158. Minutes of Defense Program Review Committee Meeting1

    • Defense Programs—NSDM 84
    • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
    • State
      • Under Secretary John Irwin
      • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
      • Mr. Ronald I. Spiers
      • Mr. Leon Sloss
    • Defense
      • Mr. David Packard
      • Dr. Gardiner I. Tucker
    • CIA
      • Mr. Richard Helms
      • Mr. Bruce C. Clarke
    • JCS
      • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
      • Maj. Gen. John Elder
    • OMB
      • Mr. George P. Shultz
      • Mr. Caspar Weinberger
      • Mr. James Schlesinger
    • ACDA
      • Mr. Philip J. Farley
      • Vice Adm. John M. Lee
    • CEA
      • Mr. Herbert Stein
    • NSC Staff
      • Brig. Gen. Alexander Haig
      • Dr. K. Wayne Smith
      • Mr. John C. Court
      • Mr. D. Keith Guthrie


The Chairman emphasized the need to provide the President with clear information on the strategic, political, and economic implications of the Defense Department budget proposals, particularly in the light of the altered strategic situation which the United States will face in the 1970s. Accordingly, it was agreed that the Defense Department would submit additional analysis of force and program alternatives. This analysis should cover different force mixes and deployments and should evaluate trade-offs between maintaining deployments and decreasing readiness and between maintaining existing force structures and providing for modernization.2

[Page 605]

Dr. Kissinger: I thought I would review briefly the origin of this study, and then we can go on to the substance. On September 11 we put out NSDM 84,3 which was based on discussion at an NSC meeting.4 NSDM 84 gave defense budget guidelines for FY 72–76 and indicated that because of SALT there were to be no visible reductions below existing levels in strategic programs. It also established certain priorities for general purpose forces reductions.

Some questions arose in connection with general purpose forces. NSDM 84 was based on the illustrative forces in the Reduced Program developed earlier by the DPRC.5 Some thought that other ways of packaging should be considered. Since we did not wish to make a decision on the basis of what was only an illustrative program, we then put out another memorandum asking for various alternative packages—and the implications of each—within the general fiscal guidance approved by the President.6

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss those packages. However, we do not exactly have a set of alternative packages. What we have is another overall program, with strategic forces based on a modification of the NSDM and with another package of general purpose forces.7 We will discuss this program, but it is difficult to make a judgment on it beyond saying that it probably fits the general fiscal guidance. Unless we choose to consider Paragraph 3 of NSDM 84 as an alternative package, then the only thing we have available to discuss this morning is another comprehensive program.

I have some questions on specifics. However, first I want to make one other point—with regard to overseas deployments. The Defense paper includes assumptions on FY 73 deployments from Korea about [Page 606] which the Secretary of State has raised serious questions. We also need to consider more carefully what our alternatives are for deployments in Europe.

Mr. Packard: (to Dr. Kissinger) Let me go through the presentation we have prepared, and perhaps some of the issues you have raised will come out. Our purpose in undertaking this study has been to arrive at specific decisions on the FY 72 budget and to develop planning guidelines for the FY 72–76 period, together with alternative force levels. The conclusion we have reached is that we have gone just about as far as we can go in reducing forces at the present time. As noted in Section II of our paper, while we recognize the importance of shifting from defense to non-defense expenditures, we must point out that we have already made some very serious cuts.8 We have difficulty assessing what our general purpose forces should be several years hence. As concerns strategic forces we have made no visible reductions, and we see little likelihood of substantial savings even given a SALT agreement. There are a number of problems to be taken into consideration if we are to make further reductions in general purpose forces. Many of these are political and diplomatic in nature, e.g. developments in NATO, the rate of withdrawals from Southeast Asia, the level of appropriations available to provide military aid to strengthen our allies, and, of course, what the Soviets do. I think that for the present our planning should be kept targeted on the force structure we have outlined in our paper. I expect that the modifications we are proposing will have to be tailored to future developments; we cannot commit ourselves to particular changes in particular programs.

There have already been significant reductions in the Defense budget. Let’s see what we are buying with our dollars in the FY 71–72 budget. We can compare with what we were spending earlier in the decade and see where we have come in terms of real purchasing power as measured in 1970 dollars. [Mr. Packard was referring to the chart entitled “DOD Budget for Selected Fiscal Years” in the Defense paper.]9 Note that our Vietnam war expenses are going down, and also that we are including funds in FY 72–73 for the volunteer army. Taking these factors into account, our baseline budget in FY 72–73 will be around $56 billion. This is lower than at any time back to 1955.

