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Historic Unveiling of Counterintelligence Plan

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As part of the two-day counterintelligence conference at the Bush School, the nation's CI executive unveiled the first unclassified national strategy for counterintelligence in US history.

"It lays out the President's vision for using the counterintelligence resources of our nation in support of the nation's national security strategy," said Michelle Van Cleave, National Counterintelligence Executive.

Van Cleave spoke of a stunning loss of US secrets in recent history which could be partially attributed to strategic failure in US counterintelligence, most notably during the Cold War. However, she noted that conflict ended without shots being fired.

"Today, our nation is at war," said Van Cleave referring to the war on terror, "and the potential consequences of intelligence failure are more immediate."

The president's plan consists of seven pillars for counterintelligence which are:

- extending CI to the war on terror
- shifting to a proactive strategy rather than a posture of reaction
- protecting US technology secrets
- safeguarding intelligence integrity
- leveling the economic playing field for US business
- incorporating CI into national security decisions
- building a national system to execute the new strategy

In her speech, Van Cleave said, "This necessary systemic transformation will not happen overnight, but it has begun with the issuance of this national strategy."

Van Cleave spoke of foreign intel targeting the US at home. Over the course of the speech, she emphasized the President's stance of not waiting to be attacked, and unifying organizations to prevent future mishaps.

"What's new is that we're going to be doing this as a nationally-led, strategically-directed effort for the nation," Van Cleave said.

President Bush will unveil his new CI strategy in total in the coming month, but Van Cleave said it was important to give the people a preview of what is to come in the new, proactive CI community.