NSA’s Charter:

President Truman and National Security Council in October 1952 adopted most of the “Brownell Committee’s” recommendations and issued a revised version of NSCIB No. 9 on 24 October 1952.

A mingling of military and non-military interest was expressed in the word “nation.”  The production of COMINT was declared to be a national responsibility.  In place of an Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) the U.S. Government was to have a National Security Agency, an organization with the same resources plus a new charter.  The AFSA Council, while not specifically abolished, thus had the agency pulled out from under it.   The Joint Chiefs of Staff were no longer in the chain-of-command; the Director, NSA (DIRSNA), reported to the Secretary of Defense through a unit in the latter’s office which dealt with sensitive operations.  The Secretary himself was declared to be Executive Agent of the Government for COMINT, and subordinate to a Special Committee for the NCS, which he and the Secretary of State were the two members, and the Director of Central Intelligence was an advisor.

The Secretary of Defense was instructed to delegate his COMINT responsibilities to DIRNSA and to entrust to him operational and technical control of all U.S. COMINT resources.  DIRNSA was ordered to exercise those controls designed to bring about the most effective, unified application of all U.S. resources for producing national COMINT to meet requirements approved by USCIB

The issuance of NSCIB No. 9 revised, thus opened the gate to a series of important adjustments.  The COMINT community remained interdependent but long-term trend put good results ahead of individual Service prerogatives in obtaining them.


Source: George F. Howe, “The Early History of NSA”