The task step—Establish and assign intelligence-information-collection requirements—involves the dissemination of collection requirements to other IC components and subordinate agencies. Such requirements must provide sufficient specificity to enable interpretation by collectors who are not necessarily literate in the specific technology. The requirements may include general instructions for accomplishing the mission. It is envisioned that some of the observables postulated in the Identify step of the methodology will provide a useful basis for such tasking.

The results from collection efforts will be integrated back into the assessment step in order to refine, reprocess, and update the division’s understanding of a given technology. This analysis may stimulate the issuance of a new report to the division’s customers to inform them of changes in the assessed maturity of that technology.


To test the robustness of the proposed technology warning methodology, the committee applied it in order to assess four key areas in this initial report. It should be noted that this initial exercise was necessarily circumscribed by the domain expertise represented in the committee members and by the shortness of time for broader outreach to the technical community at large. Furthermore, since the methodology emerged in parallel with the committee’s technology assessments, the approaches taken were not entirely consistent.

The foundation provided by Joint Vision 2020 and augmented by the military and professional backgrounds of committee members was used to select the following four key capabilities to assess:

  • Information superiority (Chapter 3),

  • Air superiority (Chapter 4),

  • Discrimination between friends/foes/neutrals (Chapter 5), and

  • Battle readiness and communications superiority (Chapter 6).

Chapters 3 through 6 each address the “Identify” activity with examples of evolving technologies that may threaten the capability and potential indicators that such technology development is underway. The “Assess” activity then examines opportunity and motivation for adversarial technology development and/or employment, posits change detection relative to the indicators, and assesses likely impact. Preliminary characterizations of accessibility, maturity, and consequence are provided for most evolving technologies, although the level of specificity is variable.

Subsequent steps (i.e., “Prioritize” and “Task”) of the proposed methodology require customer inputs and actions and are left to future study efforts.


JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff). 2000. Joint Vision 2020. Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, J5, Strategy Division. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. June.

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