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


  • SALT and Afghanistan


  • State
  • Secretary Muskie
  • Reg Bartholomew, Dir., Polit.-Military Affairs
  • OSD
  • Secretary Brown
  • Walter Slocombe, Under Sec. for Policy
  • JCS
  • Lt Gen John Pustay, Asst. to the Chairman
  • CIA
  • Bruce Clarke, Dir., Natl. Foreign Assessment Ctr.
  • Ray McCrory, Chief, Arms Control Intelligence Staff
  • ACDA
  • Ralph Earle
  • Spurgeon Keeny, Deputy Dir.
  • White House
  • Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • David Aaron
  • Lloyd Cutler
  • NSC
  • Roger Molander
  • Jasper Welch


1. SALT and Afghanistan. We will proceed to prepare a policy statement on SALT and Afghanistan which will provide the basis for drafting a platform plank on these issues. The statement will stress that our interest in SALT II ratification and a strong response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan are not incompatible—and that this is not a new statement of Administration policy. We will complete a draft for presentation to the President on Monday.2

Whereas we should make no decisions until after November 4 on seeking SALT ratification in early 1981 versus a “lame duck” 1980 session, there is considerable skepticism as to the feasibility of a lame duck session.

[Page 986]

We need to make clear to the Allies that their support of a tough response to Afghanistan will be critical to our successfully making the SALT/Afghanistan case.

2. SALT II Dismantling Schedule and Protocol Extension. We should let the Soviets be the demandeurs on the issue of relaxing or modifying the SALT II dismantling schedule (which affects only the Soviets). However, we can probably accept some slippage in the schedule, e.g., six months. On the Protocol extension issue, there was general agreement that such extension would open a multitude of problems with the Allies and the Senate, and that we should take a strong position against it if it is raised by the Soviets.

3. Soviets’ Wedge-Driving Efforts on TNF. With respect to Soviet efforts at driving a wedge between the US and NATO on the TNF issue, it was agreed that we should maintain our current position of a willingness to have preliminary discussions on TNF without preconditions prior to SALT II ratification. At the same time, we should take the opportunity of the Venice Summit and any other near-future meetings with German officials to persuade the FRG that Schmidt should not pursue a TNF moratorium or any other new TNF ideas in his meeting with Brezhnev in late June.

4. SALT and M–X. In a brief discussion of SALT and M–X, Harold Brown summarized the continuing effort to refine the M–X design while at the same time ensuring that it meets verification requirements.

5. Soviet Actions vis-à-vis SALT II. On the issue of Soviet informal compliance with SALT II, it was agreed that we should take an early opportunity to emphasize to the Soviets the importance of adherence to the telemetry encryption provisions. It was agreed that this should be done at the same time that our policy statement on SALT and Afghanistan is conveyed to them, and that this should be done in the context of a general statement about not taking actions inconsistent with the SALT II agreement pending ratification.

6. Exchanges with Soviets. We need to carefully plan the extent and nature of our future dialogue with the Soviets in order not to mislead the Allies into thinking we are using the pursuit of arms control as a cover for going back to “business-as-usual” with the Soviets. In this context, the alternative of having Ralph Earle convey our SALT position and our concerns on telemetry to the Soviets through Dobrynin was raised.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Box 21, SCC Meeting: #319 Held 6/6/80, 6/80. Secret. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room.
  2. Monday, June 9; not found.