State depart history of salt i

Page 1



9:54 AM

Page 3


January 27–November 12, 1969 3 limiting capabilities is adverse to us because of the projected growth in the Soviet missile force during the period of the delay. (3) If we delay initiating talks, the Soviets could cross certain thresholds (land mobile missiles, MIRVs) in their strategic programs which might foreclose certain options for limitations and create complications for verification. (4) The longer the delay in initiating talks and arriving at an agreement, the greater the pressures are likely to be for both sides to make decisions to increase or improve their strategic forces. Anticipation of an agreement could pressure us to defer or cancel programs pending outcome of negotiations. (5) A six-month delay in initiating talks would not impact on events scheduled under the current US strategic program. Even if FY 70 budget decisions were made to modify the current strategic program, a difference of six months in initiating talks would not affect cost or technical milestones in implementing alternative programs. I. Background US strategic offensive nuclear forces are stabilized quantitatively at the present time. There are currently 1054 ICBMs, 656 SLBMs, and 576 bombers. The Sentinel thin ballistic missile defensive system has been programmed for deployment to be operational starting in 1973 with 672 interceptors by 1975. Improvements involving MIRV in the Minuteman and Poseidon forces are programmed for incorporation starting in 1970, increasing the number of US missile warheads substantially by the mid70s; test programs started in the latter part of 1968. Soviet forces are projected to continue the numerical buildup of ICBMs, SLBMs and SA–5 (Tallinn) defensive systems. Operational ICBMs have increased by 110 from 1 July 1968 to 20 January 1969 and are estimated to increase another 70–154 before 1 July 1969. Three Polaris type submarines have been added in the last half of 1968 and an additional one is forecast by mid-1969. SA–5 launchers have increased by 72–252 from July 1968 to January 1969, with 108–288 more forecast during the period from January 1969 to July 1969. Construction of the operational Moscow BMD launch system has been arrested, but developmental work and the construction of associated radars (longest lead time construction item) continues. Table I, Soviet Offensive and Defensive Strategic Forces, is enclosed.2 The USSR initiated MRV testing in the latter part of 1968; it is not yet known whether these multiple warhead tests are a precursor to MIRV development. Since the current US force is fixed in numbers of launchers, our position relative to the increasing number of Soviet launchers is di2

Not printed.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.