270. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1


  • Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board Report on Economic Intelligence

In June 1971 you asked the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) to study U.S. economic intelligence. The Board believes economic intelligence has not received sufficient attention since World War II, a reflection of the economic dominance of the U.S. and the priority granted political and military matters. The underlying situation has changed drastically in recent years and the U.S. can no longer afford to neglect economic intelligence in their view.

The Board recommends that:

  • —Economic intelligence should be treated as an essential element of national security.
  • —The DCI take the lead in developing a broad new concept of economic intelligence, and see that collection priorities and intelligence resource allocations be altered accordingly.
  • —A review of the quality and quantity of economic representation and reporting abroad be undertaken.
  • —The Council on International Economic Policy develop procedures to provide information and assistance to business and commercial organizations.
  • —Treasury and Commerce should consider establishing intelligence offices or bureaus.

The Board’s report has been sent for comment to State, Treasury, Commerce, DCI, OMB, and the Assistant to the President for International Economic Policy. All agree with the Board’s general diagnosis of the increased importance of economic intelligence and the less than adequate attention given to it in the past. Measures are being taken to improve the situation.

For the moment the Board is, I believe, satisfied by the progress being made. The newly created NSC Intelligence Committee Working Group is surveying current developments in the economic intelligence area. I will report any important findings to you.

Attached as Tab A is the full report should you care to read it.2

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 276, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Vol. VI. Secret; Sensitive; Noforn. Sent for information. Drafted by Marshall. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. Tab A is attached but not printed. Copies of the agency comments on the PFIAB report and Marshall’s April 18 memorandum discussing the report are ibid.