Transforming Intelligence -- A Focus on Analysis
Intelligence and National Security Alliance
June 07, 2006

Thank you for that very kind introduction, Deborah. It's a pleasure to be here today. On behalf of everyone in the Intelligence Community, I particularly want to express my appreciation to the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, its Chairman, Admiral McConnell, and its President, Tim Sample, for supporting this conference.

INSA has been a good friend to the Intelligence Community as we leave one era behind and prepare for the next. The Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review reminds us of that fact quite graphically: We live in a world that has changed, and continues to change, in ways that compel the IC to adapt, and that effort is now well under way. Where the IC made mistakes before 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom, it has sought to learn from them, and I have been impressed with the rigor of its efforts. Before I describe some of the steps my colleagues and I in the ODNI are taking to create a more flexible, agile, and adaptive Intelligence Community, I must underscore the fact that all agencies and professionals across the Community are as determined as I am to acknowledge, endorse, and build on the lessons learned and process improvements already under way in various IC component agencies. The whole point of our efforts in the ODNI is to integrate and enhance the IC, not to duplicate the IC.

This endeavor has many dimensions, but I want to highlight analysis today because it is in analysis that we often first perceive shifts in the threat environment and in the needs of our customers.

Several precepts underlie our effort to transform analysis.

First, there is no substitute for expertise, which our analysis must access and exploit whether it is to be found inside or outside the IC.

Second, no individual - or organization - has sufficient expertise to respond to the range of issues you have seen addressed in the QICR.

Third, we must systematize collaboration among analysts in all IC agencies before crises hit if we are to be able to mobilize the full capabilities of the IC quickly enough to meet customer requirements.

Fourth, we need to strengthen analytic tradecraft across the community.

Fifth, we need to remove or revise agency-centric policies and practices that get in the way of analytic collaboration and prevent community teams of analysts - and teams of analysts and collectors - from acting together to tackle new challenges.

And sixth, we need to be close to our customers if we are to understand and anticipate what they want and need to know ... when they need to know it.

In the context of these precepts, let me outline for you some of the steps we are taking to build the analytic capabilities we'll need tomorrow. I will first note two institutional examples - the National Intelligence Council, the President's Daily Brief - and then broaden the discussion to include mission management, standards, evaluation, outreach, training and technology.

Over the last 14 months, the National Intelligence Council has played a key role in the transformation of analysis. To ensure that senior policymakers have access to the insights of the most experienced analysts throughout the IC, the NIC has been given the responsibility for coordinating intelligence support for National Security Council meetings, Principals meetings, and Deputies meetings. Our National Intelligence Officers now reach out to all relevant IC elements to obtain the best analytic judgments and identify areas where analysts do not agree. Just as important, the NIOs now disseminate summaries of the meetings to analysts across the IC. This enables us to harness the knowledge and efforts of analysts in all agencies to attack the questions of greatest interest to policymakers.

Of course, the NIC continues to oversee production of National Intelligence Estimates, and other fully coordinated assessments. In fact, despite acquiring substantial new responsibilities, it produced as many coordinated products in the past year as it did in each of the previous two years. Not only has the NIC produced more work, but it has produced better work. Illustrative improvements include doing a more thorough job of enlisting diverse experts from both inside and outside the IC to ensure the best possible judgments, writing NIEs at the lowest possible level of classification, and making them shorter, more timely, and more transparent as to sources, intelligence gaps, and the implications of key judgments.

These changes in the NIC better utilize the IC's expertise and better frame key intelligence questions for policymakers. Watch for the NIC to generate additional initiatives in the coming year.

The President's Daily Brief has undergone an equally significant transformation. The CIA's Directorate of Intelligence is still the backbone of the PDB and will remain so, but the PDB now benefits from the participation of analysts across the IC. This has brought more expertise to bear and made it easier to identify analytic disagreements and intelligence gaps.

Analysts in other agencies almost never saw PDB items before these changes were instituted, much less authored articles or sat at the table while they were being proposed and developed. How could analytic dissents and alternative interpretations be brought to the senior level's attention? They often weren't. Now differences are reflected in stand-alone items or are highlighted within an item when experts disagree. This serves our senior-level customers better, engaging them directly in critical points of analytic debate.

