The population-control ideology and the means to achieve it can be found in a U.S. executive-level government document entitled National security study memorandum 200: Implications of worldwide population growth for U.S. security and overseas interests (NSSM 200), published in 1974 and declassified in 1989. Although this plan of action was to be activated in developing countries, it was designed as a two-edged sword that could be swung with equal determination in both developed and developing countries alike. The document was signed by Henry Kissinger and directed to the secretaries of defense, agriculture and central intelligence, the deputy secretary of state, and the administrator of the Agency for International Development, with a copy to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The focus of the study was the “international political and economic implications of population growth.”

The study identified 13 “key countries” in which “special U.S. political and strategic interests” existed. The targeted nations were: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.

Security interests

U.S. security interests were seen as threatened by demographic and political realities in lesser-developed countries (LDCs), and the age structure of high-fertility nations with large numbers of young people. Young people were considered a potential threat to multi-national corporations. Revolutionary actions and counter-revolutionary coups in countries with large populations were viewed as posing the danger of expropriation of foreign investments, and creating political or national security problems for the U.S. Also mentioned were racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious factors, where “differential rates of population growth (exists) among these groups.”

A major U.S. security interest concerned access to “reserves of higher-grade ores of most minerals,” and the terms for exploration and exploitation of those resources. The study advised that civil disturbances affecting the “smooth flow of needed materials” would be less likely to occur “under conditions of slow or zero population growth.”

The expression of resistance to global population strategies at the World Population Conference in Bucharest, in August, 1974, created a need to “persuade” LDC leaders to assist in population reduction within the targeted countries. Those objections came from countries wanting to ensure that any “new international economic order” would respect national sovereignty. In addition, “There was general consternation … when at the beginning of the conference the (World Population Plan of Action) was subjected to a slashing, five-pronged attack led by Algeria, with the backing of several African countries; Argentina, supported by Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, and … some other Latin American countries; the Eastern European group, less Romania; the PRC and the Holy See” (86-87).

World-wide propaganda

The attack led eventually to a worldwide propaganda effort to “create demand” for population-control technologies, and extol the benefits of population reduction within the nations: “Development of a worldwide political and popular commitment to population stabilization is fundamental to any effective strategy. This requires the support and commitment of key LDC leaders. This will only take place if they clearly see the negative impact of unrestricted population growth and believe it is possible to deal with this question through governmental action” (100).

Sensitive to the charge of interference in the internal policies of nations, the document said, “We must take care that our activities should not give the appearance … of an industrialized country policy directed against the LDCs.” In light of this, the document called for “integrating population factors in national plans, particularly (within) health services, education, agricultural resources and development” while relating “population policies and family-planning programs to major sectors of development: health, nutrition, agriculture, education, social services, organized labor, women’s activities, and community development” (21-2).

Sharpening this protective camouflage, the document recommended the integration of family planning with health programs: “Finally, providing integrated family planning and health services on a broad basis would help the U.S. contend with the ideological charge that the U.S. is more interested in curbing the numbers of LDC people than it is in their future and well-being” (117).

In the establishment of American-funded public policy, NSSM 200 suggested that population factors and population policies should be considered in all “Country Assistance Strategy Papers and Development Assistance Program multi-year papers…. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand,” the document continued, “the allocation of scarce PL480 (food) resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production.”

Again, a cautionary warning accompanied the recommendation: “In these sensitive relationships, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion” (106-107). It was also recommended that other organizations, agencies, multilateral institutions and embassies participate in the establishment of population initiatives where resistance was prevalent. The use of satellite communications for propaganda was also recommended: “Beyond seeking to reach and influence national leaders, improved worldwide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by the UN, USIA (U.S. Information Agency) and USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). We should give higher priorities in our information programs worldwide for this area and consider expansion of collaborative arrangements with multilateral institutions in population education programs” (117).

The role of the Department of State and USAID in the formation of “the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to generate a multilateral effort in population as complement to the bilateral actions of AID and other donor countries” was described (121). Acting through the UNFPA gave the additional benefit of avoiding “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.”

Imperialist motivation

“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 to determine freely and responsibly their number and spacing of children … and (b) the fundamental social and economic development of poor countries” (114-5).

Finally, an “alternative” view was presented, which maintained that “mandatory programs may be needed and that we should be considering these possibilities now.” Here, it was asked whether food would be considered “an instrument of national power” (118-120).

NSSM 200 was a statement composed after the fact. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. had worked diligently behind the scenes to advance the population-control agenda at the United Nations, contributing the initial funding of $1 million.

A Department of State telegram, dated July 1969, reported the support of John D. Rockefeller III, among others, for the appointment of Rafael Salas of the Philippines as senior officer to co-ordinate and administer the UN population program. The administrator of the UN Development Program reported confidentially that he preferred someone such as Salas who had the “advantage of color, religion (Catholic) and conviction.”

Why should this be a matter of interest to other countries? For two reasons. First, NSSM 200 describes the ideology and the methods for instituting population policies within sovereign nations. Second, in order to recognize the forceful determination of the program’s propagators.

But there is another reason: look at us and learn. The people most seriously damaged by such a program will always be the people of the advocate nation itself. Former under-secretary for global affairs Timothy Wirth, when asked about the abortion issue by a reporter, responded lightly, “It’s just another technology.”

The U.S. has lost over 36 million children to abortion since 1973. It would be impossible to calculate the numbers lost through abortifacient drugs and devices. This much we do know: over 30 per cent of our youth between the ages of 15 and 25 are gone.