64. Minutes of a Meeting of the Verification Panel1


  • SALT


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • U. Alexis Johnson
  • Joseph Sisco
  • Helmut Sonnenfeldt
  • William Hyland
  • Boris Klosson
  • Defense
  • William Clements
  • Dr. Fred Wikner
  • Paul Nitze
  • JCS
  • Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
  • Lt. Gen. Edward Rowny
  • CIA
  • William Colby
  • Carl Duckett
  • ACDA
  • Dr. Fred Ikle
  • Dr. Charles Zemach
  • Ralph Earle
  • NSC Staff
  • Maj. Gen. Brent Scowcroft
  • Jan Lodal
  • Peter Zimmerman
  • Jeanne W. Davis

(The first three minutes of the meeting were confined to pleasantries and were filmed by an ABC–TV camera crew for use in a documentary on Secretary Kissinger)

Secretary Kissinger: We have three arms control issues which the Soviets have put before us: 1) ABMs, 2) a test ban and 3) SALT. Before we begin this discussion I want to say that we will never get this debate settled if we condition public discussion in this country on who is selling out to the Russians, who is for quick fixes, who is doing what to whom. Where would we have been without détente in our relations with China, with Russia, in Europe and the Middle East? This constant campaign will force us into answering back which won’t do any of us any good. These constant attacks on SALT I as a sell-out must stop. We had no missile program. Not one US program was stopped by SALT I. It may be that some Soviet programs were stopped. Indeed, several US programs were accelerated. This was during a period when Congress was cutting three to five billion a year from our defense budget. These [Page 244] attacks are close to irresponsibility. The warhead advantage of the US doubled during the Interim Agreement. If this campaign continues, we will be forced to answer back, and this would have serious consequences for our defense budget. These attacks are untrue and they’re phony and they have to stop. (Senator) Jackson is getting briefings from somewhere. I have never heard any argument as to a need or desire for the US to build a big missile. I still haven’t. If numbers are so important, why did we mothball the B–52s? They were free under the Interim Agreement. Why didn’t we build more planes, or put ASMs on our planes? They were free under the Interim Agreement. We are attempting to conduct a fairly hard-nosed policy, but when we go on a military alert for twenty-four hours, we have a Congressional investigation. This problem is of increasing concern to the President.

Mr. Clements: Is there something in addition to (Senator) Jackson’s speeches?

Secretary Kissinger: That’s one phenomenon. But it has become axiomatic that SALT I was rushed to help the President politically. This is total nonsense. There was unanimity among the Joint Chiefs that they did not want to build strategic submarines but wanted to focus on attack subs. That was a rational position. What was the US giving up? I know there are briefings in the Departments on those things that must be prevented in the future. If they continue, we will counter them and we will have a goddamned mess

Adm. Moorer: We wanted to build Trident instead of Poseidon.

Secretary Kissinger: Right. You wanted to build the Trident and it couldn’t be done for five years. What were we giving up? We were only limiting our program to what we were doing anyhow. The Soviets gave up 209 or 210 old missiles and kept their program at less than their capacity, although possibly not less than what they were planning to do. Their land-based missiles were limited to 90 a year, and we had no plans even on the drawing board. During the Interim Agreement the gap in warheads between the US and the USSR doubled. But this won’t help Alex (Johnson) in Geneva or help the defense budget. [1 line not declassified] We have no intention of taking this any more. We will reply to the next spate of attacks. I’m not holding you responsible for what every idiot writes, but we can usually tell who is briefing. It was not the Russians who made us build small missiles. This was a Defense Department decision. We would be in a different throw-weight situation with 1000 large missiles. But our throw-weight disadvantage resulted from our decision, not theirs.

Do we need a long discussion on ABMs or test ban at this time? Both of these issues are being studied in the departments. The test ban [Page 245] question is out in a NSSM (195)2 and will come back to us. There is the question of foregoing the second ABM site.

Dr. Ikle: One option would be to restrict both sides to one site with freedom to choose between NCA or missile defense, or we could prohibit a second site.

Secretary Kissinger: Would you have to tear down the first site while we were building the second? Otherwise, one could get two sites by pretending to do only one.

Dr. Ikle: We would have to specify, possibly by phasing the number of launchers.

Mr. Clements: Our position on ABM is that we want to retain the technology.

Secretary Kissinger: Can’t you do that at the one permitted site?

