Jeffrey LewisClinton PDDs and PRDs

I somehow missed the fact that the Clinton Library has posted online six declassified Presidential Decision Directives (PDD) and two Presidential Review Directives, most of which involve nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defense and space policy.

PDD-17: U.S. Policy on Ballistic Missile Defenses and the Future of the ABM Treaty

PDD-23: US Policy on Foreign Access to Remote Sensing Space Capabilities

PDD-25: U.S. Policy on Reforming Multilateral Peace Operations

PDD-30: U.S. Nuclear Posture and Policy on Nuclear Arms Control Beyond the START I and START II Treaties

PDD-39: U.S . Policy on Counterterrorism

PDD-47: Nuclear Scientific and Technical Cooperation with Russia Related to Stockpile Safety and Security and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Monitoring and Verification

PRD-13: Multilateral Peacekeeping Operations

PRD-31: U.S. Policy on Ballistic Missile Defenses and the Future of the ABM Treaty

Two of the PDDs were were unknown (17, 47) , while others were not previously available in full-text (23, 25. and 30)

There are interesting posts to be written about many of these documents, but allow me to just do some housekeeping on the missile defense docs.

In addition to the text of PRD-31, the full, unredacted text of the actual review (completed in November 1993) is also available in the appendix of one of Bill Gertz’s books.  (Gertz also had a copy of PDD-17, which appears identicle to the one declassified.)  As a result, we have now have access to all three documents in the series: The PRD initiating the review, the results of the review itself and the resulting  PDD.

Late Update | 25 September 2010: PDD-30 also makes internal reference to PDD-3  U.S. Policy on the Ratification and Implementation of START I and START II and the Denuclearization of Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan (March 21, 1993) and PDD-15 U.S. Policy on Stockpile Stewardship Under an Extended Moratorium and a Comprehensive Test Ban (November 3, 1993).


  1. Stephen Schwartz (History)

    “Two of the PDDs were were unknown (17, 47)…”

    Actually, retired Los Alamos scientist Irvin Lindemuth referenced PDD-47 (though not by number) in his November 2009 Nonproliferation Review article “U.S.-Russian Nuclear Cooperation and the CTBT: Scientific Collaboration between Weapons Labs” ( In a follow-on letter we published back in July (, Lindemuth noted the release of PDD-47 and provided a careful analysis of its contents vis-a-vis CTBT-related lab-to-lab cooperation during the Clinton administration.

  2. FSB (History)

    Too bad the PDD didn’t ask if a workable BMD is technologically feasible, and too bad there is no OTA to address that sensible questions. Thanks Newt!

    The Pentagon’s best latest guesstimate of whether BMD as envisioned is workable is, effectively, “we won’t know for many years — let’s hope so and keep our fingers crossed”:

    Doesn’t help that DoD BMD policy documents are rife with logical lacunae and lies:

    And that the test program is an outright fraud:

    Besides that, it is a great program.