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Secretary Kissinger: The arrangements were not only technically very correct but humanly too.
General Secretary Brezhnev: I had a say in that, I will tell you. The journalists, too, have a program.
Secretary Kissinger: I saw their reports this morning; they were really quite good. It was a good idea [for you) to see them for a few minutes. Their reports were very
favorable. General Secretary Brezhnev: The world press has been writing about these meetings. They are all warning me to be careful.
Secretary Kissinger: Warning you? They are accusing me of wanting relations with you so much I will give away anything. It is mostly from members of the peace movement on the Vietnam war who have now switched sides. In America.
General Secretary Brezhnev: I trust you have solved everything during lunch?
Secretary Kissinger: No. Let me explain our difficulties, and let me explain how it will present itself in the United States. You will remember from my public testimony when Senator Jackson attacked the first agreement, we defended it on the grounds that MIRV made up for the imbalance in numbers in the first phase. If we now extend that agreement, and add to it a provision of 1,000 MIRVed missiles, there will be two criticisms made, at least: One, that the numerical advantage now will become effective because of the number of warheads. Second, because the Soviet Union has more MIRVs on each launcher than we do, you will have a numerical advantage not only in the number of missiles but in the number of warheads. Thirdly, because the Soviet warheads are heavier than ours, it means the land-based force of the Soviet Union will be able to acquire a first-strike capability against ours. And therefore if there is not some ceiling on land-based missiles that takes account of the different numbers of warheads on each of these missiles, the position will become very complicated. In addition, we have the problem that at the level of 1,000, we would have to stop deploying MIRVs soon, while you would be starting yours. We would have no way of knowing if you are stopping. You will reach 1,000 at the very end of this process. So if you put, say, 500–800 on your land-based missiles—I give you the arguments quite honestly as they will be put to us—and if our calculation is correct that you have six on each, you would have 3,000-5,000 warheads, and you would be able to destroy our Minuteman.
I don't want to give you ideas, but these are the arguments that will be made. I just wanted to give you the reasoning of our people.
General Secretary Brezhnev: I want to be absolutely clear in my mind where we stand. In connection with the figure you mentioned, 1,100, how many land-based missiles would we be entitled to MIRV, and how many on submarines?
Secretary Kissinger: We would propose, on that calculation, a ratio of about 5:3 land-based missiles, and we would therefore propose 500 land-based missiles for ourselves. This would give you slightly more warheads than we.
Ambassador Dobrynin: Eight hundred for submarines. (Kissinger nods yes.] Foreign Minister Gromyko: And you
Secretary Kissinger: It would give equality in warheads. You about 1,800 to our 1,500 warheads on land-based missiles.
a was. Now he participates very actively. [Laughter]
General Secretary Brezhnev: If I agree to this, this will be my last meeting with Dr. Kissinger, because I will be destroyed.
Secretary Kissinger: My problem is that exactly the opposite is true if I agree to this (points to Soviet proposal).
(Both sides confer. Brezhnev winds his mariner's clock, and it chimes for 6 o'clock. It is 6:03.)
General Secretary Brezhnev: Dr. Kissinger, this is an interesting watch. (He shows a French-made watch which shows the whole mechanism. He points again to the cigarette-holder with the six cartridge-like holders.)
It is like the American MIRV. Looks like six but you say three.
we have six whereas in actual fact we don't. So if we look at this officially, we are entitled to ask you for an advance. I didn't want to introduce this element into this, so we should count in good faith.
Secretary Kissinger: No, I will tell you our numbers. So Dobrynin's generals won't have so much work to do—so they can concentrate on Congress and help us with the Trade Bill. We had one test with 12 for submarines, but the warheads were so small we couldn't see them. So we are deploying them with tеn. It doesn't make any difference. But on what is deployed, we have ten.
General Secretary Brezhnev: We have not even started even the work to deploy ten or 12. That is the crux of the matter. I for one want to say this to you in a sense of responsibility. If we were talking about destroying these weapons on one side or the other, it would be a different matter. But that is impossible because you have done so much work to launch these, including submarine-launched missiles. So we should look for a more acceptable solution. So in order to remove the arguments of Jackson, if he represents the American public opinion, to eliminate their arguments we could try to find some other common ground, but not on this basis.
I mean, our last agreement was not a fortuitous agreement. We had precise figures; you and President Nixon had accurate data. No attempt was made to conceal the fact that you were ahead of us in MIRVs. Then suddenly we see this complete turnabout, which puts us in such a position of unequality. I wouldn't like to use inaccurate figures.
