34. Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Staff1


I. For What Purposes Do We Maintain Strategic Forces?

There is general agreement that the overriding purpose of our strategic posture is political and defensive: to deny other countries the ability to impose their will on the United States and its allies under the weight of strategic military superiority. We want all potential aggressors to know that a nuclear attack, nuclear blackmail, and acts—such as a large scale Soviet conventional attack on Europe—which could escalate to strategic nuclear war involve unacceptable risks to them.

There is also general agreement that the primary military purposes of our strategic forces are:

  • —to reduce the likelihood that nuclear war will occur.
  • —to protect ourselves and our Allies from the destructive consequence of nuclear wars, insofar as we can, and
  • —to be capable of controlling strategic nuclear conflicts so that the possible outcomes leave the United States and its Allies in a relatively advantageous position.

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A fourth military purpose of our strategic forces is to deter or, if appropriate, cope with large scale conventional attacks on our allies. The strategic capability required for this purpose and its relationship to required tactical nuclear and conventional forces need further study. The second part of the NSSM–3 study will address these issues more fully.2

Though agreement can be reached on these purposes, it is no simple matter to translate them into strategic forces, plans and budgets. To do so, several basic issues must be resolved.

II. Basic Issues in Designing Our Strategic Posture

The evaluation of strategic options at the end of this paper will depend upon judgments on the following basic issues.

A. Political Issues

1. How conservative should we be in carrying out U.S. strategic purposes?

The Steering Group Report notes that our basic interests dictate that our strategic posture be militarily sufficient at all times and that this sufficiency and our resolve to use it be evident and credible. It also notes that our basically defensive purposes must be unmistakably clear.

There are differing views about how best to achieve these ends. Some will argue that we must make decisions to deploy new strategic weapon systems in anticipation of possible threats in order to reduce the risks we face to the maximum feasible extent and leave no doubts as to our resolve to maintain or improve as necessary the capabilities of our strategic posture.

Others will view deployments of new systems in anticipation of threats as premature and inconsistent with our defensive and nonprovocative objectives. They will maintain that such deployments could and probably would stimulate Soviet responses and in effect create or at least make more likely the anticipated Soviet threat. They will counsel restraint in making such decisions and the amassing of unambiguous evidence that the threat justifies them. They will express the belief that a strong research and development effort will provide an adequate hedge against uncertainty.

2. How should we assess Soviet strategic objectives?

The Steering Group Report notes that the actions we must take to secure our interests, and the extent to which we must develop, buy and maintain strategic nuclear forces for this purpose, depend very much on the purposes of the Soviet Union. The Report also notes that Soviet strategic objectives may not be fixed and probably will be influenced [Page 122] by the ways we design our forces and communicate our intent. Thus, there are two partially overlapping issues:

  • —What are the Soviet Union’s strategic objectives?
  • —How will Soviet strategic decisions be influenced by what we do?

Soviet strategic objectives.
One view, reflected in the Report of the Working Group on Soviet and Other Foreign Reactions,3 emphasizes the likelihood that Soviet strategic objectives are similar to ours: mutual deterrence of nuclear attacks and the limitation of damage if deterrence fails and nuclear war occurs. The Soviets’ most important political and military goal, at least for the foreseeable future, is a strategic posture which is roughly as capable as that of the U.S. 4
The Steering Group Report notes the possibility, however, that the Soviets may have as a continuing goal clear superiority in at least some aspects of strategic capability. The Soviets’ present buildup of strategic forces, together with what we know about their development and test programs, raises serious questions about where they are headed and the potential threats we and our allies face.5
Likely Soviet reactions to U.S. strategic initiatives.
The Steering Group agreed that if U.S. strategic policies and decisions convinced the Soviet leadership that we were seeking to take away the Soviet deterrent, they would react immediately with the deployments needed to maintain their deterrent. However, it is impossible to say with confidence whether or not these Soviet reactions would offset fully our actions. It is also impossible to say whether or how the Soviets would increase their deployments in response to improvements in the U.S. strategic capability which did not signal a clear threat to the Soviet deterrent.
The Soviet political reaction to a substantial increase in U.S. strategic capabilities is also uncertain. Some believe that the Soviets would react by seeking détente, particularly if the Soviets were unwilling to [Page 123] increase significantly their budget for strategic forces at the expense of overall economic growth or at the expense of their general purpose force posture. Others believe that the Soviet reaction is more likely to result in a hardening of Soviet political positions and attitudes and an increase in tension.

