So far as the SLBM program
was concerned, the final agreement limited the Soviets to 62. And, and we had, of course, about
two-thirds of that. But the whole approach to this initial agreement, so far as the offensive
systems were concerned, that was an executive agreement and not a treaty. It was to be
re-examined in five years. And in the discussions with the President you know, the first thing
that the JCS put forward were certain conditions. Under which we could support the SALT I treaty
for a limited period of time, assuming it would be reexamined at about five years later.
Mr. Nixon agreed to all these conditions, which, for instance, were building the Poseidon
submarines and the, improving our verification capabilities going forward with several special R
and D programs, and things like that, and building a B-1 bomber. Of course this is one of the
problems military people get into. Mr. Nixon said, "Yes, we'll build a B-1 bomber," and, which
we thought was necessary in order to keep us in some kind of balance with the Soviets. Soon as
Mr. Carter comes in, he canceled the B-1 bomber. So when you have Presidents serving four and
eight years the people in uniform, I was in the Navy 45 years, you never know how stable you,
the agreement you get with a politician is. Because you know, you can't depend on them sticking
with it. That's one of the problems we have.