The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102-138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102-138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editor is convinced that this volume, which was compiled in 1990-1991, meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

[Page IV]

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 3 years (1961-1963) of the administration of John F. Kennedy. The subseries presents in 25 print volumes and 5 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of President Kennedy’s administration.

This volume presents the documentary record of major national security policies. A separate microfiche supplement will comprise additional documentation on national security policies regarded by the editor as significant but not warranting inclusion in the printed volume.

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues for which space does not exist in the volume but which will be included in a microfiche supplement.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors gave priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records (which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes).

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies, including relevant National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates as may be declassified;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, Volume VIII

The editor of this volume has defined a “major issue” to be a national security policy or problem that received high-level attention within the U.S. Government; from the President, key White House aides, or Cabinet-level officials; and/or had long-range repercussions for U.S. foreign policy and interests. While it was impossible to include the details of U.S. policy on every national security issue, documentation has been included, either in the print volume or the microfiche supplement, that delineates basic U.S. policies toward the subjects in question.

The primary focus of the documents in this volume is on the foreign policymaking process of the U.S. Government, including documentation [Page VI] illuminating policy formulation and major aspects and repercussions of its execution. Emphasis is placed on official memoranda that reveal policy positions, show differences within the U.S. Government over policy formulation, summarize developments and positions regarding an issue, contain intelligence or military assessments, and describe decisions or actions taken in the National Security Council.

Documentation selected by the editor for inclusion in the microfiche supplement provides additional details on the major issues covered in this volume. The annotation to printed documents contains references to related documents included in the microfiche supplement. The supplement also includes several lengthy attachments to printed documents. In these cases, the printed document contains editorial references to the microfiche supplement. The volume may be used without the supplement, but the microfiche should be used in conjunction with the printed volume.

The editor sought principally to cover four interrelated developments in U.S. national security policy:

Upon taking office, the Kennedy administration dismantled much of the existing policymaking machinery of the National Security Council (NSC) and substituted a more unstructured policymaking style. The President met less frequently with the full NSC than had been the case in the preceding Eisenhower administration. In the 1958-1960 triennium, the Council met 125 times, while under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson during 1961-1963, it met formally only 46 times. The change was progressive; while the Council convened 21 times under Kennedy in 1961, it met only 13 times in 1963. At the same time, the role of the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs was enhanced and the administration continuously created issue-oriented, ad hoc bodies to deal with specific countries and crises. From time to time McGeorge Bundy attempted to reintroduce more regularized policymaking procedures. The NSC Standing Group was one result of these efforts. Documentation providing some additional details on the transformed administrative role of the National Security Council is scheduled for volume XXV.
Leading Kennedy administration policymakers in the White House, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense, but not the President himself, worked to frame a basic national security policy (BNSP), which would replace NSC 5906/1 of July 1959, the last such statement of policy in the preceding administration. While he had little interest in an umbrella BNSP paper, President Kennedy did from time to time set forth a multi-subject overview of U.S. policy, either in the full NSC meetings or with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Kennedy took a special interest in strengthening U.S. counterinsurgency capabilities. Aided by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, he constantly prodded policymakers to do more in this area.
Under the leadership of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, the United States gradually formulated a comprehensive set of doctrines on strategic military posture, particularly with regard to the role of nuclear weapons and of conventional land-based forces. These policies evolved throughout the triennium and were most definitively expressed in a series of Draft Presidential Memoranda, or DPMs, from McNamara to the President.

Other developments pertinent to national security policy are covered in the volume but not as extensively, for the following reasons:

Public and previously declassified materials substantially document the main course of civil defense policy in the period. Moreover, the policy was never implemented on the scale originally contemplated. Substantial materials are available in published Congressional materials and in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Subjects Series, Civil Defense.
Internal security policy, for which the President assigned oversight to Robert Kennedy in National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) No. 161, “U.S. Internal Security Programs,” June 9, 1962, is outside the scope of the Foreign Relations series. NSAM No. 161 is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 161.
Because this volume was compiled when the Central Intelligence Agency was just beginning to provide expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence collections still in the custody of the Agency, the documentation printed here concerning developments in the intelligence field, while exploring several issues, is not extensive and is included particularly in the microfiche supplement. Moreover, the editor did not consult the historical files of the Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, access to which was granted to Department historians only subsequently. Like most other volumes in the series, however, this compilation does include intelligence estimates that had a direct effect on general policymaking.
Because of the very close relationship between national security and arms control policies, some documents pertaining to both subjects are included in volume VII, Arms Control and Disarmament.
Documentation concerning the stockpiling of non-nuclear strategic materials is presented in a compilation in volume IX, Foreign Economic Policy.

For all topics the major criterion for selection of materials was to document the decisions taken. Where debate over policy occurred, the first priority was to use available materials to set forth discussion at the interagency and White House levels. Where controversy was exceptionally intense and involved a topic of outstanding importance, intra-agency discussion, such as between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the [Page VIII] Office of the Secretary of Defense, was included as space permitted. Documents were selected for publication for the following reasons:

Materials on the reorganization of the National Security Council are intended to illustrate major reasons for the institutional changes without covering administrative detail.
Documentation on the efforts to form a BNSP provides insight into the thinking of important individuals and agencies. The scope of coverage takes into account several considerations. Because no BNSP was ever adopted during the triennium, the editor gave preference to actual adopted policy in the competition for space, and he selected materials more for the clarity with which they set forth individual or agency viewpoints than for their comprehensiveness. Where available, Presidential multi-subject policy reviews on major subjects are invariably included.
Documents on counterinsurgency policy set forth the measures taken and the reasons for the President’s interest in them. Documentation on the implementation of these policies, however, is included in regional and bilateral compilations in other volumes of the Foreign Relations series, on Southeast Asia, Laos, Vietnam, Latin America, and Cuba, for instance.
The materials selected on global military strategy are those that treat the subject with maximum comprehensiveness and that bear most directly on foreign policy considerations. The editor made every effort to include materials that show how these policies influenced or were influenced by the foreign policy community as a whole. Certain materials were included that concern the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) because they contain influential statements of global strategic policy. Documentation concerning the reaction of the NATO powers to the reformulation of nuclear strategy, and the interaction of the United States with its Western allies on these issues, is in volume XIII, Western Europe and Canada.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical [Page IX] documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this volume because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

An unnumbered source note to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it [Page X] does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee has not reviewed this volume.

Declassification Review

The final declassification review of this volume, which was completed in 1995, resulted in the decision to withhold 1.5 percent of the documentation selected. No documents were denied in full. The remaining documentation provides an accurate account of the national security policy of the U.S. Government during this period.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information, which was superseded by Executive Order 1528 on April 20, 1995, and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library of the National Archives and Records Administration, [Page XI] in particular Suzanne Forbes, and other officials of specialized repositories who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

David W. Mabon collected, selected, and edited the volume, under the general supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. Rita M. Baker and Deb Godfrey did the copy and technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division oversaw the production of the volume. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.

William Z. Slany

The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

July 1996