100. Memorandum From Secretary of State Haig to President Reagan1


  • Updated Strategy for Your Speeches in Europe

In March, I sent you a strategy on four speeches to achieve maximum impact in Europe and the United States.2 You indicated overall approval. We are well on track with implementation of that gameplan.

You gave the first speech—on East-West relations and START—in Eureka.3 We have done the substantive groundwork and prepared drafts of the other three speeches. They now are being considered interagency and by your personal staff.

The address to Parliament on democracy seeks to get the force of idealism on our side.4 It gives us a campaign platform and political action program to rival the Marxist-Leninists and engage youth. You have approved its most important specific initiative—creating a political foundation to offer concrete training and assistance to democratic movements in communist and non-communist countries. We have considerable bipartisan support for the proposal and willingness to participate in the six month study to work out details. Lane Kirkland, DNC Chairman Manatt, and the Chamber of Commerce are on board. Brock and Richards will be working with Manatt to line up the Congressional leadership. We envision an event/announcement on the Hill simultaneous with your address in London.

The address to the Bundestag on peace and security is also well along.5 Its central purpose is to set out the foundation for preserving peace. There are two features of particular appeal in Europe: first an emphasis on strengthening conventional defense to reduce the danger [Page 369] that nuclear weapons would be used. And second, announcing our MBFR proposal, which would help bring about equality in conventional forces at lower levels. Our NATO partners are positive about this proposal. Like the Eureka/START speech, this would take another specific step to implement the arms control agenda you set forth last November 18th.6

The briefer statement for Berlin combines the unexpected with the expected.7 The surprise will be announcement of a proposal to reduce the danger of accidental nuclear war. This is one of Europe’s major preoccupations. The statement also points out that the causes of tension will not disappear until we have solved the human problems which lay behind them. Thus the second proposal is for a major effort to lower the barriers to human contact. Both this traditional Berlin appeal and the surprise proposal on nuclear accidents will be warmly received in Germany, Europe as a whole, and the United States.

We also have begun work on a fifth speech—your address to the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament.8 This would review our overall philosophy about peace and arms reductions, the set of initiatives you already have set forth, and one or more new initiatives with particular attention to verification.

Taken together these five speeches, and the initiatives each of them contains, will give us a “critical mass” over the next two months. They should put us decisively on the offensive. The Soviets will have to scramble hard to catch up—even more than they did after the singular success of your November 18th speech.

  1. Source: Department of State, P Files, Subject File—Lawrence Eagleburger Files: Lot 84D204, Chron—May 1981. Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Palmer on May 7. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Also scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. VII, Western Europe, 1981–1984. Under a May 7 typewritten note, Eagleburger sent Haig the memorandum, writing: “Here is the memorandum you requested to update the President on the speeches we are doing for him. It is striking that we are precisely on track with the gameplan we set out six weeks ago.” (Ibid.)
  2. Not found.
  3. See Document 99.
  4. See Document 104.
  5. The President’s June 9 Bundestag address is printed in Public Papers: Reagan, 1982, Book I, pp. 754–759. For additional information concerning the President’s June trip to Bonn and Berlin, see footnote 3, Document 104 and footnote 7, below.
  6. See Document 69.
  7. On June 11 in Berlin, the President offered remarks at Charlottenburg Palace. After stating that he remained “determined to assure that our civilization averts the catastrophe of a nuclear war,” Reagan said: “Past agreements have created the hot line between Moscow and Washington, established measures to reduce the danger of nuclear accidents, and provided for notification of some missile launches. We are now studying other concrete and practical steps to help further reduce the risk of a nuclear conflict which I intend to explore with the Soviet Union. It is time we went further to avert the risk of war through accident or misunderstanding. We shortly will approach the Soviet Union with proposals in such areas as notification of strategic exercises, of missile launches, and expanded exchange of strategic forces data. Taken together, these steps would represent a qualitative improvement in the nuclear environment. They would help reduce the chances of misinterpretation in the case of exercises and test launches. And they would reduce the secrecy and ambiguity which surround military activity. We are considering additional measures as well.” (Public Papers: Reagan, 1982, Book I, pp. 767–768)
  8. See Document 106.