23. National Security Study Memorandum 235, Washington, January 15, 1976.1 2
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20506
January 15, 1976
National Security Study Memorandum 235
TO: The Secretary of State
The Secretary of Defense
The Director of Central Intelligence
SUBJECT: Review of U.S. Interests and Security Objectives in the Asia-Pacific Region — Issue: Military Bases Negotiations with the Philippines
The President has directed an assessment of U.S. security interests, objectives, and strategic issues in the Asia-Pacific area over the next three to five years, together with the role of U.S. bases in the Philippines in supporting these security interests and objectives.
- The study should review U.S. interests and objectives in the
region during the next three to five years in light of the
- The end of the Indochina conflict.
- US relations with ASEAN countries and the potential role of ASEAN in the security of the region.
- The phase-out of SEATO.
- Japan’s objectives and potential as a political and economic force in Asia.
- The policies, intentions, and capabilities of the People’s Republic of China.
- Vietnamese capabilities and intentions.
- Soviet capabilities and intentions in the region.
- The Sino-Soviet and Sino-Vietnamese rivalries in Southeast Asia.
- Based upon the above assessment, the study should evaluate the role of our air, naval, and intelligence presence in the Philippines and present the issues and options to be addressed in the upcoming base negotiations with the Philippines.
The study should be prepared by the NSC Interdepartmental Group for East Asia and forwarded no later than February 4, 1976 for consideration by the Senior Review Group prior to transmittal to the President.
cc: The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–39, NSSM 235, U.S. Interests and Objectives in the Asia-Pacific Region (2 of 2) (1). Secret. A copy was also sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On September 2, 1975, Barnes sent a memorandum to Kissinger suggesting a review of U.S. policy toward military bases in the Philippines in anticipation of future negotiations with the Philippine government. On the first page of Barnes’ memorandum, Scowcroft wrote, “HAK wants the review in terms of our entire Pacific posture and interests—not just SEA.” (Ibid., Box H–40, NSSM 235, U.S. Interests and Objectives in the Asia-Pacific Region [2 of 2] )↩
- On behalf of the President, Scowcroft directed the CIA and the Departments of State and Defense to review U.S. interests and objectives in the Asia-Pacific region in light of military base negotiations with the Philippines.↩