Presidential directives that are not formal Executive Orders subject to promulgation under the terms of E.O. 11030 often have important consequences for Executive Branch departments and agencies. Often classified they impact policy and operations and other delegated authority. They are somewhat controversial since some lawyers believe that there is no such thing as "Secret" law, yet these documents come very close to being such secret law. At least theoretically they are reviewed and approved by the President. No history of the Executive Branch in the post WWII era is complete without a review of these documents. The classic of course is NSC-68 drafted by Paul Nitze which fully militarized the Cold War and significantly rebutted the reasoning of the so-called "Long Telegram" written by the top US Soviet Specialist George Kennan.
That stated they were a factor in the culture and organization of FEMA during its years of independent Executive Branch agency status. Here is part one of what that list looks like! Any discussion of the Federal Civil Defense Program which lasted from 1951-1994 is incomplete without reference to them. Oddly several recent books and even DHS itself in its history of the preparedness efforts have ignored this important aspect of FEMA history. The books were written by former Professors DEE GARRISON and STANLEY PERROW and both recite a history of the civil defense program that is terrifyingly inaccurate.
So here goes:
CARTER PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVES AFFECTING FEMA
PD-41 U.S. Civil Defense Policy
PD-57 Mobilization Planning
PD-58 Continuity of Government
REAGAN AND BUSH NATIONAL SECURITY
DIRECTIVES DIRECTLY AFFECTING FEMA
1. NSDD 23 U.S. Civil Defense Policy
2. NSDD 26 Civil Defense Policy
3. NSDD 30 Managing Terrorist Incidents
4. NSDD 47 Emergency Mobilization Preparedness
1. NSDD 97 National Security Telecommunications Policy
1. NSDD 145 Telecommunications and Computer Security
1. NSDD 174 National Defense Stockpile of Minerals
2. NSDD 179 Task Force on Combating Terrorism
3. NSDD 188 Reorganization of “Emergency Preparedness” Functions
1. NSDD 207 National Program for Combating Terrorism
1. NSDD 259 Civil Defense
1. NSDD 42 Security of National Security Telecommunications and
1. NSDD 66 Civil Defense Mobilization of Private Industry During Emergencies
For text as declassified see “National Security Directives of the Reagan & Bush Administrations- The Declassified History of U.S. Political & Military Policy 1981-1991” Christopher Simpson (Westview Press, 1995).
See also http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/pdd/