Intel Science Board on “The New S&T Landscape”

01.10.11 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The diminishing U.S. lead in various scientific disciplines related to national security has posed a particular challenge for U.S. intelligence agencies, according to a newly released 2006 report (pdf) of the Intelligence Science Board.

“While the overall effect of a declining S&T [science and technology] position on the United States remains the subject of debate, there can be no debate concerning its enormous impact on the Intelligence Community,” the report said.  “Today’s collection and analysis needs… require an entirely new approach to increasing the contribution of S&T to the intelligence enterprise.  Neither the Intelligence Community nor the S&T establishment has put forth viable strategies for accomplishing this change.”

The authors endorse the creation of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which was in fact established.  Otherwise, the report is largely derivative of previous studies on similar topics, and is mostly devoid of original analysis.  See “The Intelligence Community and Science and Technology: The Challenge of the New S&T Landscape,” Intelligence Science Board, November 2006, released December 2010.

The Intelligence Science Board, which was disestablished last year, provided independent science advice to the Director of National Intelligence.  Its most important and influential product was a 2006 report entitled “Educing Information: Interrogation: Science and Art” (pdf) on the weak scientific basis for prisoner interrogation practices.