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June 1, 1973
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Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 . Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 by James gallows In recent years the "police brutal- ity" style of thin king has become an increasingly prominent feature of liberal opinion in America. Several years back, when Urban crime became big news, liberal politicians and intel- lectuals often found that their only palatable response was to point out that the police were doing wrong, and denounce them for it. IIence, police brutality. This was the right instinct, but it offered little solace to those who were genuinely panicked about being robbed or Murdered. It also failed to ask the harder questions at the root of the problem-such as, what should the police he doing to case people's fears, without trampling on others' rights? \Vhile the liberals were intellectually safe with their police brutality position, they left the political field open to those who offered quick answers to the popular outcry, answers like preventive deten- tion and life. sentences for drug deal- crs. Much the same philosophy is evi- dent in public reaction to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Over the past dozen years, the CIA has pro- vided superabundant evidence for a police hlatality approach to its prob- lenls. Operations like the Bay of Pig s invasion, the secret subsidies to uni- versities and student groups, and the James Fellows is an editor of The Washing ton :Monthly. CIA-financed wars in Laos and the Congo understandably attracted pub- lic attention to what the agency should not be doing. These covert projects, usually referred to as "dirty tricks," are only a small part of the, agency's official functions, but they have done more to shape America's image for the rest of the world than the State Department, Pepsi-Cola, Food for Peace, and Henry Kissinger combined. Even so,. a sense of sportsmanship makes it hard for its to passionately denounce these secret activities, since the case against them is so obvious. Perhaps the most persuasive argument against the "clandestine" projects is that they can be discussed in a Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 . low-security COrain such as this maga- zinc. One can hardly imagine James Bond or the men' from KGB watching their exploits exposed in the press. It would be. foolish to claim that every rock sheltering a secret operator has been turned over and every plan re- vealed, but the CIA's recent security record is not such as to do credit to allegedly undercover agents. Since 1964, when David Wise and Thomas Ross published The lm,isible Government, the trade in CIA exposes has been brisk. In 1966 The New York Times ran a five-part series which, among other offerings, ex- plained how the CIA had poisoned 14,000 sacks of Cuban sugar that were in temporary storage in Puerto Rico. Ramparts told in 1967 about secret subsidies to the National Student Association. And more recent illustra- tions from Chile, Laos, Cambodia, and Washington, D. C. easily come to mind. The bungled exploits have had their effect on our relations with both friend and foe. In the, early sixties, a CIA agent recruiting local operators in Singapore attracted attention when he plugged in his lie detector and blew out all the lights at his hotel. lie was arrested, and the British were in furi ated to discover that we didn't trust their spies to provide Lis with all the news from the area. Then Washington offered Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew S3.3 million to keep Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 quiet about the whole affair. Lee hold out for 10 times as much, and eventually spilled the whole story to the press. Even today, while the rest of us The Jii#elli,cnrcc 0) min" IWY The CIA may be the most famous of the U. S. spy agencies, but it is hardly the largest or even the most influential. With its 15,000 employees and reported 5750-million budget, the CIA is one of the smaller members of what is usually referred to as the ''intelli- gencc community." The largest representation is, not surprisingly, from the Pentagon. In 1961, Rob- ert McNamara created the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as a step toward centralizing the intelligence networks of each of the armed forces. Today, the DIA is thriving, with a SI00-million budget and 5,000 employees, but it has made no visible dent in the organizations it was designed to replace. Accord- ing to figures compiled by Senator William Proxmire, Air Force intelli- gence employs 60,000 people and spends 02.8 billion; the Army has 38,500 intelligence employees and spends S775 million; and the Navy has 10,000 employees again at a cost of S775 million. The State Department has an Intelligence and Research branch (INR) which is relatively small (335 employees, 55-million budget) and concen- trates on background research for State's policies. The National Secu- rity Agency, which describes its function as "code-breaking" but is the most secretive of all the organi- zations, employs 20,000 people