The Joint Intelligence Bureau: (Not so) Secret Intelligence for the Post-War world

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In 1946 veteran British intelligence officer Kenneth Strong undertook the Directorship of a new intelligence organization, the Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB). The JIB absorbed the responsibilities of several wartime intelligence organs, and was responsible for economic, topographic, and aspects of scientific intelligence on an inter-service basis. Its responsibilities grew over the following 18 years; most notably, it absorbed atomic intelligence in 1957. When the Defence Intelligence Staff was created in 1964, absorbing the JIB and the individual Service agencies, JIB was at its heart and Kenneth Strong its first Director. The organization conducted key work in the early Cold War, was at the centre of an international network of Joint Intelligence Bureaux, and was an important stepping stone in the movement to centralize military and military-relevant intelligence in Britain – but the historiography pays it surprisingly little attention. This paper introduces the JIB and various aspects of its work, and demonstrates that its low profile in the historiography is unjustified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-45
Number of pages19
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


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