225. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1


  • Non-Proliferation and the CTB (C)

In the attached letter,2 Gerry Smith states his view of the linkage between US non-proliferation goals and a CTB. He concludes that the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be seriously endangered if a CTB agreement is not reached before the international NPT Review Conference scheduled for June 1980. (C)

It is already clear that there will be two contentious issues at the NPT Conference: the failure of the nuclear suppliers to live up to their obligations under Article IV and Article VI of the Treaty. Article IV involves the “right” of all parties to the “fullest possible exchange” of materials and technology for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The efforts of the London Suppliers Group and of unilateral US policy make this a particularly sensitive issue. Article VI pledges the parties to pursue measures to end the nuclear arms race. Debate will focus on the success or failure of the major powers in reaching SALT and CTB agreements, and on the adequacy of the provisions of these agreements. Some countries will argue that enough time has now elapsed to prove that by failing to control the nuclear arms race, the weapons states do not intend to live up to their half of the NPT bargain, and that the Treaty should therefore be abandoned. (C)

Certainly a CTB agreement will make the Review Conference much easier for us. Beyond this, it is difficult to judge whether Gerry is accurate in predicting the consequences if we fail to reach a CTB agreement by then. (C)


That you read Gerry Smith’s letter. (U)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Global Issues, Oplinger/Bloomfield Subject File, Box 42, Proliferation: Comprehensive Test Ban, 1/79–10/80. Confidential. Sent for action. Aaron initialed the memorandum for Brzezinski. Carter initialed the top right-hand corner of the memorandum indicating that he saw it.
  2. See Document 224.