[Page 607]

The next chart [“Military Forces for Selected Fiscal Years”] shows trends in force levels over the past decade. The FY 72 figures are not in terms of the NSDM 84 guidance, but we think we can still find enough reductions when we make our budget scrub to attain about the NSDM 84 levels. If we cut much below that, we will be in serious difficulties.

For strategic missiles there will be no change, with the total remaining at 1710. Strategic bombers dropped a little in FY 70 but will increase again in FY 71 with activation of the FB–111.

Some savings are possible on air defense. One possibility is to come down further on SAMs and interceptors.

Army divisions will be down to 12⅔—the lowest level in recent history. This is just enough to meet our NATO commitment and our minimum commitment in Southeast Asia.

There was a proposal to cut back to 12 CVAs, but in view of our recent experience in the Mediterranean, it was decided to maintain a level of 15. This will enable us to continue stationing two in the Mediterranean and two in Southeast Asia. Incidentally, this CVA question provides a good example of what I mean when I say that planning should be kept on a flexible basis at this time. We should keep in mind that if Soviet power is to be countered in the Mediterranean, the US is the only country to do it; and for that we need two CVAs.

We are proposing to retire a number of older submarines, but the introduction of newer attack submarines will keep the total level about the same. There were proposals to cut further on escort ships, but we think we should maintain a level of 204 as shown on the chart.

These items I have been discussing point up areas where tradeoffs are possible; however, they should be examined carefully. As regards tactical air, we plan to cut the Navy and thus lower the number of wings to be used with our fifteen carriers. There has been a slight reduction in Marine tactical air, and the Air Force capability is already down somewhat from the 1968 level. Our total of active fighter-attack aircraft will be about 4,000, which is much lower than in 1961. However, the aircraft—F–4s and F–111s—are better, and our capability is therefore probably improved. Our tactical air reserves have increased by the transfer to them of aircraft formerly in the active category. The overall total of tactical aircraft is now about 600 less than in 1961.

To conclude, this is the lowest level of forces that I can recommend in view of our commitments. Whether we can achieve it depends on many things, including the actions taken on the FY 71 budget.

Our next chart [“Military Manpower for Selected Fiscal Years”] deals with manpower. The FY 72 level for the Army would be 915,000, the lowest since 1961. The Navy will be at the lowest level since 1955, the Marines at about the same level as in 1955, and the Air Force at a [Page 608] low level. The overall manpower total will be 2,457,000. This is about the same as the 1961 level, which was the lowest since 1950.

The next chart [“Defense Manpower”] shows in graphic form the downward trend in manpower. The red dotted lines show the maximum rate at which personnel levels could be brought down, but we believe we ought not to aim at this maximum because of the effect on the morale of our people.

The economic impact [referring to chart entitled “Total DOD Procurement”] of the program we are proposing is very important. Generally we feel that the defense and non-defense interests of the country are better served by a healthy economy. The defense budget particularly affects the capital goods and research and development sectors—both of which are currently depressed. Under NSDM 84, DOD procurement would be down to $12.4 billion, measured in 1970 dollars. We are proposing to level off at the figure set in the March fiscal guidance [$14.7 billion]. Keep in mind that a cut of $3 billion means 300,000 men out of work.

I am sure that we all realize that we have not been able to get the MAP levels required to support the Nixon Doctrine. (to Tucker) Is that in our budget?

Dr. Tucker: What is in the budget is what we have now. Note that the level would be higher if we get a supplemental.

Mr. Irwin: Are these NSDM 84 figures with or without MAP?

Dr. Kissinger: MAP is included.

Dr. Tucker: MAP is included at the levels we have had in prior years.

Mr. Packard: We have another chart [“Defense and the National Economy”] to indicate the effect on the economy. Defense contract awards are declining from $42.3 billion in 1968–69 to $34.4 billion at end FY 70 and $28.0 billion at end FY 71. Industrial defense-related employment is falling from 3.5 million in 1968–69 to 2.8 million at end FY 70 and 2.4 million at end FY 71. Under the NSDM 84 guidance, employment at end FY 72 would drop further to 2.2 million. 1.3 million workers have already been affected by the action taken to date to reduce the Defense budget, and this will rise to 2.1 million in the next year. If we figure on the NSDM 84 level for FY 72, then we have about as far to go in terms of additional unemployment as we have already gone [since 1968–69]. Those who are concerned about political considerations will note that that would be just before the 1972 election.