and` spends 51 billion. The ''intelligence conlnlunity" is rounded out by small representations from the Atomic l.nemy Commission, the 1,131, and the Treasury Department. Altogether, the national intelligence. systems employ 150.000 people and cost SW billion annually. live and work as if we had a pretty good idea of what was happening in the world, lights are burning late in the CIA's Langley, Virginia headquar- ters, and agents are polishing up plans for the next big operation, the perfect one, the one that will avoid the mistakes made in Singapore and Cuba. Why do they persist? The answer reveals that the CIA is not as different from the Nebraska Department of Highways as both of them would like to think, since each is driven by institutional momentum to continue doing the same things it has always done in the past. In the CIA's case, the momentum comes from masses of old-time agents. These men were re- cruited in the clays of Stalin, Truman, and Acheson; they were sot on their chargers, equipped with lances, pointed in the enemy's direction, and given a shove. Most of them are still fightinst; in fact so many are still with the agency that the then-director, James Schlesinger, had to sheepishly explain to Congress last month that the CIA has one of the government's worst aging problems. One can sympathize with these older men, wllo, like railroad firemen and others whom time has passed by, are not sure what to make of the world they now face. They learned Swahili and Thai in the early days; they attended classes on how to crack a safe or bug an office; they devoted themselves to the struggle to grind out a few extra yards against the other team anywhere in the world. Now they are just trying to keep on doing the only things they know. In many ways, Howard Hunt, one of the convicted Watergate burglars, is the tragic archetype of their class. The tactics, he used against the Democrats and Daniel Ellsberg might have come straight from an instruction Ill;llnual on "slow to Rig the Elections in Chad"; his demeanor since conviction suggests that he would behave the same way if he were captured by the Communist Chinese during a covert mission. Sympathy for the agents' problems Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 doesn't obscure the harmful by-prod- different from the old in the same ucts of their dirty tricks. The draw- way that Schlesinger was different backs of secret operations are nunler- from Helms-less razzle-dazzle, secre- Otis: they frequently don', work; they Cy, and drama; more pipe-snloking give the President "flexibility" In and analysis. in his three months at foreign policy when "restraint" is the agency, Schlesinger encouraged what we need; they reduce the State more than 1,000 agents, mainly from Department's 1epresent tives overseas the "operations" branches, to retire. to an undignified status, since the peo- Of course, reports of scaled-down plc of Lagos or Lima know what to "operations" cannot be taken at face conclude when. the CIA station chief value, not least because Schlesinger's lives in a bigger house and has more successor as Director, William Colby, agent, working for him than the was promoted from the operations ambassador does; they make Ameri- division, where he headed such proj- can diplomats fearful that the CIA ects as the "Phoenix" campaign of will stage a coup as they are excilang political terror in Vietnam. But times ing pleasantries with the soon-to-be- clearly are changing. ousted government; they even confuse Still, neither criticizing the clandes- the CIA's own ai)alyst,, who are never tine activities nor retiring the secret sure whether the political develop- operators takes us far toward figuring meats they are charting are caused by out what really should be done with genuine guerrillas or the CIA. the CIA. If keeping it from doing Even the agency's official spokes- dirty tricks were the only issue, the men seem to be facing these sad facts. simplest solution would be to close James Schlesinger had none of the down the whole agency. There is super-spy aura of many previous CIA something besides secret missions at directors. Richard Helms, who headed stake, and though it may seem oU- the agency from 1966 until he was vious, the. real issue is the importance pensioned off as ambassador to Iran of the "intelligence" function. this sprisng, was an intelligence "pro- Intelligence is usually defined as fessional"; he was a career spy, and as "evaluated infonnation," and is sub- the CIA's Deputy Director of Plans, classified by the pros into categories was in charge of covert activities, ranging from "current intelligence" During the fifties, Director Allen (up-to-the-minute bulletins) to "na Dulles had also stressed the agency's tional intelligence estimates" (weighty secret functions, and at times ap- analyses of long-term trends). The peared to be running a clandestine, justification for having an intelligence aril of his brother's State Depart- system at all is that the government meat. needs reliable information on which What of Schlesinger? He is another to base decisions. The CIA's specific of the "management amen" Much in intelligence role