68. National Security Decision Memorandum 511

TO

  • The Members of the National Security Council
  • The Attorney General
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Director of Central Intelligence

SUBJECT

  • Vienna Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

I have made the following decisions with respect to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks which will begin on April 16, 1970, in Vienna.

1.

(a) The options which will serve as the basis for U.S. proposals and explorations are those in the enclosure to this Memorandum: “SALT Options,” dated April 9, 1970.

(b) The Delegation is not authorized to discuss individual provisions of an Option without having made it clear that individual provisions are acceptable only in combination with all the provisions of the Option, including all corollary verification provisions.

(c) If the Delegation believes that alternative or additional provisions should be presented in order to enhance the possibility that agreement could be reached on the approved provisions of an Option, it must seek instructions.

2.
I want the initial discussion to cover as broad a range of issues as possible. Therefore, the Delegation should first present Option C, including the measures specified as required for verification and using the provisions for the NCA level of ABM defense, as a framework for that discussion. The Delegation should also present Option D, using the provisions for the NCA level of ABM defense, as an alternative approach. On the basis of the discussions of these Options, and in the light of any Soviet proposals, I will judge whether an agreement acceptable to the United States is possible or whether other options should be explored.
3.
Before engaging in any discussion of a suspension or modification of ongoing programs prior to agreement, the Delegation will seek instructions from Washington.2
4.
The Delegation is authorized to discuss Item 5 on the Work Program concerning “Ways to reduce the danger of the outbreak of a nuclear missile war between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A., including ways to guard against unauthorized or accidental use of nuclear weapons” in accordance with the approach set forth in the summary Task Y paper, “Protecting Against Nuclear Accidents and Provocative Attacks.”
5.
The Delegation should take the position that U.S. tactical nuclear forces, strategic forces of other nations and U.S. practices with respect to ballistic missile submarine and strategic aircraft operations should not be included in the talks.
6.
I reaffirm my directive of October 31, 1969, entitled “Avoidance of Leaks on SALT.”3 The Chief of the Delegation will be responsible for assuring that all activities dealt with in that directive are conducted in conformity with it.
Richard Nixon

Enclosure4

SALT OPTIONS

Option A: A “Limited” Agreement

1. ICBMs and SLBMs

Limitations

The aggregate total of ICBM and sea-based ballistic missile launchers would be limited to 1,710. At the present time, the Soviet Union [Page 233]has operational 1,272 ICBMs—of which 222 are SS–9s—and 288 SLBM launchers, for a total of 1,560. However, others under construction would if completed raise the total to nearly 2,000. A ceiling of 1,710 represents the U.S. total, and would mean that the Soviets could complete roughly half of what they now have under construction. In order to avoid Soviet completion of all its SS–9s under construction—60—we would seek an understanding that completion would be approximately proportional within classes of launchers under construction, so that the Soviet “SS–9 ceiling” within the 1,710 total would be 250.

Within the permitted ceiling of 1,710 launchers, the number of launchers associated with missiles of volume greater than 65 cubic meters (the size of an SS–11) would be limited to those currently operational (or permitted to be completed in reaching the 1,710 level).

Within the ceiling of 1,710 launchers, sea-based ballistic missile launchers could be substituted for existing fixed land-based ICBM launchers on a one-for-one basis. Existing sea-based ballistic missile launchers could be replaced by other SLBM launchers on a one-for-one basis.

ICBM launchers could not be relocated or modified in externally observable ways.

Deployment and testing of land-mobile ICBMs and their launchers would be prohibited.

Strategic offensive missiles mounted on waterborne vehicles on inland waterways would also be prohibited.

Retrofit of current launchers with missiles not previously deployed on the launcher would be limited to missiles whose volume does not exceed 65 cubic meters.

ICBMs are defined as land-based ballistic missiles which have a capability of ranges in excess of 5,000 kilometers. ICBMs, even if deployed for use against targets within MR/IRBM range, would be counted as part of the total number of ICBM/sea-based ballistic missile launchers. (The Soviets have deployed 40 SS–11 ICBMs in one MRBM and one IRBM complex, and are so deploying another 40 at those complexes.)

Testing of land-based cruise missiles of intercontinental range and deployment of launchers for such missiles would be prohibited.

Launchers for fractional orbital bombardment missile systems (FOBS) would be considered as part of the allowed total number of launchers.

Corollary Limitations

Several supporting corollary limitations would be included in order to facilitate verification.

[Page 234]

No additional MR/IRBM silos (beyond the 135 extant) would be allowed, since ICBMs could be retrofitted into such launchers, and this might elude detection.

Limits, e.g., size, would be placed on permitted mobile missiles (those with range capability less than 1,000 km) and their associated TELs in order to prevent claims that an ICBM was a shorter-range permitted missile.

There would also be agreed procedures for notification and implementation of permitted launcher destruction and replacement, in order to ensure verification of changes in the mix of launchers.

Use of covered facilities for fitting out, overhaul, conversion, and berthing of submarines and surface ships would be prohibited in order to increase confidence in verification.