Dr. Kissinger: Are you saying that we shouldn’t go down to that level? Or are you saying that we can go down that far and that you can handle it?

[Page 609]

Mr. Packard: We should not cut down on items that affect the economy. The impact both from an economic and security standpoint indicates we should not go down so far.

Mr. Shultz: There are two broadly independent questions involved here. One is the right level of spending in terms of overall economic policy and available revenues. The other is the right mix of programs with a given overall level of spending. The argument that the right combination would be one which emphasizes defense over non-defense spending doesn’t have much to recommend it. Obviously there is a problem during the transition period.

However, if we are not moving fast enough on other efforts, such as environmental programs, then let’s get moving. Our struggle on the overall budget has involved trying to get the domestic agencies to examine questionable programs and make room for spending on the environment. In that context, I hate to see defense spending justified in this way. There are ways to spend more money if we want to.

Mr. Packard: I quite agree. All I am saying is that if we look at defense requirements, there are legitimate reasons not to cut back so fast on the budget. This can also have a helpful impact on the economy.

Adm. Moorer: The first thing to do is to look at defense requirements. We think that it is dangerous to have the other side building up while we keep cutting down. These force levels are low. We don’t know how the war in Southeast Asia will come out, and we may need flexibility. We are destroying career incentives with these reductions; this goes against the objective of an all-volunteer force. As for research and development, the personnel involved in that have very special qualifications. It is very difficult to get them back once they have been cut off. We need to develop better weapons. In addition, we haven’t had a chance to talk to our allies about what we are planning, and we haven’t completely scrubbed the budget.

Dr. Kissinger: What do you mean by scrubbing the budget?

Mr. Packard: There are thousands of items in the defense budget that have been delayed and on which it is possible and desirable to cut back a little. Since we can’t actually spend as much as is budgeted on these items, we can trim that much from the current budget. I have lots of these items coming to me all the time for decision.

Adm. Moorer: There is no straight-line relationship between a budget at Level A and Level B. Later on in the 1973 part of the planning cycle, we will know more about Vietnamization, Cambodia, SALT, European forces, and Congressional support for the Nixon Doctrine. I think we are going too far right now. $74.5 billion is too low. $77 billion is the rock-bottom figure needed now. We can look in the out-years for additional cutbacks.

[Page 610]

Mr. Shultz: The appropriate discussion here is what is needed for defense in the light of the issues you have raised. The issue of economic policy involves deciding what the budget can stand, taking into account such factors as the prospects for an increases in taxes. All I was doing was just criticizing the notion of defense spending for the purpose of pumping up the economy.

Mr. Weinberger: (to Moorer) Has anything happened from the strategic point of view that has made your concerns more explicit than they were earlier? Or are you in general reiterating the same concerns?

Adm. Moorer: The points I am making are basically a reiteration of our earlier position, but they also reflect the fact that we are confronted with further development of the Soviet threat, and there is no indication that the Soviets are levelling off.

Mr. Weinberger: You are not proposing an increase in missiles but do want more divisions and carriers.

Adm. Moorer: There are a number of things that are happening in connection with strategic forces that should generate a fallout favorable to our strategic situation. More important, it is important to remember that our last two wars—Korea and Vietnam—were fought with general purpose forces, and this was also the case with the incidents in the Middle East.

Dr. Tucker: Nobody is proposing an increase in the budget.

Mr. Packard: I intend to meet the $74.5 billion target, but I don’t want to cut the spending in out-years down to the NSDM 84 levels.10

We have to talk to our NATO allies. There are decisions that have to be made in the out-years that should not be made at this time. We have got to keep flexible.

Dr. Kissinger: This shows what I have been having a spectacular lack of success getting done in this Committee. This is a good example of how you get a $74.5 billion program by having the Armed Services negotiate with each other. We are sure the program is do-able. Nobody questions that. But we have not provided an answer to Cap’s [Weinberger’s] question: What are these forces to do? What can you do with one that you can’t do with the other?

