47. Editorial Note

On June 26, 1961, the Joint Chiefs of Staff forwarded to Secretary of Defense McNamara, for transmission to the White House, JCSM-431-61, which was their response to Bundy’s memorandum of June 12 (see footnote 2, Document 42). Attached to JCSM-431-61 were the three studies that Acheson had requested to form a framework for the review of the Berlin question. Paragraph 3 of JCSM-431-61 reads as follows:

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the immediate concern is to influence Soviet decisions on Berlin before they are taken this summer [Page 136] or fall. United States preparations for the Berlin crisis—in the US, in Europe, and world-wide—should be taken in both nuclear and nonnuclear military areas concurrently. In this connection the requirement for modernizing, strengthening, and improving the US and Allied military posture world-wide has been recognized; however, the basic consideration remains the need for re-establishing the credibility of the nuclear deterrent. Our Allies must have the confidence and the USSR must be made to believe that the United States has the will and determination to use nuclear weapons in the defense of NATO, Berlin or the US position world-wide, as necessary, rather than submit to Soviet abrogation of US and Allied rights or position. Berlin is the immediate concern, and the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the questions posed by Mr. Acheson are contained herein.” (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Germany, Berlin, BQD-CCI Berlin Contingency Planning)