45. Minutes of a Meeting of the Verification Panel1


  • SALT


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Kenneth Rush
  • U. Alexis Johnson
  • Leon Sloss
  • Frank Perez
  • Defense
  • James Schlesinger
  • Paul Nitze
  • N. Frederick Wikner
  • JCS
  • Lt. Gen. Edward L. Rowny
  • CIA
  • William Colby
  • Carl Duckett
  • ACDA
  • Fred Ikle
  • Ralph Earle
  • Sidney Graybeal
  • NSC Staff
  • Maj. Gen. Brent Scowcroft
  • Jan Lodal
  • David Aaron
  • William Hyland
  • Jeanne W. Davis


It was agreed that the Working Group would:

. . . work up more precise throw-weight limits on MIRVs, their relationship to the aggregate and to overall throw-weight;

. . . consider the DOD suggestion of a comprehensive proposal involving definition of missiles in three weight categories and requiring reductions over a six-year period.

[Omitted here are Duckett’s briefing and discussion of it.]

Secretary Kissinger: At this meeting I think we should try to clarify where we think we are going in both substance and tactics. We discussed last time three possible types of agreement: a moratorium on MIRVing, an interim agreement and a permanent agreement.2 Today we should discuss what priority should be given to trying to stop MLBM deployment as a separate issue. What price are we prepared to [Page 141] pay? I assume we can’t use MFN for emigration, transformation of the Soviet system and stopping MLBMs.

Mr. Schlesinger: (Senator) Jackson thinks we can.

Secretary Kissinger: With regard to the longer-term interim agreement or a permanent agreement, the problems are somewhat comparable. In an interim agreement, we could agree to a stretch-out of the new systems more easily than in a permanent agreement. We don’t have to decide this immediately once we know what the building blocks are. In an interim agreement, the new factor is the MIRVs. What do we do about the numbers and the throw-weight with regard both to MIRVs and to the total force? I had a long talk with (Soviet Foreign Minister) Gromyko in Geneva.3 He said they were doing a lot of work on this. He said they would appreciate some advance notice if we intended a major change in our position—some indication of the nature of the change before we made any major new proposal. He said they would do the same for us. I think their conceptual problems are at least as bad as ours. If we try for a MLBM moratorium, we should try to get the testing of the –18 stopped almost immediately.

Mr. Duckett: Yes, the sooner the better. I’m talking about only a few months.

Secretary Kissinger: First we have to agree that this should be the topic of conversation, than give ourselves a deadline. Personally I think this is a complete non-starter. That’s just not the way the Russians think.

Mr. Johnson: I agree.

Secretary Kissinger: On the chance that we make such a proposal, how long a moratorium do we want?

Dr. Ikle: Long enough to negotiate more comprehensive limits—through 1974.

Mr. Rush: We could have a time period with provision for renewal.

Secretary Kissinger: What would we be prepared not to do in 1974?

Mr. Schlesinger: We could decelerate Trident, stretch out the B–1. We could give them what we will probably have to do anyway.

Mr. Johnson: How about Minuteman III deployment?

Mr. Schlesinger: An MLBM moratorium is worth something but we have to be careful that the price doesn’t hurt us. We have only one missile. When we slow down the MIRVing of our one missile for a slow-down in the MIRVing of one of their four missiles, we suffer more than they do. If the Secretary (Kissinger) can negotiate with (Foreign [Page 142] Minister) Gromyko so that they slip their program and we slip ours in ways in which we will probably be forced programmatically anyway, that would be all right.

Secretary Kissinger: I have a problem in breaking out the MLBMs unless we link it to something else. If we table MLBMs as the most time urgent matter, it might work. But if that is the only thing we suggest, they may increase the price for an MLBM stretch-out.

Mr. Rush: I agree.

Secretary Kissinger: When we ask them not to test new weapons for a year or two, is there something we can agree not to test? How about Trident?

Mr. Wikner: [1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: Even Trident I?

Mr. Nitze: [1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: How about an air-to-surface missile?

Mr. Wikner: We’re not testing anything.

Mr. Schlesinger: [1 line not declassified] to give you some negotiating capital. [1 line not declassified] This is just a little sabre rattling.

Secretary Kissinger: [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Schlesinger: Not in the present circumstances.

