CIAAL REVisitt/ PtlOGfiSM
TITLE: Intelligence For The Policy chiefs
AUTHOR: James P. Hanrahan
A collection of articles on the historical, operational, doctrinal, and theoretical aspects ot Intelligence.
All statements ol (aci. opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in intelligence are those of
the authors They do noi necessarily reflect official positions or views of ihe Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Govenurient entity, past or present. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's faciual statements and interpretations.
SECRfT No Foroicjn^trfisem
The needs ofhoW end
hit lopnd how dun needs are met.
INTELUCENCE FOR THE POLICY CHIEFS James P. Hanrahaa'
In this discussion of inteUigence needs at the top national level and some speanc'wLW In' whktt thty tiehall be speakingthe perspective of CIA'i Deputy Director forill not attempt to speak for the other organizations of the Washingtoncommunity or pretend to be presenting tbe whole picture First it will be useful to say who the people are that are served by what we call national, as opposed to departmental. Intelligence. We start with the Resident, of course. But we must take into account certain members of his personal staff and in particular his special assistant handling national security affairs and his staff. Nert come the heads of departr.vei.ts, In particuUr State and Defense, the military chiefs, and the beads of Independent agencies dealing with foreign affairs. Then there are numerous interagency bodies established for the purpose of recoounendlng policy; the Corn mine* of Principals on disarmament is an example. And at the senior level are also the regional proconsuls, such as Ambassador Lodge in Vietnam and Ambassador Bunker in Santo Docoiogo, who have been delegated eituordinary authority.
But in the end the buck stops at the President's desk, and the advent of tbe nuclear age has greatly multiplied the number of things he must decide personally. He has almost become, in Richard Neu-stadt's words,ecisionis decisions in international affairs are influenced by many people and institutions, but inby those fust mentiooed.
The requirements for Intelligence at this national level arcfascinating because they are so kaleidoscopic They change with the men, they change with the times, they change with the bureaucratic structure, they change with each policy decisionesult it is possible to geoeralru only most broadly on tbe Deeds of
1 Adaptedaper prepared lor preaentaeDs al thaMfUMM* Cneferc&ce, London,
the senior policy maker. He certainly must be provided, If possible, with what be thinks he needs to know. He sometimes should be provided with things the intelligence people think he should know. Often he must be given material which in the beginning neither he nor the intelligence officer realized would beIby the interaction between the two as they work together.
Linti of Contact
The most direct way of finding out what the senior policy makero ask htm. Fortunatr ly. alL PC Is have had regular direct* access to thereluctant' it ask what be wants. Meetings in person or talks between the two by phone are more frequent than most people, including Washington political in-siden. realize. Mr. McCooe, for example, met every owning with President Johnson throughout the first weeks of his administration to deliver an early morning intelligence brief.
fimit on access to the President and the time he has available. But we are in frequent touch with the other senior policy makers, who not only know their own needs butretty good Idea of the rYesiderit "s. Then communication and rapport with the President's immediate staff are of great importance. These men close to him are in the best position to make hit needs known. At present they usually do this by telephoning the Director or his Deputy for Intelhgeoee.
We are constantly receiving requests for Information and analysis from the White House staffers who handle national security affairs, andn advantage that some of our former officers have served or are serving on this staff. For example, when Mr. Komer received his special assignment to concentrate on South Vietnamese problems we asked him bow.ormer member of the Office of Nationalhe felt we could best meet his needs. He askederiodic summary of economic and pacification developments in Southm forma lion that tends to get buried tn the welter of military reporting, and we now haveeekly publication tailoredfor him.
Moving from the White House to the Pentagon, the Agency has an intelligence officer serving in the office of Secretary McNamara.ttuned to the Secretary's needs and levies many requirements on us for him- These supplement those that come directly from Mr. McNamara through his frequent meetings with the Director.
