The National Security Council is the highest decision-making body in the United States government. In December 1974, it finalized a top-secret document entitled National Security Study Memorandum 200, or NSSM-200, subtitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.”1 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.2
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.
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 birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.3
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 thirteen nations by name that would be the primary targets of U.S.-funded population control efforts: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.4
In 1996, the developed nations of the world donated $2.2 billion towards 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.5 Most of this money ― fully 63% of it ― goes to hold down the population of Africa, the continent with the most mineral resources.6 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.
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:
- Identify the threat and its location;
- Identify the tools to be used to neutralize the threat;
- Identify the people who will use these tools to neutralize the threat;
- Fine-tune the plan and secure durable funding sources; and
- Establish and amplify a comprehensive propaganda program in support of the strategy.
#1. Identifying the threat
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.”3 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.”7
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 thirteen nations for special population control attention: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.4
#2. Choosing weapons against the threat
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:
- The legalization of abortion
- Financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates
- Indoctrination of children through sex education and propaganda
- Mandatory population control and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless an LDC implements population control programs.
#3. Assigning the dirty work
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.8
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.9
So — if the United States government cannot directly impose population control measures on poor nations, who can?
#4. Finding funding
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 that “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.”10 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 U.N. 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.”11 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.12 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.
So far, the targets, the tools and the soldiers have been identified. Now we must find sources of funding for the population control programs and then work out their specific details for the target nation.
The population control cartel stridently denies that it is pushing abortion on developing nations, but abortion is in reality the ultimate goal. United Nations agencies and NGOs oriented towards population control have written hundreds of documents demanding the worldwide adoption of “reproductive rights” for everyone ten years old and older, while indignantly denying that RH includes abortion. Yet everyone knows that the reproductive health program will not be complete until there is free abortion on demand in every nation on Earth. As Hillary Clinton admitted in 2010, to the horror of her supporters, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health, and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”13
This belief stems from NSSM-200, of course, which recognized, “No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion.”14 The document goes so far as to suggest that population control groups pay people in order to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates: “Pay women in the LDCs to have abortions as a method of family planning….Similarly, there have been some controversial, but remarkably successful, experiments in India in which financial incentives, along with other motivational devices, were used to get large numbers of men to accept vasectomies.”15
#5. Supporting the program with propaganda
The final step in the population control program for a nation is to establish and maintain a constant drumbeat of anti-natalist propaganda in order to desensitize and indoctrinate people into abandoning the idea of large, close-knit families. This, of course, necessitates mandatory explicit sex education, which parents cannot withdraw their children from: “The obvious increased focus of attention should be to change the attitudes of the next generation, those who are now in elementary school or younger…concentrating on the education and indoctrination of the rising generation of children regarding the desirability of smaller family size.”16
Once again, a corrupted media leads the way. NSSM-200 recommends that the United States “influence national leaders” and that “improved world-wide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by the U.N., USIA, and USAID.”17
Of course, there will be resistance to this “contraceptive imperialism,” no matter who is trying to impose it. The people of developing nations are not stupid; they can see the encroaching influence of the West everywhere in their countries and they resent it. This means that the Catholic Church and its allies must be sidelined or neutralized, for which groups like Catholics for Choice are enlisted. If the Church and the people refuse to be silenced, there is only one avenue open to the population controllers — raw force.
The writers of NSSM-200 possibly assumed that the document would remain classified top secret indefinitely, because they were remarkably honest in their opinions. They said, “The conclusion of this view is that mandatory [population control] programs may be needed and that we should be considering these possibilities now.”18 The document also recommends considering using coercion in an indirect form, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless a targeted LDC implements population control programs: “Would food be considered an instrument of national power? Will we be forced to make choices as to whom we can reasonably assist, and if so, should population efforts be a criterion for such assistance?”18
As always, the population controllers must be careful to conceal their motives and methods, especially regarding coercion. NSSM-200 says “In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.”19 In other words, the United States will not avoid coercion itself, of course — just the appearance of coercion.
NSSM-200, which is completely devoid of morality or ethics, has inevitably encouraged atrocities and massive human rights violations in dozens of nations. For example, the United States government has lavishly funded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for many years. One of the main targets of UNFPA money is the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its widely-criticized forced abortion and family planning program. According to its own documents, the UNFPA has donated more than $100 million to China’s population control program; has bought and custom-designed a $12 million IBM computer complex specifically to monitor the population program; provided the technical expertise and personnel that trained thousands of Chinese population control officials; and presented China with an award for the “most outstanding population control program.”20
NSSM-200 was based upon outdated demographic information. It predicted that the population of the world would stabilize at about 10 to 13 billion, with some demographers predicting that the world population would balloon to as high as 22 billion people. Now we know that the population of the world will reach about 8.3 billion, and then will begin to decline.21
The worldwide application of the strategies recommended in NSSM-200 has resulted in regional population growth rates decelerating so fast that they are already causing severe economic and social problems in Europe, the former Soviet Union, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. Many developing nations are now aging even more rapidly than the developed world, which foretells of even more severe problems for their relatively underdeveloped economies. The developed nations had the opportunity to become rich before they became old; if a nation becomes old first, it will never become rich.
