239. Minutes of a National Security Planning Group Meeting1


  • Arms Control Preparations for the Summit (U)


  • The President
  • State

    • Secretary George Shultz
    • Ambassador Paul Nitze
    • Ambassador Edward Rowny
    • Ambassador Max Kampelman
    • Ms. Rozanne Ridgeway
  • Treasury

    • Secretary James Baker
  • Defense

    • Secretary Frank Carlucci
    • Mr. Ron Lehman
  • Energy

    • Mr William Martin
  • CIA

    • Mr. Robert Gates
    • Dr. Jay Castillo
  • JCS

    • Admiral William Crowe
    • VADM Jonathan Howe
  • ACDA

    • Mr. Kenneth Adelman
  • Vice President’s Office

    • Mr. Craig Fuller
  • OMB

    • Mr. James Miller
  • OSTP

    • Dr. William Graham
  • White House

    • Mr. Howard Baker
    • Mr. Ken Duberstein
    • Mr. Marlin Fitzwater
    • General Colin Powell
    • Mr. John Negroponte
    • Colonel Robert Linhard
    • Captain Linton Brooks
[Page 1040]


The NSPG meeting, December 4, opened at 2:00 p.m. General Powell opened the meeting: We are here for a final review of some aspects of our arms reductions positions before the summit. Mr. President, would you care to make any initial remarks before we begin?

The President: Used his Talking Points (attached at Tab A),2 interrupting them to say: Our people will learn from the summit. In a Wirthlin poll only 50% supported SDI. Once they heard him [Gorbachev] on air, then 70% say we ought to have SDI.

General Powell [Using his talking points at Tab B]:3 Thank you sir. We have a compartmented paper you’ve all been provided to help structure the discussion. Lets first turn to START. I want to walk through the approach as I understand it. First we all need to be clear that this is intended as a package. I know it’s important to the JCS and others to view it that way; some moves are only acceptable in the context of things like counting rules. What we’ve done is set forth a paper that describes how we want the joint statement at the end of the summit to come out. Near the end of the meeting we’ll talk about tactics to do this. (S)

We have general agreement on several points. If you look at the top of the paper [NOTE: refers to Tab C,4 distributed to each participant] you will see an agreed a chapeau that makes it clear the Joint Draft Treaty Text is agreed by both sides. We then agree and will document in the Joint Statement:

—1600 Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles (Bombers, ICBMs and SLBMs);

—6000 total “warheads” on these SNDVs

—Within the 6000, 1540 warheads on Soviet heavy ICBMs (a 50% cut from current levels); and

—A 50% cut in total Soviet ballistic missile throwweight.

The introduction would reflect agreement . . . . (S)

Secretary Shultz: Where is the bomber counting rule?

Ambassador Lehman: In the Joint Draft Text.

Secretary Shultz: It should go here. That rule is very, very important to the Chiefs, and it needed to be added. We really ought to deal with counting rules first in the order that we deal with the Soviets. Ever since Bill Crowe told me he’d kill for that rule, I want to add it every chance I get. (S)

[Page 1041]

General Powell: [continuing]: Then we’d have sections on the 4800 ballistic missile sublimit and our current position of 3300 sublimit on ICBMs. We’d have an ALCM counting rules (attribute 6 ALCMs to each ALCM carrying heavy bomber). It wouldn’t be a limit on each bomber but a number we’d use to get an aggregate limit. We’d have ballistic missile warhead counting rules for existing missiles. We would agree on a number for each type, for example 8 for the D–5. They could come to a submarine, pick a missile at random and we’d lift the nose cone and show them the number. If it was more than 8 it would be a violation. (S)

Admiral Crowe: We would declare a number, they would do likewise. (C)

General Powell: Would Admiral Crowe explain to the President why this is important? (U)

Admiral Crowe: Yes, but first, I don’t see a discussion of ALCM range and ALCM definitions in the presentation of the counting rules. That’s important and needs to be added. (S)

The JCS have looked at this and our highest priority is counting rules. Predictability is important. The Soviets want mobiles, Backfire, and SLCM, but before we can deal with those, we need to focus on the counting rules now including the ALCM range and definition as the highest priority. If we see that they will accept our position there, we can then move on mobile, Backfire, and SLCM, and other items; but we need the counting rules first. The military sufficiency of an agreement at 50% is very very close. (S)

