Memorandum to President Johnson from SecDef Clifford on Strategic Forces

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210. Draft Memorandum From Secretary of Defense Clifford to President Johnson/1/
Washington, July 29, 1968.SUBJECT
Strategic Offensive and Defensive Forces (U)
We have reviewed our Strategic Offensive and Defensive Forces for FY 70-74 and reached the following major conclusions:
1. Against the expected Soviet threat, our present strategic offensive forces provide a more than adequate Assured Destruction capability.
2. The program that we are recommending not only assures that we maintain our Assured Destruction capability, but provides timely and efficient options to meet the designed Greater-Than-Expected (GTE) Soviet threat to our deterrent throughout the FY 70-77 planning period.
3. Achieving a strategically significant Damage Limiting capability against the Soviet Union does not appear to be feasible with current technology and in relation to its cost and the other demands on our resources.
4. The Soviet program appears to reflect a similar conclusion about the feasibility of taking away our deterrent.
5. We will continue to maintain strategic "nuclear superiority" over the Soviets in terms of nuclear warheads. Based on our own experience, however, we doubt that this superiority can be converted into meaningful political power, particularly now that the Soviet Union also has a large and well-protected Assured Destruction capability.
6. We cannot depend on our nuclear forces alone to fulfill our nation's commitments and insure our national security; we must also maintain very strong nonnuclear forces.
7. Based on our view of U.S. security needs, and without considering the implications of possible arms control agreements that might result from discussions with the Soviets, we recommend:
a. Maintaining a land-based ICBM force of 1,000 Minuteman and a slowly decreasing number of Titan IIs.
b. Continuing development of Poseidon and maintaining the previous schedule for converting 31 Polaris submarines to the Poseidon configuration.
c. Maintaining the effectiveness of the programmed strategic bomber force--reaching 281 B-52s and 253 FB-111s in FY 72--by developing and, when needed, procuring advanced weapons and penetration devices as protection against possible advanced Soviet bomber defenses.
d. Continuing the previously approved Continental Air Defense Plan to introduce the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), give the F-106 interceptor the most modern fire control and missile system available, add Over-The-Horizon (OTH) radars for complete peacetime surveillance, and phase down the remaining interceptors and most of the ground-based radar and control systems.
e. Continuing the deployment of the Sentinel system but reorienting the program so that procurement funds for only one site need be obligated in FY 69.
The rest of the memo here (need to scroll down a bit to find but other information worth reading as well) but here are the concluding recommendations:
V. Specific Recommendations

