101. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (McFarlane) to President Reagan1


  • Draft NSDD on Preparing for Negotiations with the Soviet Union


Should we issue the draft NSDD2 at Tab A which provides guidance for preparing for the upcoming negotiations with the Soviet Union?

[Page 365]


The NSDD formally identifies the U.S. negotiators for the upcoming negotiations, tasks the SACG to provide draft instructions for the U.S. delegation for your approval by March 1, 1985, and establishes the backstopping mechanism needed to support the U.S. delegation once negotiations begin. In addition, it identifies Ed Rowny and Paul Nitze as Special Advisors to the President and Secretary of State and outlines the terms of reference of their activities.

The NSDD also reaffirms the guidance issued in NSDD 3–82 (March 3, 1982)3 that the JCS certify the military sufficiency of positions submitted to you for approval. This guidance was critical during the development of the initial U.S. START position—and, may be even more important as we move into this next phase of activity. It drives the professional military community to provide a much needed input.

Finally, the NSDD strengthens provisions for the assessment of verifiability and calls for a study (by March 15) of how the policy generation process could be improved with respect to verification issues. The Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and other senior officials, have expressed concern about the process by which verification considerations are factored into the development of U.S. arms control policy and specific U.S. positions. The tasking included is designed to address these concerns.


________ ________ That you approve the draft NSDD at Tab A.4
  1. Source: National Security Council, National Security Council Institutional Files, Box SR–088, NSDD 160. Secret. Sent for action. Prepared by Linhard and Kraemer. Reagan wrote his initials in the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum. A stamped notation at the top of the memorandum reads: “Signed.”
  2. Attached but not printed is the draft NSDD, which contains several minor handwritten corrections. The final version of NSDD 160 is printed as Document 102.
  3. See Document 6.
  4. Reagan initialed his approval.