291. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1
- Talks with the Soviets on Conventional Arms Transfer Restraint
A PRC meeting was held yesterday concerning the approach to be adopted in next week’s talks with the Soviets on supplier restraint in arms transfers. The discussion revealed a sharp difference of opinion as to how we should approach this round of talks. The debate centered on whether we should raise specific contentious issues in this round, or whether we should aim only to secure Soviet agreement to participate in a serious, continuing process. Tab A2 is the Summary of Conclusions of the meeting which outlines the arguments made.
Subject to your approval, I intend to resolve the issue with the directive at Tab B. Also, in order to demonstrate to the Soviets that this effort has high level support, I believe it would be helpful for the delegation to have with it a statement from you expressing your personal commitment to arms transfer restraint and your concern for the success of these talks. A draft statement is at Tab C for your approval.
That you approve the directive and statement at Tab B and C respectively.
Approve Presidential Directive
Approve Presidential Statement
- Source: Carter Library, Brzezinski Donated Material, Subject File, Box 29, Meetings–PRC 60: 4/26/78. Secret. Sent for action. Carter wrote “C” in the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum.↩
- Tab A is printed as Document 290.↩
- Carter changed “Approve” to “Disapprove” on this line, underlined it twice, and checked this option. In the right-hand margin he wrote “We should move quickly & forcefully to spell out “functional” & “regional” restraint proposals. Give Soviets copy of our unilateral arms sales policy, & see early if they are serious.”↩
- Carter checked the “As amended” option.↩
- Carter bracketed this paragraph in the right-hand margin and underlined the phrase “to secure Soviet agreement to participate in a continuing and regular series of working group meetings.” In the left-hand margin he wrote “not enough—Let’s get to the point.”↩
- No classification marking.↩
- Carter crossed out the word “restrain” and substituted “curb” in the first sentence and added “such” before the words “a policy” and crossed out the words “of restraint” in the last sentence↩
- Carter crossed out “To my way of thinking,” capitalized the letter “O” in “our,” crossed out the phrase “agreed to at the highest levels,” and substituted “accepted by the leaders” in the first sentence. For the final text of the “Basic Principles of Relations Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, issued on May 29, 1972, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1972, pp. 633–635.↩