309. Memorandum From the Director of the Program Analysis Staff, National Security Council (Odeen) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1 2


  • Test ban Statements

Attached is an interview with Jim Schlesinger in U.S. News and World Report. In several places he argues the strategic need for continued nuclear testing. On the final page he takes on directly the fundamental issue of whether a test ban is desirable even if verifiable.

I have some sympathy for Jim’s view on this issue but I think it is political dynamite for us to begin changing our position on CTB in the middle of an election year. Agreed that the verification position is eroding—but even ACDA agrees that we can still get a lot of mileage out of it. I think we are much better off this year to endure hostile suspicion of our verification position than to debate the merits of a test ban.

Accordingly, I think you should talk to Jim, or should approve my doing so, asking him to “soft pedal” lest us drift into open debate with Muskie, Kennedy, et al, on this issue. Nuclear test ban can only become an important issue if we make it one.

Your Decision

I will call Schlesinger [Haig checked]

You call Schlesinger

See me

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 203, Agency Files, Atomic Energy Commission 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. The attachment is not published. Haig checked “I will call Schlesinger.” Written on the memorandum is “OBE” (overtaken by events).
  2. Odeen indicated his concern over AEC Chairman Schlesinger’s recent interview with U.S. News and World Report in which he commented unfavorably on U.S. test ban policy.