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

2. MR/IRBMs

Limitations

The number of MR/IRBM launchers would be limited to the number currently operational (the USSR has 650; the U.S. has none). Relocation of MR/IRBM launchers or externally observable modifications of such launchers would be prohibited. Deployment and testing of land-based mobile MR/IRBMs would be prohibited, and any operational would be destroyed.

Testing of land-based cruise missiles of intermediate or medium range and deployment of launchers for such missiles would be prohibited.

Missiles of medium and intermediate range would be defined as land-based missiles with a maximum range greater than 1,000 and less than 5,000 kilometers.

Corollary Limitations

Limitations would be placed on the size of mobile missiles in order to insure against evasion of the ban on mobile MR/IRBMs.

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

Fall-Back

If Soviet opposition to limitations on MR/IRBMs remains adamant, we should, subject to consultation with our NATO Allies on changing our position, be prepared to agree to set aside or defer limitations on MR/IRBMs, in exchange for appropriate Soviet concessions. Those restrictions [Page 235]on MR/IRBMs pertinent to insuring ICBM limitations are, however, separately specified as corollary limitations integral to the ICBM/sea-based ballistic missile limitations, and would continue to be maintained.

(New MR/IRBM silos would still be banned. Mobile offensive missiles below the size limits required for the ICBM corollary restriction would, however, be allowed if the MR/IRBM limitation were set aside.)

3. SLCMs

Limitations

Submarines and associated launchers for SLCMs would be limited to those currently operational (the USSR has 348 launchers; the U.S. has none).5 Substitution of sea-based ballistic missile launchers for SLCM launchers would not be permitted.

Corollary Limitations

Use of covered facilities for fitting out, overhaul, conversion, and berthing of submarines and surface ships would be prohibited in order to increase confidence in verification.

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

Fall-Back

We would initially seek the above limitation on SLCMs, but would be prepared in the negotiations to set aside limitations on SLCMs in exchange for some appropriate Soviet concession.

4. ABMs

Limitations

The number of ABM launchers and interceptors would be limited to a total of 1,000 each of all types, and there would be agreed limitations on the number and location of ABM radars.

It would be necessary to negotiate precisely an agreed understanding with respect to existing radars which have or could have an ABM-related role. In the Soviet case, this would involve at least the Hen House, Dog House (and similar), and Try Add radar complexes. The location of future ABM radars would be declared in advance [Page 236]through an agreed procedure. There would be agreement to consult in the future on non-ABM radar requirements and plans with a view to meeting legitimate needs of the two countries in ways which did not create suspicion or concern over possible circumvention of the ABM radar limitation. It would be agreed that ABM-associated radars would be distinguished from other radars by established criteria: location, orientation, elevation angle, power, frequency, aperture size, and antenna type (phased-array or mechanical-scan).

(For example, if the Soviets said they wanted to build a phased-array radar for air traffic control at Moscow, we would have the right to insist that it be located with an orientation away from any missile threat corridors; in that case, it would not be necessary to apply other criteria dealing with the performance characteristics of the radar. If, in another case, the Soviets said they needed a radar located within and facing a threat corridor, we would be able to insist on application of other criteria appropriate to the situation in order to rule out an ABM role for the radar; for example, a high elevation angle could limit the radar to a non-ABM space track role.) The Soviets, of course, could similarly insist we handle future non-ABM radar needs in ways which did not permit us to acquire ABM capabilities.

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

Deployment and testing of mobile land-based, sea-based, air-based, or space-based ABM systems would be prohibited.

Definition

It is not necessary to develop an agreed definition of an “ABM,” but there must be at least an agreed understanding on what constitutes a present or potential ABM. Each side would declare its ABM systems. The understanding would recognize as ABMs the Soviet Galosh ABM–1, Spartan, and Sprint, but would not include anti-aircraft systems such as the Soviet systems SA–1 through SA–5 and Nike–Hercules and Hawk.

Corollary Limitations

The testing of SAMs in an ABM mode would be prohibited.

There would be advance notification of the deployment of allowed ABM systems and of new SAM systems.

In the process of negotiation we would make it clear to the Soviets what specified indicators we would employ in deciding whether a SAM system had ABM capability. Those indicators include:

  • —relocation of sites;
  • —changes in radar average power levels, aperture configuration, antenna type, signal characteristics;
  • —addition of acquisition radars or introduction of phased-array site radars;
  • —changes in missile characteristics (range, acceleration, burn-out velocity, payload, propellants, exo-atmospheric capability);
  • —testing of SAMs in ABM role;
  • —introduction of new SAM systems;
  • —appearance of nuclear warheads at additional SAM sites.

Where feasible and consistent with security requirements, we will also indicate the specific numerical limits we will use in applying these indicators.

Verification

Verification would be accomplished by national means, facilitated by and in conjunction with the corollary limitations.

5. Development Testing, Training, and Space Launchers

Limitations

Missile launchers and platforms for research, development, testing, evaluation, and training with respect to all strategic missile systems, and for space missions, would be permitted, but their total number on each side could not exceed an agreed limit of 125 launchers.

