67. Paper Prepared in the Department of Defense1


I. Strategic Retaliatory Forces

[table (11 columns and 6 rows of source text) not declassified]

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Since 1961 we have increased the number of weapons on alert threefold and alert megatonnage more than threefold. We have now reached a plateau both in weapons and megatons, with future planned reductions in bombers offset by increases in missiles. Our remaining bomber/tanker forces in FY 1970, armed with over [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] can send [1–1/2 lines of source text not declassified].
The only major disagreements the Chiefs have with this program are: (a) that they prefer an ultimate force of 1200 Minuteman missiles instead of the 1000 we have recommended—if next year it seems desirable to increase the number of Minuteman missiles from 1000 to 1200, we have the option to do so; and (b) the Chiefs also recommend a faster rate of development of a potential follow-on bomber.

II. Continental Air and Missile Defense Forces

No major changes are planned in these forces. There will be some phase down of older interceptors and redundant radars. We are not approving the procurement of a new manned interceptor (YF 12–A) or the Nike X anti-missile missile, but we are planning to spend $400 million in FY 1966 to continue the development of the Nike X and retain the option to decide to deploy either the Nike X or the YF 12–A in subsequent years.
The Chiefs prefer to include pre-production funds for the YF 12–A and the Nike X, which would make possible their deployment nine months to a year earlier.

III. General Purpose Forces

FY 61 FY 62 FY 63 FY 64 FY 65 FY 66 FY 67 FY 68 FY 69 FY 70
Combat Ready:
Army Divs. 11 14 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Marine Divs. 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Marine Air Wings 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
A.F. Tactical Fighter Wings 16 23 20 21 22 23 23 24 24 24

1. A substantial part of our increase in defense expenditures over the past four years has gone into the increase in the number and strength of Army combat ready divisions and Air Force tactical fighter wings. The latter are now being equipped with F–4s and in FY 1966 we will make our first large procurement of the F–111 (TFX).

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FY 61 FY 62 FY 63 FY 64 FY 65 FY 66 FY 67 FY 68 FY 69 FY 70
Attack Carriers 15 16 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 14
Antisubmarine Warfare Carriers 9 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Nuclear Attack Submarines 13 16 16 19 23 31 41 47 52 56

We are planning to reduce the number of carriers from 15 to 14 in FY 1970 and to 13 in FY 1972. This reduction is already being reflected in our procurement of carrier aircraft. While we are not increasing the number of antisubmarine carriers (ASW) we are making great qualitative improvements in all our ASW capabilities and are adding to the force nuclear attack submarines whose primary mission is ASW.

2. The JCS, except for the Chief of Staff, Army, approve the programmed number of Army divisions. Except for the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, they approve the reduction in the number of the tactical carriers. They approve the tactical air force program except that the Chief of Staff, Army and the Chief of Naval Operations believe that 21 wings would be adequate as contrasted with the 24 we are programming. They recommend building six nuclear attack submarines in FY 1966 instead of the four, and sixteen destroyer escorts instead of the ten we recommend; three of the Chiefs also recommend construction of a nuclear powered guided missile frigate in FY 1966.

IV. Airlift and Sealift

FY 61 FY 62 FY 63 FY 64 FY 65 FY 66 FY 67 FY 68 FY 69 FY 70
30-day airlift to: SE Asia (thousands of tons) 14.7 20.0 23.6 25.4 29.0 36.1 48.5 54.8 67.0 78.9
Europe (thousands of tons) 32.0 42.4 50.3 54.4 61.1 73.6 96.6 108.1 128.8 150.1

1. We have greatly increased the totally inadequate strategic airlift which we possessed in 1961. We are beginning to receive deliveries of operational C-141s, the new jet transport plane. We now propose to initiate development of a new, much larger, and more economical transport jet plane known as the CX(HLS). If we procure only the three squadrons of CX(HLS) now programmed, we will increase our 30-day airlift to Southeast Asia from 15,000 tons in FY 1961 to 79,000 tons in FY 1970 and to 89,000 tons in FY 1971.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff concur with these recommendations. We plan to further increase the strategic mobility of our forces by starting construction in FY 1966 of four fast forward deployment ships.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Defense Budget—FY 1966, Box 16. Top Secret. A December 14 covering memorandum from Cyrus Vance to President Johnson notes that the attached paper was prepared in response to President Johnson’s request of December 11. The President’s request has not been further identified.