Secretary Shultz: This would be a good subject, Mr. President, for you to raise with Gorbachev as an opening, but for any detailed conversation, we ought to shift it to the Working Groups under Ahkromeyev. (C)

Admiral Crowe: This may be a very difficult area for the Soviets to agree. There will be a lot of give and take. (C)

Ken Adelman: But we also have to recognize that it will be more difficult to get counting rules for future systems. (S)

Admiral Crowe: The Chiefs have done a lot of thinking on verification which will help. The Air Force is ready to have the Soviets look at ALCMs to see if they’re nuclear or non-nuclear. The Navy is ready to go as Colin Powell described with respect to warhead numbers. These were painful decisions for the services. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force said it wasn’t the Soviets he knew were wandering around his bases he was worried about, it was the ones he didn’t know about. (S)

General Powell: (Returned to his Talking Points, and ran down through the verification items that were agreed, working his way to the subject of mobiles and verification. After describing the varying positions on mobiles and verification he asked for comments.) (S)

[Page 1042]

Secretary Carlucci: We have to be very, very careful. If we move now, we are going to undercut our own position because we have insisted that the Soviets describe for us how they would verify mobiles; the Soviets have not given anything on verification. In addition, if we move now, we’re just not going to get anything for it. So it’s premature. (S)

Secretary Shultz: I’m inclined to agree with Frank, but we could ask creative questions about verification. For example, do you have in mind that we have a limited area? How would we deploy? What are your views on verification? The Air Force Chief of Staff, General Welch, scoffs at the idea of differentiating between rail- and road-mobile missiles. He thinks that there is no significant difference in distinguishing between road- and rail-mobile systems, we’ve just had more experience with the road-mobile version. (S)

Admiral Crowe: That’s exactly right; he believes that you can verify rail as well as you can road. (S)

Secretary Shultz: Therefore, maybe we could put some ideas forward. We never get anything from the Soviets on any of these technical areas; it’s always us who have to put the ideas forward. (C)

Secretary Carlucci: We are not opposed to that; the question is what ideas. (U)

Ambassador Lehman: We’ve asked them for ideas and just get generalities. What we should do is ask them in Geneva for specific Protocols on verification. We should ask them to give us draft Protocols, and then if we can find something acceptable, we would be willing to consider mobiles. (S)

Mr. Adelman: I see rail- and road-mobiles as different. My problem is we currently have a package on how we verify road mobile missiles; we have no package for rail mobiles, and that’s one big difference. And secondly, a little cheating goes an awful long way when you’re talking about rail-mobiles, because if you’re a little wrong with a missile that has 10 RVs, it’s a lot different than being a little wrong about a missile that has only one RV. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: You’re not claiming that road-mobiles can be verified? (S)

Mr. Adelman: It was good enough for 100 SS–20s, but of course, the rail situation is worse. (S)

Secretary Shultz: We’ve always offered to discuss verification, but once again, the Soviets never seem to offer technical details; perhaps, we should move forward. (S)

Mr. Adelman: Verification is our problem; the Soviets can read about it in the Congressional Record. (U)

Admiral Crowe: The Joint Chiefs have some suggestions. We’re ready to suggest the rail garrison scheme. We could make some very [Page 1043] constructive suggestions here. Of course we don’t know if they’d accept. Our own rail scheme is the best of the two options in terms of mobility in a fiscally constrained future. If we face fiscal constraints, there’s more deterrence per pound per dollar in the MX than there is in the small mobile. (S)

Secretary James Baker: There’s no “if” about fiscal constraints; they’re here. (U)

Secretary Carlucci: (Quietly) The small missile is dying anyway. (C)

General Powell: Bob [Gates] what about verification? That seems to be the issue. (U)

Mr. Gates: The hardest thing you can ask us to monitor would be a limit on mobiles, but we can offer suggestions on things that could help us quite a bit. For example, it would be interesting to know how they would distinguish the SS–24’s that are rail mobile missiles rather than those being produced with silos. In general, there are some good things that could be done, and we need to explore this. (S)

The President: Well, tell me, suppose we had a ban—our position—what if there were no mobile missiles? Could we know that there really were not? I just keep thinking what a vast country that is. (C)

Secretary Carlucci: It would be easier to monitor if they were banned, because if we found one, it would be a violation. (U)