Secretary Kissinger: We had better go ahead with the test, then we could agree not to do any more. Unless we have actually done a test, they won’t believe us if we say we were planning to.

Mr. Wikner: That test doesn’t come until September or October 1974.

Mr. Sloss: How much would it hurt us if we agreed not to deploy Minuteman?

Mr. Schlesinger: There would be a budgetary impact.

Secretary Kissinger: Once we stop deployment, it’s a helluva lot harder for us to resume than it is for them.

Dr. Ikle: How about SLBMs?

Mr. Schlesinger: We will be forced to delay programmatically. It won’t delay the first submarine, but there will be a slow-down after the first one. When the Appropriations Committee cut our request on Trident, they asked us to report back to them on March 31 on whether to go ahead with funding of the second Trident boat.

Secretary Kissinger: (Senator) Jackson is calling me every day on this.

Mr. Schlesinger: Me too. We could slow down without too much damage.

Secretary Kissinger: My worry is that we would be paying over a 10-year period for what they can do in two or three years.

[Page 143]

Mr. Johnson: We shouldn’t give up our currency for negotiating a broader agreement.

Mr. Schlesinger: But a little slip in the second Trident is something that we may have anyhow.

Mr. Johnson: We need something more comparable.

Dr. Ikle: If we say we will slip the second Trident, they will say they will slip the second group of –18s.

Mr. Duckett: They might offer to stop deployment rather than stop testing. If they say they won’t stop testing the –18 but will stop deployment, and we see no program for new silos . . .

Mr. Schlesinger: Both sides would be giving away something they don’t have. There would be a budgetary impact if we stopped Minuteman III. They have 1100 SS–11s or the equivalent. They would be free to MIRV all of them with limitations only on the MLBMs. We would be constrained but they would not.

Dr. Ikle: Constraints on MLBMs would be a stop gap while we negotiated an agreement. We might stop Minuteman III at [number not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: If we already paid with low deployment for testing, it would be hard to stop it a second time.

Dr. Ikle: We could stop at [number not declassified] Minutemen. If we don’t get the limitations we want, we could go on to [number not declassified] On Trident, we would be trading the second and third boat for an immediate stopping of testing.

Secretary Kissinger: One fallback position might be a low rate of deployment of new missiles.

Mr. Johnson: But our ultimate objective is that they not deploy the –18 at all.

Mr. Schlesinger: And closer equivalence in terms of numbers.

Mr. Johnson: We can see it if they deploy the –18. It’s verifiable. How much difference would it make if they continued testing? We will still see the deployment. How much should we pay for stopping testing?

Mr. Schlesinger: With their present force in excess of eight million tons of throw-weight, the –18 itself is now more marginal than before.

Dr. Ikle: Stopping the –18 is only a partial contribution.

Mr. Johnson: We might go for a more comprehensive agreement, then see what we could break out as a temporary stand-still while we negotiate a broader agreement.

Mr. Schlesinger: In conceptual terms, I agree that is the way to go, but I don’t think it would work.

[Page 144]

Mr. Rush: It would eliminate the possibility of a test ban on the –18.

Mr. Johnson: Yes, but how important is it to get a test ban on the –18.

Mr. Rush: We won’t get it.

Secretary Kissinger: Not alone. But if we have an agreement similar to the May agreement, there might be one chance in three of keeping the option alive.

Dr. Ikle: A test ban might lead to an agreement which banned MLBM deployment.

Secretary Kissinger: Suppose we agree to aim for extension of the interim agreement for five years, coupled with MIRV throw-weight limitations. We would still have a helluva negotiation over how to determine MIRV throw-weight. But we might have a sub-negotiation on MLBM deployment. I don’t think we can send Alex (Johnson) back only with an MLBM test ban. I might be able to discuss the matter with Gromyko in a larger context. But for Brezhnev to tell the Politburo that he is stopping a program would be like Admiral Zumwalt telling Admiral Rickover he was stopping Trident.

Let’s go through the list of things that could be done and find out if there is anything we could stop testing. How about B–1 flight testing for a year? How about air-to-surface missile testing?

Mr. Schlesinger: You don’t want to press on with the MLBM ban?

Secretary Kissinger: No, I do want to. But I don’t want to be in the position of last May when we made a proposal to the Soviets that they considered an insult to their intelligence. It just sets us back if our proposals are substantively or politically preposterous.

