152. Memorandum of Conversation1

PRESIDENT’S FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ADVISORY BOARD

[1½ lines not declassified]

Admiral Anderson: The NIE 2 is overly optimistic and possibly slanted. Especially in ASW. These estimates tend to give the President what they think he would like to hear.

Foster: The capacity is present. It is a question of whether they want to pursue it. The data indicate that the present generation of missiles under test could have the capacity by 1980 of the post ’85 systems. By 1985, if there are a number of new missiles (SS–18’s and 19’s) with [Page 689]the present warheads, the Minutemen will be more vulnerable than we now estimate.

I am also concerned about ASW. Indications are that they may be able to—with systems they are developing—to trace submarines 90 percent of the time from port to port.

Shultz: This possibility is excluded in the NIE.

Kissinger: I think the problem is the system. We do not get sharp alternative views. Each agency is under pressure not to estimate anything which would put its systems at risk.

The President needs an explicit paper setting out what the report says on particular systems and what the Board’s concerns are.

Vice President: I would give this Committee oversight over urgent matters and wrongdoing.

Cherne: [1½ lines not declassified]

Teller: But it was encouraging to hear how we have found out about it.

Kissinger: For us to put this out will cause a storm against the USSR which will jeopardize our larger interests with the Soviet Union.3

Galvin: But we may have a Catch 22 thing. [2 lines not declassified]

Teller: I don’t think we should do anything to exclude mobile missiles.

Kissinger: What kind of mobile missiles do you recommend?

Teller: I tend to favor air mobility but I would not ban any.

Kissinger: I agree.

Foster: What is key is that we maintain our deterrent capability.

Kissinger: If our submarines can be tracked, we may want to change the kind of submarines.

Foster: [1½ lines not declassified]

Vice President: When the public finds out, they will want to know why it wasn’t stopped and why people weren’t warned.

Why shouldn’t we jam the Soviet reception?

Baker: That would take bathing them.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 12, June 5, 1975—Kissinger, Rockefeller, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Secret; Sensitive. All brackets in the original. At the time of the meeting, PFIAB members included: Anderson (Chairman), Baker, Cherne, Foster, Galvin, Gray, Land, Luce, Shultz, Teller, and Byers (Executive Secretary).
  2. NIE 11–3/8–74 is Document 149. On June 6, Kissinger informed Ford of PFIAB’s “concern that NIEs are too optimistic. I asked PFIAB to prepare a paper on it and then you could meet with them.” This led to discussion of replacing Colby as DCI, who Kissinger called “a disaster.” Ford replied, “We have to make a change.” “I think the whole top echelon of CIA needs to be cleaned out,” Kissinger said. The record of the meeting is in the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 12, June 6, 1975—Ford, Kissinger.
  3. Ford and Kissinger also discussed this issue during their June 6 meeting: “I spoke to Mahon about the Soviet [less than 1 line not declassified] problem. We have made it innocuous enough,” Kissinger told the President. (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversations, Box 12, June 6, 1975—Ford, Kissinger)