What is the Intelligence Community?
According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “Intelligence is information gathered within or outside the U.S. that involves threats to our nation, its people, property, or interests; development, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction; and any other matter bearing on the U.S. national or homeland security. Intelligence can provide insights not available elsewhere that warn of potential threats and opportunities, assess probable outcomes of proposed policy options, provide leadership profiles on foreign officials, and inform official travelers of counterintelligence and security threats.” More broadly speaking, intelligence is any process and/or product that provides an advantage to decision-makers.
The U.S. Intelligence Community is a federation of executive branch agencies and organizations that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the protection of the national security of the United States. The IC remains focused on the missions of cyber intelligence, counterterrorism, counterproliferation, counterintelligence, and on the threats posed by state and non-state actors challenging U.S. national security and interests worldwide.
Intelligence activities include:
- Collection of information needed by the President, the National Security Council, the Secretaries of State and Defense, and other Executive Branch officials for the performance of their duties and responsibilities;
- Production and dissemination of intelligence;
- Collection of information concerning, and the conduct of activities to protect against, intelligence activities directed against the US, international terrorist and international narcotics activities, and other hostile activities directed against the US by foreign powers, organizations, persons, and their agents;
- Special activities;
- Administrative and support activities within the US and abroad necessary for the performance of authorized activities; and
- Such other intelligence activities as the President may direct from time to time.