Truman, Prouty, and William Cooper were Revealors of how the Shadow Government NWO Came about following WWII

I will be writing about Jem Moore and using her word how the US Government was infiltrated by powers sneaking in to the NSC and its opporutnity to circument the US Constitution. One example of doing so not part of any thread of history I am writing about but is a relevant example of CIA and US DOD conduct was Egypt. Egypt was very close to the USA for long periods of history. I routinely tortured its prisoners will little court interevention in the abuse. When the CIA felt the laws of the USA interfered with interogation needs it would under treaty turn suspects over to Egypt and there they would talk. Similary Gaunatonmo Bay is offshore of the USA and limits reach of certain domesitc laws.

While waiting for all states to ratify, the Congress observed the Articles as it conducted business, directing the war effort for independence from Great Britain, conducting diplomacy with foreign states such as France, addressing territorial issues and dealing with Native American relations. Little changed procedurally once the Articles of Confederation went into effect, as ratification did little more than constitutionalize what the Continental Congress had been doing. That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation; but most Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress, since its organization remained the same. -Wikipedia

As the US Constitution was ratified upon gaining of endepenence the Executive Branch was created and in the following years The Bill of RIghts were added to the Constition and modified inth the farbic of governance of the USA today that includes Common Law (court opinions) creatkgn landmark interpretaions of the legal frameworks.

Like the 10th Amendment that reservered poewrs to the states that had not been delegated to the national government, the Congress itself in approving the Constitution reserved war power to itself and foreign policy as a shared repsonsibilty with the Executive.

Powers of Purse in all matters (funding actions of the Government) rather than a general fund was a power of Congress. Declaratin of War, regulating the military, and usign the Draft for conspription of soldiers a power of COngress. Congress forbade Prizes of War in order that not incenetive or independent capability of war making existing outside of authorizations granted by Congress (who again would allow for a prise of war to soldeirs fo fortune but only upon congressional approval.

While Truman states he wanted a composite tszr or group of tsars who were not departmental stekeholders (perhaps) in the diffeing branches of military or who had conflicting and then bickering interests in their realm or department, it was decided to have a summary opinion delived to the president upon the formaion of such opnions if we are to later believe Truman after JFK was assasinated.

In fect the Psychological Warefare in Iran and other nations and war profeittering of CIA front companies created by the War industries Boards of WWI or post WWII or in between or later did secretly conduct military wars in disguisded military equipment and uniforms, profiteer, and do so whithout decleaqrions of war and without Congressonial approvals on treaties called policies with The Vatican or other groups rannfing from Northern Ireland, Grerat Brtiain, major billionaires and groups like Bilderbers, Free Masons lodges, etc., for what the “eite” world view was on western governance.

Ed Donegan and many Catholics or catholic raised believr this was too close to creating holding, and supressing colonies probably not for the wealth of the second world but in doing so under business fronts covert wars were possible subsumed the UsA into the NWO.

History of the National Security Council, 1947-1997

The National Security Act of July 26, 1947, created the National Security Council under the chairmanship of the President, with the Secretaries of State and Defense as its key members, to coordinate foreign policy and defense policy, and to reconcile diplomatic and military commitments and requirements. This major legislation also provided for a Secretary of Defense, a National Military Establishment, Central Intelligence Agency, and National Security Resources Board. The view that the NSC had been created to coordinate political and military questions quickly gave way to the understanding that the NSC existed to serve the President alone. The view that the Council’s role was to foster collegiality among departments also gave way to the need by successive Presidents to use the Council as a means of controlling and managing competing departments.



   Truman Administration, 1947-1953

   Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1961

   Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963

   Johnson Administration, 1963-1969

   Nixon Administration, 1969-1974

   Ford Administration, 1974-1977

   Carter Administration, 1977-1981

   Reagan Administration, 1981-1989

   Bush Administration, 1989-1992

   Clinton Administration, 1993-1997

   Appendix: Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs 1953-Present


Since the end of World War II, each administration has sought to develop
and perfect a reliable set of executive institutions to manage national
security policy. Each President has tried to avoid the problems and
deficiencies of his predecessors’ efforts and install a policy-making and
coordination system that reflected his personal management style. The National
Security Council (NSC) has been at the center of this foreign policy
coordination system, but it has changed many times to conform with the needs
and inclinations of each succeeding chief executive.

The National Security Act of July 26, 1947, created the National
Security Council under the chairmanship of the President, with the Secretaries
of State and Defense as its key members, to coordinate foreign policy and
defense policy, and to reconcile diplomatic and military commitments and
requirements. This major legislation also provided for a Secretary of Defense,
a National Military Establishment, Central Intelligence Agency, and National
Security Resources Board. The view that the NSC had been created to coordinate
political and military questions quickly gave way to the understanding that the
NSC existed to serve the President alone. The view that the Council’s role was
to foster collegiality among departments also gave way to the need by
successive Presidents to use the Council as a means of controlling and managing
competing departments.

The structure and functioning of the NSC depended in no small degree
upon the interpersonal chemistry between the President and his principal
advisers and department heads. But despite the relationships between
individuals, a satisfactory organizational structure had to be developed, for
without it the necessary flow of information and implementation of decisions
could not occur. Although a permanent staff gradually began to take shape, the
main substantive work occurred in the departments.

President Truman’s NSC was dominated by the Department of State.
President Eisenhower’s predilection for the military staff system, however, led
to development of the NSC along those lines. The NSC staff coordinated an
elaborate structure for monitoring the implementation of policies. The NSC’s
Executive Secretary became an assistant to the President, but was sufficiently
self-effacing not to conflict with a powerful Secretary of State, John Foster

President Kennedy may have initially looked to a strong Secretary of
State to take charge of foreign policy-making, but turned to other strategies
when it became apparent that the Department of State did not have sufficient
authority over other departments. Kennedy, who preferred policy-making with ad
hoc groups, dismantled Eisenhower’s elaborate NSC machinery and allowed the
Special Assistant for National Security Affairs and his staff to assume the
primary coordination role. Kennedy’s freewheeling style tended to erase the
distinction between policy-making and operations that President Eisenhower’s
regimented staff system so carefully observed.

Sharing Kennedy’s affinity for informal advisory arrangements, President
Johnson let the NSC structure atrophy still further and, like his predecessor,
relied instead on the National Security Adviser and his staff and various ad
hoc groups and trusted friends. But he also consulted regularly with his
Tuesday Lunch Group and in 1966 officially turned over responsibility for the
supervision and coordination of interdepartmental activities overseas to the
Secretary of State, with mixed results.

Under Presidents Nixon and Ford, Henry Kissinger’s expanded NSC staff
concentrated on acquiring analytical information from the various departments
that would allow the National Security Adviser to put before the President the
best possible range of options for decision. This system was in perfect accord
with President Nixon’s preference for detailed written expositions rather than
interpersonal groupings. Kissinger concentrated on a handful of major issues
and allowed some foreign matters to devolve by default on the Department of
State, while weapons and international financial questions were dealt with by
the Departments of Defense and the Treasury. Kissinger at first attempted to
restore the separation between policy-making and implementation, but eventually
found himself personally performing both roles.

Under President Carter, the National Security Adviser became a principal
source of foreign affairs ideas and the NSC staff was recruited and managed
with that in view. The Department of State provided institutional memory and
served as operations coordinator. Some saw this as an activism-conservatism
duality, and the press eventually picked up on the tensions that were present.
The National Security Adviser’s role as public advocate rather than as
custodian exacerbated the difficult relationships with State and other

A collegial approach to government decision-making was emphasized in the
Reagan administration. The National Security Adviser was downgraded, and the
Chief of Staff to the President exercised a coordinating role in the White
House. The collegiality among powerful department heads was not successfully
maintained and conflicts became public. The NSC staff tended to emerge as a
separate, contending party.

President Bush brought his own considerable foreign policy experience to
his leadership of the National Security Council, and restored collegial
relations among department heads. He reorganized the NSC organization to
include a Principals Committee, Deputies Committee, and eight Policy
Coordinating Committees. The NSC played an effective role during such major
developments as the collapse of the Soviet Union, the unification of Germany,
and the deployment of American troops in Iraq and Panama. The Clinton
administration continued to emphasize a collegial approach within the NSC on
national security matters. The NSC membership was expanded to include the
Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, the
newly-created Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (who was also head
of a newly-created National Economic Council or NEC, parallel to the NSC), the
President’s Chief of Staff, and the President’s National Security Adviser.

For 50 years, 10 Presidents have sought to use the National Security Council system to integrate foreign and defense policies in order to preserve the nation’s security and advance its interests road. Recurrent structural modifications over the years have reflected Presidential management style,
changing requirements, and personal relationships.

Truman Administration, 1947-1953

The National Security Council was created by Public Law 80(253, approved July 26, 1947, as part of a general reorganization of the U.S. national security apparatus. Proponents of the reform realized that no institutional means for the coordination of foreign and defense policy existed, and that the informal management techniques employed by President Roosevelt during the war and President Truman after the war were not suitable for the long haul. The State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee SWNCC) had been established in 1944 at the Assistant Secretary-level, and by 1945 the Secretaries of State, War, and Navy began holding weekly meetings. President Roosevelt had tended to trust White House aides like Harry Hopkins and Admiral William D. Leahy to carry on necessary day-to-day coordination.

President Truman for a time relied upon Special White House Counsel Clark Clifford to provide the Hopkins(Leahy type of personal coordination. Clifford, who was dismayed by the disorder among
agencies taking major post-war policy-making decisions, was a key figure in establishing the National Security Council to give institutional stability to national security policy-making.

