194. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Talk by Colonel Alexander M. Haig, Senior Military Adviser to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
Colonel Haig spoke on the evening of 15 September to the combined CIA military reservists and other interested CIA personnel. His subject: “The Role of the White House in the Conduct of National Security Affairs.”
The most interesting portion of Colonel Haig’s talk came about mid-way. He said that at the beginning of the new administration it became obvious to him and to Dr. Kissinger that “CIA wanted control over the intelligence getting to the President.” Haig then went into a long song of praise for the high quality and timeliness of the CIA product that goes to the White House. But, he went on, the President did not want CIA to have exclusive control over intelligence material reaching him. The President, Haig explained, feels “the intelligence community is best served by a certain degree of competition.”
Each morning the NSC staff sends a “presidential brief” to the President’s office. CIA provides “the foundation” of this, but inputs are added from the Department of State and “others.” In addition, the NSC staff itself adds “substantive analysis on operational matters.” During the course of the day additional “ad hoc” information is passed to the President when its importance warrants.
The Situation Room at the White House is small and efficient, “but as battalion commander I had one 20 times as large,” Colonel Haig stated. He added that he would like to “improve” the White House Situation Room “when funds become available.” One thing he would like to add is some equipment for “the storage and immediate retrieval” of information.

[Omitted here is Haig’s discussion of the National Security Council system.]

[name not declassified]
Deputy Chief
Western Hemisphere Division, OCI
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80–R01580R, Box 1, Folder 2, White House. Secret. Drafted on September 23.