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

There would be agreement to provide a list of such launch facilities and their locations.

6. Strategic Bombers (and Defenses against Bombers)

Limitations

Heavy strategic bombers would be limited to the numbers currently operational. This category would be defined as presently comprising B–52, Bison, and Bear bombers. (The U.S. at present has 516 B–52 bombers (472 operational); the USSR has 195 Bison and Bear bombers.)

No limitation would be placed on substitution of new heavy strategic bomber types, nor would other qualitative limitations on these bombers be sought. There would be notification of intended deployment of new bomber types.

No limitation would be placed on armament of any kind carried by aircraft.

Corollary Limitations

The conversion of transport aircraft for use as strategic bombers would be prohibited.

[Page 238]

No limitation would be placed on aircraft other than bombers; bombers used as tankers (about 50 Bisons) are, however, reconvertible to the bomber role, and are counted in the bomber ceiling.

No corollary limitations on defenses against bombers would be included, other than limitations on SAM systems specified in connection with preventing SAM upgrade to ABMs. Improvements in air defenses could be offset by improvements in bomber systems within the prescribed ceilings.

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

7. MIRVs and Qualitative Improvements

Limitations

There would be no limitations on MIRVs, nor on qualitative improvements of strategic missile systems except as specified in provisions outlined above.

8. Verification

Verification of a SALT agreement comprising the provisions outlined in Option A would be accomplished by a combination of reliance upon national means and the provision of mandatory corollary limitations designed to make the over-all restrictions compatible with our verification capabilities.

There would have to be an understanding not to interfere with national means of verification, defined broadly as technical information collection systems necessary for verifying compliance with the agreement operating outside the national territory of the other state, or to undertake deliberate concealment measures which could impede the effectiveness of national means in verifying compliance with the agreement.

The agreement would also provide for consultations on issues arising out of the provisions of the agreement. A standing joint commission would be established to provide a forum in which the parties could raise issues about compliance and verification, as well as to receive timely notice of certain deployments (e.g., specific changes in the ICBM/SLBM mix, and deployment of new permitted strategic systems), and to discuss possibly necessary or useful adjustments within the framework of the agreement. Selective direct observation or “on-site inspection” on a challenge basis could be requested as a way to check on some suspicious situation.

The agreement would explicitly be predicated on the understanding that neither side would seek to circumvent the provisions and effectiveness of the agreement through a third country. It would contain [Page 239]provisions for consultation in the event of suspected violations, as well as to consider basic changes in the strategic situation (including third-country developments). The agreement would include a clause providing for withdrawal in the event either party decided its supreme national interests were threatened by continued adherence. The agreement would be made subject to formal review at fixed periods (for example, for five years). This would create an opportunity for joint consideration of any changed circumstances, for modification of the agreement if deemed advisable, and reaffirmation. It would permit withdrawal without having to charge the other side with violation or to invoke supreme national interest.

Option B: “Comprehensive I” Agreement

[Omitted here are sections 1–3 of Option B, which are identical to those sections of Option A.]

4. ABMs

Two alternatives for ABM limitation under this option are considered: zero or NCA levels.

(a) Zero ABM Level Limitation

Deployment of ABM launchers would be prohibited, and existing ABM launchers and associated radars would be dismantled.

The Soviet Union would have to dismantle its existing Moscow Galosh ABM defenses. Specifically, the USSR would within three months of the time the agreement came into effect dismantle the Dog House radar, the radar under construction at Chekhov, the four Try Add radar complexes, and the 64-launcher complex around Moscow. (Radars would be dismantled by disassembly and removal of all structures supporting or mounting radar faces; launchers would be dismantled by removal of all interceptors and launch vehicles and observable destruction of launch pads. Interceptors could be used for R&D testing.) The U.S. would also propose that the Soviets dismantle the uncompleted Hen House radar near Sevastopol. The Soviets could keep the Skrunda and Olenegorsk large early-warning and tracking Hen House radars, and the Sary Shagan and Mishelevka early-warning, test range and space-track Hen House radars in Siberia, some faces of which face the Chinese missile threat, including portions of those radar complexes still under construction. We would inform the Soviets that we regard the continued existence of these radars as tolerable only because of their vulnerability and that we would view increases in SAM defense of these radars as a violation of the agreement.

The U.S. would cancel Safeguard deployment. No existing U.S. radars would be destroyed. We could retain or replace the three large BMEWs early-warning radars, and the large phased-array [Page 240]space-track radar at Eglin AFB, Florida (as well as the MSR ABM test radar at Kwajalein). (If the Soviets insisted on building the Sevastopol radar for early-warning, the U.S. would retain the right to build a radar or radars providing comparable additional coverage for early-warning.)