is to tell the truth evidence in government these days. about what is happening overseas. Before coming to the CIA, Schlesinger Just how much truth we need to served briefly as head of the Atonic know, and about what, are the qucs- Energy Conlnmission, and before that tions we must answer in setting had spent a short terns in the Office of priorities for the intelligence agencies. Management and Budget (whhere he Before attempting that, it is worth conducted a Study Of the nation's noting that the CIA is unique in its intelligence system). Before conning truth-telling role. What sets it apart into government, he had been an from other government organizations analyst at the RAND corporation. In that solid dispatches from abroad (see leaks to the press between his box) is its agents' detachment from appointment ally. his transfer to the policy-making. A Foreign Service Pentagon in early May. Schlesinger Officer may be reluctant to point out suggested that the new CIA would be that his embassy's policies are failing; The %Vi%hingon Monthly,/June 1973 9 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 all Air Force reconnaissance officer may doctor his evidence to fit his general's plans; but CIA agents are relatively free of these personal and institutional pressures. "Basically, you need Someone who doeSil't give a damn whether a pro-rain succeeds or fails," says Chester Cooper, a former CIA agent and author of The Lost Crusade. "Iie's the only one who will tell you where things are going wrong." The contrast between the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) illustrates the virtues of detach- ment-known in the trade as "having no ax to grind." The hest of the recent books on intelligence problems, Patrick .MeGarvey's Ci.i, The Myth and the Madness, explains why the DIA is congenit? incapable of tell- ing the truth. Until very recently, few of its officers were intelligence special- ists; most were career soldiers serving a brief stretch between assignments in Vietnam and Europe. Many were more interested in coming out of their DIA assignment with a good personnel rating than in challenging what looked like dubious intelligence estimates. This quite predictably reduced not only their skill as analysts, but also their objectivity. The resulting bias was displayed to the public in 1909, during the ABM debate in Congress. Armed with DIA Answers to /.Luy Political Puzzle: Ri7'E:R''G R'T E'C'A!P,E`R 10 R';ET BE'R'T' lv' / C T O R's of, IPt"NT` 'GVER~C7EQ~ 01 -il- I~3-RRNDAN--??C~~~EI 7"v LSD C, RPS, /-,V -r, A? C' S' _r Ia E N G A L I t 0 R A 0 L E S1 O;A'OER W, S C l_EF;S estimates of Russian intentions, De- fense Secretary :Melvin Laird told his audience some spine-chilling talcs. The Russians were planning to build 500 big SS-9 missiles, he said; and "new evidence" indicated that they were also on their way to creating a "first-strike capability" designed to annihilate the U. S. in a nuclear war. The most charitable explanation for these figures is that they came from the DIA's "worst-case" method of estimation. This line of reasoning, similar to the "what-if-I-die-tomor- row" thoughts that race through the brain at bedtime, starts with basic technical data on Russian capabilities. Then the DIA analysts compute what the enemy could do if lie poured all his effort into building missiles-the worst case. This pessimistic approach is healthy for generals contemplating battle or investors entering the stock market, but in predicting Russian missile strength, it leads to dramatic exaggerations. The "errors" are pre- sumably tolerable to the Pentagon, since they support its argument for more missiles to counter the threat. In the case of the ABM, Laird might well have stampeded the Senate into approving the project were it not for CIA reports. Richard Helms re- vealed that his agency's analyses show- ed that the Russians would end up with 300-odd missiles rather than the 500 DIA predicted (they eventually built 318); that work on ABM sites near Moscow had virtually ceased; and that the "new evidence" of a first- strike capability was at best tenuous. In fairness, it is worth mentioning that the CIA has not wholly digested the lessons of the ABM debate. The interconnection between its intelli- gence gathering and its clandestine operations is a classic illustration of tendencies it criticizes in the DIA and other agencies. In planning escapades like the Bay of Pigs, the CIA violates its own fundamental rule about de- tached analysis, because the agents do have a stake in the information they analyze. Undercover operators are put in the position of generating data Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 to justify the projects they want to carry out. They report that "Yes, the Cubans will rise to join us," or "No, we won't get caught if we stage a coup." Allen Dulles wrote, "Policy- makers tend to become wedded to the policy for which they are responsible. State and Defense employees are no exception to this very human ten- dency." Neither are CIA agents. When they play their proper, dc- taclled role, CIA analysts are one step nearer objectivity than Foreign Ser- vice Officers and