113. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard)1

Packard: Are you leaving today? I wanted to chat about Safeguard. We have got things worked out here so there are two courses we can go. Wanted to get your advice which way the President wants to go. One, is to take the next step with two additional sites going toward full 12 deployment with some emphasis on the area defense capability. Also going to include some money for R&D to upgrade Minuteman defense in case we need it. Involves $1-1/2 billion in authorization and about $900 million in expenditures. The other course would be to simply go ahead with phase 1 but put R&D toward area defense.

K: I am practically certain he wants the first course you mentioned. He wants to get into phase 2 if only for bargaining effect. We had a talk about that yesterday after Jerry Smith made his report.2 He definitely wants to do that. We were wondering [if] we could start surveying some additional sites just to show we are moving.

P: We will do that. I think I have a pretty good interpretation of the conversation last week.3 If you are sure the President wants to go that way, I will go ahead.

K: I am not sure which two sites he would pick—I would guess Whiteman and the Northwest.

P: It is perfectly—

K: I think he would prefer that to the National Command Authority.

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P: I think it would save us an argument.

K: I am sure I speak for him on this.

P: I will have it set up that way. We have got to get it in the budget. I will get things moving ahead on that basis.

K: Could you send over a piece of paper?4

P: Yes.

K: I am sure I speak for him on this because we have talked on the budget review so we will do two sites and preserve some other ones.

P: The ultimate 12 sites so we have the whole picture and going ahead on the whole program.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking
  2. Nixon met with Gerard Smith from 10:22 to 11:15 on December 29. No other record of the meeting was found. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)
  3. Not further identified.
  4. See Document 117.