497. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to Secretary of State Vance, Secretary of Defense Brown, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (McIntyre), the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Warnke), and the Director of the International Communication Agency (Reinhardt)1


  • Interagency Committee on Public Diplomacy and Disarmament

Whatever the specific accomplishments of the UN Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD), it has focused the attention of important publics throughout the world on disarmament issues. As we move beyond SSOD, it is desirable to foster a more informed and rational climate of opinion in other countries within which future official deliberations can take place. I am, therefore, establishing under the Special Coordination Committee an interagency committee to develop a year-long program in public diplomacy addressing the several issues of arms control and disarmament.

Our goals are:

—to stimulate serious and constructive international discussion of important arms control and disarmament issues;

—to involve a wider spectrum of thoughtful and interested foreign individuals and institutions in a discussion involving clear statements of the U.S. positions and policies;

—to help develop a broader based consensus in other countries in support of U.S. positions; but at a minimum, to bring more serious and realistic public deliberations to bear on the several issues;

—to diminish the ability of the Soviet Union and others to command public attention in foreign countries on the basis of emotional rhetoric.

Among other means for achieving these goals, the committee should consider:

—regional seminars and conferences bringing together leading intellectuals for realistic discussions of arms control and disarmament issues;

—visits to the U.S. by foreign journalists and scholars to discuss arms control and disarmament issues with American counterparts;

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—programs aimed at diffusing the results of these discussions to wider audiences abroad;

—intensified research designed to provide U.S. policy-makers with a clearer understanding of the views of important foreign publics.

You should designate an appropriate member of this interagency committee with a rank equivalent to and not lower than that of Deputy Assistant Secretary. The committee will be chaired by the International Communication Agency. Final recommendations of the committee should be completed as soon as practicable and in any event no later than August 1, 1978.2 I would appreciate your communicating to the Director of the ICA the name of your representative to the interagency committee at your earliest convenience. The NSC staff representative will be Dr. Robert Putnam.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Brzezinski Office File, Subject Chron File, Box 118, Special Session on Disarmament: 6–7/78. No classification marking.
  2. Not found.