96. Information Memorandum From Richard T. Kennedy of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

SUBJECT

  • Your Meeting with Secretary Laird and Mr. Weinberger on the Defense Budget Monday, August 7, 1972

In addition to the subjects raised in Phil Odeen’s memo, OMB’s Security Assistance ceilings for FY 74 should be raised.2

Secretary Laird has protested that the OMB ceiling on FY 74 Security Assistance requests is inadequate (Tab A).3 The ceilings were announced by Weinberger in a letter to Secretary Rogers immediately after the July 20th Cabinet meeting on the budget (Tab B).4 The ceilings were never discussed with the NSC staff nor were we aware of the letter until after it had been sent.

We share Mr. Laird’s view. The ceilings are entirely too low and approach the low levels of congressional appropriations of FY 1972 which the President is on record as considering insufficient to meet our security needs.5 Comparison of the OMB FY 74 ceilings with previous years is as follows:

FY 74 OMB FY 73 Request FY 72 Approp. FY 72 Request
MAP 580 780 500 705
FMS 570 527 400 510
Supporting Assistance 663 844 601 763
Total 1813 2151 1501 1978

The cuts we know will be made by Congress in the FY 73 requests will compound the problems caused by the deep FY 72 cuts. We have planned to look at a supplemental after November to restore some of [Page 235]the combined FY 72-73 cuts. The OMB FY 74 levels would merely perpetuate the problem and invite even deeper cuts by Congress. They are inconsistent with the thrust of the Nixon doctrine.

The OMB FY 74 levels would require major cuts in the Cambodia, Turkey, and Korea programs and would not enable us to meet our minimum supporting assistance needs. Moreover, they are predicated on a more rapid shift from grant MAP to FMS than we believe is either possible or desirable for most of our key recipients.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 230, Department of Defense, Volume 18 8-12/72. Secret. Concurred in by Philip Odeen.
  2. Odeen’s memorandum has not been identified. For the OMB’s ceilings, see Document 92.
  3. See Document 95.
  4. See Document 92 and footnote 2 thereto.
  5. The President’s June 10 letters to Senators Mansfield and Scott regarding the Foreign Assistance Authorization Bill are printed in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1972, pp. 669-670.