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and strategic anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

Limitations would be placed on radars suitable for an ABM role. Apart from agreement on the disposition of existing radars possessing technical capabilities for contributing to an ABM system, as specified above, there would be agreement to consult in the future on non-ABM radar requirements and plans with a view to meeting legitimate needs of the two countries in ways which did not create suspicion or concern over possible circumvention of the ABM radar limitation. It would be agreed that non-ABM-associated radars would be distinguished by established criteria: location, orientation, elevation angle, power, frequency, aperture size, and antenna type (phased-array or mechanical scan). For example, if the Soviets said they wanted to build a phased-array radar for air traffic control at Moscow, we would have the right to insist that it be located with an orientation away from any missile threat corridors; it would then not be necessary to apply other criteria. If, in another case, the Soviets said they needed a radar located within and facing a threat corridor, we would be able to insist that an application of other criteria appropriate to the situation rule out an ABM role for the radar; for example, a high elevation angle could limit the radar to a non-ABM space track role. The Soviets, of course, could similarly insist we handle future non-ABM radar needs in ways which did not permit us to acquire ABM capabilities.

ABM research, development, and testing would be permitted. All flight-testing would, however, be limited to (a) pre-announced flight tests, (b) not more than 25 per year, (c) on not more than 10 launchers, and (d) at agreed test ranges.

Definition

It is not necessary to develop an agreed definition of an “ABM,” but there must be at least an agreed understanding on what constitutes a present or potential ABM. Each side will declare its systems. The understanding would recognize as ABMs the Soviet Galosh ABM–1, Spartan, and Sprint, but would not include anti-aircraft systems such as the Soviet systems SA–1 through SA–5 and Nike–Hercules and Hawk.

Corollary Limitations

There would be a ban on flight testing of SAMs in an ABM mode.

[Page 241]

In the process of negotiation we would make it clear to the Soviets what specific indicators we would employ in deciding whether a SAM system had ABM capability. Those indicators include:

  • —relocation of sites;
  • —changes in radar average power levels, aperture configuration, antenna type, signal characteristics;
  • —addition of acquisition radars or introduction of phased-array site radars;
  • —changes in missile characteristics (range, acceleration, burn-out velocity, payload, propellants, exo-atmospheric capability);
  • —testing of SAMs in ABM role;
  • —introduction of new SAM systems;
  • —appearance of nuclear warheads at additional SAM sites.

Where feasible and consistent with security requirements, we will also indicate the specific numerical limits we will use in applying these indicators.

There would be advance notification of the deployment of allowed SAM systems.

Verification

Verification would be accomplished by national means, facilitated by and in conjunction with the above corollary limitations.

(b) NCA Defense ABM Level Limitations

Deployment of ABMs would be limited to those appropriate to a defense of the National Command Authority (Moscow and Washington). One hundred ABM launchers, and interceptors, of any type would be permitted, together with associated radars.

The Soviet Union would retain its present radars and ABM launchers, and could add up to 36 additional launchers with associated radars around Moscow—to serve a total of no more than 100 interceptors. (We would seek the dismantling of the Sevastopol Hen House, as in the case of the zero ABM level, with the same alternative fall-back of a comparable radar or radars for the U.S. as a counterpart if Sevastopol is retained.)

The U.S. would be allowed to deploy a roughly equivalent system, comprising 3–6 PAR faces, 4 MSR faces, and 100 ABM launchers and interceptors centered on a defense of the Washington, D.C. area (but covering a large area of the eastern United States).

The provision with respect to future non-ABM radars outlined in the discussion of zero ABM levels (on pp. 25–29 above)6 would apply.

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and strategic anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

[Page 242]

ABM research, development and testing would be permitted. In addition, confidence firings would be permitted. All such ABM interceptor flight tests and confidence firings would, however, be limited to (a) pre-announced flight tests, (b) not more than 30 per year, (c) on not more than 15 launchers, and (d) at agreed test ranges. Testing of mobile land-based, sea-based, air-based, or space-based ABM systems would be prohibited.

Corollary Limitations

The same corollary limitations against the upgrading of SAMs, including the ABM radar limitations, would apply as in the case of the zero level ABM limitation. The advance notification of allowed defensive systems would be extended to include allowed ABM deployment.

Verification

Verification would be by national means, facilitated by and in conjunction with the corollary limitations.

[Omitted here are sections 5–8 of Option B, which are identical to those sections of Option A.]

Option C: “Comprehensive II” Agreement

[Omitted here are sections 1–3 of Option C, which are identical to those sections of Option A.]

4. ABMs

Two alternatives for ABM limitation under this option are considered: zero or NCA levels.

(a) Zero ABM Level Limitation

Deployment of ABM launchers would be prohibited, and existing ABM launchers and associated radars would be dismantled.

