270. Minutes of a Meeting1


  • Meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff


  • Admiral William J. Crowe, USN
  • General Robert T. Herres, USAF
  • General Carl Vuono, USA
  • Admiral A. Carl Trost, USN
  • General Larry D. Welch, USAF
  • General Alfred M. Gray, USMC
  • Secretary of Defense Carlucci
  • Ambassador Ronald Lehman
  • General Gordon Fornell, USAF
  • Secretary of State Shultz
  • Ambassador Paul Nitze
  • Ambassador Edward Rowny
  • Ambassador Max Kampelman
  • Ambassador Allen Holmes
  • General William Burns, USA
  • General Colin Powell, USA
  • Colonel Robert Linhard, USAF
  • Admiral Jonathan Howe, USN


Admiral Crowe: Welcome, Secretary Shultz. I don’t think we made the right impression at the NSPG,2 although we tried. There are a host of issues that stand between us and a START Treaty. They’re very difficult issues; and we’re going to have a very difficult time reaching answers. I just reviewed the message3 from our START negotiator. I certainly don’t appreciate the tone of his language. I have very serious reservations about our ability to do all the necessary work in the time available. We want a good Treaty, not a fast Treaty. It could affect 150–100 years of our future, not a just a few years.

Secretary Shultz: I totally agree. We certainly don’t want a half-ass Treaty. However, you told me that the Soviets can produce and field [Page 1201] ballistic missiles a lot easier than we can and, therefore, START would be important to us if we could get it.

Admiral Crowe: I agree with that.

Secretary Shultz: The meeting in Moscow is going to be a little different than previous ones. Nuclear arms control is not going to be dominant. Human rights will come up high on the agenda. There has been a retrogression there lately, and we need to put human rights on the front burner a bit.

[Omitted here are discussions not related to START.]

Secretary Carlucci: Yes, with respect to START, I’ve got industry already banging at my door concerned about the implications of START verification.

Admiral Crowe: Secretary Shultz, you asked about our deliberations and I’m here to tell you that our deliberations have not produced clear, unequivacable answers. Prior to the last summit, we placed solutions of the counting rule issues high on our list of priorities, and I guess we ought to start first by discussing ALCMs.

Secretary Carlucci: Before you start into that, can you show Secretary Shultz the chart of all the things that need to be done before a Treaty that you showed me yesterday?

Admiral Crowe: Yes, it’s an imposing list. We’ll get that arranged.

Secretary Shultz: I thought at the end of the last summit, we had all the counting rules down but the ALCMs. Now, I assume you guys have done some rethinking.

Admiral Crowe: No, the Soviets have back-tracked to some extent. We thought we had all but the ALCMs and SLCMs okay. The SLCMs still need to be deferred in Moscow during this next trip.

Secretary Shultz: You say that the Soviet verification ideas don’t hold up; so I guess we have to wait until we see more on their verification.

Admiral Crowe: Yes, we need more detail. Based on what we have seen so far, we can’t make a judgment.

Admiral Trost: That’s only part of the problem. Their idea and their SLCM approach allows them to keep all their SLCMs but effectively cuts ours.

General Welch: That’s true; they’re also walking back on the Reykjavik aircraft-counting rules.

Ambassador Rowny: I wouldn’t count so much on this. I was just in Geneva. I think all we are seeing is tactical movement on their part.

General Welch: What about the 1100 counting rule? Do you think that’s tactical?

Ambassador Kampelman: I wouldn’t be too concerned over this. It is normal maneuvering.

[Page 1202]

Secretary Carlucci: Now, they’re adding new elements. When they add them, they want us to give a concession so that they will withdraw those elements they’ve added.

Admiral Crowe: I see us having two main problems. First, we have to protect conventional ALCMs. Secretary Carlucci will remember that he was part of the deal that we would do so when we decided to constrain conventional-armed GLCMs.

Secretary Carlucci: I agree. That was our view.

Admiral Crowe: I just received this message as I mentioned before from Read Hanmer. [He then read the portions of Hanmer’s message on ALCM-counting rules.] It looks like Hanmer supports the position that would take the rule near to actual aircraft loading. I would observe, Mr. Secretary, that I think we sense agreement on the need to protect conventional ALCMs. However, with respect to range, I think we need to discuss this a bit. We could go below our current position—1500 km—but we’re not sure that we should be the ones who should initiate that movement on the range issue.

