209. Minutes of a Verification Panel Meeting1


  • SALT Talks


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • John N. Irwin
    • Ronald Spiers
    • Raymond Garthoff
    • Seymour Weiss
  • Defense
    • David Packard
    • Gardiner Tucker
    • Paul Nitze
    • Archie L. Wood
  • JCS
    • Gen. William C. Westmoreland
    • Lt. Gen. Royal B. Allison
  • Justice
    • John Mitchell
  • CIA
    • Richard Helms
    • Carl Duckett
  • ACDA
    • Amb. Gerard Smith
    • Philip J. Farley
    • Spurgeon M. Keeny
  • OST
    • Dr. Edward David
  • NSC Staff
    • K. Wayne Smith
    • Helmut Sonnenfeldt
    • R/Adm. Robert Welander
    • Lt. Col. Jack Merritt
    • William G. Hyland
    • Barry Carter
    • James T. Hackett


It was agreed that:

  • —we are to move ahead with the SALT talks and try to get an acceptable agreement as soon as possible. An agreement should not be delayed until the May summit meeting.2
  • —the Working Group will prepare an interagency paper on the advantages and possible disadvantages of including sea-launched ballistic missiles and submarines in a freeze.
  • —a number of items will be discussed further at the NSC meeting, including:
    • —the level of Safeguard;
    • —whether to retain an option for an NCA;
    • —whether to explore the Soviet proposal further, as suggested by DOD;
    • —offensive missile levels, including SLBMs.

[Omitted here are the minutes of the meeting.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–107, Verification Panel Minutes Originals 1969–3/8/72. Top Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. Kissinger began the meeting by emphasizing this point: “The President clearly understands that some of the more reflective minds in this town realize what he has done to the SALT talks by agreeing to a summit meeting in Moscow. Some people are assuming that if an agreement is reached, it will be delayed so that it can be announced in Moscow in May. The President wants us to ignore these assumptions and go ahead as rapidly as possible. If an agreement is reached in advance of the summit meeting, we will then begin discussions on phase two of the talks.”