190. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Vice President Mondale, Secretary of State Vance, and Secretary of Defense Brown1


  • Instructions for the SALT Delegation

Based on the meeting of the Special Coordination Committee on November 22nd,2 the President has approved the following guidance for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.

Aggregate/MIRV Levels. The US Delegation should attempt to elicit a proposal from the Soviet Delegation on a compromise aggregate level and effective date. If the Soviets make such a proposal, the US Delega [Page 797] tion should seek an aggregate level as close to 2160 as possible, but a level of 2200 is acceptable. The effective date for completion of dismantling should be the expiration date of the Protocol. Dismantling should take place over the same schedule established for reaching the 2400 aggregate; i.e., six months for SLBM launchers, four months for ICBM launchers, and three months for heavy bombers. The US Delegation should maintain the current position of a limit of 1200 on launchers of MIRVed missiles.

New Types of SLBMs. The US Delegation prefers to prohibit new SLBM types except the Trident I and SS–NX–18. However, the US prefers no limits on new types of SLBMs to the Soviet proposal for exempting the Typhoon SLBM.

Principles for SALT Three. The US Delegation should continue to seek Soviet agreement to our proposed Principles for SALT Three. The US Delegation should not broach or comment on the issue of gray-area systems negotiations pending completion of the ongoing interagency analysis of this issue and further discussions of this issue with our Allies.

Non-Circumvention/Non-Transfer. At this time, the US Delegation should maintain the current position on this issue. At an appropriate time, the Chairman of the US Delegation will be authorized to informally seek to determine whether the US fallback non-circumvention formula might serve as an acceptable compromise on this issue. However, the US Delegation should not discuss this possibility with the Soviets in any manner pending completion of the initial Quadripar-tite discussions of this issue and appropriate authorization from Washington.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 56, SALT: Chronology: 10/5/77–11/22/77. Top Secret; Sensitive. The memorandum was also sent to the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of Central Intelligence.
  2. The Summary of Conclusions of the meeting is ibid.