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496. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter 1

SUBJECT

  • Cut-Off of Fissionable Materials and the SSOD

You have decided that we should not propose negotiations on a cut-off of production of fissionable materials for nuclear weapons while not disavowing our past statements on this issue. This leaves open the question of whether we are prepared to enter negotiations on a cut-off if proposed by other states at the SSOD. You asked that we consult you on any such clarification of policy.

Harold Brown, joined by Warren Christopher for Cy Vance, believes that we should not agree at this time to enter negotiations on a cut-off should such negotiations be proposed by other states at the SSOD.2 However, ACDA wishes to leave open the option of launching negotiations in response to other initiatives. In any event, we will want to join, if possible, the final document of the SSOD which is likely to include a general call for cut-off negotiations.

Do you agree with the following clarification of our policy?

The U.S. Government is not prepared, at this time, to agree to enter into specific negotiations on a cut-off, should such negotiations be proposed by other states. However, we should be prepared to go along with a final document of the SSOD which includes a general call for negotiations on a cut-off.

Yes ______3
No _______

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 118, Special Session on Disarmament: 5–6/78. Secret. Aaron initialed the memorandum on Brzezinski’s behalf.
  2. Brown offered his views in a May 25 memorandum to Brzezinski. (Ibid.)
  3. Carter checked the “Yes” option and wrote “J” in the right-hand margin.