10. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Slocombe) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron)1

SUBJECT

  • ASAT

Dave—

Normally, I’d pass this through Bob Rosenberg, but he’s out today:

As you know, Secretary Brown would prefer to have an NSC meeting prior to final decision on the ASAT issue. I believe the principal point he would want to have discussed at such a meeting is the verifiability of comprehensive ASAT prohibitions, taking into account the scale of violation necessary to have a significant military capability, [Page 33]etc. Our suggestion to include in the PD a sentence saying in effect that there would be a review of verification problems before the idea of a comprehensive ban was broached with the Soviets in any detail was to provide a mechanism for appropriate high-level consideration of the issue without pressing for a meeting now. If you feel that such language can’t be included in the PD, I think I should advise him and give him a chance to seek an NSC meeting, or talk to you, Zbig or the President.

Walter Slocombe Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
International Security Affairs
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harold Brown Papers, Box 82, ASAT Arms Control. Top Secret. The salutation is handwritten.