General Welch: The range issue is tied to the conventional armament issue. If the conventional issue were separated out and decided in our favor, then the 1500 km range becomes much less critical. We could come off 1500, and compromise at maybe 1000.

General Herres: We would rather protect the conventional ALCM, capability in that way (i.e., by trading a nuclear range floor for it) than almost by any other way. A thousand kilometers is fine if we can get our ability to deploy conventional ALCM-unconstrained protected better.

Secretary Shultz: How would you handle the verification on nuclear versus conventional?

General Welch: Very simple, but it may seem too simple or simplistic. Our rule would be if they know a system exists, they can inspect it. We will paint all our conventional systems blue. They can check. They can come on any SAC base, and they can check that all the blue missiles are free of neutrons. The ALCMs are always on bases. It’s not like SLCMs. So our idea is that we’ll paint them all blue. If it’s blue, it’s conventional. They come up and they can check that all the blue systems are free of neutrons.

General Herres: We could also add some features that preclude conventional carriage in certain types of aircraft.

General Powell: But how long would it take to convert one of these blue missiles from a conventional into a nuclear missile?

General Welch: Yeah, that’s a problem, but we could also work on the carriers. We really don’t see any need for reloads for ALCMs. You know, bombers may have a second-strike capability, but that’s 36–40 hours into the war. So we’re not really too interested in protecting reloads for ALCMs. We could limit the number of carriers, etc.

[Page 1203]

Ambassador Lehman: Well, you know, on SLCMs, we made the case that we’d only consider long-range nuclear SLCMs. The Soviets seem to be prepared to accept that. However, the Soviets say they can’t tell the conventional and nuclear SLCMs apart. So that’s the reason why not, they want a 400 limit on long-range nuclear SLCMs, but a larger limit on overall SLCMs. So we have to be real careful on this, because we could wind up with an overall limit on both SLCMs and ALCMs.

General Welch: We could require that all conventional ALCMs only are stored on non-nuclear bases. We’re prepared to do that. Yes, these things could be converted overtime, but the verification in this area—that’s their problem. We’d have the capability for long-range conventional cruise missiles and they don’t.

Admiral Crowe: So if we can get the nuclear-only definition, then 1000 km would probably be okay. I’m not sure that we should race to that position. Are we being practical, Max?

Ambassador Kampelman: This isn’t a major problem. I think we can get 1000. I want to make sure I understand that you can’t live with anything below 1000.

Admiral Crowe: That’s right. We can’t live with anything below 1000.

General Herres: That would be a real problem with the Germans.

General Gray: That’s the reason why we don’t want to offer 1000 immediately as going-in position.

Secretary Shultz: We have a problem dealing with bottom lines. Akhromeyev said to us in the last meeting that there’d be no START Treaty if there weren’t limits on SLCMs. We said that there would be no way to verify nuclear-armed SLCMs and, therefore, we were prepared for unilateral statements and that’s about it. The Soviets then proposed a faulty regime for verification. At some point, we need to tell them that this is a deal breaker. It is, isn’t it?

Admiral Trost: Yes, it certainly is.

Secretary Shultz: Maybe now is the time to put a marker down of [our] own—that we are going to be firm on SLCMs.

Admiral Crowe: I’m a little worried. A number of times on INF, we had to put down bottom lines, and we did that by sheer persistence—no UK-French involvement and the like. But that takes time, and we don’t have time.

Secretary Shultz: On INF we had five principles—equality, zero outcome, no UK-French, a global view, and no impact on conventional. What are the principles in START? I hear SLCMs is one of our bottom lines. We’ve already got warheads; we’ve got the heavies that we wanted; I think that we’re ready to deal on mobiles, but, of course, I’m a little uneasy about that. And we need some other bottom lines—maybe SLCM is one of them.

[Page 1204]

Admiral Crowe: Well, you can’t tell them that their verification scheme for SLCM stinks until you know that’s true, and it’s not clear to me, based on what we know, that we’re in that position. It would be better to say that I’m uncomfortable with it than to say that it won’t work.

Admiral Trost: We do know it won’t work. They mentioned two types of devices. They said that we know all about this, and a lot of that is just nonsense.

