14. Editorial Note

On November 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter wrote Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev that Soviet anti-satellite (ASAT) testing in space had become “of increasing concern to us” and had been “carefully noted in our country.” Carter warned that this concern “has emerged in our efforts to build support in the U.S. Senate for a SALT agreement. This is a seriously destabilizing development which we have voluntarily foregone, although we have the technical capability to build systems. A very early joint agreement not to conduct further tests and to forego this capability,” the President said, “would be helpful.” (Letter from Carter to Brezhnev, November 4; Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Outside the System File, Box 69, USSR: Brezhnev-Carter Correspondence: 6–12/77. Brezhnev replied that he was “ready to hold consultations” on ASAT systems, but said the discussions “would include, of course, all the systems and means which possess such potential capability including manned space shuttles.” (Letter from Brezhnev to Carter, November 15; Carter Library, Plains File, President’s Personal Foreign Affairs File, Box 4, USSR (Brezhnev Drafts/Letters) 4/77–9/80)