The JCS have recommended strategic offensive and defensive forces that would cost $15.9 billion in FY 70 and $86.8 billion in the period FY 70-74. The program we are recommending will cost $12.4 billion in FY 70 and a total of $49.3 billion in FY 70-74. Specifically, we recommend:/3/ /3/All cost data used in the recommendations include Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) costs, but not the direct support and training costs of Programs 7 and 8. [Footnote in the source text.] 1. Deferring, until we have evidence of a good Soviet low-altitude SAM defense, the JCS recommendation to equip the B-52 and FB-111 force with 1,545 UE SRAM. This program would cost $137 million in FY 70 and $824 million in FY 70-77.
2. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for Contract Definition and full-scale development of the AMSA in FY 70. The 10-year cost of developing, procuring, and operating a force of 138 AMSAs would be $8.5 billion, including the costs of weapons and tankers.
3. Approving the JCS recommendation for Contract Definition of an advanced subsonic cruise missile, subject to favorable review of Concept Formulation. This program will require $30 million in FY 70 and $145 million in FY 70-74 for development. Deploying a force of 780 missiles would require a total of $361 million in FY 70-77.
4. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for Contract Definition of a new tanker based on the C-5. The present KC-135 fleet is satisfactory. The 10-year cost of developing, procuring, and operating a force of 210 C-5 tankers would be $5.5 billion.
5. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for full-scale development of an advanced airborne command post. The 10-year cost of developing, procuring, and operating a force of 14 command posts would be $1.2 billion.
6. Maintaining a force of 1,000 Minuteman missiles. Maintaining the IOC for Minuteman III at July 1970, resulting in 430 Minuteman II and 570 Minuteman III missiles by end-FY 74. Deferring procurement of terminal penetration aids for Minuteman III until we have evidence of Soviet low-altitude ballistic missile defenses.
7. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for full-scale development of the Mk-18 Re-entry Vehicle (RV). To complete this program would require $17 million in FY 70 and a total of $380 million in FY 70-74.
8. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for Contract Definition of the advanced ICBM system (WS-120A). This missile provides little improvement over Minuteman. The 10-year cost of developing, procuring, and operating a force of 280 missiles would be $9.1 billion.
9. Continuing Advanced Development of the ULMS, but deferring a decision on Contract Definition in FY 70 until completion of the ULMS Development Concept Paper.
10. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for Contract Definition on a Surface-ship-based Long-range Missile System (SLMS) in FY 70. This ship could not replace Poseidon and offers little advantage and many disadvantages, when compared to ULMS. The 10-year investment and operating costs for 10 ships would be $4.6 billion.
11. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for a prototype surface-ship-based intermediate range missile system (called the Ballistic Missile Ship). We do not need additional payload on the crash schedule that would justify this program. Construction of a prototype would cost $250 million, plus $75 million for five years of operation.
12. Continuing to plan for an average of [number not declassified] Mk-3 RVs per Poseidon missile. (The JCS recommend an initial load of [number not declassified] Mk-3s per missile, at an additional cost of $217 million in FY 70.) Procuring [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] in FY 70, and a total of [number not declassified] in FY 70-74. Continuing development of Poseidon and, in FY 70, procuring 181 missiles and converting six Polaris submarines to the Poseidon configuration for a total investment of $1.3 billion in FY 70. Planning to build to a force of 31 Poseidon submarines by FY 76 for a total FY 70-74 investment of $3.9 billion.
13. Disapproving the JCS recommendation to provide a large-yield warhead for Poseidon. Development of such a warhead plus the modifications required for the Poseidon missile would cost $210 million.
14. Approving the JCS proposal to continue converting to Polaris A-3 missiles those remaining submarines not included in the Poseidon conversion program. This program requires no funds in FY 70.
15. Deferring decision on the JCS recommendation to deploy 12 additional communication relay (TACAMO) aircraft for command and control of the Polaris fleet. The JCS program would cost $48 million in FY 70 and $216 million in 10-year system costs. As an alternative for decision in October, we should consider adding new modulation techniques and satellite communications to the current force to greatly extend its capabilities.
16. Disapproving the JCS recommendation to deploy a ballistic missile defense of the United States against the Soviet threat. The JCS program would require $270 million in FY 70 in addition to the Sentinel program. The JCS-recommended objective for a Nike-X defense would cost $10 billion in 10 years above the cost of the Sentinel system.
17. Continuing the deployment of the Sentinel system, but reorienting the program so that procurement funds for only one site need be obligated in FY 69. This results in an FY 69 cost of $739 million and an FY 70 cost of $1.3 billion. The estimated total system investment cost is $5.5 billion, plus $986 million transferred from the Nike-X development program and $250 million in AEC costs.
18. Approving the JCS recommendation to preserve the option for a light defense of Minuteman using Sentinel radars plus additional Sprint missiles. For an IOC in FY 74, no additional funds are needed in FY 70.
19. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for Contract Definition on a ballistic missile defense ship (SABMIS) in FY 70. The research and development and 10-year investment and operating costs for eight ships would be $5.9 billion.
20. Disapproving Contract Definition for the Airborne Missile Intercept System (ABMIS), a concept for which there is no advanced development program.
21. Continuing implementation of the Continental Air Defense Plan, as recommended by the JCS. In FY 70, this action involves $37 million for development of the F-106X interceptor, $229 million for a full-scale development of AWACS, and $8.5 million for developing the back-scatter OTH radar. This air defense plan will cost $11.6 billion in FY 69-77 compared to $10.7 billion for the previously approved program.
22. Disapproving the JCS proposal to resume development of the F-12 interceptor. The 10-year cost of 10 F-12s, as recommended by the Air Force, would be $0.8 to $1.0 billion. The 54 UE F-12s in the JCS objective force would cost $3.4 billion.
23. Approving selected parts of the JCS recommendation to expedite a comprehensive improvement program (MOHEC) for Nike-Hercules, at a cost of $11.2 million in FY 76. The entire JCS plan would cost $35 million in FY 70 and a total of $375 million to complete.
24. Deferring decision on the JCS recommendation to deploy a surveillance satellite system (Program 949) in FY 70, and deferring until October a decision on continued development. This program would cost $114 million in FY 70 and $1.2 billion in 10-year system costs.
25. Disapproving the JCS recommendation to extend the approved military survival measures program from $38 million to $190 million over five years. In view of the present financial situation and our needs in Southeast Asia, deferring initiation of the approved program until FY 71.
26. Disapproving the JCS recommendation for a $150 to $200 million annual Civil Defense program. Approving instead an austere holding program at an FY 70 cost of $84 million.
27. Phasing out the B-58 force in the first quarter of FY 70, instead of at the end of FY 71 as previously planned, in order to save $55 million in FY 70 and $39 million in FY 71.


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8. Canceling the WS-120A AICBM :'(
 

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