32. National Security Study Memorandum 1081 2

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  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff


  • Review of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America

The President has directed a review of overall United States policy and programs in Latin America. The study should consider and reappraise the assumptions, analyses, and estimates which underlay the study prepared in response to NSSM 15, the Rockefeller Report, and the President’s October 31, 1969, speech in light of recent developments in the Western Hemisphere.

The study should include a careful assessment of U.S. interests and objectives in the region and relevant factors which might advance or threaten those interests. Particular attention should be given to the extent to which internal developments in Latin American countries may affect United States interests.

The study should present an analysis of options for United States policies and programs to most effectively advance and protect those interests. Specific consideration should be given inter alia to measures to:

  • —improve bilateral political relations, particularly with those nations whose interests and policies in the region are generally consistent with ours; differential approaches to our relations with individual countries and subregional areas or groupings should be assessed;
  • —give special consideration in our trade and development assistance policies to their effect on our overall interests and objectives in the region;
  • —utilize U.S. security assistance programs to support our ovrall political as well as security objectives in the region;
  • —strengthen the Organization of American States and other instrumentalities of the inter-American system in ways which would be consistent with our overall interests and objectives;
  • —relate U.S. Government involvement in encouraging and protecting U.S. private investment to U.S. political and security interests as well as to U.S. economic interests in the region.

The President has directed that the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Inter-American Affairs conduct this study, with staff support and special assistance to be drawn from appropriate agencies as requested by the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Group. The study should be submitted to the NSC Senior Review Group by January 20, 1971.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–178, NSSM Files, NSSM 108. Secret; Limdis. Copies were sent to the Secretaries of the Treasury, Commerce, and Agriculture; the Administrator of AID; and the Directors of OMB and USIA. NSSM 15 is Document 1. The summary of the Rockefeller Report recommendations is Document 18. The study requested by the President, “Review of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America,” is Document 35. The Intergovernmental Group for Inter American Affairs prepared an Analytical Summary in response to NSSM 108, June 17, 1971, in anticipation of an August 17 Senior Review Group meeting. (Ibid., Box H–59, SRG Meeting–Latin America, 8/17/71) A supplement, September 3, was titled, “U.S. Policy Toward the Nations of Latin America.” (Ibid.).
  2. President Nixon directed that a review be made of U.S. policy toward Latin America, including options to improve bilateral political relations, focusing specifically on trade and development assistance, security assistance, strengthening the OAS, and expanding and protecting U.S. private investment.