2. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to Secretary of Defense McNamara 1

The January 16 meeting of the Committee of Principals was cancelled, and Foster and others instead worked on a paper that attempted to incorporate the President’s general thoughts. (Seaborg, Journal, Vol. 7, p. 228) Regarding this paper, see footnote 3, Document 4.

Butch Fisher, Spurgeon Keeny and I have been working on the possible set of “new proposals” for the United States in Geneva, and from our point of view the following are desirable and practicable, subject to your advice. We have broken them down into two major fields—A. Nuclear Containment, and B. Immediate Reductions or Limitations of Arms (formerly called separable first stage).

The organizing principle of these proposals is that each separate numbered item should be something which we are prepared to negotiate on its own terms. The posture we seek to present is that of a nation which believes that the way to begin is to begin. We are offering a dozen or more ways to begin and are ready to start whenever others will meet us half [Page 4]way. While many of these proposals are not altogether new, the approach has some novelty and appears to us to match the President’s temper and his general purpose.

A. Nuclear Containment

Non-dissemination. This is a familiar field and we would follow the general guidelines in the ACDA paper.2
Non-reception of nuclear weapons. This is a partial element of non-dissemination and one which is worth encouragement, although probably not front-page leadership by the United States.
Non-dissemination to individual nations of strategic nuclear delivery systems. This is a separable element which might be accomplished by unilateral or bilateral agreement. This could be accomplished by the reciprocal destruction of B-47/Badger bombers so that they would not be available for possible dissemination to other countries. We also believe the United States could easily make a self-denying statement that its obsolete bombers, for example, will not be sold to those who might seek a nuclear capability of their own.
Reciprocal inspection of large peaceful nuclear reactors both here and abroad.
An agreed nuclear production cut-off with minimum inspection.
An offer to allow inspection to confirm our own projected close down of plutonium production reactors.
Improved proposals for the transfer of nuclear materials to peaceful purposes. These transfers need not be in the same amounts and will be under improved IAEA supervision.
Basic principles for nuclear-free zones.
Assertion of the possibility of nuclear-limited zones (such as a possible nuclear freeze in Europe).
Reassertion of the comprehensive test ban (in a low key with emphasis on seismic study if the subject is posed).3

B. Immediate Reductions or Limitations of Arms

An agreed reduction across the board.
An agreed reduction in strategic forces.
An agreed reduction in tactical forces.
A separate agreement on nondeployment of AICBMs (comparable to the nuclear weapons in space agreement).
An agreed freeze on the production of strategic delivery systems.4
An agreed across-the-board stoppage of arms production.5

All of these separable measures are designed to be consistent with existing approaches to inspection with the possible exceptions of the reduction in strategic weapons and AICBM non-deployment, where our own means of surveillance may be satisfactory.

The President’s set of proposals should also include:

  • —A general reaffirmation of our basic position.
  • —An assertion of our great interest in a plan for control posts, coupled with a statement that this is a matter which so closely engages the interest of some of our major allies that we will not make specific proposals until we have consulted further with them.
  • —A reaffirmation and resume of the proposed agreements on preventing the use of force set forth in the President’s letter to Khrushchev, of which I attach the latest draft.6

Butch Fisher still wants to say something about budgets and will reluctantly settle for whatever small bone you wish to throw in his direction. He points out that this is a field of real promise and that in the fitness of things it should not be wholly neglected in a Presidential declaration at Geneva.

We recognize that not all of this may be negotiable in your terms in the few days that remain, but my own belief is that we ought to be able to get enough agreement on most of them to have them put forward as examples of the sort of things for which the Johnson Administration is ready, while detailed work proceeds, on specific ways and means.

McG. B.
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 68 A 306, 388.3, January 11-16, 1964. Secret. Attached to another copy of Bundy’s memorandum is a January 15 memorandum from ACDA Director William C. Foster to the Committee of Principals, recommending that Bundy’s memorandum serve as the agenda for their meeting on January 16 and transmitting a list of working papers for use as reference material. The list covers three areas: nuclear containment, immediate reductions or limitations of arms, and observation posts. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Disarmament—ACDA Publications, Vol. I, Box 11)
  2. Reference presumably is to the January 14 ACDA paper, “Non-dissemination of Nuclear Weapons,” which is cited in the list above under Nuclear containment. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Disarmament—ACDA Publications, Vol., I, Box 11)
  3. A handwritten question mark appears in the right margin next to this sentence.
  4. The word “emphasis” has been inserted by hand in the left margin next to this sentence.
  5. The word “No” is handwritten in the margin next to this sentence.
  6. Not printed. Text is identical to a letter President Johnson sent to Chairman Khrushchev on January 18. For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, pp. 153-155.