28. Memorandum From the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Slocombe) to Secretary of Defense Brown1
- ASAT—Suspension of Testing During Negotiations—ACTION MEMORANDUM
As you know, there is substantial sentiment in the building to have the SCC reconsider whether a suspension of testing during the ASAT talks is in the United States’ interest. (See Tab A.) The NSC staff refuses, however, to put that issue in the issues paper being drafted for the meeting in the absence of a request to do so by a principal. Simply to ask to have the issue discussed does not prejudge where DOD comes out. Accordingly, I recommend that you call Dave Aaron and ask that suspension of testing be included in the paper as an issue for the SCC.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
International Security Affairs[Page 61]
- Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–81–0202, Box 46, 471.96 (Apr–June) 1978. Secret. A stamped notation reads: “SEC DEF HAS SEEN.” Under Slocombe’s signature, Brown wrote “5/24. Called Dave A. He will include. HB.”↩
- One of the space shuttle’s projected missions was to launch satellites into space, eliminating the need to launch them by traditional booster rockets.↩
- Skylab was a manned space station built by NASA that had been damaged upon its initial launch in 1974. During the Carter administration, NASA scientists hoped that the space shuttle could attach an experimental booster, the teleoperator retrieval system, to the station, thereby sending Skylab into higher orbit and extending its life another five years. These plans were preempted when Skylab reentered the atmosphere and disintegrated in 1979.↩