193. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard) and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

[Omitted here is conversation unrelated to national security policy.]

K: As long as I have you on the phone, what the President would like to do is on the Defense budget he will not make a decision tomorrow. He would like you, Shultz, and I to get together next week and tell you what he wants in capabilities and you work it out. If army can get two divisions out of [$]500 million and if they are important if we can get more divisions by _____ other things.

P: The air sorties level to the requirements. On presentation, yesterday Mel and I talked and he thinks he should make the presentation tomorrow. Broader strokes than I outlined to you. If you and George and I could get together after that. We can lower figures after force level [is determined]. Budget scrub and shifting we can do from first of year to ? ? ? ? ? .2 We ought to come out at the level we start from in terms of planning for (about) [$]79.6 [billion]. Get it below. Not 75 but perhaps 77.

K: I think the President will go along with 79.6. With _____3 George has of 2 billion he can move from one year to the other.

P: Where we should come out in terms of force levels or 79.6 or 80 or 81. Make adjustments with 79.6.

[Omitted here is a brief closing exchange unrelated to national security policy.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Box 11, Chronological File. No classification marking. All blank underscores are omissions in the original.
  2. As in the original.
  3. Omission in the original.