1. Memorandum From the Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (Anderson) to President Nixon 1

In accordance with your directions, your Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board conducted, and has recently completed, an exhaustive examination here and abroad of U.S. capabilities in the field of human source collection of foreign positive intelligence.2 An ad hoc committee consisting of Gordon Gray, Chairman; Dr. William O. Baker, and Governor Nelson Rockefeller was empaneled by the Board to coordinate the study.

The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you of our principal conclusions. A much more comprehensive and extremely sensitive report is available should you wish to review our findings in detail.3

Although there are some gaps, the U.S. human intelligence effort against non-Communist countries is considered to be generally effective. This is not the case with Communist targets, particularly in respect to the plans and intentions of these nations. [5 lines not declassified] As a [Page 2]result, [less than 1 line not declassified] human intelligence suffer from a lack of central direction, coordinated effort, defined doctrine, and clear responsibilities. We believe that attention from the Office of the President is necessary to make the best use of the several components of the government involved in human intelligence and to give their activities the cohesiveness which they sorely need.

Among the other elements which have hindered our penetrating the high level of Communist governments are an excessive bureaucratization of the CIA Clandestine Service; an overburdening of the Clandestine Service with collection and reporting of information which could be done as well overtly by the Foreign Service and other elements of the American diplomatic establishment abroad; and the general ineffectiveness of the Defense Attaché system, resulting largely from spotty personnel selection, training, and assignment procedures. A qualitatively-improved Defense Attaché system would [less than 1 line not declassified] result in better overt intelligence [2 lines not declassified].

One of the most glaring deficiencies is the almost total void in the clandestine collection of foreign positive intelligence within the highly favorable operating environment of the United States. [4 lines not declassified] However, there are more than a thousand other officials of Communist countries permanently assigned in the United States who, because they are not known or suspected to be intelligence officers, are not subject to recruitment efforts. In addition to the need for rectifying this specific situation, collaboration between the FBI and the CIA, which has been at best meager for the last several years, must be reinstituted in both the positive and counterintelligence fields as a matter of priority.

There is appended for your consideration a summary of our principal recommendations.4 We are pleased to report that the mere conduct of our study has already produced encouraging results and has enabled us to eliminate some recommendations which we otherwise would have proposed.

It is our judgment that the implementation of our recommendations will serve to bring about an overall qualitative improvement of the government’s human intelligence efforts [2½ lines not declassified].

It is the opinion of the Board that these recommendations can and should be implemented without increases in personnel or funds cur[Page 3]rently programmed for the Intelligence Community although certain adjustments may be required in and among component departments and agencies. Any such adjustments would not be of a magnitude that would affect adversely other necessary intelligence programs.

In view of the extra-sensitivity of the subject matter, we believe that written communications pertaining to our findings and recommendations should be minimal; that they should be sufficiently sanitized of detail to prevent disclosures of successes and failures and to protect sources; and that they should be directed only to those officials with an absolute need-to-know. Accordingly, we recommend that the Executive Secretary, PFIAB, be assigned to assist Dr. Kissinger in the necessary staff work and that he be made responsible for the overall security protection of the contents of this report and the security of the implementing staff actions.

Following your decision on our recommendations, we would propose to inform, on your behalf, the DCI, Director FBI, the Secretaries of State and Defense, and other appropriate officials, of the measures that should be instituted to carry out your decisions, together with the evidence and rationale which underlie our recommendations. To the maximum extent feasible, this will be done orally.


George W. Anderson, Jr.

Admiral, USN (Ret.)
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Schlesinger Papers, Box 15, PFIAB. Top Secret; Sensitive. An attached cover sheet, hand-dated February 20, reads “DCI/Eyes Only.”
  2. Nixon’s May 1972 memorandum to Anderson directing PFIAB to study human source intelligence collection is Document 274, Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. II, Organization and Management of U.S. Foreign Policy, 1969–1972.
  3. Not found.
  4. Attached but not printed is a summary of PFIAB’s principal recommendations covering 14 subject areas: national focus and direction, cover, clandestine intelligence collection within the United States, overt intelligence collection within the United States, intelligence responsibilities of ambassadors and the Foreign Service, liaison with foreign intelligence services, the role of defense attachés, the role of the U.S. military in clandestine collection, the responsibilities of legal attachés, technical aids to clandestine collection, physical surveillance, training, area specialization, and illegals.