“Value-added” intelligence collection at the State Department

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The State Department has nearly 200 intelligence analysts who provide analysis and briefings for the Secretary of State and other federal officials, including President Trump.
The analysts work in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, or INR, which was founded in 1947.
AN INR report states:

INR recruits primarily from outside the Department new hires who tend to be highly trained in their fields with years of experience. INR has over 200 analysts who provide worldwide coverage and have on average 17 years professional experience directly related to their portfolio. They collectively speak more than 50 foreign languages.
Policymakers rely on INR to provide value-added intelligence analysis of the foreign policy issues they face.

I wonder how much coordination, if any, there is between the INR and contractors and others who carry out pro-democracy missions in Cuba against the socialist government’s wishes.

Details of the bureau’s mission and goals are below:

1. Executive Statement

INR Mission

To ensure that timely, independent analysis informs foreign policy decisions and that intelligence and counterintelligence activities support and are informed by America’s foreign policy.

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) is both a bureau of the Department of State and an element of the Intelligence Community (IC), reporting directly to both the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). INR serves as the “intelligence mission center” for the Department of State. The INR Assistant Secretary serves as the Secretary of State’s Principal Intelligence Advisor and as the Head of the Intelligence Community Element (HOICE) at the Department.
INR’s focus on supporting U.S. diplomacy makes it a significant player in the IC, despite the bureau’s small size relative to other IC agencies. Its mission is to ensure that policymakers have access to all-source, independent analysis of the issues they face, and that intelligence and counter-intelligence activities are consistent with U.S. foreign policy. INR also maintains expertise about intelligence policies and activities for the purpose of supporting Department of State policymakers and Chiefs of Mission as they engage with the IC. INR provides important services that advance the Department’s mission of shaping and sustaining a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and fostering conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. INR fulfills its mission through two key activities:

1. All-Source Analysis – INR is one of three strategic-level all-source analytical agencies in the IC. INR analysts provide daily intelligence support, warning and analysis on national security issues that are priorities for the Department of State in support of U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic operations. INR is also a key contributor to all IC production, including National Intelligence Estimates and the President’ Daily Brief under the auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). In support of analysis and the Department’s public diplomacy mission, INR is the IC leader for foreign public opinion research and analysis. Its geographic responsibilities include analysis on land and maritime international boundaries and sovereignty issues, mapping, and geographic information systems. INR also serves as a focal point for IC analytic outreach to non-governmental experts to explore alternative perspectives and generate new knowledge.
2. Intelligence Policy and Coordination – INR oversees coordination between the Department of State and the IC to ensure that intelligence activities—collection and operations—support and are informed by foreign policy. Within the State Department, INR coordinates policy review of sensitive intelligence, cyber counterintelligence and law enforcement activities to ensure that they are consistent with foreign policy interests. INR also serves as the focal point for intelligence information sharing and policy, and represents the State Department’s interests in the formulation of intelligence policy by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other elements of the IC.
INR is one of just three of the IC’s seventeen elements charged with producing strategic level all-source intelligence analysis. INR’s Civil Service and Foreign Service Officers, whose noted expertise reflects their average of seventeen years on account, provide timely, tailored, all-source analysis and briefings to the Secretary and other Department policymakers.

INR receives strategic direction from both the State Department and the ODNI. The National Security Strategy and the Secretary of State’s global agenda as outlined in the Department and USAID joint strategic goals and elsewhere determine INR’s priorities. So too does IC guidance, including the President’s Intelligence Priorities, the National Intelligence Strategy, the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, and the Director of National Intelligence’s Consolidated Intelligence Guidance. The information needs and analytic priorities of our policy clients range from managing our relationship with Russia and China to nuclear proliferation, non-state entities sowing instability throughout the world, cyber threats, humanitarian emergencies, and illicit drugs in the Western Hemisphere. Operating with a global mandate and concentrating on the issues and trends of primary importance, INR provides policymakers with both current intelligence and longer-term analyses designed to provide decision-advantage to U.S. efforts to promote international peace, security, and advance U.S. interests.

3. Bureau Strategic Framework
Goal 1: Meet intelligence information needs and priorities of policymakers through written analyses and briefings.

