US for aggressive counter-intelligence strategy

The strategy will not only include government resources but also reach out to the academia.
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Updated on Apr 03, 2007 02:24 PM IST
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PTI | BySridhar Krishnaswami, Washington

The United States has said it would pursue an aggressive counter-intelligence strategy that would not only include government resources but also reach out to the academia and private sector.

The 2007 National Counter Intelligence Strategy Report prepared by the Office of National Intelligence spoke of the dangers to the US from enemies targeting industry and academica and extremist movements across the globe, among others.

Prepared under the leadership of James McConnel, the report said, "In order to better fulfill the mission of identifying, assessing, and countering the intelligence threats to the nation, we must reach outward to other elements ... The private sector and the general public.

"By engaging the private sector and academia in meaningful dialogue, there is much we can learn, and in turn we can provide a mechanism to coordinate the public dissemination of information on intelligence threats to the nation," the report said.

It said the private sector and academica could end up becoming "soft targets" for foreign intelligence personnel.

"Foreign intelligence activities extend beyond targets in the intelligence community and other US national security structures. The private sector and academia are fertile breeding grounds for advanced scientific discovery, cutting-edge technology, and advanced research and developments that make them irresistible 'soft targets'," it said.

It emphasised the public understand that cyber networks that businesses, universities and ordinary citizens use everyday are object of systematic "hostile" activities by adversarial intelligence organisations, and these activities threaten the integrity and safety of American infrastructure and electronic networks.

It said US intelligence would work along with industry and academia to anticipate and identify threats.

"Where the counter intelligence community can form liaisons with willing partners, it will reach outward for information critical to targeting foreign intelligence activities and defending national security," it said.

The report also pointed to other threats faced by the US - transnational terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, asymmetric warfare, failing states and also dangers to armed forces personnel abroad.

It argued that the effectiveness of US armed forces depended on the ability to conduct operations uncompromised by adversaries' foreknowledge.

The intelligence community would recruit personnel with a broad range of skills and experiences outside the profession, especially those who have experienced other cultures and speak other languages or have expertise in information technology, the report said.

"This cadre of personnel will then be provided with a core understanding in counterintelligence tradecraft, building on best practices," it added.

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