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TechNet: To Improve the IC’s Science and Technology Pursuits

Date: Fall 2011

We ought to presume that an idea brought forward has merit until we determine that it doesn’t, rather than assuming that anything that differs from current practice is worse than current practice.
– Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence, 2006 

The history of the United States’s federally funded technological achievements awes the world and commands respect from its global adversaries.  Most important, these advances are the foundation of the country’s ability to generate wealth and provide its citizens with security and opportunities to achieve a good life.

During a presentation at Washington’s Institute of World Politics in April 2008, Dr. Joseph Keogh, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) chief engineer, said of technology: “We live in exponential times…you have to move very, very quickly…. We experience increasing staleness of knowledge, faster development of threats and opportunities, less time to absorb and adapt, more opportunity for surprise, less opportunity for decisions and control.”  He implied that, in the new high-speed environment, the risks to national security increase unless the Intelligence Community (IC) overcomes the technological challenges from abroad.  According to Keogh: “The future holds more opportunities for high risk and high payoff opportunities…. We are now in a significant innovation race.”

This article appeared in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Fall 2011). Please click here to purchase the full article.

Carole A. Foryst formerly served as an official with several United States federal agencies and public corporations.  She received her M.A. in Strategic Intelligence Studies from The Institute of World Politics.