89. Memorandum From Jan Lodal of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger1


  • Comments on Soviet Aide-Mémoire

The Soviet Aide-Mémoire (Tab A) on the Vladivostok agreement is generally helpful. For example, the Aide-Mémoire refers to “heavy bombers” as opposed to “strategic bombers”, which the Soviets previously used. The new terminology confirms that the Soviets have fallen off FBS. It also makes it easier for us to argue for the inclusion of the Backfire (which may have only a peripheral, “non-strategic” role despite its being a heavy bomber) and for the exemption of the FB–111 (which has a strategic role but is only a medium bomber in the Badger category).

There are some problems with the Aide-Mémoire:

—Paragraph 3 broadens the coverage of the agreed provision on ballistic air-to-surface missiles of 600 km or greater range to apply to all air-to-surface missiles of such range, ballistic and cruise. The stand-off cruise missile we are developing for the B–52 and B–1 would have a range of some 3000 km. Some 10–20 could be carried per airplane. Thus, it would be a significant disadvantage to accede to the Soviet reinterpretation and I believe you must challenge it.

—Paragraph 4 allows each side “to determine by itself the types and numbers” of its 1320 missiles which will be equipped with MIRVs. While this wording may simply be a reaffirmation of their non-acceptance of limits on SS–18 MIRVs, it may also be an attempt at eroding our principle of verifying MIRVs by types and classes. As you know, this verification issue may pose the major hurdle to be overcome in reaching a SALT agreement in 1975. Thus, I believe you should point out to the Soviets that we agree to their wording in paragraph 4 but only subject to any collateral constraints which may be necessary for adequate verification.

—The paragraph 5 ban on modifying light ICBM launchers into heavy launchers does not pick up the ban, in Article II of the Interim Agreement, on converting pre-1964 heavy launchers (i.e., for SS–7, SS–8, Titan II) into more modern types. While the Soviets are most probably assuming that they will have to phase out the SS–7s and SS–8s [Page 391] to reach 2400, you might want to make clear to them that the ban on older to modern heavies continues.

—The reference to incorporating in the new agreement “the relevant provisions of the Interim Agreement” is potentially troublesome because of its possible reference to the Interim Agreement ban on additional construction of SLBM launchers and modern submarines. However, since the provisions of the Interim Agreement relating to no new ICBM silos and no conversion of light launchers into heavy launchers are picked up in paragraph 5, the reference to the Interim Agreement is probably to peripheral provisions, such as use of national technical means and of the SCC. However, you might wish to tie down once and for all that the submarine sublimits expire in 1977.

Tab A

Soviet Draft Aide-Mémoire2

November, 1974.


In accordance with an agreement reached during the meeting of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU L.I. Brezhnev and President Gerald Ford on November 23–24 1974, agreed provisions are laid down below to be followed by the sides in working out a new agreement on limitations of strategic offensive armaments.

1. A new agreement, the work on which is to be completed in the nearest time with a view of signing it in 1975, will cover the period from October 1977 through December 31, 1985 and will incorporate the relevant provisions of the Interim Agreement of May 26, 1972, which will remain in force till October 1977.

2. A new agreement will be based on the principle of equality and equal security of both sides.

3. During the time of a new agreement each of the sides will be entitled to an aggregate number of delivery vehicles of strategic arms not exceeding 2,400. This number includes intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), ballistic missiles on submarines (SLBMs) and heavy bombers if the latter are equipped with bombs and air-to-surface missiles with a range not exceeding 600 kilometers. When a bomber is [Page 392] equipped with air-to-surface missiles with a range over 600 kilometers, each of such missiles will be counted as one delivery vehicle in their aggregate number (2,400).

4. During the time of a new agreement each of the sides will be entitled to an aggregate number of ICBMs and SLBMs equipped with multiple independently targetable warheads not exceeding 1,320. Within this aggregate number each of the sides will be entitled to determine by itself the types and numbers of its missiles to be equipped with such warheads.

5. During the time of a new agreement each of the sides will not construct new silos for launchers of ICBMs and will not modify launchers for light ICBMs into the launchers for heavy ICBMs.

6. A new agreement could also provide for additional limitations on deployment of new types of strategic arms during the time of its action.

7. A new agreement will also include a provision to the effect that not later than 1980–1981 negotiations should start on further limitations and possible reductions of strategic arms for the post 1985 period.

8. Negotiations between the delegations of the USSR and the US to work out a new agreement will resume in Geneva, in January 1975. A precise date of their resumption will be agreed upon in the nearest time.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Staff Assistant Peter Rodman Files, Box 1, SALT, Oct.–Nov. 1974. Secret; Completely Outside the System.
  2. Confidential. A handwritten note indicates the aide-mémoire was delivered to the White House at 7:15 p.m. on November 29. The final text, agreed upon by the United States and Soviet Union, is Document 91.