National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM200) – THE KISSINGER REPORT

National Security Study Memorandum NSSM 200 Implications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (THE KISSINGER REPORT) December 10, 1974 CLASSIFIED BY Harry C. Blaney, III SUBJECT TO GENERAL DECLASSIFICATION SCHEDULE OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 11652 AUTOMATICALLY DOWNGRADED AT TWO YEAR INTERVALS AND DECLASSIFIED ON DECEMBER 31, 1980. This document can only be declassified by the White House. Declassified/Released on 7/3/89 under provisions of E.O. 12356 by F. Graboske, National Security Council CONFIDENTIAL TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary 4-17 Part One — Analytical Section Chapter I World Demographic Trends 19-34 Chapter II Population and World Food Supplies 34-39 Chapter III Minerals and Fuel 40-49 Chapter IV Economic Development and Population Growth 50-55 Chapter V Implications of Population Pressures for National Security 56-65 Chapter Vl World Population Conference 66-72 Part Two — Policy Recommendations 73 Section I A U.S. Global Population Strategy 74-84 Section II Action to Create Conditions for Fertility Decline: Population and a Development Assistance Strategy 85-105 A. General Strategy and Resource for A.I.D. 85-91 Assistance B. Functional Assistance Programs to Create 92-102 Conditions for Fertility Decline C. Food for Peace Program and Population 103-105 Section III International Organizations and other Multilateral Population Programs 106-107 A. UN Organization and Specialized Agencies B. Encouraging Private Organizations. EXECUTIVE SUMARY World Demographic Trends 1. World population growth since World War 11 is quantitatively and qualitatively different from any previous epoch in human history. The rapid reduction in death rates, unmatched by corresponding birth rate reductions, has brought total growth rates close to 2 percent a year, compared with about 1 percent before World War II, under 0.5 percent in 1750-1900, and far lower rates before 1750. The effect is to double the world’s population in 35 years instead of 100 years. Almost 80 million are now being added each year, compared with 10 million in 1900. 2. The second new feature of population trends is the sharp differentiation between rich and poor countries. Since 1950, population in the former group has been growing at O to 1.5 percent per year, and in the latter at 2.0 to 3.5 percent (doubling in 20 to 35 years). Some of the highest rates of increase are in areas already densely populated and with a weak resource base. 3. Because of the momentum of population dynamics, reductions in birth rates affect total numbers only slowly. High birth rates in the recent past have resulted in a high proportion m the youngest age groups, so that there will continue to be substantial population increases over many years even if a two-child family should become the norm in the future. Policies to reduce fertility will have their main effects on total numbers only after several decades. However, if future numbers are to be kept within reasonable bounds, it is urgent that measures to reduce fertility be started and made effective in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Moreover, programs started now to reduce birth rates will have short run advantages for developing countries in lowered demands on food, health and educational and other services and in enlarged capacity to contribute to productive investments, thus accelerating development. 4. U.N. estimates use the 3.6 billion population of 1970 as a base (there are nearly 4 billion now) and project from about 6 billion to 8 billion people for the year 2000 with the U.S. medium estimate at 6.4 billion. The U.S. medium projections show a world population of 12 billion by 2075 which implies a five-fold increase in south and southeast Asia and in Latin American and a seven-fold increase in Africa, compared with a doubling in east Asia and a 40% increase in the presently developed countries (see Table I). Most demographers, including the U.N. and the U.S. Population Council, regard the range of 10 to 13 billion as the most likely level for world population stability, even with intensive efforts at fertility control. (These figures assume, that sufficient food could be produced and distributed to avoid limitation through famines.) Read the whole thing here.

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