Sunday, April 01, 2012

The Sixteen U.S. Intelligence Agencies that Make up the National Intelligence Council (NIC)


Logo of the Sixteen U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies as shown on the CIA website.

Sixteen civilian and military agencies collect information on threats against the United States: Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Marine Corps Intelligence, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency and Navy Intelligence.

These sixteen agencies all contribute information to the National Intelligence Council (NIC):

The NIC is a center of strategic thinking within the US Government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and providing the President and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign policy issues that have been reviewed and coordinated throughout the Intelligence Community.


The NIC reports that they have done research on transnational organized crime and on climate changeAccording to the NIC:

Transnational criminal networks are actively targeting U.S. businesses, consumers, and government programs. Some crimes involve widespread transnational conspiracies while others are perpetrated by largely U.S.-based groups with ties abroad.


The NIC has published a series of reports about the effects of climate change in various countries. The Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis and Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Dr. Thomas Fingar testified before Congress (6-25-08):


We depended upon open sources and greatly leveraged outside expertise.  Since the Intelligence Community does not conduct climate research, we began our effort by looking for other US government entities that were experts in this area.  We worked with the US Climate Change Science Program and visited with climate modelers and experts from the Department of Energy national laboratories and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).  We also relied upon support from the Joint Global Change Research Institute—a joint research program between the University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory—Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network, and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California.


Our primary source for climate science was the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report [link added] which we augmented with other peer-reviewed research and contracted research. We used the UN Panel report as our baseline because this document was reviewed and coordinated on by the US government and internationally respected by the scientific community.


The most recent report is titled Global Water Security (2-2-12). The key judgement states:


During the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems—shortages, poor water quality, or floods—that will risk instability and state failure, increase regional tensions, and distract them from working with the United States on important US policy objectives.  Between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources.  Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and hobbling economic growth.  As a result of demographic and economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.

The National Academies (NAS) also has an informative site called America's Climate Choices.

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