Friday, April 23, 2010

National Security Decision Directive 47

IMO [IN MY OPINION] the first truly significant dual use/all hazards document signed by a President is National Security Decision Directive 47. It is still partially in effect although frequently ignored and it has a significance that should long ago have resulted in a "mobilization" formal Presidential Executive Order. There is currently no such order and by its own terms, Executive Order 12656 as amended is NOT such an order. Accordingly I provide the full text of NSDD-47 with my edits to help its readibility.
[Note to reader-This document has a modified format from the original for the purpose of additional clarity for research purposes. No substantive modifications to the original or its intent have been made.
The Federation of American Scientists contains the
Full text of this NSDD at

See also “National Security Directives of the Reagan and Bush
Administrations-the Declassified History of U.S. Political and Military
Policy, 1981-1991”, Christopher Simpson (Westview Press, 1995]



July 22, 1982

National Security Decision
Directive Number 47



A fundamental obligation of government is to provide for the security of the Nation and to protect its people, values, and its social, economic, and political structures. Inherent in that obligation is the requirement to have an emergency mobilization preparedness program which will provide an effective capability to meet defense and essential civilian needs during national security emergencies and major domestic emergencies. This directive aims not to commit the Federal Government to a particular course of action, but rather to assure that a range of options are available in time of grave national emergency.


It is the policy of the United States to have an emergency mobilization preparedness capability that will ensure that government at all levels, in partnership with the private sector and the American people, can respond decisively and effectively to any major national emergency with defense of the United States as the first priority.


Programs developed to ensure or improve the Nation’s ability to mobilize will be based on the principles that follow. The general principles apply to all emergency programs, while the division between national security and domestic emergency principles emphasizes that the respective and appropriate response for each category may differ. Taken together, however, these principles define a common ground upon which mobilization programs can be developed and used at the discretion of the President to prevent avoidable emergencies, to combat and reduce the effects of those that are unavoidable, and to mitigate the effects of those that do occur.

Authorities for direct economic controls (wage and price controls and consumer rationing) in national security emergencies need to be provided to give responsible policymakers flexibility to deal with circumstances that can be judged only as they arise. These controls should be used only when they are clearly superior to the efficiency of the market as a means to achieve essential objectives, and not as an automatic response to all national security emergencies.


Emergency mobilization preparedness programs for all emergencies will be based on the following principles:

• Where applicable, preparedness measures should emphasize the partnership and interdependence between Federal, State, and local governments.
• To the maximum degree possible, consistent with security requirements, the private sector should be brought into a planning partnership with responsible government agencies prior to the outset of an emergency.
• Plans and procedures should be designed to retain maximum flexibility for the President and other senior officials in the implementation of emergency actions both above and below the threshold of declared national emergencies and wars. Plans should avoid rigid “either-or” choices that limit Presidential options.
• Preparedness measures should reflect functional interdependencies among agency activities and across preparedness programs. Close and continuous coordination between military and civilian agencies is required to ensure consistent approaches to common problems.
• Initial preparedness measures should focus on short-term improvements and make effective use of the existing mobilization base. Measures to increase adequate mobilization base capabilities should be developed in the longer term.
• Preparedness measures that involve the waiving or modification of socioeconomic regulations that delay emergency response should receive priority attention.
• Preparedness measures that are, or may be, impeded by legal constraints should be identified as a priority task.
• Preparedness programs should also be designed to increase capabilities to cope with resource shortages arising from disruptions of essential supplies from foreign sources, and serious disruptions of services (e.g., transportation or communications) that threaten national security.

Principles for National Security Emergencies

Emergency mobilization preparedness programs for national security emergencies will be based on the following principles:

• Preparedness measures should address the full spectrum of national security emergencies.
• The development of the structure of policies, plans, authorities, and requirements for full mobilization should receive priority attention. Foundations for total mobilization should be introduced concurrently.
• Resource management and economic stabilization programs should include standby plans and procedures for governmental intervention, as necessary, into the market place to ensure the enhancement of supply and the allocation of resources to military and essential civilian needs. These mechanisms should provide for both gradual and abrupt replacement of market forces by governmental regulations.
• Preparedness measures should emphasize a rapid and effective transition form routine to emergency operations and should be designed to make effective use of any periods of time that may be available following the receipt of strategic and tactical warnings. The Government must develop capabilities to minimize the start-up time required for emergency responses.
• High priority must be given by Federal agencies to identify and prioritize their requirements for national resources needed in a mobilization.
• Improvement in the capabilities of Federal agencies to identify and manage resources under their cognizance to meet military and essential civilian requirements in a mobilization will be achieved.
• Preparedness measures should include all appropriate coordination with our allies.

