JANIS Publications 1943-1947

Earlier on Twitter, I posted a series of documents I found from the CIA archive, which turned out to be reports from the Joint Army Navi Intelligence Studies (JANIS) program, the creation of which started while United States was still engaged in the Second World War. National Archives appearĀ to have the complete studies, but they are available online. The National Archive Catalog describes the documents as follows:

In 1943, the Joint Intelligence Study Publishing Board (JISPB) was established by the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Intelligence Committee to assemble, edit, coordinate, and publish the Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS). JANIS was the first interdepartmental basic intelligence program to fulfill the needs of the U.S. Government for an authoritative and coordinated appraisal of strategic basic intelligence.

University of California at Berkeley compiled an oral history with Lincoln Constance in 1986, who was a botanist but also wartime member of OSS and participated in the JANIS program. HeĀ described the program:

[JISPB] was a multi-service thing–army intelligence, naval intelligence, the OSS, and I don’t remember what else. The job there was to put together almost a symposium on a particular area. The military added things that were out of our province. But we’d do things on the climate, the geography, the crops, people, all sorts of things. Some of them would be done by these different intelligence groups, and some we would do. Our job was to put them all together.

The assumption was that they were going to be used by the people who went into the area. What it turned out was that basically they were used by the people who went into military government, if at all. We published what were called the JANIS reports. They were kind of fun because we had the services of the army map division, and it was like publishing a book, really. That was pretty good.

A document on the (brief) history of the JANIS program in September 1945, apparently addressed to Army Intelligence, noted that the products had indeed supported the war effort.


After the war, as CIA was formally founded in September 1947, the JISPB was folded into the Basic Intelligence Program with the newly founded Agency, according to a September 25, 1947 memo.


The same document notes that the Basic Intelligence Program would be responsible for publishing National Intelligence Surveys, which succeeded the JANIS reports. The NIS products were covered in an earlier post. A document from 1949 has the final tally of the JANIS reports which were published. Of note is that some publications were cancelled, so some of the country reports are missing chapters.

From the list of published JANIS reports: the USSR study was not fully completed.

As is evident from the above, the JANIS studies were numbered, and one country did not necessarily correspond to a single number, but could be split into several areas for JANIS’ purposes. This is illustrated by the study coverage map below, extracted from one of the JANIS studies.

Geographical coverage of JANIS studies in Southeast and East Asia.

In the CIA archive, there are three complete JANIS studies:

  • JANIS 38: Bulgaria
  • JANIS 40: European U.S.S.R.
  • JANIS 75: Korea

In addition, the archive contains a partial JANIS 84 of Southwest Japan.

The spreadsheet with links to the JANIS studies in the CIA archive is embedded below, or alternatively you can access the Google Sheet directly here.

P.S. If you’re interested how much the JANIS studies cost, there are a few data points available in the archive from 1945.

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