« PreviousContinue »
Secretary: I am not optimistic about the results.
Secretary: Our people say that there is no way to verify what others will do with respect to weather modification.
Gromyko: I would like very much to pretend that I did not hear your reply that you were not optimistic. So let us both do what the fishermen in the story did. There were two fishermen who met on the road and they were both hard of hearing. The first said “Are you going fishing?" And the second replied “No, I am going fishing." And the first answered again, “No, I am going fishing." So you can see, I did not wish to hear you. Really, I am not at all encouraged. This is another area where we can get into competition and the consequences will follow. Years from now our successors will say “Why didn't we take this matter up before?"
Secretary: Can we get a report and answer by the end of the month? I will have to have a meeting to hear what my genuises have to say.
Gromyko: This problem could consume billions of dollars with only doubtful results if we get into competition.
Secretary: What you want is a declaration not to use it?
Gromyko: I don't care about the form. I have a completely open mind.
Secretary: Then Jobert and the Chinese can make speeches that we have agreed not to use it against each other but we are free to use it against others. Am I right that you want to renounce the use?
Gromyko: We will consider any effective form. A declaration might be a good way to proceed and contain the substantive matters. You should not underestimate the effects. This could be like the ABM but it could consume several times more money. We will look back and say why didn't we stop this. This is the joint opinion of our political, scientific and military advisors, especially our political and scientific people.
Secretary: It might be possible to agree to prohibit the use or the first use or the production of agents or the belligerent use.
Gromyko: We want to be specific and concrete.
Gromyko: We could agree in principle that this is the general direction we wish to move in.
Rush: What about peacetime peaceful uses?
Gromyko: Those are all right. If it is to save a great harvest, that is permissible.
Secretary: Let me look at this again. Perhaps we could announce at the Summit that we intend to enter into negotiations or to study this problem.
Gromyko: I hope that you can stretch your position and see that this is in our mutual interest.
Secretary: Your suggestions have been helpful. I think we might look into the question of whether we can agree to a joint examination of how to avoid the use of the environment for belligerent purposes.
Gromyko: With our geography we have a lot of room for experimentation
Secretary: You also have a lot of bad weather to export. I understand what you are saying. I will think seriously about whether we can have a joint examination.
Gromyko: If we can move in this direction it would be useful.
Secretary: There might be some symbolic value in this agreement. I will look to our study and see what the problems are. Ever since Mr. Rush left the Pentagon they have been more bellicose but you have given me an idea.
Dobrynin: Maybe we can have more sunny days.
Secretary: I will study and see what can be considered. I am sympathetic. I will let you know by May 1.
Gromyko: Can you turn to the Middle East?
Secretary: Let us talk about SALT and then have a preliminary discussion of the Middle East so that we can consider it further tomorrow.
On SALT we are getting trapped in a public debate which is dangerous and absurd. On the one hand people are accusing us of total failure. If we say we made some progress then they say we have given something away. Seriously, I think we have to set some time limit about what could come out of the Summit and how realistic the possibilities are. There are several possibilities: 1) We could make an agreement along the lines of our discussion in Moscow as we discussed with the President today.' 2) Without an agreement we could make a statement like we did in May of 1971 that we will work toward an agreement on a numerical ratio but have not worked out all the details. 3) Or we could have a combination of the two. We should decide in the next three weeks what we have in mind. Let me say what our difficulty is. You have three kinds of land-based missiles which you can MIRV plus the submarine problem. We have only one land-based missile type. Our problem is simpler and, of course, through no fault of yours, we have decided to go for a smaller land-based missile design. Now people are saying that you have a big missile and we are at a disadvantage.
10 See Document 173.
Gromyko: How many times the Hiroshima-type bomb do you have in one part of your MIRV—that is, one-tenth?
Secretary: Several times Hiroshima in one-tenth. The problem is the distribution of each other's land-based missiles. I came back from Moscow determined to take another look. We had always focused on the number of missiles not on the number of warheads. You can see here I carry around a piece of paper with all the numbers on it because I want to learn them. The problem is you say you want one thousand and how that number is composed is meaningless. You could have all your land-based missiles MIRV'd in the first four years and then shift to submarines in the fifth year. This would be no technical violation but it would affect the rate at which MIRV's are installed.
Gromyko: General Secretary Brezhnev told you that this was a practical impossibility for us.
Secretary: You have talked about exchanging information and I think that this is a constructive idea. Would you do this at the beginning of the process?
