356. Editorial Note

Jan Lodal of the National Security Council staff recorded his impressions of the NSC meeting on January 23, 1975, in his log: “I worked on the MBFR NSDM before the NSC meeting. We had the NSC on MBFR from 11:30 to 12:30. It went quite smoothly. Everyone was in favor of introducing Option III into the negotiations. The only question is whether or not we should increase the warheads from 1,000 to 2,000. Kissinger argued strongly against doing it at this time. He prevailed with the President.

“After the meeting I talked to Resor and Ikle and tried to calm them down. Resor wants to move full speed ahead. He had a group get together in the afternoon to look over a cable to NATO. I sent Higgins to turn this off.

Sonnenfeldt and I have talked several times trying to figure out what Kissinger seems to be up to. As Sonnenfeldt says, maybe it is just the old agenda (Soviet policy, détente, etc.) versus his new agenda (energy, [Page 1053] interdependence, a new world order, etc.). Maybe he just no longer takes an active interest in the old agenda. In any event, Sonnenfeldt and I agreed that turning over such a major item (Soviet control over Allied nuclear forces) to people like Resor and Dean is putting fire in the hands of children. Maybe Kissinger thinks that the Soviets will reject it, but that it will buy him some time with Congress by having it on the table. Maybe he just doesn’t want to fight Schlesinger on the issue.

“After the NSC, I walked down the stairs with Schlesinger. He said, ‘I didn’t realize you felt as though we’re such fans of tac nucs.’ I told him that I wasn’t, but I wasn’t a diplomat. We discussed how obvious it was that we should get rid of some of the tac nucs. He referred to them as ‘junk.’ I explained to him that I thought Kissinger was somewhat uptight at present because of the various problems associated with our Soviet relations. Therefore, he was going quite slowly on every issue related to the Soviets.”

On January 30, Lodal wrote in his daily log: “I spent the evening trying to clear out my inbox. Kissinger has not yet acted on the MBFR NSDM, being his usual irresponsible self. I have no idea when we will get out a SALT NSDM. The British are here, and they will want to know about MBFR. I don’t know whether he will tell Wilson or not.” On February 1, Lodal wrote: “Sonnenfeldt and I discussed how frustrating Kissinger’s present mode of operation was. There was really [not] any serious intellectual discussion of issues and all decisions seemed to be made by the seat of the pants. […] Furthermore, the failure to get the SALT and MBFR NSDM’s out on schedule could have major consequences.” (Ford Library, NSC Program Analysis Staff, Jan Lodal Convenience Files, Box 70, Daily Log)

On January 30, Secretary of State Kissinger discussed the MBFR NSDM with President Ford and Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs Scowcroft. A memorandum of their conversation reads in part: “President: Did we give Resor some guidance? Kissinger: I am worried about the impact of the withdrawal of 40% of our nuclear weapons. Ford: I agree.” (Ibid., National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 9)