Science and Technology in the Intelligence Community

Friday, March 11, 2005, 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Dirksen Senate Office Building 106

Introductory Remarks

Summary

Cutting-edge technologies provide new capabilities that allow the U.S. intelligence community to protect our nation against a wide array of threats. A wide array of threats--from the war on terror to countering the spread of weapons of mass destruction--present a constantly increasing research and development (R&D) challenge. Current efforts to reorganize the intelligence community may also offer new opportunities for leveraging the R&D programs from various agencies. This briefing gave an overview of how the federal intelligence agencies have partnered to develop a unified advanced R&D plan that will gain the maximum advantage from every research dollar, as well as the particular R&D interests of various R&D agencies.

Sponsors

The ACS Science & the Congress Project and the Senate Science & Technology Caucus

Featured Speakers

Dr. John Phillips
Intelligence Community Chief Technology Officer and Central Intelligence
Dr. Eric Haseltine
Associate Director of Research, National Security Agency
Dr. Jaan Loger
Director of InnoVision, National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency

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Science & Technology in the Intelligence Community

ACS Capitol Connection

Senators Warner (R-VA) and Bingaman (D-NM) gave opening remarks at a March 11 Science & the Congress briefing where they stressed the importance of investing in science and technology—specifically in the intelligence community. Both cited the importance of science and math education to develop the next crop of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will be essential for the development of new technologies.

Dr. John Phillips, the Intelligence Community Chief Technology Officer and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief Scientist moderated the panel and gave a general overview of the vision and unified plan of the intelligence community. The vision is to achieve preeminent intelligence, which would give the U.S. a decisive advantage in conducting national security affairs and enabling superior decision-making. Dr. Phillips outline the Agency’s focus on eight research areas seen as essential to future intelligence gathering: metamaterials, robotics, quantum computing, high performance computing, nanotechnology, informatics, human language technology, and advanced power sources.

Dr. Eric Haseltine, director for research at the National Security Agency (NSA), said his agency’s most pressing needs are incisive analysis, assured connectivity, and full protection of data. He also spoke about working with established companies, universities, and research labs to deliver specific technologies, of which portions may also be used in commercial markets.

Mr. Jaan Loger, director of the InnoVision Directorate at the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), gave a list of NGA's top ten challenges, which included exploiting all forms of imagery, tracking moving targets, and detecting weapons of mass destruction. He also spoke of dealing effectively with large amounts of data and making connections with all of the information that the agencies receive.

When asked whether the U.S. was still the leader in technology, all the speakers answered in unison with a loud and resounding, “NO.” They then reiterated the need for not only investment in science and technology but in human capital through improved math and science education.

Senator John Warner gives opening remarks.