An Address by The Honorable W. E. Colby Director of Central Intelligence
63 AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE TODAY AND TCMDRROW
Toamiliar remark, it is good to be here. The first reason, of course, is personal. The second reason is more iicportanthink my appointment is an appointment of all of us in the profession to continue to run the profession. It is an expression of the confidence of the President and the Congress,ew votes missing, in the profession.
But the challenge for the future should preoccupy our minds now. At the end of previous wars in our history, our country, in its wisdom or perhaps error, decided to disband intelligence. We can recall Secretary Stimson's remark9 that "gentlemen do not read each other's nail"ossible precursor to the very severe problems we had later on. There are those who say today that we are at the end of the cold war. ebatable point; but there are those who say it, and there are those who draw from it the conclusion that we ought to disband intelligence again. Thathink we face.
ould like to point out another challenge, the cost of intelligence today. Onave three charts which illustrate the problem better than mere wards.
I have left the absolute numbers off of those charts because if we cannot show then to any Congressman or Senator, then we really do notight to show them to any one of our people It is theof the "need to know" principle.
This first chartrojection of the CIA budget,ight add that the projection of the Comnunity budget is not dissimilar. As you can see, thanks to inflation of the cost of our salaries, of technical costs, and of operational expenses, if we continue roughly the same activity with the same number of people for the next four years, wo will have to ask Congress fori for our budget. all that an unacceptable option becauseTTr the climate of today to ask fori [more would be to askreat deal indeed.
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If we change the rule and ask only for the same amount in the future, but keep the same number of people working and apply those sane percentages of inflation, we find thatery few years we have all people and no operation. That isery salable product.
The thirdomewhat more chilling chart which keeps us doing what we are doing in terms of technical expenses and operational costs, but absorbs all inflation by personnel reductions. We find that wef our people within five years. on't think that is acceptable either to you or the needs of the customers of intelligence today.
These three horror charts represent three unacceptable options. Obviously the answer is no one of the three but some combination. But in the political climate of today, there is no easy answer, and the real test will be the degree to which we in the profession prove the value of intelligence to our nation and to its leaders--prove the value of the expenditures required and of the activities involved.
The first aspect of this proof, and we haveairly good exposure to the need for it recently, is that we nust runall an American intelligence operation. It cannot be the same as the Russian, obviously. It can't be like the Gernan one, or the French one, or even the British one. It has to be an American one. It has to conform with the laws, the standards, and the customs of our country. It has to retain the confidence of the American government and the American people.
The Watergate experience, of course, raised this problem for many people. In thism delighted to remind you that the per-formance of General Walters, Mr. Helms, and General Cushraan led one of our critics, The Washington Post, to comment that the only "no" came from CIA. That isredit to the performance not only of those gentlemen but also of the profession, because that "no" steamed froa the reaction of some of our lower ranking employees when they thought they were asked to do something on the far edge of propriety. They raised the question up through channels, and their position was endorsed at the senior level. hink tho lesson of Watergate is that we must run an American intelligence service and we must run it in the field of foreign intelligence.
When tho National Security Act7 was passed, the word intelligence probably referred to foreign intelligence in nost people's minds. But over the years the concept of domestic intelligence has become more prominent. hink it very important that we in the intelligence profession assert, and stick to, the principle that we are active in tie field of foreign intelligence only.
Dr. SchlesLnger some weeks agoemorandum to all eiaployees referring to questionable activities, lie asked that any such activities known to anyone be reported. These were reported. Weist-he have taken action on these. We haveaaiber, and we have given very direct instructions as to how to handle others which might in any way be interpretediolation by CIA of its legislative charter.
We are going to clarify in new regulations the principle that we are going to stick to the legislation that is imposed upon us. We are going to operate an American intelligence organization under the statutory authority given us and not beyond it. ave made certain ccrmlreents to the Congress in my confirmation hearings on this,ill be sending to all offices and to the other agencies the transcript of much of that testimony--as much as can be declassified. In it you will find those commitments, and we will arrange that those comraiUDents be turned into very specific direction and regulation for the activities of the Agency.
Another aspect of American intelligence callsittle more openness than we are accustomed to when we think of the British or the Russians or other intelligence services. My first confirmation hearing was an open hearing. xpect there will be more open hearings in the future. This is what the American people, the Congress, the (kwernment expect.
