Presidential directive

National Security Decision Directive 114, signed by Ronald Reagan

Presidential Directives, better known as Presidential Decision Directives or PDD are a form of an executive order issued by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the National Security Council. As a National Security instrument, the PDD articulates the executive's policy, carries the "full force and effect of law",[1] and throughout the terms of presidents, have taken on various titles or intents towards national security policy.[2][3]

Since many of the Presidential Directives pertain to the national security of the United States, many were or are promulgated as classified. Various presidents since the administration of John F. Kennedy have issued such directives but under different names.


Names for National Security Directives by administration[2]

NSCID National Security Council Intelligence Directives 1947-1977 Truman - Ford
NSAM National Security Action Memorandums 1961-1969 Kennedy and Johnson
NSSM National Security Study Memorandums 1969–1977 Nixon and Ford
NSDM National Security Decision Memorandums 1969–1977 Nixon and Ford
PRM Presidential Review Memorandums 1977-1981 Carter
PD Presidential Directives 1977–1981 Carter
NSSD National Security Study Directives 1981-1989 Reagan
NSDD National Security Decision Directives 1981–1989 Reagan
NSR National Security Reviews 1989-1993 G. H. W. Bush
NSD National Security Directives 1989–1993 G. H. W. Bush
PRD Presidential Review Directive 1993-2001 Clinton
PDD Presidential Decision Directives 1993–2001 Clinton
NSPD National Security Presidential Directives 2001–2009 G. W. Bush
HSPD Homeland Security Presidential Directives 2001- G. W. Bush and Obama
PSD Presidential Study Directives 2009- Obama
PPD Presidential Policy Directives 2009- Obama

After the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and interagency problems over responsibility for coordinating terrorism efforts, a National Security Decision Directive was signed by President Reagan in early 1986. This gave the State Department responsibility for coordinating international terrorism policy.

After September 11, 2001, George Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPDs), with the consent of the Homeland Security Council. The first such directive created the Homeland Security Council while the second changed immigration policies to combat terrorism. The most recent HSPD (HSPD-21) was issued October 18, 2007 and called for public and private healthcare organizations, hospitals and healthcare facilities to form a system of "disaster healthcare" the definition of which mimicked the definition of disaster medicine.

The State Department was put in charge of coordinating the efforts of CIA, DOD, and FBI efforts to track and deal with terrorism. The first man in charge was L. Paul Bremer with the title Coordinator for Counter Terrorism at State Department (S/CT).

Steven Aftergood, of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, stated in February 2008 that:

Of the 54 National Security Presidential Directives issued by the (George W.) Bush Administration to date, the titles of only about half have been publicly identified. There is descriptive material or actual text in the public domain for only about a third. In other words, there are dozens of undisclosed Presidential directives that define U.S. national security policy and task government agencies, but whose substance is unknown either to the public or, as a rule, to Congress.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Moss, R. Legal Effectiveness of a Presidential Directive as Compared to an Executive Order - Memorandum For The Counsel to the President. January 29, 2000.
  2. ^ a b | Presidential Directives: Background and Overview
  3. ^ | FAS Presidential Directives and Executive Orders
  4. ^ Aftergood, Steven (2008-02-07). "The next president should open up the Bush Administration's record". Neiman Watchdog; Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Presidential Directive — noun a directive issued by the President of the United States; usually addressed to all heads of departments and agencies • Hypernyms: ↑directive …   Useful english dictionary

  • National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive — The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD 20, sometimes called simply Executive Directive 51 for short), created and signed… …   Wikipedia

  • Directive 51 (novel) — Directive 51   Author(s) John Barnes Country …   Wikipedia

  • Directive 51 — could refer to: Directive 51 (novel) by John Barnes George W. Bush s National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51 Adolf Hitler s Directive 51 (3 November 1943) concerning the Atlantic Wall. This disambiguation page lists… …   Wikipedia

  • Presidential Decision Directive 25 — (PDD 25), is an executive order drafted by President of the United States Bill Clinton on May 3, 1994 following a year long executive agency policy review and bilateral consultations between dozens of members of Congress and the executive branch …   Wikipedia

  • directive — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ clear ▪ Don t start anything without a clear directive from management. ▪ general ▪ important, prime ▪ advance …   Collocations dictionary

  • Presidential finding — A presidential finding is an executive directive issued by the head of the executive branch of a government, similar to the more well known executive order. The term is mostly used by the United States Government, and in other countries may be… …   Wikipedia

  • Presidential Determination — A Presidential Determination is a document issued by the White House stating a determination resulting in an official policy or position of the executive branch of the United States government. Presidential determinations may involve any number… …   Wikipedia

  • presidential — adj. Presidential is used with these nouns: ↑address, ↑adviser, ↑aide, ↑ambition, ↑appointment, ↑approval, ↑aspiration, ↑authority, ↑bid, ↑brief, ↑campaign, ↑ …   Collocations dictionary

  • National Security Decision Directive 77 —   …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.