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23. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Secretary of Defense Brown1

SUBJECT

  • U.S. Position Regarding Anti-Satellites (ASAT)

The President has signed a Presidential Directive calling for the removal of the restriction on operational or space based testing. He has authorized you to pursue, for planning purposes, a U.S. ASAT development program encompassing that testing in space or against U.S. objects in space deemed essential to achieve an ASAT capability.

All other elements of my Arms Control for Anti-Satellite Systems memorandum dated September 23, 1977,2 remain in effect at this time.

The President wishes, however, that prior to the actual conduct of any such U.S. testing, you obtain his concurrence. He has chosen to treat this limitation as an understanding between the two of you rather than lessen the impact of a very positive statement on testing in the more broadly distributed Presidential Directive.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 20, PD/NSC–33. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 11.