The National Security Act of 1947 created the National Security Council under the chairmanship of the President, with only the following seven officials as permanent members: the President, the Secretaries of State, Defense, Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board. The President could designate “from time to time” the Secretaries of other executive departments and the Chairmen of the Munitions Board and the Research and Development Board to attend meetings. While the new Central Intelligence Agency was to report to the NSC, the Director of Central
Intelligence was not a member, although he attended meetings as an observer and resident adviser.

The function of the NSC as outlined in the 1947 act was to advise the President on integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to national security and to facilitate interagency cooperation. At the President’s direction, the NSC could also assess and appraise risks to U.S. national security, consider policies, and then report or make recommendations to the President.

The act created a small permanent staff headed by a civilian Executive Secretary appointed by the President. In neither the National Security Act of 1947 nor subsequent amendments was there provision for the position of National Security Adviser. Initially, the permanent NSC staff had no substantive role in the formulation, let alone implementation, of national security policies.

The NSC did, however, serve other purposes beyond its stated goal of advising on policy formulation. For Forrestal and the Navy, who were opposed to a strongly-unified Department of Defense, it provided top-level coordination of the three armed services without integration or unification. For Defense officials, it ensured a continuing military voice in formulation of related foreign and domestic policies during peacetime. For those, especially in Congress, who doubted Truman had adequate experience in foreign affairs or even doubted his abilities in general, the NSC offered the hope of evolving into a collegial policy-making body to reinforce the President.

Truman was clearly sensitive to this implied criticism and jealous of his prerogatives as Chief Executive. He did not like the idea of Congress legislating who could advise him on national security. Truman, therefore, kept the NSC at arm’s length during its first 3 years. He attended the first session
of the NSC on September 26, 1947, and then stayed away from all but 10 of the next 55 meetings. Truman continued to rely on a succession of personal White House advisers (George M. Elsey, Rear Admiral Robert Dennison, and W. Averell Harriman(to coordinate for him major foreign policy matters.

Initially, Truman named the Secretary of State as the ranking member of the Council in his absence and expected the Department of State to play the major role in formulating policy recommendations. This decision disappointed Defense officials who hoped that the Secretary of Defense would be allowed to preside in the President’s absence and had offered to locate the NSC staff in
the Pentagon. Clifford managed to resist Secretary of Defense Forrestal’s efforts to gain control of the NSC. Procedures established during the Truman administration set the basic bureaucratic pattern which lasted through the Eisenhower administration: draft NSC papers written primarily by State’s Policy Planning Staff, discussion at the NSC meeting, approval by the President resulting in an NSC Action, and dissemination to relevant parts of the bureaucracy. During its initial years, the NSC suffered from haphazard staffing and irregular meetings and was sometimes bypassed entirely. The executive secretaries of the Council had no real authority or influence beyond managing the staff process.

In 1949, the NSC was reorganized. Truman directed the Secretary of the Treasury to attend all meetings and Congress amended the National Security Act of 1947 to eliminate the three service secretaries from Council membership and add the Vice President(who assumed second rank from the Secretary of State(and the Joint Chiefs of Staff who became permanent advisers to the Council. NSC
standing committees were created to deal with sensitive issues such as internal security. The NSC staff consisted of three groups: the Executive Secretary and his staff who managed the paper flow; a staff, made up of personnel on detail, whose role was to develop studies and policy recommendations (headed by the Coordinator from the Department of State); and the Consultants to the Executive Secretary who acted as chief policy and operational planners for each department or agency represented on the NSC.

Even Truman’s overhaul of the machinery in 1949 did not create a National Security Council that fulfilled the role originally envisioned. Truman was partly to blame. He insisted on going outside NSC channels for national security advice, relying directly on his Secretaries of State and Defense, and
increasingly on the Bureau of the Budget. Attendance at NSC meetings gradually increased to a point where the Council became too large for free discussion and degenerated into a bureaucratic battleground of departmental rivalries. NSC lines of authority, never clear, became increasingly blurred. By not attending most NSC meetings, Truman ensured that Council members would seek him out to press their own viewpoints privately.

In 1949, events reinforced the need for better coordination of national security policy: NATO was formed, military assistance for Europe was begun, the Soviet Union detonated an atomic bomb, and the Communists gained control in China. The Department of State seized the opportunity to review U.S. strategic policy and military programs, overcoming opposition from Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson and his allies in the Bureau of the Budget. Initially sidestepping formal NSC channels, State won approval of an ad hoc interdepartmental committee under its Policy Planning head, Paul Nitze. Their
report, NSC 68, was submitted directly to Truman in February 1950, who sent it to the NSC for a cost analysis. An NSC committee authorized to consider costs and broader implications of NSC 68 began its work, but before it could be completed the Korean war broke out.

The war in Korea dramatically changed the functioning of the NSC under Truman. Thereafter the Council met every Thursday and the President attended all but 7 of its 71 remaining meetings. Truman limited attendance to statutory members plus the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the JCS, the Director of Central Intelligence, two special advisers (Averell Harriman and Sidney Souers), and the NSC Executive Secretary.

The Secretariat was retained, but the Staff and the Consultants were eliminated in favor of a Senior Staff–Assistant Secretary level or higher(supported by Staff Assistants. Truman reiterated that the NSC was to be the channel for all important national security recommendations. During the
first year of the Korean war, the NSC came as close as it ever did under Truman to fulfilling that role. Nonetheless, Truman still looked outside the formal NSC mechanism for advice and recommendations, relying on the NSC as much for staffing and coordination of interdepartmental views as for primary recommendations.

Truman made additional structural changes in the NSC in late 1950 and in 1951. He directed the head of the newly-created Office of Defense Mobilization to attend NSC meetings and then made him a member of the Senior Staff. With the Mutual Security Act of 1951, the newly-created Director for Mutual Security (Harriman) became a statutory member with the right to appoint a Senior Staff member. The Bureau of the Budget sent a representative to some Senior Staff meetings. In 1951, the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB), made up of the deputies at State and Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence, was created to coordinate the response to Soviet unconventional Cold War tactics.
The PSB worked closely with the NSC in managing America’s covert psychological counterattack. In his retirement President Truman denied any responsibility for “cloak and dagger operations” but it was during his Presidency that covert intelligence operations in support of foreign policy objectives was undertaken on an ever broadening scale. The NSC’s first action (NSC 1/1) authorized covert action in the Italian elections. The formal institutionalization of covert actions was established as NSC 4 in December 1947, and NSC 10/2 of June 1948.

During Truman’s last year, the Council and the Senior Staff met less frequently and NSC activity abated. Much interdepartmental planning on the NSC books was never completed by the end of the Truman administration. During this period, the NSC reflected Truman’s sense of frustration as a lame-duck
President caught in a stalemated war.

Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1961

Under President Eisenhower, the National Security Council system evolved into the principal arm of the President in formulating and executing policy on military, international, and internal security affairs. Where Truman was uncomfortable with the NSC system and only made regular use of it under the
pressure of the Korean war, Eisenhower embraced the NSC concept and created a structured system of integrated policy review. With his military background, Eisenhower had a penchant for careful staff work, and believed that effective planning involved a creative process of discussion and debate among advisers compelled to work toward agreed recommendations.

The genesis of the new NSC system was a report prepared for the President in March 1953 by Robert Cutler, who became the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Cutler proposed a systematic flow of recommendation, decision, and implementation that he later described as the
“policy hill” process. At the bottom of the hill, concerned agencies such as State and Defense produced draft policy recommendations on specific topics and worked for consensus at the agency level. These draft NSC papers went up the hill through the Planning Board, created to review and refine the
recommendations before passing them on for full NSC consideration. The NSC Planning Board met on Tuesday and Friday afternoons and was composed of officials at the Assistant Secretary level from the agencies with permanent or standing representation on the Council, as well as advisers from the JCS and
CIA. Hundreds of hours were spent by the Board reviewing and reconstructing proposed papers for the NSC. Cutler resigned in 1958 in exhaustion. The top of the foreign policy-making hill was the NSC itself, chaired by the President, which met regularly on Thursday mornings.

The Council consisted of the five statutory members: the President, Vice President, Secretaries of State and Defense, and Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization. Depending on the subject under discussion, as many as a score of other senior Cabinet members and advisers, including the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the JCS, and the Director of Central Intelligence, attended and participated. The agenda included regular briefings by the Director of Central Intelligence on worldwide developments affecting U.S. security, and consideration of the policy papers advanced by the Planning Board. The upshot of the discussions were recommendations to the President in the form of NSC Actions. The President, who participated in the discussion, normally endorsed the NSC Action, and the decision went down the hill for implementation to the Operations Coordinating Board.

President Eisenhower created the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB) to follow up on all NSC decisions. The OCB met regularly on Wednesday afternoons at the Department of State, and was composed of the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Directors of CIA, USIA, and ICA, and the Special Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs and Security Operations Coordination. The OCB was the coordinating and implementing arm of the NSC for all aspects of the implementation of national security policy. NSC action papers were assigned to a team from the OCB for follow-up. More than 40 interagency working groups were established with experts for various countries and subjects. This 24-person staff of the OCB’s supported these working groups in which officials from various agencies met each other for the first time.

