96. National Security Study Memorandum 2071


  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Deputy Secretary of State
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Israeli Future Military Requirements

The President has directed a study of the proposals of the Government of Israel included in its paper “The Defense Requirements of the Israeli Defense Forces for the Next Ten Years (1974–1983),” known as “Matmon B.”2 The purpose of the study is to review and assess the Israeli plan in the context of its implications for the situation in the Middle East, the peace settlement process, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. military readiness posture including international security interests, and defense production. The study should consider, but not be limited to the following:

Military factors:

—Assessment of the threat as projected by the Israelis, and the rationale and reasons for differences in U.S. and Israeli perceptions of the threat.

—Assessment of the force structure which the Israelis consider necessary to meet the threat.

—Military strategy which the projected Israeli force structure is designed to implement.

—Implications of Matmon for U.S. defense planning, i.e., impact on U.S. defense production as it affects the readiness of U.S. forces and the ability of DOD to meet military assistance and sales commitments to other nations.

Political and economic factors:

—An assessment of the political strategy which the projected Israeli force structure is designed to implement, both in terms of Israeli interests and U.S. interests;

—the effect of approval of Matmon in whole or in part on the [Page 409] Middle East peace settlement process, possible Soviet reaction, and U.S. long-term interests in the Arab world;

—budgeting and funding requirements to support the Matmon proposal.

Based on the foregoing assessment, the study should present alternative U.S. responses to the Matmon proposal. Each option should include specific implementing actions relevant to the peace-making process, funding and production capabilities, and actions required for obtaining Congressional approval for the necessary multi-year programming and funding. The advantages and disadvantages of each option should be thoroughly assessed.

The study should be prepared by an NSC ad hoc group comprising representatives of the addressees and the NSC staff, and chaired by the representative of the Secretary of Defense. The completed study should be submitted by August 26, 1974, for review by the NSC Senior Review Group prior to its consideration by the President.

The study should be conducted on a most close-hold, need-to-know basis.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box 31, NSSMs, NSSM 207, Israeli Future Military Requirements, Folder 1. Secret; Sensitive. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
  2. Matmon is the Hebrew word for “treasure.” Matmon B was a list of military equipment Israel requested from the United States after the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war.