Admiral Crowe: Besides that, Mr. President, they just can’t roam around out there forever; they need to bring them in sometime for maintenance and for training, and the like. It would be very hard for them to just hold them out in the field for all that time. (S)

General Powell: They also need to train and to test and that we would be able to observe. (S)

I’d like to summarize up to this point. It seems like people are saying that we should remain on our position, but in the Working Group, we should be ready to explore verification options. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: A caveat; I don’t want to go off our current position unless we get something. (C)

Senator Baker (Chief of Staff): Well, what do you have in mind, Frank? (U)

Secretary Carlucci: I think we ought to get something in the SDI area, and I’ll come back to that later. (S)

Admiral Crowe: We’re ready to move on mobiles, but only if we get the items above the line; that means agreement on counting rules and the like. (S)

General Powell: [Turning to “heavies,” read his talking points on the “heavy” issue through the point where he asked for agency views.]

[Page 1044]

Secretary Carlucci: It’s okay by us; we’re prepared to make heavy modernization, provided we get the proper trade and don’t just give them away. (C)

General Powell: We can be sure the Soviets will raise SLCMs and Backfire. As I understand it we all agree that we could offer an exchange of declarations of nuclear SLCM forces. At our last meeting in Geneva, Ahkromeyev laid down a marker that SLCMs may be a show stopper for the Soviets. (S)

Ambassador Rowny: I think we ought to note that Ahkromeyev said he has some new ideas on how to verify SLCMs. Before we get involved in unilateral declarations of our force structure, why don’t we call his bluff and hear him out. I’m alone in this room; I think that SLCM limits can be verified. (S)

Admiral Crowe: I agree; I think we ought to hear what he has to say. (U)

General Powell: With respect to Backfire, if the Soviets accept our position, some would exclude Backfire from the treaty if there was no increase in numbers, it could not be refueled, and was not equipped to carry ALCMs. Opinions? (S)

Secretary Carlucci: Mr. President, what we’re talking about is moving towards the Soviets in a number of areas. Once again, I want to make sure if we do so, that we don’t do so and not get anything for it. We need to get some handle on the Backfire issue and some handle on this motion, and I believe that there needs to be a substantive linkage here—some trade for what we want in SDI. (S)

Mr. Adelman: Mr. President, two points on the issue of Backfire. First, this can really rattle the conservatives. (During an earlier campaign, I wrote some language for you as then a candidate that argued very strongly against SALT II based specifically on the Backfire issue). Ahkromeyev wants SLCMs. Maybe the best thing we could do is to wait and see if we can get something on SLCM and Backfire at the eleventh hour—push them both off and handle it, perhaps, that way. (S)

Admiral Crowe: We agree [to pushing both Backfire and SLCM until the eleventh hour and working something then]. (S)

Senator Baker (Chief of Staff): Isn’t there a verification problem here? (U)

Mr. Adelman: The Intelligence Community said Backfire was strategic; now all agree it is not. (S)

Senator Baker: It says that you’re not supposed to have a refueling or ALCM-carriage on Backfires. Can we really verify ALCM-carriage? (S)

Colonel Linhard: One point is that we have yet to see an ALCM tested from a Backfire. (S)

Mr. Castillo: Yes, we haven’t seen ALCM testing. We believe that we would be able to do so if they are tested. (S)

[Page 1045]

Dr. Graham: Well, that’s one thing, but we can’t really verify the refueling. They have the internal piping already, and all they’ve done is to cover the refueling probes with a plate. They can refuel in radio silence in the middle of the country, just like we do, and we wouldn’t detect it. (S)

Admiral Crowe: We don’t just refuel in the middle of the country; we do it worldwide. But I do agree that it would be a simple change for them to have refueling capability. (S)

General Powell: (Summarizing by making the following points) I think I hear that we agree that the Chapeau is fine; that Items “A” through “D”—that’s the sublimit issue, the ALCM counting rules, ballistic counting rules, and verification package—are okay, and that the additional items—mobiles, SLCM forces, Backfire, and heavy modernization—we have some reservations on until we see whether we see Soviet movement described above. And Secretary Carlucci has laid down a marker on SDI. (S)

Ambassador Rowny: Before we leave START, I want to make sure that we agree that we’re not going to give up on the 3300 sublimit on ICBMs without getting something for it. (S)