The President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, a post held under Eisenhower by Cutler, Dillon Anderson, William H. Jackson, and Gordon Gray, oversaw the flow of recommendations and decisions up and down the policy hill, and functioned in Council meetings to brief the Council and
summarize the sense of discussion. The Special Assistant was an essential facilitator of the decision-making system, but, unlike the National Security Adviser created under Kennedy, had no substantive role in the process. The NSC staff managed by the Special Assistant grew during the Eisenhower years, but again had no independent role in the policy process.

President Eisenhower had great confidence in the efficacy of covert operations as a viable supplement or alternative to normal foreign policy activities. The seeming clear success of the operations to overthrow Iranian populist leader Mossadegeh in 1953 and the left-leaning President Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954 was not without their crisis moments in the White House. In 1954 NSC 5412 provided for the establishment of a panel of designated representatives of the President and the Secretaries of State and Defense to meet regularly to review and recommend covert operations. Gordon Gray assumed the chairmanship of the “5412 Committee” as it was called, and all succeeding National Security Advisers have chaired similar successor committees, variously named “303”, “40”, “Special Coordinating Committee,” which, in later Presidential administrations, were charged with the review of CIA covert operations.

President Eisenhower also created the position of staff secretary with the responsibility to screen all foreign policy and military documents coming to the President. While Colonel Andrew Goodpaster held this position, he tended to eclipse the Special Assistant for National Security.

The strength of the NSC system under Eisenhower was that it provided for regular, fully-staffed, interagency review of major foreign and national security issues, culminating in discussion and decision at the highest level of government. The resulting Presidentially-approved NSC papers provided policy guidance at every level of implementation. Eisenhower felt that the regular policy discussions kept his principal advisers fully informed, in step with one another, and prepared to react knowledgeably in the event of crisis. His commitment to the system was such that he chaired every Council meeting he could attend (329 of a total of 366). The NSC meetings, including prior briefings and subsequent review of NSC Actions, constituted the largest single item on his weekly agenda.

Secretary of State Dulles, on the other hand, had reservations about the NSC system. He was the strongest personality in the Eisenhower Cabinet and jealously guarded his role as principal adviser to the President on foreign policy. He had constant, direct access to the President and did not feel that
some of the most sensitive issues should be discussed in groups as large as were involved in most NSC meetings. He drew a sharp line between the NSC policy review process and the day-to-day operations of foreign policy, which he maintained were the province of the Department of State. Dulles and his
deputies were not comfortable with the scope the NSC review system gave to Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, another strong figure in the Cabinet, to intrude budgetary limitations into policy considerations. And Dulles successfully resisted a proposal to substitute the Vice President for
the Under Secretary of State as chairman of the OCB, arguing that such a change would impinge on his role as principal adviser to the President on foreign policy.

Critics of the Eisenhower NSC system have argued that it was inflexible, overstaffed, unable to anticipate and react to immediate crises, and weighed down by committees reporting in great detail on long checklists of minor policy concerns. The most thorough critique of the system emerged from the hearings conducted in 1960(1961 by the Senate Subcommittee on National Policy Machinery, known as the Jackson Subcommittee for its chairman, Senator Henry Jackson. Cutler and NSC Executive Secretary James Lay testified in support of the effectiveness of the system, but their testimony was offset by that of former Truman administration officials such as George Kennan, Paul Nitze, and Robert Lovett. They argued that foreign policy was being made by a passive President influenced by a National Security Council rendered virtually useless by ponderous, bureaucratic machinery. Basically, they argued, the NSC was a huge committee, and suffered from all the weaknesses of committees. Composed of representatives of many agencies, its members were not free to adopt the broad, statesmanlike attitude desired by the President, but, rather, were ambassadors of their own departments, clinging to departmental rather than national views. To make matters worse, critics added, the NSC system by its very nature was restricted to continuing and developing already established policies and was incapable of originating new ideas or major innovations. The critics suggested replacement of the formal, “over-institutionalized” NSC structure with a smaller, less formal NSC which would offer the President a clear choice of alternatives on a limited number of major problems.

Eisenhower was certainly not a passive President, dominated on foreign policy and national security issues by his Secretary of State. In fact, Eisenhower was actively in command of his administration, and the NSC system met his instincts and requirements. There is substance in the criticism that the Eisenhower NSC became to some extent the prisoner of a rigidly bureaucratic process, but the criticism misses the point that Eisenhower and Dulles did not attempt to manage fast-breaking crises or day-to-day foreign policy through the NSC apparatus. An examination of several of the major foreign policy problems that confronted the Eisenhower administration reveals that the NSC system was used to manage some and was virtually bypassed in others. When the question involved a policy debate between departments with strongly-held, contending positions, as it did in the case of the debate between the Departments of State and Defense in 1956(1957 over whether to introduce a more modern generation of weapons into Korea, the NSC process focused debate and produced an agreed decision after discussion of three draft policy papers.

Crisis situations, however, such as the Suez crisis of 1956, the off-shore island crises of 1955 and 1958, and the Lebanon crisis of 1958, were typically managed through telephone conversations between Eisenhower, Dulles, and other principal advisers, and through small meetings with the President in the White House, normally involving Dulles and other concerned advisers. Eisenhower sometimes used trusted NSC staffers to serve as an intermediary to gain information outside the chain of command as he did with Colonel Goodpaster during the Quemoy crisis in 1955. There was great similarity between this process of crisis management and that adopted by subsequent Presidents, such as Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, except for the fact that the ad hoc meetings in the Eisenhower White House did not involve a National Security Adviser as a substantive participant. And in the event that aspects of crisis management depended on contact with the critical man-on-the-spot, as it did in 1958 when Deputy Under Secretary of State Robert Murphy was dispatched to Lebanon to attempt to defuse the crisis, his instructions came from the Department of State and he reported to the Secretary of State rather than directly to the White House, as became the practice during the height of the Vietnam conflict.

When Eisenhower briefed President-elect Kennedy on the NSC system, and when Gray briefed his successor McGeorge Bundy, they emphasized the importance of the NSC machinery in the management of foreign policy and national security affairs. They might have been more persuasive had they pointed to the fact that the NSC system was essentially limited to policy review and was not used to manage crises or day-to-day foreign policy.

Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963

President Kennedy, who was strongly influenced by the report of the Jackson Subcommittee and its severe critique of the Eisenhower NSC system, moved quickly at the beginning of his administration to deconstruct the NSC process and simplify the foreign policy-making process and make it more intimate. In a very short period after taking office, the new President moved to reduce the NSC staff from 74 to 49, limit the substantive officers to 12, and hold NSC meetings much less frequently while sharply curtailing the number of officers attending. The Operation Coordination Board was abolished, and the NSC was, at the President’s insistence, pulled back from monitoring the implementation of policies. The coordination of foreign policy decisions was ostensibly left to the State Department (and other agencies as necessary).

Johnson Administration, 1963-1969

The abrupt transition of power to the Johnson administration brought no
dramatic change in the formal role of the National Security Council. Like
Kennedy, Johnson much preferred small, informal advisory meetings to large
Council meetings supported by an elaborately organized staff. According to one
of his aides, Johnson felt the NSC was “not a live institution, not suited to
precise debate for the sake of decision.” Moreover, Johnson thought NSC
meetings were prone to leaks–they were “like sieves,” he once remarked–and he
inherited advisers who shared his views. Secretary of State Dean Rusk later
observed that during the Kennedy Presidency neither he nor Secretary of Defense
Robert McNamara liked to “get into much discussion” in the NSC with “so many
people sitting around the room” and the possibility of leaks so great.

Despite his misgivings about the Council, Johnson started out convening
it fairly regularly, about every 2 weeks on average during his first 11 months
in office. The sessions dealt with a broad range of issues but were relatively
brief in duration and, after May 1964, consisted largely of briefings. With the
approach of the Presidential election in November, Johnson suspended NSC
meetings, but then in early 1965 he shifted gears. From February 1965 through
mid-1966 he convened the NSC almost exclusively to discuss Vietnam, doing so
irregularly and, following a flurry of meetings in February 1965, infrequently.
Several participants later charged that Johnson used the NSC during 1965 not to
consult on Vietnam as he committed major U.S. ground forces but to “rubber
stamp” decisions made beforehand. The other major foreign policy crisis of the
period, the intervention in the Dominican Republic during April and May 1965,
was not brought before the Council at all.

As the Council’s formal advisory role diminished, so too did its
institutional support. Johnson treated the NSC staff as a personal staff, and
dropped meetings of the NSC Standing Group, which convened intermittently under
Kennedy to deal with planning and operations problems. Official records of
Council actions were discontinued, and National Security Action Memorandums,
which Kennedy had instituted to inform government agencies of Presidential
decisions requiring follow-up action, were issued with decreasing frequency.
Whereas Kennedy had issued 272 NSAMs in less than three years, Johnson issued
46 in 1964, 35 during 1965 and 1966, and a mere 14 during his final 2 years in

Disinclined to use the Council meetings for advice, Johnson, like
Kennedy, relied heavily on his National Security Advisers: McGeorge Bundy, who
remained in office through February 1966, and Bundy’s successor, Walt Rostow,
who served to the end of the administration. Indeed, scholars looking at the
evolution of the NSC from its inception to the 1970s contend that the National
Security Adviser and his White House centered staff increasingly assumed a more
prominent role than the official National Security Council and that Johnson,
like Kennedy before him, played a key role in this development. Focusing on
Johnson’s Presidency alone, however, some of his advisers, including Secretary
of State Rusk and Walt Rostow, insisted that the Council’s advisory role was
actually performed principally by another institution, the Tuesday Lunch Group,
and that those lunch meetings were in effect regular NSC meetings.