At the NSC meeting we recognized that we were moving into a new age, strategically speaking. The decision to go to nuclear war is qualitatively different now. That is a fact of life. We are currently cutting [Page 611] our general purpose forces. This may be logical but it is not at all self-evident. When we make these changes in army divisions, in tactical air wings, in carriers, we really don’t know how this affects our capabilities. (to Moorer) Tom, on this basis, you are going to get cut and cut and cut year after year. If every year the defense program is decided strictly on the basis of budgetary consequences, no one can prove that half a million makes any difference in a budget of $74.5 billion.

Mr. Packard: These issues have been looked at.

Adm. Moorer: That’s right.

Mr. Irwin: The budget situation is obviously very tight whatever you do. If you stick with the $74.5 billion, does that mean we keep our NATO forces without cuts and that we maintain our troops in Korea without cuts? If that can be done, then we have no problem with the budget. If that cannot be achieved, then we do have problems on broad national security grounds.

Another question I have relates to procurement. Will the level of our procurement programs have an effect on our active troop strength?

Adm. Moorer: That is not an issue.

Mr. Packard: The issue is whether we will have forces adequate for the end of the decade. We can have more troops if we don’t want to buy any new equipment.

We can take another look at our strategic forces. We could make reductions in bombers and perhaps in continental air defense.

Dr. Kissinger: If we can go back to my point, the fact that we are meeting commitments made five years ago doesn’t answer the question of where we will be five years from now. Look at the figures on the REFORGER units in NATO. They show that readiness is slower. The time frame for their employment no longer makes any sense. If keeping the units means decreasing their readiness, we ought to know this.

Mr. Packard: There definitely is a question about readiness. We will be prepared to provide an analysis but it hasn’t all been completed yet. The trade-off is between decreasing readiness or increasing the budget.

We can cut back on tactical aircraft, but this affects NATO and our support in Korea and Southeast Asia.

Adm. Moorer: The problem is that we don’t have any back-up. We can’t cut the force requirements down to the level specified in the contingency plans; otherwise, we wouldn’t have enough to sustain operations in the face of losses that will occur.

Dr. Kissinger: You are saying that this program enables us to meet our commitments in terms of numbers but not in terms of readiness.

[Page 612]

Mr. Packard: Essentially this enables us to meet our commitments in NATO and Southeast Asia, although there will be some reduction in NATO because some ships will be deactivated.

Adm. Moorer: Any NATO war by definition is a war with the Russians. Russian submarines will be active in the Atlantic and the Pacific. To maintain our lines of communication, we must have an antisubmarine capability.

Mr. Johnson: What do we do on the air side of NATO?

Dr. Tucker: We maintain the deployed aircraft, and we maintain a reinforcement capability up to 21 wings, the minimum JCS requirement.

Adm. Moorer: That doesn’t provide for a sustained effort.

Mr. Johnson: Will NATO ground forces be substantially the same for FY 72?

Dr. Tucker: The deployed ground forces will.

Mr. Johnson: Another division will come out of Korea in 1973?

Dr. Tucker: Yes.

Mr. Packard: On Page 29 of our paper is a discussion of what 12⅓ divisions can do. “We still would be able to deploy a total of 16 divisions to NATO by M + 90.” Page 30 explains the situation on tactical air. It states we could cut active wings to 20 if we were willing to reduce the reinforcement capability to NATO by M + 90 to 22 wings and the reinforcement capability in the Pacific by M + 90 to 14 wings.11

Dr. Kissinger: Let me ask if all this is true, why does the JCS want $77 billion? What would you do with it?

Adm. Moorer: It would have an effect all the way across the budget—on army divisions (we could have a higher number), on carriers, tactical air, research and development. Our readiness would be generally improved.

Dr. Kissinger: But if we can meet our commitments with the present budget, why is this necessary?

Adm. Moorer: Our NATO commitments don’t represent all the forces we require in a NATO war. The Soviets have forces in the Pacific.

Mr. Packard: We have looked at the levels carefully and think this is the minimum we need to meet our commitments.

Mr. Johnson: I am worried about the out-years.

[Page 613]

Mr. Packard: I don’t want to make a commitment on the out-years. We need flexibility. We have to see what happens. We should keep our planning level high.

