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September 1, 1979
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Ol l S1 Lr Approved For Release 2005/01/12 : CIA-RDP88-01315R0004003 009 AIR FORCE MAGAZINE September 1979 In this exclusive interview, Lt. Gen. Edward L. Rowny, the top U'S military representative during the SALT II negotiations, describes Soviet negotiating techniques and objectives. General Rowny warns that the US should not negotiate without the backing of a strong strategic arsenal: "We cannot do it with mirrors." K IPLOMATIC negotiations, a rare experience for career LW' military officers, provided Army Lt. Gen. Edward L. Rowny with a unique insight into Soviet-American re- lations. General Rowny, who was the top military man on the US team during the second round of Strategic Arms itation Talks, concluded that the US, after decades of dealing with the Soviet Union, had much to'learn about negotiating with the Russians. In an interview with AIR FORCE Magazine, the General explained how the Soviet negotiators tried to outfox the US delegation. General Rowny has made it clear that he opposes the proposed treaty. Just days before voicing his frank dppu- sition, General Rowny retired from the Army. "C1^.1v when I was sure an agreement I couldn't agree with had been reached did I leave," he explained. This cleared the decks for his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July, when he testified: "The emerging treaty, in my view, is not in our interest sin :e it is inequitable, unverifiable, undermines deterrence, contributes to instability, and could ad- versely affect NATO security and Allied coherence." He urged the Senate to send the treaty back for further negotiations. Hailed by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N. C.) as "perhaps the most knowledgeable American in this field," General Rowny ]was the only member of the, US delegation to serve tile entire period of the SALT II negotiations. He was the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Representative for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks from March 1973 to June 1979. General. Rowny was well prepared for the negotia- tions. He has been a student of arms control and has writ- ten a number of papers on the subject, His thirty-eight years of military service also include extensive experi- ence as a combat leader. His background includes com- mand of an infantry battalion and a regimental task force in Italy in World War II, command of a regiment during the Korean War, and director of a special team in Viet- nam charged with testing and evaluating new Army con- cepts for counterinsurgency operations. His military decorations include the Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters. Approved General Rowny, sixty-two, received a.BS degree in civil engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and then resigned an Army commission to enter the US Mili- tary Academy. He was commissioned a second lieuten- ant in the Corps of Engineers in 1941. He holds master's degrees in civil engineering and international relations from Yale University, and was awarded a doctorate in international studies from American University. His advocacy, and study of arms control, and his par- ticipation in negotiations with the Soviet Union on the reduction of conventional'arms in Europe, were factors in his selection as the JCS Chairman's representative to the SALT negotiations. General Rowny says a minimum of six months of in- tensive study is absolutely necessary to participate in strategic arms negotiations. According to General Rowny, continued briefings on changes in the US and Soviet strategic arsenals were equally necessary. Sixty-two Trips During the six-year period with the SALT delegation, General Rowny made sixty-two round trips between Geneva and Washington, and participated in more than. 1,000 hours of negotiations. He quickly found he was involved in not one negotia- tion but a series of negotiations that included bargaining within the Defense Department, bargaining within, the US government, and exchanges on the SALT negotiating team. The process of hammering out a US position often was more time consuming and more complex than exchang- ing views with the Soviet delegation. The US position was drawn up by interagency working groups meeting in offices of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). Sometimes these meetings were moved to the White House. After a position was developed, it would be sent to four bodies for comment-the State Department, ACDA, the { Defense Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The position then would be cleared by the National Security Council staff. If there was a difference of opinion, the position paper would go to the Strategic Coordinating Committee, which is chaired by the President's National Security Affairs Assistant and includes as members the Defense Secretary, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of State, and the CIA Director. Op- posing views would be presented to the President, and 1 his decisions would be passed on to the delegation in Geneva. Within the Pentagon there was a separate negotiating process. Each service would work with the Joint Staff to prepare the JCS position. This position would be coordi- nated with the Defense Secretary by the Defense De- For Release 2005/01/1 n Xas ~Ig6Q64 3U0961L m1tted to The US negotiating kfQY,91dpE9Eci I $e PUM 1 /12 : (DI i ids?s1&*sRm 586rSading pre- h b e y t the interagency deliberations, sometimes recommending pared statements. As each paragraph was read actions and other times requesting the modification of head of a delegation it would be followed by a translation. instructions from Washington. Each statement would take from twenty minutes to an The