SECRET EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE
ADM Felt has action by hand. Exclusive for ADMS Burke, Felt, Dennison, Smith, VADMS Melson, Ricketts, Anderson, and Griffin from Sides.
A. CNO 1Q1449Z.
1. General. Fully concur philosophy contained in reference A. SIOP must he considered as merely a plan for the maximum coordination of the National effort. It is not an operation order. It is a plan to be executed by the CINC's to the best of their ability. It will be subject to many changes. Changes due to varying force availability should be governed by the CINC's and adjusted within their own capabilities in so far as possible. The JCS(DSTP) should become involved only when the AM total effort is materially affected. The multiple role and multiple capability of all forces, except SAC and Polaris, necessitate acceptance of the fact that GEOP assurances may be degraded in the pursuit of other national interests.
A. PACFLT intends to back-off from the all-attack CVA progressively through normal deployment. As shore facilities are restored we intend to regain the flexibility of our VMA
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Squadrons. The first diminution of our SIOP capability will occur in mid May with the redeployment of Coral Sea, CINCPAC will be kept fully advised. Do not believe that the minimal changes we will require will indicate any desire to pull out of the SIOP. Fleet acceptance of SIOP so far is most enthusiastic.
B. Your paragraph 5. Believe targets should be redesignated only on basis of evaluation, not as a matter of expediency. It is anticipated that any target vacated due to lack of available forces will be of the lowest possible priority, CINC's should control target adjustments. Temporary adjustments should not be reflected in the NSTL. Difficulty in the area is related to the size of the NSTL until the NSTL Is refined to reflect a true threat to CONUS and national survival we will never have enough forces to enjoy the luxury of a theatre back-up. Furtherance of CVA survivability now for use as back-up may lead to a secondary role for US which we know may endanger national security.
C. The SIOP is a plan which we never expect (hope) to implement. The principal of CVA flexibility must not be sacrificed to a plan designed for single-purpose weapons (missiles). When single-purpose weapons are able to cover a refined NSTL the CVA will still be required to fulfill theater interests. Subversion of the CVA role in the early stages of the SIOP may jeopardize the continuing development of our several capabilities. WE must not try and we cannot "OUT-SAC SAC". We still have the best mouse trap. Let us continue to sell it.