3. National Security Study Memorandum 1821


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


  • Implication for U.S. Policy of Probable Lines of Soviet Strategy and Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, Arabian Peninsula, and South Asia

The President has noted that a number of leaders of friendly countries in the Near East and South Asia have the view that the Soviet Union is intensifying its diplomatic, economic and military activity throughout these areas. He has directed a study of the implications for U.S. policy of probable lines of Soviet strategy, policy and actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Near East, the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, and South Asia.

The study should include:

—Definition and assessment of basic U.S. interests and objectives in these areas identifying how they may be affected by Soviet interests, objectives, policies and actions.

—Identification and assessment of Soviet strategic interests and objectives in these areas and the ensuing lines of policy and actions which the Soviets are likely to pursue over the next five years.

• Interests, objectives and policies which may be common to more than one of the specific areas included in this study or which may reflect strategic concerns extending beyond these areas should be identified and assessed.

• The extent to which Soviet policies and actions in any or all of these areas may be designed to support its policies toward or posture vis-a-vis the People’s Republic of China or Western Europe should be assessed.

• The extent to which Soviet policies are influenced by U.S. actions (e.g., the USSR naval reaction to TF 74) should be assessed.

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—Identification of policies or actions that are common to the interests of the U.S. and USSR (e.g., non-nuclear India, freedom of the seas, etc.).

—Assessment of the implications of political, economic and security factors and trends in these areas as they may affect the interests, objectives, and policies of either the United States or the USSR or both.

In assessing Soviet lines of policy and actions, the study should consider but not be limited to the following:

—Continued economic and military assistance and political support for Egypt.

—Military assistance to and political support for Iraq, Syria, and South Yemen.

—Military presence, including basing arrangements, in the areas of the study.

—Support for subversive and radical groups and movements throughout the areas of the study.

—Economic and political support for India.

—Economic and political relations with Iran, Kuwait and other states in the Persian Gulf.

Based upon these assessments, the study should discuss the strategy and policy options open to the U.S. to protect and advance U.S. interests.

This study should be conducted by an NSC Ad Hoc Group to be chaired by the representative of the Secretary of State and to include representatives of the addressees and the NSC Staff. The study should be submitted by July 1, 1973, for consideration by the NSC Senior Review Group.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Summary: The President directed a study of the implications of Soviet strategy toward the Middle East and South Asia.

    Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, National Security Council Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–200, NSSM 182. Top Secret. A copy was sent to Admiral Moorer.