133. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Henry Owen and Samuel Huntington of the National Security Council Staff1


  • Oil Price Strategy

The President desires that very serious thought be given on an urgent basis to an orchestrated strategy, designed to strengthen the support of other key nations, both developed and under-developed, for an effort to hold OPEC prices down. It is the view of Mike Blumenthal and others that any price increase right now, and certainly any above three or so percent, would be potentially most damaging to a variety of our national interests. We intend to use the trip2 in part to exercise our leverage against such a price hike, but much more needs to be done. Could you please consult, develop some initial thoughts, and—if necessary—form a highly confidential group to develop the needed response.3

Please consider this matter as urgent, although I am not setting a particular deadline.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 48, Oil. Secret. Printed from a copy that indicates Brzezinski initialed the original.
  2. Blumenthal’s trip to the Middle East; see Document 134.
  3. On October 26, Huntington received a memorandum from Robert Bowie, Director of the National Foreign Assessment Center, Central Intelligence Agency, informing him that he would “produce an intelligence evaluation of the impact of an oil price increase on industrial and underdeveloped countries and of the attitudes of these countries toward such an increase.” Bowie attached a paper, prepared earlier at Cooper’s request, on the impact of a 10 percent OPEC price rise and added that the new paper would provide “a more pessimistic scenario” for the impact of such an increase. He also hoped to include an evaluation of the views and attitudes of the OPEC countries with regard to a price increase. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Middle East File, Box 65, Subject File, Oil) Neither paper has been found.