Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The 1991 Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It also requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support, cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. U.S. foreign policy agencies and Departments—the Department of State, National Security Council, Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Nixon Presidential Materials at College Park, Maryland—have complied fully with this law and provided complete access to their relevant records. In addition, Henry Kissinger and Eliot Richardson have allowed the editors access to their private papers at the Library of Congress. These papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford sub-series of Foreign Relations.

Research for Foreign Relations volumes is undertaken through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still-classified documents. The Nixon Presidential Materials staff is processing and declassifying many of the documents used in this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XII

The Nixon Presidential Materials, presently housed at the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland, are the single most important source of documentation for those interested in US-Soviet relations during the first Nixon administration. The Nixon Presidential Materials are scheduled to be transferred to the Nixon Presidential library in Yorba Linda, California over the next few years.

Foreign policy research in the Nixon Materials centers around the National Security Council (NSC) Files, which include the President’s Trip Files, Subject Files, Country Files for each country, occasional topical files related to certain countries, backchannel messages, presidential correspondences, Agency Files, NSC staffers’ Name Files, and Kissinger’s Office Files. The NSC files contain about 1,300 archive boxes of materials. In particular, the President’s Trip Files which contain [Page XII] records of the Kissinger-Dobrynin private channel; Country Files for the USSR, Middle East, Vietnam, and Cuba; and NSC Unfiled Materials; contain the most important documentation of high-level policy making for this volume.

There are several collections in the NSC Files that contain scattered, but often valuable, documentation on the evolution of U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union. They include the Subject Files, Agency Files, Alexander M. Haig Chronological Files, and Harold Saunders Files, which contain extensive information on the Middle East negotiation process. The Subject Files include documentation such as Kissinger (HAK)/Richardson Meetings and Kissinger (HAK)/Sisco Meetings. The Agency Files cover bureaucratic relations between the NSC and various U.S. and international agencies. Kissinger’s Office Files overlap considerably with the Kissinger Papers at the Library of Congress (discussed below) and with other NSC files in the Nixon Presidential Materials such as the Country Files for the USSR. The documentation on the Presidential transition, from November 1968 to January 1969, in the NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, is a unique collection.

Also part of the Nixon Project, NSC Files, are the NSC Institutional Files (H-Files) that contain documents distributed prior to each meeting of the National Security Council, Special Review Group, Senior Review Group, and Washington Special Actions Group, and other NSC sub-groups, along with detailed minutes of most of these meetings. Instead of debating only US-Soviet relations, most of these meetings touched upon US-Soviet interaction in multiple regional conflicts. Other important collections in the H-Files that highlight the Soviet Union are the files on the National Security Study Memoranda (NSSMs) and National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDMs).

Besides the NSC Files, the Nixon Materials include the White House Central Files, which include Staff Member and Office Files, Subject files and Name files. Within the Central Files are the White House Special Files, a Confidential File which also includes Staff Member and Office Files, Subject Files, and Name Files. The White House Central Files generally contain few materials on Soviet policies and were therefore of little value for this volume. The White House Special Files are marginally more valuable. The most important resource in the White House Central Files is the President’s Daily Diary, which lists all those who met with the President at the White House or while he was traveling. The Diary also indicates telephone calls to and from the President and has a daily record of “Presidential Movements.”

The 303/40 Committee record and subject files of the Nixon Intelligence files provide information on covert operations policy. The 303 Committee (later called the 40 Committee) officially approved covert operations, and its records contain agendas and minutes for 303 and [Page XIII] 40 Committee meetings as well as documents submitted by various agencies to the Committee.

The Henry A. Kissinger Papers located in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress largely replicate documentation found in other collections, especially the NSC Files at the Nixon Presidential materials. The editor found the most useful parts of the Kissinger papers for this volume to be the Chronological Files, Memoranda of Conversations, Memoranda for the President, and a collection of documents organized by country under the Geopolitical Files heading. Since this volume was compiled, copies of the most important source—the Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts—have been deposited at the Nixon Project at the National Archives. Although the citations in this volume refer to Kissinger Papers, copies of the transcripts as organized in the original collection are available to the public at the National Archives.

The Department of State, Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency, which were strong bureaucratic players in past Soviet volumes, play a much reduced role under President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, who concentrated policy in their own hands. There are far fewer Department of State documents that play a key role in policy decisions towards the Soviet Union, since the Secretary of State and his Department were essentially excluded from key policy decision-making on the Soviet Union. The one exception is the early Assistant Secretary of State Sisco-Ambassador Dobrynin talks on the Middle East. Still, some of the Department of State’s Central Files most useful for other discussions between U.S. diplomats in the field and Soviet officials are POL US–USSR, POL 1 US–USSR, and POL 1 USSR.

The Central Intelligence Agency records are valuable for intelligence on Soviet policy generally and Soviet policies towards specific regions. The editor selected primarily CIA records on general Soviet policies. Collections under CIA custody of value are the DCI Helms and DCI Executive Registry Files. The Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird were key players concerning Soviet strategic capabilities, but they were not part of the inner circle on U.S.-Soviet policy run out of the White House. When key memoranda from Secretary of Defense Laird are printed, they are almost always from the Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files. Department of Defense files used in this volume are listed below. At the Ford Library, there is a collection of documents that cover Laird’s tenure as Secretary of Defense. His staff chose these Laird Papers at the end of his term as Secretary of Defense with a view to documenting his major decisions, but few of these materials document general Soviet policies. Defense related records that were not available at the time that this volume [Page XIV] was researched, but that deserve mention as potential sources, are the Official Records of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Earle G. Wheeler, RG 218, at the National Archives.

This Foreign Relations volume covers a period for which there were no White House Presidential tape recordings. Their absence places a premium on the Kissinger telephone transcripts and the Haldeman Diaries to provide the contemporary and impromptu records behind the more official documentation of cables, memoranda, and memoranda of conversation.

