274. Draft Report by the National Security Council0
DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL STUDIES
1. To consider measures for the furtherance of covert operations in the interest of our national security.[Page 678]
2. The means employed by a nation in pursuit of its national objectives may be both overt and covert. They range in time of peace from such overt actions as political alliances, economic measures (as ERP), and “white” informational activities, to such covert operations as unacknowledged support of “friendly” foreign elements, “black” propaganda and encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states.
3. Having assumed greater international responsibilities than ever before in our history and having been engaged in a “cold war” by the full might of the Kremlin, the United States cannot afford to leave unmobilized or unemployed its resources for covert operations. The United States cannot afford in the future, in perhaps more serious political crises, to reply upon improvised covert operations as was done at the time of the Italian elections.
4. In NSC 4–A1 provision was made for the conduct of certain covert psychological (propaganda) operations. The State–Army–Navy–Air Force Coordinating Committee has considered such matters as utilization of refugees from the USSR in the United States national interest (SANACC 395),2 plans for evacuation of key foreign personnel (SANACC 396), demolition of oil facilities (SANACC 398), and psychological warfare (SANACC 304).3 In connection with psychological warfare, the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concurred in by the State-Army-Navy-Air Force Coordinating Committee, have been referred to the National Security Council for consideration. It is the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that from the military point of view “there should be established, as soon as practicable, under the National Security Council, a Psychological Warfare Organization, but with its peacetime scope and activities limited to that of a working nucleus for planning and coordination” (SANACC 304/14).4 The Policy Planning Staff of the Department of State has also recommended that covert operations be immediately instituted under unified direction.5
5. In the light of the above considerations, there is a need for an organization which is designed to strengthen and extend current covert operations in the interest of our national security and to provide for plans and preparations for the conduct, in time of war, of covert operations and [Page 679]of the overt phases of psychological warfare. The establishment of such an organization will require the revision of NSC 4–A.
6. The proposed National Security Council Directive in Annex A should be approved, and if approved, the proposed revision of NSC 4–A in Annex B should be approved
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, NSC 10/2. Top Secret. Transmitted under a covering note from Souers to the NSC submitting the report for consideration at an early meeting. For a May 10 draft of this report, see the Supplement. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, NSC 10/2)↩
- Document 257.↩
- The SANACC numbers refer to series rather than to individual papers.↩
- See, for example, Document 249.↩
- JCS memorandum for SANACC, undated (Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC-291) and SANACC memorandum for the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, April 12. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 273, Records of the National Security Council, NSC 10/2) See the Supplement for both; the JSC memorandum is filed under date of January 1948.↩
- See Document 269.↩
- Top Secret. The proposed directive is a further revision of Document 270.↩
- Top Secret.↩