The Intelligence Community

John Deutch, Director of Central Intelligence

Mission Statement

The United States intelligence effort shall provide the President and the National Security Council with the necessary information on which to base decisions concerning the conduct and development of foreign, defense, and economic policy and the protection of United States national interests from foreign security threats. Specifically, the missions of U.S. intelligence are to:

Reinvention Highlights

When I became Director of Central Intelligence, the intelligence community was under siege from those who criticized past intelligence failures and questioned the need for an intelligence capability in the post-Cold War world. There was intense debate over the mission and future of intelligence.

The intelligence community itself had already recognized the need to reexamine and reinvent every aspect of the intelligence process. Many methods used against the Soviet threat were ill-suited to post-Cold War challenges, which included the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, drug trafficking, international organized crime, and the activities of rogue states. Moreover, rapid advances in technology, an explosion in information, changing customer demands, and intense pressure to cut costs had transformed the environment in which we operate. The intelligence community had not only recognized the need to change, but had already begun the process of reinvention.

A year later, the reform process is gaining momentum, and we have a clear direction for the future. We have acknowledged the deficiencies of the past, restored an ethic of accountability, and placed some difficult problems behind us. There is growing recognition that intelligence will continue to be an indispensable part of our national defense. The major studies of the intelligence community undertaken in the last two years -- by the Aspin-Brown Commission and others -- have come to the common conclusion that our work will be as critical in the next century as it was during the Cold War.

Customer Focus. At the basis of every reform initiative undertaken by the intelligence community is the common goal of better serving policymakers, military commanders, and law enforcement officials who depend on good intelligence to protect our national security. We have focused on improving our knowledge of customer needs and ensuring a fast response to requests. We have put more intelligence officers in policy offices, law enforcement agencies, and military units. We are acquiring and developing technologies that can disseminate higher quality intelligence products to the consumer faster. These efforts have put us in a better position to inform decisionmakers and provide timely warning of potential threats to our national security. Senior policy makers have relied on and praised our intelligence support during crises in Bosnia, the Taiwan Straits, the Aegean, and other areas of the world.

Support to the Military. Soon after becoming Director of Central Intelligence, I created a new position, Associate Director for Military Affairs. This organizational change has been remarkably effective in helping us to improve intelligence support to the military. This task is especially critical now, as a smaller force takes on new and nontraditional challenges in remote and unfamiliar areas of the world. During the Gulf War, technical shortcomings led to slow and low-quality dissemination of intelligence products. Today, National Intelligence Support Teams deployed in Bosnia provide a direct line between the Implementation Force and the intelligence community. We put tailored analysis, imagery, and maps into the hands of military commanders who rely on our daily support.

For the future, we are developing the expertise and technologies to give the military commander an incredible advantage over the enemy -- near real-time, all-weather, comprehensive, and continuous view of a battlefield. This dominant battlefield awareness, when combined with improved smart munitions, will be the basis of our future military superiority. An important step toward this goal will be to centralize the production, analysis, and distribution of maps and images -- work that is now done in six separate agencies. The proposed National Imagery and Mapping Agency will improve efficiency, save money, and put us in a better position to take advantage of technological breakthroughs.

Support to Law Enforcement. In the past, cooperation between the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities was limited. That situation is changing as the responsibilities of intelligence and law enforcement increasingly overlap -- particularly in the areas of terrorism, international organized crime, drug trafficking, and proliferation. In the past year, Attorney General Janet Reno and I have made a concerted effort to establish close, routine, and extensive coordination between the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Cooperation, mutual respect, and shared success are replacing old rivalries. Under the auspices of the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Policy Board, we have increased intelligence sharing, better coordinated overseas activities, and engaged in joint technology development. This groundwork has already paid off in a number of joint operations, including the arrest of leaders of the Cali drug cartel.

Reinvigorating Human Intelligence. Espionage will continue to be a critical part of our intelligence capability. The Ames case and shortcomings in Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities in Latin America have highlighted problems with CIA's espionage service, the Directorate of Operations. To correct these deficiencies, we put in place new procedures for reporting information relating to human rights abuses and for notifying Congress and country ambassadors. We have also issued new instructions to guide field officers in recruiting, handling, and compensating individuals who have unsavory backgrounds. We now have a reliable system to evaluate such individuals in terms of the value of the information that they provide and their human rights record. I believe that these measures will ensure the integrity of our espionage operations when, as we often find we must, we recruit this type of individual because of the important intelligence they can provide that can protect American lives.

Strengthening the Community. The key to providing better, faster support to customers is often achieving better integration within the intelligence community. When a crisis breaks, our consumers want intelligence that represents the best expertise of the entire intelligence community. Interdisciplinary, interagency centers and task forces have proven the most successful way to bring expertise from across the community to bear on the highest priority intelligence targets. The Balkans Task Force, now in its fourth year, is a superb example. Senior policymakers and military leaders have come to depend on the steady stream of information provided by this round-the-clock team of experts. We have successfully used the Balkan Task Force model to respond quickly to other crises, such as the situation in the Taiwan Straits.

I believe it is essential that the intelligence community become a true community of experts. We are using technology to achieve this goal by setting up our own classified Internet system, called INTELINK, to ensure a constant, productive exchange of information.

Rebuilding the Community Workforce. The future excellence of the intelligence community will depend on its people. We are working to replace the multiple, outdated personnel systems of the intelligence community with a single new human resource management system. The personnel reforms now in process will:

When the new system is in place, it will ensure that this nation has a capable, motivated intelligence community workforce by gthe next century.

Improving Resource Management. The intelligence community continues to be on schedule in its goal of downsizing personnel by 23 percent in this decade. Over the same period, our budget will decline 20 percent in real terms. To accommodate these cuts, we have consolidated and restructured organizations with like functions; invested in technology to cut the need for manpower in areas such as communications, training, and data processing and retrieval; and made reductions in selected areas -- including support services and collection and analytic resources devoted to the former Soviet military.

To improve use of resources across the intelligence community, the Deputy Secretary of Defense and I have made progress toward instituting a more rigorous resource review process, including a mission-based budget. This system allocates resources to programs that contribute to specific missions -- support to the policymakers, military, law enforcement, and the conduct of counterintelligence. This will allow the Director of Central Intelligence to make better decisions on resource tradeoffs, for example, by substituting satellites for aircraft imagery or signals collection. Indeed, these decisions on tradeoffs are already being made. This method of planning will focus our spending on outcomes, rather than inputs, and result in more effective use of our limited resources. Moreover, a new decisionmaking body -- the Joint Space Management Board -- is working to ensure that both intelligence and military satellite acquisition decisions are made efficiently. Finally, we have worked to repair the financial management of the National Reconnaissance Office and ensure more effective financial accountability in the future.

When President Clinton asked me to be the Director of Central Intelligence, he instructed me to make whatever changes were necessary to ensure that our nation has the best intelligence service in the world and that we carry out our duties with integrity. I believe that the reforms that we are putting in place today will give us a superb intelligence capability for the next century and give the American public confidence that our intelligence activities are carried out in a manner consistent with our national interests and values.


Navigation Bar For NPR site Back To The NPR Main Page Search the NPR Site NPR Initiatives Links to Other Reinvention Web Sites Reinvention Tools Frequently Asked Questions NPR Speeches NPR News Releases