Intelligence

May 1, 2021
By Shaun Waterman

As U.S. intelligence agencies pivot from the war on terror to the new era of near-peer competition, the information landscape on which they operate is shifting dramatically, as detailed in the recently released report from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

For two decades, U.S. intelligence operated in an information poor environment—hunting its elusive adversaries through fleeting glimpses on surveillance video or wisps of cellphone traffic. And, thanks to the technical and operational excellence of U.S. collection, even that information poor environment often generated an overwhelming volume of data.

April 27, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Space Force is in the process of standing up the National Space Intelligence Center, or NSIC, with a goal of reaching initial operating capability, or IOC, by January 2022. NSIC will perform national and military space foundational missions and will evaluate capabilities, performance, limitations and vulnerabilities of space and counterspace systems and services, said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, director, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), U.S. Space Force.

April 15, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
The U-2 Dragon Lady is a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft flown by the U.S. Air Force. Photo by Lockheed Martin

Revolutionary ways to gather, parse and share information in the innovation era is propelling the intelligence community into resourceful ways of doing business. To tackle the challenges lightning-speed technology changes and applications generate, 18 U.S. intelligence organizations must accept cultural changes and risk toleration to prepare for adversaries weaponizing the same capabilities against the U.S. and its allies, experts agree.

April 15, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: William Potter/Shutterstock

From the virtual realm to zero gravity, China is posing a serious threat to U.S. national security that goes far beyond the Earth. With a strategic thrust designed to buttress and expand the reach of the Chinese Communist Party, the country is engaged in a long march for control that currently includes operations inside the United States as well as in orbit and beyond.

April 13, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Sittipong Phokawattana/Shutterstock

Global changes increasing at an accelerated pace will drive new threats to international security, and some of these are already manifest in the worldscape, according to a pair of just-released U.S. intelligence community forecasts. Yet the diversity of these changes and their possible outcomes offer different potential scenarios ranging from “a renaissance of democracies” to “tragedy and mobilization.”

April 6, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, sees the U.S. Space Force’s membership into the intelligence community as a key step for the year-old service.

Similar to other members of the intelligence community, the U.S. Space Force is responsible for advancing intelligence-related mission objectives for U.S. national security. The service is performing space-related intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to provide key information and data to the community. Being part of the intelligence community is an important step for the year-old service, said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, USAF, director, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), U.S. Space Force, speaking last Friday at a virtual Mitchell Institute event.

March 30, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Intelligence Agency is prepared to release a new module for its Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System (MARS) that will automatically track foreign military forces. By HaseHoch2/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is responsible for providing intelligence on foreign militaries, is prepared in the coming weeks to release a new capability for the Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System (MARS). The new module, known as Order of Battle, will provide insights into foreign military forces.

March 18, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
This fall, high school students in Georgia will have the opportunity to study the intelligence field, thanks to a course added by the state’s Department of Education. Reportedly the first-of-its-kind in the nation, the class will give students a leg up in pursuing careers in intel, officials say. Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel

Starting this fall, high school students in the state of Georgia will have the unique opportunity to take an elective course in intelligence and national security studies. The class will introduce students to the field of intelligence, the associated activities to gather intelligence, the roles of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), national security, the limits and capabilities of intelligence, careers in the field, and how intelligence plays a role in decision-making.

March 2, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: FOTOGRIN/Shutterstock

China’s quest for global dominance is definitive and open, said the director for intelligence (J-2) in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, USN, held little back as he described China’s maneuvering and aggressive tactics as it pursues a long-term strategy of world domination.

January 27, 2021
 
Competing in the information domain at the national level requires data at the hyper-localized level, says Ben Leo, CEO and co-founder of Faym. Credit: Liu zishan/Shutterstock

Competition in the information domain does not happen nationally. It happens locally, said Ben Leo, CEO and co-founder of Fraym, an international open-source intelligence and data analytics company.

“Competition in the information domain simply doesn’t happen at the national level. It happens in communities, neighborhoods, and even down to individual households or homes,” Leo said during a SIGNAL Executive Video Series discussion with Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine’s editor in chief.

March 1, 2021
By Brian Holmes and Corri Zoli
Members of the panel discussing diversity in the intelligence community at the Intelligence & National Security Summit describe the challenges they face entering the profession.