The small, informal, Tuesday luncheon meetings were much more to
Johnson’s liking than formal NSC meetings and quickly gained a prominent place
in the decision-making process. Embracing the Secretaries of State and Defense
and the National Security Adviser, the Tuesday Lunch Group met 27 times between
February and September 1964. In all Johnson convened some 160 Tuesday luncheons
during his Presidency, and the group was gradually expanded to include his
press secretary, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff. The participants uniformly praised the “strong collegial
sense” at the meetings and the opportunity for “extraordinary candor,” but
subordinates often complained that the secrecy and informality that encouraged
candor also made it hard for them to prepare their superiors properly for the
meetings and implement the decisions that were reached.

Upon succeeding Bundy as National Security Adviser in 1966, Rostow came
to grips with the issue of how to make effective use of the formal Council,
which by then was virtually moribund. He advised Johnson neither to pretend to
use the Council meetings for making major decisions nor to focus on day-to-day
operations. Instead he proposed regular, “anticipatory-type” sessions devoted,
as Johnson explained at the first of the new series, to “discussion of complex
problems requiring careful exploration before they were to come to him for
decision.” Clearly intended to complement rather than challenge the primary
advisory roles of the Tuesday luncheons and the National Security Adviser and
his staff, NSC meetings for the balance of the administration considered a
broad range of anticipated rather than pressing issues and gave little
attention to Vietnam. As one NSC staff member put it, Council members now
convened for “reflective and educational discussions, rather than
decision-making meetings.”

When not relying for advice and support on the Tuesday Lunch Group and
the National Security Adviser and his small staff, Johnson turned to a variety
of ad hoc groups and trusted friends inside and outside the government.
Following the outbreak of the Six Day War, for example, he established an NSC
Special Committee, modeled on the NSC Executive Committee that met during the
Cuban Missile Crisis, to coordinate U.S. policy in the Middle East for several
weeks. But none of these arrangements substituted fully for the functions that
the NSC’s Planning Board and the Operations Coordinating Board provided under

In March 1966 the Johnson White House sought to remedy this situation
through issuance of NSAM 341, the brainchild of General Maxwell Taylor. NSAM
341 assigned the Secretary of State official responsibility for the overall
direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities
overseas and created a mechanism to carry out the responsibility consisting of
the Senior Interdepartmental Group (SIG), chaired by the Under Secretary of
State, and several Interdepartmental Regional Groups (IRGs) beneath it, each
chaired by an Assistant Secretary of State. But following a fast-paced start,
the SIG entered a period of quiescence that saw it meet only three times from
late July 1966 to mid-July 1967, reflecting in part Under Secretary of State
Nicholas Katzenbach’s initial hesitancy to exploit its possibilities upon
taking office in October 1966. The SIG gained new vitality in mid-1967,
however, and together with the more active IRGs played a complementary and
supporting role to the Secretary of State and the NSC, especially in easing the
burdens of the national security adviser and his staff with respect to
interagency coordination and follow-up.

The innovations of a Presidential administration often do not survive
its close, reflecting as they do the distinctive views and management style of
the President and his immediate advisers. The close of the Johnson
administration brought an end to several of the adaptations it had made to
manage foreign policy: Tuesday luncheons, anticipatory-type NSC meetings, and
the SIG/IRG structure.

Nixon Administration, 1969-1974

President Nixon and his National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger,
dominated the making of U.S. foreign policy during the Nixon Presidency. As
Nixon recalled in his memoirs: “From the outset of my administration, . . . I
planned to direct foreign policy from the White House. Therefore I regarded my
choice of a National Security Adviser as crucial.” Henry Kissinger worked
through a National Security Council apparatus he revised and fashioned to serve
his needs and objectives and those of the President. The close relationship
between the President and the National Security Adviser was the basis for their
ability to carry out American foreign affairs leadership around the world. The
National Security Council system was the mechanism for the period of
unprecedented American activism in foreign policy and the exercise of
Kissinger’s growing power. Kissinger wrote later that “in the final analysis
the influence of a Presidential Assistant derives almost exclusively from the
confidence of the President, not from administrative arrangements.” The two men
developed a conceptual framework that would guide foreign policy decisions.
Kissinger’s intellectual ability, his ambition, and his frequent discussions
with Nixon were all factors in increasing within the government both his own
power and the unchallenged authority of the NSC system he personally directed.

The Kissinger NSC system sought to combine features of the Johnson and
Eisenhower systems. The Senior Interdepartment Group (SIG) of the Johnson White
House was replaced by an NSC Review Group (somewhat similar to the
Eisenhower-era NSC Planning Group) together with an NSC Under Secretary’s
Committee. The Kissinger NSC relied upon interdepartmental working groups (IGs)
to prepare for NSC directives. Critics observed that 10 IG meetings prepared
the way for each SIG-level meeting, and 5 SIG meetings were needed to prepare
for each NSC meeting.

White House direction of foreign policy meant the eclipse of the
Department of State and Secretary William Rogers. Nixon did not trust the
Department bureaucracy. According to Kissinger, Nixon picked Rogers, who was
inexperienced in foreign affairs, to indicate that the President would dominate
the relationship between the NSC and the Department of State. Throughout
Nixon’s first term, only Kissinger participated in the President’s important
discussions with foreign state visitors. Nixon excluded Rogers from his first
meeting with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin in February 1969. The NSC also
took control of the process of clearing key policy cables to overseas posts.
Kissinger and Rogers became rivals and developed formal contacts in place of
substantive discussions.

The NSC(Department of State power relationship was reflected in
institutional arrangements. During the transition period before Nixon assumed
power, Kissinger recommended that the NSC be buttressed by a structure of
subcommittees to draft analyses of policy that would present clear decision
options to the President. The National Security Adviser was to be chairman of a
Review Group to screen interagency papers before their presentation to the full
NSC chaired by the President. Nixon insisted on the abolition of the SIG
chaired by the Department of State. These recommendations were incorporated in
National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM) 2, issued shortly after Nixon’s
inauguration on January 20, 1969. NSDM 2 was rightly perceived as a victory for
Kissinger and helped to establish his foreign policy authority at the outset of
the administration.

Kissinger moved quickly to establish the policy dominance of the NSC. He
expanded its staff from 12 to 34; not only was it the cadre for his centralized
policy-making, but it was also his antennae throughout the bureaucratic
structure. In the President’s name, Kissinger set the NSC agendas and issued
the numerous National Security Study Memoranda (NSSM) that set forth the
precise needs for interagency policy papers. An NSC Under Secretaries
Committee, chaired by the Deputy Secretary of State, gradually withered away.
By the time the increasingly complicated committee structure was settled,
Kissinger chaired six NSC-related committees: the Senior Review Group
(non-crisis, non-arms control matters), the Washington Special Actions Group
(serious crises), the Verification Panel (arms control negotiations), the 40
Committee (clandestine operations), the Intelligence Committee (policy for the
intelligence community), and the Defense Program Review Committee (relation of
the defense budget to foreign policy aims).

Nixon also increasingly bypassed the Department of State to supervise
personally sensitive negotiations in order to avoid what he and President Nixon
agreed were likely bureaucratic disputes and inertia. The President made clear
that he wanted the National Security Adviser to conduct important matters
directly out of his office. Nearly every foreign ambassador called upon
Kissinger at least once. With Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin, Kissinger maintained
a special relationship that completely bypassed the Department of State and
Secretary Rogers. Dobrynin was told by Kissinger to deal with the Secretary of
State only on a limited range of less vital matters. Kissinger also maintained
similar relationships with Chinese leader Chou En-lai and Israeli Ambassador

In carrying on his activist, operational undertakings, Kissinger relied
upon special controlled communications. CIA communications were used for his
“back channel” messages so that the Department of State was kept in the dark.
He also used the White House Communication Agency including the use of special
aircraft as communication centers. With his negotiations in Paris in 1971
regarding Vietnam, with Israelis and Arabs after 1973, and with the Soviet
Union in advance of summit meetings, Kissinger was a traveling negotiator, and
the NSC was a system on the move. Jeanne Davis, the NSC Executive Secretary,
also facilitated the handling of sensitive correspondence by propelling the NSC
staff into the computer age with a document tracking system unheard of by
Kissinger’s predecessors.

The waning of Nixon’s power during the Watergate affair further
increased Kissinger’s influence. On September 22, 1973, Kissinger became
Secretary of State, replacing Rogers. For the first time, one individual held
simultaneously the positions of National Security Adviser and Secretary of

Under these unique circumstances, Kissinger strengthened his
institutional base as the administration’s principal foreign policy adviser.
Kissinger later admitted, however, that the union of the two positions did not
work. Department of State representatives were his subordinates while he wore
his Secretary of State hat. When he chaired a meeting, they had to represent
his point of view or else all interdepartmental matters would be outside his
control. Kissinger indicated he was in an inherently absurd position of either
pushing his Department’s views as chairman or dissociating himself from his

Ford Administration, 1974-1977

President Ford, who assumed office in August 1974, was relatively
inexperienced in foreign affairs. He therefore relied almost exclusively on
Kissinger’s expertise and advice. During 1975, however, there developed strong
public and congressional disapproval of the accretion of so much power over
foreign policy in the hands of one man. As part of a Cabinet shakeup on
November 3, 1975, Ford named Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, Kissinger’s
deputy at the NSC, as National Security Adviser.

