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Well done Mr. Bundy!

Updated on January 8, 2011

Thank you for the clarity Sir!

Thank you for the clarity Sir!

 In an effort to dive deeper into the “Bundy and Collection” document; I find myself compelled to search for issues in collection that I may have “glossed over” during my previous research of the document.

Moving forward, what appears to be major hindrance factor in intelligence collection is the issue of "guidance" itself.

Mr. Bundy describes a system of “guidance” within the United States IC in 1950 as a “Hydra-Headed U.S. Consumer and Collector” (1) relationship. Although the Bundy document dates back over sixty years, it is hard to imagine that given the “bureaucratic juggernaut” nature of American government today that the “guidance” factor within the United States Intelligence Community would be any less complex.

Mr. Bundy went on to share in detail the intelligence consumer and collector relationship as “the complexity of the problem of guidance is indicated by the variety of consumers and of collection mechanisms in the U.S. intelligence community.” (2) When reviewing the extensive list of consumers of intelligence products that Mr. Bundy provided; my deep respect for the art & science of intelligence collection and collectors was increased.

The daunting task of the HUMINT collector is clearly illustrated as Mr. Bundy adds “On the consumer side the principal units are:
1. State
2. Army
3. Navy
4. Air Force
5. Joint Staff
6. AEC
7. CIA ORR-for Bloc economic and worldwide geographic matters
8. CIA OSI-for basic scientific matters
9. CIA OCI-for current intelligence at the national level, including indications, and for research in support of current intelligence
10. CIA ONE-for national intelligence estimates (usually via one of the other consumers)” (3)

Mr. Bundy went on to touch on what one can only imagine to be a “sensitive subject”; and that is the competence of the personnel that the serve in support of the collector. He shares “experience and knowledge of our people, and testing also our capacity to devise administrative methods than can assist the infirm and the temporary while not blocking the operations of the sophisticated and imaginative professional.” (4)

In the “Bundy and Collection” document we also discover the challenge of the “requirements” process. The former CIA Chief of Staff for the Office of National Estimates expounds upon “certain problems of a day-to-day nature in the consumer-collection relationship common to most forms of collection which it will be worth while to look at one by one. They seem to be associated mainly with five steps in the process of levying requirements.” (5)

Mr. Bundy went on to list those five steps as “locating intelligence gaps, stating the requirement for the collector, selecting the appropriate collection system, servicing the return, including supplemental requirements, and making specific evaluations and appraising the collector's reporting.” (6)

In closing I find the “Bundy and Collection” document fascinating and Mr. William P. Bundy an intriguing and brilliant figure that adds to the storied history of CIA. Mr. Bundy’s document brought a measure of clarity to issues that challenge intelligence collection, and to reiterate my deep respect for the art & science of intelligence collection and collectors has been increased.


2) ibid

3) ibid

4) ibid

5) ibid

6) ibid


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