131. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers1


  • Coordination of Official Contacts with the USSR
[Page 280]

The President wishes to achieve more adequate coordination of our numerous official contacts with the USSR. He wants to ensure that he and members of the NSC can at all times be fully informed of the status of these contacts and that our activities with respect to the USSR are integrated to the fullest extent feasible.

The President has selected the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Europe, reporting to the Senior Review Group, as the vehicle for serving this function. Accordingly, the IG/EUR, including representatives of department and agency heads concerned with one or another aspect of our relations with the USSR, should in the first instance devise effective means whereby our several contacts with the USSR will be carried out in a coherent and coordinated manner. These means should take due account of the need for prompt action when this is operationally required. When fully functioning on this matter, the IG/EUR should act as the coordinating body for our activities (other than covert) with respect to the USSR. It will also be the responsibility of the IG/EUR to maintain an up-to-date record of the status of all ongoing diplomatic and other official contacts with the USSR; it will further maintain an up-to-date projection of likely future contacts and activities.

This directive does not affect existing mechanisms dealing with certain aspects of our relations with the USSR, such as the SALT Backstopping Committee, the Berlin Task Force and committees already functioning within the NSC system. The IG/EUR will, however, be responsible for ensuring that heads of these existing groups are aware of ongoing and projected activities with respect to the USSR. Heads of existing groups, in turn, should keep the chairman of the IG/EUR as fully informed as possible of their decisions and the actions deriving therefrom.

The Chairman of the IG/EUR is requested to prepare a report to the Senior Review Group on the effectiveness of this operation after approximately three months, together with recommendations resulting from this initial experience.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/SNSC Matters Files, Lot 73 D 288, Senior Review Group Memos. Secret.