3. How shall we take Allied interests into account?

There is agreement that our Allies and other non-nuclear countries have a major stake in the U.S. strategic posture. They look to our strength to deter nuclear war and to protect them from aggression or from coercion which is backed by a credible nuclear threat. Commitments to Allies impose additional requirements on U.S. strategic forces which must be considered in assessing the adequacy of these forces. Thus our strategic policies and forces are important elements in our relationships with Allies and other countries.

There is also agreement that our Allies would be deeply worried if the U.S. appeared to be indifferent to growing Soviet strategic strength. They might doubt that we were still willing to defend them if they faced an actual or threatened large scale conventional attack.

The issue is how our Allies, particularly in Europe, would react to a determined U.S. attempt to increase its relative strategic capabilities. The answer depends on how the present strategic relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union is perceived. Widely different perceptions exist among our Allies and among important elements of political opinion within certain countries.

To some of those who view present U.S. strategic capabilities as clearly superior, U.S. initiatives would go against their hopes that East-West tensions could be reduced. They would fear that increased U.S.-Soviet strategic competition would increase the nuclear threat to Europe, particularly if a major Soviet strategic build-up seemed to be in prospect. Others, however, would tend to discount such concerns and emphasize the desirability of U.S. superiority as the best guarantee against Soviet attack or pressure.

Some of those who perceive a significant deterioration in relative U.S. strategic capabilities would probably welcome U.S. strategic initiatives as an indication of U.S. resolve to maintain powerful strategic forces to deter not only nuclear war but major aggression of any kind in Europe. Some, however, would question the necessity of such initiatives under present circumstances on the grounds that the present and foreseeable balance is adequate to maintain deterrence.

4. What are the implications of China’s nuclear program?

The Steering Group Report notes that we and the Soviet Union are faced with great uncertainties because it is possible that China, and perhaps other countries, may acquire a strategic nuclear capability. We may find it increasingly difficult to determine in the early stages [Page 124] whether Soviet strategic missile and ABM programs are directed at the U.S. or at China, and such uncertainties may make it more difficult to determine appropriate U.S. responses.

The issue concerns the nuclear guarantees we extend to countries threatened by China’s nuclear program. It has been our policy to extend to our Allies general assurance of U.S. protection against nuclear threats or nuclear attacks while avoiding specifics. We have given no assurances to other states in Asia. How can we make such guarantees credible, and is it in our interest to do so?

B. Military Issues

1. What kinds of Soviet nuclear attacks on the U.S. must we deter?

Three general views were considered in the course of the study.

Emphasis on “assured destruction.”
According to this view, the main criterion for evaluating the U.S. strategic deterrent is our capability to strike back and destroy Soviet society after absorbing an all-out, surprise Soviet attack on our strategic forces. If we can destroy with high confidence a fourth to a half of Soviet population and industry after the worst conceivable Soviet attack on our forces—a capability we can refer to as our assured destruction capability—nuclear war is effectively deterred. By and large, this is the view that has prevailed up to now.
Emphasis on crisis stability.
According to this view, there are additional criteria that should be used to evaluate the U.S. strategic posture. For example, the Soviets may launch an all-out attack against both U.S. forces and cities in a period of crisis or tension if they believe (1) that to do so will assure a significantly better result for them than absorbing a U.S. first strike, and (2) that a U.S. first strike is highly likely. Our forces must be designed to eliminate all Soviet incentives to strike first in a crisis as well as to provide a second strike capability as defined by the assured destruction criterion.
Additional emphasis on disarming attacks.
A third view emphasizes, in addition to the considerations above, the possibilities of less than all-out Soviet strikes on U.S. forces designed (1) to improve the Soviets relative military position and (2) to confront us with the possibility that it would be better to halt the war rather than retaliate and risk the loss of U.S. cities. Concern about such attacks would lead to a greater emphasis on war fighting qualities in our forces and greatly improved command, control and decision mechanisms.6

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Most of the Steering Group could not endorse the third view as a criterion for designing forces, noting that less than all-out attacks have no precedent in Soviet military doctrine. Nevertheless, the Steering Group believes the President can be provided options in this regard through proper design of command and control and crisis management mechanisms.

