80. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Allen) to President Reagan1


  • Valentin Falin Comments on U.S.-Soviet Relations

In remarks to a West Point associate professor2 who is currently in Moscow on an exchange program, Valentin Falin, a ranking official of the Soviet central committee’s international information department, offered the following observations on U.S.-Soviet relations:

• Although some in the Kremlin accept that the administration needs time to develop a comprehensive policy, others believe a definitive policy package has already been adopted and is being implemented by the “Reagan group” (Meese, Allen, Ikle and Pipes)—“the engineers behind a worldwide anti-Soviet conspiracy.”

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• The administration made a serious mistake by initially taking a harsh anti-Soviet “tone,” and the Soviets hope the U.S. will not “paint itself into a corner with its rhetoric.”

• At present, the U.S. and Soviet Union are like “two elephants in a crockery store . . . relations are standing on very thin ice, and the danger of miscalculation is very high.”

• While he and other “consultants” to the central committee understand the need for the administration to “finish acting out their fantasies,” it is “high time” to present the Soviets with a coherent, understandable policy.

• “The Soviets are ready to begin talks on any subject right away . . . nothing is non-negotiable.”

Falin concluded by commenting that “we really don’t care what your policy is anymore, just let us know what it is.” (S)

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Country File, USSR (08/06/81–08/13/81). Secret; Sensitive. Copied to Bush, Meese, Baker, and Deaver. Reagan initialed the memorandum next to the date. In telegram 10806 from Moscow, August 4, the Embassy reported Falin’s remarks. (Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Country File: USSR (07/25/1981–08/05/1981))
  2. Tyrus Cobb, who would later serve on the National Security Council staff from 1983–1988.