138. Editorial Note

Following completion of its report on the central management of resources under emergency conditions, including nuclear war (see Document 44), the White House Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) placed more emphasis on the study of emergency conditions in a limited war situation. In May 1966 a draft of a Resource Mobilization Plan for Limited War was completed and submitted to the Department of Defense and other government agencies for review and comment. As summarized in a May 20 letter from OEP Director Farris Bryant to McNamara, the Plan, among other things, “provides for an Office of Defense Resources, including the organizational and staffing arrangements, together with general operating procedures and emergency actions which would be put into effect upon the activation of ODR by the President.” It also “recognizes the role of private industry in any mobilization effort, realizes the need for flexibility to meet the demands of a situation which are not precisely predictable, and places a heavy burden on the Federal Departments and Agencies in their respective areas of responsibility.” (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 70 A 4443, 381 National Resources (Jan-May) 1966)

In a May 24 memorandum to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense’s General Counsel, and several Assistant Secretaries of Defense, Solis Horwitz requested review of and comments on the proposed Plan. (Ibid.) The Joint Chiefs of Staff [Page 419] soon concurred in the plan. (Memorandum to Secretary of Defense McNamara (JCSM–386–66), June 9, 1966; ibid., 381 National Resources (Jun-1966)) In a July 2 letter to Bryant, Deputy Secretary of Defense Vance concurred in “the basic concept for such an emergency agency, its organizational structure, planned emergency actions to be taken by its director, and the proposed legislation and executive order for its establishment,” but outlined “several substantive items” which needed “clarification and correction prior to issuance of the plan to make an organization such as the proposed ODR fully effective.” (Ibid.)

Under cover of an August 30 letter to McNamara, Bryant enclosed a copy of the Resource Mobilization Plan for Limited War, as revised in July 1966, following comments by the Department of Defense and other Federal departments and agencies, along with a revised Annex A to the Plan, “which contains the classified Office of Defense Resources emergency plan actions.” Bryant noted that these documents were to “be used as a guide by your Department in preparing the supporting plans for resource mobilization.” Because the Plan was prepared under the OEP’s continuing responsibility for the development of civil emergency preparedness measures, however, Bryant added that distribution of the Plan “at this time should not be given any special significance.” (Ibid.)