250. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Irwin) to Secretary of State Rogers1


  • NSC Intelligence Committee Meeting (NSCIC)

The first meeting of the NSCIC was held this afternoon.2 It was devoted to a generalized discussion of what the Committee would attempt to do, and how it would operate. In brief, it was agreed that, consistent with the President’s directive establishing the Committee, it would attempt to “give direction and guidance on National substantive intelligence needs and provide for a continuing evaluation of intelligence products” from the point of view of the policy maker/consumer. Each agency was asked to provide a list of those intelligence requirements which should be accorded highest priority, as well as identify those intelligence activities which are of marginal importance to it. This exercise is to be completed in about 10 days, with the next Committee meeting to take place in approximately two weeks.3

There was also some discussion of the desirability of identifying “tactical intelligence” (that is, intelligence utilized by the military commanders in the field) and keeping it outside the intelligence budget, i.e., in the military services budget as it has been in the past. Dick Helms indicated that Senator Ellender was pressing hard for this procedure so that the consolidated intelligence program budget would not look so large. There was a general expression of agreement in principle to this approach. Henry asked Defense for a paper describing its conclusions on how to deal with some of the tactical intelligence programs.

It is obviously too early to judge how useful a contribution this new Committee can make. It could provide the Department with a forum, which it has to some extent lacked in the past, for expressing our views on requirements which we have as well as identifying areas of [Page 563] negligible interest. In any event, I have instructed INR and S/PC to handle this matter on the most restricted basis possible, consistent with an active State participation in this Committee. Until we learn more about its operation and utility, I think it sensible to keep those in State who are involved, to a minimum.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 1 US. Secret. Drafted by Weiss on December 3, cleared by Cline, and forwarded to Rogers on December 4. The date and time of the meeting are from Kissinger’s Record of Schedule, December 3. (Library of Congress, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) For another record of the same meeting, see Document 251.
  2. Although the memorandum is dated December 4, the meeting actually took place on the afternoon of December 3.
  3. The NSCIC did not meet again in 1971 or 1972.