14. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Secretary Rogers’ European Trip
[Page 34]

Secretary Rogers has sent you the attached memorandum summarizing the accomplishments of his recent European trip (Tab B).2

The Secretary feels that the NATO meeting was useful in containing the eagerness of some European leaders for the Warsaw Pact-proposed European security conference by advancing a sound Allied position on relations and negotiations with the East. The Secretary also notes that ten allied countries agreed to increase their military efforts while we assured the allies that we would maintain our troop levels at essentially present levels through FY 1971.

With respect to his conversations with German leaders, both in Brussels and in Bonn, the Secretary reports Brandt’s assurances that the Germans would not be adventurous in their Eastern policy. The Secretary expressed our support and stressed that recent reports of US suspiciousness of German policy were incorrect. Chancellor Brandt indicated a preference for April or May for his visit to Washington. (We will pick up this matter again with the German Embassy here.)

In France, the Secretary found our relations improving although differences remain especially on the Middle East and Vietnam. (A separate memorandum on the latter subject is being forwarded to you.)3

I agree with the Secretary that the NATO meeting put forward a reasonable Western position on relations with the East. It is not yet clear, however, whether the pressures for a European security conference have been contained for good. In addition, of course, the Alliance is now committed to specific concrete negotiations with the East, particularly on Berlin and possible mutual East-West troop reductions. An NSC meeting is being tentatively scheduled for mid-January to enable you to review our NATO and European policy and to give guidance for future policy, both short-term and longer-range. This will also help to prepare for the visits of Prime Minister Wilson later in January and of President Pompidou in late February.

If you agree, I will send the attached memorandum (Tab A) to the Secretary of State, acknowledging his report to you.

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That you approve the memorandum at Tab Ato Secretary Rogers.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 281, Agency Files, Dept of State, Vol. V. Secret. Sent for action. A notation on the first page reads: “The President has seen.” In a handwritten comment at the top of the memorandum, Kissinger wrote on December 29, “I don’t have to get Pres. to approve notes to Rogers.”
  2. Tab B is attached but not printed. Rogers wrote in his memorandum to the President, December 8: “On the European Security Conference and East-West relations, we achieved a realistic and cautious NATO stand which stressed the need for further explorations and better prospects for significant results before we agreed to go to a Conference. We also obtained Alliance agreement on NATO initiatives vis-à-vis Eastern Europe, including preparation of a negotiating position for mutual and balanced force reductions, support for initiatives on Germany and Berlin, and support for some moves in economic, social and cultural fields. The Declaration accompanying the Communiqué contains a strong reference to principles which should guide relations of States, stressing non-intervention in the affairs of any state by any other state ‘whatever its social or political system.’ Euphoria for a conference for a conference’s sake was contained, and the result is a sound Alliance position on this issue.”
  3. Not found.
  4. The draft memorandum from Kissinger to Rogers is attached but not printed. Nixon crossed out the “Approve” and “Disapprove” options and wrote: “I covered orally by phone—Set up N.S.C. meeting as planned—to cover NATO generally—with particular emphasis on Germany, Italy, France, Britain (in that order). Also—a look at Greece.” Below the handwritten note is the date, “Dec 29, 1969.”