56. National Security Decision Memorandum 271
- The Vice President
- The Secretary of State
- The Secretary of Defense
- The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness
- The Director of Central Intelligence
- The Director of the Bureau of the Budget
- U.S. Military Posture
As a result of the National Security Council meeting on September 10, 1969 the President has directed that Worldwide Strategy 2, as described in National Security Study Memorandum 3, U.S. Military Posture and the Balance of Power, General Purpose Forces Section, dated September 5, 1969,2 will constitute the approved United States strategy for general purpose forces.[Page 224]
The President has further directed that the general budget guidelines for the next five fiscal years contained in Table 1 will be used for planning purposes.
|Vietnam Assumption||FY 71||FY 72||FY 73||FY 74||FY 75|
|A. U.S. Combat Involvement ceases after 1 July 1970 (NSSM 3 assumption)||$73||$71||$72||$75||$76|
|B. Phase down to about 260,000 troops by 30 June 1971, continue combat through 30 June 1973, no combat involvement thereafter.||$76||$76||$75||$75||$76|
Budget outlays should be adjusted in accordance with actual Vietnam requirements.
The President has directed that the following be accomplished:
- —The Department of Defense will develop a five year force and program plan—including overseas deployments and NATO-committed forces—consistent with the approved strategy and budget guidelines, together with an explanation and rationale for the forces in each major force category and the logistics guidance.
- —The Department of State, in coordination with the Department of Defense, will develop a diplomatic scenario consistent with implementation of the approved strategy.
- —The Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of State and the White House Office of Congressional Liaison, will develop a plan for presenting the approved strategy and budget guidelines to the Congress and to the public.
Each of these tasks should be completed and a written report submitted to the Defense Program Review Committee by January 15, 1970.[Page 225]
The President emphasized that he will approve revisions to the strategy and budget guidelines and the five year force and program plan as required to maintain the security of the United States and its allies.
The President has directed that once each year, on September 15, the Secretary of Defense will submit to the Defense Program Review Committee his recommended five year force and program plan, together with its rationale, for the five fiscal years beginning the following July 1. This plan should be consistent with approved strategy and budget guidance and should note significant changes from the previous plan.
The President has further directed that proposals for significant changes in the approved five year force and program plan or in the strategy and budget guidelines be reviewed by the Defense Program Review Committee prior to consideration by the President and the National Security Council.
NSC 5904/1—U.S. Policy in the Event of War—is hereby rescinded.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, NSDMs, Nos. 1–50. Top Secret. Drafted by Lynn. Copies were sent to Wheeler and McCracken.↩
- See Document 45.↩
- These figures are in current dollars as in NSSM 3 (i.e. including projected inflation and pay raises). The cost of appropriate assistance to allies is included. [Footnote in the original. NSSM 3 is Document 2.]↩