168. Memorandum From the Secretary of Defense’s Assistant for Salt (Wood) to the Verification Panel Working Group 1


  • Summary of Agency Views on ABM Collateral Constraints

As requested by Dr. K. Wayne Smith,2 this office has prepared the attached summary overview of the several agencies’ positions on ABM collateral constraints.3

The summary reflects that there is a general convergence of views on many of the constraints and major differences on only one key issue—radar controls. Additionally, OSD considers it essential that the treaty contain a definitions article; other agencies have not yet formally commented on this aspect. There is also a clear preference for reducing the total number of collateral constraints by dropping some and combining others into single provisions.

Radar Controls: All agencies except State believe control of Hen House radars is essential.

  • OSD and ACDA proposed a new provision which would apply to all new phased array early warning and non-ABM radars. [2 lines not declassified] OSD and ACDA differ on whether the U.S. would retain the right to deploy a radar system equivalent to Hen House (per the present NSDM–904 formula)—OSD’s version includes the right, ACDA’s version denies the right.
  • —State believes it desirable (rather than essential) to combine all radar controls into a new provision calling for consultation (no veto right) on radars which might be confused with ABM radars. Like the OSD and ACDA approach, this would result in the present Hen House Early Warning provision and the non-ABM radar provision becoming a single constraint. State believes a more practical negotiating approach would be to apply the “rule of reason” in such radar consultations.
  • CIA believes it essential that limits be imposed on Hen Houses and that it be required that early warning radars continue to be peripherally located and outward-facing. They also believe it highly desirable that Hen House radars be limited to those now operational or under construction, and require that they be undefended and unhardened. [Page 517][2½ lines not declassified] They would prefer the 4 August 1970 version of the non-ABM radar consultation provision,5 and believe it to be desirable rather than essential.
  • JCS prefer the wording of the 4 August 1970 proposal on Hen Houses because the alternative formulations introduce new and complex questions of definitions, difficult technical constraints and “mutual agreement” problems. JCS would drop the requirement for non-ABM radar consultation.

Definitions Article: OSD has recommended an additional provision which would establish a set of definitions of the ABM components to which an agreement would apply. They believe it essential that an ABM treaty include such language to support, enhance and strengthen the meaning and intent of the entire document, including other corollary constraints. The point is made that should the U.S. be unsuccessful in negotiating some “essential” constraints on such items as Hen Houses and SAM conversion, a rigorous, well-formulated definitions article will serve as our fundamental basis for challenge.

  • —Other agencies have not furnished formal comments on the requirement for such a definitions provision. The Soviet draft treaty did not include such a provision and it could be argued that such an approach introduces additional complicating factors or that it is intrinsically impossible to phrase such an article.

Reduce and Simplify: Most agencies would drop the “Advance Notification of New SAM” and “Pre-Announcement of ABM Flight Test” constraints; JCS would also drop the two radar consultation provisions. State, OSD and ACDA would combine radar constraints into a single new provision—however, as noted above, there are major differences on how such a provision would be worded.ACDA and State also recommend combining the “SAM Upgrade Ban” and “SAM Testing in an ABM Mode” constraints into a single new provision. JCS, in general, prefer less complex and simplified versions of the various constraints.

Archie L. Wood
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330–78–125, Box 9, ABM Limitations. Top Secret.
  2. On June 18 Smith, as directed at the Verification Panel meeting (see Document 166) instructed the members of the Working Group to have a paper ready by June 22. (Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA Files: FRC 383–98–0162, SA–5, Effectiveness in the ABM Role)
  3. Attached but not printed is a chart of agency positions on ABM collateral constraints.
  4. Document 113.
  5. See footnote 2, Document 104.