Evolution of Intelligence Reform
Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 3 (September 2012)
title. Though there is evidence aboutits work, the board’s work has beenlittle noted by historians, even CIA’shistorians.
The board had come to prescientconclusions about the basic prob-lems of IC management by the endof the 1950s. At an NSC meeting on5 January 1961 to discuss PFIAB’sideas and other proposals to consoli-date intelligence management withinDoD, the notetaker recorded the fol-lowing illustrative exchange, worthquoting at length:
believed that the Servicesshould collect battlefield intelligence but did not seethe necessity for strategicintelligence in the Services. He wondered what intelli-gence officers in the Servicescould do to get information from the center of the USSRand correlate it with intelli-gence on the rest of the world. He said when he supported the establishment of the Cen-tral Intelligence Agency in1947, he did it on the basisthat the function of strategicintelligence should be in CIAand that duplication should be eliminated.
Lemnitzer felt that the acqui-sition of technicalintelligence, e.g., informationabout enemy nuclear subma-rines, required officials whoknow nuclear submarines….The President believed that the information referred to byGeneral Lemnitzer was bat-tlefield intelligence, whereasthe discovery of the ship- yards where nuclear submarines are being con-structed was the business of CIA. He did not see why four intelligence services should attempt to find out where thesubmarines were made. Hebelieved it was the function of CIA to acquire strategicintelligence.
Eisenhower’s PFIAB had a simi-lar view. But it also thought that, if the job was properly conceived, itwas too big to be given to the CIAdirector. The board put it this way:W
e believe that the situationwould be bettered substan-tially if the DCI would divest himself voluntarily of many of the functions he currently performs in his capacity as Head of CIA and by assign-ing such duties elsewherewithin CIA. To accomplishthis purpose we again recom-mend that he be provided witha Chief of Staff or Executive Director to act for him,together with the Deputy Director, in the management of the CIA, thereby relievinghim to perform the even moreimportant duty of coordinat-ing, integrating and directingall U.S. foreign intelligenceactivities. After a reasonable trial period, if this course of actiondoes not accomplish itsintended goal, serious consid-eration should be given tocomplete separation of the DCI from the CIA.
The Kennedy administration didnot act on this particular set of rec-ommendations. Instead it did pursuethe parallel project, long under way,to consolidate some of the intelli-gence work being performed in thePentagon. So JFK’s administrationestablished another major institutionwithin DoD, a Defense IntelligenceAgency (DIA).
Four Models of IC Management
For the next 40 years, the runningargument posed roughly
mod-els for solving the problem of intelli-gence community management,deciding which questions to answerand how to answer them.•
DoD shouldhave direct budget and personnelcontrol over most of the intelli-gence establishment. Defense con-cerns were the main concerns. Therest was niche collection (humanagents) or analysis no one else,like State, wanted to do or cared todo well.•
The director of the CIA should also have, as direc-tor of central intelligence, directbudget and personnel control overmost of the intelligence establish-ment, including the major“national” agencies involved intechnical intelligence collection.
Eisenhower created the board toward the end of his first term in office. He created it after first having used an ad hoc group, headed by Air Force Gen. JamesDoolittle, to report to him on CIA covert operations and other matters. Doolittle would later be a member of the regular board, whose first chair was MIT Pres-ident James Killian.