Mr. Bannon Joins The National Security Council – Analysis

By John R. Haines*

(FPRI) — The Washington commentariat continues to roil over President Donald J. Trump’s naming of Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor Stephen K. Bannon to a seat on the National Security Council Principals Committee (NSC/PC).[1] For the new president’s first National Security Directive is the object of much breathless criticism. Take this, for example:

The director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff no longer get automatic seats at the adults’ table — also known as the Principals Committee. Below the NSC, the Principals Committee is the most senior interagency body of the national security process. It’s the last stop before taking a major national-security decision to the president.[2]

While characterizing aspects of the presidential directive as historically anomalous, much commentary around it is cloaked in language that masks—often thinly—animus toward Mr. Bannon personally. Consider this from the New York Times:

[T]he defining moment for Mr. Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council — while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities. It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers.[3]

An experienced and capable polemicist, Mr. Bannon can capably (or not, depending on one’s view) defend his suitability for the post. What remains unanswered, however, is whether his appointment can be fairly characterized as a “startling elevation of a political adviser,” as claimed by the New York Times and others. The answer is no.

Some historical context is in order. The NSC/PC has a short legacy, dating only to the 1989 reorganization of the National Security Council by President George H.W. Bush. His NSC Directive 1, dated 30 January 1989, established the NSC/PC “as the senior interagency forum for consideration of policy issues affecting national security.”[4] Its named chair was the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs aka the National Security Advisor[5] — at the time, Brent Scowcroft — and its named members were, respectively, the secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the President’s Chief of Staff (at the time, John Sununu).

President George W. Bush’s first National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD 1), issued on 13 February 2001, amended the 1989 directive’s language regarding the organization of the NSC/PC. Notably, it changed the Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, respectively, from permanent to ad hoc members. NSPD 1 also provided that “Other heads of departments and agencies, along with additional senior officials, shall be invited where appropriate.”[6]

The Evolution of the National Security Council

Like the NSC/PC, the named members of the NSC have changed regularly since inception. So, too, suggestions to include political advisers of one stripe or another as participants have been floated regularly since the NSC was established in 1947.[7] In its first four weeks in office, for example, the Eisenhower administration considered it but demurred over concerns about muddying lines of authority within the Executive branch.

This situation, I believe, provides much of the basis or justification for the criticism of the Council and for the proposals that ‘elder statesmen’ or ministers without portfolio be added to the Council machinery. Such proposals are, of course, one possible solution which appears to have some merit in solving the problem. The addition of such officials having no responsibility for the execution of the policies they recommend would, however, mean a complete change in the principle of responsibility-with-authority upon which the Council is now based. Put more plainly, these proposals would appear to contemplate two or more officials within the Executive Branch exercising the policy-making prerogatives of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, etc.[8]

The Eisenhower administration at the same time considered vesting executive authority in the NSC, which it rejected as inconsistent with governing principles:

It has occasionally been suggested that the Council should be charged with coordinating the execution of policies . . . Such proposals, however, would radically alter the principle under which the Executive Branch operates, namely that the various heads of departments and agencies are directly responsible to the President for the conduct of their operations. In effect, the council as a committee would be interposed between the President and his Cabinet members and other agency heads. This is not the American way of government.[9]

The distinction between on the one hand the authority to formulate policy, and on the other the authority to execute policy, was later elaborated by Robert Cutler, who in January 1951 served as NSC Executive Secretary:

The Council advises the President both on policy and on plans for its execution, but its primary statutory function thus lies in the formation of policy. The role of the Council as a planning body is subordinate to its policy function.[10]

Within a matter of months, however, expanding who was authorized to participate in NSC meetings would reemerge as a political matter. On 16 March 1953, Mr. Cutler (who a week hence would become the country’s first National Security Advisor) submitted a memorandum titled “Recommendations Regarding the National Security Council,”[11] which President Eisenhower formally accepted the following day.[12] Among what became Reorganization Plan 3 of 1953 was this provision:

In addition to Statutory and Participating Members, there will be in attendance at each Council meeting the following persons who do not formally participate as Council members.

