CIA Transnational Activities in Counterproliferation

CIA Transnational Activities In Counterproliferation

This article deals with activities of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, specifically dealing with arms control, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and weapons proliferation. It attempts to look at the process of tasking and analyzing, rather than the problem itself, other than whether the CIA's efforts match its legal mandate or assists in treaty compliance. In some cases, the details of a country's programs are introduced because they present a problem in analysis. For example, if Country X's policymakers truly believe in certain history that may not actually be factual, an analyst trying to understand Country X's policymakers needs to be able to understand their approach to an issue.

CIA organizations have had involvement in strategic weapons intelligence since the U-2 program in the late fifties, and that the relationships and names of organizations frequently change. Some of the assignments and reports have been, or may still be, classified. Note, for example, that the full Rumsfeld Committee or Iraq Intelligence Commission reports are available only in executive summaries or in heavily redacted documents.

Counterproliferation covers a variety of disciplines, some in the current CIA, some previously in the CIA and now in the DNI, and others in other Federal organizations with mission statements or enabling legislation that give them responsibilities. In US military doctrine, counterproliferation is defined as "Those actions (e.g., detect and monitor, prepare to conduct counterproliferation operations, offensive operations, weapons of mass destruction, active defense, and passive defense) taken to defeat the threat and/or use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, our military forces, friends, and allies."

The National Counterproliferation Center, now in the DNI but formerly a part of CIA, and having CIA personnel detailed to it, "will coordinate strategic planning within the Intelligence Community (IC) to enhance intelligence support to United States efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related delivery systems. It will work with the IC to identify critical intelligence gaps or shortfalls in collection,exploitation, or analysis, and develop solutions to ameliorate or close these gaps. It will also work with the IC to identify long-term proliferation threats and requirements and develop strategies to ensure the IC is positioned to address these threats and issues. NCPC will reach out to elements both inside the Intelligence Community and outside the IC and the U.S. Government to identify new methods or technologies that can enhance the capabilities of the IC to detect and defeat future proliferation threats.". Its authorization comes from several sources:

  • The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) of 2004 provided for the establishment of the NCPC to enhance coordination, planning and information sharing amongst the IC on proliferation issues.
  • The Iraq Intelligence Commission, also known as the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction's Report of March 31, 2005 also recommended the establishment of an NCPC. The President accepted the Commission's recommendation on June 30, 2005.

Particularly for nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, there is a category of national means of technical verification that uses technical sensors that are operated by organizations other than the CIA. Satellites launched and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office and whose output is evaluated by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which absorbed the former CIA Office of Imagery Analysis and the joint CIA-military National Photointerpretation Center. The CIA, however, has a significant role in HUMINT collection and in analytic disciplines that help recognize the early parts of a weapons development program.

Read more about CIA Transnational Activities In CounterproliferationOrganizational Responsibility, Other Interagency Roles, Long-range Delivery Aystems, Biological, Nuclear/fissionable, Chemical

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