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Richard V. Allen
Office of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Lawrence S. Eagleburger
(Department of State Press Release No. 25, February 7, 1969)
SECRETARY OF STATE ROGERS' MESSAGE ON THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S RESPONSIBILITIES, FEBRUARY 7, 1969
SENT TO ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF
STATE, THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, THE U.S. INFORMATION AGENCY, THE ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY, AND THE PEACE CORPS-IN THE UNITED STATES AND OVERSEAS
You will soon be receiving a Department of State Foreign Affairs Vanual Circular summarizing and explaining decisions taken recently by the President which restructure the National Security Council system and bear upon the development and execution of our foreign policy. The President's decisions place challenging responsibilities before all of us in the Department of State.
The President has assigned to the Department of State authority and responsibility to the full extent permitted by law for the overall direction, coordination and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the United States Government overseas. (As in the past this assignment does not include activities of United States military forces operating in the field where such forces are under the command of a United States arca military commander or such other military activities as the President may elect as Commander-in-Chief to conduct through military channels.)
It is the President's intention that the Department of State will also play a central and dynamic role in the new National Security Council system. This role will be performed principally through the participation of the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary at all NSC meetings, the newly-constituted NSC Under Secretaries Committee chaired by the Under Secretary and in his absence the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Department of State participation on the NSC Review Group, and through the Interdepartmental Groups of regional and functional composition which are chaired by Assistant Secretaries of State. These responsibilities provide the Department a role of leadership which will require imagination and energy to be asserted by all involved.
The resources of the Department and its associated agencies will provide the strongest possible support to the President's desire to use the National Security Council system for an orderly examination of our foreign policy objectives.
The Department of State will energetically execute United States policy objectives overseas in accordance with the President's decisions. Ambassadors and our missions abroad will be depended upon for initiatives and support. Country Directors, under the guidance of their Assistant Secretaries, will exercise leadership in the Washington community in policy and program matters relating to the countries under their jurisdiction and in support of our missions abroad.
The President's goal is to enhance and insure the security and peaceful progress of the United States. Our success in this objective will contribute to the well-being of free people everywhere.
[Department of State News Letter, February 1969, No. 94)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL
CIRCULAR, NO. 521, FEBRUARY 6, 1969
SUBJECT: REORGANIZATION OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
SYSTEM AND DIRECTION, COORDINATION AND SUPERVISION OF INTERDEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES OVERSEAS
1. REORGANIZATION OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SYSTEM
To assist him in carrying out his responsibilities for the conduct of national security affairs, the President has designated the National Security Council as the principal forum for consideration of national security policy issues requiring Presidential decision. In addition to utilizing the NSC itself he has reorganized the NSC system to constitute certain groups and committees, and has designated responsibilities to the Department of State, as described below: a. NSC Interdepartmental Groups
The previously existing interdepartmental Regional Groups and the Political-Military Interdepartmental Group have been reconstituted as Interdepartmental Groups in the NSC system, chaired by the appropriate Assistant Secretary of the Department of State. The membership of these Groups will include representatives of the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other agencies at the discretion of the Chairman depending on the issue under consideration.
The Interdepartmental Groups will:
settled at the Assistant Secretary level, including issues
arising out of the implementation of NSC decisions; -prepare policy papers for consideration by the NSC:
-prepare contingency papers on potential crisis areas for
NSC review. b. NSC Ad Hoc Groups
When appropriate, the President will appoint NSC Ad Hoc Groups to deal with particular problems, including those which transcend
regional boundaries. c. NSC Review Group
An NSC Review Group has been established to examine papers such as those coming out of the Interdepartmental Groups, NSC Ad Hoc Groups, or departments prior to their submission to the NSC. The Review Group, chaired by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, will include representatives of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other agencies at the discretion of the Chairman, depending on the issue under consideration. The Review Group will review papers to assure that:
-the issue under consideration is worthy of NSC attention;
and agencies' views are fairly and adequately set forth. The Review Group may assign action to the NSC Interdepartmental Groups or NSC Ad Hoc Groups, as appropriate, and may
refer issues to the Under Secretaries Committee. d. The NSC Under Secretaries Committee
An NSC Under Secretaries Committee has been established under the Chairmanship of the Under Secretary of State, assisted by the Under Secretary for Political Affairs who will also act as his alternate, consisting of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and, depending on the issues under consideration, ranking officers of other agencies at the discretion of the Chairman. The Under Secretaries Committee will consider:
(1) issues referred to it by the NSC Review Group;
unable to reach agreement, or which are of a broader
natue than is suitable to any such group; --which do not require consideration at Presidential or
NSC level; and
--which are referred to it by the Secretary of State.
Secretary of State and the Assistant to the President for
2. AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE a. The President has affirmed the position of the Secretary of State as
his principal foreign policy adviser and his responsibility, in accordance with approved policy, for the execution of foreign policy. b. He has assigned to the Secretary authority and responsibility to the
full extent permitted by law for the overall direction, coordination and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the United States Government overseas. This authority includes continuous supervision and general direction of economic assistance, military assistance and sales programs, as provided in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. (The authority does not extend to (1) the activities of United States military forces operating in
the field where such forces are under the command of a
United States area military commander, ) (2) such other military activities as the President elects to
conduct through military channels, and (3) activities which are internal to the execution and adminis
tration of the approved programs of a single department or agency and which are not of such a nature as to affect significantly the overall U.S. overseas program in a
country or region.) c. Previously established responsibilities of the Department of State
by virtue of law or Executive Order with respect to such matters as international educational and cultural affairs, information activities, foreign assistance, food for peace, arms control and disarmament, supervision of programs authorized by the Peace Corps Act, social science research, immigration and refugee assistance
continue in effect. d. In the implementation of his responsibilities for the execution of
foreign policy and for the direction, coordination and supervision of interdepartmental activities overseas the Secretary of State intends to utilize, in addition to the normal resources of the Department, the system of NSC Interdepartmental Groups and the Under Secretaries Committee outlined above. Within the purview of these responsibilities executive authority is delegated by the
Secretary to the Chairmen of these Committees. e. Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions in foreign countries, as represent
atives of the President and acting on his behalf, continue to be in charge of all elements of the United States Diplomatic Mission and to exercise affirmative responsibility for the direction, coordination and supervision of all activities of the United States Government in their respective countries.