Mr. Schlesinger: But we shouldn’t allow them a monopoly on preposterous proposals.

Secretary Kissinger: That’s okay for the public sessions, but I think Gromyko really wants to define some limitations. Don’t misunderstand me. I think we’ll still have a helluva problem on forward based systems, but we might talk about a more comprehensive agreement. As I understand it, the Soviet proposal is that an agreed portion of missiles will be MIRVed.4 That would be unequal given the larger throw-weight and numbers of their missiles.

Mr. Johnson: Their proposal is an equal percentage.

Secretary Kissinger: So they would wind up with more missiles and more MIRVed missiles? It hadn’t gotten through to me that they [Page 145] were talking about an equal percentage. That’s out of the question. Even an equal number of MIRVed missiles would be tough for us.

Mr. Johnson: Unless it were defined so as to approximate equal throw-weight. There are formulae that would give equal throw-weight.

Secretary Kissinger: If we have equal throw-weight, would we have fewer Soviet MIRVed missiles?

Mr. Sloss: We have an advantage in SLBM throw-weight.

Secretary Kissinger: They would have to shift more to the SLBMs or to the –16s. If they have the –17, –18 and –19 they would have fewer MIRVed missiles.

Mr. Johnson: There’s no way they could come out MIRVing the –18s.

Secretary Kissinger: If we use the throw-weight criterion we wouldn’t care what they excluded from inspection. If they MIRVed the –18, it would be so much more throw-weight. [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Rush: And restrict throw-weight to missiles.

Secretary Kissinger: Throw-weight computation for the total force is a political gimmick, but throw-weight computation for MIRVs has some strategic reality. If throw-weight were equal for MIRVs we wouldn’t care so much if they MIRVed the –18. If there were throw-weight limits on MIRVs without sublimits on categories we would rely on verification and on their need to modify the silos.

Mr. Johnson: They could distribute the throw-weight any way they wanted as long as we could verify.

Secretary Kissinger: So our confidence in an agreement would be based on the need for modification of the silos. Maybe that’s the way to limit deployment of the –17s, –18s and –19s.

Mr. Duckett: [2 lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Duckett: [2 lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Mr. Duckett: [1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: What would that do to Trident?

Dr. Ikle: [1 line not declassified] That might be a way to come to grips with the question of qualitative improvements.

Secretary Kissinger: Then we shouldn’t pay a high price for stopping the –18. If we can get it cheaply, fine.

Mr. Johnson: Exactly.

Secretary Kissinger: What happens to the –16?

Mr. Nitze: The –16 fits in all the holes.

Secretary Kissinger: Right. So if the –16 turns into a MIRV . . .

[Page 146]

Mr. Schlesinger: If they put it in silos it would be a small pay-load missile. That would be fine. If they can MIRV the payload equivalent, so can we.

Secretary Kissinger: Assume under throw-weight limits the SLBMs would be included at 3.5 million pounds and 1.5 million pounds could go into ICBMs. We would have [less than 1 line not declassified] What if they started putting –16s on top of the –17, –18s and –19s authorized in the agreement? They could pop them into the SS–11 holes. We would be ahead only if the –16 throw-weight were counted. If the limits applied to the –17s and –19s and they got the –16s free, the agreement wouldn’t be doing what we want it to do.

Mr. Rush: All the mobiles should be counted.

Secretary Kissinger: I’m not worried about the mobiles. I’m worried about their putting –16s into the SS–11 holes, also MIRVed. I’m worried about their cheating with the –16s.

Mr. Schlesinger: But they would cheat themselves more than they cheat us.

Mr. Hyland: The MIRVs would be so small they wouldn’t do them any good.

Secretary Kissinger: The –16 is as big as Minuteman III. They could have 200 –17s and –19s MIRVed for the equivalent of the Minuteman payload.

Mr. Duckett: [2 lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: Assume we get an agreement along the lines of the first option with 250 –17s and –19s and [number not declassified] Minutemen. On top of the 250 –17s and –19s, they could cheat in the remaining holes with –16s.

Mr. Hyland: The –16 and the –13 are virtually the same missile. They could put them in the –13 holes without detection.

Mr. Rush: We could limit the number of holes.