Secretary Kissinger: Which figures are inaccurate, Mr. General Secretary?
General Secretary Brezhnev: You don't have three.
General Secretary Brezhnev: But we don't have any. We still have so much thinking to do on them, and you will know when we have ten. We will have to admit it ourselves. But that is nothing but pie in the sky. Let's try to speak in more realistic terms. Maybe we should try to find another figure for a ceiling. But for us to have only 300 while
you have 500 is something else. If you have ten MIRVs on one type, you can have the same number of other types as well. And you have already mastered the technology and we have not.
Secretary Kissinger: But you would have 1,100 single warheads.
Secretary Kissinger: But if you add them up, you would have 1,100 and we would have 500.
Let me establish one principle. If we have any agreement on MIRV, there has to be a ceiling on land-based missiles. We don't have to agree now what the ceiling is.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: MIRVed.
Secretary Kissinger: MIRVed. I am not now talking about what the number is.
I will tell you why. Because if you don't have a ceiling, we won't really have a meaningful agreement. Let me explain our reasoning. There is no way you can inspect the MIRVs on a submarine. So after you test your submarine MIRV, for our calculation we have to take all the submarines that can take that missile as having MIRV. The same is true for us.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: But that requirement is adequately met by establishing a total ceiling. Only a total.
Secretary Kissinger: No, because for the first few years you could build an increasing number.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: But it would be a total ceiling, with the ratio between land-based and sea-based determined by the countries themselves. The only problem will be to find the number.
Secretary Kissinger: You will probably be deploying within a year. That is our estimate.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: It is certainly to your advantage we can't deploy it all at once.
Secretary Kissinger: Our problem is, if you deploy 1,000, you can keep going during the period of the agreement, and then put everything in sea-based.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: That would be completed during the period of the agreement. You have already deployed.
Secretary Kissinger: But what will we do without an agreement?
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Without an agreement there is no ceiling, and you can do an unlimited number.
Secretary Kissinger: That is exactly the point. Without an agreement you could put everything into land-based missiles, and we would never know.
We can build 1,000 Minuteman, MIRVed, if we want. There are 500 Minutemen which, under our agreement, we are prepared to MIRV.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: How can you say we want unlimited numbers when we have a ceiling? When you say we can't deploy in the first year, it is in your advantage.
Secretary Kissinger: Never in the past have you deployed more than 250 missiles in a year. So during the period of this agreement, you could deploy 1,000 MIRVed missiles, each very much larger than ours. During that same period we would deploy very few under the agreement, because we have already deployed close to 1,000. So for the five-year period, it is, practically, a means for you to catch up. I am just telling you the arguments we will be faced with. And each of your warheads is larger than ours.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: But surely there is a contradiction. You say you are nearing the end of your deployment, and that we are only trying to catch up and we will catch up by the end. But the situation will change and we will have to revise the agreement anyway.
Secretary Kissinger: By the end of the period you will have the possibility to destroy our Minuteman.
General Secretary Brezhnev: In short, then it appears there are versions that are good for you, but as soon as we fall behind you want us to stay behind. We won't endorse unequal security conditions.
Secretary Kissinger: Our military says we accepted unequal conditions in the first SALT agreement.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: As the General Secretary said, not only you but we have military men.
Secretary Kissinger: But you have 1,400 and we have 1,000 ICBMs, and we have 48 and you have 62 submarines.
I am not contesting that agreement.
We are now debating whether we want a rate of deploying MIRV missiles ... By any theory, you will deploy more MIRVed missiles than we did.
We will face the present difficulty.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: But we never accepted the view of Jackson, that the previous agreement was unequal.
Secretary Kissinger: There is no way you could possibly deploy more than 1,000 in five years.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: But you can't say there is no limit; the limit is set by the total ceiling.
Secretary Kissinger: Suppose you dig 500 holes in the first year.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: If you say it might take three years to get an agreement; Dobrynin can know what goes on. He gets what he needs.
Secretary Kissinger: But we don't meet as many of our Congressmen as he does.
Let me do some calculations. First, there must be some ceiling on land-based missiles. Leave aside the figure. But within that, what is your idea of the relationship of the various missiles? Do you have an unlimited right to put MIRVs on land-based missiles?
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Each side would be able to choose the types of missiles it wants to save.
Secretary Kissinger: We don't have a heavy rocket.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: But you use the advantages you have-factual advantages—and your program is almost complete.
[Both sides confer.)
General Secretary Brezhnev: Should we perhaps pass over to something else?