NATIONAL SECURITY DECISION
DIRECTIVE NUMBER 116
The studies conducted in response to NSSD 6-83 confirm that an aggressive technology research program aimed at developing and demonstrating the capability for defending the nation against ballistic missile attack is feasible. These studies also confirm that an effective defense against ballistic missile attack could enhance U.S. national security and our ability to deter conflict.
I would like to consult with the Congress and U.S. allies before I make a final program decision regarding the strategic defense initiative. The purpose of these consultations is to acquaint the Congress and allied governments with the Administration's perspective on this subject and to solicit their views.
Congressional attitudes and reactions should be surveyed prior to beginning consultations with allied governments.
To accomplish these consultations, I direct the following steps be taken:
a. the Soviet ballistic missile defense program, putting it in the context of overall Soviet efforts to possess a comprehensive strategic defensive capability;
b. the technology program resulting from the Defensive Technologies Study; and
c.the military and doctrinal context of the strategic defense initiative.
This presentation should highlight the potential that the strategic defense initiative offers for providing the basis for a policy of deterrence which utilizes the contribution of an effective defense rather than depending solely upon the threat of effective nuclear retaliation. It should also make clear the risks that the U.S. and its allies face from the vigorous Soviet ballistic missile defense program. The emphasis in the technology plan on development and demonstration, as opposed to early deployment, should be underlined. The relationship between the strategic defense initiative and current deterrence doctrine, the strategic modernization program, existing arms control agreements, and our long-term commitments to our allies should be addressed. Finally, the presentation should stress the continued U.S. commitment to current deterrence doctrine and force planning as well as to existing alliance commitments and arms control initiatives.
These Congressional and Allied consultations should be completed and its results submitted by the White House Coordinating Group by December 14, 1983.
All public statements by Administration officials regarding the strategic defense initiative will be reviewed in advance by the White House Coordinating Group.
This NSDD supplements other guidance previously issued on the strategic defense initiative.