115. National Security Study Memorandum 851

  • TO
    • The Secretary of State
    • The Secretary of Defense
    • The Director, Office of Science and Technology
    • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
    • U.S. Policy on Toxins

As a follow-up to National Security Study Memorandum 59,2 and in light of the decisions set forth in National Security Decision Memorandum 35,3 the President has directed a study of all aspects of United States policy and programs with respect to toxins.4

The review should consist of a presentation of current and alternative United States policies and programs with respect to toxins and the pros and cons of each. It should include discussion of research and development programs and objectives, production methods, current capabilities, the military utility of toxins, and the effects upon the United States international position.

The President has directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Political-Military Group (IPMG) perform this study and that the addressees be included in the IPMG for purposes of this study.

The report of the IPMG should be forwarded to the NSC Review Group by January 16, 1970.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, NSSMs, Nos. 43–103. Secret. Copies were sent to Helms and Wheeler.
  2. Document 95.
  3. Document 104.
  4. In a December 18 memorandum, Guhin informed Kissinger that “the real issue” requiring further study was as follows: “The question of the extent of the U.S. toxin program should” be decided on the basis of the toxins’ “relative utility as chemical weapons and whether or not their stockpiling contributes to national security.” Such a determination also involved the United States’ stance toward international agreements regarding chemical and biological weapons. According to Guhin, “The current toxin program is not large and there is now no production other than for R&D.” A note on the memorandum indicates that Kissinger saw it on December 20. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 310, Subject Files, Chemical, Biological Warfare, Vol. 1)