15. National Security Study Memorandum 441


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • U.S. Positions for NATO Nuclear Planning Group (NPG)

The President has directed the preparation of a study reviewing the principal issues related specifically to the NATO NPG Meeting scheduled for May 29th.

1. The study should include a review of the evolution of the NPG as an institution, with emphasis upon past and present positions and attitudes of NATO Members, and a discussion of the range of broad approaches the U.S. could take towards the NPG itself.

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2. The study should set forth and define in detail the main issues and problems confronting the meeting, focusing upon the critical points of difference between the U.S. and the Allies and among the Allies; it should discuss U.S. options with regard to these issues in light of such factors as the effect on U.S. commitments to full consultation, the effects upon current U.S. military policy and practices in Europe, the potential reactions of NATO members, and basic implications for the future.

The study should not attempt, however, to explore all of the broad issues pertaining to nuclear strategy in NATO.

The President has directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Europe perform this study.

The report of this Group should be forwarded to the NSC Review Group by May 9, 1969.2

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, National Security Study Memoranda, Nos. 43–103. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. Hillenbrand transmitted the response to Kissinger on May 8 for a meeting of the Review Group on May 15.(Ibid., NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–146, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 44) The minutes are ibid., Box H–111, Senior Review Group, SRG Minutes Originals 1969.