257. Editorial Note

The final negotiating session among the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on a comprehensive test ban during the administration of President Jimmy Carter lasted from October 6 to November 14, 1980. Department of State negotiators noted the “progress” that had been made over the previous 42 months, but acknowledged that issues such as the duration of a CTB treaty, the issue of National Seismic Stations, and on-site inspections still needed to be resolved. (Telegram 14496 from the Mission in Geneva, November 13; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800544–0447)

The Department of Defense’s Representative to the negotiations, Dr. Warren Heckrotte, however, argued that the discussions had resulted in “very little substantive negotiations,” and found “very little reason why” the talks should continue as presently constituted. The Soviets, he contended, had taken an increasingly “harsh” tone, not only in the Geneva talks, which he believed reflected the fact that “a more conservative element” of military personnel had begun to outnumber diplomats in the Soviet Delegation, but also in the Soviet press and other official organs. Carter’s loss in the 1980 presidential election, the U.S. Senate’s failure to ratify the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks II Treaty, and Moscow’s inherent mistrust of an on-site inspection regime, he warned, had contributed to the current atmosphere. (Telegram 319 from Heckrotte to Brown, McGiffert, and Slocombe, November 12; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harold Brown Papers, Box 82, CTB: Negotiation Issues 1979)