Kissinger was at first resentful of the loss of his unique, dual
position. He soon discovered, however, as he wrote in his memoirs, that
Scowcroft’s appointment in no way diminished his real power within the
administration because he kept Ford’s confidence and unlimited access, and
Scowcroft in no way sought to advocate policies in competition with the
Secretary of State. Kissinger continued to have a cordial relationship with
Scowcroft, and both men exchanged ideas constantly. In turn, Scowcroft was
content to operate in a quiet, unobtrusive way. He took seriously the NSC
obligation to present the President with clear analyses and options for
decision. He managed a toned-down version of the Kissinger NSC system that was
compatible with the Secretary of State’s role as the President’s chief foreign
policy adviser. Many of the most aggressive members of Kissinger’s NSC team
also made the move to State, allowing Scowcroft to fashion a staff that
reflected the new relationships.

Carter Administration, 1977-1981

Carter began his term determined to eliminate the abuses he ascribed to
the Kissinger NSC under Nixon and Ford. He believed that Kissinger had amassed
too much power during his tenure as NSC Adviser and Secretary of State, and
effectively shielded his Presidents from competing viewpoints within the
foreign policy establishment. Carter resolved to maintain his access to a broad
spectrum of information by more fully engaging his Cabinet officers in the
decision-making process. He envisaged the role of the National Security Council
to be one of policy coordination and research, and reorganized the NSC
structure to ensure that the NSC Adviser would be only one of many players in
the foreign policy process. Carter chose Zbigniew Brzezinski for the position
of National Security Adviser because he wanted an assertive intellectual at his
side to provide him with day-to-day advice and guidance on foreign policy

Initially, Carter reduced the NSC staff by one-half and decreased the
number of standing NSC committees from eight to two. All issues referred to the
NSC were reviewed by one of the two new committees, either the Policy Review
Committee (PRC) or the Special Coordinating Committee (SCC). The PRC focused on
specific issues that fell largely within the jurisdiction of one department.
Its chairmanship rotated to whichever department head had primary
responsibility for the issue, most often the Department of State, and committee
membership was frequently expanded as circumstances warranted.

Unlike the Policy Review Committee, the Special Coordinating Committee
was always chaired by the NSC Adviser. Carter believed that by making the NSC
Adviser chairman of only one of the two committees, he would prevent the NSC
from being the overwhelming influence on foreign policy decisions. The SCC was
charged with considering issues that cut across several departments, including
oversight of intelligence activities, arms control evaluation, and crisis
management. Much of the SCC’s time during the Carter years was spent on SALT

President Carter changed the name of the documents in the
decision-making process, although the mechanics of NSC review differed little
from that of previous administrations. The Presidential Review Memorandum (PRM)
replaced the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM), and the Presidential
Directive (PD) supplanted the National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM).
PRMs identified topics to be researched by the NSC, defined the problem to be
analyzed, set a deadline for the completion of the study, and assigned
responsibility for it to one of the two NSC committees. If the selected
committee were the Policy Review Committee, a member was designated to serve as
study chairman. The study chairman assigned an ad hoc working group to complete
the study, which was ultimately reviewed by the responsible committee (either
the PRC or SCC). When the committee was satisfied that the study had
incorporated meaningful options and supporting arguments, the study’s
conclusions went to the President in a 2- or 3-page memorandum, which in turn
formed the basis for a Presidential Directive.

The actual operation of the NSC under Carter was less structured than
under previous Presidents. The Council held few formal meetings, convening only
10 times, compared with 125 meetings during the 8 years of the Nixon and Ford
administrations. Instead, Carter used frequent, informal meetings as a
decision-making device, typically his Friday breakfasts, usually attended by
the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the NSC Adviser, and
the chief domestic adviser. The President counted on the free flow of ideas,
unencumbered by a formal setting, to increase the chances of an informed

Critics have contended that the Carter NSC staff was deficient in
certain respects. The NSC’s emphasis on providing advice was effected at the
expense of some of its other functions, particularly its responsibility to
monitor implementation of the President’s policies. Also, the President’s and
some of his principals’ commitment to arms control skewed the formation and
execution of a broad range of foreign policy options on national security
questions. Without any clearly-developed foreign policy principles beyond a
commitment to arms control, he often changed his mind, depending on the advice
he was receiving at the time.

Carter’s preference for informality and openness increased the diversity
of views he received and complicated the decision-making process. Every Friday,
for example, the President breakfasted with Vice President Mondale, Secretary
of State Vance, Secretary of Defense Brown, Brzezinski, and several White House
advisers. No agendas were prepared and no formal records were kept of these
meetings, sometimes resulting in differing interpretations of the decisions
actually agreed upon. This problem led to one of the most embarrassing episodes
of the Carter administration in which the United States had to retract a UN
vote involving Israel and Jerusalem. Brzezinski was careful, in managing his
own weekly luncheons with Secretaries Vance and Brown in preparation for NSC
discussions, to maintain a complete set of careful notes. Brzezinski also sent
weekly reports to the President on major foreign policy undertakings and
problems, with recommendations for courses of action. President Carter enjoyed
these reports and frequently annotated them with his own views. Brzezinski and
the NSC used these Presidential notes (159 of them) as the basis for NSC

At the outset of the administration, Brzezinski successfully persuaded
Carter to make the National Security Adviser chairman of the SCC. This meant
that Brzezinski was given oversight responsibility for the SALT negotiations,
which became an important focus of the Carter administration’s foreign policy.
Brzezinski’s coordination of the arms control process also gave him major input
into the administration’s policy toward the Soviet Union. Thus from the
beginning, Brzezinski made sure that the new NSC institutional relationships
would assure him a major voice in the shaping of foreign policy. While he knew
that Carter would not want him to be another Kissinger, Brzezenski also felt
confident that the President did not want Secretary of State Vance to become
another Dulles and would want his own input on key foreign policy decisions.

Vance voiced his displeasure with this arrangement, which threatened to
diminish the role of the Department of State on arms control. The SCC, however,
functioned fairly smoothly on arms control. Following Vance’s visit to Moscow
in March 1977 to present new arms control proposals, which the Soviet
leadership abruptly rejected, the SCC developed and refined arms control
proposals for U.S. negotiators at the SALT talks in Geneva. President Carter
carefully monitored the work of the SCC, which met with increasing frequency
from 1977 to 1979. The President’s personal commitment to SALT II ultimately
overcame fundamental differences between the National Security Adviser and the
Secretary of State. Brzezinski wanted to link arms control to other security
issues, such as the administration’s commitment to the development of the MX
missile and normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China.
Vance, however, did not want SALT linked to other Soviet activity. When the
SALT II negotiations with the Soviet Union verged on success, an NSC working
group, including a Department of State representative, formulated the subject
areas for an agenda at the Vienna Summit (June 1979), at which Carter and
Brezhnev signed the SALT II Treaty and discussed other bilateral and Third
World issues.

Brzezinski’s power gradually expanded into the operational area during
the Carter Presidency. He increasingly assumed the role of a Presidential
emissary. In 1978, for example, Brzezinski traveled to Beijing to normalize
U.S.-China relations. Like Kissinger before him, Brzezinski maintained his own
personal relationship with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin. Brzezinski had NSC
staffers monitor State Department cable traffic through the Situation Room and
call back to the Department if the President preferred to revise or take issue
with outgoing Department instructions. He also appointed his own press
spokesman, and his frequent press briefings and appearances on television
interview shows made him a prominent public figure although perhaps not nearly
as much as Kissinger had been under Nixon.

In other areas the NSC system did not work effectively. The reasons
stemmed less from inherent institutional defects than from strong policy
differences within the administration and President Carter’s inability to
discipline his advisers and forge a more coherent response to the crises of the
last few years of his Presidency. The Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan
in December 1979 further damaged the Vance(Brzezinski relationship. Vance felt
that Brzezinski’s linkage of SALT to other Soviet activities and the MX,
together with the growing domestic criticisms in the United States of the SALT
II Accord, convinced Brezhnev to decide on military intervention in
Afghanistan. Brzezinski, however, later recounted that he advanced proposals to
maintain Afghanistan’s “independence” but was frustrated by the Department of
State’s opposition. An NSC working group on Afghanistan wrote several reports
on the deteriorating situation in 1979, but President Carter ignored them until
the Soviet intervention destroyed his illusions. Only then did he decide to
abandon SALT II ratification and pursue the anti-Soviet policies that
Brzezinski proposed.

The Iranian revolution provided the coup de grace to the disintegrating
Vance(Brzezinski relationship. As the upheaval developed, the two advanced
fundamentally different positions. Brzezinski wanted to control the revolution
and increasingly suggested military action to prevent Khomeini from coming to
power, while Vance wanted to come to terms with the new Khomeini regime. As a
consequence Carter failed to develop a coherent approach to the Iranian
situation. Brzezinski continued, however, to promote his views, which the
President eventually accepted. Vance’s resignation following the unsuccessful
mission undertaken over his objections to rescue the American hostages in March
1980 was the final result of the deep disagreement between Brzezinki and Vance.

Reagan Administration, 1981-1989

The Reagan administration, like its predecessors, faced the recurring
dilemma of determining which official or agency would have primary
responsibility for the direction, control, and supervision of U.S. foreign
policy. During the 1980 campaign, Ronald Reagan pledged to downgrade the post
of National Security Adviser in order to end the rivalry between the NSC and
the Department of State that had plagued previous administrations. On
inauguration day, Secretary of State-designate Alexander Haig presented a draft
National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) on the organization of U.S. foreign
policy to Presidential Counselor Edwin Meese III. The intent of Haig’s draft
was to place overall responsibility for the direction and implementation of
U.S. foreign policy within the Department of State. Relying on his experience
in the Nixon administration, Haig wanted to ensure Department of State control
of the interagency groups within the NSC because they were the “key [to] the
flow of options to the President,” and thus to policy control.