Thisit complicated, of course, because we stillery deep responsibility to protect the sources, the methods, and also in many cases the substance of what we know in the intelligence community, which if exposed would give our potential adversaries great advantages which would be dangerous to the security of the United States. So this is going toricky operation: to be responsive to the needore open intelligence operation, but at the same time to protect the integrity, the secrecy that is so necessary.
We have an ally in this regard in George Washington who coirmented that upon secrecy success in intelligence often depends. hink that wc can follow the dictates of the Father of our Country. There are things that we are going to have to keep secret, and we are going to have to be very serious about those, but we are not going to expand secrecy to include areas we really don't have to keep secret. In those respects we are going to have to be more responsive to the demands of our Congress and our peopleore open approach.
In proving the value of intelligence, one of the main tests will be the substance of what we produce. Inhink we areeriod of some change. We areeriod of change of the political atmosphere in the world and in America. hink we are alsoithange in the intelligence profession.
If you look back to the lastrhink you will find -two leading models (not exclusive, but leading) for intelligence. The one is the wise academic, personified, perhaps, by Sherman Kent who developed the concept of the National Estimate, drawing together all the information available, thinking about itery general point of view, applying wisdom to it, and cooing outseful assessment. The other naodel, in the lastears, has been the operator: the officer who operated in the Middle East, in Central Europe, in the various parts of Southeast Asia, and in Latin America. These dominatedreatthe life of intelligence and particularly of the CIA in the past 25
Now it is obvious to me that both of these leading models are changing and that we are developing new leading models for the future.
These are two. The first is the officer (analyst, engineer, or operator) able to use technology. As we are well aware, technology has contributed enormously to tho intelligence profession, particularly in the last IS years. The SALT Agreement with the Soviet Union was the capstone of this process in which the role of intelligence was officially recognized in polite diplomatic society. It was referred to in the treaty by euphemism, which we are used to in the intelligence business, that "national technical ateans of verification" should not be interfered with. Tho long dispute over inspection which had prevented agreement with the Soviet Union over strategic weapons was solved, thanks to technology. It is clear that as we look into the future we see the need for increased uses of photography, telemetry, the various kinds of cryptography, and all the other ways in which technology can help not only collection but also analysis, recordkeeping, biographic material, and all the rest. Tims the user of technology is going tooading model for the Intelligence Community in thehink.
Another leading model, and it always takes me about five minutes to untangle the impression this usually makesay it,ill say it anyway: the other leading model for the future is the journalist, one who ferrets out the information, who doesn't sit at his desk and wait for it to come in the inbox, but goes out and searches for it, and asks questions, and puts out requirements, and goes around and harasses people to try to find the answer. This is the analyst or the operator, seeking the information. He then analyses and arranges tho material to present itashion which doesn't just get if off his desk, but gets it into the mind of the customer at whom it is aimed. ould say that in the future this will alsoodel for the intelligence profession.
ense we are in competition with other informationsay that intelligence is deeper than journalism. It should bo. figures on those charts han the abso-
lute figures of the budgets of tne aev totk Jiftes ana lite Washington Post
Consequently, we should be deeper and we should bo better. But wc have the same function of ferreting out information. Each of us has the obligation to search for the answer to intelligence questions, to bug enough people so that we finally get the answer and then to arrange it, to analyze it, and to present itashion which carries the message to the consumer that we are serving.
Now these changes in models will in some degree reflect themselves in organizational changes in the Agency. We have had certain changes in our organization. Theew name. It alsoew staff structure with some substantial changes. The DD/SfiTumber of new elements in it and new responsibilities. Theumber of new aspects. Some Directorates have lost elements; some have gained thea. Theill probably have some changes also. We are currently lookingay better to conduct deep political research as distinct from the excellent current intelligence that we have produced to date, to try to separate some people from the daily crush of business so that they can study in great depth the sociology and other aspects of the majorproblems of the world. This function will be assumedew, separate office.
You haveertain amount of talk in the press about the Office of National Estimates. We sentulletin aboutew weeks ago in which we saidirm decision had not been reached but that some changes will be developed. These changes, frankly, are quite far along in my mind. But they are not certain, they are not firm yetew more bases to touch and some more wisdom to accumulate from some other people about them. What they representurn from the concept of the wise goneralists of the pastocus on specialists, people who have particular specialties in the substantive world. Wehink, someone in the Agency and in the Community who looks at the problems of China, Latin America, et cetera, from the point of view of the Director, not from the point of view of the collector or of the analyst or of the producer or of the scientist, but one who looks at the problemsertain geographic area or at certain categories of problems from the total point of view of the Director. This is the line of thought that we are prosecuting to develop staff officors to do this work but not to interfere with the command channels of the Directorates or the other portions of the Comaunity.
