NSRD's Support for the Intelligence Community

The U.S. Intelligence Community must provide policymakers and warfighters with decision-advantage in an increasingly complex and dynamic strategic environment—even as it undergoes enormous changes in who it employs and how it works.

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The interim National Security Strategy and most recent National Intelligence and National Defense Strategies argue that the United States now faces near-peer competitors with the ability to contest U.S. dominance in all domains—air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. In addition, the United States faces threats short of war, including information operations, proxy warfare, intelligence operations, cyber-attacks, foreign malign influence and an evolving terrorist threat. Finally, technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and hypersonics are changing the character of war and undermining U.S. military superiority. The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) has roles to play in facing all of these challenges.

The IC must also address its own operations amid uncertain working conditions and a changing workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic saw much of the defense industrial base pivot to remote work, which required careful measures to keep operations secure from cyber threats. Members of the Millennial generation are increasingly the IC's employees, clients, and leaders, and have different expectations and goals for their careers than generations past.

The RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD) examines these topics and more for sponsors in the IC.

Organization and Contact

Anthony Vassalo is the Intelligence Community portfolio lead for RAND's National Security Research Division (NSRD).

NSRD, directed by Jack Riley, operates a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. NSRD also conducts work for other U.S. government sponsors, including agencies within the U.S. Intelligence Community.