311. Memorandum From the Director of the Program Analysis Staff, National Security Council (Odeen) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2
- JCS Opposition to Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
Secretary Laird has forwarded to the President—without comment—the JCS views opposing a comprehensive nuclear test ban (Tab B).
The JCS paper is a highly charged, emotional document. It mixes genuine implications and uncertainties concerning a nuclear test ban with unsubstantiated assertions, irrelevancies and debatable assumptions.
As you know, the NSSM 128 study is trying to cut through the emotion and rigidly-held opinions that characterize the views both of proponents and opponents of CTB. A summary paper is currently being completed and the tentative meeting schedule has a Verification Panel meeting on the CTB study just prior to the Canada trip.
Attached at Tab A is a self explanatory memorandum to the President that presents the relevant points of the JCS position with some tempering comments derived from the ongoing NSSM 128 analysis. If you wish to send the JCS views to the President, I believe it is important to his understanding of the issues that they be presented objectively.
That you sign the memorandum at Tab A forwarding the JCS paper to the President.[Page 2]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 245, Agency Files, JCS volume II. Top Secret; Restricted Data. Sent for action. Kennedy and Sonnenfeldt concurred in the memorandum. A handwritten notation at the top indicated that Kissinger saw it, but he did not sign or forward the memorandum attached at Tab A to the President (Tab A is not published). In a March 31 memorandum to Kissinger, Kennedy said he doubted Kissinger would want to send the JCS memorandum to the President since the Verification Panel was studying the issue and an upcoming meeting would provide an opportunity to explore all views, including those of the JCS, before putting them before the President. He concluded the memorandum was “too cryptic” to give the President a full exposition of the arguments both pro and con. Kissinger wrote on Kennedy’s note, “It is a brief not an analysis.”(Ibid.)↩
- Under the cover of this memorandum, Odeen transmitted the March 14 JCS memorandum expressing its “highly-charged” opposition to a comprehensive nuclear test ban and recommended Kissinger forward it to the President.↩