221. Memorandum From the Director of the Program Analysis Staff, National Security Council (Smith) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1
- Presidential Meeting with OMB on Intelligence Budget
As we discussed briefly on Saturday, OMB is preparing materials for a possible briefing of the President on intelligence programs and resources. You will be invited to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to present the CIA budget to the President for his decision and also to provide the President with an overview of the intelligence community’s total resources and trends for the period of 1964–1972.
As you know, the President has recently expressed his desire that intelligence resources be cut substantially. According to Weinberger he wants a [dollar amount not declassified] cut. OMB thinks that he may be considering a base broader than the approximate [dollar amount not declassified] level that will be directly addressed in the OMB briefing. The broader base could include Defense tactical intelligence and intelligence-related activities.
Although OMB does not intend to push for further reductions, it has prepared a listing of possible further cuts (Tab A).2 The OMB list is arrayed in three bands [1 line of source text not declassified] which increase in [Page 479] severity of impact upon priority needs and programs. The OMB staff has not recommended these additional reductions, believing strongly that a better quality intelligence product can be obtained within currently planned budget levels, if management and organization problems of the intelligence community are corrected. (The strongest supporter of this position is Schlesinger.)
For that reason the OMB briefing materials will also include a listing of some of those problems. The meeting with the President may be the appropriate forum to seek further guidance from him regarding a possible organizational study of the intelligence community—such a study is long overdue.
I recommend that you attend the briefing if possible. If it is not possible for you to attend, I recommend that you privately urge the President not to make such a large, arbitrary, across-the-board cut. In the absence of the necessary analysis to indicate where cuts can be made, a meat ax approach could be disastrous.