Mr. Clements: I think we could.

Mr. Nitze: It depends on how long the deal is for. It’s hard to foresee what we might want in five or ten years. We might not want a defense of Washington in the next five years, but we might in the future.

Mr. Johnson: There are two ways to do this. We could amend the treaty or have an expression of intent by both sides.

Adm. Moorer: They already cover NCA plus 500 missiles with their ABM site.

Mr. Rowny: We could make an ABM agreement co-terminus with the Interim Agreement.

Mr. Clements: One fear in DOD is that if we give up the second ABM site, Congress might cut our funds for R&D and make it hard for us to keep abreast.

Mr. Johnson: I don’t see how this would change the R&D problem.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: It wouldn’t change the statement threatening to abrogate the whole deal.

Dr. Ikle: If you want R&D on ABM technology, you may want to keep an option as to the site.

Mr. Clements: It goes beyond the question of the site. It’s the whole state of the art.

Mr. Colby: They’re doing a lot of R&D on lasers.

Secretary Kissinger: Are we?

Mr. Clements: You bet

[Page 246]

Adm. Moorer: I agree with Paul (Nitze). A long-term elimination of any option for an NCA site wouldn’t be good.

Dr. Ikle: We could make it a treaty amendment and make it temporary.

Secretary Kissinger: What is your definition of long-term?

Adm. Moorer: Five to eight years.

Secretary Kissinger: So the questions are whether we go for an amendment to the treaty or multilateral expressions of intent and whether we make it permanent or temporary.

Dr. Ikle: We could make it temporary by an amendment to the treaty prohibiting the second site for five or ten years.

Secretary Kissinger: There’s also the question as to whether it should be a separate agreement or an amendment to the original treaty. If it is done on a permanent basis, the two sides should have the option of location of the site. If you make it interchangeable and temporary, you’re not doing a goddamned thing.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: The Soviets in 1972 proposed a three to five year deferral of the second site.

Mr. Kissinger: This has given me enough guidance for my discussion with Gromyko. I will clarify what the Soviets have in mind and then come back to the Verification Panel. Once we get a position, we can throw this into the Geneva discussions.

On a test ban, they are proposing a threshhold test ban and they want a proposal from us. They want it effective as of January 1, 1976. We might get an agreement in principle at the Summit and work out the details later. We think we should set a seismic level at the Summit. We have a NSSM out on this which is due May 1.3

Dr. Ikle: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Dr. Wikner: [2 lines not declassified]

(Mr. Sisco left the meeting at Secretary Kissinger’s request to take a phone call from Ambassador Scali at the UN)

Mr. Clements: Would a ban of this kind work to the advantage or disadvantage of either side?

Secretary Kissinger: It depends on the program of both sides. It would stop the testing of large warheads unless they were decoupled. They would undoubtedly complete their current series of tests. It’s a question of how many large warheads we want to test.

Mr. Clements: Would this affect Trident?

[Page 247]

Secretary Kissinger: [1½ lines not declassified]

Dr. Wikner: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Dr. Ikle: But they are testing more high-yield weapons than we are.

Dr. Wikner: We have been trying for smaller yields and greater accuracy.

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

Dr. Wikner: [1 line not declassified]

Dr. Ikle: Did they make no reference to China?

Secretary Kissinger: No. We told them we wouldn’t accept any reference to any third country.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: That affects the forum for discussion.

Secretary Kissinger: Yes. We owe them an answer on this.

Could we turn to SALT. You are all familiar with the latest Soviet proposal that calls for extension of the Interim Agreement to 1980 and MIRV limits of 1100 to 1000 in our favor. I don’t consider the 1100–1000 figures as necessarily final. We owe them an answer on this, too. I told them I did not have much expectation that it would work, but the form of our answer can be ‘yes’, ‘no’ or a counter-proposal.

Adm. Moorer: There are several aspects to this. Nothing has been added to US force levels for the five-year period of the Interim Agreement. We really should get some quid. If the agreement is extended to 1980 they should decrease their submarine missiles or we should increase ours or something. Just to slip the agreement to 1980 would degrade the rationale we used for SALT I and would create a problem in the Congress. We would have to tie it to something.

Secretary Kissinger: We would tie it to MIRV limitations.

Dr. Ikle: It might be a free-standing MIRV limit.

