36. National Security Study Memorandum 921


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


  • Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions Between NATO and the Warsaw Pact (MBFR)

The President has directed that a comprehensive study be prepared on the subject of mutual and balanced force reductions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

The study should develop the analysis and supporting evidence related to all the major issues. In particular, alternative approaches to the problem should be examined, and an analysis made of such factors as the extent of reductions, forces and equipment involved, timing, geographic areas covered, verification aspects, problem of negotiability, Allied viewpoints, potential cost savings for the US, and any other factors deemed pertinent. On the basis of the foregoing analysis various Options should be developed to illustrate the differing concepts and variations for each Option. There should also be an assessment of the strategic effect on NATO defense, as well as on Warsaw Pact capabilities.

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The study should take into account the work already completed or underway in NATO 2 but should not be bound by it. The overall responsibility for the study is assigned to the Verification Panel established for SALT; the Verification Panel Working Group will undertake the basic work, in the same manner as the SALT studies.

In view of the work proceeding in NATO, it is desirable that the study be completed on July 15, 1970.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Executive Secretariat, Files on Select National Security Study Memorandums, 1969–70, Lot 80D212, NSSM 92. Secret. Copies were sent to the Attorney General and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. In a memorandum to Richardson, May 8, Springsteen reviewed NATO’s MBFR model-building exercise and EUR’s thoughts on the relevance of that exercise to the work on NSSM 92. (Ibid.)