93. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1

  • SUBJECT
    • Soviet Reactions to U.S. Operations during October

Attached at Tab A2 is a report of Soviet reactions to special U.S. military readiness measures taken at your request during the period [Page 301]October 13–30. The following significant Soviet responses were detected:

  • —Increased military signal intelligence collection activity indicated that the Soviets became aware of U.S. operations at least by October 15.
  • —General staff communications to selected major headquarters, utilizing a probable primary alert system, indicated increased concern on October 23.
  • —Some military staff elements were apparently moved to alternate command posts and a communications test with tactical air force headquarters was conducted from Moscow on October 27.
  • —Sensitivity to U. S. aerial reconnaissance activities in the Far East increased markedly.

The above measures, along with others contained in the report, indicate that Moscow was aware of U.S. activities and took some defensive precautions.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box SCI 17, Memoranda to the President, 1969. Top Secret; Sensitive; [codeword not declassified]. Sent for information. Drafted by Jonathan Howe of the NSC Staff on November 30.
  2. Attached, but not printed, is a nine-page Special Intelligence Report, entitled “Final Summary of Soviet Reactions to U.S. Operations,” produced by the DIA on November 6, 1969. The report noted that a “number of Soviet activities detected by U.S. intelligence could not be confidently identified as reaction to the U.S. readiness tests because concurrent events could easily have been responsible.” Similarly, “There was no evidence to indicate that certain unusual Chinese Communist activity was in response to U.S. operations during the period.” Instead, the DIA estimated that the Soviet and Chinese activities were related to the commencement of Sino-Soviet talks.