US seems to think in terms of problem solving," hour. During most of the SALT II negotiations. Ambas- says General Rowny. "We negotiate in good faith, ex- sador Ralph Earle II, a veteran ACDA official, served as pecting give and take." The Soviet delegates, he says,. do head of the US delegation in the absence of ACDA Direc- not share Western concepts and instead regard negotia- tor Paul C. Warnkc, the official delegation chief. tions as just another means of competition. Says General Very seldom was there any exchange or rebuttal to the Rowny: "The Soviets look to the SALT negotiations to prepared statements. If a question was asked, it might be gain or to maintain a competitive advantage." answered by the delegation head after conferring with his It is General Rowny's opinion that this complex colleagues. More often, the question was considered in negotiating process within the US government "militates the next plenary statement. against" US efforts to get an equitable treaty: "We The formal session would last as long as two hours. would arrive at a reasonable position that we felt both After the time of the next meeting was agreed upon, the sides could accept, but the Soviet delegation would pre- plenary session would officially end and the delegates sent an extreme position that heavily favored the Soviet would proceed with informal discussions. position." This meant that almost any compromises be- In this phase, the chiefs of the two delegations would The re- ussions l dis f i . c orma n other room for twz n the two positions would benefit the Russians and retire t9 Anbe disadvantageous for the U. mainderof the delegation would meet in separatecorners of the room with their Soviet counterparts, accompanied One defense against this Soviet tactic would be for the t This -art of the meeting was off the rec-~ er Th I,ovhei Team Continuity in the negotiating team also served to the Soviet advantage, in General Rowny's view. For the most part, the Soviet delegation remained unchanged throughout the negotiations, The chief of the delegation for both SALT I and SALT 11 was Deputy Foreign Minis- ter V. S. 5menov. P. S. Pleshakov, representing the Soviet defense industry, and Academician A. N. Shchu- kin, representing the science community, also were members of the delegation throughout the negotiations, A fourth civilian seat apparently was designated a tam- porary position by Moscow. It was held by a series of Soviet diplomats during the talks. The Soviet team included two generals, in contrast to one on the US delegation. Lt. Can. K. A. Trusov and Col. Gen. I. I. Beletsky were appointed to the delegation during the SALT I period, After General Trusov suffered a heart attack, he was replaced by General Stavobudov. General Bel4t3ky served throughout the SALT II negoti- ations. On the US delegation, only General Rowny served for the entire period of the. negotiations. During the six-year period, the US delegation had five State Department rep- resentatives, four representatives of the Defense Secre- tary, and four representatives of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. General Rowny served as a member under three Defense Secretaries, three JCS Chairmen, and three Presidents, Hoe offered his resigna. tidn from the negotiating team At the outset of the Carter Administration, but was asked to stay on. Negotiations with the Soviet delegation were con- ducted for three or four months in Geneva. This period of bargaining would be followed by a break of three or four months when the US delegation returned to Washington for consultation. During the last eighteen months before an agreement was reached, however, the talks were in session almost continuously. An integral role of the delegation was to keep top offi- cials of the US and NATO nations abreast of the negotia- tions. This was accomplished by regular written and oral reports. Negotiations revolved around a formal meeting, called the plenary session, on Tuesday and Thursday. The meetings would afterrisits between an Art_ICto th e,(~~lp/0 Mission, called the S SAWRY Stefteafi building in the ten-acre Soviet compound. . v interoro ord en that nothing said was binding upon the delegador . General Downy says: "Wo would talk about what was in the latest plenary statement or what was In the previous week's statement. We talked about what ought to be taken up in the future. Or if we didn't have much to say, we engaged In small talk," Because General Downy 13 fluent in French and-Russian, he was able to participate In these talks without Interpreters. The informal talks would last an hour or an hour and a. half, depending upon how long the chiefs of delegations In addition to the plenary and informal?sessions, there were social exchanges, about one every ten days. The two sides usually alternated with dinners, .garden parries, and cocktail receptions. Though some informal negotia- tions took place at these meetings, the limited authority of Soviet delegates precluded much of an exchange of views. On one occasion, General Rowny recalls, he asked the wife of one of the Soviet guests how many chile dren she had. He was astonished when she asked another in the Soviet party whether she could answer the ques- tion. Nagotlating Problems One of the major problem;< of the negotiations, in Gen- eral Rowny's views, was a failure on the part of US dele- gates to realize that the Soviet delegates were the prod- uct of a different environment and therefore approached negotiations differently. "We in the US tend to think the Soviet citizen is like us," says General Rowny. "Because our leaders do not know Russian history and Russian culture, we tend to apply a 'mirror image' and think the Russian thinks and acts the same as Americans." The differences between the two cultures, however, show themselves in negotiations: Trlckery. The Soviet delegates would resort to crude negotiating tricks in an effort to achieve an advantage. In one case, General Rowny offered a compromise in ex- change for a Soviet compromise, and detailed what the two compromises should be. He offered the exchange at e, an informal meeting in which the Russian delegate indi ' cated neither agreement nor opposition. 