120. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of Defense Laird and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

[Omitted here is discussion of the military situation in Laos.]

L: One other point on the Baltic. I understood you were going to discuss that yesterday2 and you didn’t get around to it.

K: In the afternoon. That’s right.

L: When will you do that? We told them they would be able to put forth their points.

K: If they have complaints let them come to me. The President wants it.

L: I would like to make as many port calls in the Baltic as we had in 69.

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K: We want something cruising around in the next few weeks to get the message [across].

L: Do you think they will?

K: They will.

L: Did the meeting work out okay?

K: It was fine and it was [omission in transcript]. From now he will assume [when] you have a complaint you will make it and not listen to anyone.

L: Pursley spoke to Haig.3 Gardner said they wanted him to make suggestions on improvements. I said I hope you didn’t give the impression we were upset.

K: We have no complaints. It went well.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 8, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. Reference is presumably to the WSAG meeting on February 18. See Document 117.
  3. On the morning of February 19, DIA reported that Navy patrol aircraft had spotted a Soviet guided-missile light cruiser 210 nautical miles northwest of Havana: “Call Haig on Baltic/Black.” “Pls advise if you have other info.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330–76–197, Box 63, Cuba 323.3)
  4. On February 24, Laird formally approved a plan, outlined by Moorer on February 12, to deploy 4 destroyers in the Black Sea for 11 days, starting on March 27. (Memorandum from Laird to Moorer, February 24; ibid., FRC 330–74–115, Box 3, 560)