Secretary Kissinger: If there were a free-standing MIRV limit without extension of the Interim Agreement, we would have to assume that some were single warheads. Now they have to take out the SS–11s to put in the SS–17s or –19s. If it were free-standing, they could build new silos. This would create massive verification and break-out problems. They would build new silos for the –17s and –19s and use the –11 silos for break-out.

Dr. Ikle: But in the meantime we would be negotiating for limits on the aggregate.

Secretary Kissinger: But the balance would be shifting against us.

Dr. Ikle: Not with Trident and the new bomber.

Secretary Kissinger: If the agreement goes to 1980, we could adjust the Interim Agreement figures by 30–40 on submarines, trade in the Titans for Tridents, and we could maintain our program. The Titans have stayed in our program only under urgent White House pressure. [Page 248] If we can assume three Tridents by 1980 that would give us [number not declassified] missiles.

Mr. Johnson: Assuming Trident keeps on schedule.

Secretary Kissinger: We could maintain our program by phasing out 54 Titans and increasing the limits on submarines from 710 to 740 or 750. That would be within our existing program.

Mr. Nitze: Might this not cast the shadow of a permanent agreement? We might live with it until 1980 but we may want a different program under a permanent agreement.

Dr. Ikle: We should also consider the effect of a MIRV agreement on the number of RVs.

Secretary Kissinger: The question is the effect of no MIRV agreement on the number of RVs. Let’s assume an advantage of 1100–1000 is worth extension of the Interim Agreement. Without an agreement, we will fulfill our program and the gap against us will increase. Except for the 54 Titans, the numbers are our exact program. Would we be greatly increasing our program in the absence of the Interim Agreement? I understand the argument that we should have an agreement, and I understand the argument that we should greatly increase our strategic forces. But I don’t believe we are putting pressure on the negotiations with our present program. If we continue, the gaps that favor us will close. What are the chances of a greatly increased program? At the present time, I think the liberal Senators are putting their hatred of the President before their convictions. I don’t believe Senators Mondale, Muskie or Kennedy will stick to this line. In 1973, $60 billion was enough and 500 missiles were plenty. Brookings and the New York Times praised Charlie Schultze’s paper to the skies.4 But Watergate has created a highly unusual situation. It depends on how long that will last.

We have three choices on the Soviet proposal in its present form: we can say “yes,” “no,” or offer a counterproposal picking up some of their ideas. It is my impression that they are eager for an agreement. They are hitting us weekly for a counterproposal. Let’s look at the disadvantages of extending the Interim Agreement. There is Paul’s (Nitze) point that it creates the presumption that these are the figures that will be maintained in a permanent agreement. But if we retain freedom to mix and give up our penchant for mothballing, we can trade planes for missiles. Then the numbers aren’t so bad. We can put missiles on our planes and close any missile gap.

Mr. Clements: I have told you each B–1 is equal to eight Minutemen.

[Page 249]

Dr. Ikle: That depends on the Soviet bomber program.

Secretary Kissinger: Brezhnev told me they were designing a new bomber—the 160. He said they would trade it for the B–1. I told him we would trade the B–3 for the 160. I do have the impression that they are planning a big submarine.

Mr. Clements: Beyond the Delta class?

Secretary Kissinger: I told them we couldn’t consider a new Interim Agreement that did not allow room for Trident. They said that was okay if they could build the same type of submarine.

Mr. Johnson: And you don’t think they were talking about the stretched Delta?

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: We think this was something new.

Secretary Kissinger: That was my impression.

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

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: They are so ritualistic about saying they are doing nothing new—just modifying existing vehicles.

Mr. Clements: Did they mention a cruise missile?

Secretary Kissinger: No. They implied that they were having trouble with the submarine MIRVs.

Mr. Clements: So are we

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: They think we have magnificent submarines.

Secretary Kissinger: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Adm. Moorer: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Dr. Ikle: What are the Soviet reasons for wanting to extend the Interim Agreement?

Secretary Kissinger: I think they believe both sides have an interest in preventing the break-out problem. And both sides foresee changes in their administrations. It will be certain in the US in 1976 and probable in the USSR before too much longer. They may be scared by the talk that we might accelerate our program. The question is when to cash in on that feeling. Also, they need some concrete achievement from détente. We have talked ourselves into thinking that détente is a one-way street. But I could make an overwhelming case against Brezhnev if I were a Politburo member. Its effect on China and in Europe. Without détente, we will see the French and Germans returning to the posture that they have to press the U.S. to be more flexible. Brezhnev needs some momentum. I have the impression that the figures they gave us were not extracted easily from the Soviet military. There was a four-hour Politburo meeting and they brought Grechko back.