2. To what extent should we seek to limit damage to ourselves in a nuclear war?

The Steering Group agreed that we don’t want the Soviet Union to believe that if it starts a war, significantly more destruction and death will occur in America than in the Soviet Union. There would be extreme psychological and political disadvantages to the United States if we were in such a position.

The Steering Group also agreed that within the time period of the study, there is no prospect that we could limit damage to ourselves so effectively that we would take away the Soviet Union’s nuclear deterrent.

The issue is, between these two limits—i.e. holding U.S. deaths to a level no greater than Soviet deaths (now 90–120 million) and holding U.S. deaths to extremely low levels—where do we draw the line? Does it make sense for us to buy additional strategic forces, such as ballistic missile defenses, to bring U.S. deaths down to 60 million?

There is agreement that we would want such a capability if we could have it without sacrificing the attainment of other national objectives. There is disagreement about whether this is possible.

One view holds that this is possible, that we could buy more damage limiting capability without threatening the Soviet deterrent and thus without provoking an offsetting Soviet reaction.

The other view, held by most of the Steering Group, is that the Soviets, using pessimistic assumptions about our capabilities and intentions, would certainly react, perhaps even overreact, and largely offset the U.S. damage limiting initiatives.

The Steering Group also agreed that we can and should protect ourselves against small, including accidental, attacks from any source. We can expect forces bought for this purpose to be highly effective.

3. How well should we be able to control our forces in nuclear war?

The study did not undertake an in-depth review of our command, control and communications systems or of our plans for the use of our strategic forces.

The Steering Group Report noted, however, that strategic exchanges need not be spasm reactions. They may develop as a series of steps in an escalating crisis in which both sides want to avoid [Page 126] attacking cities, neither side can afford unilaterally to stop the exchange, and the situation is dominated by uncertainty.

The capability for selective use of strategic weapons gives us response options which may be more attractive than launching all-out attacks or not responding at all. Thus in the design of our forces we should consider not only a good command and control system, but also the additional system characteristics which are needed to perform the selective mission.

This and other considerations in the study strongly underscored the need for further study of these aspects of strategic capabilities.

III. Results of the Analysis

A. Summary of the Approach

The Department of Defense examined four nuclear strategies which varied widely in the military objectives they were designed to achieve.7 These strategies differed in the emphasis they placed on the following factors: our confidence in our ability to deter nuclear attacks in a variety of circumstances, the extent to which we can limit damage to the United States in a nuclear war, and the relative advantage which the United States could achieve in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The strategies ranged from those which were designed to achieve “dominance” or “superiority” over the Soviet Union—mainly by seeking extremely effective damage limiting capability—to those which were designed primarily to deter an all-out Soviet attack on the United States and include additional forces to limit damage only from small attacks. The strategies do not take into account possible alternative civil defense postures, which will be the subject of NSSM 57.8

Eighteen representative U.S. strategic force structures were developed and grouped into five categories which correspond roughly to the four strategies. At the same time, a Working Group on Foreign Political and Military Reactions, chaired by the Central Intelligence Agency, estimated possible Soviet military responses to each of these strategies and force categories. Using a range of representative Soviet threats, including the postulated Soviet responses to each strategy, the U.S. forces were reevaluated to see how well they could meet the military objectives for which they were designed. The analysis was broken off at this point without considering further responses and reevaluations.

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Another Working Group, chaired by the Department of State, evaluated the broad foreign policy implications of each strategy and force category.

B. Conclusions

Based on the results of the analysis, the Steering Group reached the following conclusions:

Though Soviet strategic capabilities are approaching our own, we are highly confident that the United States can maintain a credible strategic posture with respect to attacks on the U.S. no matter how Soviet strategic programs develop. However,
We cannot expect to regain a posture that will be seen as markedly superior because the Soviets are unlikely to relinquish the gains they have worked so hard to achieve.
Unilateral reductions in the U.S. posture, though they might not jeopardize our deterrent in many respects, would almost certainly raise doubts about U.S. resolve among our Allies and involve some important military risks.
As far as Soviet strategic objectives are concerned, we are confident that the Soviet Union is determined to deter attacks by the United States. However, the study could not resolve the following two uncertainties:
What are Soviet long-term strategic objectives beyond that of deterring a deliberate all-out attack?
How do the Soviets view the objectives of the U.S. strategic program and do they feel highly threatened by it?
Since both sides recognize that strategic decisions are interrelated, there may be opportunities to cooperate to reduce threats and uncertainties. Arms control criteria and procedures may be able to make important contributions.
As far as specific military capabilities are concerned, the Steering Group agrees that we can and should
  • —maintain high confidence that our second strike capability is sufficient to deter an all-out Soviet surprise attack on our strategic forces,
  • —maintain forces to insure that the Soviet Union would have no incentive to strike the United States first in a crisis,
  • —maintain the capability to deny to the Soviet Union the ability to cause significantly more deaths and industrial damage in the United States in a nuclear war than they themselves would suffer, and
  • —deploy defenses which limit damage from small attacks or accidental launches to a low level.

