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Research, Events, Small Exhibits

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National Security Adviser

NATIONAL SECURITY DECISION MEMORANDA AND NATIONAL SECURITY STUDY MEMORANDA:

Copy Set, 1974-1977

Collection Finding Aid


SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

A reference file of copies of  National Security Study Memoranda (NSSMs) and National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDMs) promulgated during the Ford administration.  The original NSSMs and NSDMs were retained by the NSC as institutional/agency records.  NSSMs were the basic documents used to generate formal policy studies.  NSDMs were the primary mechanism by which the administration articulated basic tenants of national security policy.

QUANTITY
0.5 linear feet (ca. 600 pages)

DONOR
Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-118)

ACCESS
Open.  Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor’s deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR l256).

COPYRIGHT
Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.  The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them.  Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Leesa Tobin, May 1998; Revised March 2000
[s:\bin\findaid\nsc\national security study memoranda and decision memoranda.doc]


INTRODUCTION

The National Security Decision Memoranda and National Security Study Memoranda is one of many subcollections that comprise the National Security Adviser Files.  The provenance and nature of the National Security Adviser Files as a whole are described in Appendix A

The National Security Council (NSC) had dual functions during the Ford administration.  Under the direction of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Henry Kissinger until November 1975, then General Brent Scowcroft) the first was to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign and military policies related to the national security.  The second NSC function was as an ongoing institutional body supporting the direction and planning of national security more broadly. The NSC did not act as a decisionmaking body.  It served as the mechanism for identifying and analyzing national security issues; defining U.S. objectives; developing viable alternative courses of action; obtaining and coordinating the views and recommendations of the various departments involved in the national security process; presenting them to the President for decision and finally, ensuring implementation of  presidential decisions.

The NSC system was set in motion by identification of an issue requiring a presidential decision.  The process could be initiated by the President himself, any member of the National Security Council, or by the NSC staff. The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs would draft a National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) which defined the issue, set out the terms of reference of the study, assign it to a particular group to prepare, and set a due date for completion.  The NSSM took the form of a memo from Henry Kissinger or Brent Scowcroft to the heads of various departments or agencies requesting a review of “U.S. goals in relation to...” or “U.S. policy toward...”  NSSMs from the period of the Ford administration are numbered 207-248 (1-206 date from the Nixon administration).

Often, a NSSM resulted in the production of an exhaustive report examining every aspect of a particular national security matter.  This Ford Library collections does not include the actual studies, only the NSSM delineating the parameters of an issue and the resultant NSDM described below.  Occasional copies or drafts of some of the studies are scattered in other NSC collections.  Presumably, a complete set is filed with the NSC’s institutional records at the White House.

If the national security issue to be decided was a major one, or if there was disagreement among the agencies as to the recommended option, an NSC meeting was held so that the President could hear the views of his senior advisers directly.  Usually, in the course of a few days, the President reached a decision.  A National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM) was then prepared by the NSC and approved by the President informing the appropriate departments and agencies of the President’s decision.  Generally, the NSDM states that the President reviewed a particular issue and “approved in principle” or “approved the following action” or “approved the statement of policy.”

This file of NSSMs and NSDMs appears to have been compiled by the National Security Adviser’s immediate staff for his reference use.  It was not a complete set and has been augmented with declassified photocopies of some of the missing NSSMs and NSDMs provided to the Ford Library by the National Security Council.

Related Materials (May 1998)
The NSC Meeting Minutes File includes discussions of NSSM-generated studies among top-level administration officials.


Series Descriptions

Box 1            NSDMs File, 1974-77.  (0.4 linear feet)
A copy file of National Security Decision Memoranda.  NSDMs were the primary mechanism by which the presidential administration articulated its most basic tenants of national security policy.  Arranged by NSDM number. 

Box 2            NSSMs File, 1974-77.  (0.1 linear feet)
A copy file of National Security Study    Memoranda.  NSSMs were the documents used to generate formal policy studies within the administration.  Arranged by NSSM number. 


Container List

The entire collection is in digital form. Please click on the folder titles to view the documents.