Mr. Adelman: Yes, yes, we are agreed that we’re going to start with the counting rules, and that we won’t move beyond our current position on sublimits unless we get some motion on counting rules. (S)

Admiral Crowe: Well, let’s keep Item A, which is the sublimits item, out of the basic package. (S)

Colonel Linhard: “A” is our current position. (U)

Admiral Crowe: OK. (U)

General Powell: We push for that; we work the counting rule problem; and only after we have ascertained whether we successfully have the counting rules, would we come back to revisit the numbers of 4800 and 3300. [All agree on that summary.] (S)

Secretary Shultz: The counting rules affect our attitude toward the 3300 number. (S)

General Powell: Lets move to Defense and Space. Here we have agreement on a chapeau paragraph that is consistent with our current position. Our Defense and Space Negotiator, Hank Cooper, and Ed Rowny would make no move beyond that paragraph lengthening the non-withdrawal period, unless the Soviets concede to us a clear right to deploy after the period. Other agencies believe that we need to make some concessions. These are spelled out in the first two options. The first option would extend the non-withdrawal period through 1996, return us to the ABM Treaty after the period, and commit us to negotiate on the distinction between permitted testing and prohibited deployment. The second option would entail a non-deployment commitment [Page 1046] through 1996, with a right to deploy thereafter, and an agreed understanding of what constitutes prohibited deployment, coupled with clear acknowledgement of our right to test under the broad interpretation. There are some things common to both options; rather than talk about them I want to talk about a third option which weaves together elements of the first two. [refers to second page of handout at Tab C]. (S)

Secretary Shultz: We ought to start with the idea that we have agreement on some period of time, whatever that period is, as a concept. I mean we agreed that there would be some period of time where something will happen as a concept. The big question really is what can you do during that period of time. If you have no one standing with the Soviets, you fall into the hands of the Congress, and that’s a trap in which we give the Soviets the 50% reductions, and then we are inhibited from doing what we want to do by the Congress. So it’s important to get an understanding. The only thing we’re interested in is testing. . . . (S)

Secretary Carlucci: [Interrupts] And the right to deploy. (S)

Secretary Shultz: Right. So what we want is an agreement that tests aren’t deployment. A change from our earlier position of an unstructured attempt to kick the can down the road. We need to make it clear exactly what testing means and what deployment means. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: I agree, an unstructured approach is a very, very dangerous problem for us, but the third bullet on the third option protects us. We can support this without any further discussion of what’s broad and what’s narrow. We need a clean right to deploy after the regime, and I have reservations on any idea of negotiating a definition of testing and deployment. I prefer to just unilaterally tell them what we mean by deployment. We need to work on that. If we got Option 2 in the paper, I’d be ready to give an awful lot in START. (S)

The President: Well, okay, when might we be able to deploy? I can’t remember how many times I’ve stood up and said “When it’s ready we will deploy.” 1996 sounds like a long time. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: In all candor 10 years isn’t very long for a major weapons program. When you were told 1994, that assumed a crash program and that Jim Baker and Jim Miller would get us all the money we needed. That hasn’t happened. (S)

Secretary Baker: Well excuse me! (U)

Secretary Carlucci: We asked for 5.8 [billion dollars] in FY 1988 and we got 3.9. These are complex developments. You can’t predict how it will go. The issue isn’t 7 years versus 10. We need the right to test; that’s the issue. (S)

Admiral Crowe: I agree. Testing impacts the schedule. (C)

The President: Well, I’ve got to tell you that I’ve seen the monkey; therefore, I’m ready to run the circus. I’ve been to Denver, and it’s [Page 1047] amazing what they’re doing out there, and we ought to send out a lot of doubting Thomases in Congress out to Denver and get the spirit of the thing. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: It’s impressive. We agree, Sir, but 1992 is the earliest we could go into full-scale engineering development, and, quite honestly, it’s going to be a while before we actually get to the point where we can make progress. (S)

Senator Baker (Chief of Staff): Well, the President’s been clear on this for a long, long time, and our intent is to research, develop, and deploy as soon as we can. All right, if you guys are suggesting 1996, is that consistent with what the President has said in the past? (S)

Secretary Carlucci: The 1996 year would not be constraining on the US program. We would be ready to move to 1996 as our position if we could get together the items involved and, especially, if we are sure we understood what we are getting on testing. (S)

