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William S. Cohen Papers | Senate Legislative Materials on Defense, Foreign Relations

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MS Foreign Relations 1977-1990 17 boxes

Cohen designated staff members to handle foreign relations aspects of defense issues arising in the Senate. The files are divided into four categories reflecting this specialization within his Senate office.

MS James Dykstra, 1977-1982, 2 boxes.

Cohen's yes vote on the sale of Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) to Saudi Arabia was controversial on Capitol Hill and at home in Maine within the Jewish community. He initially opposed the sale, agreeing that sophisticated weapons in the hands of an unstable government in the Middle East posed a threat to Israel. Two hours before the Senate vote in November 1981 he changed his mind, reasoning that if the arms sale had been blocked and the Middle East peace process failed, Israel would be blamed. Jim Dykstra's files reflect the development and media coverage of this issue.
The Senate Armed Services Committee takes an active interest arms control negotiations and agreements as they relate to the national defense. Cohen traveled to Europe with Senator Howard Baker and others in 1980 to visit NATO headquarters in Brussels and other NATO countries in order to understand issues facing the alliance including disagreements among members. Background materials related to SALT II reflect attention to this issue in Cohen's office beginning in 1977 on the House side. (For more Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty materials, see subseries SALT II.)
Arranged alphabetically. Materials include news clippings, statements, trip summaries, reports, articles, letters, government documents related to MX missiles, and briefing books for NATO, SALT II, and strategic weapons survivability.

Folder Titles

Arms control publications, reports 1981-1982
Arms control, publications, reports, MX Missile 1979-1981 2 folders
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), briefing book 1980
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Europe 1980-1981 2 folders
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Status report c. 1980 2 folders
Research, legislation, Reserve call-ups to active duty 1981 3 folders
Royal Navy spending cuts 1980-1982
Saudi Arabia AWACS, arms sales: articles 1981
Saudi Arabia AWACS, arms sales: Cohen's decision 1981
Saudi Arabia AWACS, arms sales: Senate action and debate 1981
Saudi Arabia defense sales, background 1981 2 folders
Steiger, William, press releases 1970-1972
Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) II 1977-1981 5 folders
Strategic nuclear weapons survivability 1878-1979 2 folders

MS SALT II, 1978-1982, 4 boxes.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet Union and the U.S. negotiated to limit various components of nuclear warfare such as delivery mechanisms (ICBMs) and actual warheads. The process was initiated with the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) resulting in the Anti Ballistic Missile treaty in May 1972. Almost immediately, discussions known as SALT II began, concluding with a signed agreement in 1979, but President Carter postponed ratification in 1980 due to lengthy Senate debate and the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. Cohen, a freshman member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, took part in hearings throughout the debates in Congress. His staff covering Foreign Relations, Michael Hastings, developed extensive background files beginning in the House years and those files are included here. The files provide context for Cohen's proposals for legislation and policy related to nuclear build down and technology transfer in the early to mid 1980s.

Arranged alphabetically. Materials include research articles and clippings, reports and statements from the Carter Administration's Department of State and Department of Defense, research prepared by the Republican National Committee, briefing memos and hearing books, procedures for Treaty ratification, staff memos, and Cohen's handwritten notes.

Folder Titles

Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) II, general files 1979-1982 4 folders
Administrative materials 1979 3 folders
Americans for Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty 1979
Arms Control Association 1979
Articles, research 1978-1979 3 folders
Background, journal articles 2 folders
Clippings 1979 3 folders
Congressional delegation to Europe 1980
Conservative groups 1979 2 folders
Documents, reports, abstracts 1979 3 folders
Heritage Foundation 1979
Impact of SALT 1979-1980 2 folders
Individual statements, Senate 1979 3 folders
Issues paper, SALT 1 c. 1979
Maine lobbying 1979
Masters, hearings 1979
Memos and analysis 1978-1979 5 folders
Miscellaneous 1979-1980 3 folders
Miscellaneous, anti-treaty 1979
Miscellaneous, pro-treaty 1979
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) - SALT 1977-1979
Republican National Committee 1979 2 folders

MS Technology Transfer, 1979-1988, 2 boxes.

Cohen cosponsored bills to establish an Office of Strategic Trade in 1980 and 1982 in response to reports of the legal and illegal transfer of weapons technology from the U.S. to the Soviet Union. Some of the concern was focused on the academic exchange between the two countries. These efforts, along with the Export Administration Act of 1979 and amendments in 1983, improved the coordination of export control in the Department of Commerce and the Department of Defense. The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Governmental Affairs (of which Cohen was a member) reviewed the proposals. Staff member Peggy Weeks created the files for 1979 to 1983 with additions from Michael Hastings in 1979 and James Dykstra after 1983.

Arranged alphabetically. The files include briefing books, clippings and research articles, testimony, background files, staff memos, and Dear Colleague letters.

