2. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis (Tucker) to Secretary of Defense Richardson1


  • Taking Stock

I. Major Accomplishments and Important Unfinished Business

The past four years have seen many accomplishments in national security planning; I have noted below those which, in my opinion, are the most significant. It is important to bear in mind, however, that history will record them as accomplishments only to the extent that the necessary follow-on work associated with each is diligently conducted.

A. Vietnamization. The conviction that the only confident way to achieve U.S. objectives in SEA was to build the self-Defense capability of the South Vietnamese was probably the most important single contribution of this Department. Our resolute actions based on that conviction have largely extricated U.S. forces and have given our South Vietnamese allies a reasonable chance to survive as a free nation. These actions have induced the North Vietnamese to negotiate an acceptable settlement.

Vietnamization is the crucial first step in implementation of the Nixon doctrine.2 It will require continuing realistic analysis and resolute action to build the capability and shift the burden of self-defense increasingly to our Asian allies, and to reduce U.S. presence and the likelihood of U.S. involvement in future conflicts, while maintaining at all times the joint capability for deterrence or defense. An adequate [Page 5] policy and realistic program for development of post-war Asian security arrangements has yet to be established.

B. SALT. This Department has provided crucial leadership by presenting the President with constructive proposals and realistic assessments of potential Strategic Arms Limitation Agreements, and by keeping in perspective the goals of security and stability rather than ease of negotiation or popularity. We have been influential because we have been realistic rather than extreme, and because we have been able to pull the Department of Defense together on the essential issues. Without our leadership, unwise agreements might well have been reached.

The Phase I SALT agreements3 represent an important first step in establishing security and stability in our strategic relations with the Soviet Union. But the agreements do not by themselves provide an acceptable basis for secure and stable relations over several years. A treaty limiting offensive systems to provide equality and stability—and to do so through reductions in Soviet forces rather than major increases in U.S. forces—is essential. The SALT–I agreements, however, leave us little leverage in the next year or so to persuade the Soviets to reach such an agreement unless we compromise seriously the Forward Based Nuclear Systems in Europe which form the most visible assurance to our NATO allies of our commitment to the nuclear defense of NATO. We must not expect, therefore, to be able to negotiate an acceptable offense treaty soon, and must pursue with clear Congressional support the major strategic programs which will be needed if negotiations fail and the Soviet threat improves, and which will provide the negotiating leverage necessary. It will again require persistent DoD leadership to steer this course.

C. MBFR. There is much work ahead to establish a rational, constructive U.S. posture in MBFR, but DoD has made a crucial contribution by turning the U.S. conceptual approach around. Rather than viewing MBFR as a necessary evil and a cover to rationalize or delay inevitable, Congressionally imposed, unilateral U.S. reductions, we now view MBFR as a potential instrument for improving NATO security, the stability of East-West relations in Europe, and the cohesiveness of the alliance. Also, as a result of DoD positions taken within the U.S. [Page 6] community, the U.S. is now searching for a comprehensive, phased approached to MBFR to include constraints and verification measures as well as actual force reductions.

Most discussions of MBFR both within the U.S. Government and within the NATO alliance, however, start from the premise that the Warsaw Pact has a large and growing advantage over NATO in conventional forces so that it could rapidly muster an attack which could quickly penetrate deep into NATO territory. It is, moreover, assumed that symmetric force reductions in Central Europe will very much favor the Pact since Soviet capability to reintroduce forces is so much more rapid than ours. Our most recent analyses discredit both premises. It is urgent, unfinished business that we promulgate within the U.S. Government and NATO an undistorted view of the current NATO-Pact balance as a rational starting point for realistic evaluations of MBFR goals and options.

D. NNTAP. DoD has laid the basis for replacing dangerously unrealistic, incomplete and inconsistent formulations of policies dealing with nuclear strategy, weapons acquisition and weapons employment with a realistic, complete and consistent formulation which can provide the President with a realistic appraisal of his nuclear options in crisis situations, provide DoD with a rational, defensive nuclear weapons program, and make more effective our nuclear deterrent.