Senator Baker: I don’t want to be at variance with what the President has said before; he has said he wants to deploy at the earliest. Once again, are you sure of this? (S)

Secretary Carlucci: 1996 is not unreasonable. We’ve been working on the D–5 [Trident II missile] for 9 years. (S)

Admiral Crowe: Yes, Sir, that’s exactly right. (U)

The President: Well, I thought that we might be able to have something a lot sooner based on what I’ve seen. (C)

Secretary Carlucci: Well, what Abe [refers SDIO head General Abrahamson] will tell you, given the budgets and everything that we have, Sir, the window for potential deployment, as we told you in the past, begins in 1994, but that was assuming full budget. (S)

Dr. Graham: Mr. President, you’ve got to remember that the D–5 program was eight to nine years, but the Minuteman program, the Polaris program, and the Manhattan project were all done in four. The real issue is concurrency. Technologically, if we had the full support we asked for, we could begin phased deployment in 1994. It wouldn’t be a full-scale deployment, but it would be a real deterrent, and we could do it. We shouldn’t fall off just because we don’t have Congressional funding now, because it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we fall off, it is certain that it will happen. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: But Bill, it has happened; we moved from 5.8 to 3.9 this year. (U)

Dr. Graham: We shouldn’t encourage Congress. (U)

Secretary Baker: We don’t have to. (U)

Mr. Adelman: I agree with Secretary Carlucci; we do need the right to deploy. We want the broad interpretation, but the Soviets will not [Page 1048] sign on to the broad interpretation, and we ought to recognize that. So you have to ask yourself, Mr. President, what do you do if they just say no. One option would be for us to agree to the narrow interpretation, and there’s no one in the room who would accept that. Another option is to agree to disagree. Now I agree that if we simply agree to disagree, there’s a danger that we would fall into the hands of the Congress, but I think I’d rather trust the Congress than the Soviets. . . . [At this point, the whole room broke up with a number of side comments suggesting that many rejected this hypothesis.] (S)

Secretary Carlucci: If the Soviets would accept the broad interpretation, I think the Congress would go along. The key issue, though, is that we have to remember that if the Soviets go with killing SDI, then I think all of this is a waste of effort. But I think they are pressing for their own program, and if that’s the case, and they are ready for a START deal under those terms, then it would be okay. (S)

The President: Well, we saw Gorbachev on TV the other night, and he admitted they’re working on their own program. I think we might be in that condition, and they may be just worried that we’re going to get there first, and they need time to make their program match up and get ahead of us perhaps. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: Well, under that context, a commitment not to deploy for some time is very useful for us; we ought to understand that too. (S)

Secretary Shultz: Well, let me summarize. I see a shift here in view. The view that we’ve had in the past is that we deal with predictability by offering a period of non-deployment or non-withdrawal and then we finesse what goes on during the period. Now, what I’ve said here is that if they agree to simply accept the period of non-withdrawal from the ABM Treaty—and they have, providing we comply with the ABM Treaty as negotiated and ratified as they have offered—that would take us in a situation where if we go that route and try to test under the broad interpretation, the Soviets would come up on the net and say if you go broad, we stop the START reductions. (S)

What Frank and I are saying is not to give them that hammer. It isn’t the number of years, it’s what you can do. If you can do the tests you need, you can make the program go. That’s the issue. (S)

We should stop talking about broad/narrow ABM definitions. What we want is the tests we need for our program. You do the tests you need for your program. Now deployment becomes crucial. You put something up today, something more tomorrow, something more the next day. Logical question: is this deployment? (S)

They say they want confidence thru the START period. We have confidence building measures, open labs and the like. We could build [Page 1049] a package of ways of distinguishing tests from deployment. It would be something to talk about. I agree with Ken that it is very unlikely that they will agree, but it’s more likely than that they would agree to the broad interpretation of the Treaty. In any case, this would be a good package to stand on before the American people. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: It will help institutionalize SDI. That should be a key goal of the rest of your Administration. We could stop fighting with the legislators. (C)

Senator Baker: Would you really list what you can do, or would you simply identify a criterion of what is not deployment? (S)

Secretary Shultz: Well, others know more about the program than I do. What I wanted to say is that the US can do the tests it needs for its program, and the Soviets can do the tests that they need for their program. We would have a right of observation of tests. Now a lot of development is needed on this idea, but it is more in line with our real objectives. (S).

