522. National Security Decision Memorandum 221 2

[Page 1]


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • Interdepartmental Organization for Panamanian Affairs

1. In order to bring the interdepartmental organizational arrangements, relating to the U.S. policy toward Panama and Panama Canal matters, in consonance with the National Security Council mechanism established by NSDMs 1, 2 and 3, the President has directed that certain changes in organization be made.

2. The Panama Review Group (PRG) established by NSAM 296 of April 25, 1964, is abolished. The functions heretofore carried out by the PRG with regard to formulation and execution of policy toward Panama and Canal matters will henceforth be the responsibility of the NSC Interdepartmental Group for Latin America. The Special Representative and the Secretary of the Army shall be members of the Interdepartmental Group for purposes of considering matters relating to Panama and the Canal. The NSC/IG will report to the President on Panama matters through the NSC Review Group and the Undersecretaries Committee as appropriate.

3. The Panama Review Committee, composed of the Ambassador to Panama, CINCSO, and the Governor of the Panama Canal Zone, and chaired by the Ambassador, shall continue to exist and be responsible for exchange of reports, information and coordination of actions and action proposals relating to Panama and US/Panamanian relations. The President expects that the members of this Committee will share their concerns fully and frankly with each other, and will work closely in discharging their respective responsibilities. Any differences which cannot be resolved [Page 2] should be referred to the NSC Interdepartmental Group in Washington. Any action agreed upon by the Panama Review Committee will be reported to the Chairman of the Interdepartmental Group before this action is taken, whenever such action could effect the work of the Special Representative, or whenever the Ambassador believes it is desirable for any reason to do so.

4. NSAM 296 of April 25, 1964, is hereby rescinded.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, Box 363, NSDMs, Nos. 1 through 50. Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the JCS, the Secretary of the Army, and Robert Anderson, the Special Representative for United States-Panama Relations. National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 296 is published in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968 vol. XXXI, South and Central America; Mexico, Document 414.
  2. This NSDM directed the following action: the National Security Council Inter-departmental Group for Latin America (NSC–IG/ARA) was to replace the Panama Review Group as the organization that formulated and implemented policy towards Panama and the Canal. The Panama Review Committee would continue to be responsible for the coordination of information and proposals relating to Panama and United States-Panamanian relations.