192. 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 to the SALT Delegation

Based on the meeting of the Special Coordination Committee on January 9th, the President has approved the following guidance for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.2

Heavy Bomber Variants/ALCM-Carrier Type Rules. The US Delegation should explore with the Soviets an approach under which the sides agree on a counting rule based on functionally-related observable differences, employing cooperative measures where required for verification, for distinguishing between: (1) heavy bombers and heavy bomber variants and (2) heavy bombers equipped with long-range ALCMs and other aircraft. However, before broaching this issue with the Soviets, the US Delegation should await further guidance from Washington on situations in which cooperative measures might be required and the nature of such measures.

MIRV Verification. The US can accept a resolution of the Derazhnya and Pervomaysk one type/two types issue through an approach in which the sides agree that in the future, MIRVed and unMIRVed missiles will not be deployed in launchers that have the same external appearance. The US Delegation should provide recommended language to effect this outcome for Washington review.

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Aggregate/MIRV Levels. The previous guidance on this issue based on the November 22, 1977 SCC meeting remains valid.3 However, the US Delegation should maintain the present position on this issue, pending a decision on the possibility of coupling this issue to the new types single-RV ICBM exemption.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 56, SALT: Chronology: 11/23/77–4/20/78. Top Secret; Sensitive. 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. “Jan 9, 1978 (?)” is handwritten at the top of the first page.
  2. In an undated memorandum to Carter, Brzezinski summarized the January 9 SCC meeting, which asked the Working Group to conduct more analysis on the cruise missile range definition, ICBM new types exemption, SALT III principles, and Backfire issues. The SCC decided to pursue a functionally-related observable differences (FRODS) approach to the heavy bomber variant and ALCM-carrier issues, consult with the NATO allies on the non-circumvention fallback, and seek Soviet agreement that in the future MIRVed and unMIRVed missiles would not be deployed in launchers that had the same external appearance. In this same memorandum, Brzezinski asked for and received Carter’s approval of the instructions to the SALT Delegation. (Ibid.)
  3. See Document 190.