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U.S. Presidential Documents

Presidential Directives

Presidential directives are signed or authorized by the President, but issued through the National Security Council. Presidents have given them different names such as policy directive, homeland security directive, and national security directive. Directives are not required to be published in the Federal Register or the Code of Federal Regulations, and many remain classified.

For an overview of the history, variety, and sources of these presidential policy instruments, see the Congressional Research Report, Presidential Directives: Background and Overview (2008).