196. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms to the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Taylor)1


  • Annual Report on Coordination of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Effort
[Page 406]
I submit herewith my report on developments relating to the coordination of the U.S. foreign intelligence effort during the past year.
Last year I introduced my report with some preliminary observations about the complexity of the arrangements through which the intelligence activities of the Department of Defense were supervised and managed. I pointed out that substantially all intelligence activities in the Defense Department are funded through three major defense intelligence programs which are now constituted as follows:
SIGINT activities are carried out under the general over-all direction of the Director, NSA, in the Consolidated Cryptologic Program (CCP) at a cost in FY 1970 of [dollar amount not declassified].
The National Reconnaissance Program (NRP), in which CIA, the Air Force and other agencies of the government participate, functions under the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and is funded in FY 1970 at [dollar amount not declassified].
Other intelligence operations of the Defense Department, including peripheral reconnaissance, mapping and charting, service attachés, clandestine collection and other activities generally supervised by the Director, DIA, are funded through the Consolidated Intelligence Program (CIP) at a cost in FY 1970 of [dollar amount not declassified].
These programs were administered and supervised by the Deputy Secretary of Defense through different staff channels and as of last year no very satisfactory arrangements existed for the interrelationship of these three separate programs nor for an integrated review of problems common to all three. Responsibility for coordinating and evaluating the responsiveness of these programs to our common intelligence needs was seriously complicated by the lack of an adequate institutional framework through which common direction could be provided.
This problem was discussed on various occasions with the Secretary of Defense or his Deputy and various organizational solutions to the problem were suggested by different elements of the Defense Department and by my own representatives. I had a number of personal conversations on the subject with the present Secretary of Defense and his predecessor and their respective deputies. My own views were formally submitted to the present Secretary of Defense in the context of my comments on the Eaton report. In substance I recommended the designation of a Special Assistant for Intelligence who would be exclusively concerned with intelligence resource matters and would report directly to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
The recommendations finally adopted by the Secretary of Defense differed in certain respects from my own views in that they established an existing Assistant Secretary (the Assistant Secretary for Administration) as the authority charged with supervision and coordination of Defense Department intelligence activities. Time may prove [Page 407] that, given the complexity, importance and sensitivity of intelligence activities, it is not the best solution to combine responsibility for supervision of these activities with responsibility for the many other functions of any existing Assistant Secretary. I personally believe that it is unlikely that any individual will be able to perform the functions presently assigned to an Assistant Secretary and be able also to devote adequate attention to the problems of the Defense Department in the intelligence community. I believe, however, that the Secretary of Defense’s decision to assign this responsibility to Mr. Froehlke, at least initially, is a definite step in the right direction and that it will serve very substantially to modify, if not totally eliminate, the difficulties resulting from lack of centralization of control of the Defense Department programs which I described last year.
As part of the new arrangements designed to strengthen managerial supervision of Defense Department intelligence activities and relate these activities as closely as possible to the needs of the community as a whole, it has been decided that Mr. Froehlke will replace the Director, DIA, as the Defense Department member of the National Intelligence Resources Board (NIRB). As I mentioned last year, the purpose of this Board is to provide me with informed advice concerning the need for individual activities or systems. The NIRB depends upon USIB for authoritative guidance concerning the community’s requirements for information and their priorities. It is charged with responsibility for advising me in general terms whether the data acquired or anticipated from particular activities is really responsive to these informational requirements, and it develops judgments as to whether available or planned resources are worth their cost in light of the informational returns which they provide. In formulating its judgments, the NIRB is authorized to deal directly with the USIB committee structure and to task elements of the community. It has relied primarily on my National Intelligence Programs Evaluation Staff (NIPE) for staff support.
I believe that the Board will be greatly strengthened by Mr. Froehlke’s presence as a member.
The organizational improvements described above appear to me to be particularly significant developments during the period covered by this report. I believe that developments under the following headings are of continuing interest to the PFIAB.

[Omitted here is the remainder of the memorandum.]

Richard Helms 2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry Files, Job 80–R01284A, Box 14, Folder 8, ER Files—DCI Chron, 1969. Top Secret; Handle via Byeman Comint Control Systems Jointly; Handle via Talent-Keyhole Channels Only.
  2. Printed from a copy that indicates Helms signed the original.