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III. Tactics

In an exchange of this type, particularly with so outspoken an leader as Khrushchev, it is not practicable to expect that the course of the talks can be charted in advance. However, the total content of the President's remarks to Khrushchev should convey the clear impression that essentially two broad alternatives are open to the Soviet Union. It can seek to encroach on the free world. In this event, force will surely be met with counter-force, the costly and dangerous arms race will be continued and probably accelerated and the risk of nuclear war will probably become acute. Alternatively, it can seek an accommodation of legitimate Soviet national interests with ours, reduce the intensity level of our confrontation, open up the prospect of arms limitation with its attendant benefits and broaden the area of mutually profitable cooperative endeavor. It should be borne in mind that current Soviet foreign policy which Khrushchev will espouse presupposes the charting of a course profitable to the Soviet Union between these two alternatives.

The tone of our approach should not be ultimative. It can emerge from the discussion of our approach to the vital problems of U.S.-Soviet relations as the realistic recognition of the logical course of events. We keep well to the forefront of the discussion our earnest desire and our readiness to build a basis for constructive relations and our conviction that this course is in the Soviet as well as our national interest. But we make it clear that our patience has already been severely tested and that we are determined that there be no Soviet illusion concerning our intent and capacity to resist communist encroachments by whatever means are needed.

Perhaps one convincing way to make the point is to stress the urgent need and our most serious desire for prompt agreements on disarmament measures and to insist throughout the talks that all other questions, including Berlin and Germany specifically, are secondary to this one. It should be made explicit that this does not mean that disarmament talks can proceed hopefully regardless of the state of political relations. On the contrary, it should be stressed that the acceptance, whether formal or tacit, of reasonably orderly and peaceful procedures for affecting political change and protecting national and human rights is fundamentally necessary to an atmosphere in which disarmament talks could be promising. Exchanges on this point will afford ample opportunity to convey our determination to meet communist incursions and to articulate our concept of a peaceful world community within which legitimate Soviet national interests can continuously be accommodated or negotiated.

The talks might well be opened with a discussion of the nuclear testing talks. This is a subject in which we have an immediate interest and a current tactical advantage; it serves to emphasize our interest in disarmament, and the Soviet tripartite proposals are both a matter of important concern to us and a favorable ground on which to criticize the Soviet world outlook and the dual nature of Soviet foreign policy.

The President's exposition and criticism of the Soviet world outlook and the reality of communist rule within individual countries will inevitably call forth a spirited if not heated rejoinder. Khrushchev's reply will doubtless be lengthy. In order to preserve time during the second day for an exposition of our view of a constructive world order, the discussion of matters more capable of solution and to reserve the possibility of ending the talks on a hopeful note, this sensitive topic should probably be brought up toward the end of the first day's conversation.

The second day would proceed from the discussion of divergences in beliefs to more immediate problems of courses of action: disarmament negotiations, the possibility of negotiations on Germany and Berlin, the provision for peaceful transition in the newly independent areas, and, if it is appropriate, cooperative endeavors in the fields of science and exchanges.

IV. Invitation to the Soviet Union

The President might say that he appreciates the invitation and would welcome the opportunity to visit the Soviet Union. Both he and Khrushchev appear to have heavy schedules for the immediate future. An improved outlook for U.S.-Soviet relations would be a desirable background for such a visit. As Khrushchev visited here in 1959, there would appear to be no need for a reciprocal invitation to him at this time.

V. Communiqué

It will be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid a joint communiqué. A draft communiqué which seeks to exclude language the Soviets might favor but which we wish to avoid has been prepared as a starter./2/ The final communiqué will have to be drafted toward the end of the talks.

/2/A copy of the draft, PMK-A/7a, is ibid.


73. Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/


Washington, May 23, 1961.

/1/Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 66 D 110, CF 1905. Secret. Drafted by Anderson and Armitage (SOV) and cleared by Kohler.

Vienna, June 3-4, 1961

Talking Points

Testing Talks

1. The U.S. attaches great importance to the prompt and successful conclusion of a testing agreement not only for itself but as a means of moving to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and particularly as providing evidence and precedent of U.S. and Soviet ability to reach agreement on an important issue and in the disarmament field and to create a favorable climate for moving forward in broader fields of disarmament. The consequences of failure are seriously adverse.

2. After many months of negotiations, the U.S. undertook thorough and serious review of its position, and the U.S. delegation returned to Geneva with proposals going a considerable way to meet the Soviet position. The President expected that agreement could be promptly reached; he still hopes it can.

3. The Soviet response has been disheartening. Not only has there been no Soviet attempt to negotiate seriously but the Soviet Union has withdrawn previous agreement on a single Administrator and has introduced a new political obstruction by its proposal for a tripartite Administrator.

4. A tripartite Administrator is not a negotiable proposal. It is totally unacceptable as it would make a control system unworkable by introducing political differences into every administrative and operational measure.

5. It is also wholly unnecessary. The political concerns of the parties are fully provided for in the Control Council and the United States went far to accommodate Soviet desires in its composition.

6. If the Soviet Union continues to base its position on this principle, there seems little hope for progress in broader disarmament negotiations. The U.S. is not prepared to sign any disarmament agreement with an inoperable administration.

7. It is just possible that Khrushchev will drop the tripartite administration proposal and propose a broad formula for settling the important remaining differences. Alternatively, he may ask for the President's suggestion. The President will need to be prepared to use such an opening to discuss the major issues and hopefully to move the talks toward agreement.