Mr. Johnson: The figures substantially protect their program.

[Page 250]

Secretary Kissinger: Yes. They would for all practical purposes protect the program of both sides. I don’t have any real evidence to go on, but I think the figures are adjustable.

(Mr. Sisco returned to the meeting.)

[Omitted here is discussion of the Middle East.]

Mr. Clements: (returning to the SALT discussions) How much adjustment do you think is possible in the numbers?

Secretary Kissinger: I have no idea, and I didn’t want to ask because I didn’t want to indicate that the approach might be acceptable. My impression is that those numbers are not the final word. We might get the gap up to 175 or 200.

Mr. Johnson: It comes down to the value they attach to extension of the Interim Agreement.

Secretary Kissinger: And how much value they attach to a SALT agreement.

Adm. Moorer: Extension of the Interim Agreement could lead us right into a permanent agreement.

Mr. Johnson: Not necessarily. If we get something substantial in trade, it might be worth it.

Adm. Moorer: Would we have to go back to the Congress?

Mr. Johnson: Yes.

Secretary Kissinger: Yes, we would go back to Congress for a concurrent resolution.

Dr. Ikle: We should try to lower the Soviet programs rather than increase our own.

Secretary Kissinger: [1½ lines not declassified]

Mr. Clements: But it is substantially what we think their program is.

Secretary Kissinger: So is 1100 for us, plus or minus 40 missiles. The proposal substantially ratifies both programs and protects against a sudden break-out.

Mr. Nitze: Wasn’t our program based on the assumption that we would negotiate a permanent agreement prior to 1977?

Mr. Clements: That’s a fair statement.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: We will have 31 Poseidon boats with Trident as an add-on rather than a substitute.

Mr. Nitze: We assumed we would also get some other things.

Dr. Ikle: We must consider RV numbers through collateral constraints or somehow.

Mr. Johnson: The conventional wisdom has it that a larger number of smaller warheads are better for us.

[Page 251]

Secretary Kissinger: We should do a projection of what would happen if there were no agreement. What is the strategic consequence of the throw-weight situation? [1½ lines not declassified] What will they do with more throw-weight? We should analyze what is right. [5 lines not declassified]

Mr. Nitze: Those calculations are in the MIRV paper.5

Dr. Ikle: The desirable feature of a MIRV agreement is that it limits the competition in warheads.

Secretary Kissinger: I agree it is desirable. But we have talked ourselves into a national psychosis on how far behind we are. How can they convert that to their political benefit?

Dr. Ikle: Then we wouldn’t have the anxiety about their overtaking us in warheads.

Mr. Colby: [1½ lines not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: At the rate MIRVing is going, getting us 300 more missiles doesn’t help a helluva lot. I’m very concerned about the way the debate is going on reductions. Reductions while MIRVing is running free don’t solve the problem—they make it worse. The SS–19 gives them everything they need to get Minuteman. I don’t have any real evidence, but I don’t think the SS–18 is going well, and I don’t think their submarines are going well. All their talk was about the –17s and the –19s—of course they don’t use the numbers but they talk about their deployable missiles. When I said we would have to count 432 submarine missiles as being MIRVed, they were insulted. They said they couldn’t possibly MIRV those missiles.

Mr. Johnson: We don’t think they could either.

Secretary Kissinger: My impression is that they have great confidence in one missile and little confidence in their submarines. They also claim that they do not have six RVs on the SS–18.

Mr. Duckett: [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Johnson: [1½ lines not declassified]

Adm. Moorer: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Secretary Kissinger: My instinct tells me that we won’t get a sublimit on ICBMs but we might get one on MLBMs. We won’t get them to zero but we might get a lower figure. We have to decide how we are going to respond to their proposal. I talked to Jim Schlesinger about this this morning, and he is doing something on it. I’ll need something by Friday—not a firm position but some idea of our thinking so I can tell Gromyko when I see him next week. We can put in our formal proposal for discussion at Geneva. Then the options will be an agreement [Page 252] by June, an agreement in principle by June, or no agreement. The President gets absolutely no political advantage from an agreement. This has nothing to do with the domestic political situation. The President will lose the people he may need domestically and gain no one by an agreement. We’re not dying for an agreement for any reason other than our concern for the evolution of Soviet policy and what will happen to our foreign policy in China, Europe and the Middle East if we get into a confrontation with the Soviet Union. I asked Jim Schlesinger to take various numbers—1100 to 1000, 1100 to 950, 1100 to 850, etc.—and project them to 1984. Extension of the Interim Agreement to 1984 might be too long, but a three-year extension might minimize the problems.

