180. National Security Decision Memorandum 1201


  • The Members of the National Security Council
  • The Attorney General
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Further Instructions for the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks at Helsinki (SALT V)

The President has reviewed issues arising from the preparation of the draft agreements directed by NSDM 1172 and has decided as follows:

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Defensive Limitations Agreement

Definitions of ABM system components to reinforce corollary constraints should be included in the defensive agreement. Wording ing similar to that in NSDM 117 (and in the alternative provided in the draft agreement)3 should be used.
The President has considered the question of stringent controls on new large phased-array radars and has decided that the Delegation should seek an arrangement where new large phased-array radars will be built only as mutually agreed by the U.S. and USSR. (This decision represents a change in NSDM 117.) The agreement must, however, make explicit reference to limits on Hen House radars and the right to U.S. equivalency as directed by NSDM 117.
The agreement should be written in a manner which does not prohibit deployment of possible future ABM systems other than systems employing ABM interceptor missiles, launchers, and radars. (This is a tentative decision, pending further study of the issue by the Verification Panel. If raised by the Soviets, the Delegation should take no position on this issue without further guidance from Washington. This decision constitutes a change in NSDM 117.)
The language proposed by the Delegation in Article 11 of the Draft Agreement on Limiting Strategic Defensive Weapons should be amended to apply solely to ABM systems limited under the agreement. The question of a similar provision relating to offensive systems should be referred to Washington.
The period between the time a country invokes supreme national interests and then withdraws from the agreement is to be six months. (This is a change from the Detailed Statement.)
The notification period discussed in IV.C. 2 of the Detailed Statement is to be six months. (This constitutes a change from the one year in the Detailed Statement.)
The formal review provision discussed in IV.D. of the Detailed Statement is affirmed.

Offensive Limitations Agreement


The freeze dates and provisions in I.A. 1 and 2 of the Detailed Statement are affirmed. The provision in I.A. 2 is intended to prohibit the completion of the new-type silos at the operational SS–9 fields. The phrase “externally completed” is to be used in relation to the December 31, 1971, freeze on MLBMs.

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The Delegation can make it clear to the Soviet Delegation that the term is intended to allow completion of the 12 SS–9 launchers now under active construction.

The definition of ICBM launchers should include an appropriate statement that ICBM launchers, even if deployed for use against targets within MR/ICBM range, would be counted. The ICBM launcher definition needs no specific language regarding use in FOBS role.
Paragraph I.B. in the Detailed Statement regarding missile launchers for R&D and similar purpose is affirmed.
The Delegation should seek a declaration by each side or an explicit understanding on the numbers of missile launchers involved in the freeze. The Chairman of the Delegation should seek the declaration or understanding as early as he believes it possible in the negotiations.
The verification provision of the draft interim agreement on offensive weapons should include, in appropriate explicit language, the substance of Part III of the Detailed Statement regarding covered facilities for naval vessels.

The SALT Backstopping Committee of the Under Secretaries Committee should review the draft agreements in light of the above decisions.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–208, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDMs 101–150. Top Secret; Nodis; SALT. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to the senior members of the U.S. SALT Delegation.
  2. Document 171.
  3. Document 175.