Secretary Kissinger: If we get them to deploy the –16s as part of their authorized throw-weight, great! That would compare roughly with ours. We can be reasonably confident about throw-weight limits because we have a reasonable expectation that they can’t deploy the bigger missiles in existing holes without observable modification. How could they use the existing holes so we couldn’t detect it? What about a missile that already exists and can be put in the holes? They could have 250 –17s and –19s, plus 600 –16s.

Mr. Schlesinger: But if they substitute –16s for 19s, they give up two-thirds of their throw-weight.

Secretary Kissinger: If they tell us they are deploying the –16s, fine! My nightmare is that they will say they are using their quota for –17s and –19s, then they will just put MIRVed –16s into the SS–11 holes.

[Page 147]

Mr. Schlesinger: They would be sacrificing four million pounds of throw-weight.

Mr. Lodal: [1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Schlesinger: [1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: If they get the –16s to the efficiency of Minuteman III and in the SS–11 holes, would they be better off with that or with keeping the SS–11s?

Mr. Schlesinger: That’s hard to determine.

Mr. Johnson: It may be more a political problem than an actual one.

Mr. Nitze: We’re only talking about MIRVed throw-weight. They would sacrifice some excess throw-weight.

Secretary Kissinger: I’m worried about throw-weight because it might be converted into something else.

Mr. Nitze: Single warheads are more lethal on a single target than MIRVs.

Mr. Schlesinger: If they cheat with the –16, their kill rate would be less than if they MIRV the –19s.

Dr. Ikle: If they could have one more missile, they might choose between the –16 and a new ICBM.

Mr. Duckett: [3 lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: Do I detect a consensus here that the way to tackle MIRVs in the next round is to ask for equal throw-weight?

Mr. Nitze: Trying to get throw-weight equality is more important than MIRVed throw-weight.

Mr. Johnson: I have difficulty in seeing us negotiate throw-weight as such. It would be difficult to write an agreement with throw-weight numbers in it. We should approach the throw-weight problem through types of missiles.

Mr. Schlesinger: But if we go after the throw-weight issue piecemeal by composition of forces, we are going after the –17s, –19s and –18s. It may be easier to track all three to say equal throw-weight.

Mr. Johnson: We would have to include SLBMs.

Mr. Schlesinger: I assume we would include SLBMs in the total package.

Mr. Johnson: I have no argument with going after equal throw-weight.

Dr. Ikle: We could start explaining it in terms of equal throw-weight, then go after specific missiles.

Secretary Kissinger: That would just get us back to our original position. We insist on equal throw-weight in the agreement, then they start throwing in non-commensurate things like bombers.

[Page 148]

Mr. Johnson: The Soviets will throw in bomber throw-weight on the basis of a single aggregate throw-weight number.

Secretary Kissinger: We have two problems: (1) the equal aggregates, equal throw-weight issue which we have discussed here at great length; and (2) we have to have some idea of how to approach MIRVs or the whole thing will get away from us. The question is what we should propose on MIRVs. That doesn’t prejudice equal throw-weight in the overall agreement.

Mr. Duckett: [2 lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: That’s a good point. We would have to count all the new missiles as MIRVed missiles. They would have to stop testing the –18s. Deployment would be constrained by the aggregates and the throw-weight limits of the agreement. If they continued testing, the warheads would be counted.

Mr. Johnson: We would have to approach it by missile category.

Secretary Kissinger: That deprives them of freedom to mix.

Mr. Nitze: There couldn’t be additional launchers which would hold MIRVed missiles.

Dr. Ikle: A MIRV-tested missile would be counted as a MIRV. That would include our Minuteman III.

Mr. Johnson: That could get us into trouble.

Secretary Kissinger: Do we have some Minuteman III with a single warhead?

Mr. Johnson: Also, they have the New York Times and the Congressional Record for verification.

Secretary Kissinger: I can see defining that any missile tested in a MIRV mode has to be counted. But that has to apply to us. [less than 1 line not declassified] How many would they have?

Mr. Nitze: With 2.2 million pounds throw-weight, about 400.

Mr. Colby: How could they get that through the Politburo?