Gromyko: This should be specified in the negotiations. Information could be exchanged several times, not just once. It could be exchanged initially, in an advanced stage and in the middle. What you want to know can be obtained through this process of exchanging information. This is the way you can find out about intentions.
Secretary: The problem is that if you say, for example, at the beginning that you are going to have 700 land-based missiles and 300 sea-based missiles, then we can compare this with the actual deployment. If you give us information at the beginning and it only covers the first
year we cannot plan our reaction.
Gromyko: We can exchange information at the beginning and tell you what our intention is for the next year and when that time expires each side will say what it intends to do in the second year and so forth each year for the duration of the agreement. We could exchange this information simultaneously.
Secretary: But you will know our intentions because they are public.
Gromyko: How will we know?
Secretary: This would not be equal. Our deployment is ahead of yours. We may be finished in 1976.
Gromyko: What do you prefer?
Secretary: Our preference would be for you to tell us that there will be X number of land-based missiles and X number of sea-based missiles. We would accept that. We would have so many land and so many sea-based missiles.
Gromyko: We cannot accept a condition to the exchange of information.
Secretary: But you would be free to change your mind.
Gromyko: What we are talking about is an exchange of information not an agreement on figures. It would be an understanding by each side on a mutual basis.
Secretary: I could conceive-leaving aside the assumption of an understanding-that
you tell us you plan so many land and so many sea-based missiles. We tell you the same thing and we tell each year what we plan to do each year. But doing this year by year is useless.
Sonnenfeldt: If we have an agreement for five years year by year doesn't really help very much. Our main problem is that you have told us your silos can take MIRV's without any change.
Secretary: We are talking about launchers and counting silos. There is a problem in exchanging information and I hope that the General Secretary did not misunderstand. I said that to MIRV a missile without modifying a silo was not a violation of the agreement. We think it is possible to install a different missile by digging the hole deeper and that is not a violation.
Gromyko: The General Secretary understood the point you made.
Secretary: The problem is that if you MIRV without modifying the silo we have an almost insoluble problem. We don't know if the missile has been MIRV'd and, therefore, we must count it as MIRV'd if you tell us that the silo requires no modification. That is a factual problem. Do you intend to modify your silos to install MIRV's? If so, then your proposal for exchanging information has merit because we can then tell him you have modified a silo to install a MIRV.
Gromyko: Is that a concrete question? Doesn't exchanging information solve the problem in principle?
Secretary: We can examine if there are other criteria on modifications or the question of whether they can be put in submarines.
Gromyko: Is this a pre-condition of the understanding or in the beginning should we only consider an algebraic formula and the exchange of information?
Secretary: For us this is a tough intellectual problem. There is enormous difficulty which is fed by the opponents of an agreement. It is conceivable that we could accept an algebraic formula and have an understanding about exchanging information but to be convincing it depends on what we can say about our ability to tell when missiles are MIRV'd. If we can say they have been MIRV'd when a silo cover is removed for a period of months, then we can say that we have counted the number of MIRV'd missiles. If we say that we have no way to judge and you can just pop a missile into the old hole, then we have to count the full number allowed under the agreement.
Dobrynin: How can we convince you?
Secretary: Strangely enough, if there is suspicious activity it is better and easier to reach an agreement. The problem is that you have very large missiles and if there are no MIRV's on the largest missiles or if you accept a ceiling, then your figures become more manageable.
Gromyko: We cannot accept any division within the ceiling. There can be no exchange of information if that is the case.
Secretary: We are not ahead on numbers of launchers.
Gromyko: Count how many warheads you can have on your thousand missiles.
Secretary: It is not excluded that we could accept a thousand missiles of which the largest or 50 or so could be MIRV’d. Then we could exchange information each year.
Gromyko: This makes exchange of information useless. It is a condition to the agreement. What we should do is to facilitate understanding. What you are suggesting just means one more condition and you would have the advantage and I am not speaking yet of FBS. Gradually you are washing out the idea.
Secretary: I think you have made some constructive suggestions but your idea needs greater precision.
Gromyko: We could have an exchange of information each year or twice a year
Secretary: No, we have more interest in long-term developments.
Sonnenfeldt: If we can assume that silos must be modified, then we have some means to verify other than watching the testing program.
Secretary: The problem is how to reassure each other.
Gromyko: We believe that national means should be used. What other alternative is there?
Secretary: The present agreement is easy to deal with by national means because it talks only about numbers. The choice before us is that you can modify your missiles with no external change, then we have serious difficulties. If it requires external change our problems are easier to deal with. We will have to respond to your suggestions.