, how nuclear weapons should be used, account should be taken of: (i) our ability or inability to frustrate the aggression without using nuclear weapons; (ii) the likely military effects of a local two-way nuclear exchange; (iii) the political effects of such a local nuclear exchange—both locally and worldwide; (iv) the physical effects of the exchange for the country being fought over; (v) the chances of exchange escalating into general nuclear war.

G. Counter-Guerrilla Forces

20. The Task. A fourth major element in a stable military environment must be the generation of allied and U.S. forces and policies capable of making the imposition of guerrilla war on nations of the free community unprofitable to the Communists. Given the preponderant role of local forces in deterring guerrilla war and conducting counter-guerrilla operations it follows that:

Preventive Action: Special steps should be taken to make vulnerable nations more aware of Communist tactics in this field and of the civil and military conditions in the free community which make such tactics feasible and attractive. Recognizing the importance and non-military factors in this connection, emphasis should be placed on devising and implementing economic and political—as well as military—programs aimed at preventing situations that could lead to guerrilla warfare. We must identify such areas of potential or current vulnerability in advance; focus the attention of foreign governments and our own instruments of policy on preventive action; and generate the local and U.S. forces, civil and military, capable of dealing with them in the most forehanded way possible.
Crisis Situations: When guerrilla conflict erupts we should seek to mobilize effective local defense, supported by necessary political and economic programs, at the earliest possible stage of the conflict. Our objectives, where appropriate and feasible, should be to: (i) maintain the independent and territorial integrity of the nation attacked; (ii) minimize the scope of direct U.S. involvement, so far as consistent with this objective and our commitments; (iii) minimize the risk of escalation to local conventional or to nuclear war.
U.S. Programs: The development of hardware, techniques, and tactics appropriate to guerrilla warfare should receive high priority in U.S. training and production programs, as necessary to achieve the purposes set forth under (a) and (b) above.

21. The Border Problem in Guerrilla Warfare. Although main reliance is placed on local dissidents or converts to Communism by guerrilla forces, the conduct by the Communists of guerrilla war sometimes involves the infiltration from outside of key personnel and material, as well as external inspiration and stimulation of the operation. Since it may, therefore, be difficult to conduct successful counter-guerrilla operations where an open frontier with a Communist country exists:

The U.S. should heighten the free community’s awareness of the element of international aggression involved in outside support for guerrilla operations, so as to deter border crossings and other forces of support, and to provide a basis for possible sanctions.
The U.S. should seek to close off open frontiers or to control the flow of supplies from outside the country—a move in which an international presence may sometimes be helpful, although experience to date is not encouraging on this point.
The U.S. should consider the application of selected, measured sanctions against the aggressor, if necessary to prevent the defeat of the free community nation under attack, in ways which would minimize—but nevertheless confront—the possibility of escalation.

22. The Role of Allies. With respect to allied participation in the deterrence and conduct of guerrilla war, it is U.S. policy:

To generate local forces—through formal alliance arrangements or otherwise—which will deter guerrilla warfare, if possible, and provide time for the mobilization of effective countermeasures, should deterrence fail.
To rally diplomatic, civic and military support for the nation under attack from the maximum number of nations of the free community, taking into account, with respect to civic and military contributions, the relative political acceptability, in particular regions, of the presence of various of our allies.

H. Other Missions of U.S. Forces

23. Subsidiary Tasks. The subsidiary missions assigned the armed forces (see paragraph A, 3 above) impose only minor additional specialized military requirements, but these must be given particular attention lest they be lost to sight. The accomplishment of these missions depends on a mutual awareness among civilian and military officials of the particular contributions the armed forces can make, and a willingness to offer and to accept those contributions. This in turn implies an even better reciprocal flow of information, closer liaison, and more cross-education than has sometimes been achieved in the past. U.S. military forces at home and abroad, because of their size, geographical distribution, and [Page 323] versatile nonmilitary capabilities continue to have great impact in various countries and exert strong influence on all our political, economic, and psychological policies. This influence should be used to our advantage.

I. Supporting Programs

The following programs provide support for all the types of U.S. forces and missions described in this chapter.