These four conditions in effect define strategic sufficiency as far as nuclear attacks on the United States are concerned.

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The Joint Chiefs of Staff would add as a fifth condition, “Have the capability to insure relatively favorable outcomes if deterrence fails.”9 By this they mean a capability for a relatively favorable ratio of fatalities, industrial damage, and residual military assets, as well as for the destruction of a comprehensive military target system under a wide range of war-initiation, war-waging and war-termination analyses. They note that the ultimate measure of strategic sufficiency, if deterrence fails, is the resulting overall relative power relationship of opponents which would enable the U.S. and its Allies to control effectively the course of a political or military situation. The rest of the Steering Group did not endorse this as a condition for sufficiency because it does not describe a specific capability which can be achieved.

As noted above, additional study is needed to define the strategic forces required to support theater forces and to determine the contribution of strategic forces to the deterrence of conventional war. These subjects are being considered in the second part of the NSSM–3 study.

The Steering Group also generally agreed that the Soviets have the capability to react and largely offset U.S. strategies designed to achieve a significantly greater capability to limit damage to ourselves in a nuclear war, though it is not clear just what the Soviets would judge to be a threat to their deterrent and precisely how they would react.

IV. Strategic Options

These conclusions do not resolve all major questions of strategic forces and policy. The Steering Group has identified two major issues for Presidential consideration:

  • —What principles should guide the design of our strategic forces in order to deal with uncertainties in the future strategic relationships between U.S. and the Soviet Union?
  • —What public posture should the President take at this time regarding U.S.-Soviet strategic relationships and what actions are necessary to support that posture?

A. Planning Strategic Forces

We deal with uncertainty when designing our strategic forces in two ways:

  • —by being pessimistic about the Soviet threat and
  • —by designing considerable redundancy into our posture.

The Steering Group believes that how and why we do this are essentially policy judgments which need to be made in the light of the overall political and military context.

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The judgments relating to the adequacy, redundancy, and effectiveness of forces in the following options do not specifically address the requirements for the destruction of a comprehensive military target system, commitment to Allies or the interaction with General Purpose Forces.

1. Against what threat should we design our forces?

The options are:

Buy forces to counter threats considerably greater than the highest intelligence projections. This approach hedges against possible threats before they appear.
  • —We could have extremely high confidence in our strategic capabilities.
  • —We would always have the initiative in force deployments.
  • —The Soviets might have a greater incentive to negotiate mutual restraints on strategic deployments.
  • —The forces would probably be larger than we need for sufficiency.
  • —These forces would cost $4 to $6 billion more per year than the current program, which costs $14–$15 billion per year.
  • —The Soviets would almost certainly deploy more forces than they would otherwise.
Buy forces against the high intelligence projections of the threat, but also maintain options to deploy new systems against greater threats. This is essentially what we do now.
  • —We would have high confidence in our strategic capabilities, with adequate protection against surprise.
  • —Such an approach is less provocative than being extremely pessimistic and thus is less of a stimulus to strategic arms competition.
  • —The necessary forces could cost between $1 billion more to $1 billion less than the present program.
  • —We would still be buying more forces than we actually need if the threat turns out to be less than the high projection.
  • —On balance, we might be encouraging an acceleration in the strategic arms build-up by the Soviet Union.
  • —On the other hand, there would be some risk that we would be surprised by unexpected changes in Soviet objectives and technological breakthroughs.
Buy forces against the most likely Soviet threat, maintaining the options to deploy additional weapons if increased threats emerged. Put increased emphasis on advanced weapons development as insurance.
  • —We would be buying forces adequate for sufficiency against the estimated likely threat.
  • —We could emphasize our restraint in strategic decisions and thereby encourage a more responsible Soviet weapons policy.
  • —The needed forces could cost $1 to $2 billion less per year than the present program.
  • —Our strategic capabilities would be more sensitive to relatively small changes in the Soviet threat.
  • —We would be accepting significant risks associated with changed Soviet objectives, covert deployments, or technological breakthroughs.
  • —Depending on Soviet forces at the time our confidence in crises might be reduced if we adopted such a policy.

