208. Draft Presidential Directive/NSC1


  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • The Secretary of Energy
  • The Director, Arms Control & Disarmament Agency
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy


  • Comprehensive Test Ban

The President has reviewed the recent deliberations of the SCC on the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB) issues,2 and has reached the following conclusions.

a. In view of the importance of maintaining confidence in safety and reliability of our stockpiled nuclear weapons, the US should propose in the CTB negotiations that the treaty have a fixed, three year duration. The treaty would automatically terminate at the end of three years. During the third year there would be a review conference to determine whether to negotiate a replacement treaty.

b. In forwarding the treaty to the Senate for ratification the President has decided to state his intention to resume testing at the end of [Page 512] the three years unless a vigorous safeguards program and studies in the interim indicate that this is not necessary. He has also decided that any further agreement on testing limitations after the three year treaty would be presented to the Senate for ratification.

c. The President has decided that routine scientific experiments at minimal yield levels (less than one hundred pounds) should be permitted under the CTB in addition to experiments in laser fusion and other related areas for civil energy purposes. He has also directed that the precise nature and yields of such experiments be detailed in a CTB Safeguards Plan by the SCC and forwarded for his review by July 31, 1978.3

d. Following the Soviet response to our current proposal for fifteen single national seismic stations with the right to upgrade at least two to arrays, the US should indicate in the CTB negotiations that in the context of a three year duration treaty, we should be willing to accept a network of ten simple stations and defer the larger network for consideration in the context of any replacement treaty.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 20, PRM/NSC–38. Secret. In the upper right-hand corner, Carter wrote “ok. J” The memorandum was attached to an undated memorandum from Brzezinski to Mondale, Vance, Harold Brown, Schlesinger, Warnke, Jones, Turner, and Press that stated that the Presidential Directive contained “CTB instructions which replace those of PD/NSC–38.” (Ibid.)
  2. See Document 207.
  3. Not found.