Objective 1.1: Provide policymakers independent, timely, and tailored all-source intelligence analysis and briefings that meet IC analytic tradecraft standards.
Objective 1.2: Participate fully in the IC Analytic production process and advocate for State Department analytic priorities in the IC.
Objective 1.3: Meet Department policymakers’ requirements for timely, useful foreign public opinion research analysis and geographic data support.
Objective 1.4: Contribute to informed intelligence analysis and policymaking through analytic outreach.

Goal 2: Effectively coordinate intelligence activities to ensure that such activities support U.S. foreign policy, and coordinate Department support to the Intelligence Community (IC).

Objective 2.1: Provide timely State Department guidance regarding intelligence requirements and proposed intelligence activities to the IC and the NSC.
Objective 2.2: Coordinate Department requests for cleared language derived from intelligence and Department input to draft IC guidance that will affect Department equities.

Goal 3: Ensure INR’s IT systems promote efficient information sharing that is secure and accessible to staff and clients.

Objective 3.1: Facilitate Department policymaker and Chief of Mission access to TS/SCI information so they may communicate about intelligence activities consistently and efficiently.
Objective 3.2: Ensure INR’s TS/SCI network meets IC and Department IT security standards.
Objective 3.3: Provide good customer service to INR’s information technology clients.
Objective 3.4: Utilize the IC’s Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) to decrease waste with the creation of a scalable IT infrastructure that allows INR to pay only for what it consumes.

Goal 4: Ensure that INR effectively manages its resources so it can meet the intelligence challenges of the 21st century.

Objective 4.1: Recruit, fully train, and retain diverse staff with the substantive knowledge and experience to make meaningful contributions to INR’s mission.
Objective 4.2: Efficiently and effectively manage INR’s financial and property resources to ensure transparency and security and to mitigate the risk of fraud and waste.

3. Goals and Objectives

Bureau Goal 1: Meet intelligence information needs and priorities of policymakers through written analyses and briefings.

Description and Linkages
The INR Bureau’s almost 200 intelligence analysts provide global coverage on geographic and functional accounts. They research and produce all-source analysis and briefings for the Secretary of State and other Department and U.S. government officials, including the President. INR’s written products include Assessments, In-Briefs, Intel Notes, Focuses, Annotated Reports, Analyst Viewpoints, memoranda, annotated maps and geographic information, foreign public opinion analyses, and Analytic Outreach reports. INR analysts participate extensively in the drafting and production of Intelligence Community (IC) products, including articles for the Presidential Daily Brief and National Intelligence Estimates. INR analysts regularly orally brief senior, mid-level, and working-level U.S. government policymakers, IC counterparts, and Congressional staff on a wide range of foreign policy issues. INR provides value-added client support that helps diplomats develop and execute foreign policies, design negotiating strategies, identify opportunities for diplomatic intervention, and manage foreign relations. Finally, analysts participate in IC working groups and sit on IC boards, ensuring that Department of State intelligence needs are understood. The risks associated with the growing number of complex issues that INR must follow and INR’s ability to cover unforeseen and changing priorities must be managed appropriately.
This goal aligns closely with Goal 1 of the State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan, Protect America’s security at home and abroad. It also meets the National Intelligence Strategy Mission Objectives to:

  • Provide strategic intelligence on enduring issues to enrich understanding and enable decision advantage;
  • Sense, anticipate, and warn of emerging conditions, trends, threats, and opportunities that may require a rapid shift in national security posture, priorities, or emphasis;
  • Provide timely intelligence support to achieve operational and national security goals;
  • Detect and understand cyber threats to inform and enable national security decision making, cybersecurity, and cyber effects operations; and
  • Identify, understand, monitor and disrupt state and non-state actors engaged in terrorism-related activities that may harm the United States, its people, interests and allies.

Bureau Objective 1.1: Provide policymakers independent, timely, and tailored all- source intelligence analysis and briefings that meet IC analytic tradecraft standards.

