What is Intelligence?
Quite simply, intelligence is the information our nation’s leaders need to keep our country safe.
Our leaders, like the President, make policy decisions based on this intelligence. Since they don’t have time to read other countries’ newspapers or watch foreign TV newscasts, we do that for them – collecting current intelligence. We also gather information other countries may not wish to share openly. We collect this intelligence secretly through other means.
Our policymakers need as much information as we can provide so they can make important, informed decisions. That’s why the President or members of the National Security Council or the President’s Cabinet members come to us with questions they need answered.
We provide various types of intelligence:
- Current – looking at day-to-day events.
- Estimative – looking at what might be or what might happen.
- Warning – giving notice to our policymakers of urgent matters that may require immediate attention.
- Research – providing an in-depth study of an issue.
- Scientific and Technical – providing information on foreign technologies.
Now, take a look at the Intelligence Cycle to learn how our employees complete specific tasks.