There is going to be the kind of change, obviously, over the future that has occurred over the past. Many years ago, before we set up what is now the DD/SfiT, thesed to be dividod into two nieces. This kind of change is tlie natural law of life,on't think ithing to get too upset about because it is but an effort to reflect the demands of today and tomorrow rather than the structures of yesterday
i, other hand' there are certain things that will not
do its job. This non-changehe area of integrity^ in the
objectivity of our assessments, at our hard look at the facts fromof view of the intelligence officer and not the advocatesolutions, not the protector of particularbeinterest or even an intellectual position taken infec5ntC8^tylooking at
The structure of the intelligence conaunity requires that these assessments be the personal action of the Director. Ke haveThe Unitedtda vehicle for consultation. Wc have our
Z acT'rePOm;Calize Si" U.elcome the fact, that the productery personal responsibilitv
Je satisfied that it is thean pro-
sible forc responsible for all of it, and it is my responsibilitv to give it every bit of integrity and objectivity possible: responsiblUt>'
I might add, also, that one of the other things that will not
SSffJfU1Ked in thesepoUtieal
he^ Wil1o please the reader but to infow They will be written from the poin? of view
in the operations of the Agency and the Community we have been tinkering with various systems of management to try to bring forward
ideaSi far*we are trying toratherclear and precise objectives, so that each of us, fromDirectors. down to the juniorPrecisely what he or she
is supposed to be working on. These objectives will be an attemt to
S Ihf fu^rT*matt0rs facin* the Community and ouTcustomers
tKqn lias really been very good at thinking into the past, particularly its own past. So part of the nuiaraMot
ry to develop ways in which these can be compared
sw did th0h!5her.we of something, or whether wc did
eryand difficult subjectoldanagement experts usually takes three to five
nfa!'Jmy infticut^"- are just at the beginning
of it, so I'll ask you to bear with us and try to make this work Its
purpose is to communicate--to communicate through the structure the most important things that need to be done so that He just don't "do our own thing but that we work togetheream androup.
I might add that this applies not only to the Agency but also to the Community because the President's letter of1 charged the Director with the responsibility for positive leadership of the Corrainity. It also charged him with the responsibility of submitting to the President his recommendations for what the total budget of the Camunity should be. Now it might develop that Secretary Schlesingerill agree on this, but it might develop that we don't, in which case the President has asked that he be presented with two alternativeso tliat he is given the opportunity to make the decision.
ake this function very seriously,ake it with the idea ofystem which will communicate objectives and evaluations not only here in the Agency but also throughout the Community, so that we can communicate and we can consult with each other, and we can all participate in selecting the important things to be done and deciding now well each of us is doing in that regard.
I do look forward to the relationship with the Community,ord or two here is appropriate. hink there isiew that we should apply to the Government the benefits of private enterprise through competition between various agencies in the Community There are various rationalizations that this canood thing. Itood thing in private enterprise, certainly. I'm not sure that the Congress will really agree with very much of it in the intelligence profession,ave found in some of my previous activities away of approaching the business of getting people in different organizations to work together. Rather than compete, we will try to get them to collaborate, to workean literally together--in joint groups, joint task forces, joint study groups, et cetera, and not try to have each one come up with the perfect solution independently and then thrust it onto the other Agency. So I'm looking forward tohink has beenarticipatory approach toward our relationship with the Community, working with them.
Now this does not mean, as some of the newspapers have hinted, that we are going to abandon certain CIA activities that are alsoelsewhere. It does not mean that we will completely push the other agencies out of the picture by doing everything in CIA, either, it means that we will work together because, going back to the Director's personal responsibility, he must be capable of satisfying himself that the product he is sending is the best that can be. And he cannot rest totally on any other authority or agency, but he has to be able to make an independent assessment, or to participate in the total assessement from
his own point of view and through his own people. hink we are not going to try to draw sharp lines between elements of the Cccnunity. We are going to try to knock down the walls between the members of the Community. We are going to try to get people to work together in the Community in assessing the very difficult problems that we have together.
