213. Editorial Note

At a meeting on October 20, 1970, Robert Froehlke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Administration and Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Action Committee, presented four possible ways of organizing intelligence in the Department of Defense in response to the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel’s recommendations (see Document 211). The four alternatives are detailed below. Attending the meeting were Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Lieutenant General Robert Cushman and John Bross of the Central Intelligence Agency, Ray Cline of the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Gerard Burke of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, James Schlesinger of the Office of Management and Budget, and Vice Admiral John Weinel of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Froehlke indicated that his mind was still open but he “tended towards alternative 3.” (Memorandum from Froehlke to the Secretaries of the Military Departments, October 21; Washington National Records Center, RG 330 OSD Files: FRC 330 76 67, 350.09 1970) Froehlke invited those present at the meeting to submit comments on the alternatives and expressed the hope that Secretary Laird would make a decision by early December. (Memorandum from Wayne Smith to Kissinger, November 27; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 239, Defense—Blue Ribbon Defense Panel)

Cushman responded in a November 2 memorandum to Froehlke (Document 214) that alternatives 1, 2, and 4 were “clearly impractical at this time” and that alternative 3, while probably feasible, had “serious problems.” Cline replied more positively in his November 2 memorandum to Froehlke: “In reviewing your alternatives, I find that we lean strongly toward alternative three. It has many merits, and would avoid the bureaucratic upheaval that would occur if you tried to move immediately to alternative four—which appears to be a not unreasonable long-term goal.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 239, Defense—Blue Ribbon Defense Panel) Admiral Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, questioned the [Page 456] need for any reorganization at all in his November 7 memorandum to Secretary Laird (Document 215). Burke opined in his October 20 memorandum to Admiral Anderson, Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, that “with the possible exception of alternative #3 (and I have concern about that one, too), I personally feel that these alternatives are at best unrealistic.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 239, Defense—Blue Ribbon Defense Panel) In commenting on Froehlke’s proposals in a November 27 memorandum to Henry Kissinger, Wayne Smith of the National Security Council staff stated: “As you might expect, all the alternatives are the same—all establish an Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) with not only staffing and programming capabilities but also line responsibilities over NSA, DIA, and the National Reconnaissance Program. PFIAB has sent you a copy of the Froehlke alternatives and a memorandum describing all of these alternatives as ‘objectionable in whole or in part’ and recommending that such decisions be taken by the NSC because of their community-wide implications.” Smith’s and PFIAB’s memoranda are ibid.

Printed below are descriptions of the four alternatives that Froehlke sent to the intelligence officials on October 20. Froehlke distributed the same material to the Department of Defense officials. Omitted from this material are organizational flow charts for each alternative, lists of pros and cons for each alternative, and a Concept Paper on the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Alternative 1:

“The objective of this alternative is to describe an organization which adheres to the BRDP recommendations to the greatest extent possible. To do so, the proposed organization would establish an ASD(I) whose office would become the DoD center for intelligence with both line and staff responsibilities. He would be the Director of Defense Intelligence. These responsibilities would create a requirement for a sizeable staff with line and staff functions. However, these positions could be drawn from within the DoD intelligence community as a result of restructuring actions. (This would probably be met with something less than enthusiasm.)

“Under this alternative it is assumed that all Defense intelligence activities are subordinate to an ASD(I) including national programs currently managed elsewhere within the Department of Defense. However, there would be no immediate transfer of responsibility for the management of organic theater intelligence resources to the ASD(I). Decisions regarding these would not be undertaken pending establishment of the ASD(I) in order that these decisions could be made with his approval.

“Two major organizations are directly subordinate to the ASD(I). The first is the Defense Security Command (DSECC), charged with the responsibility [Page 457] for all defense intelligence collection activity. The second is the Defense Intelligence Production Agency (DIPA), responsible for all defense intelligence production activity. Collection, processing and production currently being performed by DIA, NSA, the national programs and the Services would be delineated by ASD(I) and subordinated to these two major activities. The Director, NSA would be double hatted, also serving as the Commander, Defense Security Command. The Service cryptologic agencies would report to the Commander DSECC. The Director, DIA would become Director Defense Intelligence Production Agency. Both the Commander, DSECC, and Director, DIPA would have command and/or operational control of all subordinate organizations.

“The ASD(I) would represent DoD on USIB and NIRB. He would appoint representatives to the USIB committees from any subordinate DoD intelligence organization on a ‘best qualified’ basis. These representatives would be DoD representatives—not agency or Service representatives.

“A single change has been made to BRDP recommendations in this alternative. This involves the recommended establishment of a Defense Investigative Service (DIS) as a subordinate element of the Defense Security Command. Analysis of this proposal leads to the conclusion that (1) it is desirable for the ASD(I) to have policy responsibility for all aspects of security and counterintelligence and (2) this activity is not within the general functional area of collection. The creation of such a DIS may not be practicable, and its subordination (if created) to the command charged with collection (DSECC) does not appear to be practicable. Therefore, Alternative #1 would simply combine the responsibility for policies in the fields of Security Classification, Investigation and Counterintelligence at the ASD(I) level with operations retained in the Services. The establishment of a Defense Investigative Service would be the subject of further analysis.”

