National Intelligence Council

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National Intelligence Council
Logo of the National Intelligence Council.gif
Agency overview
Formed1979
JurisdictionUnited States Government
Parent agencyOffice of the Director of National Intelligence

The National Intelligence Council (NIC), established in 1979 and reporting to the Director of National Intelligence, bridges the United States Intelligence Community (IC) with policy makers in the United States. The NIC produces the "Global Trends" report every four years beginning in 1997, for the incoming President of the United States. Their work is based on intelligence from a wide variety of sources that includes experts in academia and the private sector. NIC documents and reports which are used by policymakers, include the National Intelligence Estimate and the Global Trends reports delivered every four years. The NIC's goal is to provide policymakers with the best available information, that is unvarnished, unbiased and without regard to whether the analytic judgments conform to current U.S. policy.

One of the NIC's most important analytical projects is a Global Trends report produced for the incoming US president, which is usually delivered to the incoming president between Election Day and Inauguration Day. The Global Trends reports assess critical drivers and scenarios for global trends with an approximate time horizon of fifteen years. The Global Trends analysis provides a basis for long-range strategic policy assessment for the White House and the Intelligence Community. In 1997, the Office of the NIC Director released the first Global Trends report, "Global Trends 2010",[1] and in March 2021, their most recent report, "NIC Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World".[2]

Overview[edit]

The National Intelligence Council (NIC), which was established in 1979, reports to the Director of National Intelligence. The NIC bridges the United States Intelligence Community (IC) with policy makers in the United States, according to a February 2, 2007 DNI report.[3]

The report combines "traditional national security challenges" with "social trends that have clear security implications".[4]

In 2011, NIC members included "18 senior analysts and national security policy experts", who were appointed by the Director of National Intelligence. The NIC support the work of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Council. Congress may at times request that the NIC prepare "specific estimates and other analytical products" to inform "consideration of legislation", according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.[5] The NIC also "provides the U.S. intelligence community’s best judgments on crucial international issues".[5]

The NIC has a Chairman and Vice Chairman, as well as a Vice Chairman for Evaluation, a Director of Strategic Plans and Outreach, a Director of Analysis and Production Staff, a Special Adviser, and National Intelligence Officers (NIOs) and Deputy National Intelligence Officer for different subject matters including Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Near East, South Asia, Russia and Eurasia. Issues include economics and global issues, science and technology, intelligence assurance, military issues, transnational threats, warning, weapons of mass destruction and nuclear proliferation, and cyber.

The first director of the NIC was Richard Lehman, (1979 – 1981) who served during the tenure of then President Jimmy Carter. Avril Haines, was appointed as incumbent NIC director on January 21, 2021.

Global Trends reports[edit]

One of the NIC's most important analytical projects is a Global Trends report produced for the incoming US president which is usually delivered to the incoming president between Election Day and Inauguration Day. The Global Trends reports assess critical drivers and scenarios for global trends with an approximate time horizon of fifteen years. While the Global Trends analysis provides a basis for long-range strategic policy assessment for the White House and the intelligence community, it is proscribed by law to not provide any policy recommendations.[6]

The goal of the report is to examine "longer-term impacts" of "current changes" on the "world of the future"—twenty years ahead.[6]

The first Global Trends report was released in 1997,[1] and the most recent, "NIC Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World'" was released in March 2021.[2] The NIC's Strategic Futures Group, under the direction of Maria Langan-Riekhof, led the publication of the "Global Trends 2040" report, working with 18 organizations that make up the United States Intelligence Community. This includes the National Security Agency and C.I.A.[6]

Previous reports include "Global Trends 2035: Paradox of Progress" in January 2017,[7] "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds" in 2012,[8] "Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World", "Global Trends 2020: Mapping the Global Future", "Global Trends 2010" in 1997,[1] and "Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue About the Future With Nongovernment Experts" in December 2000.[9]

Global Trends 2035: Paradox of Progress[edit]

At the beginning the Presidency of Donald Trump in January 2017, the Obama administration released the its report, "Global Trends 2035: Paradox of Progress", which "highlighted the risk of a pandemic and the vast economic disruption it could cause."[4][7]

Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World[edit]

In their April 15, 2021 article about the March 2021 report, "NIC Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World", the New York Times editorial board cited experts in Washington saying "they do not recall a gloomier" NIC Global Trends report.[6] The Times listed headings such as "Competitive Coexistence", "Separate Silos", "Tragedy and Mobilization", and "A World Adrift" and questions if we will heed the report's warnings "at a time when states and societies are turning inward and political discourse has become poisonous."[6] According to the report, "Nationalism and polarization have been on the rise in many countries, especially exclusionary nationalism. Efforts to contain and manage the virus have reinforced nationalist trends globally as some states turned inward to protect their citizens and sometimes cast blame on marginalized groups."[2]: 12[4]

List of Chairs[edit]

Name Term start Term end President
Richard Lehman 1979 1981 Jimmy Carter
Henry Rowen July 8, 1981 September 1983 Ronald Reagan
Robert Gates September 1983 April 18, 1986
Frank Horton III September 1986 September 1987
Fritz Ermarth 1988 January 20, 1993
George H. W. Bush
Joseph Nye February 20, 1993 September 15, 1994 Bill Clinton
Christine Williams September 15, 1994 June 1, 1995
Richard N. Cooper June 1, 1995 January 1997
John C. Gannon July 22, 1997 June 2001
George W. Bush
John L. Helgerson August 3, 2001 April 26, 2002
Robert Hutchings February 2003 January 2005
Thomas Fingar June 13, 2005 December 1, 2008
Peter Lavoy December 1, 2008 July 6, 2009
Barack Obama
Chris Kojm July 6, 2009 July 2014
Greg Treverton September 8, 2014 October 28, 2016
Amy McAuliffe October 28, 2016 October 27, 2019
Donald Trump
Neil Wiley October 28, 2019 January 21, 2021
Avril Haines (incumbent) January 21, 2021 Present Joe Biden

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prospects for Iraq's Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead: Unclassified Key Judgments]" (PDF) (Press release). March 2, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 21, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Barnes, Julian E. (April 8, 2021). "U.S. Intelligence Report Warns of Global Consequences of Social Fragmentation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Best, Richard A. (December 27, 2011). Issues and Options for Congress (PDF) (Report). The National Intelligence Council (NIC). Congressional Research Service (CRS). p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 17, 2021. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e The editorial board (April 15, 2021). "Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 16, 2021.

External links[edit]

Global Trends reports[edit]