19 November 1997

The Intelligence Community

The person who is Director of Central Intelligence is simultaneously Director of the CIA and the leader of the Intelligence Community, of which CIA is but one component. The Intelligence Community refers in the aggregate to those Executive Branch agencies and organizations that conduct the variety of intelligence activities which make up the total US national intelligence effort. The Community includes the Central Intelligence Agency; the National Security Agency; the Defense Intelligence Agency; offices within the Department of Defense for collection of specialized national foreign intelligence through reconnaissance programs; the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State; Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force intelligence; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of the Treasury; and the Department of Energy. Members of the Intelligence Community advise the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) through their representation on a number of specialized committees that deal with intelligence matters of common concern. Chief among these groups are the National Foreign Intelligence Board and the Intelligence Community Executive Committee, which the DCI chairs.

Chairman, National Intelligence Council

The National Intelligence Council, managed by a Chairman, a Vice Chairman for Evaluations, and a Vice Chairman for Estimates, is comprised of National Intelligence Officers--senior experts drawn from all elements of the Community and from outside the Government. The National Intelligence Officers concentrate on the substantive problems of particular geographic regions of the world and of particular functional areas such as economics and weapons proliferation. They serve the DCI in his role as leader of the Intelligence Community by producing National Intelligence Estimates. These officers work closely with policymakers and serve as personal staff officers and senior advisers to the DCI in their respective areas of functional or regional responsibility.

From: The CIA's Factbook on Intelligence

Source: http://www.odci.gov/cia/public_affairs/speeches/ddi_speech_103197.html

See also Chairman Gannon's speech of November 13, 1997

Chairman, NIC Speech 10/31/97

John Gannon
Chairman of the National Intelligence Council
To The
Washington International Corporate Circle
31 October 1997

"Global Economic Intelligence"

Thanks. As you looked over the program this morning, you might have wondered why an intelligence officer has been invited to address this group. I'm not a professional economist. Nor am I a soothsayer or prognosticator. (If I could predict the future, I'd probably have gone into finance and be retired by now, sitting on my private island, watching the surf, drinking Mai-Tais.)

I hope that I can add another dimension to the conference by talking about the challenges to US Intelligence, including policymakers' requirements for economic intelligence, as well as many other issues on our agenda today. I should add, and stress, that intelligence officers do not make or recommend policy. Rather, the function of intelligence is to help US decisionmakers to better understand the forces at work in any situation, and the opportunities and consequences of any course of action so that policymakers can make informed decisions.

What follows is my own thinking about some of the strategic challenges that confront the United States government, and by extension, other key players in the international economy.

Intelligence Challenges

Let me highlight for you the five general categories of national security challenges:

The Role of the NIC

The National Intelligence Council has a special role to play in preparing policymakers for the challenges ahead. The Council produces intelligence products that look beyond today's horizon--from six months to a decade or more--and point out potential complications. National Intelligence Estimates, or NIEs, are coordinated--and agreement does not always come easy--by the heads of the various intelligence agencies--CIA, DIA, the State Department, the military services, Treasury, Energy, and as appropriate the FBI--so that policymakers get the views of the entire Intelligence Community in a single document.

In the last year or so, the NIC has produced NIEs and a variety of other papers on a wide range of issues--including weapons of mass destruction, humanitarian emergencies, narcotics trafficking, the environment and critical regions and countries all over the globe.

The NIC also brings experts from outside the Intelligence Community to get their perspectives--and this will be an increasingly important value added by the NIC for an Intelligence Community that is relying on outside expertise more than ever before.

For example, in Fall 1996 the NIC and the Institute for National Strategic Studies held a series of conferences at National Defense University to identify key global trends and their impact on major regions and countries. The exercise was designed to help predict and assess major features of the world in the year 2010. Participants in the conferences were drawn from academe, journalism, business, the US Government, and other professions. Following the conference, we published a document outlining likely global trends in the year 2010. We think it is critical that policymakers think beyond the crises of the day and consider some of the evolutionary trends that will shape our future, both from a national security and an economic perspective. I'd like to mention a few of these trends:

Policymakers' Interest in Economic Intelligence

Intelligence officers have to think hard about all of these longer term trends. Economic issues are inextricably linked to all other national security issues--political, military and transnational--and economic analysis has always been a big part of what we do.

Today, senior US officials are more interested than ever in the contribution of economic intelligence to international policymaking. Policy officials increasingly view developments and trends in the international economy as a vital element of US national security-affecting the performance of the US economy, altering political relations both within and between nations, and causing shifts in regional and global power balances. They look to economic intelligence to help them better understand the threats to political stability, economic welfare, and US national security worldwide.

Before I describe more specifically the mission of economic intelligence, let me define the parameters:

The Mission of Economic Intelligence

There are two broad missions for economic intelligence.

The Intelligence Community monitors the pace, scope, and direction of economic reform in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China, and it tracks economic policies and performance in other key emerging markets of concern to US interests.

Specifically, Intelligence Community economic analyses includes:

Economic intelligence has been critical to addressing some of the issues US policymakers have faced over the past year:

I hope I've given you a sense of our view of the global scene, the role of economic intelligence, and some of the forces that we think will shape our future.

Collecting information on economic trends and assessing their implications for US national security will continue to be key facets of the Intelligence Community's effort to help policymakers understand and address the key foreign policy and security challenges facing the United States in the 21st century.

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