31. National Security Study Memorandum 901


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • US Interests in and Policy Toward the Mediterranean Area

The President wishes to expand NSC consideration of Mediterranean problems beyond those issues cited in NSSM 872 (North Africa) and in NSSM 88 (Northern Mediterranean).3

Accordingly, he directs that the NSSMs 87 and 88 studies be placed in the context of political developments in the Mediterranean basin as a whole, including the Eastern Mediterranean. Particular emphasis should be given to how US interests in this area will be affected over the next several years.

The study should include consideration of Soviet objectives, policies and prospects and how they affect our interests, and French objectives, policies and prospects and how they affect our interests.

The President wishes to discuss the feasibility of developing policy options with respect to our interests in the area as a whole or in appro[Page 117]priate segments of it. He wishes to examine ways of improving the interrelationship of our programs and policies in individual countries in the Mediterranean area. Policy options should take account of political, economic and military considerations.

The President has directed that this study be prepared by an ad hoc group chaired by a representative of the Secretary of State and including representatives of the addressees of this memorandum and the NSC staff. Work already completed or underway in response to NSSM 88 may be incorporated in the study requested by the present NSSM.

The completed study should be submitted to the NSC Review Group by Monday, March 16, 1970.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 252, Agency Files, NSC Mtgs., Vol. 1. Secret; Nodis. A copy was sent to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. NSSM 87, “Trends and U.S. Options in North Africa,” January 22, is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–5, part 2, Documents on North Africa, 1969–1972, Document 5.
  3. Document 30.