258. Memorandum From the Deputy to the Director of Central Intelligence for National Intelligence Programs Evaluation (Bross) to Director of Central Intelligence Helms1


  • DCI Control of the United States Intelligence Board (USIB) Committees
As has been sometimes said of CIA, the achievements and successes of USIB committees go unheralded while their inadequacies and mistakes are well known. I think that COMOR, for example, over the past four years has done an impressive job of sorting out the various requirements for coverage by different systems and providing general program guidance. It deals with complicated programs and conflicting and contentious customers and the record, in my opinion, is nothing to be ashamed of. No committee, however, is likely to achieve a very impressive record in the systems analysis/cost effectiveness field. Dissatisfaction with USIB committees stems in large measure of course [Page 557] from the existence of a built-in military majority which on a straight basis of votes will determine most issues in which there is a conflict between the military and civilian views in favor of the military.
A pivotal question in assessing the value of USIB committees as managerial tools for use by the DCI in guiding and coordinating the community is the attitude of committee chairmen towards the DCI and the degree to which decisions of a committee are determined by majority vote or reflect the desires of the DCI. This question tends to become confused in the metaphysics surrounding the relations between the DCI as head of the community, the DCI as Chairman of USIB and the DCI as head of CIA.
As a practical matter, it seems to me that our objective should be to ensure that committee chairmen do in fact act as representatives of the DCI and that their responsibilities for developing a committee report, or a consensus, which is compatible with the DCI’s views and objectives should be established and enforced. In this connection, the concept of an “Executive Chairman” as advanced by General Maxwell Taylor has some validity. As in the case of an “Executive Chairman,” it should be the chairman of a USIB committee’s responsibility to determine a policy or reach a decision. The burden then falls upon other members of the committee who disagree to register a formal dissent. If things are working properly, the views of the Chairman and the views of the CIA member are unlikely to be in conflict. Assurance in this respect would be improved if Jack Smith’s suggestions with respect to the importance of improving arrangements for internal coordination within CIA of matters coming before USIB were adopted.
Much of the answer to the problem lies, it seems to me, in the selection and indoctrination of committee chairmen, to which the following is relevant.
All committee chairmen should be CIA employees and housed permanently in Langley where they are available to the DCI. GMAIC, for which Howard Stoertz has been proposed, is the only chairmanship open at the moment. All other chairmen are in fact CIA or DCI (General Reynolds and Mr. Roosevelt) employees.
Individual committee chairmen should be advised of the importance of soliciting general DCI guidance concerning the policies and objectives which they are to pursue in committee deliberations. This does not mean that they should not listen to or attempt to accommodate the views of other departments or military services. On the contrary, one of their functions is to keep the DCI and his immediate staff informed about community attitudes and developments in the area of a particular committee’s jurisdiction. A committee chairman would be acting within the scope of his authority in presenting service views to CIA senior offi cials [Page 558] or to the DCI very forcefully, even if these views are opposed to those of an element of CIA. Where, however, there is a difference, it should be resolved in such a manner as to conform to DCI policy and philosophy, which must be ascertained and then made effective.
It is essential to establish through whom, how and when guidance shall be provided to individual chairmen. Under existing procedures, as I understand them, guidance is provided to the CIA members of USIB committees by the DDI. The chairmen of certain committees (notably SIGINT, WATCH, CCPC and TSCC) all now have more or less immediate direct personal access to the DCI. I believe that the chairmen of COMOR and CODIB should be added to this list and located so that personal access to the DCI will be facilitated. DCI guidance concerning positions to be taken by committee chairmen should be provided under circumstances which afford the DDI an adequate opportunity to express views (which presumably would be identical with the views of CIA committee members). Responsibility for providing DCI guidance to the other committees (EIC, SIC, IPC, IDC, JAEIC, etc.) could be delegated to the Deputy Director in whose directorate the particular chairman is located.
John A. Bross 2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01676R, United States Intelligence Board. Secret.
  2. Printed from a copy that indicates Bross signed the original.