Solarium Strategy Review

Eisenhower (1953-1961)

Soon after entering office, the Eisenhower administration conducted a program review (29 April 1953) and issued NSC 151, the basic national security policy on 10 June 1953. Simultaneously, it initiated a more thorough strategy review on 1 June 1953, known as the Solarium Project, using NSC 151 as a point of departure. Three alternatives were proposed and a task force established for each. The task forces delivered oral presentations and written reports 16 July 1953. Very close hold to this date, wider distribution of task force reports within the State Department was given 12 August 1953.

The three task force reports were discussed at the 30 July NSC meeting. A new, hybrid policy was proposed leaning toward the Task Force A report but including some recommendations of the other task forces. The next day, guidance was issued to the affected departments to flesh out the new policy, and the task force reports were distributed accordingly.

In general, html links are to State Department records and pdf links are to bulky photocopies of original documents.

Initial Strategy Documents

         Program review, 29 April 1953, html, pdf

         Memo on Basic National Security Policy, NSC 153, review issue 8 June 1953, html

         Basic National Security Policy, NSC 153/1, issued 10 June 1953, html, pdf

Solarium Project Documents

         Memo on Project Solarium, 9 May 1953, html

         NSC Action No. 853 directing strategy review with alternatives A, B, and C, issued 1 June 1953, html, pdf

         NSC meeting notes of 26 June 1953 including interim task force summaries, html

         NSC memo dated 22 July 1953 distributing full task force reports for discussion at 30 July 1953 meeting, including report summaries, pdf, with task force reports attached:

         Task Force A pdf

         Task Force B pdf

         Task Force C pdf

         Notes from the 30 July 1953 NSC discussion, html, including guidance issued for elaborating the new policy, issued 31 July 1953, html

         Memo giving wider distribution of task force reports within State Department, 12 August 1953, html

         NSC 162, draft of the new BNSP, issued 30 September 1953, html, pdf

         NSC 162/2, new BNSP, issued 30 October 1953, pdf


Return to Top of Page

Return to Home Page