172. Action Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (Spiers) to the Under Secretary of State (Irwin)1

Defense Planning Issues

Following the last DPRC meeting, you raised the question of how we might work most effectively with the Pentagon as they develop their Five-Year Force Program and Budget to assure that Defense programs are consistent with foreign policy. We had hoped that the DPRC would provide a vehicle for more effective interagency participation in the major policy issues arising from the Defense planning and budget process. While we still believe it in our interest to support, and where possible strengthen, the DPRC we need not look to that forum as the sole mechanism for engaging DOD on defense budgetary issues. This seems to be particularly important in view of the infrequency of the meetings and the resistance of the Pentagon to bringing many major policy issues into the DPRC. This makes it unclear what the ultimate value of that forum will be.

At the present, the State Department staff maintains a continuous liaison with the Services and various elements of OSD which enables us to identify major program and budget issues at a fairly early stage. What is lacking is a mechanism for effectively influencing these key decisions. We recognize that your intention is to secure a frank exchange of views on common problems, rather than necessarily insisting on changes by DOD to accommodate the diplomatic issues, as we see them. Nevertheless, if DOD is to take seriously our concerns it will require your personal participation and, from time to time, that of the Secretary. Thus, we very much welcome your interest and would encourage you to meet regularly with Mr. Rush, Admiral Moorer and others, as appropriate to discuss specific policy issues as we can identify them and call them to your attention.

To begin this process, we have prepared the attached set of papers to illustrate the budget process in DOD and the kinds of issues that arise. At Tab A is the DOD schedule for the review of Five-Year Programs and the Budget during the coming year. Tab B describes six fairly immediate program issues that have come to our attention through our [Page 344] review of the FY 73 Presidential Budget Submission and the FY 74–78 Defense Planning briefing given by OSD to the DPRC on Thursday, February 10. Each of these issues affects our foreign policy planning. We believe a discussion by you with DOD representatives at an early date might help us to find mutually acceptable solutions to these problems. At Tab C are examples of some longer-range issues that could be the subject of future meetings.


That you authorize me to set up a meeting with Mr. Rush at an early date for two purposes: (a) To discuss the DOD budget/program cycle and at what points in that cycle and in what form State Department inputs could be useful and appropriate; (b) To discuss the specific issues noted at Tab B. We will, in conjunction with other appropriate Bureaus, provide you with talking points prior to the meeting.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, ORG 1. Secret. Drafted by Leon Sloss (PM/ISP) on February 24 and concurred in by EUR, EA, and S/PC. The tabs are not printed.
  2. Irwin initialed his approval on March 14.