265. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (Hall) to Secretary of Defense Laird1


  • Staffing of the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)

Based upon experience since my appointment in November and a review of functions of the office to implement my Charter,2 I have developed some convictions about the staff efforts that have priority and the staffing levels and qualifications required to conduct them. This memorandum summarizes the situation as I see it.

In addition to certain management functions which are implicit in the establishment of the ASD(I) office and which will be discussed below, there are two which derive from the President’s policy stated in his 5 November 1971 memorandum.3 The first of these is the matter of DoD coordination with the DCI on intelligence matters. I believe that this will require particular care if it is to be done effectively. There should be a focal point for DoD support to the DCI and his staff, if your management of DoD intelligence resources is to remain unambiguous.

The second function deriving from the President’s memorandum, which is new and which I believe it is necessary to address explicitly, is the matter of necessary staff support for the OSD representation on the NSCIC. The purpose of NSCIC is to provide a means of objectively evaluating the intelligence product from the point of the consumer rather than that of the producer, and although this function is not new, a case can be made that it has not been carried out very effectively. I believe this function could be strengthened by conducting studies on the use that intelligence has served in specific situations, and as you know, I have proposed such a study of crisis situations. While such studies should be few in number, they must be professionally carried out if we are to learn lessons that we can use.

In addition to the above two activities related to the Presidential memorandum, the following functions are to be undertaken in my office to fulfill the role which you have assigned it.

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1) Net Threat Assessment

Your decision to highlight the function of Net Assessment and your assignment of the role of Net Threat Assessment to my office will require a few highly competent people assigned to this endeavor. We should, from this office, develop policies and methods of thinking to insure that the intelligence community involves itself in net threat assessments to a far greater extent and more competently than it now does. My staff should review what is being done in this area now, determine what effort is needed and its priority, and encourage the development of this capability broadly in the intelligence community. This will require sponsoring directly certain studies which would serve as models to be followed elsewhere. If we are successful in carrying out this function, we should be able to provide you with more meaningful estimates, support other elements of DoD involved in making net assessments, improve the quality of intelligence support to the R&D community, and uncover intelligence needs and hopefully do something about them.

2) Warning and the WWMCCS Council

The DoD Directive 5100.304 provides that the ASD(I) will be a member of this council and be responsible for the function of warning. To contribute to this vital need, a continuing review of current requirements and existing system capabilities is needed. We have a number of Defense systems now involved in this role, some essential and some which appear to be less so. Some of the systems may require modifications to improve their timeliness or reduce their vulnerability.

In addition to the above new functions, there are several functions which need to be strengthened that have existed in one form or another, either in my office or elsewhere in OSD. The three most important follow:

1) Technical Evaluation

I believe that our intelligence product, our collection resources, and our analytical capability need to be reviewed much more thoroughly. We need to review the intelligence product provided by DIA and NSA to satisfy ourselves that they conform to the highest standards of professionalism. We should determine which of our collection resources are providing the most important information, and if other resources may no longer be essential.

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2) R&D Reviews

I believe that the R&D effort in our intelligence programs needs to be reviewed particularly carefully to insure that we foresee our needs and work on projects which will lead to operational systems. Two general objectives, for example, which may be particularly important, are to find means to strengthen our tactical forces with better intelligence support and to find means by which we can improve our capability to foresee and handle crises. Dr. Foster has agreed that this function of R&D reviews should be carried out in my office and we, in turn, should support his need to have an overall review of the DoD R&D program.

3) Congressional Relations

It seems clear that substantially greater effort must be placed on this function by my office than heretofore. The underlying reasons are an apparent congressional suspicion of our intelligence efforts and the different role of DCI to Congress. To remedy this situation, we need to develop (and coordinate) principal and supporting testimony to appropriate congressional committees that convinces them that the different components of the intelligence budget are in balance and directly relatable to tangible intelligence needs.

The following is a summary of the personnel requirements to carry out the functions described above.

GS–16 & above
General officers GS–15 & below Military 06 & below Admin. Support Total
Required 10 2 14 15 25 67
Allocated 4 1 6 8 11 30
On-Board 3 1 6* 7 12 29
*Plus two on loan from NSA
Albert Hall5
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330 77 094, 020 Intelligence 1972. No classification marking.
  2. The Charter is Document 262.
  3. Document 242.
  4. “World-Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS),” December 2, 1971; see footnote 2, Document 262.
  5. Printed from a copy that indicates Hall signed the original.