By BRIAN CLOWES
(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of National Security Study Memorandum 200 and a detailed report on the document, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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The National Security Council is the highest decision-making body in our government. In December 1974, it finalized a top-secret document entitled National Security Study Memorandum 200, subtitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” This document was written because the NSC saw rapid population growth in the less-developed countries (LDCs) as a major threat to our national security.
Four decades later, NSSM-200 remains the foundational document on population control issued by the United States government. It therefore continues to represent official United States policy on population control.
Pro-life workers all over the world should have a working knowledge of NSSM-200 because it exposes the unethical motivations and methods of the population control movement. As we read through NSSM-200, we see that the United States and the other developed nations are still following it as a blueprint for population control.
The Purpose of NSSM-200. Population controllers believe that a high population density leads to poverty. So they think that they can improve the standard of living of the people in less-developed countries by reducing their population growth rates. But NSSM-200 shows that the true motivation behind population control activities is the preservation of our high standard of living by maintaining access to the mineral resources of LDCs.
NSSM-200 says: “The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries….Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birthrates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.”
In order to protect U.S. commercial interests, NSSM-200 cited a number of factors that could interrupt the smooth flow of materials from LDCs to the United States, including a large population of anti-imperialist youth whose numbers must be limited by population control. The document identified 13 nations by name that would be the primary targets of U.S.-funded population control efforts.
In 1996, the developed nations of the world donated $2.2 billion toward population control activities (in 2013 dollars). That number more than quadrupled to $10.1 billion in 2013, for a total of $102.2 billion during the time period 1996-2013. Nearly half of that total, or $50 billion, has been donated by the United States. Most of this money — fully 63 percent of it — goes to hold down the population of Africa, the continent with the most mineral resources.
This is a huge amount of money, but the rich nations see it as an excellent investment. The resulting flow of resources from the LDCs to the rich nations, especially minerals and strategic metals from Africa, means a very high rate of return indeed.
This colossal sum has not improved the standard of living of the people, which should be the aim of all international aid. This $102 billion has done nothing more than make large poor families into small poor families. If all of this money had instead been poured into authentic economic development — better roads, basic health-care clinics and schools, rural electrification and mechanical farming equipment — it could have significantly improved the living conditions of more than a quarter of a billion of the world’s poorest people.
Instead, they are all still poor.
Outline of the Population Control Strategy in NSSM-200. NSSM-200 is a very thorough and logical document. It explicitly lays out the detailed five-step strategy by which the United States government aggressively promotes population control in developing nations in order to have better access to the natural resources of these countries. This five-step process is closely modeled after military mission planning protocols:
1) Identify the threat and its location;
2) Identify the tools to be used to neutralize the threat;
3) Identify the people who will use these tools to neutralize the threat;
4) Fine-tune the plan and secure durable funding sources; and
5) Establish and amplify a comprehensive propaganda program in support of the strategy.
NSSM-200 begins by identifying the “threat.” The smooth flow of resources to the United States could be jeopardized by LDC government action, labor conflicts, sabotage, or civil disturbances, which are much more likely if population pressure is a factor. NSSM-200 says: “These types of frustrations are much less likely under conditions of slow or zero population growth.”
Additionally, young people are much more likely to challenge imperialism and the world’s power structures, so their numbers should be kept down as much as possible. The document says: “These young people can more readily be persuaded to attack the legal institutions of the government or real property of the ‘establishment,’ ‘imperialists,’ multinational corporations, or other — often foreign — influences blamed for their troubles.”
Where is this “threat” located, so that the “weapon” of population control may be brought to bear?
In the fastest-growing developing countries, of course, with an emphasis on those which possess the mineral resources the United States covets. NSSM-200 specifically targets 13 nations for special population control attention: “Those countries are: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Colombia.”
The second step is to identify the “weapons” that the United States government will use to neutralize the threat. NSSM-200 identifies four tools that can be used to slow the growth of a nation, with particular emphasis on its young population.
These are: 1) the legalization of abortion; 2) financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization, and contraception-use rates; 3) indoctrination of children through sex education and propaganda; and 4) mandatory population control and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless an LDC implements population control programs.
Now that the threat and the tools to suppress it have been identified, the third step is to determine who is going to do the actual dirty work. The United States cannot do the groundwork itself, or it will be justly accused of racism and imperialism. This means that, through the implementation of its population control programs, the United States must hide its tracks and disguise its programs as altruistic.
NSSM-200 recognizes that the U.S. must act by proxy:
“There is also the danger that some LDC leaders will see developed country pressures for family planning as a form of economic or racial imperialism; this could well create a serious backlash. . . .
“The U.S. can help to minimize charges of an imperialist motivation behind its support of population activities by repeatedly asserting that such support derives from a concern with: a) The right of the individual couple to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of children and to have information, education, and means to do so; and b) The fundamental social and economic development of poor countries in which rapid population growth is both a contributing cause and a consequence of widespread poverty.”
Note very carefully the language of this passage — the U.S. will continue to “repeatedly assert” that it is concerned with individual rights and the welfare of the country while flooding it with contraception, sterilization, and abortion, whether the people and the nation want them or not.
So — if the United States government cannot directly impose population control measures on poor nations, who can?
There are two groups that will implement these programs.
First, the United States must develop a commitment to population control among key LDC leaders, while bypassing the desires of their people. NSSM-200 says: “The U.S. should encourage LDC leaders to take the lead in advancing family planning and population stabilization both within multilateral organizations and through bilateral contacts with other LDCs.”
The program is usually implemented through the target nation’s health ministry, with assistance from the state-controlled media.
Concurrent with this effort is enlisting the aid of as many multilateral population control organizations as possible in order to deflect criticism and charges of imperialism: “The U.S. will look to the multilateral agencies, especially the UN Fund for Population Activities, which already has projects in over 80 countries to increase population assistance on a broader basis with increased U.S. contributions.”
NSSM-200 also mentions three other large non-governmental organizations that will lead the programs — the Pathfinder Fund, the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), and the Population Council. Of course, these are not the only groups that operate population control programs in developing nations; there is a galaxy of organizations, from Abt Associates to Zonta International, which are eager to receive U.S. tax money.
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Next article: “NSSM-200 Conclusion.”