The array of options from which President Carter will shape the United States' first policy on the flow of U.S. arms to foreign nations will be presented to the President in the next few days.
A President Review Committee meeting of Cabinet-level officials gave the document its final examination yesterday before it goes to Carter.
During the presidential campaign, Carter called the almost unrestricted sales of U.S. weapons abroad "a policy as cynical as it is dangerous.Since taking office he has pushed for completion of the arms sales document - called President Review Memorandum 12 - to enable him to set a new policy, according to informed sources.
After writing several drafts during intensive weeks of work, an interagency study group completed a document that makes no decisions on th major questions, but rather offers the President a wide range of choices, the sources said.
"Your guess is an good as mine where the President will come down," one source said.
It is clear, however, that his policy will be more restrictive than past practice under which the assumption has been that the United States would say yes to a request for arms from a friendly nation.
The United States sells $10 billion worth of arms annually,more than any other nation.
Participants in the interagency review believe that the pressure from Carter was what made it possible for the group to have what one called a good working relationship instead of statement.
A two-year effort toward the same end went nowhere during the Ford administration in the absence of my pressure for progress feomt e top of government.
"When you know people are pushing for restraint, then you all get together and minimize your losses," said one source, referring to the comparative harmony between the Pentagon and State Department this time around.
The drafters met their April 11 deadline for completing the study, and the final draft "is very unweighted," giving Carter choices but not trying to push one option over another, a source said.
Carter is expected toact on the arms sales policy soon, sources said.
Carter is expected to act on the arms sales policy soon, sources said.
The Carter administration held up all arms saled from the inauguration until late last month while it debated its new policy.
Nearly $2 billion of relatively non-controversial sales to North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries and other allies in Asia and the Mideast were approved at the end of March.
Notifications of some of these sales already have been sent to Congress as required by law, with the rest to be sent soon, officials said.
Another almost $4 billion in sales awaiting White House action.