122. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Fisher) to the Committee of Principals’ Deputies 1
- Chemical and Biological Warfare Policy (U)
Since November 1963, in compliance with a request of the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, this Agency has been conducting studies on the arms control and disarmament aspects of chemical and biological warfare. Concurrently, in response to the same directive the Departments of State and Defense have been conducting studies concerning those areas relating to CB weapons where they have prime responsibility and interest. The ultimate objective of these related studies is to formulate an agreed inter-agency statement of policy which could be developed into national policy guidance.
The attached paper, titled “Chemical and Biological Warfare Policy”, which is forwarded for your consideration and comment, represents the tentative conclusions of this Agency on policies which the U.S. should adopt with respect to these weapons. It reflects the hypothesis that the spread of lethal chemical and biological weapons to states which do not now possess them is, prima facie, not in the national interest. Part III, titled “Basic Elements of Policy” proposes policies flowing from the hypothesis that are designed to minimize the risk that U.S. actions in the field of CB weapons might encourage other nations to acquire capabilities to use these potentially destabilizing weapons.
While it is believed that the suggested policies are in the national interest, there may be compelling military and political factors which militate against their adoption. It is requested, therefore, that in commenting on the attached draft, implications of the policies relating to military capabilities and international relations be emphasized. Your comments on arms control aspects would also be welcome. In light of the delay since inter-agency studies on CB weapons were inaugurated, early action on this matter would be appreciated.
- Source: Washington National Records Center, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330 70 A 6648, 384 1966 Jan-. Secret. An attached April 22 memorandum from McNaughton to the Chairman of the JCS requests comments on the ACDA paper by May 20.↩
- A table of contents is not printed.↩
- Memorandum from U. Alexis Johnson to McGeorge Bundy, November 15, 1963. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, William H. Brubeck Series, Disarmament 11/63)↩
- See footnote 2, Document 76.↩
- Not further identified.↩
- The quoted phrase appears in the “Outline of Basic Provisions of a Treaty on General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World,” submitted by the United States to the UN Disarmament Commission on April 29, 1965. For text, see Documents on Disarmament, 1965, pp. 115, 116.↩