79. Editorial Note

In an August 8, 1978, memorandum to Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Council Staff member Robert Pastor noted: “There is no doubt in my mind that the situation is sufficiently delicate and volatile as to justify the attention of a PRC. Furthermore, I think one hour by you, Vance, and the others now will save you a lot of time trying to limit the damage later.” Brzezinski decided that, if the interagency meeting proved useful, Pastor and Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Viron Vaky would draft a Presidential Review Memorandum on Nicaragua for an upcoming Policy Review Committee (PRC) meeting. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, President’s Correspondence with Foreign Leaders File, Box 14, Nicaragua, President Anastasio Somoza Debayle, 8/77–8/78) In an August 14 action memorandum to Brzezinski, Pastor requested that Brzezinski forward a memorandum to President Jimmy Carter about the situation in Nicaragua and noted that Vaky felt that an interagency meeting would be more useful than a full PRC meeting. Brzezinski instructed Pastor to include a statement on Nicaragua in Brzezinski’s weekly National Security Council report to Carter. National Security Staff member Rick Inderfurth added: “I feel quite certain that Nicaragua will explode during the President’s first term. He should have a feel for the country prior to that time.” (Ibid.) Inderfurth wrote to Pastor, on August 18, reporting that Brzezinski had decided not to include coverage of Nicaragua in the weekly report to Carter. Instead Brzezinski asked for a brief report to Carter at the conclusion of the policy study on Nicaragua. “Do not despair;” Inderfurth concluded, “we will get something to the President on Nicaragua soon.” (Ibid.)