Jami Miscik, former deputy director for intelligence of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), discusses intelligence and its use in policymaking for “Interrogation Policy” and other CFR Model Diplomacy (https://modeldiplomacy.cfr.org) case studies. Intelligence, she explains, is designed to give policymakers an edge by providing information unavailable elsewhere. She explains such concepts as human intelligence, signals intelligence, geospatial intelligence, intelligence operations, and the intelligence cycle. Additionally, using the example of the September 11 attacks, Miscik draws a distinction between tactical and strategic intelligence.
Miscik explains that the modern U.S. intelligence community has its roots in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the CIA, among other institutions. The intelligence community structure laid out by the act remained broadly in place until the 2004 establishment of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The intelligence community is constantly evolving, says Miscik, with digitalization and cybersecurity among the challenges faced by intelligence professionals today. As Miscik notes, the intelligence community’s successes are often kept secret, but its failures become public and are examined for lessons that can promote U.S. security.
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