Intelligence Community

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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.

  • Woman interviewing for a job, photo by fizkes/Getty Images

    Report

    Updating Personnel Vetting and Security Clearance Guidelines for Future Generations

    Mar 11, 2021

    The United States could face challenges with recruiting and retaining younger generations into positions that require a security clearance. What trends and social changes might the federal government consider when updating personnel vetting guidelines?

  • President-elect Joe Biden stands with his nominees for his national security team at his transition headquarters in the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, November 24, 2020, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Commentary

    Biden and the U.S. Intelligence Community

    Nov 25, 2020

    President-elect Biden faces a daunting domestic and foreign policy agenda. Choosing an experienced hand like former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines to be the next Director of National Intelligence could help restore the Intelligence Community's role in informing White House decisionmaking.

Explore Intelligence Community

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

  • Multimedia

    Trump and Russia: Challenges and Opportunities

    In this Call with the Experts, our panel discusses the risks and opportunities that lie ahead with respect to U.S.-Russian relations.

    Jan 13, 2017

  • Report

    Report

    Assessing the Value of Structured Analytic Techniques in the U.S. Intelligence Community

    This report argues for more systematic assessment of the structured analytic techniques employed by the Intelligence Community and provides a pilot study illustrating how they could be evaluated.

    Jan 9, 2017

  • At a public event at the LBJ Presidential Library, the CIA released over 2,500 previously classified President's Daily Briefs from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, September 16, 2015

    Commentary

    Adapting the President's Daily Brief to Trump

    President-elect Trump is receiving President Obama's version of the daily briefing; it has yet to be tailored to his preferences, to which every president is entitled. The intelligence community should seek to adapt the briefing to maximize its interest and relevance to the president-elect.

    Jan 6, 2017

  • A boy holds up a white flag in Mosul, Iraq, November 16, 2016

    Commentary

    What ISIS Leaves Behind in Mosul Will Reveal a Lot

    The capture of Mosul, Iraq, may produce a potential trove of information about how ISIS organized itself to run a large city. Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating this material will be a major effort, one of the most important as the city is liberated.

    Nov 18, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    Defining the Roles, Responsibilities, and Functions for Data Science Within the Defense Intelligence Agency

    This report addresses and recommends potential methods for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to identify, hire, and organize data scientists.

    Nov 18, 2016

  • Magnifying glass and keyhole

    Commentary

    The Case for Analyst Perspectives in the Intelligence Community

    The intelligence community should give analysts a channel to convey their individual insights. This would give policymakers well-reasoned alternative views.

    Oct 20, 2016