The named persons included three so-called “Advisers” — the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning, respectively.[13] The Director of the Psychological Strategy Board was eliminated as a named “Observer” when the Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning became a named Advisor.[14]

Moreover, as discussed in a July 1960 “Organizational History of the National Security Council” prepared for the Senate Subcommittee on National Policy Machinery, so-called “participant members” of the NSC included “individuals who were invited on a ‘standing-request’ basis to attends all council meetings until the President otherwise decided and those who were invited to attend a meeting on an ‘ad hoc’ basis.”[15]

The Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning at the time was Charles D. “C.D.” Jackson. The historian Walter Hixson called him the “ultimate psychological warrior of the Eisenhower team.”[16] Mr. Jackson was a member of the President’s Committee on International Information Activities aka “the Jackson Committee” (named not for him but for its chair, William H. Jackson, a former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence[17]), which President Eisenhower established two months before he accepted the recommendation of Mr. Cutler (who also served on the Jackson Committee) to reorganize the NSC.[18] Among the Jackson Committee’s several recommendations was abolishing the Psychological Strategy Board, which President Truman established by presidential directive in June 1951 “to authorize and provide for the more effective planning, coordination, and conduct within the framework of approved national policies, of psychological operations.”[19]

The Eisenhower administration’s reordering and reorganizing of the NSC set a precedent followed by every subsequent administration. These actions intermittently have resulted in modifications as to how the NSC is organized and operates, including broadening the circle of participants — both formal and informal — to suit the President’s leadership style. A Central Intelligence Agency retrospective assessed it this way:

Each presidential administration has tailored its use of the NSC to suit the chief executive’s preferences for obtaining national security advice. Like Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson de-emphasized the NSC in favor of ad hoc groups and select advisors. In contrast, President George H. W. Bush leaned heavily on the NSC and established the system of Principals and Deputies Committees that is still in effect.[20]

During the Kennedy administration, National Security Action Memorandum 196, adopted 22 October 1964, established an NSC executive committee. Its named members included Llewellyn E. “Tommy” Thompson,[21] who served as President Kennedy’s Ambassador-at-Large for Soviet Affairs; and Theodore Sorensen, who served as his Special Counsel.[22] Other persons attended NSC meetings as informal participants, notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis, including Kenneth O’Donnell, a White House political advisor, and White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger.

Bannon, the New Rockefeller?

While Mr. Bannon has sardonically compared himself to “Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors”[23] (perhaps choosing to ignore how that role ended), his national security brief might better analogize to Nelson Rockefeller. As noted earlier, he succeeded C.D. Jackson as Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning in the Eisenhower administration.[24] Mr. Rockefeller’s appointment was memorialized in a March 1955 memorandum to President Eisenhower from Rowland Hughes, the director of the Bureau of the Budget (later renames the “Office of Management and Budget”):

b.The appointment of Mr. Nelson Rockefeller as Special Assistant to the President to provide leadership on your behalf in the development of increased understanding and cooperation among all peoples and in reviewing and developing methods and programs by which the various departments and agencies of the Government may effectively contribute to such cooperation and understanding.

c.The assignment to a Special Committee chaired by Mr. Rockefeller of responsibility for coordinating the implementation of the policies contained in NSC 5505/110 and NSC 5502/1.[25]

Mr. Rockefeller assumed a direct role in national security and intelligence operations when President Eisenhower named him chair of the Planning Coordination Group (PCG), which was subordinate to the NSC’s Operations Coordinating Board (OCB). The OCB was established by a September 1953 executive order “to provide for the integrated implementation of national security policies by the several agencies.”[26] According to a letter to Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, “At the time of the issuance of the Executive Order creating the OCB the President designated his Special Assistant for Cold War Planning as his representative on the OCB.”[27]

President Eisenhower authorized the PCG in a 10 March 1955 letter to Mr. Rockefeller. He directed that the PCG was to be advised “in advance of major covert programs initiated by the Central Intelligence Agency;” and furthermore, that the PCG “should be the normal channel for giving policy approval for such programs as well as for securing coordination of support therefor among the Departments of State and Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.”[28] The two referenced NSC reports — NSC 5505/1 (“Exploitation of Soviet and European Satellite Vulnerabilities”) and NSC 5502/1 (“U.S. Policy Toward Russian Anti-Soviet Political Activities) — are January 1955 directives for an “active political warfare strategy” against the Soviet Union.