The Soviet Union would have to dismantle its existing Moscow Galosh ABM defenses. Specifically, the USSR would within three months of the time the agreement came into effect dismantle the Dog House radar, the radar under construction at Chekhov, the four Try Add radar complexes, and the 64-launcher complex around Moscow. (Radars would be dismantled by disassembly and removal of all structures supporting or mounting radar faces; launchers would be dismantled by removal of all interceptors and launch vehicles and observable destruction of launch pads. Interceptors could be used for R&D testing.) The U.S. would also propose that the Soviets dismantle all Hen House radars covering potential U.S. missile attack corridors. The Soviets could keep the Sary Shagan and Mishelevka test range and space-track Hen House radar faces. The U.S. would cancel Safeguard deployment and dismantle BMEWS. If agreement cannot be reached [Page 243]on the above radar destruction, the U.S. would be permitted a radar network of equivalent capability for early warning. In that case, no existing U.S. radars would be destroyed. We could retain or replace with PARs the three large BMEWs early-warning radars, and the large phased-array space-track radar at Eglin AFB, Florida (as well as the MSR ABM test radar at Kwajalein). In addition, the U.S. would be permitted to add on the order of 3–5 PARs for coverage of SLBM and ICBM threat corridors.

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and strategic anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

Limitations would be placed on radars suitable for an ABM role. Apart from agreement on the disposition of existing radars possessing technical capabilities for contributing to an ABM system, as specified above, there would be agreement to consult in the future on non-ABM radar requirements and plans with a view to meeting legitimate needs of the two countries in ways which did not create suspicion or concern over possible circumvention of the ABM radar limitation. It would be agreed that non-ABM-associated radars would be distinguished by established criteria: location, orientation, elevation angle, power, frequency, aperture size, and antenna type (phased-array or mechanical scan). For example, if the Soviets said they wanted to build a phased-array radar for air traffic control at Moscow, we would have the right to insist that it be located with an orientation away from any missile threat corridors; it would then not be necessary to apply other criteria. If, in another case, the Soviets said they needed a radar located within and facing a threat corridor, we would be able to insist that an application of other criteria appropriate to the situation rule out an ABM role for the radar; for example, a high elevation angle could limit the radar to a non-ABM space track role. The Soviets, of course, could similarly insist we handle future non-ABM radar needs in ways which did not permit us to acquire ABM capabilities.

ABM research, development, and testing would be permitted. All flight-testing would, however, be limited to (a) pre-announced flight tests, (b) not more than 25 per year, (c) on not more than 10 launchers, and (d) at agreed test ranges.

Definition

It is not necessary to develop an agreed definition of an “ABM,” but there must be at least an agreed understanding on what constitutes a present or potential ABM. Each side will declare its systems. The understanding would recognize as ABMs the Soviet Galosh ABM–1, Spartan, and Sprint, but would not include anti-aircraft systems such as the Soviet systems SA–1 through SA–5 and Nike–Hercules and Hawk.

[Page 244]

Corollary Limitations

There would be a ban on flight testing of SAMs in an ABM mode.

In the process of negotiation we would make it clear to the Soviets what specific indicators we would employ in deciding whether a SAM system had ABM capability. Those indicators include:

  • —relocation of sites;
  • —changes in radar average power levels, aperture configuration, antenna type, signal characteristics;
  • —addition of acquisition radars or introduction of phased-array site radars;
  • —changes in missile characteristics (range, acceleration, burn-out velocity, payload, propellants, exo-atmospheric capability);
  • —testing of SAMs in ABM role;
  • —introduction of new SAM systems;
  • —appearance of nuclear warheads at additional SAM sites.

Where feasible and consistent with security requirements, we will also indicate the specific numerical limits we will use in applying these indicators.

There would be advance notification of the deployment of allowed SAM systems.

Verification

Verification would be accomplished both by national means and by on-site inspection of SAM sites. The on-site inspection provisions would permit examination by trained technical observers of any SA–5 or SA–2 site in the USSR and of equivalent air defense missile sites in the United States. Inspections would be limited to an agreed number each year. Sites to be inspected would be chosen by the inspecting party, with inspection to follow within no more than a few hours of designation. The inspectors would have access to site launch areas, assembly and service areas, and radar and/or battery control areas. Several interceptors should be available on their launchers, and all radar antennas must be available for viewing. Command and control and battery fire distribution equipment should also be available for observation. Throughout the inspection, pictures may be taken of the external configuration of all equipment; however, inspectors need not be authorized to physically operate any item, or mount sensors on the components, or view internal characteristics.

The inspection would include search for evidence of:

  • —storage or placement of nuclear warheads on air defense missiles not previously so equipped;
  • —changes in missile characteristics enhancing ABM potential (different warheads, nozzle changes, altered or detachable lift and control surfaces, presence of devices for improved endo and exo-atmospheric maneuver, changes in propellants);
  • —changes in radar characteristics enhancing ABM potential (increased power, or power generation facilities, changes in antenna size or configuration, increased numbers of radars).

(b) NCA Defense ABM Level Limitation

Deployment of ABMs would be limited to those appropriate to a defense of the National Command Authority (Moscow and Washington). One hundred ABM launchers and interceptors of any type would be permitted, together with associated radars.

The Soviet Union would retain its present radars and ABM launchers, and could add up to 36 additional launchers with associated radars around Moscow. (We would seek the dismantling of Soviet Hen Houses, as in the case of the zero ABM level, with the same alternative fall-back of comparable radars for the U.S. if agreement cannot be reached.)

