173. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Secretary of Defense Brown and Secretary of Energy Schlesinger 1

SUBJECT

  • FY 1978 Underground Nuclear Test Program (CRESSET)

The President has approved the underground nuclear test program for the first half of FY 1978 (CRESSET I), consistent with the FY 1978 DOD and DOE budget levels, and subject to the following limitations:

—Approval of the BACKSTAY and KNIGHTHEAD tests is held in abeyance pending DOD submission and interagency review of a study of the military utility and arms control implications of insertable nuclear components.

—Implementation must be in accordance with existing policy regarding testing near the 150 kt limit of the TTBT.

The above approval is conditional upon the outcome of the CTB negotiations; the United States must be prepared to cease testing if agreement on a CTB Treaty is reached.

Specific approval of the test program for the second half of FY 1978 (CRESSET II) should be requested by March 1978. The total number of tests to be conducted during FY 1978 is not to exceed 25.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–80–0017, Box 63, A–400.112 1977. Secret. Copies sent to Vance, Harold Brown, Lance, George Brown, and Turner. Harold Brown wrote in the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum, “10/22 HB.”