This telegram summarizes Secretary of State Shultz`s briefing to the North Atlantic Council immediately after the Washington summit and provides talking points that U.S. diplomats around the world can use to inform their host governments of the summit. The depeelle, sent by Assistant Secretary of State (acting secretary in Shultz`s absence) John Whitehead, says the Washington summit “took a huge step forward” in the field of strategic weapons, and hails the INF Treaty as a “bipartisan achievement for the United States.” This lengthy memorandum analyzes the statements and impressions of members of the Council on Foreign Relations group who visited the Soviet Union earlier this month and makes recommendations to Gorbachev on the next Soviet steps in arms control and Soviet-American relations. The document contains the strongest argument in favor of “cancelling the package of packages” of strategic offensive weapons and ABM systems of the INF, which was the basis of the Soviet arms control position in Reykjavik. Surprisingly, Yakovlev does not argue from Soviet security positions or connection with the SDI. His argument is mainly about the domestic political situation in the United States, with right-wing forces leading the show in government and the fact that the Irangate scandal has significantly weakened President Reagan. If the Soviet Union wants to have a chance of reaching arms control agreements in the next two years, before the end of Reagan`s term, it needs important new initiatives that would move the U.S. government to serious arms control. Therefore, the time has come to thwart the package, to show the seriousness of Soviet intentions. This implies that the Soviet side must be willing to make concessions, but that they would not affect Soviet security. The second argument, which makes timing even more important, is that the resumption of Soviet nuclear tests (with the first test on February 26, 1987) would damage the image of Soviet perestroika in Europe. The announcement of a major new initiative, such as the cancellation of the package`s commitment, would counteract the damage caused by the resumption of testing.
This memorandum shows the impact of the visit of representatives of the Council on Foreign Relations Council on policymakers in the Soviet Union and the attention of Soviet leaders on the perception of perestroika abroad. The 1987 Washington Summit was a Cold War-era meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Communist Party General Mikhail Gorbachev, held December 8-10. Reagan and Gorbachev discussed regional conflicts in Afghanistan, Central America and Southern Africa, arms control issues for chemical and conventional weapons, the state of start negotiations, and human rights. A notable achievement of the Washington Summit was the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The meeting will take place during the visit of the Council on Foreign Relations Group to Moscow from 2 to 6 February. In addition to meeting Marshal Achromeyev, the members of the group also met with Mikhail Gorbachev and Alexander Yakovlev. Field Marshal Achromeyev discusses the problems of the US-Soviet arms control process, which slowed considerably after the Reykjavik summit, and criticises the US.