12. Memorandum for the Record1

CJCS Memo M–10–73


  • Meeting with SecDef, Monday, 12 February 1973 [1602/1811]


  • (1) Bargaining Leverage Options

1. SALT Discussion (Tucker). SecDef agreed NSDM 197.2 SecDef said do we have leverage? Is Trident and B–1 enough? How might we use other defense programs as leverage? Can we propose another program? Problems:

—Penetration ABM (a) MIRV and (b) Maneuverability

—Mobile Minuteman


Tucker presented curve showing options for MIRV and he states “. . . Soviets have hard kill and can exceed US missiles. Soviets can beat us in warheads.

2. SecDef to Paul Nitze: What capability do Soviets have to project? Ans: Good, they are prepared to launch on warning.

—Wood (1) New silos harder (2) testing silos for hardness.

SecDef: Each side aware capabilities of both sides destabilizing.

Tucker: Some question of vulnerability of Minuteman.

—MIRVing and MIRV. We opposed MIRV ban because:

(1) Penetrate ABM

(2) We argued that made Treaty on ABM because of MIRV

(3) Target coverage

(4) MIRV Ban did not solve threat of SST

Wood: Upgrade of SAM. Possible use of MARV (maneuvering vehicle) some development funded in Trident (ABRES). Have flown 500 pound missile. A MIRVed MARV is a problem.

SecDef: What is advantage of MIRVed MARV? We may need MARV to deter upgrade of SAM. Piece together a program that gets sufficiency without freezing Soviets in a position of inferiority.

Tucker: Mobile Minuteman

[Page 41]

Wood: Approaches (1) Offroad mobile; (2) Public lands 18,000 square miles. Soviets can cover with barrage. Rule out Mobile ICBM (3) Shelter basing cost 1/2M/shelter (1.3).

Tucker: Must have freedom to mix from LB to SB.

Wood: If we go three shelters per missile the 70% or 700 survival—then 100 on 6 MARVs plus 100 on industry would provide assured destruction. Then we could agree MIRV Ban. Soviets partial ban—US no throw weight limit. If shelters permitted they could build at rate.

Where go from here?3

Tucker: (1) Maintain present posture (2) Do homework:

a. Specifics on time-phased reductions;

b. What leverage do we need to force Soviets to negotiate with costs

c. Formulate what alternatives can use—MARVs, MIRVs, Mobile Shelters, etc.

SecDef: How can we make it credible? How can we convince Congress? If we lean too hard we may give impression we made bad deal. If we don’t make case then can’t convince Congress. Thus we need a sequential negotiating game plan. Deal is okay deal if Soviets had been willing to adhere to parity. No MIRV no accuracy improvement. Becoming clear that the Soviets are now exploiting Agreement and are trying to get superiority.

3. Leave on 8 March. SecDef will arrange Congressional Briefing.

4. Tucker: (1) Stay with posture (2) R&D strategy that will let us surface leverage (3) ICBM survivability (4) What are combinations that will give stable parity? (5) Short time actions if President wants to talk to the Soviets. We should not use FBS now. But FBS must be used as bargaining chip. How do we convert FBS into bargaining chip?

T.H. Moorer4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, January 1973 to March 1973. Sensitive; Hold Close. The undated enclosure, “Bargaining Leverage Options,” is not printed. Brackets are in the original.
  2. Document 7.
  3. This sentence was handwritten in an unknown hand.
  4. Moorer initialed “TM” above this typed signature.