Secretary Kissinger: The only way might be if the interim agreement numbers are maintained. They would have a larger total number and we would have larger MIRVed numbers. We could try for a 7–10 year interim agreement. In effect, this would add to the interim agreement the numbers limitations on MIRVs in terms of throw-weight. It wouldn’t do us any good if we don’t have a program to go beyond [number not declassified] Minutemen. This argues in the direction of putting the limits in terms of numbers. We could say 200 –19s to [number not declassified] Minutemen and explain that they give us an equivalence in throw-weight. They can probably justify equal throw-weight with the Politburo.

Mr. Hyland: They have more RVs per missile.

[Page 149]

Secretary Kissinger: If we keep the interim agreement total numbers, they would be equal in RVs.

Mr. Graybeal: [1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: Let’s test it and let them see it. Then we can give it up.

Dr. Ikle: If they want to deploy the –18s, they will have to stop testing them with MIRVs or they will be counted.

Secretary Kissinger: The package would have to be that any new missile that had been MIRV tested would be counted.

Mr. Nitze: Or any silo that could be used would be counted as a launcher. [1½ lines not declassified]

Mr. Rush: We would bring any mobiles under the umbrella.

Secretary Kissinger: But we don’t have mobiles.

Mr. Graybeal: Would Minutemen in mobiles be counted as MIRVed?

Secretary Kissinger: Should we count the throw-weight of all Minuteman III but not necessarily use them for MIRVs? We could use them for throw-weight calculation. We could set throw-weight at 1000 Minuteman III plus Poseidon.

Mr. Nitze: If we include Trident, we would have to phase out some Minutemen.

Secretary Kissinger: You would let the Soviets have close to 400 MIRVed –17s and 19s? They could put it all into –17s and –19s if they chose?

Mr. Johnson: They would insist on the right to MIRV SLBMs but that would be all to the good.

(Deputy Secretary Rush left the meeting.)

Secretary Kissinger: If we set throw-weight limits, with no sub-limits, at the Minuteman III plus Poseidon level, what are we giving them?

Mr. Schlesinger: A helluva lot.

Secretary Kissinger: If there are no sub-limits, we would be letting them MIRV 750 –17s and –19s. [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Duckett: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: They might accept. They could MIRV their entire land-based force, then start testing seabased missiles while the interim agreement runs.

Mr. Sloss: We could stand down Minuteman III.

Secretary Kissinger: Would we let them inspect those we claim are single warheads?

Mr. Schlesinger: We could offer to, but they wouldn’t accept.

[Page 150]

Secretary Kissinger: We say any new silo would be considered MIRVed. We have [number not declassified] modified silos but insist that [number not declassified] missiles are single warhead. They would have no means of verification. If we have to dismantle [number not declassified] Minuteman III we might wind up with no Minuteman III and no missile to take its place. MIRV throw-weight limits gives them a low number of MIRVed missiles. This may solve our problem.

Mr. Colby: There would be some advantage in offering them inspection.

Mr. Graybeal: But if they accept, we could assume they would invite us to inspect some single-warhead –17s and –19s. But it would only take them a few hours to change these back to MIRVs.

Mr. Duckett: Our Minutemen are entirely different missiles.

Mr. Wikner: The single-warhead Minuteman is Minuteman II. It’s an entirely different missile from Minuteman III. The silos have to be converted.

Secretary Kissinger: If we have [number not declassified] Minuteman III and the rest are IIs, can it be seen that IIs are not able to hold the III warhead?

Mr. Wikner: Yes, they are entirely different missiles. You can tell by looking at them.

Mr. Sloss: Could you tell by satellite inspection?

Mr. Wikner: No.

Dr. Ikle: The risk of our substituting IIIs for IIs is no worse than their substituting –16s for –11s.

Mr. Hyland: If we count every silo, they already have all the SS–9s and SS–11s that can take MRVs, and some are deployed.

Mr. Duckett: There would have to be a test ban.

Secretary Kissinger: We have agreed that we would have to have some sort of test ban to go with it. Otherwise we would have a whole new generation of missiles.

Mr. Wikner: We would insist on some troop training testing.

Mr. Nitze: We could distinguish between the old missiles with MRVs.

Mr. Sloss: We could also distinguish troop training from testing.

Mr. Duckett: We would have to say no MIRV testing on the SS–11s and –9s.

Mr. Johnson: What would happen to the D–5, the new Trident?

Mr. Schlesinger: It would disappear.

Secretary Kissinger: Unless it had a single warhead.

