84. Memorandum by Secretary of Defense Laird1


  • Secretaries of the Military Departments
  • Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Director of Defense Research and Engineering
  • Assistant Secretaries of Defense
  • Assistants to the Secretary of Defense
  • Directors of the Defense Agencies


  • Defense Program Review Committee

National Security Decision Memorandum 262 established the Defense Program Review Committee to assist the President in carrying out his responsibilities for the conduct of national security affairs. The membership of the Defense Program Review Committee is:

  • The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Chairman)
  • The Under Secretary of State
  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
  • The Director of the Bureau of the Budget

Additionally, other agencies may be represented at the discretion of the Chairman depending upon the issue under consideration.

This Committee was established by the President at my request to review major Defense issues requiring Presidential determination. [Page 177] Major defense issues should be interpreted to include only those select and broad national policy matters in which the highest level military, political, and economic considerations are involved.

The Committee was not established to monitor Department of Defense on-going internal operations, programs, or budgeting processes. The basic Department of Defense program proposals and decisions will continue to be developed through established Defense procedures, and the operations of the Department will continue to be administered through established command channels.

Mel Laird3
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, Accession 74–0045, Signer’s Copies October 1969. Secret. Marked “Revised by Col RE Pursley 25 Oct 69.”
  2. Document 79.
  3. Printed from a copy with this stamped signature.