The terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 prompted changes in U.S. Intelligence Community business practices. Integration of intelligence support to build a better awareness of the maritime domain, and those operating within, was deemed vital.
Our quality of life and economic well-being are both critically dependent on secure maritime commerce. As an example, 90% of international trade and the majority of the world’s energy supplies move by sea. Prolonged disruption of seaborne commerce would severely impact the U.S. and global economy.
Oceans are the largest ungoverned space on the planet. Terrorists, pirates and smugglers exploit this vast environment to conduct attacks and surreptitiously move illicit materials such as weapons of mass destruction, illegal firearms and narcotics.
As such, the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO) was established in January 2009 by the Director of National Intelligence to create unity-of-effort through national and global collaboration on intelligence support to maritime security.