General Powell: The Intelligence Community has looked at it and dismissed the capability being suggested by Gorbachev. In addition, Velikhov said that Gorbachev went beyond his briefing in this area.

Ambassador Kampelman: Yeah, others told us that some Soviets felt he was badly served by his staff in this area.

Admiral Crowe: Well, here are the charts4 we asked for.

[At this point, they put up two charts and Mike Wheeler came in and stood there as the charts went up. One chart had a list on one side—things that had to do with aircraft that were not up for decision in February, and the other chart was unreadable—a lot of details that we had not done yet.]

We also have some range charts to show you, and Carl Troust can explain them. This explains why we say their SLCM position captures ours, and not theirs.

[At that point, two charts5 went up that shows range comparisons for systems for ALCMs and SLCMs.]

Admiral Trost: As you can see, for example, the SS–N–21 is captured by the 600 km range as is theTLAM–N, but they keep 2700 missiles on their side that are all under 600 km.

Admiral Crowe: You can see why we can’t live with 600 km.

Secretary Shultz: But then why do we want go to 1000 km?

Admiral Crowe: No, no, the 1000 km limit is for air-launched cruise missiles, not for sea-launched cruise missiles. We don’t want a range limit on SLCM.

Ambassador Nitze: What is the German problem on 1000?

General Herres: We want something that’s long enough to get beyond the two Germanies. If we have 600 km, then we’re limited to 400 miles without penetration, and that would be bad.

[Page 1205]

Admiral Trost: Also, if we have no-nuclear SLCMs, we would cut one of the backup systems that the Germans feel we need to assist us deter in a post-INF world.

Admiral Crowe: Once the conventional issue is clear, the range issue is easier. The bottom line, then, is on ALCMs is that we need to protect conventional coverage. On SLCMs, we can’t verify any limits.

On ALCM counting rules, the current rule is six. Some people were talking about going to eight. We’re not adversed to moving to “as equipped.”

General Welch: It’s not clear to us that the ALCM discounting rule is better than a straight “as equipped” rule. The discounting rule allows us to load up non-penetrating bombers, but they’re all going to be gone soon. Whatever we can’t carry any longer because of the discounting for ALCMs, we can carry in the penetrating bombers. We have tankers for penetration; that’s what we intend to do. You know, it’s almost as if the Soviets were arguing our position, and we arguing theirs. The Soviets are the ones with the stand-off aircraft. When we started, we thought they had eight on a BLACKJACK; we now find out they really have 16; and on some of their other bombers, they can carry up to 22. They don’t have any tankers. They don’t have any penetrating capability to speak of. So with the existing situation, we’re providing incentives for them to build BLACKJACKs and BEARS equipped to carry large numbers of ALCMs.

Secretary Carlucci: If this is the case, why are they fighting us on this?

General Welch: I don’t know. It’s the same situation with mobiles. I mean they’re fighting for the position we ought to be fighting for. Our real problem right now and the real difficulty in moving to a position that we really need is that we have to fall off and accept the Soviet position, and nobody wants to do that.

Secretary Shultz: Well, that’s good. That gives us some room.

General Welch: Well, the rule has to be not only as equipped and verified but as modified as of some day after the Treaty goes into force, because we need to reconfigure our bomber force. It won’t be expensive, and it won’t be too hard, but we need to be able to make changes.

Ambassador Lehman: If you want to do this, I guess it’ll be easy with the Soviets. However, when the Soviets say “as equipped,” what they mean is different from what you’re talking about. They’ll want our bombers to be limited “as equipped” now. They’ll tell us “look, you told the world that this bomber could carry 20 or 25, or whatever. We’re going to have a big fight on verification details, plus the fact we’re talking about a major shift from an air unconstrained environment to a situation that would seem like we’re worried about and trying to limit Soviet ALCMs. We can eliminate the bomber hard points, I guess, and everything. We are also going to need SRAM-II, aren’t we?

[Page 1206]

General Welch: We could probably keep the ALCM-B and defer the ACM, but I want the ACM, and we certainly need SRAM-II. However, both ACM and SRAM–II are predicated on long supported programs.

Ambassador Lehman: There’s also a theoretical argument that says if we do this, the ratio of slow flying to fast flying weapons will change and there are a lot of people on the Hill who watch these kinds of ratios.