Haig’s initiative, which he repeated on several occasions, was never
responded to. Senior members of the White House staff, Counselor Meese, Chief
of Staff James A. Baker III, and Michael Deaver were concerned that the
proposed reorganization took too much power out of the President’s hands and
that an activist Secretary of State operating with wide powers could eclipse
the President in his public role as the chief enunciator of U.S. foreign
policy. Although the Haig initiative failed, the Secretary of State appeared to
achieve for a time broad authority over the formulation of foreign policy. The
President placed National Security Adviser Richard Allen’s office under the
supervision of Meese, and for the first time in the history of the NSC, the
National Security Adviser lost direct access to the President. In subsequent
public statements, the President underlined his belief that his Secretary of
State was his “primary adviser on foreign affairs, and in that capacity, he is
the chief formulator and spokesman for foreign policy for this administration.”
Allen, who had less personal authority, undertook a role as National Security
Adviser that emphasized the “integration” of the proposed policies and views of
the foreign affairs agencies. Nor did he take on any of the articulation of
administration foreign policy(a responsibility left to Secretary Haig who at
first thought of himself as the “Vicar” of foreign affairs.

Changes were made in the NSC from the outset of the Reagan presidency.
At a February 25, 1981, meeting chaired by Meese, Cabinet-level heads of the
major foreign affairs agencies agreed on a plan to establish three Senior
Interdepartmental Groups (SIGs) on foreign, defense, and intelligence problems,
chaired respectively by the Secretaries of State and Defense and the Director
of Central Intelligence. Under the SIGs, a series of Assistant Secretary-level
Interdepartmental Groups (IGs), each chaired by the agency with particular
responsibility, dealt with specific issues. The NSC staff was responsible for
the assignment of issues to the groups.

One example of a failed effort to create a new NSC organ in the hopes of
improving interagency coordination and reducing friction among the Departments
of State and Defense, the CIA, and the NSC, was President Reagan’s order on
March 24, 1981, naming Vice President George Bush as chair of a proposed
administration crisis management team. The NSC was charged with providing staff
support for this effort. The crisis group, referred to as the Special Situation
Group (SSG) received a formal charter on December 14, 1981, but in fact only
met once. Secretary Haig immediately and forcefully complained that the SSG
would remove coordinating responsibility from him.

In another effort to improve policy coordination during the summer of
1981, the President authorized the creation of a National Security Planning
Group (NSPG) composed of the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and
Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, and the National Security Adviser. This group met weekly with the
President and shaped policy prior to formal meetings of the NSC.

In January 1982, following the resignation of National Security Adviser
Allen, the President appointed a close personal friend, Deputy Secretary of
State William Clark, as his new adviser. The brief episode of the weakened
National Security Adviser was over. Clark would report directly to the
President and not through Meese or the other two members of the triumvirate of
Baker and Deaver as Allen had done. President Reagan issued a written directive
(NSDD(2) in January 1982 outlining the structure and functions of the National
Security Council. The directive placed responsibility for developing,
coordinating, and monitoring national security policy with the National
Security Adviser in consultation with the NSC members. It assigned to the
Secretary of State “authority and responsibility” for the “overall direction,
coordination and supervision of the interdepartmental activities incident to
foreign policy formulation, and the activities of executive departments and
agencies overseas,” except for military activities. NSDD(2 delineated the
functions of the three SIGs. It designated the Secretary of State as chairman
of the Senior Interdepartmental Group for Foreign Policy (SIG(FP), and
established a “permanent secretariat, composed of personnel of the State
Department,” augmented “as necessary” by other agency personnel requested by
the Secretary of State, to deal with foreign affairs matters.

To assist the SIG(FP, the Secretary of State set up Interagency Groups
(IGs) for each geographic region, politico-military affairs, and international
economic affairs. The IGs, in turn, created full-time working groups. The two
other SIGs followed a similar structure under the leadership of the Secretary
of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence. Over the next 5 years, the
Reagan administration established an additional 22 SIGs and 55 IGs within the
NSC system. Some committees met only once. Observers pointed out the overuse of
SIGs and the increasing snarl of responsibilities that led to enterprising NSC
officials like Colonel Oliver North developing their own sub-domains within the
policy-making system. Zbigniew Brzezinski described the NSC as entering its
“Mid Life Crisis” during the Reagan years.

Clark took a very active role in coordination of policy among the
agencies in such areas as intelligence and the protection of classified
security information. He replaced a number of senior NSC staff members and
reorganized his office to create three “clusters” to deal with political,
military, and intelligence matters. Clark emerged as a major spokesman for
Reagan administration foreign policy, particularly with the Congress. He
publicly reaffirmed President Reagan’s stated policy that the Secretary of
State would be the primary “formulator and enunciator of foreign policy.” At
the same time, however, Clark insisted that the role of the President as the
final arbiter on matters of foreign policy be kept in front of the public. He
also asserted NSC staff jurisdiction over long-range policy review, formerly a
Department of State function.

The NSC system under Clark did not solve the coordination problems.
Friction between the Department of State and the NSC continued and came to a
head during the intense debates within the administration over how the United
States should act in the Lebanon crisis in the spring of 1982 following the
Israel invasion. The disputes resulted in Secretary Haig’s resignation on June
25, 1982, and President Reagan’s appointment of George P. Shultz as his new
Secretary of State. In his July confirmation hearings, Shultz emphasized the
primary role of the President in the formulation of policy and stressed the
collegial nature of policy formulation in the Reagan administration. Shultz
also referred to the delegation of authority as laid out in NSDD(2 as the
source of his own responsibilities and authority.

The apparent resolution of the dimensions of the Secretary of State’s
authority ironically coincided with ever-increasing activities in the foreign
affairs field. The NSC frequently disagreed with the Department of State over
the management of daily U.S. foreign relations problems. One observer called
the NSC a “bee hive of activity.” An NSC-chaired group took over arms control
responsibilities from a State-chaired group (SAC/G) and ramrodded the tough
negotiating position favored by ACDA Chief Fred Ikle and Richard Perle of the
Defense Department. Deputy National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane replaced
Philip C. Habib as the chief U.S. Middle East negotiator in July 1983, and the
National Security Adviser became directly involved in the operations of foreign
policy. It led to a major change in how the NSC system worked.

In October 1983, McFarlane replaced Clark as National Security Adviser,
with Admiral John Poindexter as his deputy. The new National Security Adviser
had a background in both military and diplomatic affairs. Retaining the NSC
structural changes established by Clark, McFarlane played a highly active role
in attempting to compromise interagency disputes. He lacked the personal ties
with the President that Clark enjoyed, but continued to have direct
Presidential access. During his tenure, the National Security Adviser stepped
back from the previous high profile in public policy enunciation, but became
more involved in the direct management of key areas of foreign policy.

During 1985 and 1986, the National Security Adviser and certain staff
members took a particularly activist role in the formulation and execution of
policy in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Middle East. It was an
activism run amok in the “Iran-Contra affair” that brought the NSC to a nadir
of public trust and brought upon it Congressional investigation and the threat
of prison for those involved. The Iran-Contra matter resulted from NSC-led
efforts to develop a policy to befriend Iran and provide arms to that nation in
exchange for its resistance to the Soviet Union and, more particularly to
assist in the freeing of American hostages held by Moslem extremist groups in
the Middle East. National Security Adviser McFarlane and Admiral Poindexter,
who succeeded him in December 1985, played major roles in these matters. The
efforts to provide arms for hostages eventually became connected, through the
transfer of funds made with arms sales, with the NSC staff’s ardent support for
the Nicaraguan “Contras” in their civil war against the left-wing government of
Nicaragua. Investigations in 1987 and thereafter by a Presidential Review Board
(the Tower Board), the Congress, and a Special Prosecutor examined in great
detail the activities of the NSC staff, as well as the actions and
responsibilities of the President, the National Security Adviser, and the heads
of agencies.

The Tower Board, headed by Senator John Tower and including former
Senator Edmund Muskie and former National Security Adviser Scowcroft, not only
reviewed the events of Iran-Contra but made a body of recommendations for the
reform of the NSC. NSDD(266 of March 31, 1987, adopted the Board’s major
recommendations: reduction of the size of the staff, appointment of a legal
counsel, removal of the Crisis Pre-Planning Group, and its replacement with
Policy Review Committee. The spirit of the reforms was given more content by
the new NSC leadership appointed by President Reagan in November 1987: National
Security Adviser Frank Carlucci and Deputy National Security Adviser Lieutenant
General Colin Powell. Carlucci reformed the NSC by replacing more than half of
the professional staff within 3 months. Carlucci largely withdrew the NSC from
its operational roles, but in the matter of Nicaragua, NSC continued to
exercise the coordination that was not forthcoming from any of the agencies.

In the autumn of 1988, Carlucci was called to the Defense Department to
succeed Caspar Weinberger, and for the third time among his six appointments to
the position of National Security Adviser during his presidency, Reagan
promoted the Deputy. General Powell directed an NSC that strived to provide
balanced coordination of major foreign policy presentations for the President.
Managing the Policy Review Group and the National Security Planning Group that
Poindexter had so favored in preparing the NSC for discussions, Powell
conducted an NSC process that was efficient but low key. There were no longer
free-lancers operating out of the NSC staff. Under Powell’s direction, the
President and his chief advisers weathered the Persian Gulf crisis in
1987(1988, the wind-down of the Nicaraguan Contra effort, and the
Reagan-Gorbachev relationship culminating in the Moscow Summit of June 1988(the
smoothest ever seen by observers at the time.