Justification
Policymakers rely on INR to provide value-added intelligence analysis of the foreign policy issues they face. INR provides intelligence support and analysis to policymakers, guided by its Program of Analysis, that emphasize those countries and issues that are top priorities for the Secretary’s global agenda and are consistent with the President’s Intelligence Priorities and reflected in the National Intelligence Priorities Framework. Intelligence analysis lies at the core of INR’s mission, warranting placement under Goal 1 and Objective 1.1.

Bureau Objective 1.2: Participate fully in the IC Analytic production process and advocate for State Department analytic priorities in the IC.

Justification
Despite its small size (relative to the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, for example), INR is one of six IC agencies required by ODNI to coordinate on all Presidential Daily Briefs and on other foreign policy-relevant IC analytic products released by the National Intelligence Council (NIC). INR’s active involvement in the coordination and production of these analyses is vital to the Department because it ensures that INR’s expertise on Department priorities and viewpoints reaches the highest levels of the U.S. government.

Bureau Objective 1.3: Meet Department policymakers’ requirements for timely, useful foreign public opinion research analysis and geographic data support.

Justification
INR will meet Department policymakers’ requirements for foreign public opinion polling and analysis through development and execution of a robust program of surveys and analysis. INR’s Office of Opinion Research is the U.S. government leader for foreign public opinion research and analysis, and serves as the official pollster for the U.S. government abroad. INR’s recent surveys in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Tunisia gave policymakers first- hand information about what these publics expect and helped U.S. policymakers formulate credible and effective U.S. diplomatic and outreach strategies. This objective regarding polling and geographic analysis represents a subset of INR’s analytic mission.

Bureau Objective 1.4: Contribute to informed intelligence analysis and policymaking through analytic outreach.

Justification
INR’s Office of Analytic Outreach (INR/AO) fulfills INR’s goal of engaging with private sector experts to strengthen intelligence analysis in support of State Department policymakers and diplomacy. INR/AO makes external foreign policy and national security experts accessible to Department policymakers and to members of the IC to deepen insights, debate diverse perspectives, and create “new knowledge.”
INR/AO works closely with the State Department’s regional and functional bureaus on specific topics/issues to be addressed in analytic outreach events and works closely with the ODNI and the NIC to lead the IC’s analytic outreach efforts. INR also designs executive briefings for newly confirmed U.S. ambassadors and senior policy makers on key issues in their countries of assignment or portfolios.

Bureau Goal 2: Effectively coordinate intelligence activities to ensure that such activities support U.S. foreign policy and coordinate Department support to the Intelligence Community.

Description and Linkages
INR coordinates with the IC to ensure that intelligence policy and activities, including collection and operations, support and are informed by foreign policy. Within the State Department, INR coordinates the review of sensitive intelligence, counterintelligence, and law enforcement activities to ensure that they are consistent with foreign policy. INR also represents the State Department’s interests in the formulation of intelligence policy by the ODNI and participates in IC committees that provide strategic oversight to collection efforts. INR engages with the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Bureau Assistant Secretaries and Chiefs of Mission (COMs) on these and other sensitive intelligence programs to facilitate senior policy review of sensitive intelligence and law enforcement programs. INR provides training and guidance to COMs and Deputy Chiefs of Mission on intelligence oversight issues. Meeting the objective of this goal ensures that INR reduces the risks that intelligence activities fail to support our nation’s foreign policy goals.
This goal directly supports Goal 1 of State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan, Protect America’s security at home and abroad. It also supports the DNI’s Enterprise Objective to strengthen community mission management.

Bureau Objective 2.1: Provide timely State Department guidance regarding intelligence requirements and proposed intelligence activities to the Intelligence Community and the NSC.

Justification
Diplomats rely on intelligence information to help inform decision making and policy development. INR requirements and coordination officers act to ensure that Department policymaker and INR analytic information needs are conveyed to the appropriate collectors and operators in a timely fashion. Ensuring that the IC collects the intelligence Department policymakers need is critical to maintaining a strong national security environment.

Bureau Objective 2.2: Coordinate Department requests for cleared language derived from intelligence and Department input to draft IC guidance that will affect Department equities.

