Sources for the Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, Volume XVIII

In the preparation of this volume, the editors used extensively the Presidential papers and other White House records in the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia. These records were essential for documenting the roles of President Jimmy Carter, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Zbigniew Brzezinski, and other members of the National Security Council Staff in developing and implementing U.S. policy toward the Middle East region. The National Security Affairs files in this collection are divided into two subseries: Brzezinski Material and Staff Material. In the Brzezinski Material subseries, the Country File, the Country Chron portion of the Brzezinski Office File, and the Subject File proved the richest source on the range of bilateral and regional issues. The General Odom File, however, is particularly useful for documentation relating to the development of the Persian Gulf Security Framework and the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force between 1979 and 1980. The Staff Material subseries is also an important resource for its ability to reveal the development of U.S. Middle East policy at the working level of the National Security Council. Documentation in the Middle East and Defense Security Files was particularly useful for this volume.

Separate from the National Security Affairs collection is the National Security Council Institutional Files, which focus primarily on the records of meetings of the National Security Council and subgroups the Policy Review Committee and the Special Coordination Committee. It also includes supporting documentation provided to the Department of State, Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and others for the meetings. These records are particularly useful for documenting the central role the Special Coordination Committee played in the Carter administration’s deliberations on the future of the U.S. defensive posture in the region. The National Security Council Institutional Files also serve as a central repository for documentation on Presidential Review Memoranda and Presidential Determinations produced by the Carter administration.

Two additional Carter Library collections supplement documentation from the National Security Affairs and National Security Council Institutional Files: Brzezinski Donated Material and the Plains File, a body of documents assembled to aid President Carter in writing his memoirs Keeping the Faith. Each collection contains significant documentation on the policymaking process toward the Middle East region, [Page XIV] including meeting minutes, memoranda, and Presidential correspondence with Middle East leaders.

To document the Department of State’s participation in the formulation of U.S. policy in the Middle East region, the Central Foreign Policy File and the special decentralized files of the Department of State (“lot files”) organized at the bureau, office, and division levels were crucial. For this volume, the Central Foreign Policy File provided a central repository of the Department of State’s telegram communications with posts in the Arabian Peninsula, including accounts of meetings with Middle Eastern leaders for which no memoranda of conversation were kept. It also contains important cabled correspondence between Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and their counterparts in the region. Several lot files were particularly useful including the records of Secretary Vance (Lot 84D241), the General Program Country files of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (Lot 86D371), the Saudi Arabia Historical files in the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs (Lot 91D410), and the files of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Lot 91D491).

Finally, this volume’s account of the Carter administration’s efforts to construct a new Persian Gulf Security Framework would have been incomplete without Department of Defense Records. Within the files of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, FRC 330–80–0017 provided key documentation on the administration’s dialogue with the Soviet Union on the Indian Ocean and relations with Saudi Arabia. FRC 330–82–0205 contains a useful collection of documents on Secretary of Defense Harold Brown’s communication with U.S. and Middle East officials, as well as Department of Defense memoranda on regional defense planning.

In addition to the paper files cited below, a growing number of documents are available on the internet. The Office of the Historian maintains a list of these on its website and encourages readers to consult that site on a regular basis.

Unpublished Sources

  • Department of State, Washington D.C.
    • Office of the Secretariat Staff, Cyrus R. Vance, Secretary of State—1977–1980, Lot 84D241
  • National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland
    • Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State
      • Central Foreign Policy File
      • Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Lot 91D491
      • Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, General Program Country Files 1980–1984, Lot 86D371
      • Office of Research and Analysis for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Lot 90D113
      • Office of Arabian Peninsular Affairs, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Historical Files Pertaining to Saudi Arabia 1973–1990, Lot 91D410
      • Office of the Secretariat Staff, Official Working Papers of S/P Director Anthony Lake, 1977–January 1981, Lot 82D298
      • Subject Files of Edmund S. Muskie, 1963–1981, Lot 83D66
      • Under Secretary for Political Affairs: David D. Newsom Subject Files, Lot 81D154
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta, Georgia
    • Brzezinski Donated Material
    • National Security Affairs
      • Brzezinski Material
        • Brzezinski Office File
        • Country File
        • General Odom File
        • Subject File
        • Trip File
      • Staff Material
        • Defense/Security
        • Global Issues
        • Middle East
        • Office
    • National Security Council
      • Institutional Files
    • Papers of Walter F. Mondale
    • Plains File
    • Presidential Materials
      • President’s Daily Diary
  • Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia
    • Office of Congressional Affairs
      • Job 81M01032R
    • Office of the Director of Central Intelligence
      • Job 80M00919R
      • Job 81B00112R
      • Job 81B00401R
      • Job 81M00919R
      • Job 82B00162R
      • Job 82M00501R
    • Office of Near East and South Asia Analysis, Directorate of Intelligence
      • Job 76T00412R
    • Office of Support Services, Directorate of Intelligence
      • Job 80T00071A
      • Job 80T00634A
      • Job 82T00150R
      • Job 82T00466R
  • National Security Council, Washington D.C.
    • Carter Intelligence Files
  • Washington National Records Center
    • RG 330 Office of the Secretary of Defense
      • FRC 330–80–0017
      • FRC 330–81–0202
      • FRC 330–82–0205
      • FRC 330–81–0713

Published Sources

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977–1981. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983.
  • Carter, Jimmy. Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President. New York: Bantam Books, 1982.
  • Congressional Quarterly. Congress and the Nation, 1977–1980, vol. V. Washington: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1981.
  • The New York Times.
  • United Nations. Yearbook of the United Nations, 1974–1980. New York: United Nations Office of Public Information, 1975–1981.
  • United States. Department of State. Bulletin, 1974–1980.
  • ______. National Archives and Records Administration. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977–1980. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981.
  • The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Washington Post.