The DCI's Role in Producing Strategic Intelligence Estimates.
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI CENTER FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH
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This paper examines the role of the Director of Central Intelligence in shaping national intelligence estimates. Seven possible roles are examined. The author concludes that the approach of the DCIs to the strategic NIEs has been inconsistent. Some DCIs have emphasized some roles, while others neglected them. These differences are summarized in the final chapter according to a DCIs individual background and concepts of his job, and in light of historical events. The author also examines potential conflicts between roles exercised by DCIs, addressing the question of whether a DCI can be effectively both manager and prophet for the strategic intelligence estimates. This examination is based on four principal sources. The first is government reports, primarily unclassified, examining aspects of the strategic estimative process. These include reorganization commission reports, recent work of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and internal CIA studies. Second are scholarly studies and journalistic accounts of the strategic NIEs themselves. These are used as a means by which to document historically the competing positions of different agencies in critical intelligence debates, such as the famous missile gap debate from 1957 to 1961. The third source is unclassified NIEs, mainly non-strategic. Since these sources rarely focused on the activities of the DCIs, the major portion of this study relies on over 50 interviews conducted by the author in 1978 and 1979. Interviewees include past and present CIA officials, two former DCIs, Pentagon intelligence officials, and NSC and Congressional staff.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Intelligence