Mr. Rockefeller’s brief was defined in a March 1955 NSC memorandum that discussed “The Foreign Information Program and Psychological Warfare Planning.”[29] Declaring “the principle that propaganda in both peace and war is a continuing mechanism of national policy directed toward the achievement of national aims,” the NSC charged Mr. Rockefeller to conduct:

[A] high level review of the existing arrangements in the light of NSC 59/1[30] and NSC 127/1[31] should be undertaken with a view to preparing appropriate recommendations for consideration by the National Security Council. Such a review should be undertaken with a full understanding of the existing arrangements and current plans and programs in this field, as well as the status of planning for the possibility of limited or general war.[32]

The NSC further directed that “responsibility for making such a review and recommendations [was] assigned to Mr. Nelson Rockefeller as Special Assistant to the President:”

[T]o provide leadership in the development of increased understanding and cooperation among all peoples and in reviewing and developing methods and programs by which the various departments and agencies of the Government may effectively contribute to such cooperation and understanding. In this assignment Mr. Rockefeller should be provided with such advice and assistance as he requires from the Bureau of the Budget, the Office of Defense Mobilization and the Operations Coordinating Board as well as the responsible operating departments and agencies.[33]

Preparing for a New Type of Cold War

Fast forward to today, a recent Voice of America headline declared bluntly, “NATO Warns West ‘Losing Information War’ Against Russia, IS.”[34] A recent report by the NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence sounds a similarly bleak note:

In the 18 months since Russia’s seizure of Crimea, Western understanding of Russian information warfare techniques has developed beyond all recognition . . . The challenge of Russian information warfare is, however, not a static situation, but a developing process . . . [T]hose nations or organizations that think they understand Russian information warfare on the basis of current studies, and are responding by preparing for currently visible threats and capabilities, are out of date and will be surprised once again by what happens next . . . One of the most striking elements of this evolution has been in the Russian approach to the relationship between information warfare and a traditional state of war.[35]

There is a certain parallel between, respectively, the conditions of c.1950s propaganda and “psychological strategies”[36] and their contemporary embodiment as information warfare. Like all analogies, it is of course imperfect, but the parallels are there nonetheless. Modern information warfare (IW) consists of three parts: first, IW techniques and capabilities; second, a comprehensive strategy to apply and organize those techniques and capabilities; and third, a target — not the specific systems to be attacked but instead, the adversary’s decision process — and objective.[37]

Even Mr. Bannon’s detractors must concede he has proved an adroit information warrior. His portfolio as a presidential adviser and White House chief strategist logically extends to policy (not operational) matters, a distinction that is fully consistent with the NSC’s brief. With Mr. Rockefeller (and possibly if less plausibly, his predecessor, C.D. Jackson) as a model, one might well ask why wouldn’t Mr. Bannon sit on the NSC/PC?

So let’s hope Mr. Bannon executes his assignment well. Whether he can play a role on the scale of the one assigned to Nelson Rockefeller by President Eisenhower — and here, it is worth pausing to consider the uproar that would have ensued had President Trump appointed, say, a Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Information War (or Counter Jihadist) Planning — remains to him to evince. That being said, his detractors’ suggestion that the NSC organizational chart is carved on stone tablets is wrong, completely — its structure and membership have changed dynamically over the NSC’s seven decade-long existence.

It must be added that one ought not minimize the apprehensions of intelligence professionals regarding well-intentioned novices. As John le Carré wrote in Call for the Dead, “He knew how intelligent men could be broken by the stupidity of their superiors, how weeks of patient work night and day could be cast aside by such a man.” That being said, wise women and men from outside the intelligence community were instrumental to winning the Cold War.

George Kennan . . . more than any other official pressed the National Security Council to reorganize covert action planning and management. This resulted in the creation of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) at the CIA in September 1948 and the appointment of the visionary OSS veteran Frank G. Wisner as its chief [ . . . ]

From the start, Wisner and OPC regarded NCFE as one of their signature operations. As the Cold War reached perhaps its most dangerous phase, NCFE and other projects (such as the Congress for Cultural Freedom, 1950, and Radio Liberty, which began broadcasts to the Soviet Union in 1953) rallied anti-Communist intellectuals, politicians, and activists to fight the Soviets in a contest for the peoples’ “minds and loyalties.”[38]

And with that, the ball is squarely in Mr. Bannon’s court. Let us hope for the country’s sake that he exceeds our most optimistic expectations.

