383. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1
- Post-INFCE Explorations by Gerry Smith
At Tab A is Warren Christopher’s paper on the timing of Gerry Smith’s post-INFCE explorations with the Europeans and Japanese on his proposals for modifications in US non-proliferation policy. The paper is simply a listing of reasons for and against authorizing Smith to proceed; Christopher does not offer a recommendation.
In my view, your decision should be based on the following consideration. The decision on Tarapur2 will encounter determined resistance on the Hill. Many there who applauded the policy you announced in 1977, see the Tarapur decision as a significant move away from that policy. Moreover, we face a growing coalition of opposition made up of those who oppose Tarapur on substance, and Reagan supporters who simply want to embarrass you.
No matter how tightly Smith’s instructions are worded, his explorations will be seen as another deviation from your policy, generating further opposition on the Hill and among liberal supporters. The question is whether or not you want to address both of these issues simultaneously. I think not, and there is no need to do so since you can control the timing of the Smith initiative, waiting until after it has been fully reviewed in the normal NSC process.
That you not authorize Smith to conduct post-INFCE explorations at this time.3[Page 975] [Page 977]
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Global Issues, Oplinger/Bloomfield File, Box 52, Proliferation: Smith, Gerard, 3–6/80. Secret.↩
- On April 28, Carter approved the issuance of two pending licenses so that India could import enriched uranium from the United States for its nuclear power plant at Tarapur. For more on this decision, see Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XIX, South Asia.↩
- Carter checked the “Disapprove” option and wrote “J” underneath.↩
- June 13.↩
- Carter checked the “Let Gerry Smith go ahead with explorations now” and wrote “J” underneath.↩
- Secret; Nodis. In the upper right-hand corner, Carter wrote “Let’s let Gerry do this exploration of the idea on his own and report back to me. I may not wish to go forward with it. I’ll discuss some in Venice [the Summit of Industrialized Nations, the G–7, to be held on June 22 and 23]—J.C.”↩