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Memorandum on Strengthening Central Intelligence Agency Capabilities

November 18, 2004

Memorandum for the Director of Central Intelligence

Subject: Strengthening Central Intelligence Agency Capabilities

The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States recommended:

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director should emphasize (a) rebuilding the CIA's analytic capabilities; (b) transforming the clandestine service by building its human intelligence capabilities; (c) developing a stronger language program, with high standards and sufficient financial incentives; (d) renewing emphasis on recruiting diversity among operations officers so they can blend more easily in foreign cities; (e) ensuring a seamless relationship between human source collection and signals collection at the operational level; and (f) stressing a better balance between unilateral and liaison operations.

I approve and direct you to implement these recommendations, recognizing that significant progress has already been made in rebuilding the CIA's capabilities under the Strengthening Intelligence Initiative and the Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI) Strategic Direction, especially with respect to all-source analysis, clandestine operations, information sharing, and foreign languages.

Working within the framework established by the Strengthening Intelligence Initiative, I direct you to implement within the CIA measures to:

(1) Further strengthen the core capabilities of the CIA to meet the intelligence challenges presented by international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and other critical national security issues, including, but not limited to, its capabilities to:

(a) Perform all-source intelligence analysis that, among other qualities, routinely considers, and presents to national security policymakers, diverse views;

(b) Conduct clandestine collection operations involving human sources and technical methods unilaterally, with other elements of the Intelligence Community, and with foreign partners, and conduct covert action operations as directed by the President;

(c) Share information rapidly and proactively with other agencies of the United States Government, including specifically those responsible for national security and homeland security, while protecting the sources and methods of its collection from unauthorized disclosure, giving top priority to support of governmental actions to detect, prevent, preempt, and disrupt terrorist threats and attacks on the United States, its people, and its allies and interests around the globe; and

(d) Collect, process, analyze, and disseminate intelligence information using personnel proficient in foreign languages, and develop information technology tools to assist in effective processing and use of foreign language information.

(2) Ensure that the CIA processes, shares, and disseminates to the President, Vice President in the performance of Executive functions, and other appropriate officials in the executive branch, including the heads of departments and agencies with elements in the Intelligence Community, terrorism information and other information relevant to national security and homeland security including as directed by Executive Order 13356 of August 27, 2004, entitled "Strengthening the Sharing of Terrorism Information to Protect Americans."

Building on levels attained under the DCI's Strategic Direction I, measures implemented in accordance with the foregoing shall include, but not be limited to, actions to:

(1) Strengthen CIA intelligence analysis capabilities substantially and promptly through actions to:

(a) Increase, as soon as feasible, the number of fully qualified, all-source analysts by 50 percent;

(b) Assign fully qualified, all-source analysts in a manner that strengthens CIA and Intelligence Community analytical capabilities focused on terrorism, proliferation of WMD, the Near East and South Asia, and other key strategic areas in Asia, while maintaining substantial analytical capabilities focused on other issues and regions;

(c) Increase investment in development of their analytic expertise, field experience, and training in advanced analytical methods, including for geospatial analysis; and

(d) Continue to acquire and develop tools that enable analysts to connect to counterparts inside and outside of government, increase the speed of the analytic workflow, and deal with the rapidly increasing volume of all-source information.

(2) Strengthen CIA human intelligence operations capabilities substantially and promptly through actions to:

(a) Increase, as soon as feasible, the number of fully qualified officers in the Directorate of Operations by 50 percent;

(b) Ensure that a majority of these officers are collectors drawn from diverse backgrounds with the skills, experience, and training needed for the effective conduct of human intelligence operations;

(c) Assign substantial numbers of these officers to collection missions reflecting the priorities established through the National Intelligence Priorities Framework; and

(d) Integrate effectively, as appropriate to particular collection activities, human intelligence collection capabilities and signals and other technical intelligence collection capabilities.

(3) Improve the foreign language capabilities of the CIA through actions to:

(a) Increase, as soon as feasible, the number of CIA officers tested and proficient in mission-critical languages by 50 percent; and

(b) Develop and employ information technology tools to assist in processing and use of information in foreign languages.

(4) Fully implement directives concerning information sharing, information technology, information privacy, and security including Executive Order 13354 of August 27, 2004, entitled "National Counterterrorism Center" and Executive Order 13356.

(5) Double, as soon as feasible, the number of officers who are engaged in research and development to find new ways to bring science to bear in the war on terrorism, countering the proliferation of WMD, and against new and emerging threats.

I direct you to submit to me within 90 days from the date of this memorandum, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a detailed budget and implementation plan, including performance measures, with timelines for achievement of specific, measurable goals. In addition to the capabilities enumerated above, this plan shall also include a description, with appropriate performance measures, of steps underway at the CIA to develop and implement new collection strategies against difficult targets, to integrate human and technical collection tools, to assure appropriate access by analysts to information on the sources of critical intelligence reporting, to expand relationships with experts outside of government and otherwise ensure diverse views are routinely reflected in finished intelligence products. A copy of this plan will be provided to the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, which will advise me on the adequacy of the plan, especially with respect to countering the threat posed by WMD. Beginning in June 2005, I direct you to report to me at least semi-annually, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on progress made implementing this memorandum.

This memorandum shall be implemented subject to the availability of appropriations and in a manner consistent with applicable law, including the Constitution and laws protecting the freedom and information privacy of Americans.


NOTE: This memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 23.

George W. Bush, Memorandum on Strengthening Central Intelligence Agency Capabilities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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