256. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Meeting Notes on the First Meeting of the NSCIC Working Group, December 13, 1971 (1430)


Mr. Bronson Tweedy—Chairman

NSC Staff

Mr. Andrew Marshall

State Dept.

Dr. Ray Cline, Mr. Seymour Weiss

Defense Dept.

Dr. Albert Hall (ASD/I), Vice Admiral John Weinel (J–5/JCS), Lt. General Donald

V. Bennett (DIA)

Justice Dept.

Mr. Robert C. Mardian


Dr. E.W. Proctor, Mr. Carl E. Duckett, Mr. John W. Huizenga


Mr. Richard Curl (State Dept)

Capt. James S. Brunson, USN (J–5)

Mr. Paul Walsh (DDI/CIA)

Mr. T. Parrot (NIPE Staff)

Mr. W.E. Seidel (NIPE Staff)

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Mr. Tweedy opened the meeting with a review of the NSCIC meeting of 3 December.2 Particular attention was directed to three items.

Dr. Kissinger’s request that each NSCIC member prepare a statement of his organization’s requirements for intelligence.
The feedback from Consumer Product Evaluation and the mechanisms and processes to achieve it.
The question of tactical intelligence.

Mr. Tweedy directed the group’s attention to the first two items and asked Mr. Marshall to open the discussion and provide the group with his views.

Mr. Marshall stated that the initial problem was to devise some systematic method of arriving at consumer needs. He pointed out that consumer need can be (1) a broad area related not only to an expression of the country and subject involved but also to an expression of the policy problems associated with the need, (2) some idea of how the consumer would like the intelligence to be presented in terms of outline or format, and (3) the depth of analysis required.

Mr. Marshall also pointed out that one may want to consider not only current needs of consumers but also the expectations with respect to policy problems and needs over the next four or five years.

Mr. Marshall concluded this discussion of consumer needs by stating that he had no fixed views with respect to the manner in which consumer needs were to be reported and monitored. He felt that there were two basic approaches, the first a systematic cataloging of needs by consumer with some expression of the consumer’s view of the relative importance, and second, an approach which selected specific needs and provided a detailed treatment.

With respect to product evaluation, Mr. Marshall discussed the subject briefly as it related to the needs question and noted that a detailed study of the production function and how it worked might be of considerable use.

The discussion which followed dealt with different aspects of the consumer need and product evaluation problem.

Dr. Hall asked if a definitive statement of the need input could be structured. He suggested a review of product output with respect to specific need, and/or postulating two or three changing situations with respect to need with an attempt to measure the impact of the intelligence apparatus directed against the change.

Mr. Tweedy remarked that one approach might be by type of product such as NIE’s with specific consumer feedback as to the change desired.

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Mr. Huizenga said that a system already exists to solicit identification of gaps and new areas of effort desired in the NIE’s. He pointed out that DIA and INR also had such mechanisms. Mr. Huizenga also mentioned that the Military NIE’s had been restructured considerably in the past year in response to consumer requests. He suggested that this NIE output should be reviewed in terms of how well it met consumer needs.

Mr. Tweedy observed that the Presidential memo3 indicated some dissatisfaction with the intelligence product and stated that one would hope the group could devise a process to specifically identify areas of dissatisfaction.

Dr. Proctor suggested that the body of NIE’s and NSSM responses was a good place to start, analyzing them for both strong points and shortcomings.

Mr. Huizenga proposed that Mr. Marshall might find it useful to make a survey of dissatisfaction in specific product cases.

Mr. Marshall said that in general much of the criticism dealt with a lack of depth in the response and analysis. He indicated as an example, the Soviet decision making analysis approach.

Admiral Weinel stated that the group ought to be specific in identifying the consumer, particularly with respect to echelon. He suggested that NSCIC consumer needs did not relate to third and fourth echelon staff officers but did relate to the Department Secretaries as an example. Admiral Weinel noted that lower echelons had a tendency to inflate needs considerably.

Mr. Tweedy said that he would also include the echelon immediately below the Secretary. For example, the Assistant Secretaries.

