179. Director of Central Intelligence Directive No. 1/21


Pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 6, NSCID No. 1,2 and paragraph 10,a,(1) of NSC 162/2,3 approved by the President on 30 October 1953, the following terms of reference for the Watch Committee of the IAC are hereby established:


The Soviet/Communist bloc, as a potential aggressor, has the capability to initiate suddenly at any time and in a place and by methods of its own choosing, hostile action4 in such strength as to gravely threaten the security of the United States. The mission of providing earliest possible warning of hostile action will be undertaken by the IAC agencies, within the scope of their responsibilities, as of the highest priority. The proper discharge of this mission depends upon the carrying out of complementary watch and estimating functions.

A. Name

Watch Committee of the IAC

B. Mission

To provide earliest possible warning to the United States Government of hostile action by the USSR, or its allies, which endangers the security of the United States.

C. Functions

To develop and operate on a current and continuing basis an intelligence plan for the levying upon IAC members, and the requesting from other U.S. agencies through appropriate channels, of the intelligence requirements necessary to provide the maximum degree of advance warning and for recommending the collection priorities of these requirements.
To analyze and evaluate information and intelligence, both current and cumulative, on an all-source basis, furnished by the IAC agencies [Page 499] relating to the imminence of hostilities, and to develop therefrom the conclusions as to indications of:
Soviet/Communist intentions to initiate hostilities against
the continental United States, U.S. possessions, or U.S. forces abroad,
U.S. allies or their forces,
areas peripheral to the Soviet Orbit.
any other development, actual or potential, susceptible of direct exploitation by Soviet/Communist hostile action which would jeopardize the security of the United States.
To report promptly their conclusions, together with significant indications, to the principals of the IAC and other appropriate recipients. In the event of an impending critical situation, IAC principals will be immediately advised after which the provisions of paragraph 6, NSCID No. 1, will apply.
To make recommendations to the IAC, or member agencies thereof, including such divergent views as may be recorded.
The Watch Committee shall avoid duplicating IAC estimative functions.

D. Composition and Organization


The Watch Committee will be composed of a Senior Officer representing each IAC member organization, one of whom will be designated by the DCI, after consultation with the IAC, as Chairman for a specified period. The Committee will be supported by an Indications Center, headed by a Director to be provided by CIA and consisting of an administrative Secretariat and an Indications Group.

[Omitted here is an organizational chart of the Watch Committee.]

The Watch Committee will meet on a regular schedule as determined by the Committee and on special occasions when requested by one or more of its members or their principals.

E. Duties and Responsibilities

The Watch Committee shall discharge, or direct the Indications Center in the discharge of, the below-listed duties and responsibilities.

Develop and operate on a current and continuing basis the Watch Committee Intelligence Plan for systematizing, energizing, and coordinating through appropriate channels the world-wide collection by U.S. agencies of information and intelligence pertinent to the Watch Committee mission.
Arrange through the IAC or the appropriate member thereof for exploitation of every domestic and foreign source of information and intelligence pertinent to the Watch Committee mission; and, among other actions, arrange, at appropriate times, that representatives of IAC [Page 500] field intelligence activities confer with the IAC and the Watch Committee in order effectively to coordinate, but not direct, field intelligence activities with the activities of the Watch Committee.
Arrange with the IAC agencies for a systematic screening of all information and intelligence received by them by any means for the purpose of immediately extracting and forwarding to the Indications Center all items which may contain indications of Soviet/Communist intentions as set forth in C, 2 above (this procedure is in addition to the action called for in paragraph 6 of NSCID No. 1); an agency evaluation, where appropriate, will be forwarded as soon as possible.
Members will maintain close and intimate liaison with their respective parent agencies to assist them in ensuring that all pertinent information and intelligence is being made available to the Indications Center.
Continuously screen all pertinent information and intelligence received from all IAC agencies for indications relating to the Watch Committee mission.
Develop promptly an early evaluation and analysis of each indication in coordination with the intelligence agency or agencies best qualified to deal with the field of intelligence to which the indication belongs.
Coordinate with the individual members of the Watch Committee the selection of indications for consideration by the Committee in regular and special meetings.
Prepare material for use by the Watch Committee to assist in its deliberations and the formulation of its conclusions.
Coordinate the reproduction and dissemination of approved Watch Committee reports.
Maintain in readily usable form a complete and integrated file of all available information and intelligence pertinent to the Watch Committee mission.
Maintain wall maps, charts and other display material which will most effectively assist in illustrating and interpreting graphically the current and cumulative indications.
Concurrently, but not as a substitute for current methods of analysis and evaluation, develop and test (with outside assistance if desirable) the application of mechanical aids and techniques to the problem on an experimental basis with a view to their eventual use in assisting effectively the Watch Committee in the accomplishment of its mission.
Perform such additional tasks as shall be required by the IAC in the discharge of the Watch Committee mission.5
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 66 D 148, Misc. NSC Memos. Secret. NSC Executive Secretary Lay circulated this directive under cover of a memorandum to the National Security Council dated June 1.
  2. Document 255.
  3. Text in Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. II, Part 1, p. 577597.
  4. Aggressive action by armed forces, or by organizations or individuals in support of military strategy. [Footnote in the original.]
  5. Printed from an unsigned copy.