140. Notes of Defense Program Review Committee Meeting1

HAK [Kissinger]: We will work on model of Verification Panel

  • W.G. under Lynn
  • —Study task forces under Tucker.

Studies come to working group, which will pull them together. Vast majority under DOD. East Asia base structure under Larry [Lynn] because it cuts across so many things.


HAK: We could either focus on NSDM 272 or start fresh.

DP [Packard]: Don’t do either. NSDM 27 as central point. Variants above and below that. Stick to realistic bases from budget standpoint.


HAK: This is what Mel [Laird] is so interested in. Ehrlichman staff represented on Working Group. Keep Ehrlichman man on this.

AJ [Johnson]: We want to keep a man involved, Lee Sloss.

JS [Schlesinger]: If we want to be non-inflationary in FY 71, DOD budget would be $65.6 billion.

DP: I don’t doubt it. I disagree with taking it all out of defense.

[Page 509]

GPF—Need mobilization potential analysis.3

DP: Don’t want to get into too much detail on force levels. Tucker.

JS: Are we going to examine when Allies will join in and when they won’t?

HAK: Good question.


HAK: First systematic study of this.

DP: I recommend that we look at this on broader basis than military R&D.

HAK: Is it still manageable?

DP: I think so. You have to assess level and what kinds of things are being done in non-military area. You’ll get a distorted picture if you don’t.

HAK: Can you focus on non-military aspects relevant to military?

DP: I think we should have OST in this. How about PSAC?

GT [Tucker]: OST & NSF should be on steering committee.

HAK: I don’t want to tell you how to do this. Is June 15 realistic deadline for this?

DP: We’ll have to do this.

GT: We can try this.

HAK: That leaves two studies. I want to keep Gardiner [Tucker] from monopolizing all the working groups.

Asia base structure—should State chair it, since Elliot [Richardson] suggested it?4 Or at least do political assumption?

DP: It should be a sub-study, part of GPF.

HAK: How about under State chairmanship? Working Group should develop an outline for it, because it’s so complex.

AJ: Where and how do we get intelligence communication into it? NSA.

HAK: Any member here should have access to any subcommittee.

DP: What’s your concern on strategic posture?

HAK: Should Larry Lynn chair it?

DP: This is so enmeshed in DOD, Gardiner can do it.

HAK: OK. Larry has crack at it though. All should come to a point during June. Can you handle this Gardiner?

GT: We can do it. Why June?

[Page 510]

HAK: They have to start cycling in June.

DP: GPF has to be done fairly soon or it’s no use. Nuclear can be put out a bit. It will be influenced by Vienna,5 alternatives for FY 72 budget can be held open until later in the year. We’ve got a major study underway on strategic business.6

HAK: Larry, get Working Group to work out a schedule. You’ll want to go over this in working group, then get them before us.

Does this seem reasonable?

  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. In an April 23 memorandum, Lynn informed Kissinger that the meeting’s primary purpose was “to allow you to provide guidance to the DPRC concerning what the President wants from the studies he has directed and the desired schedule for their completion.” (Ibid.) Lynn was referring to studies of strategy, available resources for defense and military commitments, general purpose forces, the U.S. strategic posture, military R&D, and the U.S. East Asia base structure, as formally called for by the President in his April 2 memorandum, Document 136. The DPRC had discussed the first two at its meeting on March 23; see Document 132 and footnote 8 thereto. According to Kissinger’s un-dated talking points for the April 24 meeting, the President desired the studies so as “to avoid the situation he faced during last year’s budget review, where he was asked to make fundamental decisions on the size and composition of the defense budget under extreme time pressure and without a thoughtful analysis to help him.” Notes of the meeting and Kissinger’s talking points are in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–100, DPRC Meeting, April 24, 1970.
  2. Document 56.
  3. The unknown notetaker is presumably recording a discussion of general purpose forces.
  4. See Document 14.
  5. The second round of SALT negotiations began in Vienna on April 16.
  6. Not further identified. Packard may be referring to the NSSM 64 response, Document 129.