18. Editorial Note

In response to NSDM 12, April 14, 1969 (Document 13), the Under Secretaries Committee sent a report on REDCOSTE (Reduction of Costs in Europe) to President Richard Nixon, dated May 26, examining various scenarios for troop reductions, budget and balance of payment savings, and the effect of those reductions on combat capability. On the basis of its tentative conclusions as well as REDCOSTE proposals previously agreed upon, the Under Secretaries Committee anticipated a possible reduction of about 27,400 U.S. military personnel, 1,800 U.S. civilians, and 7,100 foreign national personnel for an annual budget savings after FY 1972 of $355 million and $128 million in the balance of payments. This was 80 percent of the reductions and savings that Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird hoped to achieve. The Under Secretaries Committee agreed that the reductions would have some impact on military operations but would not be significant. The President approved the study. The full text of the report is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume III, Foreign Economic Policy, 1969–1972; International Monetary Policy, 1969–1972, Document 22.