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Terms

  • Agency or the Agency, unless otherwise indicated, denotes the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Committee, unless otherwise indicated, denotes the Historical Advisory Committee. The Committee was formally named the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States between 1957 and 1978 and the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation from 1978 to the present.
  • Department or the Department, unless otherwise indicated, denotes the Department of State
  • despatch, written (or typed) communications prepared at post and sent to the Department, usually in the care of a trusted person or an official courier. For additional information, see two articles written by David Langbart on “The Text Message” blog on the NARA website: http://blogs.archives.gov/TextMessage/2011/03/11/foreign- service-friday/ and http://blogs.archives.gov/TextMessage/2011/05/13/foreign-service-friday-despatch-vs- dispatch/
  • equity or equities, information originated by, classified by, or concerning the activities of another government agency or organization that only they can declassify. Records that contain other agency “equities” must be referred to those agencies for declassification review before they can be released or published. For example, a Department of State account of a meeting with a CIA official would contain CIA equities and would have to be submitted to the CIA for declassification review before it could be released by the Department of State. Policies for recognizing foreign government equities have evolved over time. In the 19th century, the U.S. Government freely published formal correspondence with other governments without seeking their consent. In the 20th century, the Department of State required foreign government agreement before publishing foreign-origin documents, but not when publishing American accounts of meetings with foreign officials. The Department expanded its definition of foreign government information (FGI) equities to include such U.S. memoranda of conversation in the 1970s and implemented procedures to expand consultations with foreign governments to clear documents for the Foreign Relations series after 1981. For additional information see the White House webpage regarding Executive Order 13526, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-classified-national-security-information.
  • Foreign Relations , the Foreign Relations of the United States publication. Volumes have been titled differently over time, especially in the 19th century. For clarity this book uses the short version of the modern title throughout. “Foreign Relations,” “FRUS,” “the series,” and “volumes” are employed interchangeably to avoid excessive repetition of the same term. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the volumes typically included documents from January through October of the year in question, with additional material from November-December of the prior year that arrived too late for inclusion in the publication. Throughout this work we cite the “principal year” of publication in for simplification and clarity. For example, the official title of what we refer to as the “1877 FRUS volume,” which included some documents from last few months of 1876, is Index to the Executive Documents of the House of Representatives for the Second Session of the Forty-Fifth Congress, 1877–’78, in 22 Volumes, Vol. 1, Foreign Relations (No. 1, Pt. 1). The Department of State is gradually digitizing volumes moving backward in time, with robust search capabilities. For the full list of volumes and the current options for viewing them online, see the Department of State, Office of the Historian website, http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments.
  • Minister, highest title accorded to U.S. representatives abroad in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first U.S. Ambassador was named in 1893, and Ambassadorial-level appointments became more common as the 20th century progressed.
  • Office, unless otherwise indicated, denotes the Historian’s Office (which had different titles over time) of the Department of State.
  • responsible transparency or responsible release, denotes the retrospective disclosure of government records that have been officially evaluated for potential damage to diplomatic activities, military operations, intelligence sources and methods, and other sensitivities prior to release. Although this concept is inherently normative—and, indeed, the contested nature of the norms that it embodies is a central theme of this book—we employ the term descriptively as the evolving outcome of efforts to strike the proper balance between security and openness.
  • size [of the FRUS series], refers to the number of pages allocated to publishing documents for a given time period (absolute size) or the proportion of available documentation actually published in FRUS volumes (relative size). The absolute size of the series has generally increased over time while the relative size has steadily declined.
  • scope [of the FRUS series], reflects the breadth of sources consulted during the compilation process. The scope of the series has broadened since the 1950s from a strict focus on Department of State records to incorporate documents from many additional U.S. Government agencies.