There is a tendency for the proponents of various nuclear systems and options to use the new formulation of policy to justify their preferences. A deliberate, continuing effort to develop specific implementation plans, assess their utility and consequences in realistic scenarios, and modify the policy formulation will be necessary, as well as an effort to assess our nuclear weapons inventory, deployment, command and control, and modernization programs in terms of their adequacy to support the policy.

II. Utilization of Defense Resources

A. Fiscal Reality. An inescapable part of the background against which all Defense planning analyses and decisions must be viewed is the current and future competition for federal resources.

1. Within DoD. We have made significant progress within DoD in analysis of alternative Federal fiscal policies and their impacts on national economic goals. We have been able with some confidence to simulate the interaction of alternative Federal policies (spending levels, tax programs and wage-price controls) with major variables such as inflation and employment, and then analyze the effects on Federal revenue and the Federal deficit. These studies lead us to conclude that our stated economic goals cannot be achieved over the next few years except through reduction of projected levels of federal spending, and that [Page 7] such reductions cannot realistically be achieved through adjustment of the so-called “controllable” expenditures (i.e., those unilaterally controlled by the Administration) alone, but will require adjustments to presently legislated programs as well.

I believe we have finally gotten the message across within DoD that the total resources allocated to defense will not increase significantly in the next several years and that some painful adjustments will have to be made if we are to plan a balanced program of modernization, manpower, forces, readiness and support within likely resource levels. Whereas the realization of fiscal reality has finally been achieved, however, the painful adjustments are still largely in the future.

2. Within the Administration. I believe we have also finally been successful in getting the rest of the Administration to recognize that projected fiscal imbalances and deficits are of such a magnitude and the requirements of national security so irreducible, that national goals of full employment, low inflation and real growth cannot be achieved except through painful adjustments to non-Defense federal programs. Here too, however, it is only the realization, which has been achieved. The painful adjustments are still to come. Such adjustments require Administration-wide analysis and multi-year, not just annual, planning and decision making. We have been frustrated, however, in attempts to precipitate or participate in interagency or Administration-wide studies of these matters.

It is especially disappointing that we have not succeeded in developing a constructive dialogue in the DPRC on the priorities for allocation of total federal resources amongst alternative claimants, nor have we been able to induce the Administration to address the multi-year fiscal planning which is so crucial to effective economic and Defense planning, nor even to determine early and firmly the annual level of the Defense budget. Instead, we go through months of unresolved struggle over the levels of Defense expenditures annually in other forums, and this struggle precludes an open dialogue over Defense programs and issues at the DPRC because each issue is likely to reopen the battle over resources. Similarly, efforts to generate constructive discussion of the extent and manner in which Federal expenditures can be controlled have been unsuccessful.

B. Participatory Management

1. Within the Administration. Our attempts to elicit an Administration-wide participatory approach to the management of relevant defense issues has met with only partial success. The DPRC has succeeded in producing a much better understanding of Defense capabilities, limitations, requirements, issues and programs on the part of the principal advisors to the President. This has helped to avoid a repeat of the 1969 [Page 8] NSC meeting4 on the defense budget at which some of the members reflected serious misconceptions or misunderstandings of Defense programs and requirements. The members of the DPRC and their staffs, however, still have a tendency to probe extensively into defense projects of secondary importance in an effort to discredit us, rather than concentrating on the major missions of Defense, our capability to discharge them, and the resources available and needed. As reflected by the comments above on fiscal realities, our attempts to participate on an Administration-wide basis in the management of total federal resource allocation and policy questions has been largely thwarted.

2. With Congress. Last year at our Airlie House conference5 you stressed that the Congress was a coequal branch of the U.S. Government. You said it was essential that we transform our relations with the Congress from a kind of adversary confrontation to a partnership in which they share in facing and solving some of our problems, not just in criticizing our actions and proposals. You said we should bring them more deeply into the issues and considerations of national security, even though it risked exposing them to facts and factors which could be used to attack our programs, because national security could not be assured over the several years without strong commitment and support from Congress of a kind which can only come from active participation in the critical decisions.