Mr. Cline said he had spent 30 years in intelligence attempting to determine what consumers wanted. He noted that merely asking a consumer, “What do you want?” is of little or no value. Mr. Cline suggested that the entire problem of consumer need and product response and evaluation should be built around a case method which would not only offer a problem-oriented capability but would also result in a body of experience and precedents for dealing with specific problems. Mr. Cline suggested that the group recommend to NSCIC the use of this problem-oriented approach as opposed to an abstract process which merely classified the types of needs and products.

Mr. Duckett felt that a matrix might be constructed with evaluations based upon (1) product type, (2) geographic orientation, (3) subject orientation, and so forth. In this manner, Mr. Duckett noted, one could find the highest degree of dissatisfaction in such product type areas as [Page 580] current intelligence, weapons system intelligence, political intelligence, etc. The same could be done for the other variables in the matrix. Mr. Dickett said he believed one had to pick the problem areas first in such an approach and gave the example of the India-Pakistan problem.

General Bennett stated that product evaluation should deal with outputs related to the validity of the evidence and the validity of the analysis. They should, he urged, contain definitive statements—”I don’t like this because—.” He noted the needs of feedback in the case of the JSOP and short term objectives (six months).

Dr. Hall pointed out that the Defense effort had a primary interest in future consumer needs and the intelligence capability to cope with those needs.

Mr. Marshall suggested that the group review current efforts in the community dealing with consumer needs such as (a) the draft DCID 1/2 on Objectives and Priorities, and (b) Lloyd Belt’s Project Alpha.

Mr. Weiss suggested an exercise which pulled together community requirements and described (1) what they are, (2) how obtained, (3) whose they are and, (4) what is done with them?

Mr. Cline inquired if each consumer represented on the group was going to submit an expression of his needs. He stated that the State Department was preparing such a needs list along with an expression of its dissatisfaction with the response to date.

Mr. Tweedy proposed that, all consumers on the group submit such an expression of their needs. It was agreed.

Mr. Tweedy also requested that the producers input some aids as to what it is they wish to see critiqued and evaluated. It was agreed.

(Admiral Weinel and Dr. Hall were obliged to leave at 1540 hours and were not present for the remainder of the meeting.)

Mr. Tweedy turned to the Tactical Intelligence problem and distributed a memorandum to the Working Group (see attachment A)4 for their consideration.

Mr. Weiss noted that the memo appeared to leave no role to the NSCIC in dealing with tactical intelligence. He stated that there was a feeling on the part of NSC policy makers that tactical intelligence has escaped from any control. Tactical intelligence, he said, is felt to be a competing activity relative to national intelligence and should be subject to some broader purview such as the NSCIC. Mr. Weiss stated that this was not a desire on the part of any policy maker to directly control tactical intelligence but merely a desire to look at the problem. Mr. Weiss indicated that he believed this was the view expressed by [Page 581] Mr. Kissinger at the 3 December meeting. Mr. Marshall agreed to this view.

Mr. Cline suggested that a requirement ought to be added to the memo requesting the Secretary of Defense to present a review of the entire tactical intelligence program to the NSCIC.

Mr. Tweedy offered the view that the group propose that NSCIC request the Secretary of Defense to make tactical intelligence judgments available to NSCIC.

Both Messrs. Cline and Weiss agreed that their principal would like to be informed on the tactical intelligence effort and its rationales.

Mr. Tweedy, in preparing to adjourn, reiterated, (1) Consumer Need Statements were to be submitted before January 17, 1972, and (2) the producer members would submit information on current requirement systems and their desires with respect to product evaluation before January 17, 1972.

Dr. Proctor suggested that the group also solicit consumer need inputs from Commerce and Treasury. Mr. Tweedy said this was desirable but, not before the group had organized its own effort.

Mr. Marshall agreed to communicate with Mr. Tweedy on Mr. Kissinger’s plans for an NSCIC meeting. It was agreed that the Working Group would meet as soon as possible following Mr. Marshall’s return to Washington on January 17, 1972.

The meeting was adjourned at 1630.

WE Seidel
  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, NSCIC–NSCIC Working Group (1971–1974). Secret. The minutes were drafted in CIA on December 16. Tweedy forwarded a copy to Cline under cover of a December 17 memorandum. (Ibid.)
  2. Document 251.
  3. Document 242.
  4. Attached but not printed.