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FAS Note: A number of the Presidential directives that are listed on the NSC web site noted below may be found here.

White House Statement on Historical NSC Policy Documents

1 July 1999


National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger announced today that the National Security Council staff has compiled a comprehensive historical list of 1,624 NSC policy documents from the Kennedy through the Bush Administrations and have made them available to the general public on the NSC website (http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/NSC/html/historical/).

The list identifies the subject and date for all major national security policy documents issued during these administrations, as well as a list of NSC Intelligence Directives for the 1947-1975 time period. The list includes newly declassified policy documents as well as those that have not yet been declassified and released. It is the first time that such an extensive list of key national security policy documents has been made available to the public.

These memorandums and directives, issued by the President or his National Security Advisor, provided guidance to the appropriate agencies and departments for the execution and formulation of national security policy. For the 1961-1993 time period, the documents comprise the most important record of the national security policies of the United States. A similar discrete set of policy documents does not exist for the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations.

Copies of specific documents that have been declassified and released may be obtained by contacting the appropriate presidential library. The NSC website provides links to the presidential libraries and other components of the National Archives and Records Administration.