269. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis (Tucker) to Secretary of Defense Laird 1


  • SALT

I talked with Paul Nitze on 4/27/72.2 The following observations are the result.

[2 paragraphs (19 lines) not declassified]

NSDM–158, para. 17 authorizes Smith to state: If the USSR were to undertake a concerted program which substantially increased the threat to survivability of our strategic retaliatory forces, the U.S. would consider this to jeopardize our supreme interests. Consequently this could be a basis for withdrawal from the ABM treaty. (Smith has not yet made this statement and seems very reluctant to do so.)

[4 paragraphs (19½ lines) not declassified]

I plan to come to you shortly with a discussion of alternative ways to exercise the essence of paragraph 17.

Gardiner L. Tucker
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files:FRC 330–77–0095, Box 7, USSR, 388.3. Top Secret. A stamped notation indicates that Laird saw the memorandum on April 28.
  2. No other record of their conversation has been found.