Last week Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats released the 2019 National Intelligence Strategy. The 36-page document outlines seven mission objectives and seven enterprise objectives for the nation’s intelligence gathering agencies. Mission objectives show a heavy emphasis on the vulnerability of space, cyber, and technology, as the Intelligence Community shifts its gaze from the threats of non-state actors (which are still mentioned but less emphasized), and to the growing aggression shown by old aggressors Russia and China.
“The United States faces an increasingly complex and diverse set of counterintelligence (CI) and security challenges,” the report notes. “Rapid technological advances are allowing a broad range of FIEs to field increasingly sophisticated capabilities and aggressively target the government, private sector partners, and academia. FIEs are proactive and use creative approaches—including the use of cyber tools, malicious insiders, espionage, and supply chain exploitation—to advance their interests and gain advantage over the United States.”
The initial pages of the report outline the current strategic environment, and call out Russian aggression, China’s economic and military growth, and Iran’s missile development and ongoing support of terrorist networks.
IC Mission = IC Workforce
Moving from the strategic to the practical, the intelligence report’s enterprise objectives focus on mission and business management, the IC’s ability to attract and maintain an expert workforce being a critical aspect of that.
“Effective approaches are needed to recruit, retain, develop, and motivate employees who possess skills that are fundamental to the intelligence mission, including critical thinking, foreign language, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” the report states.
The IC is making new investments in “workforce agility and mobility.” While the IC values career longevity, the report notes the benefit of mobility between IC organizations as a valuable benefit to help keep workers engaged. The IC Joint Duty Program allows civilian personnel the chance to serve in partner organizations, learning new skills and advancing partnerships between IC agencies.
The mission of the IC is ongoing, and continually growing. The IC, like all organizations, recognizes how critical a quality workforce is to adapting to new threats.