108. Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Staff1

Safeguard Deployment Alternatives

I. The Issue

How do we proceed with Safeguard in FY 71 in light of developments in the threat, progress in SALT, and technical developments to date? In particular, what are the options for defining and proceeding with the area defense component of the Safeguard Program?

II. Questions that Must be Resolved

How many ABM Radars and Missiles are Needed to Provide Area Protection Against Accidental and Third Country Attacks?
  • —do we design the deployment against simple or complicated threats;
  • —do we defend against accidental attacks from both China and the Soviet Union or from China only.
What Modifications, if any, in the Accidental Attack/Third Country Deployment Would be Needed to Provide Area Defense for our Alert Bomber Forces?
Should We Extend Our Planned Defenses for Minuteman Silos Beyond Phase I?
On What Schedule Should we Proceed in Light of How Rapidly the Threats May Develop and the Availability of Funds in FY 71 and Later Years?

III. Alternatives

Alternative I—Delay a Decision to Deploy New Sites Until Next Year (FY 72). (This is the DOD category I proposal)2

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If this course were followed, Phase I programs would continue at their present pace. Some funding ($40 million +) might be included to retain a “fast start-up” capability and to continue R & D ($100 million) for improved Minuteman defense. The total FY 71 cost would be approximately $1,160 million.

Alternative 2—Deploy an Area Defense Against Non-Sophisticated Attacks from China. (This is alternative 1 in the Department of Army alternative listing.)3

This decision could be implemented by constructing two new sites, one in New England (or the Northeast) and one in the Northwest. This option would entail increasing Safeguard costs over Phase I by $600 million in NOA for a total of $1,650 million in FY 71 and would involve $930 million in FY 71 outlays.

Alternative 3—Deploy a More Extensive Defense Against the Soviet Threat to the Minuteman Force. (This is the DOD category 3 proposal)

This decision would include another site at Whiteman, Missouri, and possibly Warren, Wyoming, to provide protection for the Minuteman wings nearby. Additional missiles would be included for the two Phase I sites. Approval for these additional sites would be sought in FY 71, bringing total FY 71 costs to about $1,465 [million].

Alternative 4—Deploy an Area Defense Against Third Country Attacks and Soviet Accidental ICBM Attacks. (This is the DOD category 2 proposal.)

This decision could be implemented with a total of seven sites and 11 radars. Approval for three of these sites could be sought in FY 71 at a cost ranging from $1,640 to $1,760 million. The added sites would be deployed in the following order: Whiteman, Missouri; Washington, D. C.; and the Northwest site.

A variant would be to proceed with constructing only two sites now at a FY 71 total cost of $1,510 million. Authority to procure long lead time items and to survey for the remaining two sites—New England and Michigan/Detroit—would also be sought. DOD believes this is the most logical step to take and that it could be better defended at this time.

Alternative 5—Deploy an Area Defense Against Third Country Attacks and Soviet Accidental ICBM and SLBM Attacks.

This decision would call for the twelve-site Safeguard area defense option previously presented to the National Security Council by DOD.4 It could be funded at an accelerated rate, beginning with $2.8 billion in FY 71 in order to have all sites in by beginning of 1977. Alternatively, construction could be initiated on only two sites in FY 71 and total FY 71 budget requirements kept at $1,760 million.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–99, DPRC Meeting, December 20, 1969. Top Secret. No drafting information appears on the paper. Under a December 19 covering memorandum, Lynn sent the paper to Kissinger in advance of the next day’s DPRC meeting. The paper summarizes an undated 18-page paper, drafted by Lynn, that Lynn sent to Kissinger under a separate December 19 covering memorandum. (Ibid.)
  2. In a December 16 letter to Kissinger, Packard outlined three alternatives for the Safeguard program. The first called for no additional steps in Phase II of the program, but placed additional emphasis on Minuteman defense R&D. The second would have implemented a first stage of Phase II directed toward a light area defense. This alternative included three options, 7–A through 7–C, consisting of varying deployment schedules for a seven-site light area defense. The third was to proceed with one or two ABM sites emphasizing the defense of Minuteman. Packard favored Alternative 2, option 7–C, the slowest deployment schedule. (Ford Library, Laird Papers, Box 27, Safeguard)
  3. Not further identified and not found.
  4. See Documents 14 and 16.