8. If Khrushchev's position is rigid and if--but only if--we have made a decision to resume testing in the absence of progress at the talks, the President should convey to Khrushchev, in whatever terms seem appropriate, the understanding that we regard resumption of testing as our only alternative if no agreement can now be reached.

World Situation

1. We reject the Soviet view of the world and particularly the shift of power to the bloc, and stress that for the USSR to act on it will mean an intensification of the arms race, a blow to the chances of disarmament and greater risk of the war all should seek to avoid.

2. The system of world Communist parties--and the program for action prescribed at the Moscow conference by representatives of the Soviet and eleven other bloc governments--constitute blatant interference in the internal affairs of the 69 other countries from which Communist delegates come, and are a major deterrent to world peace. To make this point we could probe Khrushchev's reaction were there a similar system of democratic parties with branches in bloc countries and we might detail the subversive Communist activities in South Viet-Nam.

3. We spell out the contradiction between Soviet national interest and the maintenance of the world Communist system, stressing our mutual paramount interest in disarmament and the economic well-being of our peoples and emphasizing in some detail how Communist China will pose this contradiction in more acute and explosive form in the not distant future. We also note the remote connection between Soviet national interest and the engagement of Soviet power in distant areas like Cuba, Laos and the Congo.

4. The Soviets can believe Communism will be adopted throughout the world, including the U.S. We believe that democracy will emerge in more and more countries, including the USSR. The important issue is what we each do to bring the objective about and whether we can create the political machinery to accommodate the processes of peaceful change.

5. Great restraint is required and we do not consider that the USSR has understood, appreciated or reciprocated the restraint we have shown in Eastern Europe where the political potential for our exploitation is as great as that of the colonial areas is for the Soviets.

6. Soviet endorsement of war in colonial areas (Moscow conference) and Soviet efforts to poison and exploit relations between newly independent countries or colonial areas and the Western powers can only lead to more instances of violence and greater danger the hostilities will expand past control. Past Communist successes should not obscure this truth. In fact, they have made our reaction more certain.

7. In our view the national interests of our countries are not directly involved in the character of the regimes in the newly independent countries--so long as the prospect is kept open for expression of the popular will.

8. We have no desire to exclude the Soviet Union from normal relations with the newly independent and under-developed countries--but we can not consider those relations fully normal so long as the USSR maintains its ties with local Communist parties and groups.

9. We detail our concept of a more stable order. Mention could be made of the broad scope for cooperative action--in outer space, in help to under-developed countries, in the fields of science and technology. If the talks have made the moment propitious, cooperative endeavor and expanded exchanges might be discussed in greater detail.


1. In the interest of their own security, the well-being of their people and the peace of the world the U.S. and the Soviet Union have a profound common interest in disarmament.

2. In the absence of agreements the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the greater rapidity with which delivery systems will operate, still greater risks will become probable.

3. The U.S. is prepared to disarm all its forces except for those required for internal security and any forces required to provide authorized security forces for the UN. Disarmament, however, is only one component of a peaceful world community ruled by law and providing for orderly processes of peaceful change and progress in this field must progress in disarmament, particularly in the later stages.

4. Given the advanced state of modern arms, disarmament is an extremely complex matter. It involves the most vital questions of national security. It is, therefore, imperative that it be carried out in a way which builds the confidence and trust of the participating parties at all stages. This is equally important for all sides; should serious doubts arise that the system was fulfilling its functions, the prospects for disarmament would be set back for a long time. Some discussion of the common interest in effective control would be in order. Some emphasis might be put on the vital necessity of the control system covering existing as well as surrendered armament and on the incompatibility of the present Soviet concept of military secrecy and a viable control system.

5. Consequently, the provisions for implementing and controlling disarmament must be worked out with care and thoroughness. It is not too much to say that the problem of disarmament is virtually the problem of the provisions for its effective and safeguarded execution. We regard no disarmament proposal as really serious that does not come to grips with the control problem.

6. We have suggested that the U.S. and the USSR exchange views prior to a resumption of negotiations. Agreement has now been reached to begin the discussion on June 19. We have made this suggestion for the purpose of attempting to arrive at an understanding on the basic framework in which disarmament negotiations should be conducted and on the negotiating forum. At the same time, we would like to discuss actions the two sides could take in order to minimize the dangers inherent in modern weapons systems. For our part, we have been seeking to introduce in our forces safety and precautionary devices aimed at reducing accidents or misinterpretation. However, there is a limit to what we can do unilaterally and we would hope to discuss what can be undertaken of a reciprocal nature.

7. We will have proposals to make when disarmament talks are resumed. The USSR will also presumably have proposals. We would hope that the negotiations could proceed promptly to a serious consideration of specific disarmament measures without lengthy delay in discussing the merits of the two approaches. Perhaps examination of the means of implementing both Soviet and allied proposals could proceed simultaneously.

8. We regard disarmament as a subject too serious to play politics with in the scheduled bilateral talks. We conceded to the Soviet position in order to get talks initiated in the Ten-Nation forum. While we regard disarmament as a concern of all powers, it is a subject for negotiation between the powers directly concerned. The commencement of negotiations should not be delayed by attempts to take them out of that context.

FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES - 1961-1963 - Volume V - Soviet Union P33

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