Intelligence Community Plans for Continuity of Operations

The U.S. intelligence community should continue to provide intelligence support to national leaders even in the event of a catastrophic emergency, according to a new Intelligence Community Directive.

“IC elements shall develop and maintain COOP [continuity of operations] capabilities to ensure the uninterrupted flow of national intelligence and, through the support of COG [continuity of government], the continuation of National Essential Functions,” the Directive states.

The capability to provide continuity of operations depends in part on the geographical dispersion of leadership, staff, communications and facilities.

“The IC provides timely, insightful, objective, and relevant national intelligence to the President… and other national leaders… wherever they are located and under all conditions,” the Directive affirmed. See Intelligence Community Continuity Program, Intelligence Community Directive 118, November 12, 2013.

The new Directive implements the Bush Administration’s 2007 National Security Presidential Directive 51 on “National Continuity Policy.” Presidential directives remain in force unless or until they are superseded or rescinded.

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