The U.S. would be allowed to deploy a roughly equivalent system, comprising one PAR, one MSR, and 100 ABM launchers centered on a defense of the Washington, D.C. area (but covering a large area of the eastern United States).

The provision with respect to future non-ABM radars outlined in the discussion of zero ABM levels (on pp. 45–51 above)7 would apply.

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and strategic anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

ABM research, development and testing would be permitted. In addition, confidence firings would be permitted. All such ABM interceptor flight tests and confidence firings would, however, be limited to (a) pre-announced flight tests, (b) not more than 30 per year, (c) on not more than 15 launchers, and (d) at agreed test ranges. Testing of mobile land-based, sea-based, air-based, or space-based ABM systems would be prohibited.

Corollary Limitations

The same corollary limitations against the upgrading of SAMs, including the ABM radar limitations, would apply as in the case of the zero level ABM limitation. The advance notification of allowed defensive systems would be extended to include allowed ABM deployment.

Verification

Verification would be by national means and on-site inspection of SAM sites as outlined in the zero ABM case above.

[Omitted here are sections 5 and 6 of Option C, which are identical to those sections of Option A.]

[Page 246]

7. MIRVs

Limitations

The deployment of MIRVs and MRVs would be prohibited. Any MIRVs or MRVs that were already deployed would be withdrawn from operational status. (There should be a specific exception permitting the present deployment and confidence firing of Polaris A–3 missiles, on the grounds that they are well known to have no multiple target capability.)

Corollary Limitations

Flight testing of MIRVs and MRVs would be prohibited. This ban would cover any type of system (e.g., bus, P-ball, rail) which could permit independent targeting of multiple RVs.

In order to prevent flight testing not distinguishable from MIRV-related tests or in which MIRV components could be tested, the following kinds of flight testing would be prohibited: post-boost and atmospheric maneuvering by ballistic missiles and RVs, multiple RVs, RV dispensing mechanisms, and endo-atmospheric penetration aids.

All strategic offensive ballistic missile testing would be restricted to pre-announced firings on agreed ranges.

8. Verification

Verification would be accomplished by national observation of flight tests and by on-site inspection of operational ICBM sites to insure that MIRVs had not been deployed.

The on-site inspection provisions would permit examination of any ICBM or sea-based ballistic missile in the Soviet Union or the United States by trained technical observers. Inspections would be limited to an agreed number each year.

The ICBMs to be inspected would be designated by the inspecting party and would be subject to inspection within one-to-two hours after designation. Visual access to the exterior of the re-entry vehicle or shroud when fully mated to the missile would be provided from all aspects, from a distance of less than five feet. Photography would be permitted, as well as the operation of detectors designed to determine the presence of multiple warheads under shrouds or aerodynamic covering. Nuclear components may remain covered during the inspection.

With respect to sea-based offensive strategic ballistic missiles, missile assembly areas and re-entry vehicle storage areas on board the basing vessel would be subject to on-site inspection at any time the vessel was in port. Inspection would take place within one-to-two hours of designation. Inspectors would not be permitted to enter other parts of the vessel, except as necessary for access to the missile assembly areas [Page 247]and re-entry vehicle storage areas. The procedures for inspection of the missiles would be as for ICBMs. The location of all tenders for basing vessels would be identified.

Missile and warhead construction facilities and test facilities would not be subject to on-site inspection.

9. Verification

Verification of a SALT agreement comprising the provisions outlined in Option C would be accomplished by a combination of reliance upon national means, the provision of mandatory corollary limitations designed to make the over-all restrictions compatible with our verification capabilities, and the on-site inspection provisions outlined above.

There would have to be an understanding not to interfere with national means of verification, defined broadly as technical information collection systems necessary for verifying compliance with the agreement operating outside the national territory of the other state, or to undertake deliberate concealment measures which could impede the effectiveness of national means in verifying compliance with the agreement.

The agreement would also provide for consultations on issues arising out of the provisions of the agreement. A standing joint commission would be established to provide a forum in which the parties could raise issues about compliance and verification, as well as to receive timely notice of certain deployments (e.g., specific changes in the ICBM/SLBM mix, and deployment of new permitted strategic systems), and to discuss possibly necessary or useful adjustment within the framework of the agreement. Selective direct observation or “on-site inspection” on a challenge basis could be requested as a way to check on some suspicious situation.

The agreement would explicitly be predicated on the understanding that neither side would seek to circumvent the provisions and effectiveness of the agreement through a third country. It would contain provisions for consultation in the event of suspected violations, as well as to consider basic changes in the strategic situation (including third-country developments). The agreement would include a clause providing for withdrawal in the event either party decided its supreme national interests were threatened by continued adherence. The agreement would be made subject to formal review at fixed periods (for example, five years). This would create an opportunity for joint consideration of any changed circumstances, for modification of the agreement if deemed advisable, and reaffirmation. It would permit withdrawal without having to charge the other side with violation or to invoke supreme national interest.

