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


  • SALT


  • State
  • Secretary Cyrus Vance
  • Jerry Kahan, Dep. Dir., Political-Military Aff.
  • OSD
  • Secretary Harold Brown
  • Charles Duncan (DepSec)
  • Walter Slocombe, Prin. Dep. Asst. Sec. for Intl. Security Affairs
  • JCS
  • General David Jones
  • Lt Gen William Y. Smith
  • CIA
  • Admiral Stansfield Turner
  • Ray McCrory, Chief, SALT Task Force
  • ACDA
  • Director George Seignious
  • Spurgeon Keeny, Dep. Dir.
  • White House
  • Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • David Aaron
  • NSC
  • Reginald Bartholomew
  • Roger Molander


1. Telemetry. The issue was whether to reiterate in Geneva any or all of the statement which Secy. Vance made to Foreign Minister Gromyko on December 23 regarding extending the encryption practiced on the July 29, 1978 SS test to a new or modified ICBM.2 Stan Turner favored a complete reiteration of the statement and noting to the Soviets in Geneva that Foreign Minister Gromyko had not registered any disagreement with the statement.3 Cy Vance argued that it would be insulting to Gromyko to describe their exchange on this issue, in particular, since President Carter would also make the statement to President Brezhnev at the Summit. David Jones emphasized the importance of [Page 926] having as tight a negotiating record as possible on the telemetry encryption issue. The consensus decision was to have Ralph Earle reiterate the statement on the July 29 test (with a reference to the December 21 test and without the reference to the President’s making the statement at the Summit); however, Earle would not make any comment on Gromyko’s lack of response to the statement on December 23.

2. Number of ALCMs per Heavy Bomber. The issue was how to respond to the Soviet proposal for a US statement that we did not plan to deploy more than 20 ALCMs on any (vice existing) heavy bombers through 1985. It was agreed that we should reject this proposal. Cy Vance proposed that we offer to remove the modifier “existing” with respect to B–1s in our statement on deploying more than 20 ALCMs on existing heavy bombers. Harold Brown and David Jones objected to this proposal because of the option under consideration to deploy more than 20 ALCMs on a modified B–1. It was decided to present this issue to the President for a decision.4

3. AS–3 / SRAM Racks. The issue was how to handle the mid-1960s tests of the AS–3 carried on 69 Bear bombers to over 600 km, and the Soviet claim that all B–52s with SRAM racks should count in the 1320 because the ALCM–A was launched from a SRAM rack. It was decided to defer a decision on whether to link these issues and focus on the AS–3 problem. It was decided to seek clarification from the Soviets on the AS–3 issue to determine whether the tests to over 600 km did take place, whether the AS–3 currently deployed is the same as that tested to over 600 km, and whether the Soviets believe tests to over 600 km should be permitted for cruise missiles with ostensible ranges less than 600 km. In the latter context it was decided to propose including the criterion “or maximum demonstrated range, whichever is greater” in the cruise missile range definition. Further decisions on this issue will await the Soviet response to our requests for clarification.

4. MM II/MM III Distinguishability and Minuteman Shelters. The issue was when to cease use of the Minuteman environmental shelters and whether to propose a common understanding prohibiting the use of shelters which impede verification, even if they are not for the purpose of deliberate concealment. David [Jones] has indicated that it would be preferable not to cease the use of the shelters until late spring, e.g., around May 31. It was decided that we could accept an April 30, 1979 date for ceasing use of the shelters and that we should seek a common understanding along the lines described for future shelters.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 56, SALT: Chronology: 10/23/78–1/15/79. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. See Document 230.
  3. In a January 12 memorandum, Turner argued that, contrary to the consensus position reached at this SCC meeting, the lack of a positive Soviet affirmation of agreement to the U.S. statement that extension of the telemetry on the July 29 SS–18 test would impede verification and hurt the ratification process. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 56, SALT: Chronology: 10/23/78–1/5/79)
  4. In a January 15 memorandum to Mondale, Vance, Brown, Warnke, Jones, and Turner, Brzezinski wrote that the President had made the following decision: “The US can accept removal of the modifier ‘existing’ with respect to B–1s in our statement on the deployment of more than 20 ALCMs on current heavy bombers.” (Ibid.)