Secretary Carlucci: I agree that we can develop some kind of confidence-building measures in this area. (S)

Dr. Graham: Confidence-building measures are okay, and we need safeguards too, but we can’t commit to negotiate what is deployment because it would move us down the road to what is permitted and prohibited. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: George didn’t say to negotiate. (U)

Senator Baker: That was my point. (U)

Secretary Carlucci: It would be unilateral, not negotiated. (U)

Secretary Shultz: Well, I really think we need to begin . . . (U)

Senator Baker: [Interrupted] If we could let it evolve over time, we could simply get into this and develop an understanding of what is deployment over time. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: Look, my position is that we don’t negotiate on this; we declare what we mean by deployment; and we avoid slipping that way into permitted and prohibited. (S)

Dr. Graham: That’s absolutely right, Mr. President. We can’t afford a structure of agreement that involves what’s permitted and what’s prohibited. (S)

Secretary Baker: Once again, I thought you told us the last time that we don’t know what the technology might be; so how are we going to do that? (S)

General Powell: All right then, how do we engage the Soviets on this? (U)

Dr. Graham: We just tell them we do what we want to do for testing and they do what they want to do, and then we describe what we are [Page 1050] going to do. And if there’s an issue with respect to whether that’s deployment or not, we’ll talk about it. (S)

Ambassador Rowny: That’s right, and we’ve got to make sure we don’t give them a veto on testing or what we test. (S)

Senator Baker: They can’t stop, they can just look. (S)

Admiral Crowe: It may be easier to distinguish deployment versus testing than permitted and prohibited. (S)

Ambassador Rowny: I asked Ahkromeyev if they were interested in blocking testing for SDI, and his answer was “yes,” they were. So we must not accept some of the words of the Soviets until we get that cleared up. [Several participants say “yes, that’s their goal.”] (S)

General Powell: Well, let me summarize then. For the Chapeau in Defense and Space, everybody is okay. As far as it goes, as I understand this conversation, it’s okay to go to 1996 if we need to, based on what happens in the Working Groups. We have to reaffirm our right to deploy; we’ll add a six-months’ notification, but we have the right to deploy after the period. It’s better not to determine what is broad and narrow and what’s permitted and prohibited, and we probably have to engage in a discussion on what is testing vice deployment. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: No, I don’t agree with that; just make a unilateral statement about what deployment means for us. “Here is our understanding of what we’re going to do.” (S)

Secretary Shultz: I’m not as hung up on our right to deploy as distinct from the 6 month ABM non-withdrawal. We can give six-months’ notice to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, and that will allow us to deploy. We shouldn’t get all hung up on the idea that this extra withdrawal from the ABM Treaty is significant, because the act of deployment will be significant enough. Someone will have to make the decision to deploy; it will involve a lot of people and dollars, so it won’t go unnoticed. (S)

Secretary Carlucci: Let me read you Article 15 of the Treaty. It says I have the right to deploy, but only if I can declare that the situation jeopardizes my supreme national interest. That’s a real high criterion; there’s no reason for us to have that. What we ought to be doing is to get away from that and bring it down; I have no doubt that it’s going to be a hard choice. (S)

Senator Baker: Am I correct that we don’t need the Congress to withdraw from the ABM Treaty; we don’t need consent? [All noted that while that’s legally true, Congress will be involved in any case.] (C)

Secretary Carlucci: Look, I’m trying to lower the threshold here. I want to go with the direct right to deploy after the period. I’m prepared to give them six-months’ notice. (S)

Senator Baker: The threshold is what we say it is. (C)

[Page 1051]

Secretary Carlucci: But we should shift what we say it is. (U)

Secretary Shultz: I’m willing to settle for Frank’s position. But if the Soviets say “OK, except it has to be non-withdrawal,” I bet you’ll all buy it. (S)

General Powell: Okay, six-months’ notice and the right to deploy. (S)

Admiral Crowe: I want to emphasize once again that what we’ve done and what we need to do is to reverse the emphasis so that we don’t focus so much on a time-frame and time period, but more on understanding that we get what we need in the period, i.e., the ability to test and the like. (S)

Secretary Shultz: I agree; it’s important that we reverse. (U)

General Powell: Fine, Bob Linhard and the compartmentalized group will write this all up, and we’ll get these decisions reported. We have a lot of consensus. It’s been a useful conversation. Please, gentlemen, no press; don’t debrief your staffs. We’ll get decisions out through the group. (U)

Ambassador Rowny: Mr. President, before you go, Gorbachev wants you to go to Moscow. The pressure is on him. We can draw a lot out of him if we just recognize that. We have a lot of leverage here. It’s all lost on the press, but the leverage is really yours. We’ve had our deadlines; now let him have his deadlines and put his prestige on the line as to whether you are going to be there in ’88 or not. So you’ve got a lot that you can do there. (S)

The President: That will be easy for me; from everything I hear about the Soviet Union, I don’t think I want to go there. (C)

The meeting then ended at 3:05 p.m.