military men. And they have other advantages as well. Many of them are semi-aca- demics (one third have Ph.D.s), whose professional advancement depends more on their expertise in the affairs of, say, Ecuador, than on their skill in massaging the eg,o of the ambassador or general above them. Compared to men in the other agencies, the CIA men have time to reflect on their judgments, to read books, to base their reaction on something other than the latest dispatch from the field. To gauge the importance of the trutll-telling function, one need orlly imagine what the governillellt's do- mestic programs nilg,ht be like if there were an internal CIA looking them over. The purpose of many programs becomes subverted somewhere in the pipeline between the Washington head- quarters and the local office that actually constructs the public housing or operates the Head Start program. But because reports on the problems of these pro-rains have to ascend the very chitin of Command that caused the problems in the first place, those at the top are generally sheltered from the worst news from the field. LI3J on Cows and Intelligence Because of its detachment, the CIA is one of the few nroups that can look hack on the Vietnam war as a rela- tively bright spot in its history. Ches- ter Cooper has noted the contrasts between CIA reports on the war and the rosier views coming in from the State Department and the military. As early as 1964, the CIA was question- ing the domino theory, saying that "with the possible exception of Cam- bodia, it is likely that no nation in the area would quickly succumb to Conn- munism as a result of the fall of Laos and Vietnam." Later the agency doubted that raining bombs onto North Vietnam would reduce either the material or the psychological support for the war, and throughout the sixties the CIA reports on the popularity of South Vietnam's as- sorted leaders were more accurate than those of the Pentagon. As further proof that outsiders can get a clearer view of a problem than those causing it, the CIA's reports on the village- pacification program became sharply more critical in 1965. This, it turns out, was when the Army finally wrested control of the program from CIA operatives. The role of detached critic does, of course, come at a price, the same price that journalists pay for their privilege of criticizing and complaining. Be- Watergate burglar James McCord recently alleged that the White House wanted the whole bugging operation blamed on the CIA. He also expressed his more general con- cern about the way President Nixon was treating the agency: It appeared to nme that the White House had for some time been trying to get political control over the CIA assess- ments and estimates in order to make them conform to "White House policy." This could mean that CIA estimates could then be forced to accord with DOD esti- mates of future U. S. weapons and hard- ware needs.... This smacked of the situation which Hitler's intelligence chiefs found themselves in, when they were put in the position of having to tell him what they thought he wanted to hear... in- stead of what they really believed.... When linked with what I saw Iiappening to the FBI under Pat Gray... it appeared that the two government agencies which should be able to prepare their reports ... with complete integrity and honesty ... were no longer going to be able to do so. Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 cause bad news is rarely popular with kings, presidents, or administrators, the bearer of i bad Of-o-n loses his influence to those with more reassuring reports. Lyndon Jolinson- who, In The Kant ,'y'c Point, does not mention a single. CIA estimate in describing his Vietnam decisions- expressed his appreciation for the agency's pessimistic reports this way: in the past. In many cases the old things are the wrong things to ask now, and new intelligence needs have arisen. In order to set a realistic intelligence policy, there are three. questions to be answered. First, what do we need to know? Second, who should provide the information? Third, how should they get it? li,:e Ilia ? g a rat cow. Embarrassing Moments for the CIA You see the milk comin- out, you press more, and the milk b: bbles and flows. And just as the bucket is fur, the cow whips its tail around the bucket and everything is spilled. That's what the CIA does to policy- makina. In the early days of the Nixon Administration, the tiltil-tellers in the CIA had reason to fear that they would get an even less-sympathetic hearing than before (see box, pa-el I ). Henry Kissing r was hardly over- w:helmed by the CIA's insight. After reading a Ie,w reports on Vietnam and returning one CIA report whit "piece of crap" scrawled across the cover, Kissinger d,d not take another CIA estimate seriously in setting his Viet- iltiill policy. But instead of consultillj inner oracles or getting reassurance from the generals, as Bundy and Rostov and Rusk had done, Kissinger created his ow-11 intelligence agency within the National Security Council staff. His resear hers produced more than a hundred "National Security Study Memoranda" during Nixon's first term, papers