Open disagreements are surfacing among members of the U.S. delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks here, especially between the civilian delegation leader and the representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The differences, until now contained behind a mask of delegation unanimity, surfaced with the need to decide what remaining concessions to demand from the Soviets and what must be given by the United States to get the present draft SALT agreements in shape for initialing by President Carter and President Leonid Brehnev.
Interviews with U.S. delegation members turn up complaints that Washington is moving too slowly to back off positions said to be clearly that compromises are being contemplated that could harm longterm U.S. security.
These disagreements could erupt in the final days of discussion with the Soviets or in the aftermath of an agreement when a treaty is before the Senate for ratification.
A critic of the agreement, particularly if he had participated in the negotiations, would be an impressive witness at Senate hearings.
The principals of the clash here are the delegation chairman, Ambassador Ralph T. Earle, and Lt. Gen. Eward Rowny, the delegation member who represents the Joint Chiefs.
Among officials in Washington pushing arms control, Rowny is sarcastically referred to as Sen. Henry Jackson's man in Geneva. The general was among those named in early 1973 when the Washington Democrat, a critic of SALT, had a major coive in picking the delegation.
Earlc, on the other hand, is condidered soft by Pentagon officers who worked with him during his days in the Defense Department.
Paul Warnke, director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and officially the chief SALT negotiator, recognizes that thereis a split between Rowny and Earle but says it reflects a similar basic disagreement in approach in Washington.
Warnke said the final U.S. SALT position has yet to be established. He agreed with an observation that the internal negotiations could prove as difficult as the final round of talks with the Soviet.
To Warnke, Rowny's openly expressed concerns about the direction of current negotiations illustrate one tactic being employed to influence the U.S. government's eventual SALT position.
Rowny hesitantly talds about his concerns, about when he does they come out forcefully. The other day he recalled that Paul Nitze, who has become a leading SALT critic, was the Defense Department representative on the SALT delegation in 1973 when Rowny first came to Geneva repre-who had Nitze's vision.
"Paul was a thinker," Rowny said. "A guy who looked beyond today in the negotiations," Rowny said there was no one on the present delegation who had Nitz's vision.
The general also voiced his belief that the U.S. negotiators are being rushed into an agreement. "We tend to offer more," Rowny said recently, "and telegraph our position more and move more quickly to a fallback position."
The Soviets, he suggested, are "competitors" in the negotiations while the U.S. representatives see themselves "as problem solvers."
To illustrate his point about the Soviets, Rowny said that every month they tell him "they have to file reports to show something for their stay in Geneva." They do it, he said, for that added personal push to try to move the Americans to some concession.
In a more serious vein, Rowny said the Soviets also tend to accept portions of U.S. proposals but not the entire package - even though the American offer was predicated on integration of the package as a whole. The general said that both he and the Joint Chiefs were watching his particular Soviet action because it affects security interests that the Pentagon considers vital.
Rowny said the Joint Chiefs' support of the original package could be withdrawn if the U.S. negotiators back away from a demand that it be accepted in it's entirety.
Rowny has tried to school himself in Soviet affairs and the Soviet mind. He said recently: "The military there has more influence back home and that reflects itself here" in the way in which the Soviet take positions.
He recalled several years ago that then U.S. negotiator U. Alexis Johnson and Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladine Semenov, Moscow's SALT negotiator, agreed on a matter "Semenov came back and said the generals did not agree" so the matter was dropped.
"We don't have that here," Rowny said with a wistful smile.