49. Memorandum From the Director of Net Assessment, Department of Defense (Marshall) to Secretary of Defense Brown1


  • DOD vs. DCI Control and Management of Intelligence Assets

I do not know the truth of the reports in the newspapers of your and Stan Turner’s differences about shifting of NSA, NRO and other assets to DCI management and control.2 If this is a major issue, I want to bring to your attention a line of argument for management and control remaining with Defense.

A couple of years ago Jim Schlesinger and I became concerned that many of our intelligence collection activities and major processing operations were optimized for peace time operations and there appeared to be little preparation for continued effective operations should war occur. Schlesinger became so concerned he asked NSA to begin a study of continued operations in the European theater should a war occur.3 I do not know the outcome of that study except that the first reports suggested the problems were very difficult. In any case, intelligence organizations appeared to give insufficient attention to surviving and functioning. I suggest that if these organizations are transferred out of Defense the likelihood of their doing so might be decreased still further. Substantial management attention to this kind of a problem seems more likely if Defense management continues.

This may be an additional argument that you might find useful.

A.W. Marshall4
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 330–80–0017, Box 42, 350.09 (June) 1977. Secret. “Sec Def has seen” is stamped in the upper right-hand corner. “OBE” is written in an unidentified hand, and Brown wrote, “6/20 Andy, Thanks. HB.”
  2. See, for example, Lee Lescaze, “Pentagon vs. CIA: Control of Intelligence Community Sparks Major Institutional Battle,” Washington Post, June 10, 1977, p. A1, and Hedrick Smith, “Intelligence Officials Are Split by Plan to Create Overall Chief,” New York Times, June 12, 1977, p. 1.
  3. Not further identified. Brown noted in the margin, “Dave McG, John Kester—Let’s get the study Jim S. argued for. That info may be very useful for backing up our contention on peace/war transition. HB.”
  4. Marshall signed “Andy” above this typed signature.