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Option D: “Reduction” Agreement

[Omitted here are section 1, subsections “Limitations” and “Corollary Limitations” of Option D, which are identical to those of Option A.]

Reductions

The initial ceiling of 1,710 would be reduced by 100 launchers each year over seven years. After January 1, 1978 the ceiling would be 1,000 total ICBM and SLBM launchers.

Reductions within the ceiling would be accomplished by phasing out ICBM launchers in the order in which they became operational. (With this stipulation, the U.S. would phase out launchers in the following sequence: 150 silos at Malmstrom, Wing I; 54 Titan IIs and 150 silos at Ellsworth, Wing II; 150 silos at Minot, Wing III; 150 silos at Whiteman, Wing IV; 60 silos at Warren, Wing V. The Soviets would phase out launchers in the following sequence: SS–7s and SS–8s, then in parallel SS–9 and SS–11 launchers—approximately one SS–9 group of 6 launchers for every 20 SS–11 silos.)

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

[Omitted here are sections 2 and 3 of Option D, which are identical to those sections of Option A.]

4. ABMs

Either zero or NCA ABM levels with the provisions proposed could be combined with the ICBM reduction feature of Option D.

(a) Zero ABM Level Limitation

Deployment of ABM launchers would be prohibited, and existing ABM launchers and associated radars would be dismantled.

The Soviet Union would have to dismantle its existing Moscow Galosh ABM defenses. Specifically, the USSR would within three months of the time the agreement came into effect dismantle the Dog House radar, the radar under construction at Chekhov, the four Try Add radar complexes, and the 64-launcher complex around Moscow. (Radars would be dismantled by disassembly and removal of all structures supporting or mounting radar faces; launchers would be dismantled by removal of all interceptors and launch vehicles and observable destruction of launch pads. Interceptors could be used for R&D testing.) The U.S. would also propose that the Soviets dismantle the uncompleted Hen House radar near Sevastopol. The Soviets could keep the Skrunda and Olenegorsk large early-warning and tracking Hen House radars, and the Sary Shagan and Mishelevka early-warning, test range and space-track Hen House radars in Siberia, some [Page 249]faces of which face the Chinese missile threat, including portions of those radar complexes still under construction. We would inform the Soviets that we regard the continued existence of these radars as tolerable only because of their vulnerability and that we would view increases in SAM defense of these radars as a violation of the agreement.

The U.S. would cancel Safeguard deployment. No existing U.S. radars would be destroyed. We could retain or replace the three large BMEWs early-warning radars, and the large phased-array space-track radar at Eglin AFB, Florida (as well as the MSR ABM test radar at Kwajalein). (If the Soviets insisted on building the Sevastopol radar for early-warning, the U.S. would retain the right to build a radar or radars providing comparable additional coverage for early-warning.)

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and strategic anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

Limitations would be placed on radars suitable for an ABM role. Apart from agreement on the disposition of existing radars possessing technical capabilities for contributing to an ABM system, as specified above, there would be agreement to consult in the future on non-ABM radar requirements and plans with a view to meeting legitimate needs of the two countries in ways which did not create suspicion or concern over possible circumvention of the ABM radar limitation. It would be agreed that non-ABM-associated radars would be distinguished by established criteria: location, orientation, elevation angle, power, frequency, aperture size, and antenna type (phased-array or mechanical scan). For example, if the Soviets said they wanted to build a phased-array radar for air traffic control at Moscow, we would have the right to insist that it be located with an orientation way from any missile threat corridors; it would then not be necessary to apply other criteria. If, in another case, the Soviets said they needed a radar located within and facing a threat corridor, we would be able to insist that an application of other criteria appropriate to the situation rule out an ABM role for the radar; for example, a high elevation angle could limit the radar to a non-ABM space track role. The Soviets, of course, could similarly insist we handle future non-ABM radar needs in ways which did not permit us to acquire ABM capabilities.

ABM research, development, and testing would be permitted. All flight-testing would, however, be limited to (a) pre-announced flight tests, (b) not more than 25 per year, (c) on not more than 10 launchers, and (d) at agreed test ranges.

Definition

It is not necessary to develop an agreed definition of an “ABM,” but there must be at least an agreed understanding on what constitutes a present or potential ABM. Each side will declare its systems. The [Page 250]understanding would recognize as ABMs the Soviet Galosh ABM–1, Spartan, and Sprint, but would not include anti-aircraft systems such as the Soviet systems SA–1 through SA–5 and Nike–Hercules and Hawk.

Corollary Limitations

There would be a ban on flight testing of SAMs in an ABM mode.

In the process of negotiation we would make it clear to the Soviets what specific indicators we would employ in deciding whether a SAM system had ABM capability. Those indicators include:

  • —relocation of sites;
  • —changes in radar average power levels, aperture configuration, antenna type, signal characteristics;
  • —addition of acquisition radars or introduction of phased-array site radars;
  • —changes in missile characteristics (range, acceleration, burn-out velocity, payload, propellants, exo-atmospheric capability);
  • —testing of SAMs in ABM role;
  • —introduction of new SAM systems;
  • —appearance of nuclear warheads at additional SAM sites.