About the author:
*John R. Haines is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Executive Director of FPRI’s Princeton Committee. He is also a Trustee of FPRI.

Source:
This article was published by FPRI.

[1] The White House Office of the Press Secretary (2017). Presidential Memorandum Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council (28 January 2017). https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/28/presidential-memorandum-organization-national-security-council-and. Last accessed 31 January 2016. The pertinent language of the 28 January Presidential Memorandum reads as follows:

“The PC shall have as its regular attendees the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, the Assistant to the President and Chief Strategist, the National Security Advisor, and the Homeland Security Advisor.  The Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.  The Counsel to the President, the Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget may attend all PC meetings.”

“The Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor (Deputy National Security Advisor), the Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and the Executive Secretary (who shall serve as the Executive Secretary of the PC) shall attend all of the meetings of the PC, and the Representative of the United States to the United Nations and the Assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives may attend as appropriate.” [Emphasis added]

Similar but less widespread objection was heard to President Trump naming his Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, to the NSC/PC. The author has elected to let the ample precedent from previous administrations for such an appointment speak for itself.

[2] Kelly Magsamen (2017). “What Trump’s Reshuffling of the National Security Council Really Means.” The Atlantic [published online 30 January 2017]. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/the-trump-national-security-council-an-analysis/514910/?utm_source=twb. Last accessed 31 January 2017.

[3] Glenn Thrush & Maggie Halberman (2017). “Bannon Is Given Role Usually Held for Generals.” The New York Times [published online 29 January 2017]. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/us/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-national-security-council.html. Last accessed 31 January 2017.

[4] See: B.1. The NSC Principals Committee (NSC/PC). http://orchestratingpower.org/lib/National%20Security%20Council/official%20org%20docs/PD-1989-Bush-NSD-1.pdf. Last accessed 31 January 2016.

[5] This position — originally called the “Special Assistant for National Security Affairs” — was created as part of President Eisenhower’s 1952 reorganization of the NSC, which was established under the National Security Act of 1947.

[6] The White House (2001). National Security Presidential Directive 1 (13 February 2001). https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/nspd/nspd-1.pdf. Last accessed 31 January 2017. The pertinent language of the NSPD 1 reads as follows:

“The NSC Principals Committee (NSC/PC) will continue to be the senior interagency forum for consideration of policy issues affecting national security, as it has since 1989. The NSC/PC shall have as its regular attendees the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Chief of Staff to the President, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (who shall serve as chair). The Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed. The Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall be invited to attend meetings pertaining to their responsibilities. For the Attorney General, this includes both those matters within the Justice Department’s jurisdiction and those matters implicating the Attorney General’s responsibility under 28 U.S.C. 511 to give his advice and opinion on questions of law when required by the President. The Counsel to the President shall be consulted regarding the agenda of NSC/PC meetings, and shall attend any meeting when, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, he deems it appropriate. When international economic issues are on the agenda of the NSC/PC, the Committee’s regular attendees will include the Secretary of Commerce, the United States Trade Representative, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (who shall serve as chair for agenda items that principally pertain to international economics), and, when the issues pertain to her responsibilities, the Secretary of Agriculture. The Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to the Vice President shall attend all meetings of the NSC/PC, as shall the Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor (who shall serve as Executive Secretary of the NSC/PC). Other heads of departments and agencies, along with additional senior officials, shall be invited where appropriate.”

“The NSC/PC shall meet at the call of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, in consultation with the regular attendees of the NSC/PC. The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs shall determine the agenda in consultation with the foregoing, and ensure that necessary papers are prepared. When international economic issues are on the agenda of the NSC/PC, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy shall perform these tasks in concert.”

Readers will note that the blue highlighted language above is identical to the language of President Trump’s directive [see fn(1), above].

[7] The National Security Council was established by the National Security Act of 1947 (P.L. 80-235, 61 Stat 496), which President Harry S. Truman signed on 26 July 1947.

