313. Memorandum From W. Anthony Lake of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


Attached at Tab A is a copy of a speech by Bill Macomber on State’s management strategy for the 1970’s.2 It was sent to you by Under Secretary Richardson. An acknowledgement to Richardson is at Tab B.3

I do not believe the speech is worth more than a quick skim.

The speech begins by admitting that State has failed, but must learn how to succeed, in its mission to “manage and orchestrate the overall spectrum of our Nation’s activities abroad.”

I frankly do not find much in the speech to indicate the radical reform I believe necessary for State to do so. In general, on the key [Page 699] difficult issues such as promotion policies and what to do about the top-heavy structure of the Service, Macomber says nothing very new and attempts to make everyone happy.

Some points worth noting:

  • —He emphasizes the need for greater competence and effort in trade promotion. State is apparently going to try hard to keep this away from Commerce.
  • Macomber rejects the idea of a Permanent Under Secretary, but hopes there will always be an FSO in either the Under Secretary or Deputy Under Secretary position.
  • Macomber states that the Under Secretaries Committee and IG’s present State with “an important opportunity to strengthen through our performance the constructive leadership role we covet as, of course, does the fact that the ranking departmental executive on the National Security Council is the Secretary of State.”
  • Macomber believes that use of the CASP—The Country Analysis Strategy Paper prepared annually on every country in Latin America—principle can be expanded to a regional wide concept and can serve as a further management tool for establishing priorities on a region-wide basis. It will also, he notes, help State prepare its important annual posture statement.

At Tab C is a paper I wrote for Phil Heymann—Katzenbach’s senior assistant—which gave some initial thoughts on how to destroy the State Department as we know and love it.4 You said that you would like to see it some day when I mentioned it at Key Biscayne. The basic thrust is that we should open up the Foreign Service and try to get away from our patterned ways of doing things. Some of Macomber’s points move (slowly) in this direction:

  • —He states that there should be a greater, constant number of people entering into the Foreign Service at the higher grades every year— but also says that this should be deferred until more Foreign Service Reserve Officers are integrated.
  • —He calls for less reporting and more thought by our officers abroad.
  • —He lists some (un-Draconian) measures to get more senior officers to retire.

But Macomber also states what I believe to be the greatest myth about the Foreign Service—that it is a “profession” in which one acquires diplomatic skills. He lists, for example, these “core” skills on page 6. But these skills are obtained in equal measure by, and necessary for the success of, many people in other fields. It is the belief that long years of service in the Foreign Service, and only that, can train [Page 700] one to be an effective political counselor, DCM, or Ambassador which makes the members of the Foreign Service so resistant to, and even contemptuous of, the idea of bringing in more outsiders to serve in our posts abroad.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 2, Chron File. No classification marking. A handwritten notation at the top of the page reads: “Action OBE”. Kissinger wrote at the top of page 1: “Good paper Tony.”
  2. See Document 312.
  3. Attached but not printed.
  4. Not attached.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.