National Security Decision Directive No. 45

National Security Decision Directive No. 45

Postby admin » Wed May 24, 2017 12:02 am

United States International Broadcasting: National Security Decision Directive Number 45
by Ronald Reagan
July 15, 1982



JULY 15, 1982

International broadcasting constitutes an important instrument of the national security policy of the United States. Improvement in the programming and technical quality of US international broadcasting is a requirement of the highest priority. Allocation of budgetary and other resources required to implement the improvements authorized by this memorandum shall be accorded the same priority as in the case of other programs deemed vital to the national security.

The Voice of America (VOA) of the International Communication Agency will remain the official broadcasting voice of the US Government, receiving policy guidance from the Secretary of State and the Director, ICA. VOA should take steps to strengthen existing mechanisms for relating program content to current US foreign and national security policy objectives, while ensuring the integrity of news broadcasting and serving long-range US broadcasting goals and interests in accordance with its legislative charter. Commentary and analysis should incorporate vigorous advocacy of current policy positions of the US Government.

The Radio in the American Sector of Berlin (RIAS) will continue to broadcast to East Germany under the supervision of the Director, International Communication Agency. A review should be undertaken to ensure that appropriate policy guidance is available to RIAS.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), a private corporation funded by the Congress and subject to oversight by the Board for International Broadcasting, will continue as an independent organization operating as a surrogate free radio for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. A new entity for broadcasting to Cuba, Radio Marti, is currently being established and will function in a manner analogous to RFE/RL. Both radios shall operate in a manner not inconsistent with the broad objectives of US foreign and national security policy.

American Forces Radio and Television Services (AFRTS) will continue to be responsible for providing English-language broadcasting for US military forces abroad. As an official US Government broadcasting service with a significant foreign listenership, AFRTS should ensure that its programming is not inconsistent with current US foreign and national security policy objectives.

Technical cooperation and joint planning between US international broadcasters, including RFE/RL and Radio Marti, will be undertaken on a regular basis as a matter of policy. At the same time, care should be taken to maintain the autonomy and special character of the surrogate radios.

Guidance for determining languages and broadcast hours for VOA and RFE/RL will continue to be the responsibility of the Secretary of State and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, acting in consultation with the Director, International Communication Agency, and the Chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting. The revised guidance prepared in conjunction with this directive is approved.

VOA and RFE/RL will undertake a major, long-term program of modernization and expansion over the period FY 84 to FY 89, affecting program-related as well as technical aspects of their operations. Funding for elements of this program that are subject to rapid implementation will be sought in FY 83. The technical criteria used for planning facility modernization shall be those specified in NSSM 245, until such time as further experience and research provide a better basis for measuring signal requirements. While short wave is and will remain for the foreseeable future the primary medium of US international broadcasting, medium and long wave are preferable wherever technically and politically feasible.

Diplomatic requirements deriving from this modernization and expansion program shall be given high priority by the Department of State. Acquisition of new transmitting sites and facilities should be a priority matter on the political agenda of bilateral relations with appropriate countries. Attention should also be given to renewal of facility agreements which have lapsed, with permission for augmentation as necessary, and to negotiation for the use of out-of-band frequencies. Finally, planning for the upcoming high frequency World Administrative Radio Conference should be accelerated, and priority given to protecting and where possible expanding the frequencies available to the US for international short wave broadcasting.  

Particularly in view of the recent renewal of jamming of VOA by the Soviet Union, it is essential that the US take all possible steps to overcome jamming of US international broadcasts and to ameliorate its effects. Continuing interagency study needs to be given to political as well as technical aspects of jamming and possible countermeasures. A major, coordinated effort should be undertaken to press the jamming issue diplomatically in all appropriate international and bilateral fora.

Direct broadcasting by satellite (DBS), while unlikely to provide an alternative to ground-based international broadcasting for the foreseeable future, nevertheless offers a potentially important supplement to our existing broadcasting capabilities. Further study should be undertaken immediately of the technical parameters of a variety of plausible DBS systems for international broadcasting, with particular attention to the role of DBS in a jammed environment.

Study is also required on a priority basis of the role of US international broadcasting facilities and operations in periods of crisis and war. The Departments of State and Defense as well as the International Communication Agency and the Board for International Broadcasting should review existing guidance in this area and make recommendations for closer integration of our international broadcasting effort into political and military contingency planning.

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