[8] James S. Lay, Jr. (1953). Suggestions for Further Strengthening of the National Security Council (19 January 1953).  http://orchestratingpower.org/lib/National%20Security%20Council/official%20org%20docs/1953,01,19%20NSC%20org.pdf. Last accessed 31 January 2017. Mr. Lay at the time was the NSC’s Executive Secretary.

[9] Lay (1953), op cit.

[10] Robert Cutler (1959). “Intelligence as Foundation for Policy.” Studies in Intelligence. 3:4 (1959) 59-71. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol3no4/html/v03i4a05p_0001.htm. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[11] Memorandum for the President by the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Cutler) dated 16 March 1953. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952–1954, National Security Affairs, Volume II, Part 1, Document 50. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1952-54v02p1/d50. Last accessed 31 January 2017.

[12] Letter from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Robert Cutler dated 17 March 1953. http://orchestratingpower.org/lib/National%20Security%20Council/official%20org%20docs/1953,03,17%20NSC%20org.pdf. Last accessed 31 January 2017.

[13]  Recommendations Regarding the National Security Council, 16 March 1953, op cit. http://orchestratingpower.org/lib/National%20Security%20Council/official%20org%20docs/1953,03,17%20NSC%20org.pdf. Last accessed 31 January 2016.

[14] This switch is discussed in a letter from James S. Lay, Jr., Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, to Allen W. Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence. https://archive.org/stream/LETTERTOALLENWDULLESFROMJAMESSLAYJR80B01676R0011000600231/LETTER%20TO%20ALLEN%20W.%20DULLES%20FROM%20JAMES%20S.%20LAY,%20JR.%20RDP80B01676R001100060023-1_djvu.txt. Last accessed 31 January 2017.

Mr. Cutler’s 16 March 1953 recommendations defined “Observers” as “Such person or persons as the President may desire to attend for the purpose of observing, but not participating—like his Military Liaison Officer. Observers are not seated at the table.”  See: Part III. Membership in the Council. 4.b. Observers.

[15] National Security Council (1960). “Organizational History of the National Security Council,” 30. https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80B01676R001100060023-1.pdf. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[16] Walter L. Hixson (1997; 1998). Parting the Curtains: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945-1961. (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin) 22. C.D. Jackson was succeeded as Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning by Nelson A. Rockefeller, who at the time of his appointment was serving as Undersecretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

[17] William H. Jackson served as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for eleven months (October 1950-August 1951) and later replaced Nelson Rockefeller (who himself had succeeded Charles D. Jackson as the Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Planning) as a Presidential special assistant.

[18] Recommendations Regarding the National Security Council, 16 March 1953, op cit.

[19] 128. Directive Establishing the Psychological Strategy Board (20 June 1951). https://trumanlibrary.org/publicpapers/index.php?pid=342&st=&st1=. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[20] Central Intelligence Agency (2010). “A Look Back . . . The National Security Council Helps Shape the CIA.” https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2010-featured-story-archive/nsc-helps-shape-cia.html. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[21] Llewellyn E. Thompson served as the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union under Presidents Eisenhower (1957-) and Kennedy (1961-1962), resigning his position in July 1962 to become Ambassador-at-Large, as a member of the newly created NSC Executive Committee. Dean Rusk called him “our in-house Russian during the missile crisis.” In 1967, President Johnson reappointed him Ambassador to the Soviet Union, where he remained until his retirement in 1969. He came out of retirement to advise President Nixon during the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty negotiations, and represented the United States in the SALT talks from 1969 until his death in 1972.

[22] National Security Action Memorandum 196 dated 22 October 1962. https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsam-jfk/nsam196.htm. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[23] Michael Wolff (2016). “Ringside With Steve Bannon at Trump Tower as the President-Elect’s Strategist Plots ‘An Entirely New Political Movement’.” The Hollywood Reporter [published online 18 November 2016]. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-bannon-trump-tower-interview-trumps-strategist-plots-new-political-movement-948747. Last accessed 30 January 2017.

[24] See fn(16).

