100. Memorandum from Fisher to Kaysen, March 131

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  • U.S. Position on Disarmament Measures at Geneva Negotiations

The following consists of the basic disarmament positions of the United States, as authorized by the President and as discussed by the Committee of Principals, and the status of current work regarding the further development of these positions.

1. The United States will propose an across-the-board cut of 30 per cent in both strategic and conventional weapons in increments of 10 percent a year over a three-year period. In presenting this position there should be no indication, without further specific authorization by the President, that the reduction of strategic delivery vehicles can be separated from other disarmament measures for the purpose of being negotiated as a separate measure.

2. With respect to strategic weapons this cut is to be both in numbers and in total destructive capability, of which total full loaded weight is a possible yardstick. The cuts in strategic delivery vehicles are to be in two categories: the present thinking is to divide them between intercontinental systems and less than intercontinental systems. To develop the above a paper is in preparation which deals with the definitions of the intercontinental systems and the less than intercontinental systems, including what weapons come under each category. The paper also deals with the use of gross weight as a measure of the destructive carrying capacity of each U.S. and Soviet [Facsimile Page 2] vehicle to be included in the above two categories. Included in this paper will be tables of what reductions might look like when the double 30 per cent is applied to all vehicles in the above two categories.

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3. Production of strategic delivery vehicles and other armaments would be limited in Stage I to some percentage of the number of vehicles and armaments in the inventories of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. at the beginning date of Stage I. In preparation is a paper on the limitation on production using 5, 10, and 15 as possible percentages for permitting production of new vehicles. In this connection the Defense Department has been asked to furnish ACDA with planned production rates of all armaments for the next four years and a statement on replacement requirements for existing vehicles and armaments. Also, NASA is being asked to furnish ACDA with planned rates for use of vehicles for peaceful uses and exploration of outer space. The Federal Aviation Agency is being asked to supply certain information in the event we need to make statements regarding the production of aircraft for peaceful purposes. Finally, ACDA is preparing a paper on the extent to which the testing of missiles, aircraft, and other armaments would be permitted in connection with the various schemes for limiting and halting production. With respect to all of the above, all production of new and improved armaments and testing of new and improved armaments would be halted in Stage II. Included in the production study by ACDA will be recommendations regarding the extent to which the same percentage formulas for limiting strategic delivery vehicle production can be applied to limitations on the production of other armaments.

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4. On armaments other than strategic delivery vehicles reductions will be according to categories specified in the March 3 Memorandum to the President. Reductions within certain of these categories will be by numbers and by total weight. ACDA is preparing a paper recommending in which categories reductions should be by weight as well as by numbers.

5. Because inspection for the stockpiles of nuclear warheads and weapons of chemical and biological warfare are now considered so difficult these weapons are not included in the proposed reductions of 30 per cent. To deal with these two groups of weapons the U.S. will propose that two international experts commissions be established along the lines indicated in the March 3 Memorandum to the President. ACDA is now preparing papers regarding each of these proposed experts commissions and also ways in which stockpiles of such weapons might be reduced under effective verification.

6. The U.S. should continue to press the proposal of 2.1 million force levels. The U.S. would be prepared to proceed at least through the first stage in the absence of the Chinese Communists although the possibility of a defeasance procedure (comparable to that in the test ban) should be examined. ACDA is completing for government clearance its position paper on the relationship of Communist China to disarmament and the Geneva disarmament negotiations.

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7. The U.S. disarmament delegation has been authorized to discuss with the U.S.S.R. an inspection system based on sampling techniques perhaps accompanied by progressive zonal techniques. With respect to the entire matter of inspection ACDA is preparing a paper with details, given current knowledge, on the type of inspection which would probably be required for the various disarmament measures in the U.S. plan. These include inspection for remaining agreed levels of strategic delivery vehicles, remaining agreed levels for other armaments, production facilities (declared and any [Facsimile Page 4] clandestine) for strategic delivery vehicles and other armaments, production facilities (declared and any clandestine) for fissionable material production, reductions in armed forces, monitoring the testing of missiles, and the establishment of internationally supervised depots for inspection of the destruction of vehicles taken from inventories. DMP #12, rev. 4 can be used to describe verification systems, except for small “a” through “g” on pages 5–6 which have not yet been cleared by defense. Small “a” through “g” can be used if they are made illustrative rather than definite. Appendix B can be used as a basis for presentation of inspection requirements except for manpower requirements given in para. 4, page 6, and except possibly for heavy reliance on aerial reconnaissance mentioned throughout Appendix B.

8. The U.S. will propose that, contingent on agreement on the cut-off of fissionable material for use in weapons, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. each transfer 50,000 kgs of U–235 to peaceful purposes. ACDA is preparing a paper to determine whether we could agree to a proportional transfer of U.S. 50,000 kgs. to U.S.S.R. 40,000 kgs. of U–235 and what would be the effects of transfers of various sizes and in various other proportions.

9. The U.S. will propose that the reduction of armaments proposed for Stage I be applied in the same general ratio for Stages II and III.

10. ACDA is preparing additional details on other features of the U.S. disarmament plan including: relationship of military bases and missile sites to reductions in strategic delivery vehicles; means by which reductions can be made in weapons of other NATO and Warsaw Pact countries; and extent to which research and development can be monitored.

  1. U.S. position on disarmament measures at Geneva negotiations. Confidential. 4 pp. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Kaysen Series, Disarmament, Position Papers, 2/62–3/62.