A congressionally chartered commission, the National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, has issued a report we believe to be of interest to enterprise technologists.
The report, attached here: Commission Report, is short enough to be read in its entirety and that is what we recommend. However, the short version of the report’s findings are that growing threats to the community and its ability to analyze data require new action. The list of threats to mission include:
- Cryptography. The availability and strength of high-grade encryption schemes continue to expand.
- Assured Space Access. Foreign countries continue to develop new technologies and methods for disrupting our space assets, necessitating the development of resilient approaches.
- Cyber Attack and Defense. As cyber attacks grow in scale and scope, we struggle to defend against this rising threat.
- Nuclear Technology and Forensics. The proliferation of nuclear materials and technology will remain a high-priority national security threat.
- Global Supply Chains. Production and distribution chains are increasingly vulnerable to a variety of actions, including intentional disruptions.
- All-Source Data Analytics. The volume of data is challenging our ability to process and use it.
The commission concluded there are two major goals for the community regarding R&D: 1) The need to uncover global threats more completely, and 2) The need to be more agile, aggressive and faster in how new capabilities are developed.
There are four findings and four recommendations in the report:
Broaden Scientific and Technical Intelligence
Finding 1: The Commission found a limited effort by the IC to discern and exploit the strategic R&D—especially non-military R&D—intentions and capabilities of our adversaries, and to counter our adversaries‘ theft or purchase of U.S. technology.
Recommendation 1: Conduct comprehensive strategic scientific and technical intelligence (S&TI); use it for IC R&D planning and resource allocation.
Enhance Integrated Intelligence
Finding 2: The Commission found that while the traditional ways and means of collecting and analyzing intelligence remain useful and necessary, emerging and future threats cannot be addressed without Enhanced Integrated Intelligence capabilities that enable shared, discoverable data for analysis and shared, discoverable information for decisionmakers.
Recommendation 2: Focus advanced IC R&D on Enhanced Integrated Intelligence approaches—methods that integrate diverse sources and expertise and that employ automated capabilities to tag, discover, access, and aggregate both data and analyzed information.
Empower R&D Leadership
Finding 3: The Commission found that there is inadequate IC R&D strategic planning and inadequate awareness of IC R&D investment plans and programs.
Recommendation 3: Empower IC R&D leadership to develop a comprehensive R&D strategy and oversee R&D resource allocation.
Finding 4: The Commission found substantial interest within the IC to take advantage of talent and innovation in both the domestic and international private sectors, as well as within the IC itself, but the IC must evolve its business and personnel practices to leverage and exploit the STEM personnel marketplace.
Recommendation 4: Assess longer-term workforce needs within the context of a more competitive private sector and global marketplace and develop procedures to recruit and keep needed talent. Increase and augment IC R&D talent by emphasizing approaches to innovation sharing within the public and private sectors, universities, and research and national labs, and by developing an IC strategy and approach for creating R&D opportunities for non-U.S. citizens.
For more please see the full report, attached here: Commission Report,
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