58. Minutes of a Verification Panel Meeting1


  • MBFR


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
    • Mr. John N. Irwin
    • Mr. Raymond L. Garthoff
    • Mr. Martin J. Hillenbrand
  • Defense
    • Mr. Warren Nutter
    • Mr. Robert Pranger
    • Mr. Philip Odeen
  • CIA
    • Mr. Bruce Clarke
    • Mr. Carl Duckett
  • OST
    • Dr. Hubert Heffner
  • OMB
    • Mr. James Schlesinger
  • NSC Staff
    • Col. Richard Kennedy
    • Mr. Wayne Smith
    • Mr. Helmut Sonnenfeldt
    • Mr. William G. Hyland
    • Mr. John C. Court
    • Mr. Wilfrid L. Kohl
    • Mr. Mark Wandler
  • JCS
    • Admiral Thomas H. Moorer
    • Major Gen. Marvin C. Demler
  • Justice
    • Attorney General John Mitchell
  • ACDA
    • Ambassador Gerard Smith
    • Mr. David Linebaugh


It was agreed that:

  • —Exploratory conversations on MBFR should be kept on a procedural level and should not get into substantive matters until the U.S. and NATO Allies have formed a position.
  • —A reduction of indigenous troops only would be unacceptable to the U.S. from political and intelligence points of view.
  • —A sanitized version of the Evaluation Report2 will be given to the North Atlantic Council, with the Department of Defense expressing its reservations in the covering letter.
  • —The State Department and ACDA should prepare a paper for the upcoming NSC meeting on how the MBFR negotiations should be conducted.
  • —The Working Group should provide an analysis of the effect of including the three Western Military Districts of the Soviet Union in the area of force reductions, if nuclear weapons are to be considered in the reductions. The analysis should include discussion of forwardbased and nuclear delivery systems on the Allied side and IRBMs on the Soviet side.
  • —The Working Group should prepare a sensitivity analysis of the safety margin built into the present NATO situation. The analysis should discuss the consequences of 10 and 30% symmetrical reductions. It should also discuss asymmetrical reductions and mixed packages.
  • —The Working Group should prepare an analysis of their [the?] effect of on-site observers on verification.
  • —The Working Group should prepare an analysis of the reductions of indigenous forces. The analysis should specifically deal with the equipment aspect.
  • —The President should be made aware of our desire to have the Deputy Defense Ministers of NATO attend the Deputy Foreign Minister meeting this Fall.
  • ACDA should review the force reduction work it did in 1957,3 with the thought that this experience might be relevant to the current issue.

[Omitted here is the Verification Panel’s discussion of MBFR.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–107, Verification Panel Minutes, Originals, 1969 through 3/8/72. Top Secret; Sensitive.
  2. see footnote 4, Document 65.
  3. For documentation relating to U.S. disarmament policy in 1957, see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, volume XX, Regulation of Armaments and Atomic Energy.