70. National Security Study Memorandum 1991 2

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  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Deputy Secretary of State


  • Indian Ocean Strategy

The President has directed a review and updating of the studies concerning United States strategy for the Indian Ocean prepared in response to NSSM 104 and 110, and the follow-on studies prepared at the request of the NSC Senior Review Group after its consideration of NSSM 110. The earlier studies should be updated to reflect the policy implications of political and military developments in the area, including:

the prospective reopening of the Suez Canal;
Soviet naval deployments in the Indian Ocean;
the developments of the past two years in US-Soviet relations as they may affect Indian Ocean policy and strategy;
political developments in the Middle East; the Subcontinent, and the other littoral areas of the Indian Ocean;
arms limitation proposals affecting the Indian Ocean area.

The study should propose and analyze options for strategy and policies for the Indian Ocean area to protect US interests there through the 1970s, including possible US military and political responses to Soviet Indian Ocean naval activities. This analysis should include examination of possible alternative arrangements between the US and USSR to limit naval presence in the Indian Ocean and an assessment of the pros and cons of each such possible arrangement.

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The study should be prepared by the NSC Political-Military Interdepartmental Group and should be submitted by April 20, 1974 for review by the NSC Senior Review Group prior to consideration by the President.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 365, NSSM 104–206, November 1970–July 1974. Secret. It was copied to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NSSM 104, “Soviet and Friendly Naval Involvement in the Indian Ocean Area, 1973–75,” November 7, 1970, and NSSM 110, “Follow-Up Study on Strategy Toward the Indian Ocean,” December 22, 1970, and responses to them, are printed in Foreign Relations, volume XXIV, Arabian Peninsula; Middle East 1969–1972; Jordan 1970.
  2. Secretary of State Kissinger relayed the President’s order for a review of United States strategy in the Indian Ocean as a follow-up to National Security Study Memoranda 104 and 110, on the same subject.