'When the pro- posal was made at a subsequent formal plenary session, the Soviet delegation walked out after the US half of the compromise was announced, without volunteering the assumed Soviet compromise, as General Rowny had suggested. From that experience on, General Rowny aftg alitiCg obte Soviet side /12 Eleventh Hour. The SoVA*0rW pF&P9k6 12005/0 Lion until it seemed no agreement was possible, then agree to terms. General Rowny said this tactic often was used after public announcements had been made that an agreement was near, in an effort to get as many conces- sions as possible. This,last-minute strategy played on the nerves of the US delegates: "We lacked patience and would give additional concessions as a deadline ap- proached," General Rowny said. Reversals. The Soviet delegation was not hesitant to reverse its stand if it suited its purposes. This caused the delegation members no embarrassment. "The Russians would argue that black is white, then switch with no ex- planation or apparent reason," General Rowny said. I Repetition. Soviet delegates would repeat their posi- tions over and over without changing any point. General Rowny says this had several effects. It would tire the US delegates and cause them to shift to other negotiating is- sues. It would also cause the US to conclude that the Russians had strong feelings about the point being re- peated and could not be persuaded to change. In some cases, the US delegation would concede parts of the Soviet position in order to move the negotiations along SovI'et spontaneity Programmed Delegates. There were few spontaneous remarks from the Soviet delegation. Almost nothing was accidental or unplanned. If a US delegate asked a ques- Lion his Soviet counterpart often pulled a card from his pocket and read an answer, even though the answer might be completely unrelated to the question. Soviet delegates made this a practice both in the plenary and in the informal sessions. When Soviet delegates ran out of answer cards, they would quote Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev or Lenin. Progress. The Soviet delegates, without offering any flexibility in their position, would urge that progress be made in the talks. "They know Americans want to make progress, and they would play on that desire," General Rowny explained. The Soviet delegates, by contrast, seemed willing to wait years if necessary to win a point. Secrecy. The Soviet Union played on secrecy at every turn of the negotiations, even keeping its own delegates uninformed on some issues and offering little or no in- formation to the US delegates. The US delegates were forced to negotiate with what they knew about US strategic arms and what they assumed about those of the Soviet Union. . Grand Principles. The Soviet delegates liked to pon- tificate on detente, nuclear proliferation, and arms con- trol, rather than discuss specifics about a workable trea- ty. This tactic seemed to be for purposes of propaganda and delay. Open Society. The Soviet delegates would quote dif- ferent US civilian and military officials about SALT terms in an effort to win a negotiating point. But if they were asked for the reaction of a Soviet official, they would say his views were secret. Says General Rowny: "It is like a poker game in which they've got their cards up against their chest and yours are face upon the table." Multiple Proposals. The Soviet delegation would pa- tiently ask for new proposals from the US, without offer- ing any suggestions of their own. To keep the talks mov- ing, the US often obliged. Then the Soviet delegation would pick out what it liked of each proposal. "It was what we call taking the raisj is out of the cake," says General Rowny. Often, the US would find itself making six proposals to one Soviet proposal, then having to de- fend itself against Soviet attempts to take the best of each proposal. onymaus,pr,Qggsals. A Soviet deleiate would tell a axle a a ~0g 1 OQ04iQ @B6-8u the Because of the unusual way the pro- negotiating Foom. posal was made, unsigned and unaddressed, the US would have to offer it as its own proposal to make it a part of the formal record. The Soviet delegate, if pressed to admit authority, would insist he had not made any pro- posals that were left on the table or floor without even a verbal alert to the US delegation. Nice Cop-M'vlean Cop. The civilian Soviet delegates would ask their counterparts to "give us something to help us out with our generals." This approach, implying a split in the Soviet delegation, was tempting to US dele- gates even though they were very much aware that there. could be no reciprocation by the closely controlled Soviet delegation. Between the Lines Coy Answers. The Soviet delegates would answer a question with another question. Or they would tell the US delegates to study the "nuances" of the plenary statement. On occasion, General Rowny would say he had restudied the prepared remarks and still did not understand them. The Soviet reply would be to study the statement harder and to read between the lines. Good Intentions. The Soviet delegates refused to con- sider arms balance equations on the basis of the capabili- ties of the respective weapons. Instead they insisted that consideration be given to the "intent" of- the Soviet Union, which they described. as peaceful. General Rowny cites the Soviet Backfire bomber as the "classic case." The Soviet