Dr. Kissinger: We are meeting commitments made for a period that is giving way to a new period. We have already pointed up many of the new problems in the NSSM 84 study.12 We are proceeding into the 1970s with a scrubbed-down, low-readiness version of the forces designed for the 1960s.

Adm. Moorer: We are talking about the forces that have been earmarked for NATO according to SACEUR plans. There will be reductions in submarines and in our sustaining power.

Dr. Kissinger: When were these commitments made?

Adm. Moorer: At the outset of the 1950s.

Dr. Tucker: This program is specifically designed to implement the

NSDM 27 strategy, which was adopted just last year.13

Mr. Packard: We have talked about the new strategy, but we are not far enough along to be sure how to implement it. If we reassess the forces we need, we can make changes. If there is a change in the strategic situation due to SALT, we can make other changes. We have got to keep flexible.

Adm. Moorer: We have to look at the threat. This is what determines our requirements. The capability of the other side is a fact of life.

Dr. Kissinger: NSDM 27 was an abstract statement of contingencies we needed to prepare for. The assumption was that we would examine the content of those contingencies during the next fiscal year. In NATO every analysis we have made concluded that the problem was how to insure NATO’s survival between M and M + 15. Now this shifts back to M + 26 in some cases. What I am suggesting is that there is grave danger in fulfilling commitments in the abstract made 15 to 20 years ago when there is a totally new strategic situation. We don’t know what we are doing.

Maybe this is the best we can do this year. I recognize the pressures on the Defense Department to get its budget assembled. But we are running enormous risks to national security if we don’t examine these questions.

Mr. Irwin: We should try to find some criteria to evaluate national security.

Mr. Packard: We can make changes. But some of these policies have not been settled yet. We have to keep flexible.

[Page 614]

Dr. Kissinger: Take Korea, for example. A point could be reached where our drawdown in Korea produces the nuclear rearmament of Japan. This would be a substantial political cost to us. This is the sort of thing for which we lack a yardstick.

Mr. Packard: In the case of Korea, we still haven’t been able to come up with an aid package.

Dr. Kissinger: The MAP question will be settled next week.

Mr. Packard: It has to be approved by Congress, and that will not happen next week.

Adm. Moorer: These forces have been planned in accordance with the fiscal guidance. Your questions are addressed in the JSOP. The figures are not absolutely fixed. They are best estimates. We can give figures for what we think would be required under various sets of circumstances. This can be done. But we know the cuts that have been made constrain the President’s options.

Mr. Packard: We have tried some of these alternatives out in naval war games. We found that there was only a 20% chance that our navy would survive a naval war with the Russians.

Dr. Kissinger: After the Jordan crisis,14 one of the Chiefs—perhaps it was Admiral Zumwalt—told the President: “Next year you won’t be able to do this.”

Mr. Packard: You won’t have that problem with the forces we are proposing in this program.

Adm. Moorer: That is true in the Atlantic, but not in the Pacific.

Dr. Kissinger: I want to know what we can do with one set of forces that we can’t do with another.

Mr. Packard: I can give you some analysis based on the war games. Dr. Kissinger: I have seen a table of defense expenditures with constant prices that shows that we are now spending the same amount as several years ago but have fewer forces.

Mr. Stein: The prices of equipment have gone up.

Dr. Kissinger: But this is with constant prices.

Mr. Packard: Yes, but equipment costs have gone up.

Adm. Moorer: You have got to compare your new equipment with the other side’s new equipment. The Soviets have many new weapons. For example, they have developed a 30-knot submarine.

Mr. Packard: You can’t afford to have an $80 million submarine anymore, when the Soviets have built a better one.

[Page 615]

Mr. Shultz: Isn’t this another way of saying what Henry [Kissinger] has been pointing out? All sorts of things have changed in the last ten to twenty years, including the development of new weapons systems. In the light of these changes, what is the appropriate strategy? What forces are needed?

We have terrific budgetary constraints to worry about. Our job is not to cut the budget but to get a grasp of what the needs are and to make sure that the President understands what is involved.

Dr. Kissinger: (to Packard) Dave, what do you want out of this Committee?

Mr. Packard: Specific guidance on the FY 72 budget. We plan to meet the $74.5 billion limit and to do it with the force structure we have outlined here. We have analyzed the hell out of it, but we can give you more analysis.

We do need to give you more on the question of readiness. If forced to choose, the Services generally prefer to hang on to forces and to go light on readiness.

