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Office of the Historian

The NSC System


1. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger) to President-Elect Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, Subject Files, Executive FG 6–6. No classification marking. A handwritten annotation on page one of the memorandum reads: “12–27–68 (Taken by HAK to Florida for 12/30 meeting with RMN), approved by RMN 12/30/68.” In White House Years, pp. 41–47, Kissinger recounted the formulation of this memorandum, the subsequent debate over its merits, and Nixon's hesitation at implementing it. Kissinger stated that Nixon approved the memorandum on December 27, before meeting with Rogers, Laird, and Kissinger to discuss it on December 28 at Key Biscayne. (Ibid., p. 44) Roger Morris, an NSC staff member from 1967 to 1970, discussed how the memorandum took shape in Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), pp. 77–90. Morris credited Morton Halperin with drafting the plan proposed in the memorandum. The Department of State drafted revisions in the memorandum which, in addition to Document 4, are in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–209, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 1; and in the National Archives, RG 59, Pedersen Files: Lot 75 D 229, NSC.


3. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger) to President-Elect Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–209, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 1. Secret.


4. Paper Prepared by the Under Secretary of State-Designate (Richardson)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–209, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 2. No classification marking. The paper is not typed on letterhead and includes no information about authorship other than the following handwritten note at the top of the first page by Kissinger: “Richardson—memo.” The first page of the paper, which ends with paragraph 5, was typed in black ink and double-spaced, while the attachment was typed in blue ink and single-spaced. The 4 pages of the attachment are numbered 3 through 6; pages 1 and 2 in the same format have not been found but they presumably consisted of the opening sections of Kissinger's December 27 memorandum (attachment to Document 1) up to the last paragraph of “Eisenhower Procedures.” For Nixon's reaction to Richardson's paper see Document 8.


5. Memorandum From the Military Assistant-Designate (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1319, NSC Unfiled Material, 1969. Confidential; Eyes Only.


6. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense-Designate Laird to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 1, Sec. Laird. Secret. A draft of the memorandum that has extensive handwritten notations, most of them additions in Laird's hand that were incorporated in the final version, is in the Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330 75 104, Secretary Laird's “Organization Papers.” Several pages of handwritten notes in an unidentified hand are ibid. One note states: “Two Choices: 1) Send memo to Henry outlining in detail why this is totally unacceptable. 2) No memo—instead go to Bill Rogers & explain situation—I go to Bryce [Harlow] at same time—then you & Bill & Bryce see Pres., suggest he call in Asst & tell him that NSC staff is independent, to be used & responsive to State, Def, & Asst—not solely to Asst. 2) that Asst be responsive to Pres & his Bd of Directors, not a substitute for or a buffer between them & him.”


7. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger) to President-Elect Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 2, Memo for President-Elect. Secret. The memorandum is marked in hand at the top: “Never sent.”


8. Memorandum From President-Elect Nixon to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs-Designate (Kissinger)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–209, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 1. Confidential.


9. Memorandum From Colonel Robert E. Pursley to Secretary of Defense Designate Laird

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, FRC 330 75 104, Secretary Laird's “Organization Papers.” Secret; Eyes Only.


10. National Security Decision Memorandum 1

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–208, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 1. Confidential.


11. National Security Decision Memorandum 2

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 363, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 2. Confidential. A January 13 memorandum from Pedersen to Rogers proposing revisions in NSDMs 2 and 3, together with typed drafts of the NSDMs with handwritten revisions, are ibid., RG 59, Pedersen Files: Lot 75 D 229, NSC.


12. National Security Decision Memorandum 3

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–209, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 3. Confidential.


13. National Security Decision Memorandum 4

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–209, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 4. No classification marking.


15. Minutes of the First Meeting of the National Security Council

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 82, NSC Meetings, Jan–Mar 1969. Top Secret; Sensitive. The time of the meeting is from the President's Daily Diary. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files) The Diary indicates that Haig also attended the meeting, and presumably he prepared the minutes. The Record of Actions prepared by Haig is ibid., NSC Files, Haig Chronological File, Box 955, Chron—Col. Haig–January 1969.


17. Memorandum for the Record

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 80–B01086A, Executive Registry, Box 7, Folder 223, NSC Review Group Meeting. Secret. Drafted by Smith on January 25.


19. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of State Rogers

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office Files of William P. Rogers: Lot 73 D 443, Box 1, Miscellaneous Hold. Confidential; Literally Personal and Eyes Only.


20. Memorandum From the President's Assistant (Haldeman) to Secretary of State Rogers

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office Files of William P. Rogers: Lot 73 D 443, Box 3, Personal Papers of William P. Rogers. No classification marking. Copies were sent to Kissinger and Ehrlichman. A blind copy was sent to Ken Cole.


22. Memorandum From the President's Military Assistant (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger–Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1969–77, Box 40, Administrative File, National Security Council Organization (2), 2/7/69–2/11/69. Eyes Only; Private.


23. Memorandum by the Chairman of the NSC Under Secretaries Committee (Richardson)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–270, Under Secretaries Decision Memoranda, U/DM 1. Information copies were sent to the Acting Director of AID, the Director of USIA, the Director of OEP, and the Under Secretary of the Treasury.


24. Memorandum From the President's Military Assistant (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger–Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, 1969–77, Box 40, Administrative File, National Security Council Organization (2), 2/7/69–2/11/69. No classification marking.


25. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–136, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 21. Secret; Sensitive.


26. National Security Study Memorandum 21

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–207, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 21. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the U.S. Information Agency.


27. Memorandum for the Record

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80–B01086A, Box 7, Folder 223, NSC Review Group Meeting. Secret. Drafted by Smith on February 15.


28. Memorandum From the Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Taylor) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–300, NSC System, IFG (Institutional File General) 1969 through 1974. Confidential.


30. Memorandum From the President's Military Assistant (Haig) to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Source: Johnson Library, Halperin Papers, NSC/RG. No classification marking. Kissinger wrote “OK, HK” at the top of the page.