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U.S. National Intelligence: An Overview, 2011

NCJ Number
Date Published
100 pages
This 2011 overview of U.S. National Intelligence describes the intelligence community, the six steps in the intelligence cycle, the organizations that compose the intelligence community, the components of the intelligence enterprise, and organizational oversight.
According to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), the terms "National Intelligence" and "intelligence related to national security" refer to all intelligence, regardless of the source from which it is derived, and it includes information collected within or outside the United States. 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. The "intelligence cycle" is the process of developing raw information into finished intelligence for use by policymakers, military commanders, and other consumers in decisionmaking. The six steps of the intelligence cycle are planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, dissemination, and evaluation. Intelligence community members are listed and described in this report. Various sources of intelligence are identified, and processing and exploitation of intelligence information is explained. Analysis, production, and feedback are discussed in another section of the report. A section on organizational oversight addresses the responsibilities of the Joint Intelligence Community Council, legislative oversight, the National Security Council, the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, Office of the Inspector General, financial management and oversight, equal employment opportunity and diversity, and the Civil Liberties and Privacy Office.