10 December 1997
Source: http://www.nsa.gov:8080/programs/ncs21/

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These pages outline the National Security Agency/Central Security Service's strategic plan for the 21st century, and how we intend to achieve our goal: information superiority for America.

- Message from the Director
- Customers
- Vision
- Mission
- Values
- Goal 1: Vital Information
- Goal 2: Military Operations
- Goal 3: Policy Makers
- Goal 4: Technology
- Goal 5: People & Processes
- Our Proud Heritage

Message From the Director

Lieutenant General, USAF
Director, NSA/Chief, CSS

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) has a proud tradition of serving the nation -- a world performance organization by any standard. The innovative ideas and concepts of our predecessors in the 1950s and 1960s crafted an architecture that supported the national strategy through the 1980s and helped win the Cold War. Today, we are at a critical turning point in our nation's history, not unlike that immediately after World War II. The decisions we make today will shape our nation's strategy and future for years to come.

The post-Cold War era is characterized by a diffusion of power, geopolitical uncertainties, and technology-driven change. An information revolution is sweeping the world, forcing change as radical as that caused by development of the atomic bomb. Just as control of industrial technology was key to military and economic power during the past two centuries, control of information technology will be key to power in the 21st Century.

The Information Age presents us with enormous challenges and opportunities. Our core competencies are the same technologies needed to exploit and protect information. However, we must reengineer our traditional approach to signals intelligence and information systems security if we are to remain relevant and play a leading role as key offensive and defensive components of a new national effort dedicated to a single goal -- information superiority for America.

This strategic plan charts our course to achieve this noble end. No one will work harder as a single team -- we will think in new ways and strengthen our relationships with our customers and partners. We will employ the same innovativeness, farsightedness, and exceptional dedication to duty that typified our predecessors. Our guiding principle will be to provide and protect vital information for our national leadership and joint warfighting teams -- on time, anytime, anywhere -- GUARANTEED! I am confident we are prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

One Team, One Mission


The NSA/CSS exists to protect the nation and serve others. We must work collaboratively and corporately to anticipate and meet our customers' needs. Our customers must know that they can count on us to provide them with what they need, when they need it, and in a form they can use.

We pledge the following to our customers:


Information Superiority for America
One Team, One Mission

Intelligence and information systems security have always complemented each other. Intelligence gives us an information advantage over our adversaries and competitors. Information systems security prevents others from gaining a comparable advantage over us. The two functions serve as the offensive and defensive squads of a team dedicated to a single goal - information superiority for America and its Allies.


We give our Customers the decisive edge by providing and protecting vital information

NSA/CSS is the nation's cryptologic organization. We are the world's best. We give our customers the decisive edge by providing and protecting vital information...from the battlefield to the White House. We protect the security of U.S. signals and information systems and provide intelligence information derived from those of our adversaries. We work with our customers to gain a better understanding of their information requirements, and then provide them the best possible cryptologic products and services.


Our People

Our Strength

Our Focus

Our Responsibility

Goal 1 - Vital Information

Guarantee Vital Information for our Customers

Knowledge is power in the Information Age. The nation that can observe what is happening, orient itself to understand the real dynamics of a situation, decide what to do, and then act on that decision quicker than an adversary gains the information advantage. We will provide our customers the decisive information advantage by providing and protecting their vital information -- GUARANTEED!

We Will:

Goal 2 - Military Operations

Ensure Dominant Battlespace Knowledge Through Integration of Cryptology with Joint Operations

The United States Cryptologic System (USCS) is a vital National resource for the military decision maker. We will fully integrate the USCS in the planning and conduct of military operations, whether for humanitarian or lethal purposes. Dominant battlespace knowledge is essential if commanders and their forces are to enjoy secure C4I networks; be kept out of harm's way; and distinguish and exploit the adversary's operational environment.

We Will:

Goal 3 - Policy Makers

Enable Policy Makers to Promote Stability and Thwart Aggression Through Integration of Cryptologic Support

We recognize the need to work with our policy customers to identify and understand their cryptologic requirements. We will develop and provide intelligence information and security products and services that are responsive, timely, and useful upon receipt.

We Will:

Goal 4 - Technology

Remain the World's Cryptologic Leader by Sustaining Leading Edge Capability in Key Technologies

NSA/CSS is recognized as the "class of the world" when it comes to cryptology. There is none better. However, the rapid advance of technology presents a continuous challenge. We must have continual infusion of new techniques and ideas. Therefore, we will undertake a strategic technology initiative to maintain our world-class leadership and technical health. Our strength will continue to be our technology and our teamwork.

We Will:

Goal 5 - People and Processes

Transform the Cryptologic Workforce, Processes and Infrastructure to Meet the Emerging Challenges

Our people are our most important resource -- they are key to accomplishing our mission. We must ensure they have the skills, processes, equipment, and facilities to maximize their potential and meet the challenges of the 21st century.

We Will:

Our Proud Heritage

The National Security Agency was formed in November 1952, by President Harry S. Truman as a separately organized agency within the Department of Defense. From our early beginnings and through major world events (the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and Desert Storm) up to the present-day support to United Nations peacekeeping forces in Bosnia, we have provided superb support to our troops and decision makers.

Our efforts allow America to continue as the world leader. The NSA/CSS workforce is dedicated to duty and committed to serving our customers. We do not seek public recognition.


To those who made the ultimate sacrifice

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