The Intelligence Community (IC) is a group of Executive Branch agencies and organizations that work separately and together to engage in intelligence activities that are necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and the protection of the national security of the United States.
These activities include:
- Collection of information needed by the President, the National Security Council, the Secretaries of State and Defense, and other Executive Branch officials for the performance of their duties and fulfillment of their responsibilities.
- Production and dissemination of intelligence.
- Collection of information concerning intelligence activities directed against the United States, international terrorist and narcotics activities, and other such hostile activities carried out by foreign powers, organizations, persons, and their agents.
- The conduct of actions to protect against hostile activities directed against the United States.
- Performance of special activities.
- Performance of administrative and support activities within the United States and abroad that are necessary for the performance of various other intelligence activities.
- Performance of such other intelligence activities as the President may direct from time to time.
The IC is led by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who is the head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and whose duty is to coordinate the other 16 IC components based on intelligence consumers’ needs. The other members of the IC are divided into three groups: Program Managers, Departments, and Service components.
- Program Managers advise and assist the ODNI in identifying collection requirements, developing budgets, managing finances,
and evaluating the IC’s performance.
- Departments are IC components embedded within Government departments (other than the Department of Defense [DoD]).
These components focus on serving its parent department’s intelligence needs.
- All intelligence personnel in the armed forces are members of the Service IC components, which primarily support their own Service’s information needs.
- Each Service has at least one major intelligence organization as well as intelligence officers integrated throughout its structure.
The core mission of ODNI is to lead the Intelligence Community in intelligence integration. Basically, intelligence integration means synchronizing collection, analysis, and counterintelligence so that they are fused—effectively operating as one team. Unifying Intelligence Strategies (UIS) is the central critical plans for achieving intelligence integration. They cover our strategies by geography and topic. They foster an environment that encourages, enables, and recognizes integration at all levels of the IC.