delegation repeatedly said that as the Soviet Union had no intention of using the Backfire against the continental US, it, therefore, could not be in- cluded in the SALT agreement. Objective-Subjective. The Soviet delegation relied heavily on political doctrine to guide its negotiations. On one occasion General Rowny suggested that the Backfire bomber be discussed in objective terms, and his Soviet counterpart agreed. But when General Rowny cited fig- ures from a magazine on the range and performance of the Backfire, the Soviet delegate replied that such figures were created by engineers and that engineers lie, so the figures were subjective. He offered as "objective truth" a statement by Secretary Brezhnev that the Soviet Union did not intend to use the Backfire in strategic missions. Logic Appeal. In advancing their positions, Soviet delegates would argue their case was "logical" though in some instances the argument had nothing to do with logic and in others was actually illogical, General Rowny con- cluded that the appeal to logic was simply another effort to use propaganda techniques to convince the US delega- tion. Trust. A frequent argument of the Soviet delegation, particularly on verificatic ' issues, was trust. "Trust us," was a frequent reply of Soviet delegates when specific issues were raised. The Soviet position was that all inter- national treaties are based on trust and that the Soviet Union would be willing to trust the US if it trusted the Soviet Union. } Public Opinion. White the Soviet delegation held fast to its positions, the Soviet government tried to change the US position' by influencing public opinion in this country. General Rowny said the Soviet Union's pro- paganda assaults on the US were timed to the SALT negotiations. These actions included writing. letters to the US newspapers and sending Soviet officials, such as G. A. Arbatov, director of the Institute of the USA and Canada, on speaking tours in the US. Approved For Release 2005/01/12 : CIA-RDP88-01315R00ft400350096-8 Agenda Control. The `opvp ?cl gegaFiR 0HVe?P /01/12 : EdmundCIA- S. RDP88- Muskie 01 (D-Me.), who. asked hi 3158000400350096m -8 to explain deal of time arguing over the agenda of meetings. The US why he was the only member on the delegation who Saw delegation conceded a lot of these arguments in an effort the potential l for additional Soviet concessions. to proceed to more substantive issues. But once the General potential for 's reply: "I know the Soviet mental- agenda was set, the Soviet delegates would not permit ity." the US to bring up other issues---unless, of course, it General Rowny insisted before the committee that the suited Soviet purposes. Soviet Union "needed the treaty more than we do. They Despite the differences in negotiating techniques and will come back to the table." The Soviets want a SALT the tight control Moscow held over the Soviet delega- treaty, he explained, "because of their desire to be rec. on strategic eneral Rowny advocates continued negotiations ognized as a superpower and because it will allow them on starms and is astrgng supporteroffice-to-face to enjoy the advantages they receive from a continuation negotiations. of detente." He said that Moscow's leaders also 'see a Detecting Nuances treaty as a "necessary step" to achieving mos4- There is a tremendous value, General Rowny says, in favored-nation status with the US, important to winning getting to know members of the Soviet delegation in per- US trade credit. But General Rcautioned the questioning son. Even when carefully worked-out formal statements senators that the Rowny must t the meantime keep ng its are presented, he insists, nuances in facial expressions strategic arsenal competitive with that of the e Soviet and voices can be detected that would otherwise be lost, Union: "We need tto renegotiate; hat of the Soviet we if exchanges are limited to diplomatic notes. "You often U can't do it with mirrors." can sense when a Soviet delegate is less rigid on some points than others," General Rowny says. But for these face-to-face meetings to be profitable to the US, General Rowny insists that US delegates must be better prepared and trained in the techniques of negotia- tion. "I wouldn't let anyone go over and negotiate who doesn't speak Russian," he says. He cited as one exam- ple of clumsy preparation the replacement of a US aide to the delegation-an expert on the Soviet Union who spoke Russian-with an expert on South,Arnerica. Ci- vilian delegates also should be better informed on US and Soviet strategic arms, he says. As for the question of whether the director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency should also act as chief of the negotiating team, General Rowny contends that when one person holds both positions, both jobs suf- fer. At the outset of the SALT I talks, ACDA Director Gerard C. Smith also served as the chief of the delega- tion. When Dr. Fred C. Ikla was appointed ACDA direc- tor early in 1973,.the delegation was put in the charge of U. Alexis Johnson, a career diplomat. Under the Carter Administration, Ambassador Paul C. Warnke served both as ACDA director and chief of the delegation. Gen- eral Rowny sa};ls that negotiations slowed when the chief delegate was not present to make or to hear plenary statements. It is General Rowny's view that the US delegation could have negotiated a better treaty than the one-sub- mitted to the Senate, if the US had been more patient. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Jul}-, General Rowny insisted that a good SALT treaty-one that would. be better from the US standpoint and still acceptable to the Soviet Union-- could still be negotiated. General Rowny was challenged in this view, by Sen. Approved For Release 2005/01/12 : CIA-RDP88-01315R000400350096-8