218. Memorandum From the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (Kirkpatrick) to Director of Central Intelligence McCone 1


  • CIA/DIA Relations

1. In response to your instructions we have asked the CIA Chairman of the principal USIB committees and the heads of the CIA Directorates to advise us concerning the relations with DIA and of any suggestions they may have for improving CIA/DIA relations.2 In general, considerable satisfaction is expressed by all concerning relations with DIA, and there appears to be a close and cordial working arrangement between the two agencies. Although some areas are noted in which it is felt DIA could [Page 482] make a greater contribution, there is general recognition that it is still a young agency and that it has been having the usual growing pains, particularly as it has taken over some established service responsibilities. Summarized below are the principal comments received.


DIA has helped the Clandestine Services in its relation to the military services and their participation and support of clandestine operations. DIA has provided a unified channel for intelligence requirements to all DOD components which has helped to eliminate duplication. DIA evaluations and assessments have assisted clandestine operations. There has been some delay in Clandestine Service reports reaching DOD elements, but DIA is working on this. DIA has assisted in considerable improvement in the coordination of clandestine operations between the services and CIA, but there has not been similar improvement in the counterintelligence areas.


DIA contributions to substantive intelligence in such fields as order of battle, geographic intelligence, industrial intelligence and photographic interpretation have been good. In the scientific and technological intelligence areas we believe improvement is needed. This is dealt with later under DD/S&T and the specialized committees of USIB. We believe there could be further clarification of the distinct roles of the Central Intelligence Bulletin and the Defense Intelligence Summary as there are still occasional overlaps and duplications which create some problems. Further, we urge that DIA accelerate its efforts for an effective retrieval system in close collaboration with CIA and the CODIB.3


In the research and development areas DIA has proved an effective focal point for coordination of R&D in intelligence areas between CIA and Defense Intelligence components. The information exchange is [Page 483] today effective and meaningful. In the collection and analysis areas, DIA is responsive and effective in the ELINT advisory group and the SIGINT evaluation subcommittee. It could be better coordinated with CIA on [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] ELINT operations. The creation of the Defense Special Missile and Astronautic Center at Ft. Meade under the joint direction of DIA/NSA has greatly improved the task of DOD collection assets. In the production and estimating areas the Directorate of Science and Technology in DIA, in our opinion, needs more in-house intelligence production and estimative capability and less dependence on such units as the Foreign Technological Division of the Air Force Systems Command, the Foreign Scientific and Technological Center of the Army Materiel Command and the Scientific and Technological Intelligence Center of ONI.


The primary areas of relations between our support directorate and DIA are in the security and training fields. There is close coordination and exchange between our Office of Training and the DIA training effort including a full-time CIA officer at the Defense Intelligence School. DIA has been most cooperative and effective in the security field in such matters as special security control systems, surveys, etc.


DIA’s work in the estimative field has been responsive, cordial and cooperative but reflects a need for experienced officers in the estimative fields with depth and continuity in substantive intelligence. (It is recognized that this is hard to achieve in a relatively new organization dependent on the services for its personnel and we are well aware of General Carroll’s intensive efforts in this field.) DIA is responsive to spot requests for specific information and briefings in the production of estimates. Good lines of communication have been established and the CIA/DIA working group has been a good device. However, contributions to military estimates are uneven in quality and we are consequently shaky on a myriad of military questions in the Far East, with considerable uncertainties on the reliability of our Order of Battle on Communist China. Finally, more and more dependence is being placed on CIA’s Office of Research and Reports for estimates of production of military equipment, which perhaps they are best qualified for, in relation to DIA, because of their depth in the economic area.

Watch Committee (Sheldon)

DIA’s widespread Indications organization provides rapid and effective screening of indicators and assists the overall effort. The DIA 24-hour [Page 484] watch is energetic, consistent, and operates on the highest priority basis. We would urge closer coordination between the DIA representatives on the Watch Committee and the producers of the Defense Intelligence Summary for the purpose of reaching unified analytical judgments.

COMOR (Reber)

DIA has facilitated COMOR action by serving as a focal point for DOD in all collection matters and the DIA representatives have been cooperative in the coordination effort.

JAEIC (Chamberlain)

DIA has been rebuilding the competence in the nuclear energy intelligence effort and has hired some good civilians and hopefully is getting some good military personnel. There is a need for depth and analysis and for closer coordination between the production center and the Directorate for Science and Technology. CIA has helped train DIA analysts and we will continue to give all the assistance we can.

SIC—Scientific Intelligence Committee (Weber)

DIA has made a good effort to speak with a unified military voice in this area, but there is still a question as to where the true expertise rests. This was graphically illustrated on NIE 11–84 with regard to the submarine capability where the expertise rested exclusively with the Navy. CIA is not so much concerned as to where the expertise resides as it is with how quickly this can be made available in the estimative procedure.

GMAIC (Duckett)

The basic Missile and Space Analysis capability still resides in the departments, which are cooperative in providing special studies, and CIA is appreciative that the channels are kept open for this purpose. As mentioned above, there is a need for greater in-house capabilities in DIA in the missile and space field.

CODIB—Committee on Documentation and Information (Borel)

DIA is responsive and active in this field and we noted above the requirement for retrieval capability.

CCPC (Reynolds)

DIA has provided a dynamic and constructive approach to the efforts of the Critical Collection Problems Committee.

[Page 485]

[1 heading and 3 lines of source text not declassified]

EIC—Economic Intelligence Committee (Guthe)

DIA has provided an excellent job at the EIC level and promptly assists in providing members to the subcommittees.

Security (Osborn)

DIA has provided a central point for cooperation and has developed considerable expertise in this field.

NIS—National Intelligence Survey (Bower)

DIA has absorbed the responsibilities for all service inputs to the National Intelligence Surveys and is meeting its deadlines in a satisfactory manner as to time and quality.

Lyman Kirkpatrick
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01676R, Evaluation of DIA 1964. Secret. A copy was sent to the DDCI. A note on the memorandum indicates it was noted by McCone and Walt Elder.
  2. McCone requested the information for a meeting on December 22 with Admiral Wellborn. Following a discussion with McCone about the upcoming meeting, John Bross of CIA wrote Kirkpatrick a memorandum on December 15, in which he stated that “the DCI supports the concept of DIA and feels that it ought to be strengthened” but “will take the position that DIA should concentrate on essentially military intelligence activities and should leave to CIA the responsibility for activities which extend beyond strictly military implications.” (Ibid.)
  3. In a December 4 memorandum to Kirkpatrick, on which this section is based, Paul Borel, Assistant Deputy Director, Intelligence/Management, also stated that “the establishment of DIA has provided CIA with one focal point to which to turn on matters requiring collection by Department of Defense resources. In this regard, DIA has effected noteworthy improvements in responsiveness and effectiveness, which have resulted in more timely and valuable DOD reporting on significant intelligence problems.” Borel noted, however, that “it is our impression that DIA has not yet developed an effective methodology for integrating the views of the various elements of DOD on intelligence matters. On occasion, DIA seems to have sought a surface unity among the military by incorporating, as its own, views which otherwise would have emerged as individual service dissents; on other occasions, the result has been a suppression of differences which, if submitted as individual service views, would have been more fully explored on a community-wide basis.” (Ibid.)
  4. NIE 11–8–64, “Soviet Capabilities for Strategic Attack,” October 8, 1964. For text of the summary and conclusions, see Donald Steury, ed., Intentions and Capabilities: Estimates on Soviet Strategic Forces, 1950–1983, pp. 191–198.