Justification
The effective coordination of and participation in the foreign disclosure and release process is essential for the secure sharing of information and for advancing diplomacy. IC policies can affect the Department’s equities by preventing or facilitating the use of intelligence and by determining the extent to which intelligence activities and the IC support foreign policy and Department operations.

Bureau Goal 3: Ensure INR’s IT systems promote efficient information sharing that is secure, and accessible to staff and clients.

Description and Linkages
Growing demand for intelligence, TS/SCI dissemination, and Department collaboration with the IC requires INR to facilitate access to and enhance protection of highly classified information. INR provides continuous IT services to INR and other State Department clients. Services include real-time receiving and profiling of all-source intelligence products; document storage and retrieval; electronic publishing; TS/SCI e-mail; TS/SCI video teleconferencing; management of the TS/SCI INR Information Support System (INRISS); and access to the JWICS, ClassNet, and OpenNet networks. The risk of unauthorized access, including insider threats, requires INR to protect these systems while ensuring that TS/SCI reporting is easily accessible to those with a mission need for the information.
This goal supports the State-USAID Strategic Plan Objective 4.2, Provide modern and secure infrastructure and operational capabilities to support effective diplomacy and development. It also supports the ODNI’s Mission Objectives to integrate counterintelligence and enhance cybersecurity.
INR’s top IT priority is ensuring that INR staff have continuous but secure access to the TS/SCI and other IT resources needed to do their jobs. INR provides crucial IT services to Department clients by providing them with secure electronic access to TS/SCI information via e-Intel. INR also works closely with the ODNI and IC counterparts to ensure that all applicable IC information security regulations and initiatives are implemented by the Department of State for the TS/SCI fabric. INR regularly complies with recommendations resulting from Office of Inspector General (OIG) inspections and audits of INR’s IT networks and systems.

Bureau Objective 3.1: Facilitate Department policymaker and Chief of Mission access to TS/SCI information so they may communicate about intelligence activities consistently and efficiently.

Justification
INR will continue to enhance secure information sharing and collaboration. INR administers the IC Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificate program and continues to apply the DNI’s Identity and Access Management Program to INR’s website. This program enables INR to post more products with sensitive content online securely by automatically identifying viewers’ mission-need profiles. INR’s information sharing initiative, e-Intel, also remains an INR priority. E-Intel provides policymakers with electronic access to TS/SCI information and supports the DNI’s goal to improve collaboration and operational effectiveness by integrating the IC enterprise. E-Intel has increased connectivity, information sharing, collaboration, and analysis within the State Department and between the State Department, the National Security Council Staff, and the IC.

Bureau Objective 3.2: Ensure INR’s TS/SCI network meets IC and Department IT security standards.

Justification
Executive Order 12333 governs intelligence activities and vests responsibility for protecting Department TS/SCI material in the INR Assistant Secretary as the HOICE for the Department. INR must ensure that there are no gaps or vulnerabilities in the Department’s security posture for TS/SCI information. INR works collaboratively with the DS to ensure that quarterly vulnerability and compliance scans are completed and that these results are uploaded to the proper IC dashboards for greater visibility. INR actively participates in annual OIG audits regarding compliance with the Federal Information Security Act (FISMA) and works to close any subsequent Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&Ms) within 180 days.

Bureau Objective 3.3: Provide good customer service to INR’s information technology clients.

Justification
INR’s Technology and Innovation Office (TIO) prides itself on putting the customer first, be it an IC customer or a Department policymaker. INR solicits feedback from the bureau and the Department through the use of customer satisfaction surveys and trouble ticket surveys. INR uses this information to improve its processes and hold its contract Help Desk accountable. INR has also incorporated specific comments/issues raised in these surveys into the Statement of Work for its upcoming INRISS Support Contract.

Bureau Objective 3.4: Utilize the IC’s Commercial Cloud Service (C2S) Cloud to decrease waste with the creation of a scalable IT infrastructure that allows INR to pay only for what it consumes.

Justification
INR continues to look to the cloud for future application development in an effort to take advantage of Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) which offers costs saving when compared to housing applications in INR’s local data centers. INR also intends to revamp its backup strategy, utilizing AWS’s Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets. Backing up to S3 buckets will allow INR the flexibility to restore systems/services from any location with cloud access, while lowering the total cost of ownership through the reduction in tape and disk storage procurement and sustainability.

