218. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1


  • Implications of the Proposed Reduction of U.S. Government Personnel in the Philippines

You asked whether Ambassador Byroade has some legitimate arguments against the proposed personnel reduction in the Philippines, or whether he is simply placating Marcos.2

These are Byroade’s feelings, not Marcos’. So far as we are aware, Marcos does not know of the planned reductions, though rumors are already said to be floating around Clark.

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Informal consultation with the State Department and the Embassy in Manila indicates that the following questions will arise in implementing your instructions:

  • —The impact upon our strategic position in the Pacific.
  • —When and how to tell the Philippine Government about the reductions.
  • —The effect that the reductions will have on the political position of President Marcos.
  • —The relationship between the reductions and upcoming negotiations on our base rights in the Philippines.
  • —The impact of cuts on the Philippine economy, particularly its foreign exchange position.
  • —The labor problems caused by laying off Philippine employees.
  • —The effect of the phasing of the reductions on all the above.

I have asked Elliot Richardson, as Chairman of the Under Secretaries Committee, to draw up a reduction plan for submission to you. He has been specifically authorized to include in his report an evaluation of the implications of the planned reductions for U.S./Philippine relations and for U.S. strategic capabilities in Asia. I have suggested that the plan envisage a completion date in 1971 for the planned reductions. Defense has asked for more time to make its submission for this report and a separate memorandum is coming to you on this subject.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 556, Country Files, Far East, Philippines, Vol. II. Secret; Nodis. Sent for information. A notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.
  2. Byroade had requested in telegram 2946 from Manila (see footnote 2, Document 216) that his telegrams concerning the “profound implications” of the planned personnel reductions be shown to President Nixon, and Kissinger had reassured Green in an April 7 telephone conversation that this would be done. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 556, Country Files, Far East, Philippines, Vol. II)