Principles for Domestic Emergencies

Emergency mobilization preparedness programs for domestic emergencies will be based on the following principles:

• Preparedness measures must reflect the Constitutional roles of the Federal, State, and local governments. In peacetime, principal responsibility for preparing for, and responding to, domestic emergencies rests with State and local governments.
• Primary emphasis should be placed on natural disasters or other domestic emergencies of a catastrophic nature that cannot be managed effectively without substantial Federal presence; or, arise within spheres of activity in which there is an established Federal preeminence.
• Federal preparedness measures should assist State and local jurisdictions in increasing their capabilities to meet their responsibilities.
• Domestic preparedness programs should be developed in close coordination with the private sector.\
• Preparedness measures for allocation of resources during domestic emergencies should rely on market-based mechanisms.
• Economic stabilization preparedness measures should provide mechanisms that do not rely on the imposition of direct economic controls.
• Preparedness measures for domestic emergencies should facilitate responses which may be necessary for only temporary and selective departures from established public policies. Equally, such measures should aim for the prompt restoration of routine policies and programs.


Based on the national emergency mobilization preparedness policy and principles stated above, the programs are to be directed initially at the development of a credible and effective capability to harness the mobilization potential of America in support of the Armed Forces, while meeting the needs of the national economy and other civil emergency preparedness requirements. These programs, making use of existing programs where possible, will contribute to:

• deterrence of attack, especially nuclear attack, on the United States, our allies and friends; and defeat of attacks should deterrence fail;
• effective response to attempts at coercion, nuclear blackmail, and economic warfare;
• preservation of constitutional government;
• prompt recovery of affected areas and the restoration of national systems, including the Armed Forces;
• maintenance of alliances and the continuation of cooperative relationships with out allies before, during, and after armed conflict or disruptive activities; and
• effective allocation and management of essential resources.

In the case of major domestic emergencies, emergency mobilization preparedness programs will contribute to:

• improving the survivability of the national security capability;
• effective natural disaster predictions, risk assessment, and warning systems;
• reducing the vulnerability of production, services, and the infrastructure to catastrophic events;
• effective management and allocation of Federal resources to facilitate both emergency response operations and long-term rehabilitation and recovery.

Military Mobilization

It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans that will ensure that sufficient manpower and material are available to guarantee the Nation’s ability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain military operations; and that, consistent with national defense priorities, military manpower and material be available to assist civilian authorities when civil resources are inadequate.

The program will increase capabilities to:

• expand the size of the force from partial through full to total mobilization;
• deploy forces to theaters of operations, and sustain them in protracted conflict; and
• provide military assistance to civil authority, consistent with national defense priorities and applicable legal guidelines.

Industrial Mobilization

It is the policy of the United States to have a capability to mobilize industry in order to achieve timely and sufficient production of military and essential civilian materiel
needed to prosecute successfully a major military conflict, to lend credibility to national strategic policy, and to respond to national security emergencies.

The program will:

• improve the capability of United States industry to meet current and mobilization requirements by identifying production and supply deficiencies and initiating actions to overcome them;
• increase the capability of industry and infrastructure systems, including transportation and energy, to meet national security needs through use of improved guidance on resource-claimancy, continued use of import and export controls, and appropriate use of Defense Production Act authorities in cases where the free market cannot be reasonably expected to provide the required national security capability in a timely manner;
• provide for assessment of the impact on the industrial base resulting from existing and proposed agreements for co-production of defense material, related offset arrangements with our allies, and other reciprocal trade agreements; and
• ensure the availability of strategic and critical materials by primary reliance on the National Defense Stockpile; the President may authorize the use of DPA Title III in those instances where the free market cannot be reasonable expected to provide the required national security capability in a timely manner.