Iubject that interests you is the subject of personnel. Itajor problem for the Governmenthole, and as you saw from the chart here, itajor problem for this Agency and for the Corrruni As you know, we wenteduction of personnel in the past few months in the Agency. Some of the other agencies have been warned that they face very substantial reductions in the years ahead. Part of the answer to the dilemma posed by those three charts, to be perfectly frank with you,ontinued reduction of the strength of thend of this Agency. hink we can do thisashion to minimize the human problems, the human difficulties, involved. hink we can reducereat extent through attrition as we have for the past six years in CIA.
In the future we certainly will try to reduce through attrition,hink we must also develop some systems which will enable us toetter job of identifying early those people who really would be better off not staying in CIA until it is much too late for'them to get good employment elsewhere. Weystem of panels being developed by which tho employees themsolves will participate in evaluations. We identify people for promotion every year,hink we are going to have to develop some system for identifying those at the bottom of the list every year. This can give us the tool for some counseling, for some encouragement, to move some of the people outegular basis. This need not thus descendreat crush at any one time, but willradual annual exercise which is accepted and understood and which,f all, meets the standards of fairness and integrity that weof the intelligence profession. We must not have the kinds of problems that developed in certain other agencieshink we have the capability of reflecting human considerations and avoiding those problems. Nonetheless, there will be this steady reductionook ahead;hink we might as well realize that it is imposed by the figures that you saw on the charts.
Now thereide issue to this whichittle more positive in tone. This personnel reduction process is the only way in which we can continue any reasonable promotion level over the years. Inf course, weertain number of people leave. Partlyesult, our promotion levels went up appreciably during the year. As you know, they have been very slow in the past few years, but the departure of some people over the past few months enabled us to increase the number of promotions and the percentage of our people in this Agency whoa promotion this past year. It is essential for the health of tlvs
Agency that thereeasonable chance of promotion for those who work hard andood job; we have to set up the structure so that this can continue to be the case as we go ahead.
I am asked sometimes about our role in covert action. retty dominant characteristic of this Agency overyears: the war in Laos, the Bay of Pigs, various otherto the Mossadegh period. Itery active part of thisoint that would be of some interest to you isyears ago this Agency spent about [ bf its budget on eflection of
changes in the world situation, miseflection of changes in the demands for this kind of activity. Iteflectionifferent political attitude in our country. The Nixon Doctrine obviouslya fairly low posture for this sort of activity.
At the sameelieve,hink most of us will agree, that this particular capability is an important weapon to our Governmenthole. It isIA activity. It is something we do when the National Security Council directs that something be done along these lines, and it is the use of covert intelligence techniques that enables us sometimes to do things at very low cost which otherwise would involve very high costs indeed. We are sometimes criticized for our involvement in the war in Laos,or one think that this Agencyagnificent job there. ery small investment of peopleory great amount ofajor effort was conducted over ten years for the United States Government,hink no one need regret the effort made.
We undoubtedly are going to hear some discussion in the fall about legislation. The Arned Services Committee of the Senate is going to look at our basic legislation, and we currently are discussing with various people in the Executive Branch and elsewhere the things that might be changed in our legislation. hink we can welcome certain changes. ave already welcomed the addition of the word "foreign" to theof our intelligence responsibilities so that it becomes clear that this Agency is limited to the foreign intelligence field.
There nay be other changes, which will be the subject of some discussion during the fall,hink that the expression of confidence in the intelligence profession we had over the course of the summer in my appointment nnd confirmation in the Senate, and in the public'sto the appearances of Mr. Helms, General Walters, General Cushntan and Dr. Schlesinger on the Hill indicates that there willeasonable revision of our legislation, something that can only help us rather than give us any great problems in the future.
We have had quite an active tine here in the past six months between the adventew Director in February and the Watergatevery bouncy six months. ant to contest any possible feeling of "Whew, that's over, and now we can get back to life as usual." We are not going to get back to old styles, we are going to go ahead to new styles. We are going ahead to the new kinds of problems that face us in the decade ahead. We are going to look forward to new ways of gathering intelligence, new ways of analyzing it, new ways of presenting it.
I think that tho momentum which has characterized this Agency, and the enormous talent that lies in the intelligence cccmunity, can prove the value of American intelligence; can prove that intelligenceajor role to play in helping our nation face the problems of the future, be those the problems of national security in the physical sense, or various other kinds of problems which are equally important to the national security Ln the fields of economics, terrorism, narcotics, et cetera.