As a trial first step we invited the key staff members of the four committees to the Pentagon for a seminar on selected Defense problems. Bob Moot6 discussed fiscal realities, John Foster discussed technological competition with the Soviets, and I discussed cost growth in weapon systems and the NATO-Warsaw Pact balance. It is my impression that the Congressional staff responded enthusiastically to this frank dialogue and urged that it be pursued further after the budget hearings and elections. Another of our initial efforts at being completely open was the 1972 Defense Manpower Report which was well received by Congress and I believe improved DoD’s credibility during subsequent Congressional hearings.

Thus, we have made a small beginning on what must become a major new relationship. Before it can come to fruition, however, I be[Page 9]lieve we must develop a franker, better organized dialogue and consensus within DoD itself on the missions, capabilities and limitations of Defense.

3. Within DoD. By giving every component a sense of sharing in DoD decision making, participatory management has been the major tool for achieving DoD cohesiveness under pressure. One of the major accomplishments of the past four years has been pulling the hitherto often disparate, independent and conflicting components of DoD together into a cohesive unity. It has enabled DoD to weather effectively attacks on Defense programs and budgets from within the Administration and from Congressional and public sources which otherwise might have eroded national security seriously.

C. PPBS. One of the most important opportunities for implementing participatory management within DoD—and perhaps its most successful manifestation—has been the PPBS. This institution has by now given us the most orderly planning cycle in several years. It must, however, be judged not just by how orderly or participatory it is, but by how confidently it adjusts the Defense program to implement the policies, objectives and strategies of defense. By these criteria I believe it is only just beginning to work and most of its accomplishment must still lie ahead. It is my view that this summer we began to make a few program decisions which were based in a discriminating way on the policy guidance and a realistic appraisal of our capabilities. I also believe that in this next PPBS cycle there is a chance that we may see considerable progress toward a realistic and discriminating JSOP which brings the military judgments of the JCS and their staff to bear systematically on the practical issues and alternatives of defense planning. This year, for the first time, we have seen POMs from the Military Departments which attempt to present their proposed programs as rationally derived from their missions and strategies after considering the threat and allied capabilities. Much of the logic is still specious or incomplete, but the conceptual framework is beginning to appear.

The Defense Policy and Planning Guidance (DPPG) now contains the most definitive, complete and unambiguous formulation of Defense policy, strategy and planning guidance which has ever been put together. It still contains many ambiguities and uncertainties and will properly be subject to a number of challenges. Nonetheless, it provides for the first time a realistic, consistent and discriminating conceptual basis on which defense planning issues can be resolved. Without such a policy basis, no major improvements in the effectiveness of defense planning are likely. One of the best indicators that the PPBS is beginning to achieve rational planning, that is, to connect program decisions with policy guidance, is the renewed interest on the part of Service Chiefs and Secretaries in the formulation of the DPPG; witness particu[Page 10]larly the current effort mobilized by Warner and Zumwalt to reexamine and reformulate the “Nixon Doctrine.” By and large, however, there still is lacking a systematic and comprehensive logic which relates our forces and programs to the policies and strategies of the DPPG, and our planning is often driven by influences which do not emanate from that document. To make the DPPG effective, Defense program decisions must be tied in an explicit and discriminating way to the policy and guidance it contains.

The Materiel Support Planning Guidance (MSPG) contains operative policy guidance to the Services which should insure a reasonable balance between General Purpose Forces and their materiel support capability. The policies and planning concepts enunciated should assure that, for the first time in U.S. history, the war-to-peace transition in our materiel (particularly munitions) procurement programs will be consciously managed so as to build adequate war reserve stockpiles and at the same time protect our industrial preparedness. The combined impact of DPPG, fiscal guidance, and MSPG on our materiel support planning has promise of ultimately producing the best peacetime balance of combat forces and materiel support capability the nation has ever had. We have made significant progress in forcing a convergence of the Service processes of war reserve “requirements” development and actual resource allocation. We have for the first time detailed, explicit guidance on industrial preparedness that is wholly consistent with our approved force structure and strategy. However, due to a generally low internal Service priority, I believe the broad area of materiel support capability will continue to require OSD attention and firm guidance if an acceptable peacetime force/materiel support balance is to be achieved and maintained.

