27. Memorandum From Samuel Hoskinson of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • PRM/NSC–11 Intelligence Mission and Structure

Attached is a revised draft of PRM/NSC–11 directing a comprehensive review of major foreign intelligence activities and the organizational structure of the Intelligence Community.2

I have talked over with Bill Hyland and the leading players in the Intelligence Community the problem of how best to organize the study. The basic problem is that no one wishes to see the other fellow in the chair because they fear their own views and interests will be suppressed. Everyone has a lot at stake in the outcome and is concerned that study be “impartial.” Defense, which controls over 80 percent of the resources, is particularly adamant that the Director of Central Intelligence, or his Deputy for Intelligence Community Affairs, not be Chairman. Hank Knoche as Acting DCI is not insisting on the DCI’s “right” to be chairman, but notes that the new DCI could see things in a different perspective.

The only acceptable solution to all concerned is that you act as chairman, i.e., as a sort of final court of appeal and neutral umpire. This could most easily be accomplished by assigning the study to the Special Coordination Committee which you, of course, always chair. As Chairman you could then ask the DCI’s Intelligence Community Staff to develop, in consultation with David Aaron and me, a detailed terms [Page 108] of reference and division of drafting labor. Once this game plan was approved by you, we would be in business and hopefully the mere fact of your neutral chairmanship would be enough to ensure that everyone got his say. Your major involvement would not come until the draft study was completed and ready for consideration by the full SCC.


That you sign the PRM at Tab A commissioning a comprehensive study of foreign intelligence activities and organizational structure.

Tab A

Draft Presidential Review Memorandum/NSC–113


  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • The Secretary of the Treasury
  • The Attorney General
  • Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • The Director of Central Intelligence
  • The Administrator, Energy Research and Development Administration


  • Intelligence Structure and Mission

The President has directed that the NSC Special Coordination Committee undertake a comprehensive review of major foreign intelligence activities and the organizational structure of the Intelligence Community.

The review should be completed by June 1, 1977, and should include:

1. Complete assessment of Executive Order 119054 in light of experience gained this year, including:

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(a) a description of the implementing actions that followed promulgation of the Order and identification of the procedural problems that have developed since it went into effect;

(b) an evaluation of the performance and capacity of the former Committee on Foreign Intelligence (CFI) and Operations Advisory Group (OAG), as well as the role of the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence and the Intelligence Community Staff as effective instruments for interagency control and direction;5

(c) an assessment of the role and effectiveness of oversight organizations and the impact of E. O. 11905 restrictions, and associated guidelines promulgated by the Attorney General, on foreign intelligence activities.

2. Existing definitions of mission, divisions of responsibility and management relationships should be re-examined in terms of organizational efficiency and utility. All elements of the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP)6 and Defense Intelligence activities coming under the cognizance of the Director for Defense Intelligence should be examined as well as the role of the National Foreign Intelligence Board and the DCI interagency committee structure. The adequacy of existing laws, executive orders, NSCIDs and departmental directives should be considered, as well as the necessity for statutory charters.

3. The following special problem areas should be addressed:

(a)Identification of the scope of existing liaison relationships with friendly intelligence services, the degree of our reliance on these relationships and their potential for negative impact on diplomatic relations through incidents here and abroad.

(b)Legal sanctions for the protection of sources and methods and the issues raised by the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act.7

(c)National counterintelligence policies and coordinating mechanisms.

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(d)Legislation that both protects the civil rights of U.S. persons and provides for appropriate collection of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence through electronic and physical surveillance.

(e)Definition of a NFIP that provides a clear-cut distinction between national programs and those that are strictly departmental in nature or intelligence-related.

(f)Establishment of an effective intelligence requirements mechanism and evaluation process for measuring intelligence production performance.

(g)Production of national current and estimative intelligence.

Zbigniew Brzezinski8
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Office, Box 137, Intelligence: PRM–11, 11/75–2/77. Confidential. Sent for action.
  2. At a question-and-answer session with Department of State employees on February 24, Carter stated his goals for the intelligence community: “I am conducting now a very careful analysis of the entire intelligence community. Admiral Stan Turner is going to be the new Director. He shares my commitment. But working with Cyrus Vance, with Admiral Turner, with Dr. Brzezinski, with the Attorney General, and with Harold Brown and myself, we are trying to evolve very rapidly what the intelligence community ought to be, what the limit of divulging this [sensitive and classified] material ought to be, and how can we at the same time guarantee to the American people that the abuses will be permanently eliminated.” (Public Papers: Carter, 1977, Book I, p. 243) Carter was referring to the number of people in the Executive branch with access to classified national security information.
  3. Secret.
  4. Executive Order 11905 was issued on February 18, 1976. Section 1 of the executive order defines its purpose: “The purpose of this Order is to establish policies to improve the quality of intelligence needed for national security, to clarify the authority and responsibilities of the intelligence departments and agencies, and to establish effective oversight to assure compliance with law in the management and direction of intelligence agencies and departments of the national government.” Executive Order 11905 is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. XXXVIII, Part 2, Organization and Management of Foreign Policy; Public Diplomacy, 1973–1976, Document 70.
  5. The CFI was composed of the Director of Central Intelligence, the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs; the group reported directly to the NSC. The CFI was charged with, among other things, establishing the collection and production priorities for national intelligence and providing guidance to the intelligence community in order to maintain the NSC’s policy directions. The OAG was composed of the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of Central Intelligence. The OAG managed sensitive intelligence issues, including policy recommendations to the President and collection operations.
  6. The NFIP was defined by the National Security Act of 1947. It included all programs and projects undertaken by the intelligence community, except for intelligence activities undertaken by the armed forces in order to execute tactical military maneuvers.
  7. P.L. 93–759 and P.L. 89–554, respectively.
  8. Brzezinski did not sign this draft of the PRM; see Documents 28 and 29.