Mount Weather

Mount Weather, Virginia, is one of the United States Continuity of Government (COG) safety sites, though its exact COG functions are undisclosed. In the event of a national disaster that threatens normal government operations in Washington, D.C., facilities in locations such as Mount Weather are used to coordinate vital national operations.

Movies, Espionage and Intelligence Portrayals

Although depictions of espionage, intelligence, and related activities in motion pictures have not always tended toward realism, the movies' portrayals of covert operations have to an extent mirrored events in the real world. Through the end of World War II, the activities depicted usually involved Nazis, but by the late 1950s, Hollywood had entered the Cold War espionage genre.

Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO)

The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO) philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. Formed in the 1960s, the organization was expelled from Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Mustard Gas

Mustard gas is a substance used in chemical warfare.

NAILS (National Automated Immigration Lookout System)

NAILS (National Automated Immigration Lookout System) is a centralized database and computing system used by entry inspectors to identify aliens not eligible for admission. NAILS (and the updated version, NAILS II) allows inspectors to quickly retrieve and review biographical or historical case data and was designed to facilitate evaluation of entrant status.


Defense programs in many countries are now concentrating on nanotechnology research that will facilitate advances in such technology used to create secure but small messaging equipment, allow the development of smart weapons, improve stealth capabilities, aid in developing specialized sensors (including bio-inclusive sensors), help to create self-repairing military equipment, and improve the development and delivery mechanisms for medicines and vaccines.

Napoleonic Wars, Espionage During

The Napoleonic wars pitted France, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, against a number of countries in Europe from 1797 through 1815. At different times during this period, Great Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, and the Neapolitan Kingdom all waged war against France in various coalitions.

NASA (National Air and Space Administration)

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have to date elevated aerospace technologies to great heights. In a July 31, 1915, interview in Collier's Weekly, aviation pioneer Orville Wright (1871–1948) said, "The greatest use of the aeroplane [airplane] to date has been as a tremendously big factor of modern warfare." His statement could also be considered true today, along with the role played by commercial transportation in world's affairs.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), United States

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent government agency that stores and provides public access to historical and significant documents related to the American government and its citizens.

National Command Authority

The national command authorities of a nation are the persons or officeholders (or their duly deputized alternates or successors) who have the legal power to direct military activities. In almost all national governments, ultimate national command authority rests in a single office or individual, but there are almost always others involved in carrying out military policy.

National Drug Threat Assessment

The National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) is an annual report of the National Drug Intelligence Center that assists in the formation of United States counterdrug policy and strategy by identifying criminal trends. Created by the General Counterdrug Intelligence Plan of 2000, the NDTA gathers intelligence from national, state, and local agencies and indicators to determine the level of danger that marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines pose to American society.

National Information Infrastructure Protection Act, United States

The national information infrastructure is the collective computer and communication system that facilitates the operation of banks, businesses, schools, media, and the government. This infrastructure is crucial to the national economy and has expanded rapidly during the last decade.

National Intelligence Estimate

National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are reports by the National Intelligence Council (NIC), drawing on estimative views from across the intelligence community. The practice of creating NIEs developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as a response to previous intelligence failures.

National Interagency Civil-Military Institute (NICI), United States

The National Interagency Civil-Military Institute (NICI) is an educational institute—funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) through the National Guard Bureau—with the mission of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of joint civilian and military initiatives. To this end, it provides education to middle- and upper-level managers from the military, law enforcement agencies, emergency management and public safety organizations, and community groups.

National Liberation Army (ELN)—Colombia

The National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia is a Marxist insurgent group formed in 1965 by urban intellectuals inspired by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. ELN began a dialogue with Colombian officials in 1999 following a campaign of mass kidnappings—each involving at least one U.S.

National Military Joint Intelligence Center

The United States National Military Joint Intelligence Center (NMJIC), sometimes called the National Military Joint Intelligence Alert Center, is the nerve center for defense intelligence activities in support of joint military operations. Located physically and administratively close to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), NMJIC is also the fullest realization of the joint intelligence center (JIC) principle that developed in the last days of the Cold War.

National Preparedness Strategy, United States

Events of the 1990s, particularly the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the Oklahoma City attack two years later, revealed that the continental United States was far more vulnerable to terrorist attack than Americans had supposed. The federal government's response to these and other situations had been on an ad hoc basis, resulting in the establishment of response capabilities under various Cabinet-level departments.

National Response Team, United States

The United States National Response Team, an interagency group co-chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), is charged with emergency response planning and coordination.

National Security Act (1947)

In the aftermath of World War II, the United States government undertook a dramatic reorganization of the national military and intelligence community. Departments created for wartime operations, such as cryptology, intelligence, and domestic security, needed restructuring for useful peacetime employment.

National Security Advisor, United States

Officially known as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the National Security Advisor—the more commonly used title—has a role defined as much by the chief executive as by law. The position did not exist as such for more than a decade after the establishment of the National Security Council (NSC), nor does that legislation mention the role of the advisor.

National Security Strategy, United States

The National Security Strategy (NSS), as its name suggests, is a document outlining the blueprint for national security envisioned by the president of the United States. It has been issued, on a more or less annual basis, by each administration since Congress mandated its issuance in 1986, but prior to the September 2002 NSS of George W.

National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee

The National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) is a presidential advisory board composed of leaders in various key industries. Its membership is made up of thirty chief executives who represent the leading communications, network service, and information technology companies, as well as the most prominent firms in the areas of aerospace technology and finance.

National Telecommunications Information Administration, and Security for the Radio Frequency Spectrum, United States

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates airwaves in the United States, but in order to make necessary determinations regarding allocation, the FCC turns to the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA). A unit of the Department of Commerce, NTIA works with a number of participants in the increasingly crowded radio spectrum, including the private sector, the Department of Defense (DOD), and various law enforcement and emergency response agencies.

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

Headquartered in Brussels Belgium, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military and diplomatic alliance of countries in Europe and North America that offers security to its members by pooling military resources and sharing intelligence. Formed in 1949 during the initial years of the Cold War as a response to Soviet aggression, the first countries to join the alliance were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United States, France, Spain, and Iceland.

Natural Resources and National Security

The ability of a nation to grow and defend itself is controlled in large part by the availability of natural resources.

Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

The Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is responsible for providing law enforcement on behalf of United States Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families. Originally part of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the organization was staffed primarily by military personnel, whereas today it is a largely civilian organization.

NCIX (National Counterintelligence Executive), United States Office of the

Formerly known as the National Counterintelligence Center (NACIC), the U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) was created early in the twenty-first century.

NDIC (Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center)

The Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) is the lead counterdrug agency within the U.S.

Near Space Environment

The near-Earth environment is far from empty. In addition to the natural meteoroid material, solar wind plasma, and cosmic rays, the space above Earth's atmosphere contains several hundreds of satellites and thousands of tons of space debris.

Nerve Gas

Nerve gases, or nerve agents, are mostly odorless compounds belonging to the organophosphate family of chemicals. Nerve gasses are either colorless or yellow-brown liquids under standard conditions.