Overlate weew mechanism* Senior Inter-dcpartmtnUl Croup, chaired by the Under Secretary of Stale and comprising lop representation from agencies concerned with foreign affairs, including the DO. The SIC is responsible for insuring that foreign policy problems requiring interdepartmental attention receive systematic consideration. It stands at the apexeries ofRegional Croups chaired by the Assistant Secretary of State for each region. Intelligence is represented on each of these groups, too. They thrash out new regional policy recommendations which then move on through the Senior Croup to the Secretary. In essence, the new system attempts lo apply in Washington the country-team approacharge American embassy abroad. We expect these groups to become particularly important in the slower-moving policy problems; the big.laps tend to bypass any setframework, generating their own high-level task forces responsive directly to the President.
Outside the departments there are tbe several statutory or ad hoc committees with special tasks in the Held of foreign affairs. Intelligence is represented on many of these bodies, for example on the Economic Defense Advisory Committee concerned with Western multilateral trade to Communist countries and on the Advisory Committee on Export Policy handling VS. unilateral cwtrols .*
Last but by no means least, to discover the needs of the policy makerlways the "old boy" net; people we have known, gone to school with, worked with, played with, fought with, and whom we are now in contact with either on the policy level or In intelligence components. To take one good enmple, one of our representatives eight yean ago at the first Intelligence Methods Conference, William P. Bundy, is now Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. From these people, because they know us andknow them, weonstant stream of suggestions as lo the needs of the men above them, and we usually hear quickly when what we produce falls In meet thosethat we can try again.
How do the needs of the senior policy maker,national"differ from departmental requirements? To my mind they can be distinguished in two ways: first, if they involve more
than one department'i interest! and it it either difficult or plainto separate out eachesponsibility; second, if they are so critical that the judgment of more than one department Is desired. More simply, you might say that when any of the people or groups wc have been talking about asks you something, you know itational requirement because they are all involved in the making of national policy. It is almost impossible today toa-booal policy matter that lies wholly within the sphere of one department.
What level of detail does the policy maker require? No clear-cut answer can be given. In the Cuban missile crisis one did not have to be clairvoyant to know the President was himself handling all the details of the naval quarantine and that he personally wanted to know the enact location of every Soviet merchant ship (hat might be bound for Cuba. We did not wait to be asked, we simply sent the Information on as fast as we obtained It. At certain points in the Laotian crisis In the spring1 also, it became obvious that, as Ambassador Winthrop Brown put it, the President was thedesknd everyone knows how greedy for information an area desk can be.
There are some other msjdraurns. Anytime the livesountry's nationals, civilian or military, are endangered In foreign countries, the highest level wants to knowuickly and In aa much detail as possible. Communist kidnaping* in Latin America, helicopter shootdowns In the Berlin area, or for that matter shootdownsall these cases the President wants to gel the complete word. These days when he mustreat deal of time with thewar. we have found it wise to err on the side of giving too much in this field rather than too little.
Beyond these cases where it is obvious that you shoot the works, there are only rules of thumb. We have come, fortunately orong way since the good old days of the one-page precis so favored by General Marshall. If we are specifically asked for somethingenior policy maker and no length is mentioned, wa write as much as we think required to do the job, no more. Then we ask someone to review it and cut it in half for us. If this cannot beeven ifummary up front.
If wc have not been asked specifically but feel it desperatelyto get something across to tho senior policy maker, brevity is the overriding virtue. Conclusions and judgments are the nub;can come later. If bis appetite is whetted, if he wants to
know more, or If he violently disagrees, wc eipect lo pick up some feedback somewhere along the line so that we can follow through with more detail as necessary.
It is here that the regularly scheduled publication, (he dairy or the weekly, comei into play. By and large we find that suchprepared for senior pohcy makers should hit (he high spots. It is not necessary for them to carry all the classified news that's fit to print. They should serve rather as an alert to any developments which might directly or indirectly affect the nation's security. In the course of preparing them every bit of informationjfreffice^can get his hanoT'oo is reviewed, but it is then^ut'ery fine screening. If the policy maker wants moreivenor if the intelligence eifficer thinks the policy maker needseparate memorandum or paper is written.
