33. Paper Prepared by the National Security Council Staff1



Land Mobile MR/IRBM and ICBM Launchers (pp. 16–18)

If banned:

  • —with normal Soviet practices, we would detect deployments within 100 after 200 had been deployed.
  • —we would detect a clandestine build-up of fewer than 200–300 missiles if Soviets exercised force.
  • —Soviets could conceal 200–300 mobiles if they did not exercise force.

If limited:

  • —for limits on the order of 200, the Soviets might exceed permitted force by 200–400.
  • —for limits on the order of 1000–1500, Soviets probably could not exceed that by more than 500 and remain undetected.

Limit on dimensions of tactical mobile missiles is mandatory collateral constraint.


Deployment of Additional Fixed Offensive Missile Launchers (p. 18) 100 illegal launchers might go undetected.

100–200 illegal launchers might not be detected until first few were operational.

OSD/JCS doubt “suspicious new activity on large scale … could be positively identified as missile deployment” if concealed under buildings or in mines.


Installation of ICBMs into MR/IRBM Launchers (pp. 18–19)

We have no real confidence we could detect it.


Substituting SS–9s for SS–7s (p. 19)

Soviets might be able to do this without our detecting it.


Ban on Suppression of Telemetry (p. 20 footnote and Tab A, p. A–6)

“There may be difficulties in defining an agreement to prohibit telemetry suppression because the Soviet Union and the U.S. use [Page 130] varying degrees of telemetry for different types of tests, ranging from no telemetry on some vehicles to numerous channels of telemetry data on a fully instrumented vehicle.” (p. 20 footnote)

OSD/JCS do not believe that telemetry suppression can be defined in a way that would satisfy the intent of the constraint. (p. A–6)


Development of New Strategic Missiles (pp. 21–22)

ICBMs (p. 21)

State/CIA/ACDA believe we can confidently monitor ban on the development of a new ICBM.

OSD/JCS disagree, believing Soviets could double missile payload and improve accuracy without our knowing it.

SLBMs and MR/IRBMs (p. 22)

Chances are “about even” that we would detect clandestine development of new MR/IRBM or SLBM.


Accuracy Improvements (other than by changing re-entry vehicle shape)

“It would be virtually impossible to determine that the Soviets were improving accuracy through guidance system improvements if they desire to do this clandestinely.”

OSD/JCS disagree with majority concerning potential accuracy of present SS–11 ICBM; they believe SS–11can achieve better than 0.63 single shot kill probability on Minuteman silo with present reentry vehicle.


MIRVs (p. 26–28)

State/CIA/ACDA believe we can monitor Soviet MIRV developments even if the Soviets do it clandestinely.OSD/JCS do not believe we can confidently monitor a MIRV test ban.

OSD/JCS believe bans on multiple payloads in space and exoatmospheric penaid testing are mandatory collateral restrictions. State/ACDA/CIA believe these are desirable but not mandatory.


ABMs (pp. 28–30)

Mobile Launchers

100–150 mobile ABM launchers might escape detection for several years. (OSD/JCS believe the number could be substantially higher.)

Reload Capability

Might escape detection.


Disagreement over whether a clandestine ABM radar program could be detected.

[Page 131]

State/ACDA/CIA believe problems of radar deployment, operation so complex that we would detect large scale 5–10 clandestine radar program.OSD and JCS believe implementing a clandestine radar program is not as complex and difficult as State/ACDA/CIA believe.


Upgrading SAMs to ABMs (p. 30–31)

Upgrading SAM systems to give them some form of limited ABM capability … primarily through netting with existing ABM radars would be difficult if not impossible to determine.

OSD/JCS believe Soviets could deploy clandestinely 5–10 new acquisition radars and take other actions to allow “covert deployment of a limited ABM capability.”


Limiting ABM-associated Radars (p. 32–33)

State/ACDA believe a limit on number of ABM-associated radars is a mandatory collateral restriction to an ABM launcher limit.

JCS believe that because it is not possible to differentiate unambiguously among radar types, an effective ABM radar limit is not practical.


Ballistic Missile Launchers/Submarines (p. 34–35)

Under conditions of maximum concealment, State/CIA/ACDA believe an illegal increase of 5–10 submarines could be detected within a year and certainly would be detected in a two-year period.

JCS/OSD believe this assessment is optimistic and that we do not know what size of illegal increase or what period of time would be required for detection.2

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–004, Verification Panel Meetings—Status Report 9/29/69. Top Secret. Lynn sent Kissinger the paper as an attachment to a September 27 memorandum that provided briefing materials for a Verification Panel meeting scheduled for September 29. The paper, which summarizes the Verification Panel’s report, was presumably prepared by the verification panel working group.
  2. On September 29 the Verification Panel met to discuss its final report on U.S. monitoring capabilities. According to minutes of the meeting, much of the discussion centered around clarifying specific language and terms such as “suppression of telemetry.” The Verification Panel also discussed at some length a MIRV moratorium. [5½ lines not declassified] Before the meeting ended, Kissinger brought up the question of tying a MIRV ban to a limit on ABMs. Packard explained it was related to ABM-associated radars, to which Helms added that the issue was technical, with “no simple explanation.” The Panel did not pursue the question further and Kissinger concluded that they continue revision of their report and “clearly understand that it may never acquire Presidential standing.” He added that an NSC meeting would soon be held. (Ibid., Box H–107, Verification Panel Minutes Originals 1969–3/8/72)