64. Memorandum From the Director of the Program Analysis Staff, National Security Council (Lynn) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • First Meeting of Verification Committee2

Following is an outline of the procedures you can follow in conducting the first meeting of the Verification Committee.

What Can the Verification Committee Accomplish?

The committee can put the verification issue in the proper perspective by addressing the following questions:

  • —What exactly are present and projected U.S. intelligence capabilities to monitor various arms control agreements?
  • —In the light of the criteria for strategic sufficiency in NSDM 16,3 are unilateral U.S. intelligence capabilities under the various agreements adequate to insure that U.S. strategic sufficiency can be maintained?

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    (On this question, each agency should state its views and supporting rationale. If any agency’s views are based on criteria or objectives other than those in NSDM 16, this should be made clear.)

  • —If we detect violations of an agreement, in what circumstances can we let this fact be known without compromising our intelligence capabilities?

How Should the Work of the Verification Panel be Carried Out?

A draft memorandum to the principals setting up the first meeting is at Tab A.4 Before a final copy is typed, you should indicate who you want to attend.

Initial Meeting of Principals.

I recommended that the principals meet to accomplish the following:

  • —review the issues that give rise to the need for a new verification study,
  • —approve general terms of reference for the preparation of a committee report,
  • —agree to set up a working group, with a designated chairman, to prepare the committee report,
  • —establish a deadline for completion of the report (August 15 or 30, for example).

Working Group Procedures.

I suggest the working group function in the following way:

  • —In Phase 1, the necessary factual information on present and projected U.S. monitoring capabilities and on the extent to which detected violations can be revealed without compromising intelligence capabilities should be developed.
  • —In Phase 2, the results of Phase 1 should be provided to Defense, JCS, State and ACDA, who would be responsible for preparing agency positions on the adequacy of our capabilities.
  • —Based on the Phase 1 analysis and agency positions, a final report would be drafted by the working group director and presented to the Committee’s principals for approval.

Terms of Reference.

In my judgment, terms of reference should be provided for Phase 1. I have drafted a suggested set which is at Tab B. You could discuss this paper at the first meeting of the principals or leave the matter to the chairman of the working group.

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Detailed terms of reference will not be needed for Phase 2.

Chairmanship of Working Group.

You approved the alternative of designating me as chairman of the working group of experts. You should indicate this to the principals.

Membership of Working Group.

I believe CIA, DIA, and INR should be represented. I strongly recommend that the National Security Agency also be represented. NSA after all has the experts on the raw data, and we should draw directly on their expertise. DDR&E should probably also be included. Finally, another member of your staff should participate. (Bill Hyland or John Court)


If this general approach is satisfactory, you could use the talking points at Tab C in your first meeting with the principals.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–004, Verification Panel Meeting—Review of Capabilities 7/22/69. Top Secret; Umbra.
  2. The first meeting was held on July 22; see Document 65.
  3. Dated June 24. (National Archives, RG 59, S/SNSDM Files: Lot 83 D 305)
  4. None of the tabs are printed.