218. Letter From John J. McCloy to President Johnson 1
Dear Mr. President:
I have completed the review of our NATO policy which you asked me to undertake in your letter delivered to me on October 7.2 I enclose my report herewith.
Within the time available, I have sought to obtain and analyze as much data and thinking in the Government bearing on the problem as I could. In doing so, I have had the full cooperation of the Secretaries of State, Defense and Treasury, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of the CIA, as well as many other officials of the Government who are charged with responsibilities related to the subject of my inquiry. They have made available many studies and reports bearing on my report, prepared in their Departments and Agencies. Members of their staffs have assisted in various ways, including preparing special studies for my benefit.
I have been much impressed with the dedication of the staffs and the quality of their work. Without this help it would have been quite impossible [Page 496] to carry out the assigned task. For all of this assistance, I am very grateful.
In the course of my studies, I have found unanimity among all the responsible officials that NATO is vital to the security of the United States, and I have proceeded on that assumption.
In conducting my review, I have confined myself essentially to the strength of the ground and air forces of NATO for the Central Front as the question of United States force levels is related to such forces. Accordingly, I have not dealt with naval forces or those which have been committed to the northern and southern flanks of NATO.
During my consideration of these matters, there occurred the collapse of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, an event which complicated an already complex task. Representatives of the German Government have continued to cooperate fully in an exchange of views and data, but the lack of a government in Bonn may delay our progress considerably. Insofar as any decisions by the Federal Republic bear on fiscal matters, it may, therefore, be some time before we can complete our tripartite review. Indeed, for the same reason, my own report to you on this aspect of our study cannot be as definite as it might otherwise have been.
To present my thoughts to you as simply and briefly as possible—and in a manner that I trust will assist decision-making—I have led off with:
Conclusions and Recommendations
This section is backed up by six analytical sections3 which explain how and why I reached my conclusions:
- The Need for NATO
- NATO Strategy and Forces
- Military Effects of Force Changes
- Political Effects of Force Changes
- Balance of Payment Issues
- The British Situation
From the many studies prepared for me by various agencies of the Executive Branch, I have selected six which I consider important enough to warrant your personal attention. They are separately bound as Annexes to this report:4
- Annex I: The Tripartite Report (Final) of Working Group I on Warsaw Pact Capabilities
- Annex II: The Tripartite Report (Draft) of Working Group II on NATO Capabilities
- Annex III: The Tripartite Report (Draft) of Working Group III on Balance of Payments Effects
- Annex IV: Special National Intelligence Estimate
- Annex V: Memorandum from Central Intelligence Agency
- Annex VI: Illustrative Concept for Brigade Rotation.
To facilitate early consideration of this report, I am sending copies to the Secretaries of State, Treasury and Defense, with an additional copy to the latter for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I will be available, of course, to discuss the report whenever it suits your convenience.
I trust that you are feeling well after your operation.