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

[Omitted here is discussion of military briefing procedures.]

Kissinger asked if Laird thought that “it will be picked up?”

Laird said we can make sure it is, but I certainly don’t want to announce it from here.

[Page 257]

Kissinger said he saw that there is a SAC exercise going on in October. “I’m all for it—but I just want to know what it is. Has it been announced?”

Laird—no formal announcement.

Kissinger—“Will the other side pick this up? We want them to.”

Laird—They will pick it up. The fact that we are exercising our bombers.

Kissinger—Could you exercise the “DevCons” (?) [DEFCON] for a day or so in October? I’ll give you a brief as to why.

Laird—We can.

HAK—The President will appreciate it very much.

[Omitted here is discussion of Laos and an upcoming Nuclear Planning Group meeting.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 89, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. Top Secret.