Dr. Kissinger: We found out that in Europe there is only a 37-day supply of ammunition.

Adm. Moorer: The reason is that you can always get more ammunition.

Mr. Packard: The budget has already been squeezed pretty hard.

Dr. Kissinger: We are not trying to squeeze fat out of the budget. This Committee must relate the budget to national policy. We need to assess the impact of force levels on the ability of our diplomacy to achieve its objectives. We can’t scrub the budget for you, but we can develop criteria for evaluating it.

Mr. Irwin: I would like to recap what Gardiner Tucker said about NATO. Ground, air, and navy forces will remain the same, but reserve forces will be decreased.

Adm. Moorer: The categories will be changed—from 30 days to six months readiness. Also there will be a difference in staying power.

Mr. Irwin: Once we understand that, it is our obligation to say whether what you propose is adequate. From our point of view there shouldn’t be any change in NATO forces during the balance of this Administration. If you say this involves giving up all new aircraft, then something has obviously got to give.

Dr. Kissinger: We should be analyzing what it means to us when we have a situation in which Soviet nuclear forces are growing, our land bases are shrinking, Chinese strength is increasing, and the Nixon Doctrine has to be implemented.

Mr. Helms: One can only be impressed with how well off we were in the 1960s.

[Page 616]

Adm. Moorer: That is why the Soviets backed down in Cuba.

Mr. Johnson: With the strategic situation changing to one of nuclear parity, general purpose forces are now the ones to be used as instruments of national policy around the world. What are we going to do if we cut our general purpose forces while the Soviet general purpose forces are increasing?

Mr. Packard: That is what we have looked at. We think we have gone as far down as we should go, perhaps farther.

Mr. Johnson: I am thinking about our deterrent capacity. Will we have what we need in Southeast Asia?

Dr. Kissinger: Without challenging this budget, could we obtain some data on what one could do with additional forces and with other mixes that you cannot do under this program. NSSM 84 has turned up several problems related to NATO and will lead to recommendations for changes in that area. It is very worrisome when we face a new strategic situation with forces designed for the 1960s.

Mr. Weinberger: Could I get a clarification? There is no proposal to increase the budget over $74.5 billion?

Mr. Packard: That’s right. We will do our best to hit that figure.

Mr. Weinberger: The flexibility is in the planning for subsequent years?

Mr. Packard: We will have to resolve the budget level each year.

Dr. Kissinger: What is the rationale for the trade-off between a decrease of one army division and an increase of two tactical air wings?

Mr. Packard: That is answered on Page 30 of our paper. It has to do with protecting our capability to respond to NATO commitments.

Dr. Kissinger: It has to do with NATO?

Mr. Packard: Yes, although I don’t know specifically what the difference of one or two wings there means.

Adm. Moorer: No one can give you finite requirements.

Dr. Kissinger: My concern is that we are giving the President a budget that has been sort of negotiated out and are saying that this meets our commitments—without having redefined what our needs are for the 1970s. What can he do? What happens if he rejects it?

Mr. Packard: We can give you some other ways of saving money.

Dr. Kissinger: We are not trying to save money. What we want to do is to develop forces to support national policy. We want to be able to say: “If you do this, the consequences are as follows.” I don’t want him to be rubberstamping something he will have to live with in every crisis. I would not want him to find that a carrier is not available for use in a crisis such as Jordan and say that he wasn’t warned.

Mr. Packard: We can give you this sort of information, for example, carrier availabilities. There are so many alternatives.

[Page 617]

Dr. Kissinger: I think that except for Jim Schlesinger there is not a person here who can argue line items. What we should be concerned with is the relation between foreign and domestic policies and between different packages of defense programs.

Mr. Helms: Back in the 1950s, we were in a much better position. There was really nothing against us.

Dr. Kissinger: That minor league operation in Jordan a few weeks ago tied up our whole strategic reserve. The Cubans could have invaded Florida, and we wouldn’t have had any forces to deal with them.

Mr. Packard: Let me see if we can put something together to answer these questions.

Mr. Irwin: What does this do to the anticipated MAP for FY 72? Do we have what is needed in Southeast Asia?

Mr. Packard: Some of it is included, but not all.

Mr. Johnson: We will continue to need massive funding for Southeast Asia.

Dr. Tucker: We need about $1 billion.