[25] Memorandum From the Director of the Bureau of the Budget (Hughes) to President Eisenhower dates 3 March 1955. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1950-55Intel/d210. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[26] Executive Order 10483 Establishing the Operations Coordinating Board (2 September 1953). http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=60573. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[27] Letter from James S. Lay, Jr., Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, to Allen W. Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence. https://archive.org/stream/LETTERTOALLENWDULLESFROMJAMESSLAYJR80B01676R0011000600231/LETTER%20TO%20ALLEN%20W.%20DULLES%20FROM%20JAMES%20S.%20LAY,%20JR.%20RDP80B01676R001100060023-1_djvu.txt. Last accessed 31 January 2017.

[28] https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1955-57v19/d16. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[29] National Security Council (1955). “Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay) to the National Security Council” Document 213 dated 15 March 1955. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1950-55Intel/d213. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[30] The opening paragraph of National Security Council Report NSC 59/1 reads “Foreign information programs in periods of peace and psychological warfare programs in periods of national emergency or war are established instruments of national policy and must be continuously directed toward the achievement of national aims.” NSC 59/1 established an inter-departmental body known as the Psychological Operations Coordinating Committee (“POCC”) charged with strengthening and coordinating peacetime foreign information activities. In the event of a conflict, the POCC was to ensure continuity from these peacetime activities to active psychological warfare operation. [National Security Council Report NSC 59/1. The Foreign Information Program and Psychological Warfare Planning  (9 March 1950). https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1950-55Intel/d2. Last accessed 1 February 2017] The POCC created a subordinate group known as the “X-Day Working Group” to develop specific recommendations for transitioning psychological warfare responsibilities from peacetime foreign information activities to overt psychological warfare operations “during the initial stages of hostilities”. [National Security Council (1952). “Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Bruce) to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay)” dated 31 July 1952. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1950-55Intel/d124. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[31] NSC 127/1 “Plan for Conducting Psychological Operations During General Hostilities” was approved by President Truman on 25 July 1952.

[32] Regarding the references to NSC 59/1 and NSC 127/1, an earlier August 1954 memorandum concluded “The National Security Council noted that NSC 59/1 and NSC 127/1 are deemed obsolete, but deferred further action with respect thereto pending receipt of the study described in the preceding item.” See: National Security Council (1954). Memorandum of Discussion at the 209th Meeting of the National Security Council” dated 5 August 1954. https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1950-55Intel/d187. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[33] “Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Lay) to the National Security Council,” op cit.

[34] “NATO Warns West ‘Losing Information War’ Against Russia, IS.” Voice of America [published online 27 September 2016]. http://www.voanews.com/a/nato-russia-information-war-propaganda/3526780.html. Last accessed 1 February 2017. The Russian government-controlled news portal RT published a rejoinder under the header “ Russia winning ‘information war’ – or just telling the truth?” See: RT [published online 1 October 2016]. https://www.rt.com/op-edge/361300-russia-winning-information-war/. Last accessed 1 February 2016.

[35] Keir Giles (2017). The Next Phase of Russian Information Warfare, 2, 4. Prepared by the NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence. http://www.stratcomcoe.org/next-phase-russian-information-warfare-keir-giles. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[36] The reference here is to the activities of the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB), which was established by presidential directive on 4 April 1951. Its charge was to “see that the psychological weapons at their disposal are employed to maximum effectiveness in pursuance of NSC policies.” See: Central Intelligence Agency (1951). “Relationship of the PSB to the NSC.” Paper dated 24 May 1951, 2. https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80R01731R003400010025-1.pdf. Last accessed 1 February 2017. Another CIA memorandum issued four months hence made clear that the PSB “does not itself engage in operations” but “will determine as to the various psychological operational plans: (1) emphasis, (2) priority, and (3) pace.” Central Intelligence Agency (1951). “Role of Psychological Strategy Board under 4/4/51 Presidential Directive.” Memorandum dated 28 September 1951. https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP80R01731R003200010003-7.pdf. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[37] L. Scott Johnson (1997). “Toward a Functional Model of Information Warfare.” Studies in Intelligence, 1 (1997 unclassified version) 50. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol40no5/pdf/v40i5a07p.pdf. Last accessed 1 February 2017.

[38] Central Intelligence Agency (2007). “A Look Back . . . The National Committee for Free Europe, 1949.” https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2007-featured-story-archive/a-look-back.html. Last accessed 1 February 2017.


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