488. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • United Nations Special Session on Disarmament


  • State
  • Mr. David Newsome Under Secretary for Political Affairs
  • Mr. Jerome Kahan Deputy Director, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
  • Mr. Gerald Helman Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political and Multilateral Affairs
  • USUN
  • Ambassador James F. Leonard U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations
  • ACDA
  • Mr. Spurgeon Keeny Deputy Director of ACDA
  • Mr. Adam Yarmolinsky Counselor for ACDA
  • Ambassador Lawrence Weiler U.S. Coordinator for SSOD
  • Defense
  • Deputy Secretary Charles Duncan
  • Mr. David McGiffert Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs
  • JCS
  • Lt. General William Smith
  • CIA
  • Admiral Stansfield Turner
  • [name not declassified] Acting Assistant NIO for Special Studies
  • Energy
  • Dr. Donald Kerr Acting Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs
  • AID
  • Governor John Gilligan
  • Mr. Alexander Shakow Assistant Administrator for Program and Policy Coordination
  • White House
  • Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • NSC
  • Mr. Reginald Bartholomew
  • Dr. Samuel Huntington
  • Mr. Robert Putnam

It would be desirable to develop for a possible Presidential address at SSOD a generalized statement of ten-year disarmament goals, particularly stressing a gradual scaling down of Soviet and American strategic forces, with provision for participation by other nuclear powers in the later phases of this process. However, it is not appropriate at this point to include specific numerical targets, because there is not time to complete the necessary staffing and consultations before SSOD. The SALT Interagency Working Group is asked to develop over the next several months a series of specific targets as a framework for considering future steps in strategic arms control.

This Administration has compiled a strong record in the field of arms control, and some participants thought it possible that a Presidential address could be crafted that would recount this record and add some new elements or initiatives, without outlining a full-fledged Ten-Year Program. It was agreed that any US address at SSOD should refer to NATO and to the complementarity between arms control and defense policy, both contributing to national security.

The meeting considered six specific possible US initiatives at SSOD.2 The proposal on stabilizing measures was approved. The proposal on ACIS was disapproved. The proposal on peaceful nuclear cooperation was approved, subject to consultations with OMB and Congress. (It will be necessary to resolve a few details involving the funding of fuel cycle services and the working of Ex-Im preference for NPT parties.)

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Concern was expressed about the probable adverse Chinese reaction to the proposal on nuclear accident reporting, particularly since it might appear directed at the PRC. It was agreed to ask the UKUN to broach with the PRC the relevant proposal in the UK draft Program of Action. If the PRC’s reaction is not adverse, USUN would then approach the PRC directly on the proposal. The proposal would be included in the US SSOD presentation only if the PRC did not object.

Concern was expressed about the psychological impact of the proposed negative security assurances in NATO, in Korea, and perhaps elsewhere. It was agreed that the US would consult with South Korea, with Japan, and with the FRG on this subject, using as the basis of the consultation the current UK proposal, the language of which is similar to the language of the proposed US declaration. A later SCC meeting would, in the light of these consultations, decide whether or not to go forward with the initiative. If the decision was affirmative, we would first privately inform Israel and Iran and reassure them that the declaration would not impair our existing commitments to their security. The question of the exact language of the proposed US declaration—whether or not to include “or threaten to use”—was deferred.

There was general agreement with the objective of establishing a link between development aid and disarmament efforts, but it would be premature to commit ourselves to the proposed fund for this purpose. Instead, the US should express general support for a multilateral effort to define criteria which would permit the preferential use of development aid to reward states that make significant arms control and disarmament efforts.

The NSC staff will coordinate a revision of the existing PM draft speech3 to encompass the decisions reached at this meeting, including a generalized statement of a ten-year disarmament program and reference to the approved initiatives, with the pending initiatives bracketed. A meeting of the SCC will be held next week to consider, first of all, the substance of the redrafted speech, its impact on related Administration policies (e.g., defense, NATO), and whether or not it would justify a Presidential appearance at SSOD. In addition, the agenda for the SCC will include the cutoff/transfer proposal now being studied by the Marcum committee, the “eyes and ears of peace” proposal, and possible follow-up action on negative security assurances and nuclear accident reporting. The SCC may also consider US responses to potential adverse initiatives from other powers at SSOD.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 93, SCC 072, SSOD—U.S. Initiatives, Goals, and Strategies: 5/5/78. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. The six initiatives are summarized in a May 4 memorandum from Huntington and Putnam to Brzezinski. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 118, Special Session on Disarmament: 2–5/78)
  3. Not found.