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Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): Presidential Directives on National Security, Part I: From Truman to Clinton

About this Collection

Presidential Directives on National Security From Truman to Clinton provides a unique collection of documents pertaining to all aspects of U.S. national security policy — foreign, defense, intelligence, and international economic policy — and structure. The collection consists of over 2,100 documents totaling 30,855 pages, and covers all administrations from Truman to Clinton.

Research Value of the Collection

The Presidential Directives on National Security collection represents an indispensable resource for every researcher and scholar I the fields of government, the presidency, national security decisionmaking, and the gamut of post-war U.S. foreign and economic policies. The documents included here constitute the most complete available record of presidential statements of policy on the critical issues facing the United States, as well as every study contributing to those declarations that has so far been publicly released. Numerous documents also concern national security structure and procedures.

The wide scope of the set can accommodate a variety of research approaches. Particular issues or sets of issues, such as U.S. – Soviet relations or law of the sea, can be studied within an administration or across administrations making it possible to follow the evolution of policy or structure. Alternatively, the entire range of national security and international economic policies can be studied for a single administration, providing a sense of the president’s priorities as well as the course he chose to follow on each issue.