67. Summary of Conclusions of a Policy Review Committee Meeting1


  • Intelligence Requirements


  • CIA

    • Stansfield Turner (Chairman)
    • Dr. Robert Bowie
  • JCS

    • General George Brown
    • Lt. Gen. William Smith
  • ACDA

    • Spurgeon Keeny
  • NSC

    • Zbigniew Brzezinski
    • David Aaron
    • Samuel Hoskinson
    • Robert Rosenberg
  • State

    • Cyrus Vance
    • Harold Saunders
  • Defense

    • Harold Brown
    • Dr. William J. Perry
    • Adm Daniel J. Murphy
  • Treasury

    • Robert Carswell
    • J. Foster Collins


The DCI chaired this meeting with the purpose of defining and ranking substantive intelligence requirements as directed by PD–17.2 An interagency working group chaired by the Deputy to the DCI for National Intelligence had prepared two requirements lists3 to stimulate PRC thinking: one of general longer-term topics of “basic continuing interest” to guide the development of Intelligence Community capabilities; the second of short-term topics the principal intelligence consumers believe of importance to policy decisions that loom in the next six to nine months.

Initial discussion focused on the topics for near term (six to nine months) intelligence production.

—Dr. Brzezinski opined that the working group list was useful and a step forward but focused almost entirely on “political analysis” rather than “political intelligence.” In his opinion, much more “political [Page 340] intelligence” involving factual reporting on the perceptions, objectives, plans and tactics of key leaders and governments was needed by the policymakers in addition to the normal analytical product. There was general agreement with this proposition and it was clear from the discussion that more factual, as opposed to analytical, reporting was desired on economic and military topics as well. It was decided that a list of policy initiatives that will be important over the next year should be compiled from which specific requirements for political intelligence can be derived.

—Secretary Vance agreed with the observation that traditional embassy political reporting must be strengthened, especially in countries where covert collection is limited for policy reasons, to meet the new emphasis on in depth factual reporting. He felt that it would be helpful to send the embassies the final requirements list that emerges from the PRC along with an introductory statement about what it was intended to achieve.

—Secretary Brown and General Brown both cautioned that the new emphasis on political intelligence must not be done at the cost of or result in reduced emphasis on intelligence concerning traditional national security interests relating to military defense concerns.

—Each of the principals provided the DCI with specific additions, modifications or substitutions they wished to make to the short-term requirements list. (Messrs. Bowie and Hoskinson kept book).4

The following major points emerged for discussion of the list of longer-term topics intended to guide the development of Intelligence Community capabilities.

—The topics were so broad as to be virtually meaningless for discussion purposes.

—An attempt should be made to reflect the relative emphasis that should be given to different areas and topics.

As soon as both lists are revised, the DCI will decide whether another PRC meeting is necessary or whether they can be approved by written correspondence between the principals.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files, 1977–1981, Box 67, PRC 046, Intelligence, 11/25/1977. Secret. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room.
  2. See Document 59.
  3. See Document 61.
  4. Not found.