365. Editorial Note

On January 18, 1985, Secretary of State George Shultz held a press conference at 3 p.m. in the White House Briefing Room to announce the U.S. delegation to the Nuclear and Space Talks with the Soviet Union, set to begin in Geneva on March 12. Shultz read the following Presidential statement: “Today I have asked three highly capable Americans to be the head negotiators of each of the three groups making up the U.S. delegation to the negotiations on nuclear and space arms. These negotiations will take place in accordance with the agreement reached at Geneva on January 8 between Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko of the Soviet Union. Senator John Tower of Texas will be nominated to serve as U.S. negotiator on strategic nuclear arms. Ambassador Maynard W. Glitman, a minister-counselor of the Foreign Service of the United States, will be nominated as the U.S. negotiator on intermediate-range nuclear arms. Ambassador Max M. Kampelman will be nominated as U.S. negotiator on space and defensive arms. Ambassador Kampelman will also serve as Head of the U.S. delegation. Ambassador Paul H. Nitze and Ambassador Edward L. Rowny will serve as special advisers to the President and to the Secretary of State on arms reduction negotiations. I am pleased that these distinguished Americans have agreed to serve in these positions of great importance to the United States.” (Public Papers: Reagan, 1985, Book I, pages 51–52)

Shultz later recalled the formation of the delegations in his memoir: “We now had to pick a negotiator who would head the entire unified delegation and the three subheads. Nitze’s wife was ill, and he was not able to move once again to Geneva, and anyway, I wanted to keep him close to me in Washington as my principal idea man. I favored [Page 1357] Max Kampelman and told Cap so. Cap said he would prefer Edward Teller: no one else could be trusted to be totally committed to SDI. It was not a real struggle because Max Kampelman was so deeply respected. Within a few days, Bud, Cap, Casey, and even Richard Perle all accepted Max. We also decided that in addition to being overall head, Max would lead the space and defense talks.” (Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, page 521) In a memorandum to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Robert McFarlane on January 14, Jack Matlock, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Soviet Affairs in the NSC Staff, wrote: “I don’t know whether, as rumored, Max Kampelman is the leading candidate, but I believe that he would be an excellent choice, despite his lack of extensive experience in the arms control area. He learns very quickly, is a superb and tough negotiator, has good political backing in and out of Congress and is solid on SDI.” (Reagan Library, Jack Matlock Files, Meetings with USSR Officials, Geneva Meeting-Geneva Records 01/08/1985–01/09/1985 (2))

In his memorandum, Matlock also discussed the composition of the three negotiating groups. On the START delegation, he wrote: “I presume we will probably retain Rowny’s team for this one. If, however, a change is desired for any reason (or Ed prefers not to continue), I would recommend that thought be given to Jim Goodby. A strong case can also be made for a prominent specialist from outside the government, given the key importance of this forum politically, but I have no particular suggestions to make on that score—except that if Brent Scowcroft would take it, he would add a lot of clout to this negotiation.” However, Rowny was designated to serve, along with Paul Nitze, as special adviser to Reagan and Shultz on arms control negotiations. In his memoir, Shultz recalled: “Rowny, when I contacted him, could not bear the idea that the START talks, which he had headed for the United States and which had ended with a Soviet walkout in 1983, were now to be reorganized in a new form under Tower. Rowny resented that I was the one to bring him this news: ‘You are not high ranking enough to tell me this,’ he said. ‘I want to speak to the president alone.’ He had the right, I felt, to make his case, so I took him over for his moment with the president.” (Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, page 521)

In his personal diary entry on January 18, Reagan wrote: “Met with George S.—we have a problem with General Ed Rowny (retired). We’ve named the 3 chief negotiators in the arms talks but we want Ed—who headed up the last negotiations to stay here as a special advisor to me & George. He sees this as a demotion. I met with him & did my best to convince it was nothing of the kind—that we need him & his expertise right here when these talks begin again. I’m not sure I convinced him.” (Brinkley, ed., The Reagan Diaries, volume I, January 1981–October 1985, page 417)