211. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Vice President Mondale, Secretary of State Vance, and Secretary of Defense Brown)1


  • Instructions to the US SALT Delegation

Based on the September 1, 1978, meeting of the Special Coordination Committee and the September 2, 1978, meeting of the National Security Council,2 the President has approved the following instructions for the US SALT Delegation:

Depressed Trajectory Ban. Delegation should indicate to the Soviets that we would like to include in the agreement a ban on the flight [Page 874] testing of SLBMs in depressed trajectories. The following definition for a depressed trajectory should be proposed:

A depressed trajectory is one for which the time of flight of a missile outside the atmosphere, i.e., the time its altitude is greater than 100,000 meters, is less than 80 percent of the time of flight of a missile on a minimum energy trajectory from the same launch point to the same impact point.

Dismantling/Destruction Procedures for Bombers. Delegation should indicate to the Soviets that we would be prepared to discuss in the Standing Consultative Commission any proposals which the Soviet Union might have on the issue of dismantling, destruction, and conversion procedures for bombers.

Telemetry Encryption. In light of the RV telemetry encryption on the July 29 SS–18 test, Delegation should again raise the telemetry encryption issue with the Soviets following the approach taken in the attached talking points.3

Cruise Missile Range Allowance. Delegation should indicate to Soviets that, as supplement to MSOR definition of cruise missile range, US can accept following odometer range allowances for all cruise missiles (including land-attack and antiship):

—120 percent allowance for 600 km range limitations;

—40 percent allowance for 2500 km range limitations; and

—20 percent allowance for 5500 km range limitations.

Delegation is authorized to indicate that US could modify above proposal to include fuel reserves, in which case range allowances noted above would, however, have to be increased somewhat. If Soviets agree in principle to this approach, Washington will provide guidance on allowances. Delegation may table appropriate language for implementing odometer allowance only approach but should consult with Washington prior to tabling language for approach that includes fuel reserves.

Cruise Missile Definition. Delegation is authorized to propose, as a supplement to US position on cruise missile definition, the following rule: cruise missiles capable of a range in excess of 600 km flight-tested from or deployed on aircraft shall have externally observable design features which distinguish them from air-launched cruise missiles not capable of such ranges. To the extent that the provisions of subparagraph 3c of Article II and Article VIII of the Treaty apply after the period of the Protocol only to air-launched cruise missiles that are nuclear-weapon-delivery vehicles, as will be the case in the absence of [Page 875] further agreement, then air-launched cruise missiles capable of a range in excess of 600 km which are conventional-weapon-delivery vehicles would have to have externally observable design features to distinguish them from air-launched cruise missiles which are nuclear-weapon-delivery vehicles.

With the exception of the instruction on Dismantling/Destruction Procedures for Bombers, these instructions should not be implemented until after Ambassador Warnke’s trip to Moscow.

Zbigniew Brzezinski4
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 56, SALT: Chronology: 7/11/78–9/8/78. 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.
  2. The Summary of Conclusions of the SCC meeting is ibid. For the NSC meeting, see Document 210.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears Brzezinski’s typed signature.