253. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Soviet High-Yield Nuclear Test


  • State

    • Secretary Edmund Muskie
    • Under Secretary David Newsom
    • George Vest, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs
  • Defense

    • Deputy Secretary W. Graham Claytor, Jr.
    • David McGiffert, Assistant Secretary, International Security Affairs
  • JCS

    • Lt. General John Pustay, Assistant to the Chairman
  • DCI

    • Director Stansfield Turner
    • [name not declassified] Deputy Director, Office of Scientific Weapons Research
  • ACDA

    • Director Ralph Earle
  • OSTP

    • John Marcum, Senior Adviser for Technology & Arms Control
  • White House

    • Zbigniew Brzezinski
    • David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Marshall Brement

At the end of the PRC meeting on Afghanistan today, an SCC was convened to discuss briefly the high-yield nuclear test which the Soviets conducted on Saturday.2 [11½ lines not declassified]

Following a brief discussion, it was agreed that David Newsom would raise the issue immediately in a meeting he had scheduled on other business with Dobrynin this afternoon. After some revisions, a State-proposed démarche3 was approved which would note that the test appeared to have [less than 1 line not declassified] reaffirm the importance of strict observance of [less than 1 line not declassified], and call for [Page 624] technical consultations on the basis of the proposal we made last December following several earlier Soviet high-yield tests.4 (At that time, they rejected the proposal arguing that we should first ratify the TTBT). It was also agreed that the SCC would meet next week to review available evidence and consider next steps. [3 lines not declassified] We deferred this contingency step last fall5 out of concern that it could be overly provocative to the Soviets.6

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 116, SCC 339A, USSR High-Yield Nuclear Test/Afghanistan: 9/15/80. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. Carter initialed the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum.
  2. September 13.
  3. Under Secretary of State David Newsom handed Dobrynin the démarche on September 15. The text is in telegram 246325 to Moscow, September 16. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800441–0802)
  4. See Document 243.
  5. Not found.
  6. In the left-hand margin, Carter wrote “clear with me first.”