which laid out all the options and arguments in the style, Nixon liked. From most accounts, these reports have done the job that CIA estimates once did. Even more iniportant than the location of the intelligence system is its focus. I Iow much do we need to know, and about what? Unless we, make the priorities clear, we cannot expect the CIA to automatically di- vine what kind of information will be most important in the conlin- years. Given the normal laws of bureaucratic behavior, the agency will report in the future the same things it has reported One approach to the first question is to consider sonic of the widely recognized "intelligence failures" of recent years. A decade ago, the most prominent items on this list might have been the surprise construction of the Berlin Wall, or the delay in detecting the Soviet missiles in Cuba. During the Nixon Administration, there, have been seven major occasions on which the intelligence establish- ment has felt embarrassed by its perforillanec. u 'rho overthrow of 'Prince Siha- nouk in Cambodia-although Siha- nouk blames this on the CIA (his recent book is called rlly War With the CIA), the coup startled the Adminis- tration because, at the Senate's insis- tence, American agents had been pulled out of the country. The Son Tay prison raid-the rescuers found that the American POWs they came to save had been moved elsewhere. 0South Vietnam's invasion of Laos-intelligence reports predicted a large Communist force in the vicinity, but the military never got the mes- sage. ciTlle invasion of Cambodia in 1970-in one of the CIA's worst performances, its agents miscalculated the strategic importance of the port of Sill anou WHO. The Allende election in Chile, which analysts had not expected. cThe 1969 coup in Libya, another surprise. Aerial reconnaissance before the Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire, which mis- judged the extent of Soviet rocketry. The most interesting aspect of this Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 list is what it says about the CIA's view of crisis-oriented thinking and foreign policy. What caused these "failures"? Either defeclivc military planning (the need for which could be reduced by avoiding similar wars), or an inability to predict the headlines three weeks in advance. There are. good reasons for thinking that we shouldn't try so hard to keep ahead of the breaking news. For one thing, there are limits to how good this kited of intelligence can be; the four illus- trations from the Vietnam war suggest the enormous difficulty of installing spies among a people totally different from us in race and culture and overwhelmingly hostile. We are, likely to crack the KGB before we get a good agent in Hanoi. Also, current intelligence comes at a sharply rising ralarginal cost. BY reading the news- papers and monitoring the diplomatic reports, we may. be 90 percent sure of when a certaingovernment is about to be overthrown. The extra effort re- quired for 95-percent certainty- which usually means spying, bribery, double agents, and informers-is so costly and provocative that it rarely scenes worthwhile. But this is just what the CIA feels it has been trained to do. It is also simpler to slip more spies into an area than to think seriously about long-range develop- ments. So the agency often embarks on a mad pursuit of current news bulletins. If we step away from this fascina- tion with current intelligence for a moment. the incidents of "intelligence failure" seem limited and trivial, conl- pared with some of our failures to perceive More gradual developments. Another list of failures might be headed by our delay in recognizing that the Sino-Soviet split was opening the door to China, or our slow perception of the dollar's plight over- seas, or the apparently unforeseen diplomatic. damage done in Europe and Japan by the Nixon-Connally economic manifestos of 1971. In the coming years, developments like these will affect our national interest far more directly than distant coups or Latin American elections. The CIA can still keep track of the coups, but it should also start directing its atten- tion elsewhere. What follows is a list of the subjects about which we'll need, reli- able intelligence in the next few years. In each situation the questions to answer are what do we need to know, 1020 should provide the information, and how should they get it? Strategic Intelligence from Russia and China Until disarmament is achieved, we will need to know about the missiles, nuclear bombs, and submarines of the Russians and Chinese. We may con- ceivably ignore other world events, but this is one development undCIli- ably related to our national security. Good strategic intelligence should not be important only to the Strangeloves I- accurate estimates Of the other side's weaponry is one of the prerequisites to continued peace and stability. Both sides need 'to know that the other's deterrent force Ys large and function- ing. If we care about disarmament, we also need accurate intelligence. Nego- tiators at the Strategic Arms Limita- tion Talks found that each side's satellite intelligence systems-which guaranteed that neither