D. Total Force Planning.

1. U.S. Forces. The concept of total force planning is by now firmly established. It has led to some positive actions. Significant improvements in Reserve equipment and training, for example, have been programmed. The explicit inclusion of allied forces makes a substantial difference in our assessments of capabilities and requirements for land forces in Asia, sea lane defense, etc. Some new efforts have been started to explore the capability of one Service to contribute to the missions normally assigned to another Service, e.g., recent AF studies of its ability to contribute to sea lane defense. Many of the tough decisions required to implement total force planning in a realistic way still lie ahead, however. They must probably await more comprehensive analyses of the capability of our programmed forces to implement the DPPG mission before they can be driven home. I believe we will discover that the size of our Army reserve is larger than can be utilized effectively in the missions we have defined, even with the policy that our [Page 11] active forces should be augmented in a crisis from the reserves first rather than through a civilian draft. We will therefore need to move towards an Army reserve which is smaller as well as better equipped, trained and integrated with active units in order to tune our total forces better to our missions. On the other hand, we may also discover that a larger, well-equipped Air Force reserve can support our total mission requirements with reduced active units, so that we should begin to transfer equipment and spaces from active to reserve units. Wherever total force planning leads to the conclusion that some parts of our force structure should be reduced while others are strengthened, the implementing decisions will be tough.

2. Forces of Allies. The DPPG stresses that we should have a joint capability with full participation of our allies to mount a conventional forward defense in NATO or in NEA or in SEA. It stresses that our allies should develop a greater self-defense capability. I believe effective planning for such joint capability and burden-shifting can only be based on a common and realistic joint understanding of the threat, the requirements of the strategy, the capability or inadequacies of our combined forces to implement the strategy, and our respective plans for changes. For various reasons, many of our spokesmen have portrayed an unrealistically pessimistic assessment of the threat and Allied capabilities in Europe, and we have not discussed long range strategy and deployment plans frankly with our Asian allies. In the absence of realistic and candid discussion our allies draw more pessimistic or sinister inferences than they should, and our influence is degraded. The advent of MBFR in Europe and post-war adjustments in Asia make such frank dialogue particularly urgent.

III. Progress in Analysis: Missions, Forces and Capabilities

We have concentrated in analysis on the fundamental assessment of the capability of our current and programmed force to perform the missions identified in the Policy and Planning Guidance. We have attempted to conduct this analysis in a cooperative way with the military service or services affected or with the Joint Staff, and with full participation from the intelligence community, to make sure that the data, assumptions and methods are challenged and explored at each step, and to build a consensus of support and understanding of the analytic results even when they may differ from what the intuition or interest of the participants might have preferred. It has taken a great deal of time and effort to establish an adequate basis of trust and so some of these cooperative analyses are just now getting underway. Others are still incomplete. Nonetheless, a number of important inferences are beginning to emerge.

[Page 12]

While discussing MBFR, I alluded to recent analyses of the current NATO-Pact balance. More specifically, our joint study with the Army7 indicates that under the assumptions set forth in the Policy and Planning Guidance, the NATO alliance currently has a land force structure which is adequate for a successful nonnuclear forward defense of NATO territory against a nonnuclear attack by those Warsaw Pact forces designated against the NATO central region. It also indicates a force structure adequate to slow the Pact attack and deny the loss of Germany during the first 90 days of conflict if the designated Pact forces are augmented with another 40 Soviet divisions drawn from the other Soviet military districts and the Chinese border. This analysis does not yet take into account NATO or Pact logistic constraints nor the contributions of tactical air to the ground battle. Preliminary examination indicates, however, that each of these factors will favor NATO so the indications above should not change qualitatively. Our analysis also indicates that the NATO conventional capability for Europe is improving faster than the Pact conventional capability.

These preliminary analytic results differ remarkably from the intuitions or assertions of many of our military commanders and our NATO allies, who have tended to assume that a NATO conventional defense would begin to crumble after a few days of Pact attack after which it would be mandatory to escalate to a nuclear defense. If these preliminary indications continue to be supported as the analytic work progresses, they can exert a very considerable influence on NATO strategy and on the planning and budgeting of the NATO Allies. Because the analytic results challenge more common judgements so deeply, however, great care and finesse will be required to bring their influence effectively to bear in strategy and planning.

