28. Letter From Director of Central Intelligence McCone to the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Foster)1

Dear Bill:

This is in reply to your memorandum of 8 May to the Committee of Principals, requesting comments on the paper “Verification of Freeze on Strategic Nuclear Vehicles.”2

I am glad to note certain changes in the present paper which I believe are steps in the right direction. Specifically, paragraph 8 on page 14 no longer says that only a “small” number of undeclared facilities would be eligible for inspection and it makes explicit that no disclosures of unilateral information would be necessary to justify on-site inspection. These changes bear on problems of the perishability and possible compromise of unilateral intelligence which have concerned me for some time.

Nonetheless, I remain concerned about the reliance placed on unilateral means to verify declarations and to help police controls over production and launcher construction. As the paper itself notes, our present means are inadequate in some areas. Moreover, if we go ahead with this proposal, there can be no assurance that we will not in the future be deprived of some of the intelligence we now possess.

I hope that further thought can be given to ways in which the negotiated inspection arrangements can be expanded. In particular, I continue to think it important that the number of on-site inspections to check undeclared facilities be large enough to protect against the perishability of intelligence and the danger of its compromise.


John 3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Disarmament,ACDA Publications, Vol. III, Box 12. Secret. The source text is attached to a June 18 memorandum from Fisher to members of the Committee of Principals.
  2. The memorandum and the draft paper have not been further identified. Regarding other drafts of this paper, see Document 21 and footnotes 3 and 4, Document 36.
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates McCone signed the original.