There are always difficulties in maintaining contact with the policy maker. One difficult situation is when he is on theto get to him tn an emergencv, how to keep up his continuity of information. We have partly solved this oneystem of briefing cables tailored specifically for tbe high-level traveler. They consist in the mainynopsis from our daily publication supplemented byin which the traveler maypecial interest because of the area he is visiting or the people be is meeting.
Sooner oreriod seems lo come when the demands on the time of the senior policy maker are so enormous as to preclude our getting through to him in any way at all In these circumstances we can only wail for an opening and hope he may be able touick look at Our regularly scheduled intelligence publications In these we note the things that he really should not miss even if he ii% of his tune on Vietnam or the Dominican Republic
When Mr. Kennedy became President, he brought witheep interest In foreignoracious appetite foretentive memory, and aboveifferent style of doing things. Ourin1 simply did not fit his needs. Our primary daily publication was tha Central Intelligence Bulletin. It had beenasked for by President Truman. Then it was specially adapted lo meet President Eisenhower's needs, and although we had tried to alter it further it did not suit President Kennedy's style and he did not read it.
We were thuiaily link or any periodic link with which to carry out our critical alerting (unction. We bent every effort to restore contact. Finally we succeeded,ew publication different in style, classification, format, and length but not different in fundamentalmedium whereby we present to thein the tersest possible form what he should know about the play of the world for that day, particularly as it impingesecurity interests. This publication became the President's alone, leaving the Bulletin to serve readers at the nert level down.
There remains one other basic problem of communication with the policy rnaker. Thalia,esk-level intelligence analystTthe fellow at the heart of the process, is never going to have all the clues to what is making the high-level world go round. He does notn the National Security Council sessions. The Director, who does, caanot for variousneed-to-know principle, the sheer physical impossibility of spreading the correct word and feel down farcommunicate it to theubmit, however, that the analyst is not thereby relieved of his responsibility to keep track of developments in national policy. The daily press and the favored columnists ore excellent sources. If the President or theof Statepeech on foreign policy, it wfll be revealing and should beuspect that the percentage of intelligence analysts who read such speeches is still farou hear the argument that the less one knows about policy the mote objective one's analysis Is. But the counterargument that you cannot produce intelligenceacuum, cannot recognize threats to. policyunless you know what those interests are. seems to me over-riding.
From Seed to Deed
So on the question of requirements for Intelligence at the national level, we might surnmartie as follows: In large and complexthere are no simple ways to determine the full range of the policy maker's needs. They change as situation* emerge, develop, and subside.and easy contact in an atmosphere ofessential to the smooth working of the imeQigence-policy relationship. Mechanisms can be established to speed the flow of intelligence up and requirements down, and these mechanisms are essential. But notiungo valuable as an effective person-tc-persoo relationship. In our country all pobcy authority and decision rest ultimately in one man. e that intelligence must serve
Now we turn to how we gofilling the policy maker'i needs, however exprened or divined. Thliiscussion ol* technique, and form, and formula. Again let me stressm not saying. Thai Is the way to dout This is the way we in CIA are doing it" We do it both by working in concert with other members of thecommunity and by preparing unilateral reports.
The scope of the information we process Is determined by the nature of the information that comes in and by the ringe of national security interests it impinges on. The form in which It is processed is determined by the requirements of the consumers, inhe quite personal requirements rand preferences offlclerit. From the beginning almost twenty years ago, the DCI has considered his role to be that of the President's number-one intelligence officer, responsible for seeing to it that the President is kept uneicepHonabty informed and directing the work of the entire Intelligence community to that end.
In the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the White House has generally preferred to deal with big problems by calling together the top policy makers, putting all the available Information on the table, and then discussing possible courses of US. policy and action. This method of operatingremium on rapid intelligence support. "Rapid" does not necessarily imply crash assessments, thoughts formulated on the run. It is moreatter ofor resyntheslzing for the occasion the assessments we have already published in our regular productionant to underscore the importanceeep and stable base of day-to-day intelligence production This it what enables us to respond quickly to big and little fiapt, whatever the subject or area.