Human Resources

It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans to ensure that the Nation’s human resources are available in the requisite numbers and skills to support and sustain the Armed Forces, and to provide for essential civilian needs.

The program will:

• identify the required civilian skills and potential supply problems for support of the Armed Forces, essential defense industries, and other critical mobilization tasks;
• facilitate the channeling of skilled workers toward the most critical mobilization needs;
• provide for maximum reliance on voluntary mechanisms to allocate human resources to critical industrial and other emergency mobilization tasks;
• provide for a standby system for attracting workers to critical mobilization tasks, if necessary, during national security emergencies;
• minimize the impact of labor-management conflicts on expansion of defense production;
• enhance the availability of the requisite scientific, engineering, technical and other human resources to support both military and industrial mobilization needs; and
• ensure that human resources policies complement economic stabilization plans and procedures for mobilization.


It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans to ensure that sufficient medical personnel, supplies, equipment, and facilities will be available and deployed to meet essential civilian and military health care needs in an emergency.

The program will:

• enhance the Nation’s ability to recover from major emergencies and protect the population from the spread of disease;
• supplement medical services provided by State and local governments and the private sector with medical resources during a domestic emergency;
• provide medical care to military casualties in civilian and Federal facilities; and
• allocate scarce supplies and skilled professionals (specialists) to the highest priority needs.

Economic Stabilization and Public Finance

It is the policy of the United States to develop a variety of authorities and plans which could be used in maintaining stable economic conditions during national security emergencies, giving particular emphasis to measures which will minimize inflation and shortages; enhance morale and assure that the burdens of the emergency are being fairly shared; facilitate an orderly return to a normal economy as soon as possible; and allow the allocative efficiencies of the free market to operate where possible, with alternative measures involving direct Government intervention in the economy to be used only at the latest appropriate time.

The program will increase capabilities to:

• minimize economic dislocations and distortions associated with national security emergencies by carrying out appropriate fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policies, including controlling inflation and shortages arising from the transfer of resources from non-essential to priority uses;
• facilitate resource reallocation necessitated by any relocation of the populace;
• assure an equitable distribution of consumer goods;
• provide for the protection of United States financial resources including currency production, Federal check disbursement facilities, and precious monetary metals;
• preserve and facilitate operations of public and private financial institutions systems, and provide for any necessary restoration of their functioning after a major emergency;
• provide the Government with efficient and equitable financing sources and payments mechanisms for emergencies; and
• provide fiscal authorities with adequate revenue-raising powers to stabilize the economy in the face of any additional resource requirements needed to deal with or recover from an emergency; available fiscal measures should be selected to provide maximum efficiency and equity, preserve incentives, and minimize administrative burdens.

Civil Defense

The United States civil defense policy is contained in National Security Decision Directive 26, a Secret document, dated February 26, 1982. In addition, it is the policy of the United States that all Federal agencies shall participate in, and support, the civil defense program for population protection, communications and warning, training and education, and industrial protection.


It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans to reduce the loss of life, destruction of property, economic instabilities, and the adverse impact on our national defense capability that would result from a catastrophic earthquake.

The program can reduce the effects of a catastrophic earthquake by improving earthquake prediction, hazard and risk assessment, warning systems, public education and awareness, response and recovery; by developing further and applying earthquake resistant design and construction techniques, and land use planning. The initial action will be focused on California, but attention will be focused later on other regions in consideration of their relative risk from an earthquake.

The program will increase capabilities to:

• evaluate current earthquake prediction activities, foster the application of advanced scientific and engineering techniques for prediction and mitigation, increase and accelerate basic and applied research efforts;
• develop a coordination and integration mechanism between Federal and State governments;
• identify and allocate financial, medical, transportation, shelter, communications, and other resources necessary to assist recovery operations;
• reduce the negative effects on military installations and defense related industries;
• promote international cooperation to increase scientific and engineering knowledge in applying mitigation measures;
• provide for the preparation, implementation, and exercising of preparedness procedures; and
• ensure the adequacy of current Federal legislation and regulations to facilitate an effective response.

Government Operations

It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans that will ensure the maintenance of necessary government functions at the Federal, State, and local levels and provide for a timely and effective transition into emergency modes of operation.