Dr. Ikle: That would be another argument for a free-standing MIRV agreement.

Secretary Kissinger: We might have both: extend the Interim Agreement to 1980 and have a 10-year MIRV agreement. If the MIRV agreement were longer, that would be okay. By 1977, the Soviets will be tempted to keep the SS–11s. They could start building new silos for the MIRVs and keep the –11s as a reserve force. Then they could really out-race us. We don’t even have a design for a land-based missile yet. And when we go to the Congress, it won’t be in a very happy climate. It’s not normal for Joe Kraft to be worried about the numbers of our strategic forces. That’s my worry about ending the Interim Agreement and just having a MIRV agreement.

Mr. Johnson: A free-standing MIRV agreement would have to be surrounded by so many things that it would be practically a comprehensive agreement except for the bombers.

(Secretary Kissinger left the meeting.)

Mr. Johnson: We could have something in between. We might agree on a set of principles with respect to MIRVs to be incorporated in a permanent agreement.

Mr. Nitze: I’m lost as to what we buy with a MIRV agreement as high as 850 with no ICBM sublimits.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: Nothing in terms of survivability of the ICBM force, but it gives them the problem of how to apportion their forces.

Gen. Scowcroft: It would prevent break-out.

Mr. Clements: That’s the only thing you can say for it.

Mr. Nitze: But none of these deals improves our position above no-agreement.

Dr. Ikle: We would gain on residual RVs after 1980.

Mr. Nitze: No. We would have more residual RVs in the no-agreement case than in any other.

Mr. Johnson: An asymmetrical agreement on MIRV launchers would strengthen their case for asymmetry in their favor on total launchers.

[Page 253]

Adm. Moorer: What is their objection to equal aggregates with freedom to mix?

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: FBS.

Mr. Nitze: We can’t get to essential equivalence unless we deal directly with FBS. That has been clear for three years.

Mr. Johnson: I have a feeling that they are not as firmly attached to FBS as they once were.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: Not when they talk about a permanent agreement.

Mr. Johnson: They say it’s not a question of the facts but a political decision. They are defensive, hesitant, unwilling to debate on this.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: Every time they brief Brezhnev they show him a map of the Soviet Union surrounded.

(Secretary Kissinger returned to the meeting.)

Secretary Kissinger: Brezhnev showed us the map which is very accurate. It showed the range of our submarines and our F–4s.

Mr. Johnson: They can make a tremendous case.

Secretary Kissinger: They just don’t consider their attack capability in Europe and the exchanges in a general war on the same level.

Mr. Clements: (to Kissinger) Why do you feel so strongly that reductions don’t accomplish anything?

Secretary Kissinger: Reductions coupled with MIRV restrictions would be useful, but reductions as a substitute for MIRV restrictions would be useless.

Mr. Nitze: I’m not sure. It depends whether you look just at the survivability of Minuteman or at the whole strategic situation. It helps the latter.

Secretary Kissinger: Why?

Mr. Nitze: It reduces their throw-weight and targets. We come out better on the difference between a first and second strike.

Secretary Kissinger: They won’t reduce land-based missiles.

Mr. Nitze: I admit there is a question of negotiability.

Secretary Kissinger: They believe that we are so far ahead at sea, and that we are trying to force them to go to sea, where they are vastly inferior to us, and take them out of the land medium where they are much better off. They have a completely irrational reaction to any attempt to force them to sea. At Zavidovo they were violent on the subject. This last time Brezhnev as much as admitted that they were no good at sea. He said they couldn’t possibly meet the 432 missile figure by 1980. They don’t know how good their SLBM will be. They believe they can make some confident predictions on their land-based MIRVs but not on their SLBMs. Certainly now, and probably for the next four [Page 254] years, we can’t force them to sea. They would consider this an outrageously unilateral offer and it would just undermine our position. If they take any reductions they will take them in submarines.

