Intelligence Community

The intelligence community comprises the many agencies and organizations responsible for intelligence gathering, analysis, and other activities that affect foreign policy and national security. RAND conducts research, develops tools, and provides recommendations to U.S. and allied decisionmakers to support their efforts at gathering and interpreting high-quality information.

  • Report

    Defining Second Generation Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) for the Defense Enterprise

    This report describes the evolution of open source intelligence, defines open source information and the intelligence cycle, and parallels with other intelligence disciplines, along with methods used and challenges of using off-the-shelf technology.

    May 17, 2018

  • Report

    Moving to the Unclassified: How the Intelligence Community Can Work from Unclassified Facilities

    This report provides analysis and recommendations for intelligence agencies on how to conduct work outside classified facilities by identifying policy, legal, technology, security, financial, and cultural considerations.

    Apr 23, 2018

  • The U.S. embassy in Moscow, Russia, March 27, 2018

    Commentary

    Moscow Is Going Too Far

    Russia has become more daring with the West with its retaliatory expulsions and may face a high price. An angered West could turn from expulsions to economic countermeasures.

    Apr 3, 2018

  • Emergency services staff work next to a children's play area near the bench where former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned in Salisbury, UK, March 13, 2018

    Commentary

    Russian Nerve Agent from Skripal Attack a Deadly Game-Changer

    The use of Novichok in last week's attack against Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia demands global condemnation and an insistence that Russia account for how the nerve agent came to be used at all, much less on foreign soil.

    Mar 19, 2018

  • Margaret Mead between 1930 and 1950

    Blog

    Studying Soviets, Not Sex: Margaret Mead's Research at RAND

    Anthropologist Margaret Mead studied Russian culture and attitudes toward authority while at RAND from 1948 to 1950. To accomplish what she called “culture cracking,” Mead looked to Russian emigres, books, journals, archives, and films since the Soviet Union was inaccessible.

    Mar 7, 2018

  • Report

    Strategic Warning on NATO's Eastern Flank: Pitfalls, Prospects, and Limits

    Russian military modernization raises concerns about the Intelligence Community's (IC's) ability to warn of Russian aggression, particularly on NATO's eastern flank. Using themes from past events, the report makes recommendations to improve warning.

    Mar 7, 2018

  • A briefer holds a briefing book prior to the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Outer Oval Office, March 10, 2009

    Commentary

    Presidential Intelligence Briefings: The Process Is Working. But Is Trump Listening?

    President Trump receives intelligence briefings on a fairly regular basis and he appears engaged in discussions with senior staff and the intelligence community about content. Ideally, this process is informing his national security decisionmaking.

    Feb 15, 2018

  • Mert Davies' briefcase in the 1960s

    Blog

    Mert Davies: All-Star Pioneer of the Cosmos

    Merton Davies spent his early years using satellite imagery to spy on terrestrial targets. His work led to the first successful reconnaissance satellite, Corona. Later, he used deep-space photographs to map the planets in our solar system.

    Jan 5, 2018

  • A man using a radio transceiver

    Report

    Signals Intelligence for Anyone

    Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is intelligence gathered from communications, electronics, or foreign instrumentation. This has traditionally been considered a governmental function. But new technologies are changing that. Now private citizens can conduct SIGINT activities.

    Dec 5, 2017

  • Tool

    Roadmap to Succeed in the Open for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Human Development Directorate

    This tool provides the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's Human Development Directorate with a roadmap for how employees can overcome the hurdles to achieving the agency's missions outside of secure and classified environments.

    Sep 26, 2017

  • Report

    Assessing Competencies and Proficiency of Army Intelligence Analysts Across the Career Life Cycle

    This report describes the development and implementation of a process to assess key analytic competencies and proficiency of the U.S. Army's analysts in the 35F military occupational specialty and the design of a protocol for ongoing evaluation.

    Jul 27, 2017

  • The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

    Commentary

    How to Harden America's Soft Targets

    The U.S. government must choose where to apply limited resources to defend soft targets. But it could expand its information-sharing efforts with other governments and local law enforcement. Broad intelligence sharing and more training could help identify potential attackers before they can execute their plans.

    Jul 5, 2017

  • Shi'ite worshippers attend Friday prayer in the Great Mosque of Kufa near Najaf, Iraq, March 31, 2017

    Report

    The Future of Sectarian Relations in the Middle East

    Sectarianism is shaping developments across the Middle East. But sectarianism is only one lens for understanding the region's conflicts, and some of its drivers are amenable to policy interventions.

    May 22, 2017

  • The 24-hour Operations Room inside GCHQ, Cheltenham, UK, November 17, 2015

    Commentary

    Five Eyes at 70: Where to from Here?

    The Five Eyes intelligence alliance of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand began in the Cold War to meet the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Today, the nations' intelligence communities must contend with domestic terrorism and cyber threats while remaining ahead of Russia and China.

    Apr 21, 2017

  • Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando police chief John Mina, and FBI agent Ron Hopper at a news conference after the attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016

    Commentary

    Domestic Terrorism: Weighing the Challenges

    The U.S. is struggling to find an effective way to counter violent extremism at home and counteract the presence of terrorist groups on social media. Policymakers are tasked with managing a military defeat of IS in the Middle East while lowering the risk of blowback in the U.S. at the same time.

    Apr 13, 2017

  • Police talk as they guard a house that was involved in pre-dawn raids in western Sydney September 18, 2014

    Commentary

    Three Ways To Improve Australia's Intelligence Capability

    Intelligence agencies should become centers of expertise, focus on what matters for their customers, and coordinate a network of partners. To better deliver on these three priorities, the Australian Intelligence Community should consider a leadership structure with authority to guide and coordinate these processes.

    Apr 4, 2017

  • Report

    Reimagining the Character of Urban Operations for the U.S. Army: How the Past Can Inform the Present and Future

    Provides a historical analysis of how militaries have deployed light and mechanized infantry with armored forces during close urban combat, to identify the comparative advantages and costs of this warfighting approach and lessons learned.

    Mar 13, 2017

  • News Release

    Domestic Political Discord Now the Greatest Threat to U.S. Global Leadership

    Faced with traditional threats from opponents such as Russia and emerging threats from non-traditional adversaries such as the Islamic State, the United States needs a comprehensive foreign policy strategy that can provide stability and improve policymakers' ability to manage in today's more complex and turbulent times.

    Jan 18, 2017

  • Aerial view of the Earth

    Research Brief

    Exploring America's Role in a Turbulent World

    The post–Cold War era is over. The United States faces new challenges abroad and rising political polarization at home. How should America advance its interests and pursue new opportunities around the world?

    Jan 18, 2017

  • The mascots of the Democratic and Republican parties are seen on a video screen at U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio, March 8, 2016

    Report

    Domestic Political Discord Is Now the Greatest Threat to U.S. Global Leadership

    The United States needs a coherent international strategy for today's turbulent world. But this will be hard to pursue without more domestic political consensus on America's global role.

    Jan 18, 2017