Box 1              NSDMs File

  • NSDM 265: The National Security Council System, 8/9/74
  • NSDM 266: Improved Security of Telecommunications, 8/15/74
  • NSDM 267: Turkish Opium Production, 8/23/74
  • NSDM 268: Renegotiations of Bases Agreement with Spain, 9/10/74
  • NSDM 269: Instructions for the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Talks, Vienna, September 16, 1974, 9/21/74
  • NSDM 270: Military Assistance for Israel, 9/24/74
  • NSDM 271: Instructions for the SALT Talks, Geneva, September 18, 1974, 9/24/74
  • NSDM 272: Instructions for US Commissioner, SALT Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), Geneva, September 24, 1974, 9/27/74
  • NSDM 273: Instructions for US Delegation to the PNE Negotiations, Moscow, 10/7/74
  • NSDM 274: Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization for FY 75, 10/8/74
  • NSDM 275: COCOM Position on the Return of Depleted Uranium (Tails) from the USSR, 10/10/74
  • NSDM 276: FY 1975-77 Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, 10/15/74
  • NSDM 277: International Restraints on Environmental Warfare, 10/15/74
  • NSDM 278: Joint Cooperation Commissions, 10/22/74
  • NSDM 279: Geneva Protocol of 1925 and Riot Control Agents and Chemical Herbicides, 11/2/74
  • NSDM 280: Revised Nuclear Test Program for FY 1975 (BEDROCK), 11/28/74
  • NSDM 281: Ratification of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 on Gas Warfare, 12/9/74
  • NSDM 282: Korean Force Modernization Plan, 1/9/75
  • NSDM 283: Instructions for US Commissioner, SALT Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), for SCC Session on Compliance Issues, 1/25/75
  • NSDM 284: US Position on the Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions Talks (MBFR), Vienna, January 30, 1975, 2/4/75
  • NSDM 285: Instructions for the SALT Talks in Geneva, January 31, 1975, 2/6/75
  • NSDM 286: Long-Term US Military Force Levels in Thailand, 2/7/75
  • NSDM 287: Instructions for US Delegation to the TTB/PNE Negotiations, Moscow, February 10, 1975, 2/9/75
  • NSDM 288: Instructions for US Delegation to the Geneva Session of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, 3/24/75
  • NSDM 289: US Military Supply Policy to Pakistan and India, 3/24/75
  • NSDM 290: Instructions for US Commissioner, SALT Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), Geneva, March 24, 1975, 3/26/75
  • NSDM 291: US Security Policy Toward Greece, 4/8/75
  • NSDM 292: US-Iran Nuclear Cooperation, 4/22/75
  • NSDM 293: US Approach Toward Enhancing the Allied Contribution to the Defense of NATO, 5/3/75
  • NSDM 294: Change in Eligibility of States to be Suppliers for AID Development Loan-Financed Procurement, 5/12/75
  • NSDM 295: Instructions Concerning Use of the Direct Communications Link Between Washington and Moscow, 5/14/75
  • NSDM 296: Improved Communication Security, 5/23/75
  • NSDM 297: Instructions for the US Delegation to the PNE Negotiations, Moscow, June 3, 1975, 6/12/75
  • NSDM 298: FRG Reactor Sale to the USSR, 6/14/75
  • NSDM 299: Cooperation with France, 6/23/75
  • NSDM 300: Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization for FY 1976 and FY 1977, 7/16/75
  • NSDM 301: Instructions for the SALT Talks in Geneva, July 2, 1975, 7/18/75
  • NSDM 302: Panama Canal Treaty Negotiations, 8/18/75
  • NSDM 303: Instructions for the SALT Talks in Geneva, 8/20/75
  • NSDM 304: Instructions for the US Delegation to the PNE Negotiations, Moscow, September 5, 1975, 9/8/75
  • NSDM 305: Termination of US Restrictions on Third Countries Trading with Cuba, 9/15/75
  • NSDM 306: US-Japan Space Cooperation, 9/24/75
  • NSDM 307: Instructions for US Commissioner, Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), Geneva, September 22, 1975, 9/25/75
  • NSDM 308: FY 1976 Underground Nuclear Test Program (ANVIL), 9/30/75
  • NSDM 309: Decisions on ROK Air Defense Requirements, 10/9/85
  • NSDM 310: FY 1976-78 Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, 10/16/75
  • NSDM 311: US-Indonesia Consultative Arrangements, 11/1/75
  • NSDM 312: Nuclear Weapons Recovery Policy, 11/1/75
  • NSDM 313: Establishment of US Sinai Support Mission, 11/14/75
  • NSDM 314: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests, 11/26/75
  • NSDM 315: Military Assistance for Israel, 1/31/76
  • NSDM 316: Instructions for the SALT Talks in Geneva, 2/4/76
  • NSDM 317: US Participation in the Third International Coffee Agreement (also numbered as Economic Policy Decision Memorandum 3), 2/23/76
  • NSDM 318: US Policy for Antarctica, 2/25/76
  • NSDM 319: Underground Nuclear Test Program for the Second Half of FY 1976 and the Transition Quarter (ANVIL II), 3/2/76
  • NSDM 320: Instructions for the US Delegation to the New York Session of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, 3/4/76
  • NSDM 321: Instructions for the US Delegation to the PNE Negotiations, Moscow, March 10, 1976, 3/11/76
