[Presidential Decision Directives - PDD]
Update (2014): The declassified text of PDD 62 is available here.
May 22, 1998
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 22, 1998
COMBATING TERRORISM: PRESIDENTIAL DECISION DIRECTIVE 62
Since he took office, President Clinton has made the fight against
terrorism a top national security objective. The President has worked to
deepen our cooperation with our friends and allies abroad, strengthened law
enforcement's counterterrorism tools and improved security on airplanes
and at airports. These efforts have paid off as major terrorist attacks
have been foiled and more terrorists have been apprehended, tried and given
severe prison terms.
Yet America's unrivaled military superiority means that potential enemies --
whether nations or terrorist groups -- that choose to attack us will be more
likely to resort to terror instead of conventional military assault.
Moreover, easier access to sophisticated technology means that the
destructive power available to terrorists is greater than ever.
Adversaries may thus be tempted to use unconventional tools, such as
weapons of mass destruction, to target our cities and disrupt the
operations of our government. They may try to attack our economy and
critical infrastructure using advanced computer technology.
President Clinton is determined that in the coming century, we will be
capable of deterring and preventing such terrorist attacks. The President
is convinced that we must also have the ability to limit the damage and
manage the consequences should such an attack occur.
To meet these challenges, President Clinton signed Presidential Decision
Directive 62. This Directive creates a new and more systematic approach to
fighting the terrorist threat of the next century. It reinforces the
mission of the many U.S. agencies charged with roles in defeating
terrorism; it also codifies and clarifies their activities in the wide
range of U.S. counter-terrorism programs, from apprehension and prosecution
of terrorists to increasing transportation security, enhancing response
capabilities and protecting the computer-based systems that lie at the
heart of America's economy. The Directive will help achieve the
President's goal of ensuring that we meet the threat of terrorism in the
21st century with the same rigor that we have met military threats in this
The National Coordinator
To achieve this new level of integration in the fight against terror,
PDD-62 establishes the Office of the National Coordinator for Security,
Infrastructure Protection and Counter-Terrorism. The National Coordinator
will oversee the broad variety of relevant polices and programs including
such areas as counter-terrorism, protection of critical infrastructure,
preparedness and consequence management for weapons of mass destruction.
The National Coordinator will work within the National Security Council,
report to the President through the Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs and produce for him an annual Security Preparedness
Report. The National Coordinator will also provide advice regarding
budgets for counter-terror programs and lead in the development of
guidelines that might be needed for crisis management.
# # #
Presidential Decision Directive-62
The following is an unclassified abstract derived from
Presidential Decision Directive-62 (PDD-62), "Protection Against
Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas," dated
May 22, 1998.
full text of PDD-62 is a CLASSIFIED document. State and local officials
should understand that PDD-62 reaffirms PDD-39, "United States Policy
on Counterterrorism," signed June 21, 1995. As such, the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI) will continue to serve as the Lead Federal
Agency for "crisis management" and the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) will continue to serve as the Lead Federal Agency for
It is increasingly likely that terrorist groups, or individuals with
criminal intent, may use unconventional methods to disrupt the Nation's
critical infrastructure or use weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
against our citizens.
As these types of threats mature, it is necessary to prepare to deter
them, prevent them from occurring, or, if need be, limit the damage to
a minimum. Success is dependent upon possessing the capability for an
integrated response, and in the case of critical infrastructure
protection, having public/private partnerships.
2. Present Achievements and Current Challenges
- An increased rate of apprehensions and convictions;
- An increase in counterterrorism legislative authorities;
- An increase in the funding for consequence management planning;
- An increase in the importance of terrorism on the diplomatic agenda;
- Growth of assistance to, and cooperation with, other democracies in combating terrorism; and
- Improving and expanding a professionally trained interagency cadre.
groups may choose asymmetrical attacks on our domestic and
international vulnerabilities, through the use of WMD and/or cyber
- Terrorist groups possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to use WMD;
"cold war" civil defense programs have been downsized or dismantled,
and cities are not prepared to deal with a large-scale event;
- Improvements in technology will make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent terrorist acts; and
- The Nation's critical infrastructure relies heavily on the use of computers, which are prone to cyber attacks.
3. Consequences Management
In the event of a terrorism incident, the Federal Government will
respond rapidly, working with State and local governments, to restore
order and deliver emergency assistance. FEMA, the Lead Federal Agency
for consequence management, is responsible for preparing for and
responding to the consequences of a WMD incident with participation of
other departments and agencies including the Public Health Service
(PHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Energy
(DOE), as necessary. The Department of Justice (DOJ), through the FBI,
is the Lead Federal Agency for crisis management and operational
response to a weapon of mass destruction incident.
Domestically, key Federal agencies and Departments, through interagency
efforts, will continue training and providing equipment to first
responders to prepare them for response to WMD incidents. Emphasis will
be placed on preparing those responders in the largest 120 cities.
The Department of Defense, in coordination with other Federal
Departments and agencies, will provide training to metropolitan first
responders and will maintain trained military units to assist State and
local responders. One example is the National Guard concept of
initially forming 10 Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection (RAID)
teams in each FEMA Region. These teams are designed to provide rapid
response to a WMD incident and assist State and local responders.
PHS, in the
Department of Health and Human Services, is the Lead Federal Agency in
planning and preparing for response to WMD-related medical emergencies.
PHS will continue supporting State and local governments in developing
Metropolitan Medical Strike Teams; maintaining the National Disaster
Medical System; and, in conjunction with the Department of Veterans
Affairs, stockpiling antidotes and pharmaceuticals in the event of a
DOJ, in coordination with FEMA, will provide equipment to State and local emergency responders.
5. Critical Infrastructure
It is imperative that the United States be adequately prepared to deal
with attacks on critical infrastructure and cyber systems. As such, the
President reviewed the recommendations of the Presidential Commission
on Critical Infrastructure Protection and has signed PDD-63, entitled
Protecting America's Critical Infrastructures (PDD-63 is For Official
Use Only). A white paper, entitled "The Clinton Administration's Policy
on Critical Infrastructure Protection: Presidential Decision
Directive-63," is available at
This white paper outlines the Administration's program to deal with threats to our Nation's critical infrastructure.