Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate Transmitting a Report on Soviet Noncompliance With Arms Control Agreements

October 10, 1984

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

When I forwarded a report from my Administration to the Congress on Soviet Noncompliance with Arms Control Agreements on January 23, 1984, I said, ``If the concept of arms control is to have meaning and credibility as a contribution to global or regional stability, it is essential that all parties to agreements comply with them.'' I continue to believe that compliance with arms control agreements is fundamental to the arms control process.

Congressional amendments to the FY 1985 Defense Authorization Bill calling for Administration reports on compliance issues, as well as for the transmittal of classified and unclassified versions of the report, A Quarter Century of Soviet Compliance Practices Under Arms Control Commitments: 1958 - 1983 prepared by the bipartisan General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament, demonstrate the priority that Congress places on compliance.

In response to the Congressional requirement, an unclassified version of the General Advisory Committee's report, a summation prepared by the Committee, is provided herewith. Because the Committee's full report contains extensive classified intelligence information, the classified version is being transmitted to the two Select Committees of the Congress on Intelligence.

The General Advisory Committee's report to me resulted from a year-long analysis, by this bipartisan independent body, of Soviet practices with regard to arms control treaties, other agreements, unilateral political commitments, and statements of policy. Neither the methodology of analysis nor the conclusions reached in this report have been formally reviewed or approved by any agencies of the U.S. Government. The report reflects the General Advisory Committee's attempt to assemble as complete as possible an historical record of Soviet behavior and to identify long-term patterns of Soviet compliance practices.

For its part, the Administration continues to be seriously concerned about Soviet behavior with regard to compliance with arms control obligations and commitments. We are actively pursuing several such issues in confidential discussions with the Soviet Union and are seeking explanations, clarifications, and corrective actions. Issues of concern continue to be intensively studied by appropriate agencies, and I intend to keep the Congress informed on this important matter in the future.

Increased understanding of compliance issues and a solid Congressional consensus on the importance of compliance to achieving effective arms control will strengthen our efforts to negotiate equitable and verifiable agreements and will assist as we seek the resolution of important unresolved compliance issues. I look forward to continued close consultation with the Congress as we seek to make progress in resolving compliance issues relating to existing arms control agreements and in negotiating sound arms control agreements.

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Bush, President of the Senate.