US Intelligence Challenged by Foreign Technological Innovation

“The increasing pace and adoption of global scientific and technological discovery heighten the risk of strategic or tactical surprise and, over time, reduce the advantages of our intelligence capabilities,” according to a new report on U.S. intelligence research and development programs prepared by a congressionally-mandated Commission.

“Foreign countries’ growing expertise and proficiency in a number of emerging or potentially disruptive technologies and industries–gained either by improving their own capabilities, by using surreptitious methods, or by taking advantage of an erosion of U.S. capabilities and U.S. control over critical supply chains–have the potential to cause great harm to the national security of the United States and its allies,” the report said.

In order to adapt, the report said, the US intelligence community will need to place renewed emphasis on scientific and technical intelligence; improve coordination and management of competing collection and analysis programs; and accelerate the production of actionable intelligence, among other recommended steps.

See the Report of the National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, Unclassified Version, released November 2013 (NYT, WP).

The Commission also produced a White Paper on The IC’s Role Within U.S. Cyber R&D.

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