114. Editorial Note

During the third round of the strategic arms limitation talks in Helsinki, held November 3–December 18, 1970, Lieutenant General Royal B. Allison, the JCS representative on the United States Delegation, clarified Soviet objections about forward-based systems (FBS) and submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). On November 13 in a memorandum to chief of the United States Delegation Smith, Allison remarked on Chief Soviet negotiator Semenov’s contention that the United States had improved its FBS since the beginning of SALT. Allison noted that in Europe, the United States had conducted routine modernization of tactical aircraft, which resulted in a net increase of six aircraft over the past year. He pointed out that in the Pacific, there were 87 fewer land-based aircraft and possibly even an additional 76 if the temporary withdrawal of one attack carrier was counted. The United States had increased its Pershing missiles by 24 over the past year, and in West Germany, 48 launchers would be added by June 1971. (Washington National Records Center, RG 383, OSD Files: FRC 383–98–0089, Director’s Files, Smith Files, Smith/Allison Correspondence, April–December 1970)

On December 3 Allison sent Smith a memorandum in which he expressed the following concerns over SLCMs and the Soviet definition [Page 364] of “strategic” between the formulation put forth during the Vienna round and that proposed in the plenary session of November 10: “This reference to ‘ballistic missiles,’ as opposed to their earlier reference to ‘any types of missiles with nuclear warhead,’ has the effect of excluding SLCMs from consideration in SALT, even under the terms of their definition of ‘strategic.’” (Ibid.)