View Full Version : Excerpts: Nixon Administration Discussions

11-25-2005, 12:19 AM
Excerpts: Nixon Administration Discussions


(Gold9472: Have you noticed all of the Nixon references lately? Also, I HIGHLY recommend listening to "The Pentagon Papers (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3035)", and since I'm having you listen to them, I may as well have you read this latest epiphany (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6051), and since I'm having you read THAT, I may as WELL make you listen to this (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2898).)

By The Associated Press Thu Nov 24,12:28 PM ET

At an Aug. 9, 1973, meeting, national security adviser Henry Kissinger and other Nixon aides and military leaders discussed the feasibility of waging a limited nuclear war with the Soviet Union. At the time, U.S. nuclear war plans provided for attacks on a much larger scale. President Nixon sought plans for a narrower nuclear attack but left office before they were fully developed.

Excerpts from the meeting:

Kissinger: "It is not unreasonable for us to desire some options. Some Europeans, I know, believe it is necessary that we guarantee our own destruction to give them the assurances they claim they need. However, to deprive ourselves of options is to paralyze us. ... What do we mean by control of escalation?"

Brig. Gen. Jasper Welch: "Initially, it was a slogan."

Kissinger: "We're good at that."

Kissinger: "I want to get into the President's head some idea of what he can do. If military actions are recommended to him for decision, I want him to know what he is doing when he decides."

Seymour Weiss, State Department: "We can argue with our allies that this improves the deterrence and that it's in their interest to support it. The problem is how far you go. If you play the limited game with maximum deterrence and controlled escalation, you need some sort of commonality of views with the Soviets."

Fred C. Ikle, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency: "If it means attacking smaller towns, smaller targets, this affects our acquisition problems. We would need different weapons. It might create the undesirable impression of relying less on deterrence and more on postwar competition. You would lose the Congress on this."

Vice Adm. John P. Weinel, Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Now our objective is (to destroy) 70 percent of the floor space of war-supporting industry. A better criterion would be the post-recovery rate plus hitting the Soviet Army to prevent it from overrunning Europe. Another choice is to go for people — a goal of 70 million Russians for example."

Kissinger: "One theory is that we will make war look so attractive that we undermine the deterrent. That's Never Never Land. What we have now would have been enough to deter Hitler. But we are talking in a different order of reality."

Kissinger: "On the one hand we want the Soviets to think that the situation might get out of hand, while on the other hand we want to persuade them not to let it get out of hand. The Soviets might stop without a major nuclear exchange. I don't believe they have an unlimited urge to escalate. I think they will be looking for excuses not to escalate."

CIA Director William Colby: "But they could get into it by a misunderstanding or by a mis-guessing of intentions."

Kissinger: "Congress can't do much more damage to us than they already have. To this extent we're liberated to do what is right. ... Our successors will be living in a nightmare if we don't do what is right."

Source: National Security Archive at George Washington University, from documents released by the National Archives.