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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • April 16, 1970

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Assistance to the French Ballistic Missile Program'

    Sonnenfeldt summarizes a memorandum from Secretary of Defense Laird. He lists the specific information requests the French have made, and expresses concerns about their requests for star-tracker navigation equipment and US contractor support. He recommends an exploratory meeting between John Foster and Jean Blancard, the French Ministerial Delegate for 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.

  • July 29, 1971

    Letter from Melvin R. Laird to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Summary of Agreement for US Assistance to French Missile Program'

    Report on a meeting between US nuclear personnel and a French delegation in Paris. Ground rules were drawn for future US ballistic missile assistance. The French also gave a detailed technical overview of their missile program. Attached to the letter are the agreed ground rules, "Understanding Between U.S. and France Concerning the Substance and Procedures of Ballistic Missile Cooperation Paper."

  • February 03, 1973

    Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Missile Assistance to France -- New NSSM'

    Laird has made four practical recommendations on how to proceed with French/US nuclear relations. Laird's four points involve information on nuclear effects simulator types, the sale of small simulators, general hardening technology, and/or ABM intelligence. The US has given as much technical assistance as possible thus far within the current guidelines, and it is up to the president to address the issues related to changes in policy to continue the assistance. He is urged to consider especially the impact such aid would have on relations with the UK and the Soviet Union, but we should not cut off all assistance while these issues are being addressed.