4. Cross-cutting Management Objectives or Management Goal
Management Goal: Ensure that INR effectively manages its resources so it can meet the intelligence challenges of the 21st century.

Description and Linkages
As part of INR’s national security responsibilities, its management of human, financial, and physical resources must be based on continual evaluation and oversight. The release of sensitive intelligence through improper management of our resources would put those national security responsibilities at risk. As the HOICE for the Department, management of INR’s security controls is an important responsibility for the Assistant Secretary. INR’s human capital strategy encompasses three areas: recruitment and retention of a highly talented and diverse workforce; career development and training; and collaboration with the Bureau of Human Resources and the IC on human capital initiatives. Effective management of the workforce and financial resources is critical to INR’s ability to provide expert analytical and intelligence support to the Secretary and Department. Meeting the security requirements for INR’s physical space requires continuous collaboration with DS and other partners, including to ensure that vulnerability and compliance scans detect counterintelligence threats.
This goal directly aligns with Goal 4 of the State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan, Ensure effectiveness and accountability to the American taxpayer. It also supports the DNI’s Enterprise Objective of developing the workforce.
Key Partners and Stakeholders
INR’s human capital planners work closely with Bureau leadership and office directors to assess INR staffing requirements. INR works with the Bureau of Human Resources to ensure INR’s positions are filled as quickly as possible and in accordance with Department’s hiring plan and U.S. government law and policy. INR also coordinates with the ODNI on IC human capital initiatives. INR’s financial management responsibilities require collaboration with the Bureaus of Budget and Planning (BP) and the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS)and other external partners such as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and ODNI’s Chief Financial Officer to ensure compliance with applicable laws and fiscal regulations. INR’s security office works with DS, the Bureau of Administration, and ODNI to make sure INR complies with applicable security requirements, including ICD 705, Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities.

Management Objective 4.1: Recruit, fully train, and retain diverse staff with the substantive knowledge and experience to make meaningful contributions to INR’s mission.

Justification
INR has a global mission to support the priorities of the Department and of the broader IC. INR recruits primarily from outside the Department new hires who tend to be highly trained in their fields with years of experience. INR has over 200 analysts who provide worldwide coverage and have on average 17 years professional experience directly related to their portfolio. They collectively speak more than 50 foreign languages.
INR must meet the expectations of the IC and Congressional intelligence oversight committees as outlined in ICDs and the IC Policy Guidance (ICPG) 900.3, which requires INR to notify the DNI of any “significant changes to existing analytic or collection capabilities when those changes could significantly affect the element’s ability to support senior customers or warfighters, alter the element’s coverage of national intelligence priorities, or degrade the element’s performance of an assigned IC function.” The IC also expects elements to take advantage of multi-sector workforce flexibilities provided through Section 306 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.
INR’s Professional Development Program leverages all available resources to train and develop INR staff while linking their training to individual, INR, Department of State, and IC goals. INR provides foreign language, tradecraft and subject-matter training on a continuous basis to promote professional development and as a retention incentive. An important aspect of our professional development program is encouraging INR employees to participate in Joint Duty assignments at other IC elements, as well as supporting some details to policy positions (e.g., at the NSC). As a result, our analysts develop a deep understanding of the issues they cover over a long tenure with the bureau and cultivate important relationships with their clients and colleagues throughout the Department, IC, and other relevant U.S. government agencies.

Management Objective 4.2: Efficiently and effectively manage INR’s financial and property resources to ensure transparency and security and to mitigate the risk of fraud and waste.

Justification
An effective and strong management control environment is essential for managing any possible risks of waste, fraud, and abuse. Programs and controls within INR have been implemented to address these risks. As a good steward of its resources, INR has effective internal controls over financial and compliance reporting in accordance with appropriate
laws and regulations. We constantly evaluate management control systems to ensure that they are conducted in a conscientious and thorough manner, and enforce all appropriate controls and procedures to protect organizational integrity and prevent unauthorized use or misappropriation of classified and sensitive material and equipment.

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