Mr. Nitze: We would count it at its throw-weight.

[Page 151]

Secretary Kissinger: Not if it were not tested as a MIRV.

Mr. Nitze: But we would want it MIRVed.

Mr. Colby: [1½ lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: Let’s get the Working Group to work up more precise throw-weight limits on MIRVs. See how they relate to aggregates and how they relate to overall throw-weight limits.

Mr. Schlesinger: Do I understand that the delegation would be going back with instructions to put forward a somewhat comprehensive proposal?

Secretary Kissinger: We still have to discuss tactics.

Mr. Schlesinger: But we’re drifting toward tabling a comprehensive proposal?

Mr. Johnson: We shouldn’t abandon the position we took in May of essential equivalence.

Secretary Kissinger: If we extend the interim agreement and ask them to accept inequality in numbers of MIRVed missiles, can we stick with the interim agreement numbers for five years?

Mr. Johnson: We have already laid the basis for that. We have said that in exchange for asymmetry in MIRVs we would accept asymmetry in numbers. Both throw-weight and numbers of launchers. We have a take-off point.

Mr. Schlesinger: If MIRV throw-weight looks like something we would be happy with, would we table a comprehensive proposal with essential equivalence and some reductions, then fall back?

Mr. Johnson: My preference would be to table a permanent agreement proposal incorporating these elements which could be broken out. Then we might accept it as an interim agreement.

Dr. Ikle: It would be a bridge, not a fall back.

Secretary Kissinger: Let’s have a meeting a week from today to look at the throw-weight concept with regard to MIRVs, its relationship to the aggregate and to total throw-weight. Let’s see what sort of comprehensive proposal we can come up with. This sort of approach may be more appropriate for a longer-term interim agreement than a permanent agreement.

Mr. Johnson: I think of a permanent agreement as 10–15 years. Whatever is accomplished will have to be phased. Everyone will want to look at it again. There are no verities for the eternal future.

Mr. Nitze: The ABM treaty has become much firmer over time.

Secretary Kissinger: We all promise ourselves how fierce we will be if an agreement doesn’t work, but it never happens.

Mr. Schlesinger: On building a bridge between an interim agreement and a quasi-permanent agreement, we may want to table a comprehensive proposal.

[Page 152]

Mr. Johnson: The only thing to add is the aggregate.

Secretary Kissinger: (to Schlesinger) What would be the basic approach of your comprehensive proposal?

Mr. Nitze: We would define missiles in three categories: light, up to 1100 kilograms; medium, 1100–2500 kilograms; and heavy, 2500 plus kilograms. In a ceiling of 2350, this would require reductions over a six-year period, partly in the heavy category. We would permit mobiles.

Secretary Kissinger: Why would the Soviets agree to phase out their heavy missiles?

Mr. Nitze: Maybe they won’t. But it’s better to go for reductions on their part than for us to build up for equivalence.

Secretary Kissinger: I agree, but what would be the incentive for the Soviets?

Mr. Colby: They have a certain drive to get an agreement.

Mr. Nitze: The position is perfectly acceptable and it gets parity and stability without our building up.

Secretary Kissinger: That depends on their assessment of what we will do. They still think superiority is better than equality.

Mr. Schlesinger: If they think we will replace Minuteman III with 6000 pound missiles, they would be better off.

Secretary Kissinger: What program exists to do that?

Mr. Schlesinger: It will exist.

Mr. Johnson: They’re concerned about Trident I.

Dr. Ikle: Trident I wouldn’t be limited.

Mr. Johnson: I’m talking about incentives. The question is whether they would be strong enough to get them to give up their heavies.

Mr. Nitze: They may want to keep 50 heavies. Under the throw-weight ceiling, they could. It doesn’t necessarily mean they would give up heavy MIRVs.

Secretary Kissinger: You’re talking about equal throw-weight in MIRVs?

Mr. Nitze: Yes.

Secretary Kissinger: That might be manageable. The Working Group will look at the DOD idea and we will meet again next Friday (January 4, 1974).

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–108, Verification Panel Minutes, Originals, 3/15/72–6/4/74 [3 of 5]. Top Secret; Nodis; Codeword. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. See Document 43.
  3. See Document 44.
  4. Reference is to the Soviet proposal tabled at Geneva in October; see Document 40.