Paper Prepared in the National Security Council 5


Agreed chapeau:

—1600 Strategic Nuclear Delivery Vehicles (Bombers, ICBMs and SLBMs)

—6000 total “warheads”

[Page 1052]

—1540 warheads on Soviet heavy ICBMs (a 50% cut from current levels)

—a 50% cut in total Soviet ballistic missile throwweight

Additional items:

a. 4800 ballistic missile sublimit and 3300 sublimit on ICBMs

b. ALCM counting rules (attribute 6 ALCMs to each ALCM carrying heavy bomber)

c. Ballistic missile warhead counting rules for existing missiles

d. Verification package:

1. Data exchange

2. Baseline inspections

3. On-site observance of elimination

4. Continuous monitoring of portals of productions facilities

5. Short-notice inspections of declared facilities

6. Short-notice inspections of suspect sites

7. No concealment or interference with NTN

8. Cooperative measures to enhance NTM

[Added items if Soviets accept the above]

e. Provisions for verification of a limited mobile ICBM deployment

f. Allow heavy ICBM modernization

g. Unilateral declarations of nuclear SLCM forces

h. Permit BACKFIRE if not refueled, numbers not increased, and not equipped to carry ALCMs


Agreed chapeau:

—Instruct negotiators to develop Joint Draft Treaty Text

Additional items: take the form of three options

Option I:

—Non-withdrawal through October 11, 1996

—After 1996, return to ABM Treaty regime

—Negotiate distinction between testing and deployment

—Confidence building package

Option 2:

—Non-deployment through October 11, 1996

—After 1996, free to deploy

—Negotiate understanding on what constitute deployment

—Make it clear that testing is permitted

—Confidence building package

Merge of two options is attached.

[Page 1053]


Paper Prepared in the National Security Council 6


—A 10 year period of [A: non-withdrawal] [B: non-deployment] through the tenth anniversary of the Reykjavik meeting (October 11, 1996).

—After that time (October 11, 1996), the sides are free to [A: exercise their right to withdraw from the ABM Treaty] [B: deploy defenses not currently permitted by the Treaty] after having given 6 months notice.

—It would be clearly understood that during the 10 year period, both sides have the right to conduct research, development and testing, including testing in space, which are permitted by the ABM Treaty, and that the United States intends to fully exercise those rights.

—With respect to conduct during the 10 year period, the sides will negotiate an agreed understanding as to [A: the distinction between testing (which is permitted) and deployment (which is not)] [B: what constitutes prohibited deployment]. [C: Do not negotiate anything in this area, simply agree to disagree.]

—To enhance strategic stability, provide predictability, and ensure confidence that prohibited deployments were not being undertaken during the 10 year period, the sides meet regularly to exchange briefings on each side’s strategic defense programs and to facilitate mutual observation of strategic defense tests and visits to strategic defense research facilities.

—[If at any time after the eighth anniversary of the Reykjavik meeting (i.e. October 11, 1994), should a side wish to deploy strategic defenses not permitted by the ABM Treaty, it shall initiate a two year period of discussions to ensure a stable transition. At the end of this two year discussion period, unless agreed otherwise, either side will be free to [A: exercise their right to withdraw from the ABM Treaty] [B: deploy defenses not currently permitted by the Treaty] after having given 6 months notice.]

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat: National Security Planning Group (NSPG) Records, NSPG 171 12/24/1987. Secret. The meeting took place in the Situation Room. All brackets are in the original.
  2. Attached but not printed. See Tab C, Document 238.
  3. Attached but not printed. See Tab II, Document 237.
  4. Attached but not printed. See Tab D, Document 238.
  5. Secret; Sensitive. All brackets are in the original.
  6. Secret; Sensitive.