7. Editorial Note

On April 22, 1977, Gregory Treverton of the National Security Council Staff sent a memorandum to Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Zbigniew Brzezinski regarding the April 14 Policy Review Committee meeting on U.S. policy toward Europe. (See Document 6.) Treverton wrote that the Policy Review Committee meeting was disappointing and more focus on the issues was necessary. He suggested “sharply focused” follow-up studies for four distinct issues: “the U.S. approach to European unity and possible economic competition; European Communist parties; CSCE; and possibly Eastern Europe.” Treverton attached two draft memoranda for Brzezinski. The first, informed President Jimmy Carter that Brzezinski and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance were dissatisfied with the discussion at the April 14 meeting and that both recommended several short follow-up studies to be discussed at a second Policy Review Committee meeting. The second was a draft Presidential Review Memorandum requesting the four follow-up studies be completed by June 15. (Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, Box 27, PRM–9 [2]). Brzezinski initialed the memorandum to Carter, only to change his mind later and indicate on the Treverton memorandum that he intended to discuss the issue with the President orally. (Ibid.)

Brzezinski signed the tasking for follow-up studies related to PRM–9 on April 22. The tasking requested that the Policy Review Committee “under the chairmanship of the Department of State, continue its review [Page 28] of U.S. policy toward Europe by focusing on the four key issues. The basis for that review should be four short, sharply-focused papers, clearly setting out the issues and alternative U.S. approaches, together with their implications.” Specifically on Eastern Europe, the Policy Review Committee was directed to “spell out the practical differences between PRM–9 response option 3—bias toward Eastern European countries that are either somewhat liberal internally or somewhat independent of Moscow—and option 4—an effort to improve relations across the board with no prior ranking. How would different countries be affected differently by the two approaches? What are the implications of the two approaches for our approach to human rights, trade and U.S. relations with the Soviet Union? The review should also identify any special cases—for instance, perhaps, the GDR—and suggest what might be gained by expanded contacts with them.” (Ibid.)