we nor the Russians could cheat on an agreement -were one of the strongest incentives toward serious bargaining. Finally, accurate intelligence reports can help us control the defense budget, as the AGM showdown illustrated. How do we get this information? At one time we had to rely on secret agents who tried to sneak into Soviet defense installations. With the U-2 incident in 1960, the, public was first informed of the shift from spies to aerial reconnaissance. Since then, in a rare example of technology's being the friend of man, advances in recon- naissance techniques have not only made the reports far more accurate, but also made our-means of obtaining them far less obtrusive. The electronic Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 and photographic satellites that survey Russia and China can photograph objects 18 inches long" and detect the changing of tubes at a Russian radar station. The satellite techniques are expensive-they account for the lutge Air Force intelligence budget-but they are certainly the least provoc- ative and probably the most effective way* of finding; out what we need to know. Once we have the satellites, do we need anything else? A former CIA agent who helped prepare estimates of Russia's strategic strength in the six- ties and who worked on Helms' ABM report says that he and his colleagues relied on two main sources: technical evidence, collected by the satellites and deductive evidence, such as esti- mates from American rocket experts of how lone it would take the Russians to build systems similar to ours. The agent said, "You start with the press reports and the information from normal-diplomatic channels; that makes up about 50 per cent of the information you use. Another 45 per cent is from the technical reports and the experts you consult here. About' two or three per cent is your own analysis. The rest the spies and the secret hocus-pocus is usually worth- less." Managing the technical intelligence gives the CIA, the DIA, and the Air Force something to do; the Air Force and the DIA maintain the satellites and reconnaissance planes and the CIA analyzes the information. That leaves us with the Army and Navy intelligence systems and very little to assign them to. These intelligence systems have one justifiable function, which is to prepare "order of battle" reports on enemy troops. These are rather straightforward accounts of how many nten and tanks are, lined up where. The Army and Navy are not always content with this Prosaic task and often try to expand their intelli- Vence role. The capture of the Pueblo off the coast of North Korea was one of the consequences of this restless- ness. The Pueblo's mission was to locate North Korean radar stations- something the satellites could have done with no risk of provocation. As a general rule, when it's possible to find out by satellite, the military should stay away. One means of enforcing, this policy would be to disband the Army, Navy, and Air Fore intelli- gence systems and concentrate their few essential functions in a smaller DIA. Political Intelligence from Russia and China The Pentagon's performance in the ABM debate is an example of what technical intelligence can do when it is divorced from political common sense. To realistically interpret photo- graphs of missile sites, we need to know whether the Kremlin is going to stress weapons or refrigerators in next year's budget. ' A shortage of good political intelligence was also largely responsible for the general fear of China which prevailed here until so recently. After the Korean War, in which the Chinese made what we considered an irrational attack, our government could not shake the con- viction that Mao's disciplined hordes would lake other unprcdii't;ible steps. Who could tell whether the Cultural Revolution would leaCI to an invasion of Russia or an attack on Taiwan or Japan? The current, almost cloying, wave of Sinophilia illustrates the relief many of us feel in substituting panda bears for armed Red Guards as a symbol of China. The Chinese example also tells a lot about how we should collect political information. China was diplo- matically and culturally closed to us during the fifties and sixties, but the CIA was theoretically free to slip in as many spies as it could. Not many got through, and the lesson may be that diplomatic contact is more important than it often appears to be. In an age of hot lines and world-wide TV, it is easy, and fairly accurate, to conclude that the Foreign Service is a decora- tive appendage; but one of the main Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 reasons for the diplomats' decline is that their main function-taking the political pulse of a country -has been usurped by the CIA. There is scant evidence that the CIA's political re- porting is always superior to that of the Foreign Service-the memoirs of ambassadors such as George Kennan and Charles Bohlen show that they were among the most sensitive to shifts within the Kremlin. When the CIA tries to horn in, it not only creates Unnecessary suspicion, but also further undermines an already de- moralized Foreign Service. Our concern for the Foreign