146. Personal Notes of Robert Linhard of the National Security Council Staff1

NSPG 11/14

—Today’s mtg is on preventing violence—rather than Soviet phrase of arms control.

—You deter attack by being strong

—In 1960’s, people began being interested in arms control—being strong [not—inserted above being]

—be sure that you are strong enough to deter BEFORE you put faith in political document

—Keep peace by deterrence

—threat has been nuclear, conventional, sub-terrorism

—13 years ago an offensive nuclear balance and no defense

—assumptions don’t work

—in key measures they are ahead

—3 options:

1) they reduce

2) we build

3) build defense to offset

*1st reason for SDI

2nd—they have an extensive defense

3rd—you keep building—systems mobile prolif—etc


—From considering security they get into arms control

—Soviet agenda is to get you to forget about imbalances and agree to their proposals




[Page 640]

CDE—where they want no use of nuke



—In all areas, Soviets have proposed language we feel (you have said) no move on language

Sec State:—Will want to talk about NST and SDI

—Just as China called on Taiwan, can expect SDI early—need to keep strong on that—he will feel the strength of your conviction

—Really detailed discussions of proposals will not be called for—but some things ie

1. 50% is a good number if applied to right thing

2. If we can get an impulse to Geneva good thing, you may want to tell him your views on guidelines

—Tell Soviets what you intend to say

—In other areas, some are in better shape than others

—looks like we could move along on CDE—maybe something here

MBFR—we have reached agreement with UK/FRG—may have something Monday [November 18]

CW—danger of proliferation is great

VP—why turn you off in Moscow

SecState—Didn’t. We offered Iran/Iraq but may be interested in CW

SecDef—Important to see all thrust on their part will be arms control—need talk that too

—50% reductions should lead to parity—parity in effectiveness, not just warhead numbers

—result is parity, measured by effectiveness and modernization

—No further commitment to SALT

—Greater reductions on them to get to parity

—Verification at top, not bottom

—Ver not enuff—also need compliance

US should not have double-standard

—Also don’t know what Congress will give us

—On SDI—do nothing at all restricting research or deployment

don’t reaffirm ABM Treaty—a delay on deployment

—I have heard that before deploy, nego, but not 10 years

—Agree on CW—some non-proliferation aspects worthy discussion


—no restriction on SDI

—reductions on offense to parity

[Page 641]


CBMs and future meetings are good

—Any commitment to SALT or a restrictive interp of ABM Treaty

—No words in any communique in parity

—both sides agree on compliance

—both terrorism

—Poor [or Pool?]

CJCS—Con show how strongly feel on SDI

—Don’t go any further than SDI research with ABM

—Don’t dignify Soviet compliance—not complying

—In INF—seek GLOBAL limits—not just balance in Europe

—In CW—can’t accept limits on modernization need mod

DCI—Gorbachev looking for atmosphere to bring home

wants: 1) reaffirmation of ABM Treaty

2) extension of SALT

1—would be an ‘indefinite’ commitment

2—would let them off the hook on violations

—If you reaffirm without any exception would hurt us

SALT II extension allows SS–24/25 to go

ACDA—Time to do something on CW (5 from 14/16 nations)

—Guidelines worked for contingency is sound—but will guidelines really help arms control

—1973 did some things—6 years later

—if we try for guidelines and fail—a failed summit—avoid

Gorbachev—“friendly smile but iron teeth”

—figures in folklore—witch or evil princess

Rowny—They do need to “feel” SDI. Respect strength

—50% across board on things that count is very catchy

—Conviction on SDI

President—On 50% across board, they start ahead of us—would not get to 0 first

RCM—We pick their higher number to start from—50% of theirs

Nitze—Pres has always said deploy requires consultation and amendment

SecDef—Don’t want more restrictive interpretation

—No reaffirmation—would pull back from last decision

—Not bar deployment—will not to mod treaty

Meese—Avoid reaffirming treaty in more restrictive provisions

[Page 642]

—also avoid any commitment to agree

Nitze—not correct—if no agreement, we would have to withdraw

Meese—But [Best?] avoid any commitment

Shultz—Best as [going?], ambiguous—avoid discussion

Cap—Yes, first lets not get further to commit us NOT TO DEPLOY

Ken A—No veto—They are already violate therefore don’t reaffirm

Pres—Soviets see defenses as their way to black mail without fear

We could use to avoid threat

Nothing could stop us from going forward

After devel weapon—see if nuclear powers would give up nukes in return for defense—keep gas masks

But no veto—either join or we go ahead—no 10 years of [omission?]

goal is: can they bring about end of nuclear threat

Casey—They want reaffirm ABM for propaganda no other purpose

Pres—no need to talk about it—we are in treaty

Shultz—Questioned if need for ABM Treaty

Response—no need to reaffirm

Pres—The press will ask—we should answer before reaffirm, must have compliance therefore they are not

Meese—they want to get commit to use with a future Pres.

Casey—Be careful—will hit on head with this

Cap—All need to say is we are proceeding in ABM Treaty—you are not

RCM—Pres has said our SDI program is on record within ABM Treaty—never say it is not

Cap—ABM Treaty has permit withdrawal

Casey—They would love to give up K-radar to get you locked in

Pres—But my idea of consultation—isn’t in treaty

—Want to say I hope their concerns means they will comply

AdelmanSDI can get us to reduce nuclear weapons—but also other types—battlefield, aircraft etc

—Not all problem, but most problem

Pres—4800 miles away—30 min MX impacted

—Concerned about most destab system

—Tell Gorbachev—can understand their [or them?] seek 1st strike—we are not

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Robert Linhard Files, Summit Material, 11/19/85–11/21/85 OA 92178 [2 of 7]. No classification marking. The editor transcribed the text from Linhard’s handwritten notes of the November 14 NSPG meeting. An image of the notes is Appendix A. No formal record of the meeting was found. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the NSPG meeting took place in the Situation Room from 11:05 to 11:56 a.m. (Reagan Library, President’s Daily Diary) On November 14, Reagan wrote in his personal diary: “An N.S.P.G. meeting to talk about arms control & how we present (& what) to Mr. G. in Geneva.” He also wrote: “Met with our 3 arms negotiators who have just recessed the 3rd session. They are aware that the Soviets have gone farther in the sense of actually proposing numbers but still the Soviets shade things in their favor.” (Brinkley, ed., The Reagan Diaries, vol. II: November 1985–January 1989, p. 540) Later that day, he met with Kampelman, Tower, and Glitman in the Oval Office from 1:04 to 1:36 p.m. (Reagan Library, President’s Daily Diary) No substantive record was found.