226. Memorandum From the Director of the Program Analysis Staff, National Security Council (Smith) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Improved Liaison with CIA

A few days ago Andy Marshall saw Bronson Tweedy, one of Dick Helms’ intimates and one of his immediate subordinates as the head of the National Intelligence Program Evaluation staff. Tweedy is a distinguished clandestine service officer. Several times during the meeting Tweedy raised the question of how to improve feedback and communication between you and the intelligence community. The focus was on how your needs and views could be best obtained. Clearly, if you had the time you could do this best of all. But other demands preclude devoting the time necessary to the task of getting your needs across.

Tweedy raised again the idea of your having someone close to you, trusted by you, assume the role of conveying your thoughts, needs in general, detailed requirements of studies to someone Helms would put up, probably Tweedy. Andy promised to convey the proposal to me.

Do you want to try this way of operating? If so, you would need to designate someone you liked and trusted. He would have to see a lot of you and be in on a lot of things in order to do the job well. Can you think of some candidates who might fit the bill?

The job would also be time consuming. On selected issues we can get your needs across if we devote the necessary time to it. The impact on the last NIE 11–8 shows this.2 Much of the message as to what was wanted was pounded home through visits by members of my staff and by Andy Marshall to various offices in CIA early last year. It appears to take repeated reiteration and clarification of what is needed to make an impact when major changes in the product are wanted. If the number of issues we really care about each year were small, some [Page 486] improvement in current methods of interfacing with CIA would be enough. But I think you need more than this. The question is, is the notion of having someone close to you devoted almost full time to liaison with CIA a feasible, desirable option?

Now that we are considering major changes in the organization and management of the intelligence community, this problem of White House/community interface should be folded into the more detailed elaboration of the broad options that will be presented to the President soon. How to achieve product improvement, especially for the very highest level consumers should be focused on more sharply than it has been so far. I think we should take this up in the meeting with Shultz, Weinberger and Schlesinger on Wednesday.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 208, CIA, Vol. IV, Jan–Dec 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive. Sent for “urgent information.”
  2. National Intelligence Estimate 11–8–70, Soviet Forces for Intercontinental Attack, November 24, 1970. (Ibid., Subject Files, Box 360, National Intelligence Estimates) Cline commented on the estimate in a December 18, 1970, memorandum to Kissinger: “We have been eagerly awaiting the ‘new’ NIE, which has been tailor-made to try to meet criticisms voiced last Fall, by yourself among others, of previous models. I think this first installment is a pretty good job, although we will be able to tell better when the defensive force estimate is completed and an overall summary is drafted.” (Ibid.)
  3. Kissinger met with Shultz, Weinberger, Schlesinger, and Smith from 5:51 to 6:05 p.m. on Monday, February 22. (Library of Congress, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) No record of the discussion has been found.