50. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of State (Dam) to Secretary of State Shultz1


  • Welcome Home Report

The following is a status report on the issues you asked me to track prior to your departure, as well as a few that have arisen in the interim.


The Dobrynin Channel. We have kept the Dobrynin channel active during your absence. In the course of five meetings with Dobrynin, we have received answers on START, our PL–5 and Syrian demarches, and some of the answers on INF. There has been very little movement in the Soviet positions on these issues. Most troublesome was the Soviet counter-demarche on the Middle East, the bottom line of which was that we cannot resolve Lebanon’s problems without Soviet involvement. Still pending are the Soviets’ answers on the LTA. For our part, [Page 170] we owe the Soviets responses to Andropov’s proposal for a meeting of scientists to discuss ballistic missile defense and to Dobrynin’s START presentation,2 as well as further details on our CBM proposals. Also, we have not responded to Dobrynin’s latest demarches on the Neutral and Non-Aligned draft concluding document for the Madrid CSCE review.3 We must determine a position as soon as possible since Max leaves for Madrid this week. As you know, the Soviets have offered a package on performance. Max thinks we can improve on it if the President is willing to see Andropov in the context of the UNGA.

I have asked Larry and Rick Burt to chart a strategy for the entire Dobrynin channel process, to include topics and timing over the next several months.

You should know that Rowny has suggested that we disband the Dobrynin channel on START and turn it over to him when he is at Geneva. This concept has absolutely no support in this building.

START. We have had several discussions of START in my arms control group. I also attended an NSC meeting on Wednesday, May 10 to discuss our position on START.4 The upshot will be a Presidential letter to Congress expressing the Administration’s willingness to conduct a thorough review of our START proposal in light of the Scowcroft Commission recommendations.5 The letter will also express an interest in and willingness to give serious thought to the so-called “build-down” proposal and to the proposal to establish a bipartisan arms control commission.

MBFR. The issue paper for an NSC meeting on MBFR has been forwarded to the NSC staff.6 OSD was not altogether pleased with the options and talked about submitting its own, separate paper. To date, OSD has not produced. An NSC meeting is now tentatively scheduled for May 17.

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Kiev/New York Consulates and Cultural Agreement. After discussions with Bill Clark, he has agreed (after some reluctance) to move these subjects to the NSPG after developing a more rigorous options paper for the President. I think we are going to continue to face resistance on both these issues.

Technology Transfer. The CIA briefing on Soviet acquisition of western technology raises a number of serious problems which you will be better able to gauge once you have had this briefing.

[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, Memos To/From S, 1983. Secret; Sensitive. A stamped notation reading “GPS” and Hill’s handwritten initials appear on the memorandum, indicating they saw it. Shultz was in the Middle East to negotiate a troop withdrawal from Lebanon from April 25 to May 8, then traveled to Paris from May 8 to May 11 for the OECD meeting.
  2. See Document 42.
  3. Documentation on the Madrid CSCE Review Conference is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. V, European Security, 1977–1983.
  4. Documentation on this NSC meeting is in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. XI, START I, Document 66.
  5. On January 3, 1983, the White House released a statement announcing the establishment and membership of the President’s Commission on Strategic Forces. The Commission consisted of Chairman Brent Scowcroft, Vice Chairman Thomas Reed, and members Nicholas Brady, Harold Brown, William Clements, John Deutch, Alexander Haig, Richard Helms, John Lyons, Levering Smith, and James Woolsey. Marvin Atkins of the Office of the Secretary of Defense served as Executive Secretary of the commission. (Public Papers; Reagan, 1983, Book I, pp. 4–5)
  6. The NSC meeting on MBFR took place on May 18, 1983. Documentation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. V, European Security, 1977–1983.