Bush Administration, 1989-1992

After serving 8 years as Vice President and participating in the
momentous foreign affairs events of the Reagan administration, President George
Bush made many changes in the NSC machinery reformed by Carlucci and Powell. On
the date of his inauguration, January 20, 1989, President Bush issued NSD(1
providing the charter for NSC administration. A Policy Review Group was
enlarged to a Committee, the Deputy National Security Adviser managed the
Deputies Committee, and a Principals Committee screened matters for the NSC to
consider. Eight Policy Coordinating Committees assumed regional and functional
responsibilities in place of the multiple interagency groups from the Reagan
era. NSC policy papers were named National Security Review papers (NSRs) and
National Security Directives (NSDs) to distinguish them from the Reagan era

President Bush brought deep experience to the NSC leadership with his
appointment of General Brent Scowcroft as National Security Adviser. Scowcroft
had served in the Kissinger NSC, had been National Security Adviser in the last
years of the Ford administration, and had chaired the President’s Board
examining the Iran-Contra scandal. Robert Gates served as Deputy National
Security Adviser under Scowcroft until his appointment as Director of Central
Intelligence in 1991. Scowcroft’s direction of the NSC was distinguished by the
informality but intensity of the relationship with the President. The NSC also
maintained good relationships with the other agencies, and Secretary of State
Baker and Scowcroft appear to have maintained the most comradely working terms.
Through the collapse of the USSR and the unification of Germany, Operation Just
Cause which sent American troops into Panama in December 1989, and Operation
Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the NSC worked effectively in facilitating a
series of American foreign policy successes. Nor did Scowcroft fail to involve
in key operations Deputy Secretary of State Eagleburger, such as when he
visited China in July 1989 to try to improve U.S. relations with China in the
aftermath of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

Clinton Administration, 1993-1997

President William J. Clinton on January 20, 1993, the day of his
inauguration, issued Presidential Decision Directive l to departments and
agencies concerned with national security affairs. PDD l revised and renamed
the framework governing the work of the National Security Council. A
Presidential Review Directive (PRD) series would be the mechanism used by the
new administration to direct that specific reviews and analyses be undertaken
by the departments and agencies. A Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) series
would now be used to promulgate Presidential decisions on national security
matters. The Bush administration’s National Security Review (NSR) series and
National Security Directive (NSD) series were abolished.

On January 21, 1993, in PDD 2, President Clinton approved an NSC
decision-making system that enlarged the membership of the National Security
Council and included a much greater emphasis on economic issues in the
formulation of national security policy. The President, Vice President,
Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense were members of the NSC as
prescribed by statute. The Director of Central Intelligence and Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, as statutory advisers to the NSC, attended its meetings.
The new membership of the National Security Council included the following
officials: the Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Representative to the United
Nations, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Chief of Staff to the
President. Although not a member, the Attorney General would be invited to
attend meetings pertaining to his jurisdiction. The heads of other Executive
departments and agencies, the special statutory advisers to the NSC, and other
senior officials would be invited to attend meetings of the NSC where

The new position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy,
which had been promised by Clinton during the election campaign, was intended
to serve as a senior economic adviser to coordinate foreign and domestic
economic policy through a newly-created National Economic Council (NEC). Robert
E. Rubin was the first to be appointed to this position. The NEC was to deal
with foreign and domestic economic issues in much the same way as the NSC
coordinated diplomatic and security issues, and the Assistant to the President
for Economic Policy was to be included in meetings involving international
economic issues.

In January 1993, Clinton appointed W. Anthony Lake as his National
Security Adviser. Lake, a former Foreign Service officer, served under Henry
Kissinger, President Nixon’s National Security Adviser, and as director of the
Department of State Policy Planning Staff during the Carter administration.
During the Carter years, Lake had witnessed the negative effects of
bureaucratic infighting and squabbling between Secretary of State Vance and
National Security Adviser Brzezinski. As Clinton’s National Security Adviser,
Lake was effective in maintaining cordial relations with Secretary of State
Warren M. Christopher and in developing an atmosphere of cooperation and
collegiality. Lake initially maintained a low public profile, avoiding public
appearances and television interviews, so as not to upstage the Secretary of
State as Kissinger had done in the Nixon administration. In September 1993,
however, in response to criticism that the Clinton administration had not
adequately explained its foreign policy, Lake began to appear as a public

The National Security Council framework in the Clinton administration
included an NSC Principals Committee, a forum available to Cabinet-level
officials to discuss and resolve issues not requiring the President’s
participation. An NSC Deputies Committee served as the senior sub-cabinet
interagency forum for considering policy issues affecting national security and
for reviewing and monitoring the work of the NSC interagency process. This
process included Interagency Working Groups (IWGs), which were to convene on a
regular basis to review and coordinate the implementation of Presidential
decisions in their respective policy areas. Among the most urgent issues the
NSC dealt with in the first year of the Clinton administration were Bosnia,
Haiti, Iraq, and Somalia. The several dozen other questions the NSC system
dealt with initially included such issues as illegal drugs, United Nations
peacekeeping, Zaire, strategic arms control policy, China, and global
environmental affairs.

Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, a longtime foreign policy adviser to Clinton
who had been Lake’s deputy since 1993, became National Security Adviser in
March 1997, after Clinton nominated Lake to be Director of Central
Intelligence. (Lake subsequently withdrew from the nomination.) Berger
initiated a review of principles that would guide the foreign policy of
Clinton’s second term. These included the integration of Eastern and Western
Europe without provoking tensions with Russia; promoting more open trade;
improving defenses against such transnational threats as terrorism and
narcotics; and promoting a strong and stable Asian-Pacific community by seeking
trade cooperation with China and avoiding confrontation on human rights issues.
In the spring and summer of 1997, the National Security Council became occupied
with such issues as the ratification of the Chemical Weapons Treaty, NATO
enlargement, the Middle East peace process, the U.S-Russian Summit at Helsinki,
and the Denver Economic Summit.

Office of the Historian
U.S. Department of State
August 1997

Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs

Established March 23, 1953, by President Eisenhower, in response to a report on NSC organization by Robert Cutler.

Stephen Hadley: January 26, 2005 – PRESENT

Dr. Condoleezza Rice: January 22, 2001 – January 25, 2005

Samuel R. Berger: March 14, 1997 – January 20, 2001

W. Anthony Lake: January 20, 1993 – March 14, 1997

Brent Scrowcroft: January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993

Colin L. Powell: November 23, 1987 – January 20, 1989

Frank C. Carlucci: December 2, 1986 – November. 23, 1987

John M. Poindexter: December 4, 1985 – November 25, 1986

Robert C. McFarlane: October 17, 1983 – December 4, 1985

William P. Clark: January 4, 1982 – October 17, 1983

Richard V. Allen: January 21, 1981 – January 4, 1982

Zbigniew Brzezinski: January 20, 1977 – January 21, 1981

Brent Scowcroft: November 3, 1975 – January 20, 1977

Henry A. Kissinger: December 2, 1968 – November 3, 1975   (served concurrently as Secretary of State from September 21, 1973)

Walt W. Rostow: April 1, 1966 – December 2, 1968

McGeorge Bundy: January 20, 1961 – February 28, 1966

Gordon Gray: June 24, 1958 – January 13, 1961

Robert Cutler: January 7, 1957 – June 24, 1958

Dillon Anderson: April 2, 1955 – September 1, 1956

Robert Cutler: March 23, 1953 – April 2, 1955

Limit CIA Role To Intelligence
by Harry S. Truman
December 22, 1963
The Washington Post, page A11

I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue—and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about “Yankee imperialism,” “exploitive
capitalism,” “war-mongering,” “monopolists,” in their name-calling assault on the West, the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.

How ATSUGI and the CIA at ATSUGI Happened as a result of Containment following WWII


Indochina, the three countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia formerly associated with France, first within its empire and later within the French Union. The term Indochina refers to the intermingling of Indian (British Colonial included) and Chinese influences in the culture of the region.

In 1931, Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria. Japan invaded other parts of China in 1937, precipitating the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), a theater of World War II

China emerged victorious but war-ravaged and financially drained. The continued distrust between the Kuomintang (military arustiracy called Whites of White Gloves) and the Communists led to the resumption of civil war.

On 1 October 1949, Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong formally proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. [In 1949 US Dept of Treasury employee Dorothy Wetzel will travel to Paris while working for E. Harriman and meet Howard Hunt in that Paris summit and they will maryIn 1950, the PRC captured Hainan from the Republic of China and annexed Tibet. However, remaining Kuomintang forces continued to wage an insurgency in western China throughout the 1950s. China and Japan although having early common Asian roots have long running war rivalreis that created a threat to Japan in during the years following WWII.

The Truman administration was unprepared for the invasion of North Korean into the Repuplic of Korean below the 3ith Parllel a line similar to the Berlin Wall. Korea was not included in the strategic Asian Defense Perimeter outlined by United States Secretary of State Dean Acheson. Military strategists were more concerned with the security of Europe against the Soviet Union than East Asia. At the same time, the administration was worried that a war in Korea could quickly escalate without American intervention. Said diplomat John Foster Dulles in a cable: “To sit by while Korea is overrun by unprovoked armed attack would start a disastrous chain of events leading most probably to world war.”

