274. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Turner) to Secretary of Defense Brown 1


  • Control of Incentives that Stimulate Arms Transfers

1. As requested in your memorandum of 9 June 1977,2 I have undertaken the Presidentially-directed review of policies and procedures that may promote the sale of arms, insofar as these may relate to Central Intelligence Agency responsibilities and operations.

2. As a result of this review, I am satisfied that present Agency policies and procedures do not serve, directly or indirectly, to stimulate foreign requests for arms transfers. As you know, under present rules, [Page 685] before the Agency could become involved in any paramilitary or intelligence support programs, such programs would have to be submitted to the NSC/SCC for review and to the President for decision. To the extent such programs might encompass transfers of military or military-related equipment, the Agency’s procedures would not, in any event, involve sales promotional activities, incentives to defense contractors to promote sales, or other practices that might stimulate foreign requests for arms transfers.

3. I understand that a joint State-Defense cable is being drafted to provide new policy guidelines on this subject to US foreign service posts in the field. I propose to send a similar cable through Agency channels to assure that our field personnel are fully aware of the new policy thrust.

Stansfield Turner
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harold Brown Papers, Box 78, Arms Transfer/FMS Policy, 1977. Secret. A stamped notation at the top reads “SEC DEF HAS SEEN, 1 JUL 1977.” In the upper right-hand corner, Brown wrote “7/1 ASD (ISA)—all agencies are providing self-serving disclaimer, and many of them may well be correct. Are we in DOD the only [illegible]? I doubt it. (State for example is worse). HB.”
  2. Not found.