2. Presidential Review Memorandum1


  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • The United States Representative to the United Nations
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Panama (U)

The President has directed that the Policy Review Committee, under the chairmanship of the Department of State, undertake a review of our interests and objectives with regard to concluding new canal treaties with Panama.

The review should:

1. Review the key issues with respect to Panama Canal Treaty negotiations, including the principal changes in the positions of both sides.

2. Review and analyze our present interests and objectives with regard to concluding new treaties with Panama, including timing, and options open to us to achieve these objectives.

3. Provide a State/CIA assessment of the present internal situation in Panama and its relationship to our policy toward the Torrijos regime and our policy on the canal treaties.

4. Provide a Defense assessment of the military implications of various treaty options.

5. Assess the impact of Panama Canal Treaty negotiations on U.S.-Latin American relations and our relations with the developing world.

6. Suggest appropriate revisions to NSDM 302, dated August 18, 1975 (see attached).2

7. Suggest a strategy and program for dealing with the Congress and the general public.

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The review should be no longer than 20 pages. It should be completed by January 20, in time for consideration by the Policy Review Committee in the week of January 24.3

The President has further directed that a comprehensive, long-term review of Latin America be undertaken by the Policy Review Committee. The review will be due in the spring, and a follow-on tasking memorandum will be forthcoming.4

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council Institutional Files, Box 2, PRM/NSC 1–24 (1). Secret.
  2. Attached but not printed. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXII, Panama, 1973–1976, Document 95.
  3. In a January 12 memorandum to Vance, Brown, Young and Turner, Brzezinski directed that a working group made up of representatives from the State, Defense, National Security Council (NSC) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) transition teams be established for this review, already begun by the State Department transition team under Vance. (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Box 42, Pastor, Country, Panama, PRM–1, 1/77)
  4. PRM/NSC 17, dated January 26, which directed a review of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the March 12 study prepared in response, are scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XXIV, South America; Latin America Regional, 1977–1980.