"Organization of the Intelligence Community"
Memo in report Confrontation or Collaboration? Congress and the Intelligence Community
Authors: Eric Rosenbach, Faculty Affiliate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (on leave), Aki J. Peritz
This originally apeared as a Background Memo (pp. 14-17) in the report Confrontation or Collaboration? Congress and the Intelligence Community, a publication of The Intelligence and Policy Project of Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is a large, sprawling collection of organizations charged with protecting the national security of this country. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 resulted in the IC's largest reorganization in more than 30 years. The IRTPA, for example, created the Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center. In order to assess the efficacy of these reforms, lawmakers must understand the roles of the various agencies in the IC.
This memo provides an overview of the offices and agencies that comprise the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Organization of the Intelligence Community
The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), supported by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), oversees the sixteen government agencies that comprise the IC. Following one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, the IRTPA created the DNI position in 2004.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
Director of National Intelligence (DNI)
As the cabinet-level head of the IC, the DNI directs and oversees all national intelligence programs. Previously, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) led both CIA and the IC. The DNI also serves as principal advisor to the President, the National Security Council (NSC), and the Homeland Security Council on intelligence issues.
Within the ODNI, several interagency centers exist to ensure collaboration across the government on serious threats to national security.
- National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC): The 2004 intelligence reforms designated NCTC as the organization dedicated to integrating the IC's overall counterterrorism efforts. NCTC's mission is to gather and analyze terrorism-related data from across the U.S. government for policymakers, and conduct overall strategic planning against specific terrorist targets.
- National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC): Congress created NCPC in December 2005 to improve efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies. The NCPC Director coordinates and identifies intelligence gaps in the U.S. effort to monitor counterproliferation activities.
- National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX): The NCIX is the center of the government's counterintelligence activities and employs counterintelligence officers from across the IC. Staffed by counterintelligence (CI) specialists from across the IC, NCIX produces an annual foreign intelligence threat assessment and other analytic products.
- National Intelligence Council (NIC): The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the IC's center for medium and long-term strategic thinking. Its primary product is the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a national security document that contains the coordinated judgments of the IC about topics of high importance.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the lead agency for collecting and analyzing human intelligence, or HUMINT. CIA also produces all-source analysis on a range of national security issues, and is the lead agency for covert action.
Department of Defense (DoD) Intelligence Organizations: Combat Support Agencies
Although the primary mission of the Defense Intelligence Organizations is to support the warfighter, they also work to meet the intelligence requirements of national policymakers.
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provides all-source military intelligence to policymakers and to U.S. armed forces worldwide. The DIA directs and manages DoD intelligence collection requirements for HUMINT and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), and provides analysis for signals at (SIGINT) and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT).
National Security Agency (NSA)
The National Security Agency (NSA) collects, coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized operations to produce—primarily through SIGINT—intelligence and to protect U.S. information systems. NSA supports military customers, national policymakers, the counterterrorism and counterintelligence communities, and key international allies.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) provides geospatial intelligence in support of national security objectives. Geospatial intelligence is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on Earth.
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) engages in the research and development, acquisition, launch and operation of overhead reconnaissance systems. NRO products are used to warn of potential trouble spots around the world, help plan military operations, and monitor the environment.
The Service Intelligence Activities
The intelligence organizations associated with the armed forces focus primarily on operational and tactical issues pertinent to service-specific missions. These organizations include:
- Army: Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) and the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC).
- Navy: Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
- Air Force: Air Force Intelligence Agency (AIA).
- Marine Corps: Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA).
- Coast Guard: Coast Guard Intelligence Coordination Center (CGICC). [The U.S. Coast Guard is administratively part of the Department of Homeland Security.]
Department of State
Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) serves as the focal point within the State Department for all policy issues and activities involving the IC. INR provides analysis of global developments to State Department officials.
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the investigative arm of the Department of Justice. It is both a federal criminal investigative body and a domestic intelligence agency. The Directorate of Intelligence (DI) manages all FBI intelligence activities.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is a law enforcement agency that gathers and analyzes information on drug trafficking. The DEA also pursues U.S. drug investigations outside the country.
Department of Energy
Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)
The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI) analyzes foreign nuclear weapons, nuclear materials, and energy security issues. OICI, known by the acronym IN, also performs counterintelligence analysis on Department of Energy related issues.
Department of Homeland Security
Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) focuses on threats relating to border security, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) issues, critical infrastructure, domestic extremists, and suspicious travelers entering the U.S.
Department of the Treasury
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)
The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) protects the nation's financial system and combats the international financial networks that support terrorist organizations, WMD proliferators, the drug trade, and other threats to national security.
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F.B.I. Directorate of Intelligence. 2009 Federal Bureau of Investigation. 19 March 2009 http://www.fbi.gov/intelligence/intell.htm.
Information Sharing and Analysis. 2009. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 19 March 2009 http://www.dhs.gov/xinfoshare/.
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA). S. 2845. 19 March 2009 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S.2845:.
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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2009. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 19 March 2009 http://www.nga.mil.
National Intelligence Council. 2009. National Intelligence Council. 19 March 2009 http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_home.html.
National Reconnaissance Office. 2009. National Reconnaissance Office. 19 March 2009 http://www.nro.gov/index.html.
National Security Agency, Central Security Service. 2008. National Security Agency. 19 March 2009 http://www.nsa.gov.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 2009. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 19 March 2009 http://www.dni.gov.
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. 2009. U.S. Department of the Treasury. 19 March 2009 http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement.
ODNI News Release No. 9-05. 21 December 2005. Office of the Director of National Intelligence News Release. 19 March 2009 http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2005/12/dni122105.pdf.
Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive. 2009. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive. 19 March 2009 http://www.ncix.gov.
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U.S. Department of Energy. 2009. U.S. Department of Energy. 19 March 2009 http://www.energy.gov.
U.S. Department of Justice. 2009. U.S. Department of Justice. 19 March 2009 http://www.usdoj.gov.
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research. U.S. Department of State. 19 March 2009 http://www.state.gov/s/inr.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 2009. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 19 March 2009 http://www.usdoj.gov/dea.
United States Intelligence Community. 2009. United States Intelligence Community. 19 March 2009 http://www.intelligence.gov/index.shtml.
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