Four recent analyses have addressed our capability to reinforce NATO in the presence of a concentrated Soviet antishipping campaign in the Atlantic. The Navy NARAC–G and SEAMIX studies8 assessed U.S. shipping losses and Soviet submarine losses assuming U.S. and allied FY 73 forces for sea lane protection, and FY 81 forces, respectively. The interagency SPANS study addressed the adequacy of available merchant shipping. The Joint Staff CAPFORCE study assessed our capability to supply and reinforce our forces in NATO given the ships available and shipping losses from the other studies and given the assumptions of the Policy and Planning Guidance. These analyses make the following clear: We would sustain heavy shipping losses (25–50%) in the first 30 days of an intensive Soviet antishipping campaign, and [Page 13] moderate losses (10–20%) over 90 days, but the percentage loss of Soviet submarines (the principal antishipping threat) would be much higher than the percentage loss of NATO ASW assets, so that the balance improves in favor of NATO as the campaign continues; A significant fraction of Soviet submarine losses would be attributed to allied ASW forces; In spite of shipping losses, NATO has adequate cargo ships available to carry the military supplies needed to sustain 90 days or more of a NATO-Pact conflict; U.S. prepositioned equipment plus sealift and airlift capability are adequate to provide the reinforcement and supply called for by JSOP under the DPPG assumptions. (However, we do not now maintain nor program to procure munitions, equipment, and other supplies to replace those lost aboard attritted cargo ships.) The analyses further indicate that the forces programmed for FY 81 will be better able to protect sea lanes from the projected FY 81 threat than the current forces can protect against the current threat. The principal item which is missing from the supply analysis to date is a realistic assessment of the vulnerability of prepositioned equipment, though some preliminary assessments indicate that it is not as vulnerable as usually thought, given limited Soviet bombing capabilities.

These analytic results again appear to differ significantly from the judgments of some of our military commanders who have asserted that our sea lane defense forces will prove inadequate to reinforce or support our land and air forces in Europe, or that our cargo fleet has inadequate capacity. All of the above analyses assume that sea lane protection has the highest priority claim on naval forces. Navy combat forces (carriers) are vulnerable to submarine attack and must compete with sea lane defense for allocation of ASW assets if they are deployed forward during the early stages of conflict. This competition for resources amongst alternative missions and how it is best resolved in terms of our overall strategy has yet to receive critical analysis. Those commanders who judge our sea lane defense inadequate may in fact have assumed first priority for defense of our carrier task forces rather than for sea lane defense, even though the DPPG states otherwise.

A third example of analytic progress deals with the requirements for conventional land forces to implement a forward defense strategy in Asia and the extent to which those requirements can be met over time by the improving defense capabilities of our Asian allies as a result of our security assistance. We have subjected this question to extensive analysis and continuing dialogue with the joint staff. We have not achieved consensus, but have considerably narrowed the range of differences of view. The result is that, except in a “worst case” in which the Chinese draw their forces away from their border with the Soviet Union in order to augment the forces they can send to North Korea, or all regular South Vietnamese and Thai forces are needed to control in[Page 14]surgent activities, all estimates of requirements for a conventional defense of South Korea or Southeast Asia, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand (but not Burma) against a combined Chinese-North Korean or Chinese-North Vietnamese conventional attack fall within projected allied forces plus the forces the U.S. could deploy with our planned program without call-up of the reserves or draw down of NATO committed forces. In the unlikely “worst case,” we could still meet the highest estimates of requirements without an undue NATO draw down by mobilizing reserve forces. The major weaknesses in this analysis to date are the lack of adequate treatment of the extent to which allied regular forces in SEA may be tied down in controlling insurgent activity and therefore unavailable for conventional defense (in other than the “worst case,” we have assumed that Regional, Popular and Police forces would be adequate for counter-insurgency), the uncertainties associated with logistical constraints in SEA and the will and determination of our SEA allies to fight, and the lack of consistent treatment of the contribution of tactical air to the ground battle.

