136. National Security Study Memorandum 1781


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • Program for National Net Assessment

In furtherance of his memorandum of November 5, 19712 concerning the organization and management of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Community, the President has directed the initiation of a program for the preparation of a series of national net assessments.

As a first step in this process, the President has directed that a paper be prepared which would:

—Define the national net assessment process, and discuss the range and types of topics that would be addressed.

—Discuss methodology appropriate for use in preparing net assessments.

—Establish reporting and coordination procedures for the program.

The President has directed that this paper be prepared by an ad hoc group comprising representatives of the addressees and chaired by the Director, Net Assessment Group, of the National Security Council staff.

The report of the Ad Hoc Group should be completed by May 15, 1973, and forwarded for consideration by the National Security Council Intelligence Committee.3

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, Box 365, NSSMs—Nos. 104–206. Secret.
  2. Nixon’s memorandum is in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Vol. II, Organization and Management of Foreign Policy, 1969–1972, Document 242.
  3. Marshall, the group’s Chairman, sent Kissinger a memorandum, undated, in response to the NSSM. Marshall’s memorandum discusses net assessment methodology and the range and type of topics that net assessments might address. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–199, Study Memoranda, NSSM 178 [1 of 2])