US Intelligence Community
Note: This entire text was copied from the DNI website (dni.gov).
The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is a collection of sixteen agencies and organizations within the Executive Branch that conduct diverse intelligence activities in support of US policymaker requirements. These agencies and organizations are responsible for the development and operation of collection systems and activities as well as for the analysis of all-source data to understand the threats to US national security.
Most of the IC organizations belong to the various policy departments of the Executive Branch and support their specific missions (see IC organizational chart below). The Department of Defense contains the majority of these components to support military planning and operations. Only the Central Intelligence Agency was created to be independent of any policy department in order to serve the intelligence needs of the President and National Security Council as a whole. Except for the domestic counterintelligence and counterterrorism functions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, all IC components are focused only on foreign intelligence as specified in the National Security Act of 1947 and by Executive Order 12333 of 1981.
The position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was created by the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 to strengthen the management of the Community and to improve the sharing of critical intelligence information among IC components. Supporting the DNI are various interagency groups, including the National Counterterrorism Center and the National Intelligence Council, which is the senior substantive analytic body of the Community responsible for producing national intelligence estimates and other interagency analysis for national decision makers.
Those IC components that contribute most directly to the effort to understand foreign military forces and to monitor arms control agreements are the following:
—The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provides comprehensive, all-source, intelligence on national security topics; conducts counterintelligence activities overseas; and conducts special activities and other functions related to foreign in-