179. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1


  • CTB On-Site Inspection

I have read Paul Warnke’s memorandum2 concerning on-site inspection which he cabled in from abroad today in response to the conclusions reached at the SCC meeting on Friday.3 After further reflection I have come to the conclusion that Paul’s position is correct. As I understand the technical aspects of the problem as explained by the experts, on-site verification is essentially cosmetic and, as Paul says, “without significant practical value”. Further, his point that if we introduce a mandatory on-site inspection proposal and subsequently fall off that proposal it would be characterized as a major retreat on our part is well taken. In addition, the British are taking the same position as that recommended by Paul, and our taking a mandatory on-site verification position would require us to split with our British colleagues. In light of what I have said above I believe we should stick with our British colleagues.

[Page 423]


Memorandum from Paul Warnke.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 6, Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB), 3–12/77. Secret. In the upper-right hand corner of the memorandum, Carter wrote “Cy—I agree. J.” To the right of the subject line, Brzezinski wrote “resolved Dec. 5th. ZB.”
  2. Not found.
  3. An undated memorandum attached to the List of Participants for the December 2 SCC Meeting on CTB reads “No summary of conclusions were made for this meeting. But new instructions were sent to P. Warnke for the conduct of the negotiations.” (Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 90, SCC 043, CTB Negotiating Options and Issues, 12/2/77) No minutes for the meeting have been found. The new instructions for Warnke are in Document 181.
  4. Not attached.