218. Letter From the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Taylor) to Secretary of Defense Clifford 1

Dear Clark,

I thought that you would like to know that during our Board meeting of October 3–4,2 we reconsidered our recent recommendation to the President3 that there be established within the Executive Branch an interagency mechanism for the preparation of comparative evaluations of the strategic military offensive and defensive capabilities of the United States and the USSR.

In the course of our discussions, we had the benefit of your views and comments as set forth in recent communications to Walt Rostow and me.4 Your frank expression of views on the subject was appreciated by all members of the Board.

Upon further consideration of the matter it was the Board’s conclusion that, rather than pursue this subject in the form of a further recommendation to the President at this time, the matter should be included in a final Board report to the President toward the close of this year, in a section devoted to the identification of intelligence problems of continuing concern.

On behalf of the Board I express thanks for the help which you provided to us in our deliberations on this question.


Maxwell D. Taylor 5
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. 2 [1 of 4], Box 6. Top Secret. A copy was sent to Rostow.
  2. No other record of this meeting was available.
  3. Document 211.
  4. See Documents 214 and 215.
  5. Printed from a copy that indicates Taylor signed the original.