A unified Intelligence Community optimized to provide a decisive information advantage to the President, the military, diplomats, the law enforcement community and the Congress -- DCI Strategic Intent March 1999
The Intelligence Community Today
Nineteen hundred and ninety nine marked the end of a decade and a century, so it seems appropriate to note how far the Intelligence Community (IC) has evolved since its formal inception through the National Security Act of 1947. For more than fifty years, we have invested in an intelligence business which has grown in size and in capabilities, encompassing not only a vast network of human assets, but also a fleet of satellites, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft and sophisticated listening posts around the world. Our country has been well-served by this effort, but the world has changed and the IC must change along with it. We have expended a considerable amount of energy this past year wrestling with how to balance the current demands on our systems while preparing for the future.
The security environment in which we live is dynamic and uncertain, replete with a host of ominous threats and challenges that have the potential to grow more deadly. To meet the challenges of this increasingly dangerous and complex world, our consumers are demanding more timely, accurate, and actionable information to inform their decisions and to take preventive measures, if necessary. The IC continues to pursue better, more lucrative collection methods and inter-connectivity enabling analysts to share information quickly and produce more timely and accurate assessments.
The Year in Review
Throughout 1999, the IC provided vital information on issues ranging from support to military operations in former Yugoslavia to support for environmental disaster relief. The Community has made a concerted effort to be more involved with its customers and most of our efforts are tailored to a specific customer request.
We were reminded this year that we must maintain our vigilance in areas that are considered routine or can fall into neglect. The accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was a painful wake-up call. It reminded us of the critical importance of keeping our data bases current. The discovery of a listening device in the State Department and security challenges at nuclear weapons labs has reinvigorated our attention on counterintelligence. The Community must improve its vigilance and take on the responsibility to prevent lapses in attention to these areas.
The accomplishments described in the following pages represent only a small sampling of the activities of the men and women of the IC. Thousands of intelligence reports are produced each day in response to a panoply of customer requirements. It is impossible to list every achievement, but the impressive outcomes affirm that our customers and the American people are getting a favorable return on their investment in the IC.