The routine production base includes three "national" mteUigence publications representing the coordinated views of the intelligence community and dealing respectively with the past present, and future The past, so to speak, is represented by the National Intelligence Survey, an agreed-upon basic compendium of factual detail anddevelopment The future Is represented by the NationalEstimate, containing the best thinking the community can put forwardiven problem for future US. policy. The present is represented by the Central Intelligence BuUettn. the dairy which brings current developments to the attention of high-level readers in brief form.
The procedure for coordinating the evaluation! madr In the Bulletin among the agencies of the inteUigence community may be of Interest. Each day the items are drafted In the CIA Office of Currentoften with help from analysts in CIA's economic, scientific, and technical research components, and circulated to the community by secure communications channels. They are reviewed by thedesks and branches within CIA. in the Defense Intelligence Agency, and in the Bureau of Iwelligence and Research at the State Department, whose representatives then meet in the afternoon,such changes, additions, or deletions as the desks may have.Ah agreed-version .IsJootnotrs being^ffsed. as in national estimates, to register any sharp distent. By sU o'clock in the evening the draft Bulletin constitutes agreed national current intelligence. Before the publication reaches its readers at theof business the next morning, however. It hat to be updated. We in CIA make the changes unilaterally, so marking them The Bulletin's reporting on Vietnam, for example, will incorporate informationup0 in the morning; this is not an hour conducive to formal coordination
Besides coordinating these community publications we produce others under the CIA imprint, some of which may also be coordinated with othereekly world roundup reviewsittle deeper perspective, and one or two special annexes accompanying it usually treat some current problemairlyway. Then there are regular publication! for particular purposes, suchaily Vietnam situation report, the weekly Vietnameekly tailored to the needt and agenda of the new Senior Interdepartmental Croup, and monthly compilations on shipping to North Vietnam and Cuba.
A problem common to these regular issuances is created by thedemands of classification and dissemination. Wc want to serve as broadly as possible evrryooe in the government requiring intelligence information for tbe performance of his duties On the other hand, we want to be able to publish informal,on of tbe most restrictive classifications. We tightly limited the dissemination of the Central Intelligence Bulletin from its inception In order to make its content at comprehensive as possible. But new collectionwith highly compartmentalized reporting systems now supply
information which cannot go even to all recipients of the Bulletin. There are valid reasons for the restrictions, out they make itto serve the Director and the President adequately with norma] publications.
We are therefore forced to oeate new and ever mote tightlyspecial publications lor these readers. They are preparedery small number of senior officers and go outside the Agency inery few copies. Th'ir content it governed by the concept that there can be no piece of information to highly classified or tothat it cannot be passed^tohe^mam orvr(is (he Presklrot'l'DaUy'BrWl. Ifs'cV uSe^ulletln. but it contains added material too sensitive for the wider audience and it writtenore tpritely style, with less concern for citing the evidence underlying the judgments expressed.
Inevitably, some such publications become mote widely known and get into such demand that their dissemination creeps up. no martrr how hard we fight it. At this point, lest the added circulation destroy their purpose, we put sensitive informationeparate page included only In the copies of the prime recipients.
The trouble with regular publications, in addition to theproblem, is that they tend to have fixed deadlines, format, and dissemination schedules and hence suffer in neuhility andesult, we have been turning increasingly to individual inteOi-gcDce memoranda to meet many of our responsibilities. Then we can let the requirement! of the particular case dictate the deadline, the format, and the distribution, at well at the classification
For the CIA research components one of the most importantin recent yean hasharp increase in the teivictng of policy makers with memoranda and longer reports devoted to particular policy issues. This reflectsore sensitiveon our part of precisely what kinds of intelligence are requiredrowing awareness among policy officials that intelligence can be responsive and helpful on some of the more troublesome questions underlying theirew of the economic studies done recently in support of pobey decisions have been on the effects of cco'iomic sanctions against South Africa, the logistic situation ol the Communist forces in Vietnam, tbe effectiveness of vs. bombing there, the consequences of certain proposed action! in the Zambia-Rhodesia
crisis, and the implications of change. economic policy toward the Communist world.