The program will:

• ensure continuous performance of essential government functions;
• provide timely and effective transition to emergency government operations;
• provide a mechanism for the reconstitution of the operations of government following a nuclear attack, as required, and
• ensure that government officials at all levels are capable of responding predictably and effectively to emergency conditions.

Emergency Communications

It is the policy of the United States to ensure that communications resources be available and adequate to respond to the Nation’s needs.

The program will:

• assure viable communications operations concepts;
• make information available on communications needs and resources;
• identify and correct communications deficiencies;
• provide adequate communications planning guidance and the basis for funding; and
• arrange for smooth transition from normal to emergency operations.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety

It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans that will provide for the public safety and ensure continued enforcement of Federal, State, and local laws; and ensure internal security and the control of United States borders, and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The program will increase capabilities to:

• maintain law and order in a variety of emergencies, particularly terrorist incidents, civil disturbances, nuclear emergencies, and relocation of large numbers of people;
• ensure the physical security of critical public and private facilities;
• provide for control of enemy aliens and persons entering or leaving the United States;
• guarantee control of United States seaports, airports, and land and sea borders;
• provide a response capability to sabotage and espionage; and
• ensure an intensified counterintelligence effort.

Food and Agriculture

It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans that will provide an adequate flow of agricultural products to the general population and the Armed Forces, and to meet our international responsibilities. These plans must reduce the vulnerability of our food and fiber resources; ensure a responsive production, delivery, and distribution system during emergencies, and contain provisions for the rapid recovery of the agricultural system.

The program will:

• plan for adequate research, production capabilities, and reserves of agricultural products, including livestock and poultry, to provide the Nation’s farmers with production resources, including emergency financing capabilities;
• provide for the most effective allocation of resources for the production and use of available food and fiber during emergencies; and the assessment of national and international requirement upon supplies of food and fiber, so as to decrease dependence on foreign sources;
• ensure maximum availability of food and fiber supplies to our Armed Forces and our allies;
• maintain production capabilities to contribute to our world agricultural trade objectives, and reduce susceptibility to manipulated economic pressures;
• establish emergency marketing, processing, inspection and grading systems for government-owned and privately held agricultural commodities; establish civil transportation resource priorities to support agricultural needs; and make provisions for secure storage capabilities and priorities;
• plan to protect the health and well-being of the Nation’s livestock and poultry; ensure the protection of crops and croplands, and the Nation’s forest resources; and
• provide for timely information under emergency conditions to assure adequate food and fiber production, and priority distribution to the normal wholesale level.

Social Services

It is the policy of the United States to develop systems and plans that will increase capabilities to provide emergency social services to meet survival needs of the population. Maximum reliance will be placed on volunteerism and on State and local governments.

The program will:

• provide services for persons with special needs and prepare families and individuals to care for themselves to the maximum extent possible;
• maintain existing Federal, State, local, and private programs to meet ongoing social services needs;
• provide for the reception, care, and resettlement of personnel evacuated from overseas during an emergency; and
• provide for a management structure through which emergency social services requirements can be assessed accurately and necessary services delivered efficiently to meet highest priority needs.


Consistent with this directive, the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board will formulate policy and planning guidance, coordinate planning, resolve issues, and monitor progress. In accomplishing these functions, the Board may assign additional tasks to Its Working Groups and require the assistance of individual Federal agencies. Any issue which cannot be resolved by the Board within the framework of current Administration policy will be referred to the National Security Council for resolution and Presidential decision.

Accordingly, I direct the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board to prepare a Plan of Action to implement the programs detailed in this directive. Plans of Action for programs developed subsequent to publication of this directive will be prepared within 45 days of program approval.

I further direct that all Federal departments and agencies manage their financial and human resources consistent with the provisions of applicable law, and provisions of this and other directives to assure the development of the required capabilities. Resources for improvements in our preparedness capabilities will be obtained through the normal budget process. In the overall context of the President’s budget and current regulatory, budgeting, and legislative review processes, each Department and Agency will program and budget funds and personnel for those preparedness activities which are integral to assigned missions and functions.

Presidential Directive/NSC-57 is hereby rescinded.

/s/ Ronald Reagan