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

Secretary Kissinger: Every time I try to make this argument, Dobrynin takes me aside and tells me I am antagonizing everyone.

Mr. Nitze: If we went to sea and they didn’t we would be at a strategic advantage. The only question is whether we would be advantaged by reductions.

Secretary Kissinger: With fully MIRVed forces, on the theory that we take our reductions in land-based missiles, we would lose more quickly.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: That would make the throw-weight argument greater.

Mr. Johnson: They would have the option of not MIRVing the –18.

Secretary Kissinger: They haven’t refused limits on MLBMs as violently as they have on ICBMs.

Mr. Johnson: To trade extension of the Interim Agreement when they’re not MIRVing any –18s would be out of the ballpark.

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: It would require that they stop testing the –18 in a MIRV mode. Anything that stops their testing anything we already have would not be acceptable to them.

Secretary Kissinger: My guess would be that they would not agree. They might agree to stop deployment but not testing.

Mr. Duckett: [1 line not declassified]

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: [1 line not declassified]

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

Secretary Kissinger: I cannot confirm on the basis of our Moscow conversations that our estimate that we can check deployment is correct. Brezhnev was not particularly well briefed on this. When we talked about the size of the silos he thought we were talking about possible violations of the Interim Agreement. He wouldn’t admit that they would have to modify the SS–11 holes to put the –18s in. I finally convinced him that, under those circumstances, we would have to count every –11 hole as MIRVed.

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

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

Adm. Moorer: [less than 1 line not declassified]

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: They could keep the SS–9.

Secretary Kissinger: My impression, which is not based on any real evidence, is that they will not accept no MIRVing of MLBMs but they might accept a low number.

[Page 255]

Let’s look at the Working Group options6 and try to assess what might be obtainable. Option 2 would have us accept the basic Soviet approach, but insist on a larger disparity in launchers (200 versus 100) and an ICBM sublimit. I don’t believe they will accept an ICBM sublimit but they might accept a disparity of 200 in launchers.

Option 3 would increase the numerical disparity to 200 missiles and ask for a ban on MLBM MIRVs rather than an ICBM sublimit. This might work with a low ICBM sublimit.

Option 4a would have us accept no ICBM or MLBM sublimits but ask for a disparity of 250 missiles and a 10-year MIRV agreement rather than a 6-year agreement. I have no feel for this option—it’s never been raised. I think today’s idea of extending the Interim Agreement to 1980 and a MIRV agreement to 1984 is an interesting one. We don’t want to be in the position of negotiating an agreement in 1980. Better in 1979 or 1981.

Option 9 wouldn’t have a chance unless we were willing to throw in Trident and/or the B–1s.

These are my assessments. Since Jim Schlesinger is thinking about this, I suggest we meet again Friday afternoon or Saturday morning to give me a better idea of where we might be heading prior to my seeing Gromyko. How about 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning?7

All agreed.

Secretary Kissinger: On ABMs and a test ban, I can keep going on these until the study groups have reported.

Dr. Ikle: We have the final analysis on the ABM.

Secretary Kissinger: I got a good flavor here today of the ABM issue, and we can have another brief discussion on a test ban. But I have to understand our direction on SALT before I see Gromyko.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–108, Verification Panel Minutes, Originals, 3–15–72 to 6–4–74 [4 of 5]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Codeword. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. NSSM 195, February 20, is entitled “Nuclear Test Ban Policy.” It is scheduled to be published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Vol. E–14, Part 2, Documents on Arms Control, 1973–1976.
  3. Possibly a reference to NSSM 202, “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” issued on May 23.
  4. Not further identified. At this time, Charles Schultze was with the Brookings Institute.
  5. Not further identified.
  6. Not further identified.
  7. The Verification Panel met on Saturday, April 27 for a long discussion. Kissinger opened the meeting by stating that he wanted to discuss arms control with the Panel before his meeting with Gromyko. Kissinger stated: “I want to make it clear that no proposal will be made to the Soviets in Geneva. All I intend to do is to probe Gromyko to get a sense of how much flexibility he has. Based on that we can then formulate a proposal in the next few weeks.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H–Files), Box H–108, Verification Panel Minutes, Originals, 3–15–72 to 6–4–74 [4 of 5]) For the memorandum of conversation of the meeting between Kissinger and Gromyko, see Document 66.