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38. Presidential Directive/NSC–451

TO

  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • The Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

SUBJECT

  • Instructions to the US Delegation to the ASAT Talks with the Soviets Commencing January 23 in Bern (U)

The objectives of the second round of ASAT talks with the Soviets are:

—To seek clarification of Soviet views regarding the possibilities for (1) finding a verifiable means for effectively eliminating their current orbital interceptor capability, and (2) suspending ASAT interceptor testing. (S)

—To continue informal discussions aimed at identifying and clarifying areas of mutual understanding that might be codified in an initial ASAT agreement. (U)

In discussing the question of dismantling, you may draw on the ideas contained in the interagency study.2 However, you must make it absolutely clear that any suggestions you make in no way constitute a proposal. (U)

In discussing the issue of a testing suspension, you should informally suggest a one-year suspension of testing at all altitudes. You should also make it clear to the Soviets that investigating the possibility of limits on high energy laser ASAT applications should get high priority in future talks. (S)

After discussing these specific issues with the Soviets, you should send me your assessment of the Soviets’ interest in negotiating a two-part initial agreement consisting of a ban on damage, destruction, and unauthorized displacement of each other’s satellites, plus a [Page 86]one-year suspension of ASAT interceptor testing. Except for the changes implied by the above instructions, the instructions for the first round remain in force. (TS)

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 81B00112R, Subject Files, Box 16, Folder 8: (SCC) ASAT. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 6.