137. Memorandum From Paula Dobriansky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Clark)1
- U.S.–Soviet Relations in 1983
At Tab A2 is a memorandum from George Shultz to the President which sets forth a strategy for “countering new Soviet activism by using an intensified dialogue with Moscow to test whether an improvement in the U.S.-Soviet relationship is possible.” Your memorandum to the President (Tab I):
- Conveys serious reservations about the proposed method of implementation and timing.
- Concludes that the U.S. would be forced to dissipate its leverage by making piecemeal concessions in various bilateral negotiations which would not result in any meaningful Soviet response, but would arouse public expectations and make it difficult for us to sustain a firm and resolute course vis-a-vis the USSR.
- Recommends use of existing channels to smoke out real Soviet intentions and their willingness to be flexible on critical issues before embarking on a campaign to improve our bilateral relations.
Dennis Blair, Sven Kraemer, Roger Robinson and Bill Stearman strongly concur with my assessment. All have made significant contributions to the critique of Shultz’s memorandum.
That you forward the memorandum at Tab I to the President.3[Page 534]
- Source: Reagan Library, European and Soviet Affairs Directorate, NSC Records, Subject File, Shultz, George P., Secretary of State (1 of 5). Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action.↩
- Attached and printed as Document 135.↩
- There is no indication that Clark approved or disapproved the recommendation.↩
- Secret; Sensitive. Sent for information. Prepared by Dobriansky.↩
- NSDD 75, “U.S. Relations With the USSR,” issued on January 17, is in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. III, Soviet Union, January 1981–January 1983, Document 260.↩
- Under an undated NSC routing slip, Poindexter sent Dobriansky a draft of an undated memorandum from Clark to Shultz. On the routing slip, he wrote: “Paula, Please call me as soon as you’ve read this memo that Dick Pipes drafted. JP.” (Reagan Library, European and Soviet Affairs Directorate, NSC Records, Subject File, Shultz, George P., Secretary of State (1 of 5))↩