390. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1


  • NPT Review Conference

The SCC this morning2 reached consensus that we should authorize our delegation to the NPT Review Conference to agree to the for[Page 995]mation of a working group on CTB under the auspices of the Conference on Disarmament. The JCS did not agree because they fear that such a working group will become a source of independent pressure on the trilateral CTB forum that will make it more difficult for us to achieve such goals as good verification provisions. All others agreed that this was a serious possibility but felt that we should make this attempt if we could avoid a total collapse of the NPT Review Conference (the inability to reach agreement on a consensus document).

The SCC consensus was subject to the proviso that we will agree to the formation of the working group if it is clear that our agreement would produce an acceptable conference outcome, though all understood that the idea would have to be floated during discussions in Geneva tomorrow. We know this is clearly a long shot with all the disorder at the conference but we feel we should give our people something to work with and, as Ed Muskie put it, we would be better off failing having made the effort, than having failed to make the effort. The UK and Canada support this approach.


That you approve the SCC consensus.3

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 6, Comprehensive Test Ban (CTB): 1/79–9/80. Secret. Sent for action. Carter initialed the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum.
  2. No record of this meeting was found.
  3. Carter checked the “Approve” option and wrote “J” in the right-hand margin.