The following list identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume. The declassification and transfer to the National Archives of the Department of State records is in process, and most of these records are already available for public review at the National Archives.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State
    • Central Files. See National Archives and Records Administration below.
    • Lot Files. For lot files already transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland, Record Group 59, see National Archives and Records Administration below.
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, Records of the Department of State
      • Central Files
        • DEF 1 US, general US defense policy; national security
        • DEF 1 US–USSR, US–USSR Defense relations
        • POL CZECH, general political affairs of Czechoslovakia
        • POL 15–2 GER W, Western Germany’s legislature
        • POL 1 US, general US policy
        • POL 1 USSR, general political affairs of the USSR
        • POL USSR 7, Visits and meeting of Soviet leaders
        • POL 15–1 USSR, head of state, USSR
        • POL US–USSR, general US–USSR relations.
        • POL 1 US–USSR, general US–USSR relations
        • POL 17 US–USSR, diplomatic and consular relations between the US and USSR
        • POL 27–14 ARAB–IS, the Arab-Israeli dispute and ceasefire
      • Lot Files
        • Office Files of William P. Rogers, Entry 5439 (formerly S/S Files: Lot 73 D 443)
          • Official and personal files of Secretary of State Rogers, including correspondence, speeches, statements, and chronological and alphabetical files, 1969-1973.
        • S/S Presidential Transition Files: Lot 71 D 228
          • Transition books prepared by the Department for the Nixon administration, December 1968
        • Records of Joseph Sisco, Entry 5405 (formerly Sisco Files, Lot Files 74 D 131)
          • Personal files of Joseph Sisco, 1951-1976
  • Nixon Presidential Materials Project
    • National Security Council Files
      • Agency Files
      • Alexander M. Haig Chronological Files
      • Backchannel Files
      • Country Files
      • Harold Saunders Files
      • Name Files
      • NSC Secretariat, Unfiled Materials
      • Presidential Correspondence
      • Presidential/HAK Memoranda of Conversation
      • President’s Daily Diary
      • President’s Trip Files
      • Staff Files
      • Subject Files
      • Henry A. Kissinger Office Files: Administrative and Staff Files, November 1968-January 1969, Country Files
    • National Security Council Institutional Files (H-Files)
      • National Security Council Meetings
      • National Security Council Minutes
      • Senior Review Group Meetings
      • Senior Review Group Minutes
      • Washington Special Action Group Minutes
      • Policy Papers, National Security Decision Memoranda Study Memoranda
      • Under Secretaries Committee Files
    • White House Central Files
      • Staff Member and Office Files: President’s Daily Diary
  • Central Intelligence Agency
    • DCI (Helms) Files: Job 80–BO1285A, files of Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms
    • DCI Files: Jobs 79R01012A, 79T01159A, 80R01621R, files of the Deputy Director for Intelligence and the Intelligence Directorate
    • DDO Files: Jobs 79480A, 7901440A, 8000037, files of the Deputy Director for Plans and the Directorate for Plans
    • DCI Executive Registry Files: Jobs 80B01086A, 80M00165A, 80M01048A, 80R01284A, 80R01580R, 86B00269R, Job 93–T01468R, executive files of the Director of Central Intelligence
    • National Intelligence Council (NIC) Files: Job 74–R1012A, intelligence memoranda, national intelligence estimates and special estimates
  • Library of Congress
    • Papers of Henry A. Kissinger
      • Chronological File
      • Geopolitical File
      • Memoranda of Conversations
      • Memoranda to the President
      • National Security Council, 303 Committee, 1969-1970
      • Senior Review Group Meetings, Washington Special Actions Group
      • Meetings
      • Telephone Records
    • Papers of Eliot Richardson
  • National Security Council
    • Nixon Intelligence Files
      • 303/40 Committee Files
      • Subject Files
  • Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland
    • Record Group 330, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • OASD/ISA Files: FRC 330 2 6308 and FRC 330 72 6309
        • Top secret and secret subject decimal files of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, 1969
      • OSD Files: FRC 330 75 0089 and FRC 330 75 0103
        • Secret and top secret subject decimal files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense, and their assistants, 1969
      • OSD Files: FRC 330 76 0067 and FRC 330 76 0076
        • Secret and top secret subject decimal files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense, and their assistants, 1970
      • Secretary Laird’s Staff Meetings: FRC 330 76 0028
        • Minutes of Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird’s morning staff meetings, 1969–1973

Published Sources

  • Documentary Collections
    • Council on Foreign Relations. Documents on American Foreign Relations, 1969–1972. New York: New York University Press, 1972.
    • Current Digest of the Soviet Press, 1969–1970.
    • Haldeman, H.R. The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House: The Complete Multimedia Edition. Santa Monica, CA: Sony Electronic Publishing Co., 1994.
    • U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Documents on Disarmament, 1969-1970. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
    • U.S. Department of State. Bulletin, 1969-1972.
    • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon , 1969–1970. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969, 1970.
  • Memoirs
    • Beam, Jacob. Multiple Exposure: An American Ambassador’s Unique Perspective on East-West Issues. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975.
    • Haig, Alexander M. Jr. Inner Circle: How America Changed the World. New York: Warner Books, 1992.
    • Johnson, U. Alexis. The Right Hand of Power. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984.
    • Kissinger, Henry A. White House Years. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1979.
    • Nixon, Richard M. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon . New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978.
    • Smith, Gerard. Disarming Diplomat: The Memoirs of Ambassador Gerard C. Smith, Arms Control Negotiator. New York: Madison Books, 1996.
    • ———. Doubletalk: The Story of SALT I. New York: Doubleday, 1980.