In each of the above examples of analytic progress a significant shortcoming is the lack of a consensus on the effects of tactical air on the land or sea battle. Past separate analyses by SA or by the Service involved of tactical air requirements to contribute to the various missions of defense have lead to widely divergent results and very different conclusion regarding the adequacy of our forces. Some time ago Bob Seamans and I initiated a joint effort to pin down and narrow differences regarding data and assumptions. We have just initiated joint analytic work which will take several months to complete. John Warner and I have very recently initiated a joint study to assess the capability of our forces to perform missions involving naval forces. I hope that these joint studies will be as productive of understanding and consensus as the joint study with the Army has begun to be.

Together with the Army, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Navy and the Joint Staff, we have been conducting a series of studies of Close Air Support. The first of these studies led to the conclusion that both helicopter and fixed wing aircraft are probably necessary for CAS missions, and defined a number of criteria to which candidate aircraft should be tested. The outcome of the resultant tests led the Army to propose dropping the Cheyenne as a candidate and defining a new helicopter for development. The tests specified for the A–9/A–10 have not yet been completed. The second of the studies has identified a number of problems without systems and procedures for command and control of CAS aircraft and has again led to the identification of a needed program of test and evaluation. In spite of the strong partisan interests and emotions involved in CAS we have so far been able to keep the Services, the Joint Staff and OSD together on studies and con[Page 15]clusions. We have, however, not yet positioned ourselves to attack the most controversial question—that of “roles and missions.” When we are ready to attack that question I believe it will be necessary for us to change our mode of attack from a study in which all parties participate continuously to one in which OSD generates a study on which each Service and the JCS then comment.

Through the MSPG and continual OSD/Service staff dialogue we have helped influence the Air Force to develop an analytical methodology for identifying the “optimum” future mix of air-to-surface munitions to be stockpiled. To the extent that our actual munitions procurement programs continue to be shaped by that planning tool, future munitions stockpiles will contain enough of the modern, much more effective air munitions that will permit us to extract the maximum combat capability from our increasingly expensive tactical air sortie capability. We have had considerably less success with the Navy in this area; however, that dialogue continues.

To a completely unprecedented degree U.S. decision making for policy and activities in Southeast Asia has been supported by an extensive, authenticated factual data base and by penetrating, impartial and timely analyses of military, demographic and economic developments. The assessments of hamlet security, patterns of enemy activity, quality of ARVN leadership, effectiveness of U.S. air interdiction, and impact of U.S. presence on SVN inflation have supported improved allocations of RVN forces, shifts from air to ground interdiction efforts against supply routes and caches, and significant reductions in inflationary pressures. The control situation in SVN has been monitored, portrayed and analyzed on a periodic basis as have military developments in Cambodia. This has provided an accurate and timely overview of Vietnamization’s progress.

In the strategic mission area, I have already pointed to the Foster Panel NNTAP report9 as one of the major accomplishments of the past four years. The new nuclear weapons employment policy developed in this report gives us the basis for fresh assessment of the adequacy and appropriateness of our nuclear forces to perform the missions assigned to them. Particularly for theatre-related missions, an adequate policy and conceptual framework for such assessment has heretofore been lacking. Careful joint study will be necessary with the Joint Staff to begin to achieve a consensus on requirements and adequacy of our forces.

Continuing analytic progress has been made on strategic nuclear weapons. Particularly important has been the “Oberbeck” study of the [Page 16] survivability of strategic forces, in which JCS, OSD and the Services participated, and which made clear: That our FBM submarines at sea are nearly invulnerable in a short sudden strategic war today, but could become more vulnerable in the later 1970s or beyond; That straightforward Soviet technological improvement of their ICBM force in ways we have already proven feasible could make our fixed Minuteman silos very vulnerable; That Soviet development and deployment of a “depressed trajectory” mode of operation for their growing SLBM force could reduce the warning time for attack on our bomber bases from 15–30 minutes to 5–7 minutes, thereby making their prelaunch survival more uncertain than their ability to penetrate Soviet air defenses; That our SAFEGUARD system10 was itself vulnerable to concentrated attack on its radars.

