the NIS @ a glance

IC vision

A Nation made more secure by a fully integrated, agile, resilient, and innovative Intelligence Community that exemplifies America’s values.

IC mission

Provide timely, insightful, objective, and relevant intelligence and support to inform national security decisions and to protect our Nation and its interests.

from the
Director of National Intelligence

Director of National Intelligence Daniel R. Coats

As the Director of National Intelligence, I am fortunate to lead an Intelligence Community (IC) composed of the best and brightest professionals who have committed their careers and their lives to protecting our national security. The IC is a 24/7/365 organization, scanning the globe and delivering the most distinctive, timely insights with clarity, objectivity, and independence to advance our national security, economic strength, and technological superiority.

This, the fourth iteration of the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), is our guide for the next four years to better serve the needs of our customers, to help them make informed decisions on national security issues, and to ultimately keep our Nation safe. The NIS is designed to advance our mission and align our objectives with national strategies, and it provides an opportunity to communicate national priority objectives to our workforce, partners, oversight, customers, and also to our fellow citizens.

Strategic Environment

The strategic environment is changing rapidly, and the United States faces an increasingly complex and uncertain world in which threats are becoming ever more diverse and more interconnected. While the IC remains focused on confronting a number of conventional challenges to U.S. national security posed by our adversaries, advances in technology are driving evolutionary and revolutionary change across multiple fronts. The IC will have to become more agile, innovative, and resilient to deal effectively with these threats and the ever more volatile world that shapes them. The increasingly complex, interconnected, and transnational nature of these threats also underscores the importance of continuing and advancing IC outreach and cooperation with international partners and allies.

  • Traditional Adversaries
  • Evolving Threats
  • Space
  • Cyber Threats
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Abundance of Data
  • Violent Extremist Groups
  • Increasing Migration & Urbanization

Mission Objectives

The seven mission objectives broadly describe the activities and outcomes necessary for the IC to deliver timely, insightful, objective, and relevant intelligence and support to its customers. Mission objectives address a broad range of regional and functional topics facing the IC and their prioritization is communicated to the IC through the National Intelligence Priorities Framework.

The first three mission objectives address foundational missions of the IC which transcend individual threats, topics, or geographic regions. The next four mission objectives address specific, topical missions of the IC.

strategic intelligence

Identify and assess the capabilities, activities, and intentions of states and non-state entities to develop a deep understanding of the strategic environment, warn of future developments on issues of enduring interest, and support U.S. national security policy and strategy decisions.

anticipatory intelligence

Identify and assess new, emerging trends, changing conditions, and underappreciated developments to challenge long-standing assumptions, encourage new perspectives, identify new opportunities, and provide warning of threats to U.S. interests.

current operations intelligence

Provide timely intelligence support to enable planned and ongoing operations.

Cyber Threat Intelligence

Detect and understand cyber threats from state and non-state actors engaged in malicious cyber activity to inform and enable national security decision making, cybersecurity, and the full range of response activities.


Identify, understand, monitor, and disrupt state and non-state actors engaged in terrorism and related activities to defeat threats to the United States, our people, interests, and partners.


Detect, characterize, and disrupt activities of state and non-state actors engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery to defeat WMD threats to the United States, our people, interests, and partners.

Counterintelligence & Security

Detect, understand, deter, disrupt, and defend against threats from foreign intelligence entities and insiders to protect U.S. national and economic security.

Enterprise Objectives

The seven enterprise objectives provide the foundation for integrated, effective, and efficient management of mission capabilities and business functions.

The first two enterprise objectives focus on general mission and business practices of the IC. The next five enterprise objectives focus on integration of IC efforts in specific areas for the successful completion of the mission objectives.

integrated mission management

Prioritize, coordinate, align, and de-conflict IC mission capabilities, activities, and resources to achieve unity of effort and the best effect in executing the IC’s mission objectives.

integrated business management

Provide and optimize IC business functions and practices to enable mission success.


Forge and retain a diverse, inclusive, and expert workforce to address enduring and emerging requirements and enable mission success.


Find, create, and deploy scientific discoveries and new technologies, nurture innovative thought, advance tradecraft, and constantly improve mission and business processes to advance the IC in a rapidly changing landscape.

information sharing & safeguarding

Develop, enhance, integrate, and leverage IC capabilities and activities to improve collaboration and the lawful discovery, access, retrieval, and safeguarding of information.


Optimize partnerships to enhance intelligence and better inform decision making.

privacy, Civil Liberties, & Transparency

Safeguard privacy and civil liberties and practice appropriate transparency to enhance accountability and public trust in all we do.

How the IC Works

The Intelligence Community is an integrated enterprise comprised of 17 Executive Branch agencies and organizations (generally referred to as “IC elements”) that conduct a variety of intelligence activities and work together to promote national security.

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Building a better
Intelligence Community

Implementing the National Intelligence Strategy

The DNI, through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the IC with overarching oversight, direction, guidance, and coordination. IC elements execute their missions consistent with their statutory authorities. All members of the IC workforce are responsible for understanding how they contribute to the mission of the IC and executing their specific role to the best of their ability, while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties and practicing appropriate transparency.


Drive the Strategic Direction for the IC
Lead Intelligence Integration
Enable IC Mission Execution
Direct the IC’s Budget

IC Elements

Align Strategies, Plans, and Actions
Inform Resource Allocation
Assess Outcomes


The NIS provides the IC with the DNI’s strategic direction for the next four years, aligns IC priorities with other national strategies, and supports the IC’s mission to provide timely, insightful, objective, and relevant intelligence and support to inform national security decisions and to protect our Nation and its interests. The IC must fully reflect the NIS in agency strategic plans, annual budget requests, and justifications for the NIP. The DNI will assess IC element proposals, projects, and programs toward the objectives of the NIS to realize the IC’s vision of a Nation made more secure by a fully integrated, agile, resilient, and innovative Intelligence Community that exemplifies America’s values.

"We have to become much more agile, more innovative, more creative.”

Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence

Download the NIS

This National Intelligence Strategy (NIS) provides the IC with strategic direction from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) for the next four years. It supports the national security priorities outlined in the National Security Strategy as well as other national strategies. 

The NIS is just one of our Key Products.
Learn more about the IC’s KEY PRODUCTS