195. Memorandum From the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Warnke) to President Carter 1


  • Likely Timing on the Comprehensive Test Ban

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty negotiations with the U.S.S.R. and the U.K. will resume on May 4. Although progress was made at the last round—nine weeks ending on March 21—it is probable that the trilateral negotiations will continue through the summer. Because it is expected that the product of these negotiations will then be sent to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva for its consid[Page 471]eration, it is unlikely that a treaty could be completed before the end of this year.2

This prognosis is based largely on the fact that, although accepting the principle of internal seismic installations to be located on Soviet and U.S. territory, the Soviet side is moving very slowly in negotiating the specifications of the seismic equipment, the procedures to ensure authentication of the data and the nature of involvement of non-Soviet personnel in the installation and repair of the equipment.

Also drawing out the negotiations is the Soviet resistance to agree in advance on the rights and functions of U.S. personnel who would conduct on-site inspections in the Soviet Union.

These verification matters will be included in a separate agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union with which the United Kingdom would associate itself. Satisfactory provisions in this regard are, in my opinion, essential to the verifiability of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the other major problems—precluding peaceful nuclear explosions unless the U.S. agrees to their conduct and making treaty duration not depend on Chinese and French participation—seem susceptible of resolution without undue difficulty. While voicing general agreement in principle with our positions on these questions, however, the Soviet side is reluctant to address duration and the PNE moratorium conclusively until the verification issues have been settled.

The Soviet Delegation appears to have strong military and intelligence components and there is considerable suspicion expressed about the purpose and functioning of our proposed equipment and procedures for the internal seismic installations. As I see it, therefore, the negotiations on these verification problems will be technical, detailed, and protracted.

Paul C. Warnke 3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 383, Records of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Office of the Director, Paul C. Warnke Files, December 1974–July 1979, Accession #383–98–0154, Box 1, Memoranda to the President Regarding SALT, Cruise Missiles, CTB, NPT, and Indian Ocean Arms Control, January–October 1978. Secret. In the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum, Carter wrote “I would like to expedite—Let Soviets know this. J.”
  2. In the right margin, Carter bracketed the portion of this sentence that reads “Because it is expected that the product of these negotiations will then be sent to the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva for its consideration” and wrote “why?”
  3. Warnke signed the memorandum “Paul.”