A second important strategic analysis was done of alternative air defense objectives. This analysis defined alternative objectives in terms of attack size and warning and analyzed these. It resulted in a less ambitious set of objectives for our air defenses. Thus, where previously we were planning our air defenses for a large surprise bomber attack, it is now our objective to plan for defense against a small attack which might result from a deep international crisis from which we would obtain warning. Because this analysis was done on one of the “close-hold” issues identified by the Shultz-Kissinger-Packard triumvirate reviewing the FY 73–77 program, it was conducted within Systems Analysis without participation by the AF or the JCS. One consequence is that the AF and the JCS have been fighting the conclusions and recommendations since. It is thus an example of a first-rate analysis whose impact is made much more difficult because it was not managed in a participatory way. Of course, a participatory approach to analysis is much more difficult and time consuming than performing private staff studies. But its impact on Defense policy and programming can be much greater because it tends to form a consensus and its results must be taken seriously, rather than being dismissed as the product of bright but uninformed civilians who lack military judgment.

In spite of these difficulties, we have begun to build a systematic, logical basis for assessment of the capability of our current and programmed forces to perform the missions of Defense as defined in the DPPG. This basis is beginning to illuminate both policy questions and specific programming and weapon acquisition decisions.

We have not yet nearly completed a first careful participatory pass through assessment of our major forces to perform our major missions. [Page 17] Much more pioneering and original work is still required. Moreover the essential cooperation of the Services and the Joint Staff is still fragile and hesitant. But I believe that the foundations we have already laid are the surest that Defense has ever had, and the directions we have started on can produce a superior, systematic understanding of defense capabilities and efficient paths to their improvement. I look forward to the day when the confidence of this department in our analytic base will be sufficient enough so that tough and discriminating program and policy decisions will be based on it.

[Omitted here is Section IV, dealing with manpower issues.]

Gardiner L. Tucker Assistant Secretary of Defense
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Schlesinger Papers, Gardiner Tucker. Secret. Tucker sent this “status report” to Richardson under a covering memorandum of January 30. On the covering memorandum, Richardson wrote on February 11, “This impresses me as an absolutely first-rate paper. Would like to discuss with you ASAP.” Tucker later sent the memorandum to Secretary of Defense-designate Schlesinger under a covering memorandum of May 17. A stamp on a June 1 OSD covering memorandum indicates that Schlesinger saw it. (Ibid.) Under a covering memorandum, February 3, Tucker sent Richardson and Clements another lengthy paper, this one an overview of current defense strategies and missions. (Ibid.)
  2. On July 25, 1969, during a tour of Asia, President Nixon outlined what became known as the Nixon Doctrine, which prescribed a post-Vietnam American disengagement from Asia. While the United States would honor its “treaty commitments,” henceforth Americans would seek to “avoid the kind of policy that will make countries in Asia so dependent upon us that we are dragged into conflicts such as the one we have in Vietnam.” Consequently, the United States would generally avoid direct military involvement in the region. Instead, it would “encourage” Asian nations to be responsible for their own security. (Public Papers: Nixon, 1969, pp. 544–556)
  3. On May 26, 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union signed two SALT accords: the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and the Interim Agreement on Certain Measures with respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. The former limited each signatory’s deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems to two designated areas, including the national command authority. The latter was an agreement in principle to limit the overall level of strategic offensive missile forces. For the full texts of the agreements, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Vol. XXXII, SALT I, 1969–1972, Documents 316 and 317.
  4. The NSC met several times during 1969 to discuss national security policy. For the records of those meetings, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Vol. XXXII, National Security Policy, 1969–1972, Documents 5, 7, 8, 16, 36, and 103.
  5. Defense officials regularly held meetings at Arlie House, a conference center located in Virginia. No record of the previous meeting, held in September 1972, was found.
  6. Robert C. Moot, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) until January 9, 1973.
  7. Not found.
  8. The referenced NARAC–G, SEAMIX, SPANS, and CAPFORCE studies were not found.
  9. The referenced Foster Panel report and the Oberbeck study were not found.
  10. The Safeguard ABM system was approved by the Nixon administration in March 1969. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Vol. XXXII, National Security Policy, 1969–1972, Documents 1425.