Quality people—military and civilian—are our most critical asset. The quality of our men and women in uniform will be the deciding factor in all future military operations. In order to fully realize the benefits of the transformation of our military forces, we must ensure that we remain the most fully prepared and best trained fighting force in the world. Our people will continue to remain the linchpin to successfully exploiting our military capabilities across the spectrum of conflict. To ensure the quality of our military personnel, we will continue to place the highest priority on initiatives and programs that support recruiting, quality of life, and the training and education of our men and women in uniform.
We must also have quality civilian personnel in the government agencies that support our national security, from our diplomatic corps, to the intelligence community and law enforcement. Effectively countering transnational threats requires personnel with a variety of highly specialized skills that either are not readily available in the private sector, or are in high demand in the private sector. Persons with advanced training in information technology are a prominent example. Recruiting and retaining quality people with requisite skills is a significant challenge, and we are exploring innovative approaches for ensuring that government personnel needs are met.
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities are critical instruments for implementing our national security strategy. The U.S. intelligence community provides critical support to the full range of our activities abroad—diplomatic, military, law enforcement, and environmental. Comprehensive collection and analytic capabilities are needed to provide warning of threats to U.S. national security, give analytical support to the policy and military communities, provide near-real time intelligence in times of crisis while retaining global perspective, identify opportunities for advancing our national interests, and maintain our information advantage in the international arena.
ISR operations must cover a wider range of threats and policy needs than ever before. We place the highest priority on preserving and enhancing intelligence capabilities that provide information on states and groups that pose the most serious threats to U.S. security. Current intelligence priorities include states whose policies and actions are hostile to the United States; countries or other entities that possess strategic nuclear forces or control nuclear weapons, other WMD or nuclear fissile materials; transnational threats, including terrorism, international crime and drug trafficking; potential regional conflicts that might affect U.S. national security interests; intensified counterintelligence against foreign intelligence collection inimical to U.S. interests, including economic and industrial espionage; information warfare threats; and threats to U.S. forces and citizens abroad. Intelligence support is also required to develop and implement U.S. policies to promote democracy abroad, identify threats to our information and space systems, monitor arms control agreements, support humanitarian efforts and protect the environment.
Our ISR capabilities include world-wide collection of news and media broadcasts, reporting from informants close to important events abroad, space-based and airborne collection of imagery and signals intelligence, and integrated, in-depth analysis of all these sources by highly skilled analysts. Exploiting our tremendous advantage in continuous, non-intrusive, space-based imaging and information processing, the ISR system provides the ability to monitor treaty compliance, military movements and the development, testing and deployment of weapons of mass destruction. Using ISR products to support diplomatic and military action contributes to global security by demonstrating that the United States is an invaluable ally, or would be a formidable foe.
U.S. intelligence capabilities were reviewed twice by independent panels in 1998. In the wake of the May 1998 Indian nuclear tests, retired Admiral David E. Jeremiah led a panel that examined the Intelligence Community’s ability to detect and monitor foreign nuclear weapons programs. In July 1998, the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States issued a report on the challenges we face in attempting to monitor the progress of foreign ballistic missile programs. Both reviews identified specific areas of intelligence collection and analysis that need improvement. The Intelligence Community is taking aggressive action to improve its capabilities in those areas and we will work closely with the Congress to address the recommendations in the two reports. While our ISR capabilities are increasingly enhanced by and dependent upon advanced technologies, there remains no substitute for informed, subjective human judgment. We must continue to attract and retain enough highly qualified people to provide human intelligence collection, translation and analysis in those many emerging areas where there simply is no technological substitute, and we must forge strong links to the private enterprises and public institutions whose expertise is especially critical. Increased cooperation among the agencies in the Intelligence Community and the fusion of all intelligence disciplines provide the most effective collection and analysis of data on high priority intelligence issues.
We must also be mindful of the continuing need for effective security and counterintelligence programs. To protect sensitive national security information, we must be able to effectively counter the collection efforts of foreign intelligence services through vigorous counterintelligence efforts, comprehensive security programs and constant evaluation of the intentions and targets of foreign intelligence services. Counterintelligence remains integral to and underlies the entire intelligence mission, whether the threat comes from traditional espionage or the theft of our vital economic information. Countering foreign efforts to gather technological, industrial and commercial information requires close cooperation between government and the private sector. Awareness of the threat and adherence to prescribed personnel, information and physical security standards and procedures, based on risk management principles, are critical.
We are committed to maintaining our leadership in space. Unimpeded access to and use of space is essential for protecting U.S. national security, promoting our prosperity and ensuring our well-being in countless ways.
Space has emerged in this decade as a new global information utility with extensive political, diplomatic, military and economic implications for the United States. We are experiencing an ever-increasing migration of capabilities to space as the world seeks to exploit the explosion in information technology. Telecommunications, telemedicine, international financial transactions and global entertainment, news, education, weather and navigation all contribute directly to the strength of our economy—and all are dependent upon space capabilities. Over 500 US companies are directly involved in the space industry, with 1996 revenues of $77 billion projected to reach $122 billion by 2000.
Our policy is to promote development of the full range of space-based capabilities in a manner that protects our vital security interests. We will deter threats to our interests in space and, if deterrence fails, defeat hostile efforts against U.S. access to and use of space. We will also