May 31, 1957
Department of State Office of Intelligence Research, 'OIR Contribution to NIE 100-6-57: Nuclear Weapons Production by Fourth Countries – Likelihood and Consequences'
This lengthy report was State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's contribution to the first National Intelligence Estimate on the nuclear proliferation, NIE 100-6-57. Written at a time when the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom were the only nuclear weapons states, the “Fourth Country” problem referred to the probability that some unspecified country, whether France or China, was likely to be the next nuclear weapons state. Enclosed with letter from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Division of Research for USSR and Western Europe, to Roger Mateson, 4 June 1957, Secret
February 21, 1962
Research Memorandum RSB-58 from Roger Hilsman to the Secretary, 'Probable Soviet Reaction to Establishment of Multilateral NATO-Controlled MRBM Force'
As discussion of a NATO multilateral force (MLF) unfolded, unfolded, one question which had to be addressed was how the Soviet Union would respond to the creation of such a NATO force. Because a NATO force would increase Western military capabilities, Soviet opposition was assumed.
September 04, 1962
Research Memorandum RSB-152 from Roger Hilsman to the Secretary, 'Soviet Tactics in Talks on the Non-Diffusion of Nuclear Weapons'
Before the words “nuclear nonproliferation” entered official discourse, the term “non-diffusion” (or “non-dissemination”) of nuclear weapons was used routinely. In part stemming from the negotiations over Berlin, during 1962-1963 the Kennedy administration held talks with allies and adversaries on the possibility of a non-diffusion agreement which included Germany. In light of a recent Soviet proposal, INR veteran Soviet expert Sonnenfeldt explained why Moscow had moved away from earlier proposals singling out West Germany and was focusing on the general applicability of a non-diffusion agreement.
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.
February 18, 1970
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'French-US Military Relations'
Kissinger briefs the president before his visit with Pompidou stating why the French may want a military alliance, as well as the problems associated with such an alliance due to the French attitude regarding NATO and nuclear forces. He then states the reasons why the U.S. should encourage French entry into the NPG and issues concerning joint targeting with the French. He further discusses issues of French/U.S. and French/British alliances that would be of possible interest of discussion when Pompidou visits the U.S. soon.
February 28, 1970
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Military Cooperation with the French'
Sonnenfeldt writes to Kissinger concerning military issues that arouse from the talks between Nixon and Pompidou during the latter’s visit to the U.S. He proposes actions for approval concerning Laird on French requests for assistance and the U.S.-French R&D Steering Group, a rescission of NSAM-294, Goodpaster and naval force cooperation, and a back channel to Wilson. Sonnenfeldt seeks Kissinger’s approval on these points before they are to be sent to Nixon.
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.
August 03, 1970
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry Kissinger, 'Franco-American Military Relations'
Sonnenfeldt summarizes various recent types of military cooperation between the United States and France. These include cooperation on contingency plans for dealing with Germany and US nuclear assistance to France. He suggests that it is time to define the "political philosophy underlying these disparate measures of cooperation."
January 09, 1971
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Interim Report on NSSM 100: US–French Military Relations'
Sonnenfeldt describes and criticizes National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 100, an issue paper on potential US military aid to France's ballistic missile program. He states that the current version of the study "does not adequately explore" the broader policy implications of such aid, especially in regards to "the direction we wish to take in Europe in the 1970s."
April 08, 1971
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Follow-up on Military Cooperation with France'
Sonnenfeldt reports on issues with implementing the decisions made in NSDM 103 and 104 to offer military aid to France. Information was leaked to the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy about the offer of more advanced computers and technical assistance with France's ballistic missile program. The Department of State had not yet informed the French and was waiting on various decision to be made. The issues of whether or not to inform the British was also raised.
August 10, 1971
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Status Report on Missile Cooperation with France'
Sonnenfeldt reports on the status of the US assistance to the French ballistic missile program. The talks are going well, but he notes that the French will likely soon raise the issue of hiring US contractors for direct assistance.
July 06, 1972
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'Your Meeting with Debré: Additional Points'
Sonnenfeldt briefs Kissinger on additional points for his meeting with French Minister of Defense Michel Debré in July 1972. There is new information about specific technical requests Debré may make for ballistic missile assistance as well as new information about Debré's views on nuclear strategy and cooperation with US and NATO forces.
July 11, 1972
Memorandum for the Record from Helmut Sonnenfeldt, 'Meeting Between French Minister of Defense Michel Debré and Dr. Kissinger, July 7, 1972'
Summary of Kissinger and French Minister of Defense Debré's meeting on July 7, 1972. They first discussed US-French nuclear cooperation and the recent US technical assistance to the French ballistic missile program. Debré requested information about Soviet missile defenses. The remainder of the conversation was about Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) and related nuclear security issues.
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.
April 19, 1973
Memorandum from Helmut Sonnenfeldt to Henry A. Kissinger, 'US Assistance to the French Missile Program'
Sonnenfeldt worries about documents concerning French nuclear aid passing through so many hands that their security is at risk; Kissinger is to tell Richardson to be as discrete as possible. Richardson has recently sent Galley information on the new areas of U.S. aid to France and of the talks that will be used to implement such aid. He informs Galley that we are willing to go ahead on the four areas recommended by his predecessor Laird: information on nuclear effects simulators; sales of small simulators; hardening technology; and ABM intelligence.
July 26, 1973
Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger, 'Supplementary Checklist for Meeting with French Defense Minister'
When meeting with the French Defense Minister Kissinger is to stress how much the U.S. has supported France despite negative views on such assistance by European countries and by Congress, and that this president could not be more sympathetic to French needs. The NSSM 175 review of the policy towards France is attached, and it reviews previous aid given to France, complications that arouse due to restrictions on such aid, and what the French are now requesting. It extensively reviews missile assistance, nuclear safety exchanges, and other French aid issues. The second part addresses the issue in light of U.S.-European political relations, and the effect any such aid might have on such relations. It notes that future French aid might be given to hardening technologies, and to aiding in Poseidon information, and to underground nuclear testing, and it weighs the pros and cons in the eyes of the British. It concludes with an overview of how such aid could be in the interest (or not) of the U.S., but several parts of the last part of this document are blacked-out, marked for secrecy.
July 27, 1973
Memorandum of Conversation with Robert Galley, July 27, 1973
Transcript of a conversation between French Minister of Armed Forces Galley and U.S. officials, including Kissinger and Schlesinger. Galley says that the French are making progress and have benefited from their talks with Foster. Kissinger notes that the U.S. has a “cooperative spirit” with regards to French foreign policy. Galley notes the advances that have been made by the French and asks for aid with modernization of their forces to bring the French to the same level as the U.S., specifically in regards to missile hardening, underground testing, and submarines, among others. Kissinger notes that now that the French have missile technology, it is in the best interest of the U.S. that it be effective and not become irrelevant, but there is strong opposition not only from abroad but at home, as well. Kissinger wants to know how long the French can keep their advances a secret, and Galley notes that many things have already been kept secret and can continue to be kept as such. They end the discussion with talks about meeting again sometime in August.
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.