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Nixon administration's complex policy toward the Soviet Union, June 1972-August 1974.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II), at College Park, Maryland. The editors wish to express gratitude to the Richard Nixon Estate for allowing access to the Nixon Presidential recordings and the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace for facilitating that access. Special thanks are due to John Earl Haynes of the Library of Congress who facilitated access to the Kissinger Papers. The editors were able to use the Kissinger Papers with the kind permission of Henry Kissinger. The Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense provided full access to their records.

Douglas E. Selvage and Melissa Jane Taylor collected the documentation for this volume, made the selection, and annotated the documents under the supervision of M. Todd Bennett, Chief of the Europe and Global Issues Division, and Edward C. Keefer, General Editor of the series. Chris Tudda coordinated the declassification review under the supervision of Susan Weetman, Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division. Renée A. Goings did the copy and technical editing. Do Mi Stauber Indexing Service prepared the index.

Bureau of Public Affairs
November 2011

Ambassador Edward Brynn
Acting Historian


Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The 1991 Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant U.S. diplomatic activity. It also requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government engaged in foreign policy formulation, execution, or support, cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series have complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files ("lot files") of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department's Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. All the Department's indexed central files through July 1973 have been permanently transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland (Archives II). Many of the Department's decentralized office files covering the 1969-1976 period, which the National Archives deems worthy of permanent retention, have been transferred or are in the process of being transferred from the Department's custody to Archives II.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of President Nixon and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from the Department of State and other Federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dr. Henry Kissinger has approved access to his papers at the Library of Congress. The papers are a key source for the Nixon-Ford subseries of Foreign Relations.

Research for this volume was completed through special access to restricted documents at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project, the Library of Congress, and other agencies. While all the material printed in

this volume has been declassified, some of it is extracted from still classified documents. In the time since the research for this volume was completed, the Nixon Presidential Materials have been transferred to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. The Nixon Presidential Library staff is processing and declassifying many of the documents used in this volume, but they may not be available in their entirety at the time of publication.

Sources for Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume XV

The Nixon Presidential Materials are the single most important source of documentation for those interested in U.S.-Soviet relations during the Nixon administration. Foreign policy research in the Nixon Materials centers around the National Security Council (NSC) Files, which include the President's Trip Files, Subject Files, Country Files, and Kissinger Office Files. The NSC files contain about 1,300 archive boxes of materials. Of these the Kissinger Office Files, which include the memoranda of conversation of all of Kissinger's negotiations in the USSR, and the President's Trip Files, contain the most important information on high-level policymaking for this volume. Additionally, the NSC Institutional Files (H-Files) outline the policy decisions made by the Nixon administration as they relate to the USSR, including the National Security Study Memoranda (NSSMs) and National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDMs).

In addition to the NSC Files, the Nixon Materials include important collections like the Kissinger Telephone Conversations. The transcripts of those conversations, especially those with Dobrynin, provide information on the exchange of information between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as illustrate the development of détente.

The editors had access to the Nixon Intelligence Files at the National Security Council and the files of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. The files of the Central Intelligence Agency, particularly the National Intelligence Council (NIC) Registry of finished intelligence, were essential for intelligence reports and assessments on which the Nixon administration based its policy decisions.

The editors made considerable use of materials already compiled for other volumes in the Foreign Relations series, including those of the Middle East, Vietnam, SALT, and earlier Soviet volumes. Readers interested in these subjects should consult the relevant volumes for further information on the specific sources used in research.

The following list identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume. In addition to the paper files cited below, a growing number of documents are available on the Internet. The Office of the Historian maintains a list of these Internet re

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