361. National Security Study Memorandum 711


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Director, Office of Science and Technology
  • The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
  • The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency


  • Advanced Technology and National Security

The President has directed that a review be conducted of our policies governing the access by foreign countries to certain advanced technologies vital to our national security. The review will consider nuclear power reactors, ballistic missile systems, advanced computers, and other scientific and technological devices and information whose acquisition from the United States by other nations would assist in the development or improvement of independent national nuclear weapons capabilities or strategic delivery systems.

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The review should clarify the purposes and scope of existing policies and discuss the major issues posed by the export of sensitive technologies worldwide and with respect to specific countries. As a result of the review, recommendations should be offered on alternative policies to regulate the export of these technologies and on various procedures for policy implementation. Consideration of the impact on friendly and hostile governments should be included in reporting the assets and liabilities of each option. More specifically in recommending alternatives, the report should:

  • —Consider any further obligations of the United States Government with regard to advanced technologies that result from (a) the commitment of this government to a single global commercial communications satellite system, and (b) the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty should it come into force;
  • —Make explicit those policies applicable to all countries; when a policy is not universally applicable, adequate guidelines should be prepared for identifying those countries, or types of countries, to which it is directed;
  • —Propose criteria to be applied in considering requests for export licenses or for government financing of foreign projects involving these advanced technologies;
  • —Offer any necessary procedures to allow the United States Government to monitor policies governing advanced technologies.

This review should give full consideration to the commitment of the United States Government to international cooperation in the peaceful application of nuclear and space technologies and to the necessity for free exchange of scientific knowledge when national security is not impaired.

This review will be conducted by a committee to be chaired by a representative of the Secretary of State. The committee will include representatives of the addressees of this memorandum and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. The committee will forward its report to the NSC Review Group by September 30, 1969.2

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212, NSSM 71. Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning.
  2. No completed study was found. According to a May 28, 1970, memorandum from Thomas R. Pickering (PM) to Guhin of the NSC Staff, Pickering thought Guhin’s May 28, 1970, draft might set back the project and proposed some State Department language. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 80 D 212. NSSM 71) In a June 22, 1971, memorandum to the President (Document 376), Laird noted that the study was cancelled.