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

I attended a Senior Arms Control Policy Group meeting this afternoon in the Situation Room. Bud McFarlane chaired the meeting, which was on space arms control, and kept it well off the procedural question of how we tie the Soviets down to a broad-based discussion in Vienna and well onto the substance, with heavy emphasis on the procedures for getting the substantive work done. It became clear that the major problem is going to be how to protect the strategic defense initiative. This is important primarily from the standpoint of preventing DOD from vetoing participation in the Vienna talks in September, because Cap Weinberger is prepared to go to any lengths to protect that initiative from being limited in arms control negotiations at this time and will probably be able to count on the President to back him up in view of the fact that the President views the strategic defense initiative as a path to a future free from the threat of nuclear weapons (an expectation [Page 869] that I find groundless). The upshot was that the SACPG meeting was usefully boring. We will be able to handle in a smaller group the preparation for agreement with the Soviet Union on an agenda.2

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

  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. 1983–Sept. 1984, Personal Notes of Deputy Secretary Kenneth W. Dam. No classification marking. Dictated by Dam on July 10.
  2. The Department reported the results of this meeting in telegram 202711/Tosec 70220 to Shultz in Asia, July 11. (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, [no D number])