National Security Council Intelligence Directive No. 3

Washington, January 13, 1948.


Pursuant to the provisions of Section 102 of the National Security Act of 1947, and for the purposes enunciated in paragraphs (d) and (e) thereof, the National Security Council hereby authorizes and directs that the following over-all policies and objectives are established for the coordination of the production of intelligence:

  1. In order that all facilities of the Government may be utilized to their capacity and the responsibilities of each agency may be clearly defined in accordance with its mission, dominant interest, and capabilities, the whole field of intelligence production is divided into the following categories, and responsibilities are allocated as indicated:

    a. Basic Intelligence

    1. Basic intelligence is that factual intelligence which results from the collation of encyclopedic information of a more or less permanent or static nature and general interest which, as a result of evaluation and interpretation, is determined to be the best available.

    2. An outline of all basic intelligence required by the Government shall be prepared by the CIA in collaboration with the appropriate agencies. This outline shall be broken down into chapters, sections, and subsections which shall be allocated as production and maintenance responsibilities to CIA and those agencies of the Government which are best qualified by reason of their intelligence requirements, production capabilities, and dominant interest to assume the production and maintenance responsibility.

    3. When completed, this outline and tentative allocations of production and maintenance responsibilities shall be submitted for NSC approval and issued as an implementation of this Directive. It is expected that as the result of constant consultation with the agencies by the Director of Central Intelligence, both the outline and the allocations will be revised from time to time to insure the production of the basic intelligence required by the agencies concerned.

    4. This basic intelligence shall be compiled and continuously maintained in National Intelligence Surveys to cover foreign countries, areas, or broad special subjects as appropriate. The National Intelligence Sur veys will be disseminated in such form as shall be determined by the Director of Central Intelligence and the agencies concerned.

    5. The Director of Central Intelligence shall be responsible for coordinating production and maintenance and for accomplishing the editing, publication, and dissemination of these National Intelligence Surveys and shall make such requests on the agencies as are necessary for their proper development and maintenance.

    6. Departments or agencies to be called on for contributions to this undertaking may include agencies other than those represented permanently in the IAC.

    b. Current Intelligence

    1. Current intelligence is that spot information or intelligence of all types and forms of immediate interest and value to operating or policy, staffs, which is used by them usually without the delays incident to complete evaluation or interpretation.

    2. The CIA and the several agencies shall produce and disseminate such current intelligence as may be necessary to meet their own internal requirements or external responsibilities.

    3. Interagency dissemination of current intelligence shall be based on interagency agreement including NSC Intelligence Directive No.1 and the principle of informing all who need to know.

    c. Staff Intelligence

    1. Staff intelligence is that intelligence prepared by any department or agency through the correlation and interpretation of all intelligence materials available to it in order to meet its specific requirements and responsibilities.

    2. Each intelligence agency has the ultimate responsibility for the preparation of such staff intelligence as its own department shall require. It is recognized that the staff intelligence of each of the departments must be broader in scope than any allocation of collection responsibility or recognition of dominant interest might indicate. In fact, the full foreign intelligence pictured is of interest in varying degrees at different times to each of the departments.

    3. Any intelligence agency, either through the Director of Central Intelligence or directly, may call upon other appropriate agencies for intelligence which does not fall within its own field of dominant interest. Such requests shall be made upon the agencies in accordance with thier production capabilites and dominant interest.

    4. As a part of the coordination program, the Director of Central Intelligence will seek the asstance of the IAC intelligence agencies in minimizing the necessity for any agency to develop intelligence in fields outside its dominant interests.

    5. The CIA and the agencies shall, for purposes of coordination, exchange information on projects and plans for the production of staff intelligence.

    6. It shall be normal practice that staff intelligence of one agency is available to the other intelligence agencies permanently represented on the IAC.

    d. Departmental Intelligence

    1. Departmental intelligence is that intelligence including basic, current, and staff intelligence needed by a Department or independent Agency of the Federal Government, and the subordinate units thereof, to execute its mission and to discharge its lawful responsibilities.

    e. National Intelligence

    1. National intelligence is integrated departmental intelligence that covers the broad aspects of national policy and national security, is of concern to more than one Department or Agency, and transcends the exclusive competence of a single Department or Agency or the Military Establishment.

    2. The Director of Central Intelligence shall produce and disseminate national intelligence.

    3. The Director of Central Intelligence shall plan and develop the production of national intelligence in coordination with the IAC Agencies in order that he may obtain from them within the limits of their capabilities the departmental intelligence which will assist him in the production of national intelligence.

    4. The Director of Central Intelligence shall, by agreement with the pertinent Agency or Agencies, request and receive such special estimates ,reports, and periodic briefs or summaries prepared by the indi vidual Departments or Agencies in their fields of dominant interest or in accordance with their production capabilities as may be necessary in the production of intelligence reports or estimates undertaken mutually.

  2. The research facilities required by any agency to process its own current and staff intelligence shall be adequate to satisfy its individual nees after taking full cognizance of the facilities of the other agencies. Each agency shall endeavor to maintain adequate research facilities, not only to accomplish the intelligence production tasks allocated to it directly under the foregoing provisions but also to provide such additional intelligence reports or estimates within its field of dominant interest as may be nessary to satisfy the requirements of the agencies under such allocations.

  3. For the purposes of the intelligence production, the following division of interests, subject to refinement through a continuous program of coordination by the Director of Central Intelligence, shall serve as a general delineation of dominant interests:
        Political, Cultural, 
        Sociological Intelligence...............Department of State
        Military Intelligence...................Department of the Army
        Naval Intelligence......................Department of the Navy
        Air Intelligence........................Department of the Air Force
        Economic, Scientific, and...............Each agency in accordance 
        Technological Intelligence              with its respective needs