11. National Security Decision Memorandum 2081


  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Director, Selective Service System


  • Standby Draft

Based on the NSSM 165 study,2 the President has decided that future planning for the Selective Service System will be governed by the following guidelines:

For fiscal year 1974:

—The calendar year 1973 lottery has been held as scheduled and classification of registrants will continue for calendar year 1973 in compliance with the Military Selective Service Act.

—The Selective Service State Headquarters and local board structure will be maintained during fiscal year 1974 but with acceleration of the collocation of local appeal boards. This will reduce the number of sites to about 925 during fiscal year 1974.

For the years beyond fiscal year 1974:

—Assuming continued success in the all-volunteer force effort, a standby draft structure similar to that of the Office of Selective Service Records which existed in 1947 and 1948 is anticipated. Operations of both local and state organizations would then be suspended pending future reactivation of the draft authority should that be required.

—This decision will be reconsidered next summer before the submission of the fiscal year 1975 budget in a study conducted under NSC auspices. The exact details of the contingency operation will also be considered at that time.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, NSDMs 145–264. Confidential.
  2. NSSM 165, December 3, 1972, is Document 228 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXXIV, National Security Policy, 1969–1972.