For many in the U.S. intelligence community, choosing the profession was neither a career goal nor even a consideration until later in life. Few set out to join the agencies that comprise the community while in high school or college. This pattern—usually based on a knowledge gap—needs to change immediately to meet the United States’ national imperative for a talented and diverse workforce.

February 24, 2021
By George I. Seffers
U.S. intelligence community personnel may be more vulnerable while telecommuting during the pandemic, but so are U.S. adversaries, experts point out. Credit: enzozo/Shutterstock

Like the rest of the world, the U.S. intelligence community has been forced to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, which offers opportunities, but then again, U.S. adversaries are working from home as well, which may offer opportunities, intelligence experts pointed out during a February 23 AFCEA Intelligence Committee webinar.

The online event included Melissa Planert, director, Tradecraft and Technology Group, Analysis Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and Reid D, an innovator in secure government in the United Kingdom who did not want to be fully identified.

February 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
With the advent of smart cities, the Chinese have become very adept at aggregating data to find U.S. special forces operating in the Far East, “as well as all the way back here at home,” warns Maj. Gen. John Brennan, USA, Commanding General, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

The U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is looking to fill vital cyber and communications gaps, but with technologies tailored to its unique missions, said Maj. Gen. John Brennan, USA, commanding general, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The command is the largest divisional element in the Army, with soldiers that serve in special forces, psychological operations groups and battalions, civil affairs groups and information warfare groups and for the national mission force that operates mostly with the Joint Special Operations Command units.

February 16, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Soldiers observe an impact zone during an international exercise. The Army's PEO IEWS is developing innovative capabilities to improve battlespace-wide situational awareness as part of its effort for multidomain operations. Credit: U.S. Army photo

The U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) is striving for an entire new generation of technology-based capabilities to help the service achieve multidomain operations (MDO). And unlike previous developmental models, the office is moving toward collaborative capabilities in a multisystem approach.

Helping in this effort is the office’s creation of a new PEO IEW&S Integration Directorate. This recognizes that signals intelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare, intelligence and cyber operations constitute a single element of Army MDO requirements.

February 12, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock

The tsunami of information that will hit with the full exploitation of 5G cellular will create a wealth of open source intelligence that will define the art in coming years. New sensor systems, artificial intelligence (AI) processing and expanded information delivery methods will produce new types of intelligence available in greater detail for a range of customers.

February 2, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
China owes much of its economic growth to technologies purloined from the United States via cyber espionage. Credit: Sangoiri/Shutterstock

The greatest threat the United States faces is through cyber attacks on economic targets, and the worst adversary in this realm is China, according to the director of intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command. Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, USAF, J-2 for the Cyber Command, declared that China’s pilferage of intellectual property represents a major strike against the United States as part of the Middle Kingdom’s plan for global domination.

January 29, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The FBI is examining how zero trust architecture could apply to its cybersecurity measures. Credit: Shutterstock/Kristi Blokhin

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a unique role as a federal law enforcement agency as well as a national security department. Its vast information technology enterprise must support its functionality in carrying out these roles, which have different rules of engagement. And when adding new tools, processes or software, the bureau has to consider solutions carefully. With zero trust architecture—a method that combines user authentication, authorization and monitoring; visibility and analytics; automation and orchestration; end user device activity; applications and workload; network and other infrastructure measures; and data tenants to provide more advanced cybersecurity—gaining use in the U.S.

January 8, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The director of national intelligence announced today that the U.S. Space Force has been designated a part of the intelligence community. Credit: NicoElNino/Shutterstock

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond announced today the designation of the intelligence element of the U.S. Space Force as a member of the intelligence community (IC). 

“This accession reaffirms our commitment to securing outer space as a safe and free domain for America’s interests,” said Ratcliffe. “American power in space is stronger and more unified than ever before. Today we welcome Space Force to the intelligence community and look forward to the power and ingenuity of a space security team unrivaled by any nation.”

The Space Force element is the first new organization to join the IC since 2006. 

December 16, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new pilot program to assess how radio frequency geospatial data and analytical solutions from the commercial sector is looking promising, the agency says. So far it is trying out HawkEye 360 LLC's global spectrum sensing platform to identify and map radio frequency emitters. Credit: HawkEye 360

So far, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA's) pilot to assess how radio frequency (RF) geospatial data and analytical solutions from the commercial sector could support the agency’s mission is going well, according to the Springfield, Virginia-based intelligence arm. The so-called Predictive GEOINT Prototype supports an agile development approach, the  NGA said.

