10. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Secretary of Defense Brown1

The President has directed me to ask you and, to the extent appropriate, the Chairman of the JCS, to provide: [Page 35]

A succinct statement of our present nuclear war doctrine. In so doing, you should comment on the advisability of retaining or cancelling NSDM 242 and limited nuclear options.
A brief statement of the procedures for actually conducting a nuclear war, limited or total, beyond the initial phase. This should include an indication of the command procedures for the conduct of such a war, including such operational aspects as the location and procedures for effective exercise of control. In addition, please provide your assessment of the survivability of our command and control systems. The Blue Ribbon Defense Panel of 19702 reached some disturbing conclusions regarding this matter.
A short statement of the basic objectives to be achieved through our various LNO options, and some indication of the assumptions, both political and military, regarding the specific LNOs.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 47, Nuclear War Doctrine: Limited Nuclear Options (LNO) and Regional Nuclear Options (RNO): 3/77–1/80. Top Secret; Sensitive. Carter initialed the top of the memorandum and wrote “ok.”
  2. See footnote 3, Document 9.