83. National Security Study Memorandum 1761


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee


  • Review of US-Soviet Bilateral Issues

The President has requested the Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee, to conduct a review of all bilateral issues that are presently the subject of discussion or negotiations with the Soviet Union. Additionally, as part of this review, he has requested a canvass of all agencies to identify possible new areas for bilateral agreement as well as areas for augmentation of existing US-Soviet agreements.

The review should include a description of each issue, its current status, the prospects for agreement, and the possible interrelationship with other questions being discussed with the Soviet Union. Additionally, the review should identify any problems anticipated in negotia[Page 279]ting an agreement on each issue as well as the anticipated timeframe for successful negotiations.

The review should address the advantages and disadvantages relating to possible renegotiation of the two-year Cultural Exchanges Agreement2 as a long-term, general agreement.

In keeping with the President’s directive, those issues being considered as possible future sub-agreements within the work of the US–USSR Joint Commission on Scientific and Technical Cooperation—i.e., agricultural research, transportation and oceanography—should be included in the review. While these issues may be discussed by the science and technology commission, no final agreements or understandings should be concluded on these subjects at the forthcoming meeting of the commission.

The review should not include such issues as SALT, CSCE and MBFR; nor should it include any issues relating to the US-Soviet Trade Agreement and the work of the US–USSR Joint Commercial Commission.

The Chairman, NSC Under Secretaries Committee, is requested to submit the review no later than March 26, 1973, for consideration by the NSC Senior Review Group. The President has directed that no agreements with the Soviet Union be initialled or otherwise concluded without his approval.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–207, NSSM 151–NSSM 200. Secret. Copies were sent to the Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. The text of the U.S.–USSR Agreement on Exchanges and Cooperation in Scientific, Technical, Educational, Cultural and Other Fields in 1972–1973, signed on April 11, 1972, is in the Department of State Bulletin, May 15, 1972, pp. 708–713.