5. National Security Study Memorandum 871 2


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Administrator of Agency for International Development
  • The Director, U.S. Information Agency


  • Trends and U.S. Options in North Africa

The President has directed a review of the trend of events in North Africa and of U.S. programs, policies and options there.

This review should give attention to, though not be limited by, the following:

  • —the prospect for the further spread of radical government;
  • —the prospect and likely character of political and economic cooperation among the North African countries;
  • —the likely Soviet and radical Arab role in those countries;
  • —the role of European countries;
  • —the relationship of the Arab-Israeli impasse to trends in North Africa;
  • —present U.S. programs and policies and resources available for furtherance of U.S. interests;
  • —U.S. options in response to trends.

The President has directed that a National Intelligence Estimate be prepared by the intelligence community and that an options paper be prepared by the Interdepartmental Group for Africa. This paper should be submitted to the NSC Review Group by March 18.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-169, NSSM Files, NSSM 87. Secret. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Bureau of the Budget. A summary of the response is printed as Document 9. This response was later subsumed into NSSM 90, a wider study of “U.S. Interests in and Policy toward the Mediterranean Area,” on February 26. It is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXIV, Middle East Region and Arabian Peninsula, 1969–1972; Jordan, September 1970
  2. Kissinger conveyed the President’s request to review the trend of events in North Africa, as well as the U.S. regional programs, policies, and options there, and draft a National Intelligence Estimate and an options paper for submission to the NSC Review Group.