239. Personal Note Prepared by the Deputy Secretary of State (Dam)1

[Omitted here is material unrelated to the Soviet Union.]

We had a very good internal meeting this afternoon in my office in which we discussed our approach to the talks that appear to be shaping up for September in Vienna with the Soviets on ASAT.2 Our approach is to include the subject matter of START and INF in those talks, whereas the Soviets are claiming that our desire to talk about ballistic missiles means that we are imposing preconditions to any negotiation on what they call the “militarization of outer space.” This is a rather delicate war of words, because we are saying that we have accepted the Soviet proposal to talk about the militarization of outer space and that all we want to do is to talk about the whole picture, which includes ballistic missiles passing through space, and in any event the overall subject matter cannot be limited simply to weapons originating in space or used against space objects. The full richness of the possibilities from a definitional and rhetorical point of view became obvious, and a good number of papers are going to be written as a [Page 864] result of this meeting. Our first step will be to get a sound approach. The second will be to get it through the interagency process, and the third will be to sell it to the Soviets, assuming that the Soviets do not try to back out of what they have already offered.

  1. Source: Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S–I Records, Deputy Secretary Dam’s Official Files: Lot 85D308, Personal Notes of Deputy Secretary—Kenneth W. Dam—Oct. 1982–Sept. 1983. No classification marking. Dictated by Dam on July 6.
  2. In telegram 199520/Tosec 70065 to Shultz in Asia, July 7, the Department forwarded the text of “a memorandum in progress on ASAT and the other arms control issues relative to the Vienna talks, which was used today as the basis for an in-house discussion in Ken Dam’s office. It will be the basis for further meetings on the issue and will evolve further, but we did want you to have our tentative thinking.” (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, [no D number])