105. National Security Study Memorandum 1091 2


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Administrator, Agency for International Development
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Policy Study on South Asia

The President has directed that a planning study be prepared analyzing major U.S. policy options toward South Asia.

The principal objective of the study will be to evaluate the status of our relations with India and Pakistan today and, more important, to recommend general policy lines which should be pursued in the 1970s. This study should reflect alternate views where they exist and be based on analyses in the following major areas:

  • —The United States’ interests and objectives in South Asia, particularly as they relate to broader U.S. interests in Asia, likely changes in U.S. interests arising from the evolution of the domestic political and economic situations in India and Pakistan and changes in the relationships between the U.S., the USSR and Communist China.
  • —The interests and objectives of the USSR and Communist China in South Asia and the interplay among these interests.
  • —The interests and objectives of India and Pakistan in their relations with the major world powers and with their Asian neighbors and the prospects for those relations.
  • —The most likely major political, economic, social and military trends in India and Pakistan.
  • —In the context of U.S. interests and objectives and those of the Soviet Union and Communist China, alternate U.S. policies toward South Asia including U.S. policies as to trade and investment, bilateral economic assistance, educational and cultural exchange, and military assistance.

The purpose of this analysis is to pose the fundamental policy choices in setting a U.S. posture toward this area in the 1970s. This study should recommend courses of action with particular regard to the role of India and Pakistan in Southeast Asia, the overall U.S. presence in South Asia, the United States’ economic, political, security and technological relations in the area, and the U.S. attitude towards the national unity of India and Pakistan and towards various forms of regional and subregional cooperation. It is recognized that the analysis and conclusions with respect to Pakistan will be tentative in view of Pakistan’s constitution-making process and may have to be revised in the light of later developments.

The study should be carried out under the direction of the Chairman, NSC IG/NEA and be forwarded to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs by March 15, 1971.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, Subject Files, National Security Study Memoranda, Nos. 104–206. Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Director of the U.S. Information Agency.
  2. President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger tasked the Departments of State and Defense, the CIA, and AID to prepare a study of U.S. policy options in South Asia.