From the very beginning, the concept of a “population explosion” was an ideologically motivated false alarm specifically designed to allow rich nations to pillage the resources of the poorer nations. The resulting push for population control in LDCs has borne absolutely no positive fruit in its decades of implementation. In fact, population control ideologies and programs make it even more difficult to respond to the impending grave crisis looming in the form of a disastrous worldwide “population implosion.” It is time to begin urging families to have more children, not fewer, if we are to avoid a worldwide demographic catastrophe.
The first step in such a massive change in policy is, of course, to change our vision and our values. In order to do this, we must repudiate old ways of thinking and outmoded ways of accomplishing our objectives.
NSSM-200 represents the worst aspect of the “advanced” nations meddling in the most intimate affairs of lesser developed nations. It symbolizes as no other document does the face of the “ugly American.” It advocates violating the most precious freedoms and autonomy of the individual through coercive family planning programs. The document represents a classic example of the short-sightedness of the Culture of Death, which always chooses the easier wrong over the harder right.
The United States and the other nations of the developed world, as well as ideologically motivated population control NGOs, should be supporting and guiding authentic economic development that allows the people of each nation to use their resources for their own benefit, thereby leading to an enhancement of human rights worldwide and healthier economies for all.
The full text of NSSM-200 is available here.
 NSSM-200 was made public when it was declassified and was transferred to the U.S. National Archives in 1990. It was published shortly after the first major international population conference in Bucharest, and was the result of collaboration among the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Departments of State, Defense and Agriculture.
 Perhaps the most vocal supporter of NSSM-200 was Stephen D. Mumford, who wrote The Life and Death ofNSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy, blaming the Vatican for subverting the United States Constitution because of its unflagging opposition to population control, which was made more public during the height of the hysteria over population growth with the encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968.
 NSSM-200. Chapter III, “Minerals and Fuel.”
 NSSM-200. Part Two, “Policy Recommendations,” Chapter I, “Introduction – A U.S. Global Population Strategy,” Part B, “Key Country priorities in U.S. and Multilateral Population Assistance.”
 For documentation and statistics on the annual population control donations of each developed nation, e-mail Brian Clowes at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-18-05, “Population Control Donations by “First World” Nations, 1996-Date.”
 For documentation and statistics on the annual amount of population control dollars spent in each developing nation of the world, e-mail Brian Clowes at email@example.com and ask for Excel spreadsheet F-18-B, “Population Control Expenditures in the Regions and the Nations of the World, 1991-Date.”
 NSSM-200. Chapter V, “Implications of Population Pressures for National Security.”
 “Policy Recommendations.” I, “Introduction – A U.S. Global Population Strategy.” C, “Instruments and Modalities for Population Assistance.”
 This point was particularly important to the writers of NSSM-200. In a transmittal letter, Robert S. Ingersoll, chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee, wrote that “All U.S. efforts should be undertaken in such a way as to minimize criticism that they are directed against the interests of the developing countries. Therefore, the proposed [document] stresses the development of the well-being and economic progress of the poorest countries. It may, however, be necessary to weigh conflicting U.S. interests in the case of particular countries” [Memorandum NSC–U/DM–130 from the Chairman of the National Security Council Under Secretaries Committee (Robert S. Ingersoll) to President Ford, Washington, December 14, 1974].
 NSSM-200. Executive Summary, Paragraph 30f.
 NSSM-200. Executive Summary, Paragraph 30a.
 NSSM-200. Policy Recommendations. II, “Action to Create Conditions for Fertility Decline: Population and a Development Assistance Strategy.” A, “General Strategy and Resource Allocations for AID Assistance.” “Discussion: 1. Past Program Actions.”
 Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at a March 30, 2010 news conference before the G8 summit Canada, quoted by Steven Ertelt. “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Urges Canada to Promote Abortion at G8 Mtg.” LifeNews.com, March 31, 2010.
 NSSM-200. Special footnote to the conclusions. “1. Worldwide Abortion Practices.”
 NSSM-200. Special footnote: Abortion, (2)(a)(iiii); Recommendations. IIB, “Functional Assistance Programs to Create Conditions for Fertility Decline.”
 NSSM-200. Part Two, “Policy Recommendations.” Section E, “Creating Conditions Conducive to Fertility Decline,” paragraph 3.
 NSSM-200. Executive Summary, paragraph 35, and Part Two, “Policy Recommendations.” Section F, “Development of World-Wide Political and Popular Commitment to Population Stabilization and Its Associated Improvement of Individual Quality of Life.”
 NSSM-200. Part Two, “Policy Recommendations.” Section E, “Creating Conditions Conducive to Fertility Decline,” “An Alternative View.”
 NSSM-200. Part Two, “Policy Recommendations.” I. “Introduction – A U.S. Global Population Strategy,” Section C, “Instruments and Modalities for Population Assistance.”
 Steven W. Mosher. “Thinking Clear: Forced Abortions and Infanticide in Communist China.” Human Life Review, Summer 1985, pages 7 to 34. Page 33, footnote 9.
 According to the United Nations Population Information Network, the population of the world was 7.19 billion on January 1, 2014, and will peak at 8.34 billion in 2050. The low variant is always used because it is by far the most historically accurate projection.