82. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • SALT Objectives and Tactics

The Vienna SALT talks have come to the point at which we must assess our position and provide new instructions to the Delegation. I believe these instructions should take the form of a new proposal with which we can attempt to achieve an agreement at Vienna by mid-October or, at the latest, November. Negotiation of at least a limited agreement at Vienna which halts Soviet construction of offensive missile launchers, which possibly limits ABMs, and which forms the basis for discussion of a more complete agreement at Helsinki is important for three reasons.

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  • —Taking advantage of the Soviet delegation’s apparent desire to reach some agreement at Vienna, it could place immediate constraints on their current deployment of SS–9s, SS–11s, and SLBMs and commit them to further discussion of specific issues at Helsinki.
  • —The squeeze on the national budget is getting tighter, as will become apparent by December, when the FY72 budget is in final preparation. The large reductions in Defense programs, including strategic forces, which likely will be necessary as a result of the nation’s economic problems will be much more acceptable to the Congress and the public if there has been visible progress in SALT. The economic situation should not stampede us into either unilateral force reductions which endanger our security or a hasty and ill-conceived agreement with the Soviet Union. It does, however, have a significant effect on the timing of our SALT tactics.
  • —The public disclosure in December of unilateral strategic force reductions would decrease our bargaining leverage with the Soviets if no agreement had been concluded, but could be offered as a sign of good intentions if a limited agreement had been negotiated.

Several decisions are needed at this time.

Do we want to press for an agreement in Vienna by November?
If so, what new proposal should the Delegation be authorized to make?
What should be our tactics at Vienna? The alternatives include:
  • —break for a few weeks now and reconvene at Vienna after we have a new proposal;
  • —present a new proposal, then break in mid-July and reconvene in August at Vienna, after Moscow has considered our proposal;
  • —press for an agreement at Vienna, with no break.

I have attached the outline of a proposed initial agreement with the Soviets. I would like to present this proposal at the Principals’meeting next Wednesday.2

David Packard


Outline for Proposed Limited Agreement

Mix of ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers (B–52, Bear, Bison, Cass A) at total level of 1900 ± 100, with the exact limits to be negotiated within 6 months after the agreement is signed.

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Soviet SLCMs, Medium Bombers, MR/IRBMs set aside as is U.S. forward air.

No constraints on characteristics (i.e. mobility, payload, etc.) except missiles of SS–9 size cannot exceed 250. (Possibly require no new silo construction?)

The U.S. will reduce its Safeguard or other defense of Minuteman or bombers4 (about 400 interceptors) in proportion to the reduction the Soviets are willing to make in the 250 SS–9 force (9s can be replaced by other systems).

Area ABM Possibilities

Conditions on Soviets U.S. System
1. Destroy the Moscow System and those Hen Houses which observe U.S. threat tubes. Extensive SAM controls, but no on-site inspection.5 Zero Area ABM
2. Keep Hen Houses and Moscow system. Extensive SAM controls, but no on-site inspection. 7 site PAR network plus NCA defense
3. Keep Hen Houses and Moscow system. Limited SAM controls. 7 site PAR plus MSR network with area interceptors whose level depends on extent of SAM controls and Soviet ABM.
4. Temporarily setting aside specific conditions on area defense component of ABM, but agree to negotiate these within one year of signing the agreement.6 Continue present Safeguard program for one year at least.

Understanding that discussion of mutual reductions in both offense and ABM defense are to follow first agreement.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330–76–076, Box 12, USSR, 388.3. Top Secret; Sensitive. An attached note indicates that copies were sent to Rogers, Helms, Wheeler, and Farley.
  2. June 24.
  3. Secret.
  4. If a zero area ABM is agreed to, then the Minuteman or Bomber defense would have to be a system other than Safeguard. [Footnote is in the original.]
  5. Preferred possibilities. [Footnote is in the original.]
  6. Preferred possibilities. [Footnote is in the original.]