74. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


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


  • Clarification of Provisions of the NSDM 51 SALT Options Paper

This memo clarifies three substantive issues which arose in connection with review by the Backstopping Committee of the Delegation’s draft statement for the negotiating session Monday, April 20:2

Volume limits on new ICBMs: To make it clear that SS–11-type missiles are permitted, the volume limit should be 70 cubic meters, not 65. This affects all four options.
Mobile ABMs: The reference in the NCA-level ABM provisions of Options B, C, and D to “one hundred ABM launchers, and interceptors, of any type” being permitted means that no distinctions would be drawn between terminal and area interceptors, not that mobiles would be permitted. Deployment as well as testing of mobile land-based, sea-based, air-based, or space-based ABM systems would be prohibited under all options.
Challenge inspections: The challenge inspections referred to in the general verification section of Option C would be in addition to those explicitly provided for in connection with the ban on SAM upgrading and on MIRV/MRV deployment.

The attached pages should be inserted to incorporate these clarifications in the official text of the NSDM 51 SALT Options paper.3

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 877, SALT, SALT talks (Vienna), Vol. VIII, April 9–May 10, 1970. Top Secret. Haig initialed the memorandum.
  2. See footnote 6, Document 71.
  3. The pages are attached but not printed. NSDM 51 with the attached SALT options paper is Documnt 68.