28. Minutes of a Verification Panel Meeting1

HAK: Smith suggested panel.2 Need systematic review, statement of disagreements, statement of capabilities and limitations.

This group would review MIRV Panel report,3 but charter would be broader.

Begin by outlining DOD’s concerns with verification report.

Packard: Issues are:

MIRV question: Can we control deployment through controlling testing. Should wait for report.
Controlling their ABM, viz. Upgrading SAMs.
Comprehensive agreements which include aircraft systems.
Mobile systems. Hard to verify specific numbers.
Radars. ABM associated or not.
Verifying qualitative restrictions: accuracy improvements (not difficult) maneuvering RVs. throw weight.
Frequency and capability of recon to be sure they aren’t doing something when we aren’t looking.

Must take these matters into account in evaluating what agreements we can live with.

Smith: I would like to see examination of issue, broader the agreement, the more manageable the constraints, i.e. verification easier. I’m not certain of validity of this proposition.

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HAK: Why start with any proposition? Why not analyze proposition.

Packard: I agree: Should analyze the problem.

Smith: Shouldn’t fly blind. Should know what we are studying.

Nitze: Additional things like on-site inspection and our current national means, e.g., in having planes overhead at more frequent intervals.

Mitchell: You didn’t mention submarines, Dave.

Packard: Less concern with verifying subs.

Allison: Purpose is to deal with disagreements, so we haven’t made a point of it.

  • First step is, what can we do with unilateral means. Second, nevertheless, we want to seek some on-site inspection. We should determine what we can do now. Should focus our attention on this.

    How can Soviets deceive us. Then, what are potential improvements?

    HAK: I have concern with issues like PL–1.4 How can technical information be made politically meaningful?

  • Second, July 15 report on naval missile.

    either no telemetry

    or frequencies unmonitored.

We are uncertain about essential characteristics.

We need capability to determine what goes on out of range of what we are currently geared toward.

Then, principals should advise President on minimum time lag between detection and how he can act on it.

Therefore, in addition to analyzing evasion, we need analysis of what we would do about it.

Problem of not banning ABM associated radars.

Allison: The Soviets have lots of radars now that could be internetted.

HAK: We have developed possible terms of reference for a working group. [Passes out copies.]5

Richardson: Very lucid exposition of questions. Most important is clandestine development issue.

Without asking for new work, it would be useful to concurrently or in addition, to consider measures to enhance efficacy of national means, such as agreed use of test ranges. You reach residual problem of ______6 [requirement?] for on-site inspection or other means. Finally, you get to question taking into account:

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adequacy of national means.
degree to which this effectiveness can be enhanced.
usual on-site requests.

What are possible combination of our control measures that lead to highest level of verification.

This is a more rigorous context. Only way analytically you can face issue squarely of risks you face, risks you are willing to undertake. So two other questions are:

Agreed measures to ______7 [enhance?] adequacy of national detection means.
Residual on-site inspection requirements. What can you learn from on-site inspection, what known or potential techniques.

HAK: You call attention to question, what would we like to have? We should use ingenuity in discovering new means.

Packard: We should examine possibilities of adding to existing capabilities.

Cushman: Should examine specific augmentations aimed at high risks.

HAK: Elliot also calls attention to deterring categories of what must be banned to improve verification. We examined this kind of question in MIRV panel, i.e. putting warheads in space, Polaris A–3 testing.

We need list of associated measures to make particular measure effective.

Also, MIRV ban must be related to ABM limits. Then we need a similar listing.

This may or may not leave residual on-site inspection.

If you agree this is a possible procedure, Elliott would look after panel.

Lynn look after technical report.

Hear report week of President’s return, then have a a session on it.

Smith: I want it earlier. Should have before Aug 15.

HAK: End of next week, Larry?

Lynn: We can shoot for this.

HAK: We will aim for this.

Richardson: Want to work out schematic outline.

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HAK: Couldn’t we include these in report.

Richardson: I don’t know types of work involved. Dealing with set of independent variables. On-site issue depends on other facts.

HAK: If we could get what it is we would want controlled, assessment of unilateral capabilities. If weaknesses, we can ask for additional controls within unilateral cap; or we can see whether we need new capabilities, or on-site inspection, or a combination. Then President could judge risks he is running.

Allison: We might want separate working group on paragraph 4.8

Both political and military issues.

Second, shouldn’t we get at issues like relationship between MIRVs and ABMs?

HAK: Don’t have to settle this issue.

Do MIRV/ABM relationship separately.

Gerry would these ______9 you problems.

Smith: Yes. Final product should clearly outline disagreements. Get beyond unidentified experts.

HAK: This is precisely purpose of panel. He was to weigh views of verifying agency against those who must live with it.

______10 [Facts?] be stated fully and fairly as possible. President will take responsibility.

  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. No classification marking. Chaired by Kissinger, this was the first meeting of the Verification Panel, which included members from the Departments of State, Defense, and Justice; the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; the Central Intelligence Agency; the Office of Management and Budget; the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the NSC staff.
  2. See footnote 8, Document 25.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 27.
  4. A medium range air-to-air missile that was a Chinese copy of the Soviet AA–1.
  5. Not further identified. Brackets in the original.
  6. Omission in the original.
  7. Omission in the original.
  8. A Verification Working Group was formed and held its first meeting on July 23. According to an unsigned July 24 memorandum for the record, procedures for preparing the Verification Report were established. A team of “ramrods,” chaired by Frank Perez, who also oversaw the MIRV Panel Report, supervised the work of teams of experts on each Soviet force and weapons system. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–004, Verification Panel Meeting—Review of Capabilities 7/22/69)
  9. Omission in the original.
  10. Omission in the original.