84. National Security Study Memorandum 1641


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Agriculture


  • United States Relations with Europe

The President has directed the preparation of a basic study of our relations with Europe, with particular focus on Western Europe. The study should examine the goals we should strive for over the next four years, and the priorities that should govern our policies. Under each major aspect of our relations with Europe—political, economic, military, security, scientific—major issues that will arise in the next year or so should be identified and discussed. The interrelationship of issues should be examined. A range of options for dealing with these issues should be analyzed in terms of advantages and disadvantages.

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The purpose of this study is to provide the President with a framework within which he can make basic decisions on the relative priorities to be accorded the elements in our overall policy toward Europe and to provide guidance on the specific issues within this context.

The study should be prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Europe, comprising representatives of the recipients of this memorandum and of the NSC staff. The President regards this study as of prime importance and he has directed that it be given priority attention. It should be forwarded by January 1 for consideration by the NSC Senior Review Group.

On the basis of the President’s decisions, there will be a need for a series of further studies to implement Presidential guidance.

The existence of this directive and the content of the study must be regarded as extremely sensitive. All officials involved will see to it that proper security precautions are taken to avoid public speculation about changes in our European policy.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, National Security Study Memoranda (NSSM’s)—Nos. 104–206. Secret. Copies were sent to the Directors of Central Intelligence and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs.