My colleague, the indefatigable and indispensable Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association, reminds us that this is the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the SALT I negotiations. These talks produced an Interim Agreement that was riddled with loopholes and that failed to prevent MIRVs. These talks also produced the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty that mandated reality – national vulnerability to sophisticated ballistic missile attacks.
The head of the U.S. delegation was the second Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Gerard Smith. Smith and his fellow negotiators, including Paul Nitze, were “buffaloed” (Smith’s word) by Nixon and Kissinger who, unbeknownst to the delegation, also negotiated through a backchannel to Soviet Ambassador Anatoli Dobrynin.
How shall we assess the SALT I Accords? Here are excerpts from my work in progress on the rise and demise of nuclear arms control:
Read full article.