During the Carter Administration, the National Security Council (NSC) created Presidential Review Memoranda (PRM) and Presidential Directives (PD) as part of the foreign policy development process. The names of these documents, which indicate stages in the decision-making process, were changed, although the mechanics of NSC review remained similar to previous administrations. The PRM replaced the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM), and the PD supplanted the National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM). PRMs identified topics to be researched by the NSC, defined the problem to be analyzed, set a deadline for the completion of the study, and assigned responsibility for it to one of the two NSC committees. If the selected committee were the Policy Review Committee (PRC), a member was designated to serve as study chairman. The study chairman assigned an ad hoc working group to complete the study, which was ultimately reviewed by the responsible committee (either the PRC or Special Coordination Committee). When the committee was satisfied that the study had incorporated meaningful options and supporting arguments, the study’s conclusions went to the President in a 2- or 3-page memorandum, which in turn formed the basis for a Presidential Directive.
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