156. Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

WTE 014. 1. Thank you for your 39.2 All I can say is that if this is President’s attitude he had no business approving the Moscow trip.

2. I do not know whether anything useful is going on with respect to Vietnam. All I know is that we got our message across, that they are studying it and that the announcement of the trip should help us.

3. I fail to see how we can panic at doom and gloom stories from Vietnam and yet refuse to consider political options.

4. With respect to SALT, the Washington view is nothing short of absurd. Semenov told Smith that he might have a new ABM proposal and hinted at its nature. He also said that Moscow was “reviewing” the SLBM position.3 We obtained a precise proposal on both. The SLBM proposal moveover is exactly the scheme we advanced in the special channel. In any event Semenov is now under instructions to make no further move until President acts. But if the President likes to run down his own accomplishments that is his business.

5. Please send me for return trip precise, detailed analysis of what I shall face when I return.4

6. I will be back Monday night without fail. Brezhnev meeting has been moved to 1100. I should be in Washington by 2100.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 21, HAK’s Secret Moscow Trip Apr 72, TOHAK/HAKTO File. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. No time of transmission or receipt appears on the message.
  2. Document 155.
  3. Reference is evidently to Semenov’s remarks as reported in the April 21 backchannel message from Smith to Kissinger; see Document 136.
  4. See Document 162.