93. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Defense Program Review Committee1


  • Establishment of Defense Program Review Committee Working Group

Based on our prior discussions and the presentation to us at our last meeting2 of the draft Fiscal Guidance for the Defense Department, the agenda for the Defense Program Review Committee for the coming months should include:

General issues:

  • —Analysis of Forces, Threats, and Strategies in Relation to U.S. Overseas Commitments and Policies;
  • —Analysis of Resources Required for Defense and Relation of Defense Budgets to Civilian Programs and the Economy;
  • —Review of U.S. General Purposes Forces Postures;
  • —Review of U.S. Strategic Posture.

Specific issues:

  • —Future Strategic Role of Manned Bombers;
  • —Requirements for Aircraft Carriers;
  • —Continental Air Defense.

These issues, together with any other issues suggested by members of the Committee, will be considered by the DPRC during the period prior to the submission by the Defense Department in September of their Five Year Force and Program Plan for FY 72–76.

It is essential that the Committee have a regular procedure for organizing and preparing for its consideration of these issues. To that end, the President has directed that the Defense Program Review Committee establish a Working Group to assist it in its work.

This Working Group will be chaired by a representative of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and will include a representative of each regular member of the Committee.

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The responsibility of the Working Group will be the preparation, prior to DPRC consideration of an issue, of a paper which will:

  • —set forth and analyze the issue or problem;
  • —state with precision any difference of views within the Government and the reasons therefor;
  • —present the options available to the President, indicating in summary form their advantages and disadvantages.

The Working Group will be responsible for organizing and supervising whatever studies and analyses are required for the preparation of the DPRC papers, drawing on the participating agencies for staff support.

Please let me have the name of your representative on the Working Group by January 23, 1970.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–098, Defense Program Review Committee, DPRC General 1969–Feb. 1970. Secret; Sensitive.
  2. January 15.