General Herres: If we were trading ALCMs for penetrating bombs. However, this isn’t true, because I can replace ALCMs with penetrating bombs.

Admiral Crowe: That’s not true. I’ll have the ability of loading them up anyway with the penetrators.

Secretary Carlucci: But 6000 isn’t really 6000.

General Welch: That’s always been the case. [less than 2 lines not declassified]. The discounting rule does not earn us any weapons on B–52’s because when I put an internal carriage ALCM on a B–52, I lose a SRAM—assumption being that B–52H is a penetrator. I only get a benefit if it’s a pure stand-off system, like the B–52G. Now during transitory periods, we are going to have to give up some weapons as we cycle aircraft through various roles, but we never drop below 4500 weapons at any time. I can’t see how we gain by going to any discounting rules.

Secretary Shultz: So, should I shift gear in this area?

Secretary Carlucci: I think we ought to get something for it.

Secretary Shultz: What about your view on why we should switch position with them on mobiles?

General Welch: [less than 3 lines not declassified]. However, in this environment, they’re coming out of the silos that we can’t attack to go for mobility for survivability. We ought to be out of the silos already. We need the mobility now—they will need it in the future. I can’t understand why our position is the way it is.

Secretary Carlucci: [1 line not declassified]

General Welch: Sure, yeah, later we’ll be able to, but right now, mobility is more important to us. It will be the worst of all situations if they have mobility and we don’t.

Secretary Shultz: Our problem is that the Congress want mobiles, but the Executive has been dragging its feet due to verification.

General Welch: Verification is an issue, of course.

Admiral Crowe: Some in the Congress feel strongly about mobiles, but they feel strongly about MIDGETMAN, not M–X on rail.

Secretary Carlucci: No, they’re divided on this.

General Gray: Our verification, won’t it get better overtime on mobiles once we understand them a little bit better?

[Page 1207]

General Welch: Yes, that’s true, verification may get better, but there are political problems too. I’m not sure we should get into that now, but I know that if there’s no START, I would want a lot of mobiles. If there is START, I want to limit mobiles, simply to ease verification.

Ambassador Rowny: Well, if we’re going to go for the gold, why don’t we ban mobile? The GRIP paper6 I just read shows it getting harder and harder. We ought to get tough with them and just ban mobiles.

General Welch: I wouldn’t ban mobiles.

Ambassador Rowny: But that’s our position.

Secretary Shultz: He knows that, Ed, but he’s suggesting another position.

General Welch: I remember how we got here. We got here based on taking a position meant to be a negotiating tactic, and somehow it evolved into a very hard, fast rule.

Admiral Crowe: Yeah, we never agreed to this as a permanent part of the US position, but simply as a negotiating tactic.

Secretary Shultz: Bud (McFarlane) told us when he originally put it in that it would only be tactical, and we never intended it to be more than that.

General Powell: It would be really tough to take it out now, though.

Ambassador Lehman: The GRIP paper says we need to go into a lot detail, but, boy, if we follow the GRIP paper, we’re just moving in the Soviets’ direction. We need more detail and more study before we do something like this. For example, if we move on heavy ICBMs, we just move in the Soviets’ position. If we drop 3000, we’re just moving to the Soviets’ position. If we go to ALCM “as equipped,” we’re just moving to the Soviets’ position. On on-site verification, they’ve already begun to take themselves down that slope. We don’t have to chase that. And, on armament, they’ve already agreed in principle. We don’t have to chase that. The real question we need is: don’t we need a draft treaty with all the details now, not this kind of approach?

Secretary Carlucci: Yeah, that’s what we need on the Hill; that’s what they’re interested in.

Admiral Crowe: That’s where our people are too. We really need a draft treaty.

Secretary Shultz: Well, what you’re telling me then is that the material in GRIP paper doesn’t represent the Ministerial agenda. We need to get together and use this and let our experts meet, but this isn’t Ministerial stuff.

[Page 1208]

General Welch: On mobiles, the Soviets have offered us a verification regime that’s not that bad. We ought to press them on their ideas on mobiles.

Secretary Shultz: Well, we’ve had a general discussion here. Colin and I will now need to go and focus on what we want from Moscow. We need to get some bottom lines. In the past we focused on issues; so what we have to ask ourselves is what should we press on now so that we can pass it on to the expert group who can work in more detail.

