184. Memorandum From the Chief of the Intelligence Staff, Central Intelligence Group (Montague) to the Assistant Director for Reports and Estimates (Huddle)0


  • The Mission of ORE
The true primary mission of ORE is clear in the light of the President’s Letter and of N.I.A. Directives No. 1 and No. 2.1 It is to produce strategic and national policy intelligence through the correlation, evaluation, and final synthesis of all intelligence information and finished departmental intelligence available in the State, War and Navy Departments and other Federal agencies. By “strategic and national policy intelligence” should be understood that intelligence required at the highest policy making and planning level as a basis for the determination of national policy and strategy in the broadest sense. It relates to those issues which are of collective concern to the State, War, and Navy Departments, or, conversely, which are not the exclusive concern of any of them. [Page 486] In this concept ORE has no occasion to duplicate or compete with departmental intelligence agencies—rather it is charged to make full use of them and of their product—but ORE does have the function of final evaluation and final synthesis. The departmental agencies are tributary to it. Its own contribution is the added value provided by authoritative final interpretation and synthesis for the benefit, primarily, of the high authorities whom it serves, and incidentally of the contributing agencies. It must be supported and manned in such a way as to assure that it does speak with recognized authority.
Since the inception of N.I.A. Directive No. 52 this clear concept has been confused. That paper introduced considerable ambiguity regarding a research function in ORE. No new authority was required to expand the staff provided to perform the supplemental research found necessary to accomplish the mission indicated in paragraph 1. The initial draft of the Directive, however, had reference to basic research, and so alarmed the departmental agencies by its implications regarding duplication and eventual supercession of their activities that ever since there has had to be resort to all sorts of expedient explanations intended to allay these fears. There is reason to suppose that the confusions and contradictions introduced in the course of these explanations result from their expediency and lack of candor. Their general tenor is to give verbal assurance against duplication of functions while at the same time justifying the establishment of duplicate research facilities. To this end it is said that ORE will not conduct research in fields of primary interest to any department, but will conduct research ab initio in certain undefined fields not of primary interest to anyone. These “gaps” cannot be defined because they do not exist. If, however, this doctrine were taken literally, it would reduce ORE to the status of a drudge performing miscellaneous tasks in the service of the departmental agencies, inverting the order indicated in N.I.A. Directives No. 1 and 2. Never, during the last six months, has there been any indication that C.I.G. understood, or was even aware of, the mission indicated in the preceding paragraph, although that is the primary mission of C.I.G. in the terms of its basic charter, the President’s letter.
Until this dichotomy is resolved there can be no firm basis for planning the organization, recruitment, and work program or ORE, nor any stability in our relationships with departmental agencies. Hitherto the cart has been put before the horse—we have been required to devise an organization and a T/O to accomplish we know not what, and are now called upon to state the qualifications required in personnel in ignorance of the tasks they may have to perform. It is impossible to determine such qualifications, or to induce the most highly qualified personnel to [Page 487] accept positions in ORE, until this situation has been clarified and stabilized. In any case, no coherent program of research can be based on the concept indicated in paragraph 2. The departmental agencies are as confused as we as to where they stand, and react accordingly. In short, the failure of ICAPS to establish a clear concept of the mission of ORE and of its functional relationship to the departmental agencies is preventing the development of ORE as an effective instrument for the accomplishment of any purpose.
Ludwell L. Montague 3
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Historical Files, HS/HC–450. Confidential. The source text is a transcript prepared for the CIA Historian on December 16, 1952.
  2. Documents 71, 141, and 142.
  3. Document 160.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.