24. Reserve Forces. With due regard for political and psychological difficulties, the training, equipment, and orientation of reserve forces should be altered to fit them better for:

Manning active defense systems.
Augmenting active forces in contingencies which require rapid but limited mobilization.
Providing reinforcements in the event of protracted local conflicts.
Fulfilling a significant supporting role as a secondary mission in civil defense, when civil defense plans and concepts have developed to the point where specific useful missions can be assigned to reserve units.
Providing additional forces and expanded base for large scale mobilization in major emergencies.
Provision of units to augment or replenish the strategic reserve in the CONUS.

While selected high priority units should be readied to augment or replenish the strategic reserve in the continental U.S. reserve call-ups should so far as practicable be limited to organized units and individuals with the least prior service.

25. Overseas Bases and Facilities. Although the development of ballistic missile technology has reduced the need for strategic air and missile bases overseas, the possibility of U.S. engagement in local wars or in anti-guerrilla operations creates a new need for tactical bases, overflight rights, and contingency arrangements. Moreover, requirements for peace-time storage, communications, tracking, and intelligence facilities are increasing.

To meet vital needs the U.S. should maintain an adequate system of overseas facilities for local war, military counter-insurgency operations, general war, and peacetime missions, together with the arrangements necessary for their support.

This base structure must be clearly and fully capable of supporting U.S. and allied forces in their preparation for, and conduct of, local war, wherever such war may occur throughout the world. Where local logistic limitations exist which would not prevent optimum deployment of U.S. and allied forces to a country which we would propose to defend in local war, prompt and vigorous remedial action should be taken, e.g., [Page 324] building more transport and other facilities in the host country or pre-stocking existing facilities in or near their country.

We should seek to limit dependence on a single base, or a group of bases, and should examine with urgency, in view of the growing nationalist and neutralist pressure on existing U.S. bases, the possibilities of maintaining services essential to U.S. security by acquiring new bases, and by developing new or applying existing technologies, which would reduce our dependence on overseas bases in general. Given the increasing diplomatic and political cost of maintaining base and facility rights overseas, and the pressure that maintenance of such bases and facilities exerts on our balance of payments position, we should make every effort to dispose in whole or in part of outmoded or unnecessary facilities, to hold new requirements to a minimum and, where needed, to secure additional rights to use existing foreign military and civil facilities.

26. Military Aid. This is dealt with in Chapter Two, following.

27. Research and Development. To maintain effective deterrence over the full spectrum of force, the free community must prosecute research and development efforts over a broad front. The U.S. should pursue research and development to maintain a selective superiority in military technology that is increasingly responsive to our political and military objectives. New emphasis should be given to research and development in two fields which have enjoyed less attention than their importance warrants:

We should give high priority to weapons and equipment designed to improve our capabilities in sustained non-nuclear combat. We should support mutually with certain allies selected non-nuclear research and development for military application in improving such non-nuclear capabilities.
We should give new emphasis to weapons which will help less developed countries cope with guerrilla and local external threats.

To these ends, continuing efforts should be devoted to promoting basic scientific research (both within the military and the civilian agencies of government), to uncovering and applying technological discoveries and innovations (using both governmental and private research and development facilities), and to expediting their translation into military equipment. However, the wide range of possible improvements, the cost of changing models and making adaptations, and the nation’s over-all requirement for scarce research and development resources, indicate a need for focusing more sharply on developments of significant import and for eschewing marginal improvements or those which do not remedy basic defects of existing weapons systems.

We should also seek, through research and development, to devise new capabilities for limited countermeasures against Communist pressures short of the overt use of substantial force.

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28. Chemical and Biological Warfare. United States military forces should have a capability to use and defend against chemical and biological weapons. Chemical and biological weapons should only be used in case of direct decision by the President that such use is warranted by the political military situation, except for the use of: (i) existing smoke, incendiary, and riot control agents in appropriate military operations, and (2) riot control agents in suppressing civil disturbances.

