25. National Security Study Memorandum 991
- The Secretary of State
- The Secretary of Defense
- The Director of Central Intelligence
- U.S. Strategy for Southeast Asia
The President has directed that a complete review and analysis of U.S. strategy alternatives for Southeast Asia for the period 1970-1975 be undertaken. The study should devise U.S. strategy alternatives consistent with:
- —alternative statements of U.S. interests,
- —assessments of the enemy’s interests and goals,
- —an analysis of enemy capabilities,
- —an analysis of the interests and capabilities of the non-communist nations of Southeast Asia, including the prospects for increased regional cooperation,
- —an analysis of the potential for U.S. military and economic assistance and assistance from other non-communist nations, and
- —an analysis of possible roles for U.S. forces in Southeast Asia.
Each strategy should be accompanied by an appraisal of its cost and political consequences.
The study will be carried out under the direction of the Special Review Group for Southeast Asia and will be organized as follows:
- —Interests Panel
- —Diplomatic Options Panel
- —Military Strategy Options Panel
- —Economic and Military Assistance Panel
Membership of each panel shall comprise representatives of the Departments of State and Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Security Council Staff. The Economic and Military Assistance Panel shall include also representatives of the Office of Management and Budget and the Agency for International Development.
The Working Group presently constituted to support the Vietnam Special Studies Group also will support the Special Review Group for Southeast Asia in the conduct of this study, and will prepare a detailed study plan and supervise and coordinate the work of the panels. In the conduct of the study the panels will consider and utilize as appropriate the studies prepared in response to NSSM’s 51, 94 and 95,2 previous Vietnam Special Studies Group papers and relevant National Intelligence Estimates.
As an initial interim step in the overall study alternative shortrange military strategies for Cambodia should be developed. This paper should be submitted to the Chairman, Special Review Group for Southeast Asia not later than September 4, 1970.
The completed study should be submitted to the Chairman, Special Review Group for Southeast Asia by September 30, 1970.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, NSSMs 43–103. Top Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the JCS, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development.↩
- NSSM 51, “Program Analysis of Thailand,” issued on April 26, 1969, and the response to NSSM 51, August 5, 1970, are in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XX, Southeast Asia, 1969–1972, Documents 10 and 82. NSSM 94, “Diplomatic Initiatives on Indo-China,” issued on May 25, and NSSM 95, “U.S. Policy Objectives in Indo-China,” issued on June 6, are ibid., volume VI, Vietnam, January 1969–July 1970, Documents 305 and 319. Regarding the response to NSSM 94, see ibid., Document 324. The response to NSSM 95, June 24, is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, NSSMs 43–103.↩