General Powell: Well, there’s no give on ALCMs—on conventional ALCMs. There’s some flexibility on ALCM range, and I’ve got to admit, I hear a real sea change in the position that says we should let ALCMs run free, to one in which we have to capture them.

General Welch: Even with all that said, I have no interest in 1100 sublimit on ALCMs. And what we need is to have actual carriage, but as of some day after the Treaty goes into effect.

Admiral Crowe: I’m not sure we should be doing this at Moscow.

General Powell: No, not at the Ministerial level, but we have to move it into the Experts’ Group.

Admiral Crowe: No, no, we ought to move all this stuff to Geneva.

Ambassador Kampelman: We have to use the Ministerial level. The Soviets are not going to make motion on any of these issues in Geneva. So we have to make use of the Ministerial meetings.

Secretary Carlucci: We have identified a series of things on which we could move. They seem to be at the Ministerial level general broad ideas, but for a return, we want details on verification. Therefore, we’ve got to disconnect. We can’t work very detailed verification material as a Ministerial, and we need to negotiate the details.

Admiral Crowe: Okay, what we need to do is to get them to agree to do verification up front. We need to start exchanging information on verification right now. In INF, we put this into the end game, and we got hurt by it. The Soviets may not like it, but we need to exchange information now.

Ambassador Rowny: They’re not going to do that. It’s not to their advantage—it’s not their style. They’re not going to let us do this in this way. Beyond that, with respect to mobiles, they’re going to keep a covert force, and we’re not going to be able to ratify any of this mobility stuff.

General Herres: They could make a covert force, but don’t need mobiles.

Ambassador Lehman: We’ve put a lot stuff down already. We’ve got an Inspection Protocol, a Conversation and Elimination Protocol, and MOU. Now, not all the detail is there, but a lot of it is. The Soviets have begun working on detail in Geneva. What we need now is the [Page 1209] key; we need to tell them we need some tangible progress in detailed information evidenced in Geneva.

Secretary Carlucci: Again, what I’m telling you is that we’re talking about making accommodations at the Ministerials at one level of on broad principles, on things like counting rules and, in return, we’re looking for agreement on detail that’s well below the Ministerial level on verification.

Secretary Shultz: Well, I can take the position that the Treaty process is replete with details, and much of this has to be worked in the trenches. We could seek a commitment to energize each other’s side on details. Here, I think what we need to do is have classes of detail and verification to be addressed. You know, we made a lot of mileage on lists of things of problems at Ministerials, both in Moscow and Washington. So we need to build such a listing of the categories of information that we want detail on, and we need to be ready to grapple at the Expert level.

Admiral Crowe: We can give you the categories, but an extensive exchange early of information is very important.

Secretary Shultz: But what kinds of things do you have in mind?

General Gray: Oh, you know, scientific and technical data.

Admiral Trost: Well, for example, we need to know where they manufacture cruise missiles. How can we exchange information; how can we decide if we don’t even know where that is? And we’re ready to exchange data too.

Secretary Carlucci: We ought to need to know what facilities of ours need to be monitored. And we can’t wait until the end, because I’m getting beat up by a whole bunch of Congressmen who think that plants in their District are going to get monitored.

General Herres: We need to understand their maintenance and logistics infrastructure and their concept of operations.

Admiral Crowe: And we need to do likewise.

Secretary Shultz: Can we? Are we prepared to give them this kind of information?

Admiral Crowe: Oh, yeah, most of it is in Aviation Week anyway.

Secretary Shultz: Well, Bob Linhard and Allen Holmes can do this, I’m sure.

Admiral Crowe: We need to work on all this, especially make sure we identify all our plants.

Secretary Carlucci: Yeah, again, there’s a lot of concern up in Congress.

Ambassador Rowny: You guys are kidding yourselves. The Soviets are never going to give you this.

Ambassador Lehman: Many on the Hill will say right now that we ought to slow down on START, mainly because of verification. We’re [Page 1210] going to get hurt if we don’t have detailed information on verification before we close on START. This will allow us to put the burden on the Soviets.

Secretary Carlucci: So that’s the bottom line then. We have to have our verification regime first before we can work the larger issues. Now let’s turn to Defense and Space, George. What about Defense and Space? You know, the GRIP paper is okay. It has the right words, but it doesn’t say how we’re going to do it. We can’t leave it vague on how we [are] going to link or not link, because Nunn and Levin will kill us. I guess I take it you’re going to ignore this in Moscow. I’ve asked Ron to look into this—on how to make this concrete. Ron, have you got anything you want to say?