J. Arms Control and Disarmament

29. The U.S. Interest in Arms Control and Disarmament. The fifth and final element in the effort to maintain a stable military environment is our policy toward arms control and disarmament. The U.S. security interest in arms control and disarmament derives directly from the following characteristics of U.S. military policy and of the present and foreseeable military environment:

Continuation of existing trends is likely to yield an increasing number of powers which command nuclear capabilities and means of delivery—on the whole a destabilizing factor, contrary to the U.S. interest.
The possibility that a nuclear war might result from accident or—more likely—from miscalculation, misinterpretation of incidents, false alarms or unauthorized actions, or failure of communication—is large enough to be an important reason for seeking remedial measures.
The prospect over the coming years, in the absence of arms limitation, is for (i) continuing U.S. ability to inflict a high level of damage on the USSR; (ii) substantial increase in the Soviet capacity to inflict civil damage on the U.S. in all-out nuclear exchange; (iii) continuing substantial expenditures of resources and scarce talent in efforts to maintain a stable military environment.
Since the U.S. does not intend to initiate nuclear attack on nations ruled by Communist regimes except in riposte to prior Communist aggression, the U.S. cannot exploit the technical advantages of unprovoked, secretly planned, and surprise nuclear assault.
A persuasive second-strike deterrent can be maintained at lower levels of U.S. nuclear delivery capabilities than at present, without necessarily jeopardizing U.S. objectives, if we are assured that our own reductions in capabilities are matched appropriately by the USSR.

30. Objectives of U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Policy. In the light of these considerations, U.S. arms control and disarmament policy should form a major element of our national policy and, as such, should seek to complement our military policy in enhancing U.S. security by promoting a stable military environment and developing the means of limiting damage should war occur. To this end the following objectives (which are not necessarily listed in order of priority) should be sought:

The U.S. should seek to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons capabilities to nations not now controlling such capabilities.
It should seek to reduce the likelihood of hostilities occurring through accident, miscalculation or failure of communication.
It should seek to limit the capabilities of enemy states to undertake aggression against the U.S. and its allies, to reduce the risk of war, and to decrease the destructiveness of war should it occur, through substantial safeguarded reductions in armaments and other measures by the major powers, short of general and complete disarmament.
It should, as a long-term goal, seek to promote the political and military conditions under which the use or threat of force as an instrument of national policy would be reduced and finally eliminated, through an agreed total program of general and complete disarmament under effective international controls in a world effectively organized for peace.

Each of these four categories of measures is discussed below.

31. Steps to Prevent Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Capabilities. In order to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation, emphasis should be placed on seeking not only a safeguarded cessation of nuclear testing but also a safeguarded cessation of production of fissionable materials for weapons purposes and an agreement under which nuclear powers would commit themselves not to relinquish control over nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states. An agreement not to disseminate nuclear weapons should be couched in terms that would not call into question either existing NATO custodial arrangements or any contemplated allied multi-lateral arrangement.

32. Initial Measures to Reduce the Likelihood of Accident, Miscalculation or Failure of Communication. Even if the Soviets do not share the U.S. image of the future of the world in the degree necessary to negotiate major arms reductions programs, they may come to recognize the serious dangers of accident, miscalculation and failure of communication and thus be willing to join the U.S. in limited measures to reduce those dangers. Such measures might include advance notification of military movements, creation of some facility for direct, secure, and instantaneous communication between national military command centers of the two sides, establishment of observation posts and arrangements to reduce the risk of surprise attack, and establishment of an International Commission to Reduce the Risk of War in which the U.S. and the USSR would consider further steps to promote stability, reduce tensions, dampen military crises, and minimize the need for hasty military responses. The U.S. should, even before such a Commission is established, urgently seek out opportunities informally to discuss such measures with the USSR to try to alert it to the importance and nature of the problem.

33. Limited Disarmament Measures.

Limited disarmament measures, though short of general and complete disarmament, might still be substantial and comprehensive. They [Page 327] might include reducing and limiting strategic nuclear delivery capabilities; reducing and limiting conventional armaments and armed forces; and insuring the peaceful uses of outer space. In negotiating limited measures, the U.S. should seek to the maximum possible extent to redress the imbalance in conventional land armaments existing between NATO and the Bloc. Such measures might reduce the risk of war, limit the cost of military programs, and reduce the destructiveness of war, if it occurs.

