254. Memorandum for the Record1


  • The Central Security Service
[Page 574]

In commenting on the proposed plan to establish the Central Security Service,2 the Military Departments and DIA support the JCS views and objections. However, of the Departments, Air Force finds the concept the most objectionable, Navy supports completely the JCS position, and Army is the least vocal in their objections. In fact, Mr. Froehlke does not concur with the Army staff concerning placing the JCS in the chain of command between the CSS and SecDef.

NSA does not attempt to do a rewrite of the proposed Directive, but enunciates certain principles with which they assert the draft Directive is not consistent. In a nutshell, NSA would prefer to form a National Security System under DIRNSA, comprised of the NSA, the SCAs, and all other SIGINT activities and functions. DIRNSA would then respond to all requirements, and would meet the needs of military commanders as he (DIRNSA) determines to be the most effective means. He would maintain close liaison with the JCS and subordinate commanders, but any decision regarding the use of any SIGINT resources would be made by DIRNSA, as the single manager.

The major issues surfaced by the JCS, DIA and the Services involve the chain of command, direct support, mobile platform control, ELINT, and COMSEC monitoring. A rack-out of these issues is listed below:

Chain of Command. Except for Mr. Froehlke, the JCS, DIA and the Services strongly urge that the Chief, Central Security Service report to SecDef through the JCS to insure responsiveness to military requirements and to provide for rapid and orderly transition from peacetime to crisis or combat conditions. With this command structure JCS could also measure the military effectiveness of the CSS. Navy pointed out the need for centralized military direction to avoid Pueblo-type incidents.3
Direct Support. Directly related to their desire to place the JCS in the chain of command over the CSS is the Services’ fear that direct support will not be responsive to or available for their requirements. Air Force, recognizing that COMINT is the single most important source of intelligence, believes that the CSS structure would, instead of bringing the COMINT producer and the principal consumers closer together, actually reduce the interface between the cryptologic community and the military authorities, thereby reducing responsiveness to the needs of tactical commanders. Navy emphasized that direct support is essential to a military commander’s successful prosecution of his mission, but agreed that technical control is best exercised by a central cryptologic authority.
Mobile Platform Control. The Air Force urges that the Chief, CSS recommend to the JCS and appropriate military departments (vice specify) deployment, scheduling and mission profiles of mobile SIGINT collection platforms. The JCS and Navy recognize that the Chief, CSS will exercise SIGINT control of these platforms, but agree with the Air Force that deployments, etc. should be only in the form of recommendations. As reasons, the Air Force cites operational constraints and basing requirements and capabilities, while the Navy mentions functions of command and peculiarities of Navy operations.

ELINT. Quoted herewith is the JCS view:4

“The CSS should not be responsible for ‘conducting’ all SIGINT operations. Specifically, collection normally should be performed by the SCAs under SIGINT control of the CSS. The Joint Chiefs of Staff agree that establishment of the CSS will have its strongest operational impact in the field of ELINT operations. However, the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not agree that this reorganization will result in a ‘far more coherent ELINT effort, more efficient ELINT operation, and a more responsive output.’ The nature of noncommunications electromagnetic radiation activities requires that certain detection and intercept activities be integrated, or, as a minimum, be in direct-dedicated support to weapon systems and/or decision making requirements of operational commanders. Reaction time alone dictates this requirement. Removing these vital activities from the operational control of an operational commander will seriously inhibit his combat readiness.”

In addition, Air Force supplies a background paper on Service requirements for ELINT which recommends divorcing COMINT thinking from ELINT thinking in view of the completely different content, use, and interested audience for the two products.

Army, on the other hand, offers no comments, since Army employs ELINT resources only within its Service cryptologic agency.

COMSEC Monitoring. JCS, DIA, and the Services recommend deletion of any mention of COMSEC monitoring activities, primarily because the President’s memo of 5 November5 addressed only COMINT and ELINT. Also COMSEC monitoring is an integral part of Operations Security (OPSEC), which is a military commander’s responsibility. This is a point well taken; however, none of the Services comment on the fact that the SIGINT direct support unit resources actually perform the COMSEC monitoring activity as well. The Navy pointed out that NSA must provide COMSEC advice to the military departments. NSA makes no comment on COMSEC.
Title. DIA would prefer “Defense Cryptologic Service” or “Defense Security Service” since the CSS is intended to be predominantly associated with military activities and staffed overwhelmingly by [Page 576] military personnel. No mention is made of the CSS national SIGINT collection responsibility.

In summary, the JCS, DIA, Army, Navy and Air Force try to accommodate the establishment of the Central Security Service with the least change possible in the current manner in which the SCAs do business within their departments, and by insuring strong military (JCS) control over all CSS activities. NSA would prefer to take over everything, do the job, and perhaps report to the President, if he so directs. Except for NSA, no one wants to think SIGINT—it is still COMINT and ELINT.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330 76 197, 020 NSA 1971. Secret. The memorandum was prepared in Hall’s office but does not include drafting information. A notation on the memorandum indicates Packard saw it.
  2. See Document 252.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XXIX, Part I, Korea, Documents 212331.
  4. See Document 253.
  5. Document 242.