142. National Security Decision Memorandum 601

  • TO
    • The Secretary of State
    • The Secretary of Defense
    • The Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission
    • Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization for FY 1971

The President has approved the proposed Nuclear Weapons Deployment Ceiling Plan for FY 1971 contained in the Department of [Page 513] Defense memorandum dated February 6, 19702 with the following exceptions:

  • —the President desires that by May 15, 1970 the currently planned DOD FY 71 ceiling for NATO, rather than [number not declassified] as requested, be submitted with revised tables, for his approval, and that for FY 71 and in the future the NATO ceiling be treated on the same basis as the ceilings elsewhere in the world;
  • —accordingly, the authorized deployments outside of the U.S. as of the end of FY 1971 shall not exceed [number not declassified] plus the currently planned DOD NATO ceiling, rather than the [number not declassified] requested;
  • —approval of the deployment of [less than 1 line not declassified] to NATO Europe for support of non-U.S. NATO forces is withheld pending the President’s decision on the ADM Program of Cooperation and fulfillment of all the requirements for support of non-U.S. NATO forces.

[1 paragraph (1½ lines) not declassified]

The President agrees that the number of weapons shown reflect year end ceilings with specific conditional deployments treated on a separate basis and that actual deployments against these ceilings will be controlled by the Secretary of Defense.

The President is to be advised of any significant changes in contemplated actual overseas deployments within these ceilings. The Secretary of Defense is authorized reasonable flexibility to manage and alter quantities during the course of the year to cover unavoidable peaks in deployment due to logistical factors. The President will consider FY 1972 in the next year’s plan, which will deal with FY 1972 and projections for FY 1973.

The President has authorized the Secretary of Defense in FY 1971 to:

Deploy nuclear weapons in the United States without limit.
Deploy nuclear weapons to areas outside the United States as indicated in Appendices A, B, and C,3 hereto, with the provision that:
The FY 1971 end-year total authorized in each separate country within each region and afloat (Appendix A) or the total by category of weapons within each region and afloat (Appendix B) may be exceeded by not more than 10% in the event of unforeseen contingencies.
Weapons to be deployed under the specific conditions cited in Appendix C may be deployed as additive to a. above and to the NATO Europe and outside of U.S. ceilings.
Support non-U.S. forces in accordance with the units and numbers of warheads indicated in Appendix D hereto, subject to the following conditions:
The provisions of NSAM 197 and NSAM 143,4 as amended by NSAM 370,5 pertaining to additional support of non-U.S. forces, continue to apply.
The Programs of Cooperation remain essentially the same as those pertaining when each NSAM 197 action was approved.
Custodial arrangements and facilities requirements of NSAM 370 continue to apply.
Weapons may be deployed in support of U.S. forces pending compliance with c., above.

In accordance with NSAM 370, all weapons deployed to NATO Europe must have permission action link devices installed. In addition, permissive action link devices will be installed by June 30, 1970 [2 lines not declassified]. The weapon/yield restrictions of NSAM 143, as amended by NSAM 1996 and NSAM 370, apply.

The next deployment ceiling plan should be submitted in mid-November 1970 in conjunction with the stockpile approval request. At that time, or separately, the Department of Defense in coordination with the Department of State should submit a detailed proposal, with alternatives as appropriate, for the accomplishment of the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Okinawa by the end of 1972.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, NSDMs, Nos. 51–96. Top Secret.
  2. Packard sent a memorandum to President Nixon on February 6 requesting his approval of the nuclear weapons deployment plan for FY 1971. (Ibid., NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–216, NSDM 60)
  3. Appendices A–D are not printed.
  4. NSAM 143, April 10, 1962, is entitled “Nuclear Weapons for NATO Forces.” NSAM 197, October 23, 1962, deals with communication to other countries of restricted data on nuclear weapons. Both are in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, NSAMs.
  5. NSAM 370, “Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization for FY 1969 and FY 1970,” June 11, 1968. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume X, National Security Policy, Document 207.
  6. For more information about NSAM 199, “Loading of SACEUR Land-Based Alert Strike Aircraft,” October 25, 1962, see ibid. and footnote 5 thereto.