104. National Security Decision Memorandum 3031


  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Deputy Secretary of State
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Chairman, US SALT Delegation


  • Instructions for the SALT Talks in Geneva

The President has approved the following instructions for the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks. These instructions supplement those contained in NSDM 285 and NSDM 301.2

1. The Delegation should indicate to the Soviets that the US is willing to ban the development, testing, and deployment of the following systems:

—Land-based cruise missiles of intercontinental range;

—Ballistic missiles capable of ranges greater than 600 km carried on waterborne vehicles other than submarines;

—Installations for launching ballistic missiles which could be emplaced on the seabed or ocean floor, including territorial seas or inland waters.

2. The Delegation should propose the following definition of a cruise missile:

A cruise missile is any armed, unmanned, self-propelled, guided missile which sustains flight through use of aerodynamic lift over most of its range.

3. The following language should be substituted for the current US version of Article VII of the Joint Draft Text:3

[Page 465]

a. The limitation provided for in Article III of this agreement shall not apply to ICBM and SLBM test and training launchers.

b. The parties agree that:

(1) There shall be no significant increase in the number of ICBM or SLBM test and training launchers or in the number of such launchers for heavy ICBMs.

(2) Construction or conversion of ICBM launchers at test ranges shall be undertaken only for purposes of testing and training.

(3) Operational ICBM and SLBM launchers used for testing or training shall be considered operational launchers.

In discussing the proposed language for Article VII, the Delegation should indicate that it is the US interpretation of Article VII that all operational launchers, wherever located, should be counted in the 2400 aggregate. The Delegation should also state that in the US view an increase of 15% would constitute a “significant increase” within the meaning of paragraph 2a of Article VII and solicit a Soviet response to this statement.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: Ford Library, NSC Institutional Files, Box 61, NSDM 303, Instructions for SALT Talks in Geneva. Top Secret; Sensitive. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of Central Intelligence. On August 13, Molander and Sonnenfeldt sent Schlesinger’s comments on a draft of this NSDM to Kissinger, under a covering memorandum in which they explained the Secretary of Defense’s two objections. To meet Schlesinger’s first objection Kissinger approved the recommendation to “redraft the NSDM to provide for an indefinite delay in tabling the proposed ban on cruise missiles above 600 km range carried on aircraft other than heavy bombers.” Kissinger wrote “crazy” in the margin of the paragraph in which Molander and Sonnenfeldt stated that Schlesinger wanted to “change the cruise missile definition in paragraph 2 to read ‘nuclear-armed’ rather than ‘armed.’” (Ibid.)
  2. Documents 93 and 99.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 99.