On your way to this meeting you may haveolo in the sidewalk at the corner. Some of you know that this is being dugasetatue of Nathan Hale. Some of you have wondered why we wouldtatuo of Nathan Kale in front of CLA. Nathan Hale volunteered for an espionage mission at the last minute; heery weak cover story; he didn't have much training; he didn't have any secret writing; when he was captured, his reports were in his shoe; worst of all, not only did his mission turn out toailure, but the information he was sent for became known withinay of tho time that he departed on hishere on Manhattan Island General Howe was going to land.
hink Nathan Hale, as we all learned in grade school, means moreriticism of the intelligence profession. He typifies the virtue of patriotism and articulated it to our nation. Ho expresses also to us the fact that American intelligence work began in the earliest days of the Republic, as his mission was in mid-September But most of all, he represents toodel of courage, not only physical courage, which he certainly showed, butodel of moral and intellectual courage, which is going to bc demanded of us as we face the problems of the future. Wc may not, God willing, need to denonstrate physical courage, but in the intelligence profession we will be required to show moral and intellectual courage. The people in this profession have shown this in the past,m confident they will continue to show it in the future.
Any questions, please?
Q: Mr. Colby, you have made quite an effort to catmunicate with junior officers over the past couple years. Do you think you will continue this, and would you care to ccannont on some of the things you have found?
A: ill continue. ractice of having lunch in the cafeteria abouteek with four of our officers, anyone fromoevel. romiseill protect intelligence sources and methods. ry to learn what is worrying them, what they are thinking about, what the problems are. It takesinutes to warm them up, of course, so they will really communicate,avo found it terribly valuable to me because it is awfully easy to get very isolated up there on the 7th floor and to become almost invisible. In thataneel of what is going on in various places in tlie Agency and what is worrying people,ertainly will continue to do that.
I also have asked Deputy Directorsan intrude into their staff meetings aboutonthave discoveredave daily contact with them,ave weekly contact with the junior officers,ave had almost no contact with the office and division chiefs. So in thatope to get some personal, human contact with the office uA division chiefsindot more by listening to peopleo by reading--as some of my executive assistants have learned.
Q: In our overseas activities we have always been very dependent on our relations with the Department of State, but these relations havo not always been the best quality at the working level. With Mr. Kissinger moving toDepartment, do you see an opportunity for change that will improve this relationship?
A: Well, certainly we liaveery close relationship with Dr. Kissinger over time,hink that heery great respect for the intelligence profession and what it can do. lie has used ourvery heavily in his responsibilities,hink that he will continue to do that. On the subject of working level problems with tlie Department of State, we gatheredhecklist of things aboutelt we had been wrong in the past and things where they could be more helpful than in the past. We have delivered this documentuggestion that we sit down and try together to comeolution to some of these knotty problems. Whether wc can solve themm not certain, but we are sure going tory.
Q: Do you expect that the coexistence of the FR Division ami dcs inill pose any problems in involving us in domestic activities?
A: Good question. Ke did move the Domestic Collection Division, as it is now called (formerly Domestic Contactnto thee haveittle press criticism of this move. We made this move in order to try to increase the degree of coordination and mutual support between the activities of open collection in America, which we quite frankly admit, and the collection that we do abroad on the various countries. We want to try to increase the interaction between theso.hink that the real question is not going to be which directorate of CIA any one office ishink the real key is going to be what we do. If we conduct ourselves in America in the way inhance to explain on the record in my confirmation hearing, we will not have much trouble. xplained that we do domestic collection inproper and open ways, not spying on people but asking them if they will share with their Government what they know. xplained that we also do various other things in America: We collect intelligence on foreigners and from foreigners; we have support structures here in America to support our activities abroad; and we have the wholeand administrative support activity here in America. as able to put these facts on the record. hink they are reasonable,hink if we maintain the distinctionave outlined of collectingoluntary basis from Americans and conducting operations only against foreigners, and restricting our entire effort to the area of foreign intelligence, then we will have no trouble from the Congress. It is really what we are going to do rather than which place in thewiring diagram we put any one unit. hink this is the real key.
It hasreat pleasure to see you. m looking forward, obviously, to the next period. ill say "period"erve at the pleasure of the President and do noterm,ope to serve you in the profession and to serve the President and the Congress and through then the people of the United States, and really prove the value and unportance to America of an American intelligence effort.
Thank you very much.
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