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Introduction

By the Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production

 

AN INVESTMENT STRATEGY FOR COMMUNITY ANALYSIS 

This Strategic Investment Plan for Intelligence Community Analysis (SIP) provides the analytic community with the unprecedented opportunity to achieve the unifying goals of the DCI’s Strategic Intent and to translate today’s challenges into tomorrow’s resource requirements.  The historic willingness to begin planning our future together stems, in part, from the growing perception that collaboration is the best way to achieve common goals for:

  • A skilled, expert, diverse and more mobile work force enabled by technology and armed with the best analytic tools.  The analytic community today lacks investment in training and the new positions to do this effectively.
  • A collection-smart work force that is trained and deployed and has the resources to assist collectors with requirements, evalua- tion, and procurement.  Without the necessary skills and expertise, the analytic community cannot help drive the collection process.
  • A collaborative work force that leverages the production of each agency to provide the best Community support to customers. Electronic connectivity is critical to this important objective.
  • An outward-looking work force that systematically exploits the information and expertise of sources beyond the Intelligence Community to produce the most authoritative strategic and current analysis possible.   This is a business imperative that can be met if the priority is maintained. 

 

Common Challenges Ahead

The stress on IC analytic resources today literally comes from all sides. The demands from both customers and collectors in the policymaking, defense, and law enforcement communities have grown significantly in volume and complexity over the past decade.  Analysis today must support the intelligence process end to end:  identifying customer needs and the information gaps for clandestine collection; assisting collectors in targeting assets and evaluating raw reports; processing and exploiting increasing output from technical collection; engaging in procurement decision-making; and producing first-rate analysis for consumers.  The analytic community recognizes that it also has a special overriding responsibility to make sense of a fast-moving world for the benefit of both consumers and collectors.  Substance must come first.

  • We all face a dispersed, complex, and “asymmetric” threat environment in which information technology makes everything move faster; in which strategic and tactical requirements are becoming more blurred; and in which diverse and shifting priorities increase the demands from consumers for expert analysis in real time and from collectors who, more than ever, need sustained guidance on priorities and greater assistance with exploitation
  • Our military commanders, reflecting a convergence of the national and warfighting communities, are increasingly doubling as diplomats who need more and better intelligence estimates, as well as stronger tactical intelligence support to cover fast-breaking developments in their vast areas of responsibility.
  • Our diplomats need more effective intelligence support to do their jobs in increasingly complex situations.  Diplomatic reporting, meanwhile, is in high demand but steady decline, as the State Department cuts back in response to diminishing resources.
  • Analysts at the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) require greater assistance in prioritizing issues as they confront increasing exploitation challenges from new collection capabilities.

All the IC’s analytic program managers today are struggling with resource issues as they attempt to prioritize their work; to enhance skills and tradecraft training; to deploy more analysts to policy agencies and to the field; to improve consumer support; to exploit rapidly advancing technologies to help analysts do their jobs and to meet growing require- ments from collectors for guidance; and to develop outside partnerships as a source of technology and substantive expertise.  The measures outlined in this Strategic Investment Plan will improve analysis, which is the most important of our common goals.

 

Why a Strategic Investment Plan?

The leaders of the analytic community have noted that the IC’s success in dealing with a fast-changing threat environment will depend on the extent to which it collaborates in harnessing technology, in managing its resources, and in investing in its people—the resource that matters most in analysis.  This inaugural SIP launches what we intend to be an annual exercise to build collaboration across the 11 analytic programs of the National Intelligence Production Board (NIPB), which is chaired by the Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production (ADCI/AP).

NIPB members will continue, of course, to manage their own resources on a day-to-day basis, and to serve their own customers in pursuit of distinct mission requirements.  Yet, they are ready—even eager—to collaborate on strategic investment.  For this first SIP, the NIPB members have identified 11 priorities for analytic collaboration and investment—including six that they deem critical.  These six are:
  • Establishing an interagency training program to recapitalize analytic expertise.
  • Ensuring that databases are accessible and interoperable to enhance collaboration and leverage expertise across the IC.
  • Creating a collaborative working environment to link analysts and connect them to collectors, customers, allies, and outside experts.
  • Building an agile framework and process to help in prioritizing substantive requirements for analysis and collection.
  • Leveraging outside expertise to broaden our knowledge base and enhance analytic capability.
  • Developing an effective open source strategy to take advantage of the wealth of unclassified information, which is often critical to analysis.    
In the coming months, the NIPB will begin implementing the SIP.  Implementation will be an iterative process over the next few years and will require continued cooperation and collaboration among NIPB members, with the program managers of the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP), collectors, consumers, and other members of the Intelligence Community, as well as the executive departments and Congress. Although this effort almost certainly will require some new funds from outside the analytic community, we recognize that we will also need to identify offsets—activities we can stop doing—as an essential component in meeting our goals.   

 

Our objective in developing the SIP is to produce on a continuing basis a document that articulates the goals of analytic producers and also provides guidance to them as they develop their own agency programs. The NIPB must be commended for reaching new heights in community collaboration.  For the first time, the analytic community has committed to a strategic planning process and a comprehensive series of initiatives that will improve our overall analysis and production capabilities.  This effort has deepened trust, broken new ground in strategic programming and budgeting, and demonstrated what can be achieved by working together toward common goals.

John C. Gannon 
Assistant Director of Central Intelligence
for Analysis and Production

 


Posted: Apr 24, 2007 09:04 AM
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2012 12:43 PM