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December 16, 2016
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December 10, 2004
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December 17, 1979
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PDF icon CIA-RDP88-01315R000400350002-1.pdf143.76 KB
ICT.E d For Relea fL2RR?,( 'IMF?o~p ft PP88-01315R00040035 S' r'l L ( -1--/L.. 17 December 1979 S C. arter to Mee, ~p eaiators,i, `Concer~.ed' About SAL'.' By George C. Wilson and Edward Walsh Washington Post Staff writers President Carter agreed last night to meet with a g>;oup. of 19 senators who earlier indicated to him that their support of the SALT II arms control treaty may hinge on his re- sponse to their concerns about the U.S. defense posture. 1 .1 They listed six points in a letter to Carter.bearing today's date. and writ- ten under the direction of Sen. Sam Nunn (A-Ga.). The White. House is anxious to persuade Nunn and several others who signed the letter to vote for SALT II, which is pending in the Senate. In reply, the president last night signed an .identical four-paragraph let- . ter to each of the senators that was noncommittal on the six points that they raised brit offered, in effect,, to negotiate. "I ... share your desire to achieve a bipartisan consensus on these issues of long-range national security, strat- egy and arms control, and to that end : we should begin these meetings at an early date," Carter wrote. "I am confi- dent we can find the common ground on which the prompt ratification of this treaty, so important to our na- tional security and the peace of the World, will be achieved." White Houselofficials said Iast night that the meetings that Carter' pro- posed had not[:been set up, but they. are expected toy be soon. The signers of the Senate. letter rep- resent a potentially decisive, voting: Approved bloc;` and in his. reply the president spt?ved'notice that he is willing to con- sIder further concessions to them in bider to win approval of SALT. ;J Carter has already gone to some 3ongths to will over Nunn and other tjefense-minded senators by approving substantial increase in defense 4pentdirzg for next year -and promising.. 'steady rise in military expenditures r'the years ahead. ~'~ Itf -`discussing SALT II, the 19 sena- ;fmrssaid that they were "concerned" gat the terms in the protocol might yeti"d precedent for future-arms con- kol pacts. They also indicated they 'gere. troubled by the ' latitude, the. peaty would give the Soviets in de- loving heavy missiles, by the Soviet ,I3ackfire bomber threat to the. United "States, and by limitations on the ways ;,the..'United States could deploy its Flew MX blockbuster intercontinental missile.. ti `Corning to general concerns about C1r15'" military balance between the United States and, the Soviet Union, the senators mentioned "ongoing. slip. page" on the American Side, Soviet imprdvements in tactical aircraft, and a growing Soviet navy that threatens "western supremacy on- the high seas. The senators complained that those ? Administration programs for Ira-' proving intelligence gathering, Includ- ing the reconstitution of "our sensi- tive operational intelligence capabili- ties. "Administration plans, with date specified, , for deploying ground- launched cruise: missiles.behind the North Atlantic Treaty Organization line in Europe. .e ."Administration plans to deter and counter" the "aggressive activi- ties in the Third World" by the Soviet Union and ? its proxies. The senators said such behavior is "inconsistent with the underlying spirit. of the SALT process." ? Explanations . of how SALT II would affect "the' attainment of deep cuts" in strategic arms on both sides under a third treaty. The senators added that the administration's assess- ment of the impact of SALT II should also go into the effect on reducing U.S. and Soviet troops stationed on either side of the NATO line in Europe. After listing their reservations about SALT II and the general trends of the arms race, the senators con- cluded: "Because of our, concerns, largely covered by this letter, we are uncommitted. as to how we will cast our votes on the SALT iI treaty and proposed changes." Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), one of ' the administration's chief head its bid to secure approval! of SALT, said he viewed the letter! "as a favorable 'development. Most of I the very -legitimate concerns raised by the senators do not relate directlyj to the text of the SALT 11 treaty. It's my impression that they hope that those that do can be resolved without killer amendments." Besides Nunn, the letter was signed by: Henry L. Beilmon (R-Okla.), Lloyd, M. Bentsen (D-Tex.),.,David L. Boren (D-Okla.), Rudy Boschwitz ? (R-Minn.), Lawton Chiles (A-Fla.), John Danforth (R-Md.), Dennis -DeConcini (D-Ariz.), Pete V. Domeniel (R-N.M.), David Du-.1 renberger (R-Minn.), J. James Exon'(D- Neb.), S. I. Hayakawa (ft-Calif.); H. John Heinz III (R-Pa.), Larry Press- { ler (R-S.D.). Harrison Schmitt (R-N.M:). 1 and other advances in Soviet weap- onry occurred at the same time one arras control treaty was in force and its successor was in negotiation. ".The hopes for significant arms control did influence our force planning" and thus may have delayed counters to the "mounting Soviet% threat," they wrote. -In light-of those developments and their impact on the future arms bal., ante, the senators said that they, needed presidential assurances and explanations in these areas: ? Plans for narrowing the "window, of : vulnerability" in the early 1980s, when the Soviets will be 'able: to knock out a sizable portion of the U.S. land-based nuclear offense. ? Efforts to improve enlistment of, birth nrtality nennle for the armed. qJohn W. Warner (R- For Release 2005/01/12: ClA-RDP88-01315ROO a. anard Zorinsky (D?Neb.)...