Ser- vice shouldn't be pushed too far. As the Vietnam war record indicates, there is value, in having competing information sources reporting from the field. Checking the quality of FSO's reports would be an ideal assignment for the CIA. But in most cases, the agency could do the job with annual visits to the diplomatic outposts, rather than setting up over- sized CIA stations all over the globe. Political lutellige rice from 1/le Rest of the World When the focus moves away from Russia and China, the question of what we need to know becomes more and more tangled with the question of what our world role should be. One way to separate the issues may be to examine each area of the globe and ask what kinds of developments are clearly of concern to us. We start with Western Europe and Japan. Here the political intelligence from diplomatic, academic, and jour- nalistic sources is overwhelming. As for military intelligence, if we cannot trust these countries to tell Lis what they are planning, it hardly makes Sense to share Our nuclear secrets with them or Join them in NATO or other defense pacts. That leaves Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the other disparate regions usually classified as the Third World. These continents, and espe- cially South America, have tradition- ally suffered the most from close CIA scrutiny. The harvest from these activ- ities is not only the agency's affili- ation with many repressive regimes, but also the astounding, paranoia about the CIA which prevails abroad. Within the last 18 months, headlines have appeared in Iraq, Lgypt, India, and four Latin American countries attributing domestic unrest to the CIA. The two standard justifications for Third-World intelligence are, first, the threat of communist subversion, either military or political; and sec- ond, the danger of wars, coups, and other violent outbursts. Detecting the first threat, if it exists, does not require large contingents of secret agents. It is hard to believe that no one among our diplomats, satellites, and even tourists would notice the arrival of foreign troops in a small country. If the "subversion" is polit- ical, then it is probably wise to know no more about it than the diplomats can observe; if we know when thr coup is going to happen, we may L, tempted to prevent it. The CIA's efforts have backfired in another way. During the 1960s, some perceptive Southerners complained that the only thing keeping the Ku Klux Klan alive was the FBI in- formers. Similarly, by trying to infil- trate every left-wing movement in Latin America, the CIA has inad- vertently nurtured threats that other- wise would have withered on their own. The second justification-the dan- ger of war-should be taken more seriously. Even if we do not plan to rush into regional wars with quite the alacrity we have displayed in the past, disturbances of the peace anywhere in the world concern us. There is always the danger that a battle in the Middle East, or between India and Pakistan, will somehow draw other powers into the fray. More basically, if we want to encourage a more peaceful world, we should understand why people fight. A lack of this cultural understanding is the weakness of much of our Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 ' hied World reporting. So much stress is placed on palace gossip that the larger picture is often obscured. During the 1971 India-Pakistan war, the CIA made a splash in the National Security Council with a dispatch showing that India planned to take over the whole of Pakistan. 'lhe information (which later proved distorted) came from an informer in the Indian cabinet. It was a triumph of the old-style espionage, but wrong. What the CIA should have been looking for were the long range causes of the fighting. What had set the Hindus and Moslems at each others' throat;? Were they likely to fight again? Most of the recent warfare in the Third World has risen not from narrowly political or idcologieal causes, but from religious, cultural, and tribal tensions: consider Biafra, Uganda, Pakistan, the Middle East, and the "demographic war" between Honduras and El Salvador. So trying to understand the. violence by sifting through embassy rumors is doomed from the start. Looking for the roots of violence would not require the contingent of spies and saboteurs we now deploy in the Third World; instead, the raw material for such reflection would be academic and diplomatic observation, and the con- clusions would come from thoughtful analysis rather than spying. In discussing this point, Adam Yarnholinsky, one of Robert McNa- mara's advisers at the Pentaton, said to me, "My ;gut feeling is that il' I have a chance to know, I want to know. If knowing involves risks, I'll face them later. That is preferable to the risk of not knowing." Perhaps, but why not minimize the risk by concentrating on the issues that matter and cutting back the purely political espionage? "You need to know what they're doing to each other under the table," Samuel Adam,, an outspoken CIA agent said, in justifying the need for clandestine operations. "In a country like Uganda, if you just read the papers you won't have a