202. Summary of Conclusions of a Meeting of the Special Coordination Committee1


  • SALT


  • State
  • Secretary Cyrus Vance
  • Mr. Leslie Gelb, Director, Politico/Military Affairs
  • Defense
  • Secretary Harold Brown
  • Deputy Secretary Charles Duncan
  • Walter Slocombe, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs
  • JCS
  • General David Jones
  • Lt Gen William Smith, Assistant to the Chairman, JCS
  • CIA
  • Dr. Robert Bowie, Deputy Director
  • Ray McCrory, Chief, SALT Staff
  • ACDA
  • Paul Warnke
  • Spurgeon Keeny, Deputy Director
  • White House
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • David Aaron
  • NSC
  • Reginald Bartholomew
  • Roger Molander
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Cruise Missile Definition. We should maintain our current position on the cruise missile definition issue. The Working Group should analyze further the possibility of supplementing our current proposal with an airframe type rule that would allow the sides to distinguish between long-range and short-range and between conventionally-armed and nuclear-armed ALCMs.

Cruise Missile Range Definition. We should seek Soviet agreement to an approach whereby for land-attack cruise missiles, the “maximum system operational range” concept is supplemented by an odometer range allowance for operational factors. For antiship cruise missiles, we would retain the “maximum system operational range concept” but not supplement it with an odometer range allowance. If the Soviets accept this approach, we should propose a 40 percent odometer range allowance for 2500 km ALCMs for bargaining purposes. We will decide at a later date what the minimal acceptable odometer range allowance is. The Working Group should analyze the acceptable odometer allowance for 600 km land-attack ALCMs and for land-attack GLCMs and SLCMs.

Dismantling to Reach 2250: “Assured Inoperability.” In the context of Soviet agreement to our proposal for initiation of dismantling on January 1, 1980 and expiration of the Protocol on December 31, 1980, the US can accept the concept of placing systems to be reduced in an initial stage of inoperability under the following criteria:

ICBMs. Destruction of silo headworks.

SLBMs. Removal of missile tubes and reinforcing collars; place missile tubes on static display pending completion of full dismantling procedures.

Heavy Bombers. Cut the bomber fuselage in two pieces; leave these pieces on display pending completion of full dismantling procedures.

The US should propose this approach under the following conditions: (1) all systems to be eliminated should satisfy the assured inoperability criteria cited above by April 30, 1980; and (2) the first one-third of the systems to be dismantled should satisfy the full dismantling procedures by June 30, 1980, the second one-third by September 30, 1980, and the final one-third by December 31, 1980.

Telemetry Encryption. The Chairman of the US SALT Delegation should reiterate to the Soviets that we understand the provisions of Article XV regarding deliberate concealment measures to prohibit the deliberate denial of telemetry by measures such as encryption which impede verification of compliance with the provisions of the agreement and seek Soviet confirmation that they have a similar understanding.

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New Types. We should propose to the Soviets that in the context of an exemption (MIRVed or unMIRVed) to the ban on new types of ICBMs, any exempt MIRVed ICBM should not be tested or deployed with a number of RVs greater than the maximum number tested or deployed by either side as of April 15, 1978. If there are exemptions to a ban on new types of SLBMs, a similar limit on exempt MIRVed SLBMs would apply.

Mobile ICBMs. The Secretary of Defense raised an important issue for resolution concerning the relationship between multiple aim point mobile M–X concepts and SALT launcher definition. It was agreed to review the issue at the next SCC meeting.2

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 56, SALT: Chronology: 4/21/78–7/10/78. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. On May 15, Warnke sent Carter a memorandum in which he voiced grave concerns that Brown’s question raised the possibility of “virtual abandonment of SALT as it has thus far been conceived and negotiated.” Warnke urged Carter to “direct the Defense Department to consider M–X options which are consistent with this agreed language, specifically disapproving for the life of the SALT Two agreement the concept based on proliferation of ICBM silos.” (Ibid.) On May 17, Brzezinski sent the Summary of Conclusions and corresponding instructions for the SALT Delegation to Carter under a covering memorandum that reads: “You will note that Harold Brown raised the question as to whether the latest DOD multiple aim point mobile ICBM concept—proliferation of ICBM silos with a transporter which covertly moves a ‘launcher capsule’ from silo-to-silo—would be permitted under SALT.” Brzezinski concluded: “This is a very sensitive and critical issue which could lead to major problems in the negotiations if Defense argues at this late stage that we should go to the Soviets and seek explicit acceptance of such a multiple silo mobile ICBM concept.” Carter approved the instructions. (Ibid.)