221. National Security Decision Memorandum 1451


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Attorney General
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency


  • Additional Instructions for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks at Vienna (SALT VI)

The President has made the following additional decisions for Vienna (SALT VI):

The agreement on defensive limitations should be in the form of a treaty. The Chairman of the Delegation should so advise the Soviet Delegation.
The agreement on offensive limitations should be in the form of an executive agreement.
The Delegation is authorized to present the following substitute to paragraph 3 of the draft offensive agreement:

“Each Party shall limit submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers to the number operational and under active construction as of … .”

The Delegation should reaffirm the importance of our provisions regarding withdrawal in case the follow-on negotiations fail (i.e., Article 13, paragraph 2 of the draft defensive agreement and Article 9 of the draft offensive agreement).2 Moreover, the Delegation should state that, either with the interim offensive agreement or a follow-on agreement, there should be offensive limitations in force as long as the ABM limits continue. As for defining the time period now unspecified in the withdrawal provisions cited above, the President will define this period when the outlines of the limitations on strategic offensive systems become better known.
Except for paragraph 1 above, there is no change in the ABM position as stated in paragraph 4 of NSDM 140.3
The need for avoiding leaks remains compelling. The President’s directive of October 31, 1969, entitled “Avoidance of Leaks on SALT,”4 is again reaffirmed.

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.
  2. Both drafts were transmitted in USDEL SALT 842, July 26, 1971, Document 183.
  3. Document 212.
  4. See footnote 4, Document 40.