United States’ response (July–August 1950) A group of soldiers readying a large gun in some brush
A U.S. howitzer position near the Kum River, 15 July Man of the Year, the American soldier on Time magazine cover, 1951 As soon as word of the attack was received, Acheson informed President Truman that the North Koreans had invaded South Korea. Truman and Acheson discussed a U.S. invasion response and agreed that the U.S. was obligated to act, comparing the North Korean invasion with Adolf Hitler’s aggressions in the 1930s, with the conclusion being that the mistake of appeasement must not be repeated.[156] Several U.S. industries were mobilized to supply materials, labor, capital, production facilities, and other services necessary to support the military objectives of the Korean War.[157] Truman later explained that he believed fighting the invasion was essential to the U.S. goal of the global containment of communism as outlined in the National Security Council Report 68 (NSC 68) (declassified in 1975):

Communism was acting in Korea, just as Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese had ten, fifteen, and twenty years earlier. I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall, Communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores. If the Communists were permitted to force their way into the Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world, no small nation would have the courage to resist threat and aggression by stronger Communist neighbors.

In August 1950, Truman and Acheson obtained the consent of Congress to appropriate $12 billion for military action in Korea, equivalent to $146 billion in 2022.

While there was initial hesitance by some in the U.S. government to get involved in the war, considerations about Japan played a part in the ultimate decision to engage on behalf of South Korea. Especially after the fall of China to the communists, U.S. experts on East Asia saw Japan as the critical counterweight to the Soviet Union and China in the region. While there was no U.S. policy dealing with South Korea directly as a national interest, its proximity to Japan increased the importance of South Korea. Said Kim: “The recognition that the security of Japan required a non-hostile Korea led directly to President Truman’s decision to intervene … The essential point … is that the American response to the North Korean attack stemmed from considerations of U.S. policy toward Japan.”


In the later 1940’s the issue of defending Japan as a Western national ally and resources created expense and military planning complications. The use of Japan as a base for Asian operations was among the reason this isalnd and the Pafic Ocean was important to post WWII Western Allies, getting at the doorstep of Asia from a friendly held base.

Soviet Union

Published Dec. 18, 2014
By Dr. John Treiber
374th Airlift Wing History Office

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Cold War is an amorphous event that historians date variously as having started at the end of WWII, from the president’s [President Truman’s] articulation of the policy of “containment” in 1947, during the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, or myriad other turning points in that epic struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The Korean War should probably be lumped into the Cold War as well, though when examining Yokota’s history it is worth analyzing Korea as a distinct event. At the other end of the spectrum the Cold War concluded in 1991 with the opening of the Berlin Wall, but at Yokota the Vietnam War was so dominant that it marked an end, or at least a pause in typical Cold War activities.

Therefore, this article shall periodize Yokota’s Cold War era as the thirteen years between 1952 (about half-way through the Korean War) through 1964 when the Vietnam War was ramping up.

The variety of missions and aircraft that called the base home during this timeframe is almost overwhelming, and for those stationed at Yokota during the 1950s and into the mid-1960s the ever-looming threat of a conventional or nuclear attack was very real.

After all, Russia — at that time the Soviet Union — is Japan’s closest neighbor, and combined with the establishment of communist China in 1949 and the aggression of North Korean toward South Korea in 1950 showed that Japan was surrounded by hostile states.

As a result during the 1950s and into the early 1960s, before the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) was fully operational, the US Air Force provided for Japan’s air defense with various types of fighter jets and early warning radar systems.

As we learned in the previous article fighters from the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (35 FIW) were stationed at Yokota for about three months prior to the Korean War, only to be rapidly replaced by heavy bombers for the duration of that conflict.

For a little over a year following the Korean War armistice Yokota remained almost exclusively a B-29 base. However, in August 1954 the mission changed radically with the return of the 35 FIW and three fighter squadrons.

Now flying North American F-86D “Sabres,” [Jim Donegan]these squadrons were part of a larger defense network with operations out of Air Force bases from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the west. 35 FIW remained at Yokota until 1 October 1957 when it was inactivated.

The air defense mission was scaled back but continued under the 40th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron “Red Devils” that upgraded to F-102 Delta Daggers in 1960, and the unit was a mainstay at Yokota until 1965 when that mission was fully handed off to JASDF.

Perhaps symbolic of Yokota and the F-102’s place in the Cold War, Japanese filmmakers from Toho Movie Corporation came to the base in April 1961 and filmed the jets for the monster movie Mothra. The final cut the movie only showed footage of JASDF F-86s, but it is important to note that the F-102s were originally going to play a large effort in the battle against Mothra as it devastated Tokyo.

Air defense was just one piece of the Cold War puzzle at Yokota. Along with the fighters in 1954 came the 6007th Composite Reconnaissance Group which flew RB-57A Canberras into Soviet and Chinese airspace on highly sensitive photographic missions.

This kind of important work continued at Yokota well into the 1960s under the 67th Tactical Recon Wing and other organizations, the story of which can found in the excellent history Asia from Above.

Perhaps most significantly, the Strategic Air Command or SAC — America’s dominant symbol of the Cold War — made its appearance at the base in the mid-1950s when it established Detachment 1 of the 3rd Air Division to handle B-50, B-36, B-47, and B-52 bomber deployments to Yokota.


Juan Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán was a Guatemalan military officer and politician who served as the 25th President of Guatemala. He was Minister of National Defense from 1944 to 1950, and the second democratically elected President of Guatemala, from 1951 to 1954. Wikipedia


The unconditional surrender of Japan on August 15th, 1945 was eagerly received by the radical and politicised pemuda (Indonesian for ‘male youth’) groups. They pressured Sukarno and Hatta to proclaim Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, two days later. The following day, the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI) elected Sukarno as President, and Hatta as Vice-president. Counter-Revolutionary Efforts – The Dutch accused Sukarno and Hatta of collaborating with the Japanese, and denounced the Republic as a creation of Japanese fascism.[24] The Dutch East Indies administration had just received a ten million dollar loan from the United States to finance its return to Indonesia

The British subsequently decided to evacuate the 10,000 Indo-Europeans and European internees in the volatile Central Java interior. British detachments sent to the towns of Ambarawa and Magelang encountered strong Republican resistance and used air attacks against the Indonesians. Sukarno arranged a ceasefire on 2 November, but by late November fighting had resumed and the British withdrew to the coast (refer Battle of Ambarawa)

The Indonesian National Revolution,[nb 1] also known as the Indonesian War of Independence, was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between the Republic of Indonesia and the Dutch Empire and an internal social revolution during postwar and postcolonial Indonesia. It took place between Indonesia’s declaration of independence in 1945 and the Netherlands’ transfer of sovereignty over the Dutch East Indies to the Republic of the United States of Indonesia at the end of 1949.

It may depend on where else elsewhere was then.

Whatever Truman thought in 1947 or 1963 about CIA’s “original assignment,” it now ought to be clear that the 1947 Act had a history that precluded the possibility of Truman being the sole and infallible expositor of what that assignment was. It should also be clear that history made the Agency’s functions far more numerous and sophisticated than simply funneling “raw” intelligence to the President. It should also be clear that throughout that history no one the least interested in the subject was excusably ignorant of espionage as a part of the Agency’s functions; and despite his disavowal of “peacetime cloak and dagger operations,” Truman, as we shall see, was probably not ignorant of the fact either.

Only two points made by Truman remain to be considered.

The first, “policymaking,” is easily disposed of; whether the Agency has or has not become such an “arm of the Government” is clearly beyond the scope of this article, but certainly no one is ever known to have held that such a function is part of the “original assignment.” [Following orders from Bidlerbergers, DuPonts, JP Morgan, etc?]

On the second, the “operational,” point, Truman is on good but not unassailable ground. The “assignment” did not explicitly include “covert operations.” (Presumably these at least are what Truman had reference to when he employed such ambiguous language as “operational” and “peacetime cloak and dagger operations.” The Agency was designed to be “operational,” that is, to perform various services and functions, such as the conduct of espionage.) However, no sooner did the international situation in 1947-52 virtually invite American covert operations in Greece, Italy, and elsewhere than President Truman’s administration, reading the really ding the 1947 Act and scrutinizing resources at hand, found the new CIA the most convenient instrument to use. In other words, Truman in 1947-52 seems to have accepted covert operations as an implicit part of CIA’s “original assignment.”

If by 1963 he had changed his mind — and there is some doubt as to whether he actually did — he seems not to have renounced covert operations per se but only their conduct by “his invention.” In that 1963 article, in a paragraph which is invariably overlooked, especially by critics of all covert operations, Truman — throwing syntax and punctuation to the winds — wrote this recommendation:

I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field — and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.

That last word “elsewhere” surely demonstrates that Truman was only slightly more helpful than the JIS civilians who in 1944 thought “subversive operations abroad” not the “appropriate function” of an intelligence service but failed to say to whom they were “appropriate.”

Truman at least positively assigned them “elsewhere.” Truman’s recommendation brings us back to espionage. That Truman knew CIA was intended to be a “spy agency” might be deducible from that elliptical reference to “whatever else it can properly perform in that special field.” Anything else could certainly have been expressed in a less obviously veiled manner.

While Truman apparently did not actually write that 1963 article, an exchange of correspondence with Admiral Souers48 shortly after its appearance demonstrates his familiarity with and endorsement of it.

About the same time — after the Bay of Pigs — he was privately telling Merle Miller that CIA was “a mistake,” which “if I’d known what was going to happen, I never would have done it. “

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