Folder Titles

Kama River Truck Case-factory export verus national security 1979
Nuclear non-proliferation 1985
S. 2606, Creation of Office of Strategic Trade, background 1980 2 folders
S. 2606, Office of Strategic Trade Act 1982-1986
S. 2606, Office of Strategic Trade, background 1980
S. 2606, Office of Strategic Trade, correspondence, Government Affairs hearing 1980
S. 2606, proposal to establish an Office of Strategic Trade
S. 2606, permanent subcommittee on investigations, hearing 1980
S. 2606, testimony, Committee on Government Affairs 1980 2 folders
Student exchange programs 1980-1983
Technology Transfer, Office of Strategic Trade 1980-1984 2 folders
Technology Transfer, permanent subcommittee on investigations 1982
Technology Transfer and Trade, East-West 1979-1988 2 folders

MS Robert Savitt and James Bodner, 1982-1990, 9 boxes.

Cold War defense build-up in the U.S. peaked under the Reagan administration, and the de-escalating of the arms race began. In 1983, Cohen cosponsored a nuclear build down resolution in support of annual arms reduction in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. based on the principal that modernization of forces comes with the price of reduction of forces--each new warhead built would require destruction of two old warheads. The files in this subseries extensively document the debates surrounding other proposals for slowing the arms race including the Midgetmen, Minutemen, and MX missiles. Cohen's files also reflect Congress's oversight role in reviewing the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty of 1975.
In 1986, Cohen supported a compromise which would have made the $100,000 package for aid to the Nicaraguan democratic resistance contingent on reducing human rights violations and link it to progress on negotiations for democratic reforms. The measure passed without these changes. (See also subseries Bodner and Mellon in Foreign Relations for more on Nicaragua.)

Arranged alphabetically. Files include, reports, transcripts of hearings, staff memos, news clippings, briefing books, and Cohen's statements.

Folder Titles

Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty reinterpretation 1986-1987 4 folders
Anti-Satellite/Ballistic Missile defense, Office of Technology Assessment 1984
Anti-Satellite capability, congressional action 1983-1985
Anti-Satellite, Cohen 1984
Arms control, Cohen, Los Angeles Times 1985
Arms control, director and disarmament agency nomination 1983
Arms control talks 1984-1985
ASAT-U.S. miniature homing vehicle 1984-1985
Ban on weapons in space and attacks in space 1983
Briefing book, defense issues 1984
Build down 1983-1985
Build down, administration comments 1983-1985
Build down, analyses 1983-1984 3 folders
Build down, briefing book 1983 2 folders
Build down, miscellaneous 1983 3 folders
Friendship quilt 1984
Genocide treaty 1985
Greece, relations 1986
Hearings, Strategic and Theatre Nuclear Forces Subcommittee 1983
India 1985
Institute for East-West Security Studies 1986-1988
Institute for East-West Security Studies, arms control 1986
Institute for East-West Security Studies, strategic stability 1987
Institute for International Sport-Sport Corps 1989-1990
Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), notes on situation 1985-1988
Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), rail garrison 1988-1989
Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), reports on modernization 1983-1986 7 folders
Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), Senator Wilson points 1985
Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, interpretation 1988
Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF), negotiations 1983 2 folders
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War 1985-1986
Japan, issues on trade 1982
Maine Peace Mission 1984-1987 3 folders
Man at Sea, search 1984
Maneuvering re-entry vehicles 1984
Midgetman Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile 1983-1985
Midgetman (mobile missile) versus MX (silo) debate 1986
Midgetmen, cost-effectiveness, Wilson Amendment 1986-1987
Midgetmen, research funds transfer, Levin-Nunn Amendment 1987
Midgetmen, small ICBMs 5 folders
Military balance 1983
Military strategy and doctrine 1983
Moscow Book Fair, U.S. exhibits 1984-1985 2 folders
Mutual and balanced force reduction 1986-1987
MX debate 1983 3 folders
MX hearings, questions and answers 1983 2 folders
MX history, record 1983
MX, letter to the President 1983
MX missile in Congress 1984
MX missile plan 1985
MX missiles 1983-1984 2 folders
MX nuclear missile debate 1985-1989 2 folders
New Zealand 1984-1985
New Zealand and Cohen 1985
New Zealand, port call denial 1984-1987
Nicaragua 1984-1987
Nicaragua, articles 1986-1987
Nicaragua, Contra aid debate 1986
Nicaragua, Contra aid debate, articles, analyses 1986
Nicaragua, Contra aid debate, press clips 1986
Nicaragua, Contra aid debate, speeches, proposals
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 1982-1986 3 folders
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), conventional forces 1983-1984
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), intermediate-range nuclear forces 1983-1984
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), no first use 1982-1984
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), tactical nuclear forces 1983
Nuclear freeze 1983-1984 2 folders
Nuclear weapons build-down, clippings 1983 2 folders
Nuclear weapons non-proliferation 1983-1984 3 folders
Philippine bases hearing preparation 1984-1986
Potsdam Conference, Institute for East-West Security Studies (IEWSS) 1988
Proliferation, People's Republic of China 1984-1985 2 folders
Strategic Forces modernization 1983-1984 2 folders
U.S.-China nuclear cooperation agreement 1985
U.S.-Soviet flight test, pause on new multiple warhead missiles 1983
U.S.-Soviet cultural exchange 1984-1986
U.S.-Soviet relations, arms control, NATO, nuclear non-proliferation 1984
Vandenberg Group-congressional bi-partisan group on foreign policy 1984
Winter, Paul: Soviet project, Reserves travel 1981-1984

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Contact the Cohen Papers: 207.581.2665 | | Revised: 01/05/2015
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University of Maine
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