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Directive Establishing the Psychological Strategy Board

June 20, 1951

Directive to: The Secretary of State, The Secretary of Defense, The Director of Central Intelligence:

It is the purpose of this directive to authorize and provide for the more effective planning, coordination and conduct, within the framework of approved national policies, of psychological operations.

There is hereby established a Psychological Strategy Board responsible, within the purposes and terms of this directive, for the formulation and promulgation, as guidance to the departments and agencies responsible for psychological operations, of over-all national psychological objectives, policies and programs, and for the coordination and evaluation of the national psychological effort.

The Board will report to the National Security Council on the Board's activities and on its evaluation of the national psychological operations, including implementation of approved objectives, policies, and programs by the departments and agencies concerned.

The Board shall be composed of:

a. The Undersecretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Director of Central Intelligence, or, in their absence, their appropriate designees;

b. An appropriate representative of the head of each such other department or agency of the Government as may, from time to time, be determined by the Board.

The Board shall designate one of its members as Chairman.

A representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall sit with the Board as its principal military adviser in order that the Board may ensure that its objectives, policies and programs shall be related to approved plans for military operations.

There is established under the Board a Director who shall be designated by the President and who shall receive compensation of $16,000 per year.

The Director, within the limits of funds and personnel made available by the Board for this purpose, shall organize and direct a staff to assist in carrying out his responsibilities. The Director shall determine the organization and qualifications of the staff, which may include individuals employed for this purpose, including part-time experts, and/or individuals detailed from the participating departments and agencies for assignment to full-time duty or on an ad hoc task force basis. Personnel detailed for assignment to duty under the terms of this directive shall be under the control of the Director, subject only to necessary personnel procedures within their respective departments and agencies.

The participating departments and agencies shall afford to the Director and the staff such assistance and access to information as may be specifically requested by the Director in carrying out his assigned duties.

The heads of the departments and agencies concerned shall examine into present arrangements within their departments and agencies for the conduct, direction and coordination of psychological operations with a view toward readjusting or strengthening them if necessary to carry out the purposes of this directive.

In performing its functions, the board shall utilize to the maximum extent the facilities and resources of the participating departments and agencies.


Harry S Truman, Directive Establishing the Psychological Strategy Board Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230148

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