Alternative 2:

“The objective of this alternative is to describe an organization which is consistent with the majority of BRDP Intelligence Annex recommendations yet varies in certain areas. Specifically, the national programs would not be subordinate to the DSECC, but would report directly to ASD(I), and as in Alternative #1, there would not initially be a Defense Investigative Service.

“Under this concept, the ASD(I) would have full operational control of DSECC, DIPA and the national programs. The ASD(I) would have both line and staff responsibilities. The organization would differ from that in Alternative #1 in two ways:

  • “(1) The Director, NSA would not also be the Commander DSECC.
  • “(2) The Commander DSECC would not control the national programs.

[Page 458]

“The ASD(I), as in Alternative #1, would represent DoD on USIB and NIRB, appointing representatives to USIB committees from subordinate DoD intelligence activities on a ‘best qualified’ basis.

“Decisions regarding any changes in responsibility for the management of organic theater intelligence resources would be made by SecDef upon recommendations of ASD(I) and the JCS.”

Alternative 3:

“Alternative #3 describes an organization which is structured to achieve some—but not all—of the BRDP recommendations with a minimum of upheaval in the immediate time frame.

“Conceptually, an ASD(I) would be established whose office would become a focal point for DoD intelligence. The ASD(I) direction and control responsibilities would be those recommended in the BRDP Report and outlined in Alternatives #1 and #2.

“Under this alternative the major deviation from the BRDP Report is found at lower echelons. The DSECC and DIPA would not be created. A review of the NSCID’s and DoD Directives indicates that the significant problems highlighted by the BRDP have not resulted primarily from organizational deficiencies. The situation has been compounded by the lack of an OSD level manager other than the Secretary/Deputy Secretary. Therefore, under this alternative, NSA and DIA continue to function as they do now except for the following changes:

  • “1. ASD(I) is the principal DoD representative to the USIB and he would appoint—as in the other alternatives—the DoD committee representatives.
  • “2. NSA’s responsibilities in the SIGINT environment will be explicitly defined by the Secretary. This would require a review of existing national and DoD Directives with subsequent recommendations.
  • “3. DIA would not report through the JCS to the Secretary but through the ASD(I). The JCS would then require internal intelligence staff support.
  • “4. The DIA charter would be revised to strengthen DIA’s management role which has been acknowledged tacitly and ignored practically.

“As in Alternatives #1 and #2, policy responsibilities for security classification and procedures (to include special access systems), investigations and counterintelligence activities would be centered in the OASD(I) with consideration given to the establishment of the DIS as an agency reporting to the Secretary, through the ASD(I).

“The intelligence collection and production functions currently being performed by the Services will be examined, and as applicable, subordinated to the Director, DIA.”

Alternative 4:

“Alternative #4 describes an organization which is structured substantially the same as that proposed by the BRDP. However, it is presented [Page 459] as an alternative which would achieve the Panel’s principal goals through a more centralized approach than proposed by the BRDP.

“Under this concept the ASD(I) would be established. The ASD(I) would be the principal intelligence, counterintelligence and security staff officer. He would direct all DoD intelligence activities not specifically declared by the Secretary to be organic to combatant forces. His staff would, of necessity, be large. He would be the DoD representative on USIB and would appoint representatives to USIB committees from subordinate agencies.

“Immediately subordinate would be three intelligence activities:

  • “(1) The Defense Intelligence Operations Agency (DIOA).
  • “(2) The Defense Intelligence Production Agency (DIPA).
  • “(3) The Defense Intelligence Support Agency (DISA).

“The Defense Intelligence Operations Agency would supervise all intelligence collection, reconnaissance and surveillance operations. The Director would also be the Director, NSA. The Service cryptologic agencies and technical sensor activities would be under the operational control of the Director DIOA. The directors of the national programs would also be under the operational control of the Director DIOA.

“All intelligence production activities would be subordinate to the Director, Defense Intelligence Production Agency (DIPA), who would exercise operational control. The DIPA would provide current intelligence and production, support to SecDef, OSD, defense agencies, JCS, and the Service ACSI’s. The Director DIPA would act as the alternate DoD representative on USIB. As directed by ASD(I) he would coordinate collection priorities to satisfy intelligence consumer requirements.

“The third agency which would be created under this concept would be the Defense Intelligence Support Agency. The purposes of this agency would be to provide common support services to the Defense intelligence community, to be the focal point for all intelligence R&D, and to provide a headquarters for counterintelligence and security operations. Finally, the DISA could provide common technical services in the field of ELINT analysis, image interpretation, translation, and ADP. Among the common services for which the DISA could be made responsible are the following: personnel services, intelligence career development programs, pay and finances, training/schools, computer services, purchasing and contracting, external contract services, administrative services, communications support, supply and logistics support, graphic arts support, printing support, security guard support, security clearances support, libraries and publications, special security support, and transportation services.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330 76 67, 350.09 1970)