National Intelligence Estimate

National Intelligence Estimate

National Intelligence Estimate

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National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are United States federal government documents that are the authoritative assessment of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on intelligence related to a particular national security issue. NIEs are produced by the National Intelligence Council and express the coordinated judgments of the United States Intelligence Community, the group of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. NIEs are classified documents prepared for policymakers.

General overview

NIEs are considered to be "estimative" products, in that they present what intelligence analysts estimate may be the course of future events. Coordination of NIEs involves not only trying to resolve any inter-agency differences, but also assigning confidence levels to the key judgments and rigorously evaluating the sourcing for them. Each NIE is reviewed and approved for dissemination by the National Intelligence Board (NIB), which comprises the DNI and other senior leaders within the Intelligence Community.

National Intelligence Estimates were first produced in 1950 by the Office of National Estimates. This office was superseded in 1973 by National Intelligence Officers. This group of experts became the National Intelligence Council in 1979. In the early years, the National Intelligence Council reported to the Director of Central Intelligence in his role as the head of the Intelligence Community; however, in 2005, the Director of National Intelligence became the head of the...
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