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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 23, 1970

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Memo from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense on Assistance to France on Ballistic Missiles'

    Helmut Sonnenfeldt informs Kissinger that France has made a direct request to the Pentagon for technical assistance with their ballistic missile program. Attached to the memo is a series of correspondence between Deputy Secretary of Defense Packard and the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, John S. Foster. Foster proposed that he meet with the French Minister of Armaments.

  • July 14, 1970

    Memorandum from Melvin R. Laird to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Assistance to the French Ballistic Missile Program'

    Summary of John Foster's exploratory talks with the French. They asked for assistance with both their land-based IRBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

  • April 27, 1971

    Letter from Henry A. Kissinger to John S. Foster Jr., Memos and Letters on Offers to French of Military Cooperation

    Memorandum and letters confirming that the French have been informed of the United States' offers of military assistance with their nuclear program.

  • May 25, 1971

    Letter from David Packard to Henry A. Kissinger, Possible US Assistance to the French Ballistic Missile Program

    Packard describes Foster and Blancard's meeting to discuss US assistance to the French ballistic missile program, stating that it "went exceedingly well." Blancard was appreciative of the US's assistance and understood the limitations that had been set. The next step would be a visit to France of top level personnel from US nuclear projects.

  • November 15, 1971

    Cable from William P. Rogers to American Embassy Paris, 'Military Relations with France'

    Text of a letter from Foster to Blancard discussing an exchange of nuclear safety information between the United States and France. Foster goes into detail about the specific procedures and systems which could be discussed. The US could not exchange any information classified as Restricted Data or Formerly Restricted Data.

  • August 17, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'Visit of French Defense Minister Galley; Strategic Programs'

    Kissinger wants to help the French without giving them too much. Foster thinks that the French have the worst missile program in the world, while the Chinese have the best. He thinks the best thing we can do is to look at their designs and offer suggestions, especially in regards to forming their objectives and planning how to meet them. Foster notes that any help we give to the French is perceived as a full commitment, so Kissinger warns that we must remain “cold-blooded.”

  • August 31, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation with Robert Galley, August 31, 1973

    Discussion between Galley and Blancard with Kissinger, Foster and Sonnenfeldt held in secret. Kissigner wishes to give the strategic assessment of France followed by Foster’s specific observances. Kissinger notes that the Soviets are expanding rapidly, and there is a need for a warning system. They discuss the importance of building up a deterrent, and the U.S. thinks it is feasible to assist the French in this regard. The French are asking for clarifications and information on MIRV and MRV. Kissinger discusses how these exchanges are not going through the normal channels, stressing the need for secrecy, though Congressional approval may be needed for some points, and they conclude by setting up a time for Foster to come to France.

  • September 24, 1973

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Nuclear Cooperation with France -- Gallery-Schlesinger Meeting September 25, 1973'

    Overview of Foster’s meeting in France on September 10, and a memorandum of points and observations to be touched upon in the upcoming meeting on the 25th. There are six areas of consultation, with the area of MIRV being the most urgent issue.