Adm. Moorer: (to Johnson) You want to have a force level that will meet the NATO earmark requirements?

Mr. Johnson: Yes.

Mr. Irwin: We do not want to see a reduction. I don’t know what this means precisely, but perhaps Ron Spiers could tell us.

Mr. Spiers: This means no changes in deployments. There would be changes in readiness, but these are not critical from a political standpoint.

Dr. Kissinger: We lose the war, but we have good NATO Council meetings.

Mr. Shultz: The NATO problem troubles me. As I understand it, we have a strategy that we are not in a position to implement tactically because the Allies are not equipped to do so. That suggests that either we improve our tactical capability or change the strategy to fit our tactics. This is very different from meeting a commitment to have x number of divisions in place. This really troubles me. I would like to see a strong defense.

Mr. Packard: Tactical nuclear weapons are a particular problem.

Adm. Moorer: On strategy, we can take the present one, which we got our allies to accept by twisting their arms. Or we can go back to the earlier strategy. However, there is no magic strategy. It is determined by what the Soviets do and the forces they have.

Dr. Kissinger: In our discussions on NATO, we were not able to show that the use of nuclear weapons would not make the situation worse.

[Page 618]

Adm. Moorer: The alternative is to have all of Western Europe overrun. If we employ a strategy of controlled response and the Soviets nevertheless break through, we can shift to a nuclear strategy or get out.

Dr. Kissinger: But we need a theory of how to use nuclear weapons in Europe.

Mr. Packard: The truth is that there is no way to use them and no way to get rid of them.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 235, Agency Files, DPRC & Def Budget—Vol. 2–1970. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in the Situation Room of the White House. All brackets are in the original.
  2. In a November 18 memorandum to Rogers, Laird, Shultz, Helms, and McCracken, Kissinger directed the preparation of additional analyses of alternative GPF packages for FY 72–76. The analyses were to include the following: an assessment of the current U.S. readiness posture, rationales for and evaluations of alternative GPF structures, and projections of the financial and manpower resources required to support each alternative package. (Ibid., NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–98, DPRC General, Mar. 1970–Dec. 1970)
  3. Document 155.
  4. See Document 153.
  5. See Document 152.
  6. In a September 14 memorandum to Agnew, Rogers, Laird, Shultz, Helms, and Lincoln, Kissinger requested the submission of alternative packages on GPF and their strategic and military implications. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–100, DPRC Meeting, Defense Programs, 11–9–70)
  7. On November 9, the Defense Department responded to Kissinger’s September 14 memorandum with a paper entitled “Defense Planning 1972–1976,” which Tucker circulated to DPRC members under a covering memorandum. The 36-page paper includes 5 sections: Introduction, Economic Implications of Defense Expenditures 1971–76, National Security Policy and Strategy, DOD Planning, and Planning Alternatives for U.S. Force Reductions—FY 72–76. In it, the Defense Department recommended a further drawdown of two brigades from Korea in FY 73. (Ibid.) The Department of State considered such a proposed reduction “unacceptable on political grounds,” according to an undated and unsigned memorandum from Irwin briefing Rogers following the November 9 DPRC meeting. (Ibid., RG 59, PM/ISP Files: Lot 72 D 503, DEF 1–DPRCDOD Budget, 10/70–8/71)
  8. Section II of the paper, entitled “Economic Implications of Defense Expenditures 1971–76,” stated the Defense Department’s opposition to further cuts in the FY 72 Defense budget. Section II also recommended a study of how “to minimize dislocations caused by large regional and sectoral shifts” in force deployments undertaken to balance “our national security requirements and non-defense needs.”
  9. The referenced chart and 11 other charts are attached to “Defense Planning 1972–1976.”
  10. On November 12, Packard sent a memorandum to Kissinger in which he argued that $75.7 billion, rather than the $74.5 billion established by NSDM 84, was the “rock bottom needed to protect U.S. security interests.” (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–73A–1971, 381, National Security)
  11. The referenced pages of “Defense Planning 1972–1976” dealt with land forces and tactical air forces, two portions of the paper’s fourth section on “DOD Planning.”
  12. See footnote 11, Document 149.
  13. Document 56.
  14. A reference to the war pitting Jordan against Palestine Liberation Organization insurgents and Syria in September 1970 that resulted in a show of force by the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.