Of course, the principle of customer-focused intelligence requires not only more robust products for our customers; it also requires more robust interactions by thousands of people across the Community each day who produce those products. This has led to the concept of mission managers - an idea highlighted by the WMD Commission - to translate customer needs into integrated collection and analysis strategies for meeting these needs.

As a consequence, I have designated Mission Managers for North Korea, Iran, Counterterrorism, Counterproliferation, and Counterintelligence. And to promote development of integrated collection and analysis strategies against other key topics, we are integrating the efforts of our ADDNI for Analytic Mission Management and our ADDNI for Collection Strategies. This collaborative "first" has enabled us to compile stronger analytic postures for several key countries - and to drive collection to better support those postures. Similar efforts are underway on the remainder of the high-priority National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF) topics.

Effective mission management is a powerful approach that requires leveraging tools across the IC and beyond. A key tool is the Analytic Resources Catalog (ARC), a database containing information about the skills and experiences of the analysts in the IC.

How many analysts work in the IC? What is their experience and expertise? How can you contact them and engage them in collaborative endeavors? Before the ARC, there was no comprehensive way to answer these questions. Now we can do so. Using the ARC and results from our efforts to survey the analytic community, Mission Managers - and other managers - are able to map out exactly what each agency is covering on a topic in question, who their expert analysts are, and what additional expertise they are seeking. That's a big improvement inside the IC. Meanwhile, looking outside the IC, we are fostering more external partnerships by making analysts in each Agency aware of opportunities for drawing on external expertise.

These mission management tools and efforts represent an enormous force multiplier. They help drive us toward what we want to be: a community of analysts, not just a confederation of institutions.

Of course, all that I have been describing here today will only succeed if the participating analysts use sound analytic tradecraft. We therefore have a major effort under way to improve tradecraft itself and ensure the extent to which good tradecraft is rigorously applied.

Now I would like to share with you a few observations about analysts themselves. The first and most important fact to note is that we are in the midst of extraordinary efforts to bring more analysts into the Intelligence Community. Of course, this dramatic influx presents a challenge in terms of training and human resource development. But ten years from now, the generation of analysts we are bringing on board will have developed the experience and built the critical relationships they'll need to keep driving our transformation effort forward.

I am confident we can succeed in this. Our new analysts came of age when the Internet and cyber-life hit full stride. We can teach them a great deal about the tradecraft and objectives of intelligence; but they can, and will, teach us a few things, too, especially if they see us slacken in pursuit of greater agility in our intelligence practices.

Recognizing the essential role that technology plays in creating opportunities for analysts to try new methods, explore new ideas, and build coalitions of interested partners across the enterprise, we have established a technology office within our Analysis Directorate. This Analysis Technology Office, working closely with our ADNI for S&T, has redesigned the Multi-Intelligence Working Group's experiment program to foster collective innovation that bridges analytic disciplines and organizations - an effort that already has generated major substantive intelligence findings. In addition, the Analysis Technology Office has begun initiatives to:

These innovations are good indications of our determination to enable our analysts to take full advantage of the kinds of business models and technology applications that have become mainstream in the private sector. To achieve that goal, we will have to be unflagging in our commitment to change, so in the coming year watch for progress in:

Change, creativity, adaptability, and flexibility must remain the hallmarks of the transformative process in which we are engaged.

The Community we are building will allow analysts to work across boundaries that have traditionally kept them isolated in separate cubicles, separate information environments, and separate data-protection regimes.

The Community we are building will empower analysts to form teams - mostly virtual - to tackle emerging threats, and to do so in close association with our customers and external colleagues.

And the Community we are building will continue to count on our extended family of supporters gathered together here today, you, the members of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, as a sounding board ... As a source of new ideas ... And for help in thinking through the many challenges that will arise as we press ahead with transformational change not just in the analytic dimension, but in every dimension of US national intelligence.

Thank you again for your insight, your expertise, and your constant support.  I.m now happy to answer a few questions in the remaining time.