The Formulation and Administration of United States Foreign Policy

By H. Field Haviland; Robert E. Asher et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter VI. Intelligence, Planning, and Execution

The proposals to strengthen the leadership and organization of the major agencies concerned with foreign policy, especially the proposed Department of Foreign Affairs, will require, among other things, a reinforcement of the basic policy functions common to all such agencies. The most crucial of these functions are the acquisition, sifting, and dissemination of essential information; long-range as well as short-range planning that will analyze the key issues and recommend preferred courses of action; and the direction and evaluation of consequent action programs. The following analysis examines certain aspects of each of these functions -- intelligence, planning, and execution.


A. INTELLIGENCE

The experience of the Second World War demonstrated the need to draw more closely together the various intelligence efforts, both military and civilian. Thus the National Security Act of 1947 established the Central Intelligence Agencyas an adjunct of the National Security Council and gave it a coordinating function with respect to existing departmental intelligence organizations. Since then, the concept of an intelligence community has undergone an evolutionary process, the main feature of which has been a tendency toward centralization, a tendency that has been marked by conflict and compromise and that still involves unsettled issues.

At present the intelligence community consists of the Central Intelligence Agency, the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission, and some elements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition, the community is informally linked with other information gathering and processing activities in the executive branch. The community, sometimes acting as a whole through the Central Intelligence Agency and sometimes with its components acting separately, services the entire executive branch. Contact with the Congress is more limited, intermittent, and informal.


1. The producer-user relationship

A basic problem that colors all aspects of the intelligence function is the issue: How can the relationship between the producer and user of intelligence be strengthened? The relationship is complicated by the fact that the users' needs are far from uniform. Principal officials, who have the ultimate responsibility for planning and making the major policy decisions, have needs different from those of their supporting staffs. The latter requirements differ again from those of staffs that are responsible for the execution of policy decisions. To meet these varying needs the intelligence producer must develop a close relationship with the user and make every effort to shape his product to the end use. On a foundation of collected raw material,

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