298. Paper Prepared by Unknown Drafter, July 311

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  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

Historical events having a bearing on the integration of military intelligence and on the ultimate establishment of DIA included: the 1946 Congressional Hearings on Pearl Harbor, which criticized the Army and Navy for not coordinating their intelligence effectively; the Doolittle Committee Report of 1954 and the Hoover Commission Report of 1955, both of which suggested the need for greater unification of intelligence efforts within the Defense establishment; the Reorganization Act of 1958, which established the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the chain of command running from the President through the Secretary of Defense to the JCS and then directly to the commanders of the unified and specified commands; the 1958 recommendation of President Eisenhower’s Foreign Intelligence Board that a single office be established within the Department of Defense for all official dealings between Defense and CIA for the planning of both hot war and cold war operations having military implications; the Joint Study Group Report of December 15, 1960, which called for the establishment within OSD of a focal point for exerting broad management review authority over military intelligence programs and for providing over-all coordination of all foreign intelligence activities conducted by various Defense components; the January 1961 recommendation of President Eisenhower’s Foreign Intelligence Board that military intelligence be brought into conformity with the Defense Reorganization Act of 1958; the approval by the President on January 18, 1961 of a National Security Council Action which called for the establishment, after study by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of an integrated intelligence entity under the Secretary of Defense; and the July 1961 recommendation of President Kennedy’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board that the President endorse the proposals which the Board had considered for the consolidation and centralized management of a variety of military intelligence activities through the establishment of a Defense Intelligence Agency in the Department of Defense.

Based on the foregoing, the Secretary of Defense on August 1, 1961, issued a directive establishing the DIA effective October 1, 1961.

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Following the issuance of the basic directive by the Secretary of Defense, steady progress has been made by the DIA in meeting two of the major objectives involved: (1) the exercise by DIA of over-all management and direction of the intelligence activities of the Department of Defense, and [Facsimile Page 2] (2) the strengthening of the intelligence capabilities of the unified and specified commands. While the assumption of DIA’s total responsibility is an evolutionary one, improvements in the military intelligence posture are already in evidence in such areas as the reduction of undesirable duplication of effort among Defense intelligence elements; the central processing of the intelligence needs of the military services and commands; the close coordination of military intelligence activities with other components of the total U.S. intelligence effort; and the economical and effective consolidation of intelligence training and orientation previously provided by the several military services.

Under the guidance of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in keeping with Presidentially-approved recommendations of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, measures continue to be taken by the DIA on a phased basis with a view to establishing and maintaining the capability to discharge its responsibilities for the integration, management and control of a consolidated military intelligence program geared to meet the requirements of national defense and security.

  1. Provides background information on the Defense Intelligence Agency. No classification marking. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, CIA Gen, 4–3/63.