Although the program is limited in scope, the NGA is already initially benefiting from the RF data coming from HawkEye 360 LLC that is being delivered to analysts at the NGA and the U.S. combatant commands. The company’s data and analytics are meant to augment the agency’s existing geospatial intelligence activities.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network officials use threat intelligence to bolster the defense of the network against a surge of attacks during the pandemic. Source: Rafal Olechowski/Shutterstock

Cyber attacks against the Defense Department and many other organizations have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the integration of cyber threat intelligence has helped the department defend its networks, according to Col. David Violand, deputy director of intelligence, Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN).

Col. Violand made the comments during the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

September 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Shutterstock/JoeZ

Legacy methods and arcane rules are hamstringing U.S. intelligence analysis at a time when it should be innovating. From training, which needs to shift emphasis to more basic skills, to collection and processing, which must branch into nontraditional areas, intelligence must make course corrections to solve inflexibility issues, according to a onetime intelligence official.

November 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/ZinetroN

As researchers in multiple disciplines explore the untapped potential of quantum technologies, some distinct patterns of usage are emerging. With fully useful capabilities still several years off, experts are weighing the breakthroughs that may come. One key point is that the advanced applications that will come with quantum computing will define the state of the art in future years.

October 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/oOhyperblaster

Among the many institutions that have been permanently changed by the coronavirus, the intelligence community has the most important standing in the national security realm. And, the changes wrought by COVID-19 are complemented by new technological capabilities that are altering the analysis picture across the board.

September 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A panel of five intelligence community members related their own personal experiences as they discussed the need for diversity during the final session of the 2020 Intelligence and National Security Summit.

The call for diversity and equality that arose nationwide in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer has reached into the intelligence community, where many who have suffered from discrimination throughout their lives say much work remains to be done. The social needs of the country are mirrored in the community, which needs greater diversity to be able to serve national security needs in a time of dynamic change.

September 22, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Ships of the U.S. Navy, the Indian Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Philippine Navy transit through international waters in the South China Sea. Nations increasingly are working together in the face of Chinese aggression in the region. Credit: Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force

In its quest for global supremacy, China has overtaken the United States in some areas but remains uncertain of its own position in head-to-head competition. The United States can take advantage of this status, but must be careful of overconfidence.

These were two key points expressed by Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, USN, director of intelligence/J-2, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM). Speaking at a virtual AFCEA Hawaii Chapter luncheon, Adm. Studeman cited these elements as he focused on seven myths about China.

September 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/stefano carniccio

The United States and its great power rivals are taking different paths in their pursuit of artificial intelligence (AI), but all three are devoting significant resources to what they believe will be a game changer. Their uses of AI also are likely to be different, as their approach to ethics varies according to each nation’s principles.

A breakout session panel provided a global view on the race for AI during the third and final day of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit being held online September 16-18. Panelists assessed the differences in AI research and applications among Russia, China and the United States.

September 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/ImageFlow

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled companies involved with intelligence systems and operations to rethink their work approaches to everything from hiring to clearances. Their need to continue to support the intelligence community has led them to new methods of operations that likely will remain in their portfolios long after the virus has passed into history.

September 18, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/sibsky2016

The U.S. intelligence community is teaming with entrepreneurs to develop the next generation of technologies. While government scientists continue to pursue highly classified work, the private sector is providing new capabilities that complement or even pioneer technologies needed by the community. Government research efforts are making room for unclassified work that can provide innovative capabilities needed for the full spectrum of intelligence operations.

September 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Photomarine

China is steadily pursuing its global goals based on a series of core issues that are not likely to be affected by international actions, said a panel of experts. The United States must take bipartisan actions to boost its own standing relative to China, even if the upcoming election results in a change of parties in the White House come January 2021.

These were among many points introduced by experts in a breakout session during the second day of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit being held online September 16-18. They assessed China’s activities in and against the United States and recommended some actions to be taken by U.S. leaders.

September 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Being forced to telework by the pandemic is a blessing in disguise to the U.S. military intelligence community, say its leaders. Processes that have been fermenting as ideas for years are being embraced enthusiastically, and what had been considered half-baked now is the way of the future as the community deals with new threats and methods of operations.

September 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Just as with terrorism, disinformation can be home-grown and as damaging to a democracy as its foreign counterpart. It will take a partnered effort among all people and elements of a democracy to combat disinformation and restore truth to its mantle of supremacy before the institutions that underpin freedom crumble under the weight of lies and other propaganda. The threat is growing and is widespread, as purveyors of falsehoods adjust their tactics to increase effectiveness.

