215. Letter From Secretary of Defense Clifford to the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Taylor)1
Thank you for sending me a copy of the memorandum you propose to send to the President in regard to the FIAB proposal for a new Net Evaluation Study.2 In general you have done justice in presenting my views, although there are many more evaluations going on than I mentioned in my letter to Walt Rostow 3 or than you mention in your memorandum to the President.
I would like to emphasize, however, that while I believe a new administration might wish to have a hand in initiating as far-reaching a study as you propose, my main point is that existing studies and existing coordinating mechanisms for bringing information to bear on the problem are adequate to do the job.
This is not to say that there are no intelligence gaps, or that we intend to rest on the merits of studies we have already completed. I am convinced, however, that our current efforts are able to identify—and take steps to fill—any gaps in our intelligence, our research and development, and our analysis.
I believe that our current efforts have the interdepartmental inputs that you feel would be the main benefit of your proposed study. What is lacking most in our current efforts is the relaxed, long-range view that could best be supplied by studies at IDA, Rand, etc. I have been promoting such studies and would appreciate your help in focusing such studies on the pertinent issues.
I have enclosed brief descriptions of a few of the more important continuing efforts that we are making to evaluate the relative strategic strength of the United States and the USSR. I would be glad to provide briefings on any of these efforts to you personally or to the FIAB.
- Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. 2 [1 of 4], Box 6. Top Secret. Attached to a September 24 note from Taylor to Rostow; see footnote 1, Document 216.↩
- Document 211.↩
- Quoted in Document 214.↩
- Four versions of NIE 11–3 are printed as Documents 69, 106, 146, and 221; for NIE 11–4, see Documents 84, 131, and 183; for NIE 11–8, see Documents 97, 143, and 217; for NIE 11–14, see Document 98.↩
- An apparent reference to SNIE 11–10–67, Document 169.↩