National Security Study Directives

President Reagan outlined the purpose of National Security Study Directive (NSDDs) on February 25, 1981 in his first NSDD:

This series shall be used to direct that studies be undertaken involving national security policy and objectives.

As part of managing the national security policy for the Reagan administration, Senior Interagency Groups, members of the National Security Council staff, or the Advisor to the President for National Security could call for a policy study on significant security issues. The President would then issue a NSSD calling for these policy studies. Each NSSD would contain a definition of the problem; a statement of the President’s policy goal; questions to be answered by the policy study; and responsibilities for creating the study and possible due dates. The resulting study was used as the framework for United States national security policy. The President would enact this policy in National Security Decision Directives. The Reagan Administration enacted over 50 NSSDs from 1981-1989. The National Security Council has declassified in full and in part many of these.

View this collection's full inventory and collection description.

Declassified National Security Decision Directives have been scanned and made available online here

These NSSDs were scanned in 2012, more pages may have become declassified. Please contact us for specifics at


NSSD 1-82 [U.S. National Security Strategy]
NSSD 2-82 [Detecting and Countering the Foreign Intelligence Threat to the US]
NSSD 3-82
NSSD 4-82
NSSD 5-82
NSSD 6-82
NSSD 7-82
NSSD 8-82
NSSD 9-82
NSSD 10-82
NSSD 11-82 US Policy Toward the Soviet Union
NSSD 12-82
NSSD 13-82 [National Space Strategy]
NSSD 14-82 [Scientific Communication and National Security]
NSSD 1-83 [US Technology Transfer Policy]
NSSD 2-83 [US International Information Policy]
NSSD 3-83
NSSD 4-83
NSSD 5-83
NSSD 6-83
NSSD 1-84 [U.S. Third World Hunger Relief]
NSSD 2-84
NSSD 3-84
NSSD 4-84
NSSD 6-84
NSSD 7-84
NSSD 8-84
NSSD 1-85
NSSD 2-85
NSSD 3-85
NSSD 5-85
NSSD 6-85 [Space Policy]
NSSD 7-85
NSSD 8-85
NSSD 1-86
NSSD 2-86
NSSD 3-86 [Support for Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa]
NSSD 4-86
NSSD 5-86
NSSD 6-86
NSSD 1-87
NSSD 2-87
NSSD 3-87
NSSD 4-87
NSSD 5-87
NSSD 6-87
NSSD 7-87
NSSD 8-87
NSSD 9-87
NSSD 10-87
NSSD 1-88