Where feasible and consistent with security requirements, we will also indicate the specific numerical limits we will use in applying these indicators.

There would be advance notification of the deployment of allowed SAM systems.

Verification

Verification would be accomplished by national means, facilitated by and in conjunction with the above corollary limitations.

(b) NCA Defense ABM Level Limitation

Deployment of ABMs would be limited to those appropriate to a defense of the National Command Authority (Moscow and Washington). One hundred ABM launchers, and interceptors, of any type would be permitted, together with associated radars.

The Soviet Union would retain its present radars and ABM launchers, and could add up to 36 additional launchers with associated radars around Moscow—to serve a total of no more than 100 interceptors. (We would seek the dismantling of the Sevastopol Hen House, as in the case of the zero ABM level, with the same alternative fall-back of a comparable radar or radars for the U.S. as a counterpart if Sevastopol is retained.)

The U.S. would be allowed to deploy a roughly equivalent system, comprising 3–6 PAR faces, 4 MSR faces, and 100 ABM launchers and interceptors centered on a defense of the Washington, D.C. area (but covering a large area of the eastern United States).

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The provision with respect to future non-ABM radars outlined in the discussion of zero ABM levels (on pp. 25–29 above)8 would apply.

Upgrading of SAMs to convert them into ABMs or to provide dual anti-aircraft and strategic anti-missile capability would be prohibited.

ABM research, development and testing would be permitted. In addition, confidence firings would be permitted. All such ABM interceptor flight tests and confidence firings would, however, be limited to (a) pre-announced flight tests, (b) not more than 30 per year, (c) on not more than 15 launchers, and (d) at agreed test ranges. Testing of mobile land-based, sea-based, air-based, or space-based ABM systems would be prohibited.

Corollary Limitations

The same corollary limitations against the upgrading of SAMs, including the ABM radar limitations, would apply as in the case of the zero level ABM limitation. The advance notification of allowed defensive systems would be extended to include allowed ABM deployment.

Verification

Verification would be by national means, facilitated by and in conjunction with the corollary limitations.

[Omitted here is section 5 of Option D, which is identical to that section of Option A.]

6. Strategic Bombers (and Defenses against Bombers)

Limitations

Heavy strategic bombers would be limited to the numbers currently operational. This category would be defined as presently comprising B–52, Bison, and Bear bombers. (The U.S. at present has 516 B–52 bombers (472 operational); the USSR has 195 Bison and Bear bombers.)

No limitation would be placed on substitution of new heavy strategic bomber types, nor would other qualitative limitations on these bombers be sought. There would be notification of intended deployment of new bomber types.

If the Soviets agree to remove SS–9s before smaller missiles in the process of reduction of ICBMs, the U.S. would agree to reduce its total number of operational B–52s by at least 40 by the end of each year for five years starting in 1971. Thereafter the total number of U.S. heavy and medium bombers would not exceed 325. The Soviets would not have to reduce their bomber force.

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No limitation would be placed on armament of any kind carried by aircraft.

Corollary Limitations

The conversion of transport aircraft for use as strategic bombers would be prohibited.

No limitation would be placed on aircraft other than bombers; bombers used as tankers (about 50 Bisons) are, however, reconvertible to the bomber role, and are counted in the bomber ceiling.

No corollary limitations on defenses against bombers would be included, other than limitations on SAM systems specified in connection with preventing SAM upgrade to ABMs. Improvements in air defenses could be offset by improvements in bomber systems within the prescribed ceilings.

Verification

Verification would be by national means.

[Omitted here are sections 7 and 8 of Option D, which are identical to those sections of Option A.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, National Security Decision Memoranda, Nos. 51–96. Top Secret; Nodis. Initialed by Haig. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and senior members of the U.S. SALT Delegation. At 2:45 p.m., before Rogers received his copy, Kissinger called to tell him that Nixon had chosen the position that the Secretary of State wanted. Kissinger asked Rogers to send him views on possible tactics at the Vienna round. (Transcript of telephone conversation; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 362, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)
  2. On April 10 Nixon sent Smith a letter with instructions for Vienna in which he explained the political significance of the talks: “The Vienna talks are part of a larger effort I envisage in the development of our relations with the Soviet Union. On a number of different fronts we are dealing with sources of tension and conflict between us. It is my hope that there is a mutual interest in progress on all the major outstanding issues. Thus far there is little reason for optimism, but the Vienna talks may well be a major test of our basic assumptions.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA Files:FRC 383–97–0010, Smith/Farley Chronological Files, Smith–White House Correspondence, January–December 1970)
  3. See footnote 4, Document 40.
  4. Top Secret. Nixon initialed the title sheet, the first page describing each option, and the last page.
  5. We would initially seek an equal agreed number, so that the U.S. would have the option of building up to 348 SLCM launchers, but be prepared to bargain. [Footnote is in the original.]
  6. Reference is to section 4(a) above.
  7. Reference is to section 4(a) above.
  8. Reference is to section 4(a) under Option A above.