  • NSDM 322: American Equipment Captured in Indochina, 3/31/76
  • NSDM 323: Instructions for US Commissioner, Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), Geneva, 3/31/76
  • NSDM 324: Negotiation of a Nuclear Agreement with Iran, 4/20/76
  • NSDM 325: United States Policy Toward Svalbard, 4/20/76
  • NSDM 326: Functions and Organizations of National Security Council Sub-Groups, 4/21/76
  • NSDM 327: US Policy Toward Thailand, 4/21/76
  • NSDM 328: Modification of SSBN Commitments to NATO, 5/4/76
  • NSDM 329: TITLE CLASSIFIED, 5/5/76
  • NSDM 330: United States Policy on Export-Import Bank Loans for South Africa, 5/6/76
  • NSDM 331: Instructions for the SALT Talks, Geneva, June 1, 1976, 6/11/76
  • NSDM 332: Nuclear Weapons Deployment Authorization for FY 1977 and FY 1978, 7/7/76
  • NSDM 333: Enhanced Survivability of Critical US Military and Intelligence Space Systems, 7/7/76
  • NSDM 334: Questionable Payments Legislation (also numbered as Economic Policy Decision Memorandum 16), 7/20/76
  • NSDM 335: Army Special Operations Field Office in Berlin, 8/13/76
  • NSDM 336: Instructions for the August-September 1976 Session of the Third United Nations Conference on Law of the Sea, 8/14/76
  • NSDM 337: Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpile, 8/23/76
  • NSDM 338: Further Improvements in Telecommunications Security, 9/1/76
  • NSDM 339: US Force Reductions on Taiwan, 9/20/76
  • NSDM 340: US Port Security Program, 11/4/76
  • NSDM 341: FY 1977-79 Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, 11/24/76
  • NSDM 342: Organizations to Perform Security Assistance Functions, 12/16/76
  • NSDM 343: FY 1977 Underground Nuclear Test Program (FULCRUM), 12/30/76
  • NSDM 344: Navy Shipbuilding Program, 1/18/77
  • NSDM 345: U.S. Anti-Satellite Capabilities, 1/18/77
  • NSDM 346: Security of US Telecommunications, 1/18/77
  • NSDM 347: The Classification of Sensitive Nuclear Safeguards, 1/20/77
  • NSDM 348: US Defense Policy and Military Posture, 1/20/77
Box 2               NSSMs File
  • NSSM 207: Israeli Future Military Requirements, 8/12/74
  • NSSM 208: Azores Base Agreement Negotiations, 8/12/74
  • NSSM 209: Policy on the Development of Future Uranium Enrichment Capacity, 9/5/74
  • NSSM 210: Review of Japan Policy for the President’s Visit to Japan, 9/11/74
  • NSSM 211: US Security Assistance to the Republic of Korea, 10/8/74
  • NSSM 212: US Security Assistance to the Republic of China, 10/8/74
  • NSSM 213: Review of US Assistance Policy and Programs for the Republic of Vietnam, 10/22/74
  • NSSM 214: Implications of US Participation in Siberian Development, 10/31/74
  • NSSM 215: US Security Policy Toward Greece, 1/16/75
  • NSSM 216: National Security Aspects of Releasing Safeguard Procedures and Data on Nuclear Materials, 10/25/75
  • NSSM 217: Security Policy Toward Oman, 2/6/75
  • NSSM 218: US Policy Toward US and Soviet Military Access to Singapore, 3/3/75
  • NSSM 219: US-Iran Agreement on Cooperation in Civil Uses of Atomic Energy, 3/14/75
  • NSSM 220: US Policy in the Middle East, 3/26/75
  • NSSM 221: US Security Interests in the Azores, 4/8/75
  • NSSM 222: US and Allied Security Policy in Southern Europe, 4/22/75
  • NSSM 223: Review of US Policy on Arms Transfers, 5/19/75
  • NSSM 224: United States Policy Toward Angola, 5/26/75
  • NSSM 225: Review of US Policy Toward Thailand, 5/27/75
  • NSSM 226: Review of US Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula, 5/27/75
  • NSSM 227: US Security Policy Toward Turkey, 7/16/75
  • NSSM 228: Strategic and Critical Stockpile Planning Guidance, 8/14/75
  • NSSM 229: Review of the Management of Classified National Security Information, 8/19/75
  • NSSM 230: Establishment of US Sinai Support Mission, 9/15/75
  • NSSM 231: Israeli Military Requests, 10/7/75
  • NSSM 232: US Policy Toward Svalbard (Spitzbergen), 10/17/75
  • NSSM 233: The Future of Kagnew Station, 10/23/75
  • NSSM 234: United States Policy Toward Angola, 12/13/75
  • NSSM 235: Review of US Interests and Security Objectives in the Asia-Pacific, Region--Issue: Military Base Negotiations with the Philippines, 1/15/76
  • NSSM 236: US Policy on Export-Import Bank Loans for South Africa, 1/16/76
  • NSSM 237: US International Energy Policy, 2/5/76
  • NSSM 238: US Policy Toward the Persian Gulf, 2/13/76
  • NSSM 239: The Future of the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (FTAI), 3/22/76
  • NSSM 240: Alternative Siting for Thai-Based Operations, 4/9/76
  • NSSM 241: United States Policy in Southern Africa, 4/21/76
  • NSSM 242: US Policy Toward Italy, 5/4/76
  • NSSM 243: MAAG Requirement Study, 5/10/76
  • NSSM 244: US Civil Defense Policy, 7/24/76
  • NSSM 245: President’s Report to Congress Concerning International Broadcast Facilities, 8/3/76
  • NSSM 246: National Defense Policy and Military Posture, 9/2/76
  • NSSM 247: US Policy Toward East-West Economic Relations, 10/18/76
  • NSSM 248: US Goals in Relation to Ethiopia, 11/13/76