clue as to what is going on." If Amin and Uganda were a perfect analogue to Hitler and Germany, the point would be valid. But we' must ask two questions about cases like Arvin's. First, is what's going on under the table of concern to us? In Uganda, the immediate answer is no. In Israel, or Egypt, or South Africa, or Pakistan, the answer may be yes; these are countries with the potential to involve many other countries in their fighting. This list will expand if nuclear weap- ons are more widely distributed. Second, are spies the only way to find Out about the Sub rosa activities? Our diplomats in Uganda won't just be reading the papers, and their idea of what's really going on should be accurate enough to meet our needs. Counter-Espionage Counter-espiona ;e means protecting your country's secrets from the other Country's spies. It usually involves such ploys as infiltrating the opposi- tion's intelligence system. From all reports, the CIA has not clone well in penetrating the ICGB. But as long as there is any data we should withhold from the Russians, the effort is worth- while. There is at ]east one piece of information that fits this category: the technical details and deployment plans for our Polaris submarine fleet. The Polaris is the heart of our deterrent system, a nd it is too easy to imagine that in some Pentagon office there is a board showing where the subs are at any given moment. Pru- dence suggests that we should at least keep that room off-limits for KGB agents and have a way of knowing when they have seen the plans. Another kind of counter-espionage is less necessary. CIA agents are constantly guarding against commu- nist subversion at such vital links in our military defenses as the Agnew military base in Ethiopia. It is alto- gether too easy to imagine that some- where there is an American military base of no strategic importance, whose only function is to employ CIA agents to prevent it from being spied Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2 on. A simpler solution night be to take the base away. Terrorism if there is one effort in which the, world's intelligence systems can co- operate rather than compete, it is in preventin- terrorism. I :vcn those who sympathize whip many of the griev- ances of the Irish Republican Army or the Black September group find it hard to stomach their violent excesses. In combat:Iing, terrorists, tile CIA has a rare chance to put its secret tactics and dirty tricks to good use. Already the agency has begun work in this area. After the Black September kill- ings at the %Iunich Olympic Games, a "Cabinet Committee to Combat Ter- rorism" was created in the State Department. The CIA feeds reports to the COIl1I11ittee, which in turn dis- patches warnings to U. S. diplomats abroad. may claim all the fish 500 miles out to sea as theirs; or the African countries may aff?Jliate more tightly With the Common Market; these and a hundred similar developments will affect us in an immediate, material fashion. Just because economic Challges are not secret, there is a tendency not to take them as seriously as missiles or subversive movements. But they are the most difficult challenge the CIA's analysts will face in the coming years. In the last two decades the agency has had to shift focus. For example, when conlillUnist activity died down in Africa, agents put their techniques to use in Southeast Asia. In general, it has been a question since 1947 of applying similar tactics to different parts of the globe. Now it is a question of applying entirely new theories and ideas. The information itself is easy to come by; it is available in economic reports and academic studies. Changing the outlook is harder, but it is what the CIA should be doing. Economic I/ilelli-once If we look for the international forces that are actually going to affect the way we live in the next decade and forget for the moment about an abstract threat from Uganda, we must confront the dramatic changes in the world economy which have become increasingly apparent in the last few years. This does not mean expanding the data on Russian beet and steel production that the CIA has been collecting for years. Instead, it means realizing that we-like the British since World War II-will soon be in the position of living fat or lean as international economic laws dictate. Changes now occurring in Japan and Western Europe may affect our Lin- employment level more than anything done by the Council of Economic Advisers. Resource and environmental questions are involved as well. How will competing for the same flow of Arabian oil affect our already tepid relations with Japan? What will we do if the Arabs decide they don't need to sell us any more oil? The Chileans The Washington Monthly/Jund 1973 i r fi'i is ;dR(' I IE:?o`?-ije~~; ,f~) o}'.;il>1} ilo~.l'rJi 1I a~c~r; 1EiCto)'g+ {a- ?`Ip(. 1}1:iiilt~ lS.?)!~ t4~1~1 I The Washington :Monthly 1028 Connecticut Ave., NW Dept. WM Washington, D.C. 20036 Please enter a one-year subscription to The Washington Monthly for me for S 12.95 Payment enclosed LJ Please ulu me Name- Address City State Zip Approved For Release 2001/08/21 : CIA-RDP78-04722A000300020001-2