September 16, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Big data will be a major disruptor for whichever country manages to gain control of it first. Credit: Artistdesign29/Shutterstock

Data in various forms supports a wide range of national security missions, and whichever country is best able to use that data will have a distinct advantage, according to intelligence agency experts speaking at the virtual 2020 Intelligence and National Security Summit.

September 10, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/your

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has changed its approach to data services from an exclusively high-level activity to one at the lowest level. In moving from a centralized approach to a decentralized one, the agency has taken the same course as an army moving data from the command center down to the individual soldier in the foxhole.

September 4, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/M-SUR

The flood of disinformation from Russia has reached epidemic proportions as its leaders wage campaigns on multiple fronts. The coronavirus has provided a fertile medium for the spread of propaganda, and new technologies are promising a greater onslaught of disinformation aimed at eroding the world order.

Fighting disinformation that undermines Western institutions and U.S. policy goals is the Global Engagement Center (GEC). Lea Gabrielle, U.S. special envoy for the GEC, describes it as the mission center in an expanding network of partners all working together to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation. It has been in growth mode for the past 18 months, she allows.

September 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Unmanned aircraft have proved immensely valuable to the military and to intelligence agencies, but they are sometimes too noisy for stealthy reconnaissance. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is developing a silent and miniature aerial drone known as the Little Horned Owl. Credit: U.S. Defense Department photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey S. Viano, U.S. Navy

The cloud computing infrastructure at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity allowed the organization to pivot to a new teleworking norm during the pandemic that’s not much different than the old norm. The organization has conducted business as usual, hiring program managers, adding office directors, creating and killing programs, and continuing to meet the intelligence community’s technology needs.

Catherine Marsh, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, known as IARPA, was told on March 12 to “lean forward,” and she did, allowing almost the entire staff to telecommute beginning the next day. Even contractors work from home legally, securely and effectively.

September 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA’s) Science and Technology Directorate is developing a new strategy to pull in innovation to support U.S. warfighters’ understanding of foreign militaries. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.  USAF/Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Guerrisky

Over the last year and a half, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Future Capabilities and Innovation Office, or FCI, has iteratively developed a new strategy to drive innovation and collaboration to the agency. The DIA, as the agency is known, is looking to harness artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, counterintelligence tools and other solutions to identify and assess cyber behaviors, among other capabilities. The FCI also must be able to measure the impacts of any solutions.

September 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman

The incorrect intelligence assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities was one of the two main causes of the new analysis standards, but that assessment may not have been the primary driver behind the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, says Mark Lowenthal, former assistant director of central intelligence for analysis and production.

“The estimate did not cause the war,” Lowenthal maintains.

“Clearly, there were flaws in the Iraq experience,” he states. “Number one, we were wrong.” Yet, he charges, the decision makers who led the United States into that war did not read that estimate.

September 1, 2020
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Intelligence challenges are continually evolving, but the challenges of the past pale in comparison to the depth and breadth of today’s trials. The problem is not a shortage of data or information; rather, the test is sifting through the unfathomable amounts of data and determining its veracity and relevance amidst both organized and anarchistic disinformation. Diogenes would be hopelessly befuddled in his search for truth in today’s society, but intelligence cannot afford to allow mistruths to shape its findings.

August 28, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Herr Loeffler

U.S. trade secrets are being stolen by Chinese espionage at an alarming rate, and a Justice Department initiative is focusing on stopping the stealing. While cyber espionage is well known and hugely effective, the insider threat has shown to be equally damaging as the Middle Kingdom fuels its economic and military sectors with state-of-the-art U.S. technology.

July 27, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit Shutterstock/JoeZ

Legacy methods and arcane rules are hamstringing U.S. intelligence analysis at a time when it should be innovating. From training, which needs to shift emphasis to more basic skills, to collection and processing, which must branch into nontraditional areas, intelligence must make course corrections to solve inflexibility issues, according to a onetime intelligence official.

July 23, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
As the intelligence community increasingly incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) to help sort through massive amounts of data, it must apply ethical principles to keep its AI use within proper confines. Credit: Shutterstock/SFIO CRACHO

Transparency and integrity are two key principles headlining the list of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). This list, released in combination with an AI ethics framework for the community, represents the first strike by the ODNI to apply guidance to the development and use of AI in the intelligence community.

