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


  • U.S. SALT Positions

Based on the September 2 meeting of the National Security Council,2 the President has approved the following comprehensive package to be outlined by Ambassador Warnke to Foreign Minister Gromyko in Moscow, looking to the meetings with Gromyko to take place in the United States later this month.

Comprehensive Package

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1. Exemptions
—ICBMs Test and deploy one new type
—SLBMs No limits
2. Fractionation
—ICBMs Fractionation freeze on current types and limit of 10 on new types
—SLBMs Fractionation limit of 14 RVs/SLBM
3. Definition US-proposed definition
4. Size of ICBM
Exemption/Heavy Mobile Missiles
Light exemption; ban heavy mobile missiles
5. Number of ALCMs per Heavy Bomber No limits; statement on capabilities for Protocol period, SALT THREE, etc.
6. Cruise Missile Definition Current US position + ALCM airframe type rule
7. Cruise Missile Range Definition Odometer allowance + authority to include fuel reserve allowance
8. Intercontinental Cruise Missile Ban on ICCMs through 1985
9. Multiple Warhead Cruise Missile No limits; statement on capabilities for Protocol period, SALT THREE, etc., regarding ALCMs only
10. Depressed Trajectories Ban testing SLBMs on depressed trajectories
11. Dismantling to 2250/Duration of Protocol If Soviets will accept June 30, 1981, expiration of Protocol, we are prepared to accept June 30, 1981, as date for completion of dismantling.

Having presented our comprehensive package to Foreign Minister Gromyko, Ambassador Warnke should make the following points on Backfire:

1. The comprehensive package we are advancing is fair and balanced and responsive to your concerns.

2. The President has directed me personally to stress strongly to you the importance of the Backfire issue to a stable and mutually fair SALT agreement. This is a centrally important strategic as well as political issue in which the President has a direct and personal interest and which also could affect materially the prospects for ratification of a SALT agreement. I also must note to you that the Backfire flight profile that you have provided us does not stand up to any rational analysis and is inconsistent with earlier Soviet statements on Backfire range.

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3. The Backfire issue can be resolved only if all other outstanding SALT issues are resolved on the basis of the comprehensive package which we have presented.

The approved statement on number of ALCMs per heavy bomber and on multiple warhead cruise missiles is attached.3

The specifics on other issues in the comprehensive package are as contained in the instruction to the U.S. SALT Delegation concerning follow-on implementation, which is being separately issued.4

The President has also approved the following alternative positions on issues in the comprehensive package for possible presentation subsequent to the Warnke-Gromyko meeting, depending on developments: SLBM fractionation—no limits or 10 RVs; ICBM new types definition—the Soviet-proposed definition; ICCMs—no limits.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harold Brown Papers, Box 11, Harold Brown–Private File–SALT 1978. 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. Brzezinski initialed at the bottom of each page.
  2. See Document 210.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. Document 211.