271. Memorandum From Roger Hansen of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) and the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron)1
- A Last Attempt at a PRM–8 “Product” for the President
Your phone call this morning deeply saddened me. It revealed that for five months and three weeks I have worked for you with so little communication that I have wasted your time and mine, and it appears that no constructive purpose has been served.
When you asked me to come on board for six months, the purpose was specifically stated: “to get PRM 8 through the bureaucracy in a way [Page 830]that allows us to reconceptualize North-South relations”. That is what I have been trying to do ever since the last day of January; that is why the Track II group was eventually set up after the failure of the EPG effort; and that is why the PRM 8 before you now2 is not a Roger Hansen think-piece, but the very best I could squeeze out of the bureaucracy after three months of hard work. It is still so “out-front” that the Van Dyks’, the Bergstens’, the Paul Boekers’, etc. are at work desperately trying to produce a deadlock tomorrow.3
I finally thought that the best I could do for you was to start a process for thinking about North-South relations, based on four major elements (p. 37–38 of PRM). That is what I hoped the PRC meeting would produce.
Now, with three days left, I find that you want a Roger Hansen proposal, regardless of whether or not anyone in the bureaucracy agrees with it. Had I known this earlier, I could have saved us both six months of wasted effort, and needn’t have joined the NSC to produce the product for you.
What follows is an attempt to set forward in less than five pages an overall approach to North-South relations, followed by much more specific emphasis on the “Carteresque” centerpiece, as I read the President’s instincts and think about the domestic and international constraints with which he must deal in proposing North-South initiatives.
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 63, PRC 028 North/South Issues 7/27/77 . No classification marking.↩
- See Document 270.↩
- A PRC meeting on North-South strategy took place on July 27. See Document 273.↩
- No classification marking.↩
- For the text of Carter’s May 23 message to Congress on the environment, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977, Book I, pp. 967–986.↩