July 13, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is evaluating two of its research programs to see if they may offer solutions for the ongoing pandemic. Credit: Corona Borealis Studio/Shutterstock

Two research programs at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as IARPA, are now undergoing evaluation to see if they may provide solutions to help counter the growing COVID-19 pandemic, IARPA director Catherine Marsh tells SIGNAL Magazine.

July 6, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is adding new office director positions and hiring new program managers as well. The office directors will help recruit program managers, develop and guide research programs, and enhance relationships with key personnel within the intelligence community to help ensure technology transfers to the agencies. Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Catherine Marsh, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, is hiring personnel to fill several new office director positions. The new personnel will help recruit program managers, develop and guide programs, and strengthen relationships with the intelligence community, enhancing the transition of technologies from researchers to users.

July 1, 2020
By Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.)

Whether it’s propaganda that has a grain of truth, or it’s more deliberate disinformation that adversaries distribute to alter public opinion and gain an advantage, deceptive content and easy access to the mass population via social media pose a high threat to institutions and democracy. Intentionally or accidentally, groups and individuals have the ability to quickly promote falsehoods, making it difficult for governments, businesses and citizens to take corrective action.

June 29, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
NuWave Solutions was selected as the winner of the 2019 Intelligence and National Security Summit EPIC App Challenge. The team participated in a competition to extract data from open source websites and applications, enrich it to make it more useful, build a model to triage reporting and identify news reported by the media containing viable intelligence. (Photo by Herman Farrer)

Industry and government organizations are eager to find ways to combine structured and unstructured data to improve communications about national security threats to the public more effectively. Merging this information will enable the intelligence community (IC) to take advantage of the strengths of both data types and allow analysts to quickly search and assess structured data with the wealth of insights in the unstructured environment.

June 24, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Air Force intelligence leader warns U.S. industry of growing risk from China's goal of intellectual property theft to undercut U.S. national security. Pictured, a F-35A Lighting II waits to taxi on the runway at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on May 20. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw.

U.S. adversaries are trying to take control of cyberspace as a medium, resulting in implications to our freedom of maneuver and access in cyberspace, says Brig. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, USAF, director of Intelligence (A2), Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Increasing cyberspace activity is coming from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

“We are seeing it not just in volume, but we are seeing an expansion in the ways that they use cyberspace, whether it is to steal information, whether it is to directly influence our citizens or whether it is to disrupt critical infrastructure,” Gen. Gagnon reports. The general spoke at the AFCEA Tidewater chapter’s recent monthly virtual luncheon.

June 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) operations room helps synthesize all incoming information about potential threats for distribution among the national security community. The NCTC is realigning its operations and organization to address the changing global threat picture. Credit: Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The United States’ recent reorganization of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is more of a targeted realignment based on the new threat picture, according to an NCTC official. A greater emphasis is being given to the center’s vital identities intelligence mission with an eye toward supporting mission partners in the midst of other threats, such as peer competition.

May 7, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/metamorworks

(Third of a three-part series)

The United States must amass a global intelligence capability built around an all-of-nation approach to threat detection and action, says a national security analyst. This includes increasing human intelligence, but it also would entail the intelligence community utilizing the tools it has and then developing a better “brothernet” further out in terms of forecasting.

April 29, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Health care providers adjust personal protective equipment as they prepare to enter a facility treating the Ebola virus in Liberia. Future pandemics could come from natural viruses or biological weapons developed by sophisticated nations; but whichever the source, opportunistic foes will take advantage of their effects to wreak further havoc on victim nations. (U.S. Army photo)

(Part two of a three-part series)

As the world watches the COVID-19 coronavirus wreak havoc, the potential of a man-made pandemic is offering its own allure to bad actors, ranging from nation-states to rogue organizations. Even if an organization lacks the wherewithal to develop or deploy a biological weapon, lessons already learned are demonstrating that a pandemic offers great opportunities for mayhem and profit, a national security expert says.

April 20, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Shutterstock/Khakimullin Aleksandr

(Part one of a three-part series)

The nation must realign its strategic objectives to build out its future readiness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, says an analyst specializing in anticipatory developments. Intelligence analysts, with the aid of new technologies, must be able to combine data from a variety of inputs both to foresee emerging crises and to anticipate future threats before they become a full-fledged menace. The intelligence community and national decision makers must be prepared to view multiple problems as part of a whole in which they enhance one another to generate more severe challenges.