From scientific and technical research come, for example, special memoranda concerning foreign military research and development, especially in the USSR and Communist China, for consumers such as the President's Scientific Advisor and Advisory Board, theForeign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the Director for Defense Research and Engineering in the Department of Defense, These officials have an important role In determining the. military research and development must take to counter the Soviei*and ChmesVthreat. Trtey^ftM'require* more detail than is presented in the standard National Intelligence Estimate, or they require very specific answers to equally specific technical questions. Such memoranda are often accompaniedriefing.
The intelligence memorandum originally prepared in answerpecific requestenior policy maker also tends to generate additional, self-initiated memoranda either to update the first response or to insure that the recipient, in concentratingarrow aspectroblem, doesn't overlook something else that is germane. Finally, in servicing such requests from the policy maker you build uperiod of time an intuitive sense of what be is going to ask. and you anticipate it
The Operations Center
Another way we endeavor to insure that we are providing timely and useful intelligence support fa to know what is going on. operational forces. We have found that our top customer regularlyull picture of any crisis situation, particularly. forces are involved or may become involved. To be able to marry the kinds of data wanted. operations with the customaryon foreign activities and developments, the intelligenceneed regular inputs not only from the intelligence collectors but from the operators. We need immediate access to the operational people in National Military Command Center In the Pentagon. We need to know the directives State is about to send to embassies in crisis situations.
To deal with this problem, we have recently expanded our former Watch Office into an Operations Center. The Center continues to have the watch office function of filtering incoming information and
alerting the proper people as necessary. Outside of normal office hours it Is directed by ao experienced generalist of senior rank. It has teleprinter service from the Foreign Broadcast Informationand from the National Security Agency. It has secure teleprinter and voice communications with the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, and through these switchboards with American military and governmental outposts all over the world. The amount of information received and screened In tbe Center is now running In excessillionear.
The Oper ations Center ^maintains up-to-date briefingcritical situations" andpecial situationhen
thereajorask force with representatives from all of the components involved can be pulled into the Center to operate therehour basis if necessary. (At one period we had four task forcesVietnam, the Dominican Republic. Indonesia, andust say itittle crowded inuring the Dominican crisis, the Director called for situation reports every hour on the hour, around the dock.ertain degree Vietnam reporting now remains in the same category.
The point is. of course, that the policy makers have gone tactical in their concerns, and apparently this is tbe way it will be whenever the United States is engagedast-moving potentially dangerous situation. At such times the President and his top cabinet officers become involved In day-by-day and hour-by-hour operational planning, down to the selection of targets and the deployment and commitment of troops. This is because of the world-wide political imp Ik* Dons of Uctical decisions today, and it is made possible by the capabilities of modern communications systems. The situation room In the Whiteanned by seven ofperienced watch officers borrowed from the Operations Center, who are no longer completely unnerved to find the President peering over their shoulder at almost any hour.
Furscf of Confidence
In summary, we might say thatystem to support the senior policy maker two ingredients aregood production baseeadiness to adapt it as necessary. One most be alert to the changing needs of the policy maker, and be ready to meet them Above aU, there mustool of experienced intelligence officers, both generallsts and specialists, with continuity in their foht and ob-
jectivity in their outlook. Ted Sorensen wrote in Dtcisiori'Maklng in the While HouM:
tie President, olays attention to all the Information Kr NHhtli nor can he potiibly remember It all. What he actually conuden andi*ar well be the key lo what hend these Ml ram oaay depend on hiiin the Muiee and on (he manner in which the lacii are preientrd. He it certain lo regard lome officials and penodtciti with more respect than others.ertain lo Cnd himselfornmunarate maw easily with torn stal memberi lhan with ouwn. He ralad that soma reports or briefing booksigher reliability than others
We want the policy maker to be confident that in asking us forhe it getting at knowledgeable, pertinent, unbiased, andresentation as it is possible to provide.Original document.