U.S. National Counterintelligence Strategy

spy with a magnifying glassThe National Counterintelligence and Security Center has released the National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States of America for 2020-2022 (Strategy). This Strategy updates the last released in 2016, and offers new viewpoints and methods for dealing with foreign intelligence threats to the nation.

Since 2016 the foreign counterintelligence landscape has evolved, and the Strategy identifies three trends that illustrate the current environment:

  • The number of actors targeting the United States is growing.
  • Threat actors have an increasingly sophisticated set of intelligence capabilities at their disposal and are employing them in new ways to target the United States.
  • Threat actors are using these capabilities against an expanded set of targets and vulnerabilities.

In addition to state adversaries like Russia, China, and Cuba, non-state adversaries such as Lebanese Hizballah, ISIS, and al-Qa’ida also pose threats to U.S. intelligence. New technologies have allowed attacks to become more advanced and sophisticated, and U.S. adversaries are now targeting private sector and academic entities as well as federal agencies in attempting to influence public opinion.

To address these growing threats, the Strategy establishes five main objectives critical in strengthening U.S. national security:

  • Protect the nation’s critical infrastructure
  • Reduce threats to key U.S. supply chains
  • Counter the exploitation of the U.S. economy
  • Defend American democracy against foreign influence
  • Counter foreign intelligence cyber and technical operations

For more information on topics related to this piece, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Cyber Crime & National Security and Cyber Infrastructure Protection.

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Author: Vincent Milano

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