2. How much redundancy should we buy in our deterrent?

The main way we buy redundancy in our deterrent is to maintain a significant strategic capability in each of three force components: land-based missiles, sea-based missiles and bombers. Following are the options: a. Maintain an independent capability in each of the force categories. This is our present approach.


  • —This policy gives us high confidence in our capabilities because we are not dependent on one or even two systems.
  • —Soviet offensive and defensive planning becomes more complicated and expensive than if we had our eggs in fewer baskets.


  • —This policy means that we maintain a much stronger force than we need for deterrence.
  • —Even with this policy, there is no guarantee that the combined force, operating in concert, will be adequate for the full range of possible contingencies.

b. Maintain three force components, but do not insist on an independent capability in each.


  • —This policy still maintains redundancy and thus some confidence in our capabilities.
  • —It still forces Soviet planners to contend with three force components, but at less cost to us.
  • —It is more consistent with a policy of restraint in strategic decisions.
  • —We could save $1 to $2 billion per year compared to the present program.


  • —We would be running the risk that our forces were not sufficient in all aspects. For example, our ability to deter some Soviet attacks in periods of crisis might be questionable.

c. Do not maintain three force components.

We could phase out one or possibly two major force components, keeping, for example, only land-based and sea-based missiles or only sea-based missiles.


  • —This policy would further emphasize our restraint in strategic decisions.
  • —A force of sea-based missiles only reduces Soviet incentives to make a first strike on the continental United States.
  • —In the long term, this policy would cost $2 to $3 billion less per year than the present program.


  • —Our strategic capabilities would be much more vulnerable to unexpected failures in the remaining components or to breakthroughs in Soviet countermeasures, such as unexpected increases in Soviet antisubmarine warfare capabilities.
  • —Our confidence in the sufficiency of our strategic posture would be reduced.
  • —A force of sea-based missiles only would be vulnerable to unexpected failures in our communications system.

B. U.S. Alternatives in Light of the Present U.S.-Soviet Strategic Relationship

The Steering Group raised the issue of preserving an image of strength and resolve while maintaining stability in the strategic balance. Weapons choices and public statements can and will convey powerful messages to the Communist states, our Allies, and other countries. There are three general levels of capability that encompass the broad policy choices that exist at present.

The options are:

1. Emphasize the need for improving the U.S. strategic position. We would indicate strong interest in initiatives to develop and deploy new systems in response to the continued build-up of Soviet strategic forces. For example, we could concentrate on additional offensive weapons, including substantially larger numbers of MIRVs than now planned, or we might add both offensive and defensive weapons.

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  • —This policy would clearly demonstrate, to the Soviet Union and our Allies, our determination to maintain our strategic strength with high confidence.
  • —The Soviets might respond to stepped up U.S. deployments with efforts at détente or increased willingness to make concessions in arms control talks.
  • —We could be confident we would retain the initiative in weapons deployments.


  • —This policy would strengthen the hand of Soviet military leaders who would like to continue the build-up of Soviet strategic forces against the U.S. threat.
  • —Such action and statements would jeopardize the success of strategic arms talks by calling into question our sincerity in seeking an agreement. It might lead to a general hardening of Soviet attitudes and positions.

2. Make minimum changes to our present programs. Proceed with MIRVs, Safeguard and eventually with other programs as needed to maintain sufficiency.


  • —This policy emphasizes moderation and restraint compared to Option 1 and should provide an adequate deterrent against likely Soviet threats and viable hedges against unexpected threats.
  • —By proceeding with MIRVs and Safeguard, there would be no early need for further demonstrating to the Soviets that they have no hope of achieving strategic superiority.


  • —We might be passing up opportunities to improve our relative strategic capabilities.
  • —On the other hand, our deployment of MIRVs and ABMs could jeopardize prospects for arms control.

