239. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Shultz) and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Intelligence Community Improvement

Attached for your signature is a memorandum to the principal officers of the intelligence community announcing a series of changes in the organization and management of the intelligence community, designed to improve its responsiveness to policy-level intelligence needs, the quality and scope of its products, the efficiency of operations, and the allocation of resources. (Tab A)2

The changes are as follows:

A strengthened community-wide management role for the Director of Central Intelligence. This will require some changes in CIA management in order that the DCI can effectively delegate day-to-day operations of the CIA, and the creation of an analytic staff to assist the DCI in his leadership of the community. In this broader role, he would be responsible for planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating all intelligence programs and budget. He would continue to be responsible for the production of national intelligence.
A new NSC Intelligence Committee established primarily to review the substantive intelligence product and to give policy guidance on intelligence needs to the DCI and the community.
Two advisory groups to the DCI to support him in his stronger community-wide role:
  • —A new Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee which would advise him on the allocation of intelligence resources.
  • —A United States Intelligence Board which would advise him on the efficient use of existing collection assets and production of substantive intelligence.
A new Net Assessment Group within the NSC staff for reviewing and evaluating all intelligence products and for producing net assessments. This will require some additional office space in the EOB and four new personnel slots.
Establishment of a unified National Cryptologic Command under Director, NSA.
Functional realignment within Defense to accomplish certain consolidations. (Office of Defense Investigations and Defense Map Agency.)

These changes do not require legislation. They do not represent as sweeping a restructuring of the community as you considered earlier.

We anticipate many of these changes will be opposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military Services. We have not recommended a reorganization in top level Defense Department management of intelligence. However, the Secretary of Defense has already proposed (and Congress is likely to approve) the establishment of an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (ASD/I) who would assist the Secretary of Defense in reviewing and evaluating intelligence collection resources. The ASD/I would not be responsible for substantive intelligence; nor would he be in a position to influence it significantly since, even with the reorganization we are proposing, DIA, NRO and NSA would remain separate bodies and the Joint Chiefs would remain responsible for DIA substantive output.

The proposals we are making will also deflect Senator Ellender’s meat ax approach to reductions in the intelligence budget and give us time to identify the most marginal programs and make cuts where they are least harmful. Additional and more fundamental reorganization would require legislation.

To give the currently proposed measures the best chance to achieve your aims, we recommend that directives for the specific changes be accomplished by a strong statement as to your goals in making these changes. Thus you should also consider sending the attached letter to the DCI (Tab B)3 stating your goals and your views as to which of his many new tasks should receive priority. A meeting with the DCI and other intelligence principals to press home your views might also be desirable.

If you approve these changes, the OMB and NSC staffs will prepare revisions of the NSCIDs to incorporate the changes and oversee the implementation of the changes.


That you sign the memo to the Intelligence Principals at Tab A and the letter to Helms at Tab B.4

Henry A. Kissinger
George P. Schultz
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 333, Intelligence Reorganization, Vol. I. Top Secret; Byeman; Comint.
  2. Document 242.
  3. Document 240.
  4. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President approved it.