34. General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World.

The U.S. should continue to evidence its willingness to negotiate a program and a treaty for general and complete disarmament in a peaceful world.

Such a program would involve the reduction and eventual elimination of national military capabilities except those required for maintaining internal order and for an international peace force—to be carried out by balanced, equitable, and safeguarded steps for the concurrent regulation and reduction of both nuclear and non-nuclear armed forces and armaments where appropriate, under effective verification procedures which would be reciprocal or international and would be responsive to the required amount of security dependent on the extent and kind of retained armaments. Parallel to the curtailment of national military power, such a program would promote the growth of more effective means for keeping the peace, including: renunciation of subversion and indirect aggression as instruments of policy, development of the rule of international law, improvement of procedures for settling international disputes, and development of an international peace force capable of effectively protecting all nations against breaches of the peace.

Given Soviet attitudes and policies, general and complete disarmament is unlikely of attainment in the near future. The U.S. should: (a) continue to favor such a policy, while underlining candidly its radical implications for international law and effective peace-keeping machinery; and (b) at the same time seek the more limited and feasible arms control measures set forth above.

35. Evaluation.

In evaluating arms control and disarmament measures primary consideration should, of course, be given to the degree of military risk or military advantage involved. In addition, the following factors should be weighed: the dangers inherent in the continuation of uncontrolled increases in the proliferation of armaments, the possible effect of a proposed measure on the ability of the U.S. to carry out its foreign policy, and its probable effect on over-all Communist policy and on the evolution of the Bloc.

36. Inspection and Verification.

Adequate verification must accompany arms control and disarmament. There should be effective verification of: (i) destruction of armaments [Page 328] or their conversion to peaceful uses; (ii) cessation or limitation of production, testing, or other specified activities; (iii) the fact that agreed levels of armaments and armed forces are not exceeded. A continuing attempt should be made to devise inspection techniques which would fully exploit technological progress, and the degree of inspection should be related to the technical need and the degree of risk to the national security involved. Some arms control measures conceivably may be assured without formal inspection machinery or may be subject to verification through national intelligence collection capabilities.

37. Arms Control and Military Planning.

It is essential that U.S. arms control planning and research be integrated with U.S. military planning. Both are directed toward improving U.S. military security, and they will only achieve this objective if they are carried forward in close concert. On the one hand, in proposing an arms control measure, we must take into account its effect on relative military capabilities and support of national strategy. At the same time, military contingency plans, research and development, and programming of armed forces and armaments should reflect an awareness of the extent to which they affect stability in the military environment, the evolution of weapons and doctrine, and the likelihood of unauthorized use of weapons.

38. Dissemination of Arms Control Knowledge.

The increasing U.S. knowledge and understanding of arms control matters should be disseminated not only to other Western powers but also to the neutrals and to the Soviet Bloc. Informal conferences, consultations, and meetings should be encouraged both within the West and on an East-West basis where we can be assured that U.S. participation will be competent, responsible, and responsive to the national interest.

39. Regional Arms Races in Newly Developing Areas.

The development of regional arms races for purposes of prestige or external adventures should be discouraged where possible. Any opportunity for tacit or explicit agreements to limit such competition should be fully exploited. We should constantly be alert to means for creating or embracing such opportunities.

[Here follow sections on “Arms Control and Disarmament,” “Policy Towards the Underdeveloped Areas,” “The Framework of Organization,” “Relations With Communist Regimes,” and “The Domestic Base.”]

  1. Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 69 D 121, BNSP Draft 6/22/62. Secret. For information on previous drafts, see Documents 70, 83, and 90. The underlined text represents the portions that were intended to be included in short version of the paper, which was circulated on August 2. (Attachment to memorandum from U. Alexis Johnson to McNamara, October 15; Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 65 A 3464, 381 (Relo) BNSP 31 Mar 62)
  2. That is, in cases where U.S. and allied strength is not sufficient—or could not be made sufficient, with a minor build-up—to permit defense against major assault without a time limit. [Footnote in the source text.]