72. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense Brown to the Secretaries of the Military Departments1


  • Implementation of Presidential Directive/NSC–15, dated 16 June 1977, “Chemical Warfare”2 (C)

(C) Guidance provided to the Secretary of Defense in PD/NSC–15 states: “The President has also directed the U.S. chemical warfare forces be maintained without force improvement. This decision will be reviewed, beginning with the start of the FY 1980 budget cycle, on the basis of progress made in arms limitations talks.” This guidance is to be implemented as follows:

1. (C) All efforts related to upgrading the U.S. protective posture against chemical/biological warfare will continue. This will include [Page 164] RDT&E and procurement of appropriate equipment and apparatus to insure the survivability of personnel and equipment in a toxic environment. Training, doctrinal developments, chemical defense manpower improvements or manpower additions necessary to provide an effective CW protective posture should also continue.

2. (C) Surveillance and maintenance of the present retaliatory stockpile including any necessary actions required to maintain the retaliatory readiness posture will continue. This should include maintenance of the required amounts of ancillary items such as fuzes, bursters, and other necessary components. Current planning for deployment of chemical munitions under emergency conditions should continue. Research and development of improved chemical agents and munitions will continue.

3. (C) To insure that this Department can provide a timely response at the next review period, the start of the FY 1980 budget cycle, the planning requested in the FY 1979–1983 Planning and Programming Guidance for an integrated binary facility should be completed by the Secretary of the Army not later than September 1977. Additionally, appropriate criteria to judge progress in the forthcoming arms limitations talks should be developed by the Assistant Secretary (International Security Affairs).

Harold Brown
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–80–0017, Box 45, 370.64 CBR (Aug–Dec) 1977. Confidential. Also sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Defense Research & Engineering, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs & Logistics), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Program Analysis & Evaluation), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), the General Counsel, OSD, the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Atomic Energy), the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Legislative Affairs), and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. David McGiffert, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, forwarded this memorandum under cover of an August 17 memorandum to Brown in which he noted that “some elements in DOD have misinterpreted” parts of PD/NSC–15 and were “questioning the current guidance to continue efforts for upgrading the defensive posture of U.S. forces against chemical warfare.” (Ibid.)
  2. See Document 70.