130. Minutes of Defense Program Review Committee Meeting1

[Omitted here is discussion of the implications of National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM) 43, “U.S. Policy Toward Spain: Base Negotiations,” issued on February 20. Documentation on NSDM 43 is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XLI, Western Europe; NATO, 1969–1972.]

HAK: Future work.

Pres. wants to establish rationale for claims on national resources. Need to understand threats, strategies, commitments. Pres. was faced last year with some of individual issues. He wants to use this group for doctrinal issues. When indiv. systems involved, it is from point of view, not mgt. First problem is the five year projections.2

DP: We’re having reviews now with Services & JCS. Guidance for ‘71 is $71.8 billion. Service submissions are $74 billion.

We can put together a package identifying the problems for ‘72 and five years also. Can get a first cut at military and strategic problems. Tucker working on it. Get as simple a presentation as possible.

HAK: Need state of economic inputs, trade-offs. Need to know what is minimum. Need impact of force structure on threats, foreign policy. e.g. CVAs Concept of th[eater?] forces, availability of bases.

  • —What should our national security objective be?
  • —What are the trade-offs within which we have flexibility?

DP: Problem is carriers, can barely support to 12, number of divisions. We can get broad picture. Can do this very quickly and within next month.

HAK: Best process is to have a little working group to pull papers together, identify the issues. Larry Lynn has been designated to do this.3

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McCracken: We’ve been extending our work on resource allocations.

HAK: Meeting before Easter—March 27.4 Fundamental choices. So Pres. knows what he’s got to give up & for what.

JS: Problem is piecemeal commitments on the domestic side so there is no room left in November.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–118, DPRC Minutes, Originals, 1969–1973. No classification marking. Attendees included Johnson, Packard, Wheeler, Kissinger, Spiers, Schlesinger, and McCracken.
  2. In response to NSDM 27 (Document 56), the Department of Defense, on August 18, produced “Defense Planning, 1971–76.” (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–73 A–1971, 381, Defense Planning FY 71) The final version of the paper is Document 152.
  3. In a January 19 memorandum addressed to the committee, Kissinger established the DPRC Working Group and charged it with managing the preparation and review of studies initiated by the DPRC. Later, in a February 26 memorandum addressed to Rogers, Laird, Helms, Wheeler, McCracken, and Mayo, he named Lynn to chair the Working Group. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–98, DPRC General, 1969–February 1970)
  4. The DPRC meeting on the FY 1972 Defense budget was held on Monday, March 23. See Document 132.