CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Oct 06, 1976
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(Studio) President Ford and USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev met in November, 1974 in Vladivostok to sign new Strategic Arms Limitation agreements; leaving specific details to be worked out. Details haven't been worked out because of controversy over whether or not new Soviet bomber is strategic weapon covered by agreement.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(DC) NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) intelligence calls plane Backfire. (Defense Department model of plane shown.) Controversy is over whether or not to count Backfire and American cruise missile in agreed ceiling on strategic weapons. Range of Backfire part of controversy. [Jane's "All the World's Aircraft" editor John TAYLOR - notes capabilities of plane; says it's strategic aircraft.] In US, controversy also compounded by intelligence community's disagreement over proposed use of Backfire; CIA and Air Force views differ. [Defense Secretary Don. RUMSFELD - says department's information indicates plane has capability, but it doesn't mean Russians will use it in particular way.] Secretary of State Kissinger denies reports he's willing to concede to Soviets with regard to Backfire in order to reach quicker agreement on Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) II.
REPORTER: Ike Pappas