284. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (McIntyre)1

SUBJECT

  • CIA’s Soviet/East European Book and Publication Program (S)

At my request, CIA has provided the attached summary2 of the funding status of its highly cost-effective book and publication distribution program targeted at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. This long-established program, notably sophisticated and with demonstrated impact in its target areas, has taken on added significance since the invasion of Afghanistan and the resultant strain in East-West relations. It provides the basis for continued stimulation and channelizing of discontent and ferment among elites in these Communist societies and feeds the processes which take the form—most spectacularly—of the dramatic open letter of Academician Sakharov which was published in the New York Times Magazine 3 last Sunday. It is important that this program have the funding to continue at the very least at a level of effectiveness achieved prior to the Afghan invasion. Releases from the CIA Reserve in the amounts sought by the Agency appear to me to be fully justified to sustain it. They do not require appropriations of new money. I urge you to authorize them as soon as possible for this matter is urgently in our national security interests. 4 (S)

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 55, USSR: 7/80. Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Not found attached.
  3. See “Sakharov: A Letter from Exile,” The New York Times, June 8, 1980, p. SM8.
  4. On June 27, Brzezinski received a response from John P. White, Deputy Director of OMB, in which White recommended using existing CIA unobligated program funds. The first two reasons among several that White used to support his argument were 1) “CIA has not presented any materials to OMB or to the Congress that demonstrate its impact in the target area or its cost-effectiveness. It measures accomplishments in terms of titles and items distributed.” and 2) “The CIA and DCI, while continuing to support a program, have repeatedly assigned a low priority to maintaining the program even at the current level in terms of titles/items distributed.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 55, USSR: 7/80)