22. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Policy Planning Council (Rostow) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Status of Systematic Planning for Crises

On July 2, 1962, you issued an instruction to the Assistant Secretaries concerning the establishment of a new procedure to strengthen our performance in the anticipation of crises.

Pursuant to that instruction the geographic bureaus submitted lists of problems requiring anticipatory planning. From these lists S/P and the operating bureaus have distilled an initial list of priority problems and work has been instituted on these. In reviewing the problem of anticipating crises with the bureaus, it was noted that there are all manner of crises with which the bureaus are daily concerned and which are subject to intensive planning efforts. The priority list as finally prepared was limited to those crises which were not already upon us and which it appeared would not become acute until a time period a little farther off in the future. The initial priority list which follows was chosen on a selective basis with the idea of starting off modestly with just a few topics and doing these well:

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Ghana Succession Problem:

This was one of the priority problems selected as falling within the purview of your July 2, 1962, instruction. Work was already in a well advanced stage in AF and S/P when a White House request for a paper on this subject was received. A paper was promptly furnished the White House on September 29, 1962.

Southwest Africa (UNGA action to enforce respect for the mandate):

The work developed on this subject in AF was sent to USUN in the form of staff studies, a position paper, and telegrams. Additional work must await the outcome of UNGA debate.

Angola (reassessment of Angolan Nationalist leadership):

A paper on this problem is in an advanced stage in AF.


Succession Problem in the Iberian Peninsula:

The first draft of a post-Franco paper has been completed and is currently being circulated in the Department for comment. A first draft on a post-Salazar paper is scheduled for January 1.

De Gaulle Succession Problem:

Work has commenced in EUR on this problem. A first draft is expected by January 1.


Indonesian Economic Crisis:

Pursuant to your instruction work on this problem had already begun when a National Security Action Memorandum was received requesting a program of emergency aid to Indonesia. A paper on this subject was prepared in FE, in consultation with S/P and other agencies, and sent to the President in the form of a memorandum from you dated October 10, 1962. A study of the long-range aspects of this problem is continuing in FE and S/P.

Second Bandung Conference:

Preliminary steps have been taken by FE in the form of circular telegrams and airgrams to feel the world-wide pulse on this subject and quietly discourage participation in this conference. A circular telegram to FE posts containing general guidance on this subject is nearing completion.


Arms Control Problem (Israel vs. Arab States):

S/P, in consultation with NEA, has nearly completed a first draft of a paper on this subject.

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Due to the chronic crisis condition of the area, Assistant Secretary Martin and I agreed that it might be better to subsume crisis planning under the Strategic Studies in Latin America. Mr. Martin and I have requested your approval of this procedure in a separate memorandum concerning the Strategic Country Studies.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, S/P Files: Lot 70 D 199, Planning, 1962. Confidential.