Ambassador Lehman: We can get them to give in to a separate Treaty, and we want to reduce the linkages to START in any case. Now, there’s a lot of ways we could that. We could do a Joint Statement; we could do Joint Side Letter statements; and we could do separate treaties. And we’re going to study all this.

Secretary Carlucci: Even with a separate Treaty, Congress is going to link it up anyway.

General Gray: What we need is a big fat quid giving us a green light.

Secretary Shultz: Are we concerned that when we get a START Treaty and we make those reductions, that they will deploy the defenses that they are ahead of us in? Isn’t it really in our interest really to have the same linkage in a START environment to ensure that we don’t have our residual offensive capability undercut?

Secretary Carlucci: Oh, well, that’s certainly true, but that would play into decisions on permitted and prohibited. Now no one of us is suggesting we do away with the ABM Treaty. We are prepared to live with it for some time. It’s just a matter of what’s the time.

Secretary Shultz: You know, back in the Washington Summit, we made a lot of headway. We now see that there’s a length of time to be negotiated, and we’ve got what we want with respect to what will happen at the end. We’re totally unconstrained with respect to that. And we added “as required,” which marginally helps us remove some of the concerns about testing. I’ve heard some talk lately about freeing sensors, but I’m not sure where that’s going. What we need to do is plow away restrictions on testing in space. And we should be looking for a quid. We moved the ball a lot in Washington. We ought to be able to move it again.

Secretary Carlucci: It would really help us to remove sensors. That would be an amendment to the Treaty, and it would really help. Of [Page 1211] course, we let them out of the K-radar,7 but I think that’s okay. For example, our next two tests are sensor tests.

Secretary Shultz: But we also want to test weapons.

Secretary Carlucci: Yeah, that’s true, but eventually. But we don’t want to put the two of them together—sensors and weapons—at an early time.

However, now that I think of it, I don’t think that we’re ready to propose that we let sensors run free. Ron, are we?

Ambassador Lehman: No.

Secretary Shultz: Oh, then I got no new talking points.

General Powell: Well, what about this programmatic approach that Frank was going to take on SDI?

Secretary Shultz: Well, that’s internal though.

Secretary Carlucci: What we need to do is tell them what I told Shevardnadze over lunch. Tell them if they want a START agreement, they’d better figure a way for us to go forward on SDI.

Secretary Shultz: Well, we’ve got a lot of points in my talking point book. Don’t I, Bob (Linhard)?

Colonel Linhard: To some extent you do.

Secretary Carlucci: Bob, isn’t that our position though—that if they want to go in START, they must let us go forward?

Colonel Linhard: Yes.

Ambassador Kampelman: I’m not sure that I’d risk SDI too early now. There’s no need to press the linkage.

Secretary Carlucci: Well, I’m looking at what’s in the budget on SDI.

Secretary Shultz: Well, is there anything more we need to talk about?

Admiral Crowe: We owe you categories of information. We’ll get them to you.

Secretary Shultz: Okay. It seems like we are agreed that we need to focus on early information exchange on verification, and that we ought to make a major push on this area vice any of the broader issues. Of course, the Working Groups will get into detail over there.

Admiral Crowe: I feel like I’m hanging you out on mobiles.

Secretary Shultz: Well, you’re hanging me out on mobiles and ALCMs.

Admiral Crowe: Well, we could let you run a little bit on mobiles—collect some information; you know, exchange some ideas. We would still kind of only prefer rail mobile anyway.

[Page 1212]

General Welch: But we need to have them corralled. For example, we need to have them corraled at some time; you know, all the systems corraled at some times.

Secretary Carlucci: But we don’t want the M–X confined to a garrison.

General Welch: Well, what we mean by that is “normally” it would be in corral or the garrison, but there’s no restrictions on the ability to take it out. You know, we watched the bombers for years. Bombers sit on bases, and we have the right to disperse them, and it’s kind of like that. So “normally” they would be in garrison, but they have the right to go out. If a large percentage of their forces are on the roads or at rail “normally,” we’ll have a hell of a time trying to understand their concept.