3. Exercise restraint on new strategic arms programs as a means of promoting prospects for strategic arms limitations. We would emphasize our interest in talks. We could delay MIRV testing and possibly reduce the Safeguard program, and we could suspend these programs if the Soviets reciprocated. We would also emphasize that our programs would be resumed or accelerated if no agreement were reached or early progress made.


  • —We would be emphasizing our interest in strategic arms agreements without weakening our resolve not to be overtaken.
  • —We would provide the Soviets with incentives to expedite progress toward an agreement.
  • —If Soviet intransigence made decisions to resume our programs necessary, they would receive much broader support.


  • —We would be giving up our position of strategic strength in negotiating with the Soviet Union.
  • —Because the Soviets understand the political opposition to U.S. strategic programs, they would have an excuse to adopt dilatory tactics in talks.
  • —Those who now argue that we could resume our programs if talks showed no progress would then argue against any act which would jeopardize talks.

V. Unresolved Issues

The Steering Group identified three issues that require further analysis:

Do we have the capability—the preplanned and unplanned options and the command, control and decision system—to use our strategic forces to achieve U.S. military objectives in a slowly escalating strategic war of attrition? We need to examine whether our present posture is adequate to provide the President with the capability to use nuclear weapons in a selective manner during a nuclear crisis.
Under what circumstances would the United States use strategic nuclear weapons to respond to either a conventional or a nuclear attack on our Allies?
As far as the Chinese threat is concerned, are there further steps that we can and should take to assure countries that may feel threatened by China’s nuclear capability that we will protect them?
What strategic capability is needed for the purpose of contributing to the deterrence of conventional war? What is its relationship to the required tactical nuclear and conventional forces? (These issues are being addressed in the second part of the NSSM–3 study.)

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–22, NSC Meeting, June 13, 1969. Top Secret. There is no drafting information on the paper, which is a revised summary of the interagency response to NSSM 3, submitted by Packard to Kissinger on May 12. (see footnote 2, Document 32). The paper was revised to reflect the discussion at the Review Group meeting on May 29 (see Document 32). The NSC Secretariat distributed this paper to Agnew, Rogers, and George Lincoln on June 11 with copies sent to Richardson, Wheeler, Helms, David Kennedy, Attorney General John Mitchell, Gerard Smith, and Mayo. It served as the basis for discussions at the NSC meetings held on June 13 and 18 (see Documents 35 and 36).
  2. See Documents 30 and 31. Kissinger recalled in his memoirs the controversy within the intelligence community about the SS–9. “Early in the Administration a school of thought developed that the triple warhead on the Soviet SS–9” was a MIRV “aimed at our Minuteman missile silos. The CIA maintained that the warheads could not be targeted independently. I leaned toward the more ominous interpretation. To clarify matters, I adopted a procedure much resented by traditionalists who jealously guarded the independence of the estimating process.” Kissinger conceded that “Helms stood his ground; he was later proved right.” (Kissinger, White House Years, p. 37)
  3. In April, the Working Group on Soviet and Other Foreign Reactions, chaired by the CIA’s Director of Strategic Research, submitted its response to NSSM 3. According to its summary, the paper, entitled “Foreign Political and Military Reactions to U.S. Strategies and Forces,” reached the following conclusion about Soviet strategic objectives: Soviet “leaders probably are confident that they are achieving a rough strategic equality with the US and a strong deterrent capability which is recognized by the US and by the rest of the world. We believe the Soviets recognize, however, that for the foreseeable future it is not feasible for them to achieve damage limiting capabilities which would permit them to launch a first strike against the US without receiving a very high level of damage in return.” The report was appended as Tab E to the NSSM 3 response submitted by Packard to Kissinger on May 12. (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–75–103, 320.2, Strategic) The text of the report is in the CIA FOIA Electronic Reading Room (www.foia.cia.gov).
  4. Nixon highlighted this paragraph and wrote “nonsense!” above it.
  5. Nixon highlighted this paragraph and wrote “correct” above it.
  6. Nixon highlighted this paragraph and wrote “RN’s view” in the margin next to it.
  7. On April 11, a Department of Defense working group completed a report, entitled “Analysis of Alternative Nuclear Strategies and Force Postures,” which supplemented the response to NSSM 3 overseen by the Packard Committee. (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–75–103, 320.2, Strategic)
  8. Document 28.
  9. Nixon wrote in the margin next to this sentence: “RN agrees.”