Secret White House Tapes

833–17

About this recording

833–17
  • President Richard M. Nixon
  • Elliot L. Richardson
  • Henry A. Kissinger
  • Stephen B. Bull
  • UNKNOWN
January 4, 1973
Conversation No. 833-17

Date: January 4, 1973
Time: 11:55 am -12:42 pm
Location: Oval Office

The President met with Elliot L. Richardson and Henry A. Kissinger.

Richardson's new job as Secretary of Defense

Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 11:55am.

The President's instructions

Bull left at an unknown time before 12:42 pm.

Defense Department
-Presidential appointees
-Briefings
-Grumman Corporation
-36-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

-Litton Industries, Inc.
-The President’s instructions
-Camp David
-H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman
-Topical list

An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 11:55 am.

The President's schedule

The unknown person left at an unknown time before 12:42 am.

Defense Department
-Assistant Secretaries
-Number
-Cuts
-Army Secretary, Navy Secretary, Air Force Secretary
-Robert S. McNamara system
-Dismantling
-Military personnel
-Commands
-Reorganization
-Dismissal of McNamara people
-Trustworthiness
-John Foster
-Los Alamos Labratory
-Melvin R. Laird
-Deputy Secretary
-Richardson’s role
-Budget cuts
-James R. Schlesinger
-Intelligence operations
-Number
-Duplication
-Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps
-Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]
-Personnel
-Quality
-Command
-Division among services
-37-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

-Tactical air forces
-Duplication
-Marine Corps
-Army
-Navy
-Air Force
-Subsidies of higher education
-Salary scales
-Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]
-California Institute of Technology
-Stanford University
-University of California, Berkeley
-Research and Development [R&D]
-Researchers’ support for defense

Richardson
-Political skills
-Base closings
-Knowledge of international affairs
-National Security Council [NSC]
-Work with Kissinger
-Deputy Secretary of Defense’s role
-Strategist

NSC system
-Departmental resentment
-State Department
-Defense Department
-Washington Special Action Group [WSAG]
-Richardson's active interest
-Kissinger’s weekly meeting with Richardson
-Laird


*****************************************************************
BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 2
[National security]
[Duration: 31s ]

War plans
-38-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 2
*****************************************************************


Defense Department
-Air defense
-Fighter pilots
-Interception
-Soviet Union
-Missiles
-Strategy
-Expenditures
Interservice rivalry
-Roles and missions
-R&D
-Overlapping
-Air defense
-Intelligence
-Richardson's possible role
-Louis A. Johnson
-James V. Forrestal
-Actions of predecessors
-Broker between armed services
-William P. Clements
-Membership
-WSAG
-Relations with White House
-State Department
-Relations with NSC
-Meetings with the President
-Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury, Attorney General
-Cabinet
-Health Education and Welfare [HEW]
-Laird
-Strategic planning
-R&D
-Weapon systems
-MIT
-Subsidies
-39-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

-National consensus
-Force levels
-Weapons capabilities
-Soviet Union, Peoples Republic of China, [PRC]
-Congress, public
-Nixon Doctrine
-Vietnam War
-Peacetime defense
-Richardson's role
-Details
-Clements
-Management skills
-Need for strategist
-Soviet Union
-Briefing
-Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty [SALT] talks
-Relations with Kissinger
-Vietnam settlement
-Support for NSC system
-Roy L. Ash
-Office of Management and Budget [OMB]
-Richardson's career
-Nelson A. Rockefeller, Ronald W. Reagan
-State Department, HEW, Attorney General
-Dangers
-Reputation
-Budget cuts
-“Dove”
-State Department
-Balance of power
-William C. Foster
-The President’s philosophy

Volunteer armed force
-Laird
-Chances for success
-Role of Secretary of Defense
-Pride of service
-Peacetime service
-Boredom
-40-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

-Azores
-Pilots
-Airplanes
-Navy
-Ships
-Army
-Haig

Command structure
-Chiefs of staff
-JCS chairman
-Criteria for appointments
-Intelligence
-Toughness
-Strength
-Haig
-Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
-Abilities
-Division commander
-Tanks
-Haig
-Private talk with Richardson
-Army
-Air Force
-Biases
-Intelligence services
-Coordination
-James R. Schlesinger
-Congress
-Competent personnel
-Haig
-Promotions
-Army
-Navy
-Air Force
-Gen. John D. Ryan
-Son
-Vietnam War
-41-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

Military service academies
-Number of graduates
-Growth
-Cuts
-Billets

Defense Budget
-Congressional relations
-Loss of Republicans on House Appropriations Committee
-Senators on floor
-Armed Service Committee
-J. Strom Thurmond, John G. Tower, Peter H. Dominick, and Barry M.
Goldwater
-Votes
-Richard S. Schweiker, William B. Safire
-Margaret Chase Smith
-Tower
-Political skills

Defense Department reorganization
-Articulation of policy and strategy
-Force structure
-Forrestal
-Unification
-Opportunity
-Budget competition
-1930s
-Force requirements
-Vietnam settlement
-Europe
-Latin America
-Middle East
-The President's support
-Cambodia
-Need for competence
-The President’s reading skills
-Harvard University
-Winston S. Churchill
-Book recommendation
-Account of World War I
-42-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

-Eastern front
-Compared to account of World War II
-Military mind
-The President’s view
-Strategic thinking
-Eisenhower
-Politician
-Gen. George S. Patton
-Field Commander
-Gen. Douglas MacArthur
-Haig
-Gen. Charles A. J. M. De Gaulle
-Last war thinking
-World War I
-Gallipoli campaign
-Royal Navy
-Churchill
-Tanks and maps
-Artillery
-World War II
-Churchill
-France, Great Britain
-Civilian mind
-The President’s meeting with Moorer
-Tactical air power
-December 1972 bombing
-Small wars
-Jets
-Helicopters
-Vulnerability
-Army Air Corps
-Clements
-Compared to Air Force
-Air Force
-Fighter pilots
-Soviet Union
-Bombers
-B-52s
-Missiles
-JCS
-43-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)

Conversation No. 833-17 (cont’d)

-Change in attitudes
-Successor

NSC meeting
-Spiro T. Agnew
-Executive Committee
-Clements
-Rogers, Laird
-Informal discussions
-Briefings for Richardson
-Moorer, Rogers
-Kissinger’s past meetings
-Rogers
-[David] Kenneth Rush
-State Department
-The President's role
-Public statements
-Post Vietnam settlement plans
-Richardson’s preparation

Defense Department
-Clements
-Detailed work
-Control of expenditures
-Compared to HEW
-The President's technical expertise
-Waste
-Personnel
-Bravery
-Leadership
-Richardson's program
-Confirmation hearings
-Coordination

Richardson and Kissinger left at 12:42 pm.
-44-

NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Tape Subject Log
(rev. Feb-09)
Secret White House Tapes |

833–17

This recording is currently not available on millercenter.org. To listen to it, please email Mike Greco at mdg4u@virginia.edu

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