Ambassador Nitze: Can we tolerate a percentage limit on how many are outside?

Secretary Carlucci: No, no, can’t do that. And we’ve got to be really careful because if we handle this thing incorrectly, it’ll make the case against my cut in MIDGETMAN.

General Welch: Now, I think what we really want to do is just “normally” in garrison.

Ambassador Nitze: I don’t know what “normally” means in Treaty terms. Is anyone here who can explain that to me?

Secretary Carlucci: Look, we can’t make MIDGETMAN look better than M–X rail garrison.

General Welch: I must be able to put my trains on the rails any time. It only happened in 40 years for the bomber force, but I can’t give up that happening.

Ambassador Nitze: Well, how about would you send them out with notification?

General Welch: Okay, but it’s got to be damn short notification.

Secretary Shultz: How about the idea that we have some common time in corrals for both so there would be some restrictions on when they had to be there.

Ambassador Lehman: You can see that there’s a lot of work we’ve got to work out. The only thing we should be ready to say is that we’re prepared to limit mobiles, but only if there’s very good verification and if they’re tightly constrained.

Secretary Shultz: Well, it sounds like it’s the same posture on SLCMs, but I’m more dubious here.

Admiral Crowe: Well, Trost says that we’ve had more information on their idea of SLCM verification. We’re all very cynical on anything there.

[Page 1213]

Secretary Carlucci: The Agency says that their idea of verification in SLCM doesn’t work.

General Powell: That’s right.

Admiral Crowe: I think Ron Lehman has the right idea. We can give them some examples of verification. What we are interested in is an agreement in principle, but not detail.

Ambassador Lehman: We need to show we got something for anything we do in verification. We need to protect ourselves on the Hill.

Secretary Shultz: You know, we make a lot of headway at these Ministerial meetings. Gorbachev is a decider, and it’s a productive situation with that chain from Grobachev to Shevardnadze and Akhromeyev. We have to use this potential. We need to be focused on what we want to get out of this. Shevardnadze will be here in March again—just a month—and I’ll be in Moscow in April, Carlucci is going to meet with Yazov in March, and I understand maybe a meeting with Akhromeyev to follow.

Admiral Howe: Congress is already starting ratification hearings on the START Treaty now.

Secretary Shultz: Look, Washington is losing taste for arms control because it’s too damn hard. But they also have no taste for spending more money for defense, and no taste for spending money on ICBMs for us. So we have a chance for getting something we need. This reminds me of a long chat I had with Nixon. His idea was to get an INF Treaty out of the way and get a START Treaty and have it negotiated and in-place by September or October, and then make it an issue in the campaign. In that way the guy who gets elected will be for it and have the ratification in the bag.

Secretary Carlucci: Well, I’m not sure we really want to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan. We need them to save us from ourselves. Maybe we ought to get them to get and reinvade or go invade somewhere else.

Secretary Shultz: I just gave a talk a while back, and I’m sure you all are going to read it. In the talk, in relations with the Soviets, there are always some negative things, for example, the Black Sea incident.8 Many wanted to use this minor incident of the Black Sea as a cause [Page 1214] for us breaking off conversation. That’s stupid. I think that Eastern Europe is very volatile. We could see the Soviets go in and wack it.

Admiral Crowe: Well, I observed Billington’s comment the other day9 that maybe it’s four or five months for Gorbachev total tenure from now on.

Secretary Shultz: I have come to the conclusion that no Soviet expert knows how the Soviet Union works. You’re better off just going for watching your interest and not trying to play their system.

The end of the meeting—9:15 a.m.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Linhard Files, JCS Meetings (START), February 17, 1988: Original Minutes. Secret. All brackets, except those indicating an omission of material, are in the original.
  2. See Document 268.
  3. Not found.
  4. Not found.
  5. Not found.
  6. Not found.
  7. Reference is to the Krasnoyarsk Radar.
  8. Reference is to an incident of February 12, in which two U.S. Navy vessels conducting an innocent passage through Soviet territorial waters off the Crimean Peninsula were bumped by Soviet coastal patrol boats. In telegram 45505 to Ankara, February 13, the Department reported that Armacost had called in Dubinin following the incident to issue a formal demarche, which Dubinin rejected, terming the presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea a “provocation.” (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D880128-0222)
  9. Not further identified.