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.[Page 353]
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
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 8, Chronological File. No classification marking.↩
- Reference is presumably to the WSAG meeting on February 18. See Document 117.↩
- 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)↩
- 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)↩