104. Minutes of a Joint Verification Panel and Senior Review Group Meeting1


  • MBFR


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • U. Alexis Johnson
    • George Springsteen
    • Ralph McGuire
    • John P. Shaw
    • Seymour Weiss
  • Defense
    • Armistead Selden
    • Lawrence Eagleburger
    • Clay McManaway
  • JCS
    • Vice Adm. John Weinel
    • Maj. Gen. R. H. Dettre
  • CIA
    • Lt. Gen. Vernon Walters
    • Bruce Clarke
  • Treasury
    • John McGinnis
    • Edward Cohen
  • ACDA
    • Gerard Smith
    • David Linebaugh
  • OST
    • Dr. Edward David
  • NSC
    • Philip Odeen
    • William Hyland
    • David Aaron
    • Lt. Michael Power
    • James Hackett


It was agreed that:

  • —State will seek European approval for us to approach the Russians to see if they are ready to accept an invitation for a specific date for MBFR discussions to begin.
  • —The CIA will prepare a paper for submission to the Working Group within the next week on the problem of verification of force reductions.
  • CIA will prepare a book for the negotiators providing information on what can and what cannot be monitored.
  • —The Working Group should coordinate the development of a common data base for MBFR.
  • —The JCS will re-do an analysis of an asymmetrical cut to a common ceiling. This analysis and all others will be based on common figures and will assume that Pact forces are larger than ours.
  • —The CIA will do a study of the ability of the Pact forces to reinforce.
  • CIA/DIA will make an effort to reduce the margin of error in their estimates of the size and readiness of Pact forces.
  • —The question of whether to propose reducing units or people is a key issue and should be resolved as soon as possible.
  • JCS will provide a briefing before the end of August on the situation concerning stocks in NATO and the ability of the allies to resupply themselves.
  • —The Verification Panel will meet before the end of August to review the various studies2 to decide how to approach the NATO allies in September.

[Omitted here is the Verification Panel/Senior Review Group’s discussion of MBFR.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–113, SRG Minutes, Originals, 1972–73. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. On July 30, Odeen forwarded Kissinger two analytical papers on balanced force reductions in preparation for the meeting, one from the JCS, the other from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Odeen wrote in an attached memorandum: “For a variety of reasons, not all of which are the fault of the JCS, the JCS analysis is virtually worthless. As you know, we have been sharply critical of the JCS analysis in the past.” Odeen continued, “Until now it has not been particularly important since we have not been serious about MBFR. Moreover, the JCS analysis tended to strengthen our hand against other elements of the bureaucracy who were pushing for a quick and easy politically-oriented reduction.” Odeen commented that “the JCS, in spite of your exhortation to Tom Moorer, simply could not do a complete new set of analyses in the time allotted.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–064, Verification P/SRG Group Meeting MBFR 8/3/72)