Netherlands, Intelligence and Security

The Kingdom of the Netherlands was established following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Since its founding, the Netherlands has been influential in international politics, but has long maintained a policy of stated neutrality.

New People's Army (NPA)

The New People's Army (NPA) is the military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). A Maoist group formed in March, 1969, its aim includes overthrowing the Philippine government through protracted guerrilla warfare.

New Zealand, Intelligence and Security

New Zealand gained its independence from Britain in 1907, but remains a member of the British Commonwealth. A longtime, close ally with Britain, Australia, and the United States, New Zealand retreated from international politics during the last two decades to address ethnic tensions between European-descended New Zealanders and the native Maori people.

NFIB (United States National Foreign Intelligence Board)

The National Foreign Intelligence Board (NFIB) was created by the National Security Act of 1947. The NFIB acts as a communications channel among various national intelligence agencies and facilitates interagency exchange of information.

NIC (National Intelligence Council)

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) oversees the estimative process of the United States intelligence community, and produces National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). The NIC answers directly to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) in his capacity as head of the intelligence community.

Nicaragua, Intelligence and Security

Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821, and became a republic in 1838. Late-twentieth-century politics in the region have been marked by violence and turmoil.

Nigeria, Intelligence and Security

In 1998, Nigeria overthrew its ruling dictatorship, which possessed close ties to the nation's military. The transitional government that gained power attempted to restore the long-suspended Constitution of 1979 and institute democratic reforms.

Night Vision Scopes

Night vision scopes are devices that enable machines or people to "see in the dark," that is, to form images when illumination in the visible band of the electromagnetic spectrum is inadequate. Although it is not possible to form images in absolute darkness, that is, in the absence of any electromagnetic radiation whatsoever, it is possible to form images from radiation wavelengths to which the human eye is insensitive, or to amplify visible-light levels so low that they appear dark to the human eye.

NIH (National Institutes of Health)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a federal agency that serves as the fiscal agent of medical research in the United States. The mission of the NIH is to foster medical and behavioral research on living systems and to use that knowledge to prevent, identify, diagnose, and treat illness and disability.

NIJ (National Institute of Justice)

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) serves the United States Department of Justice in the areas of research, development, and evaluation. Established under the authority of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, its purpose is to provide independent, evidencebased tools to assist state and local law enforcement.

NIMA (National Imagery and Mapping Agency)

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) was formed in October, 1996, to provide the United States military and intelligence agencies with up-to-date and accurate imaging and geospatial information. NIMA is a Department of Defense agency and is a member of the United States intelligence community.

NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) falls under the umbrella of the government's medical research agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIMH is the branch of the NIH that focuses on the brain, behavior, and mental health.

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), United States

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory federal agency under the aegis of the Undersecretary for Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

NIST Computer Security Division, United States

The Computer Security Division (CSD) is one of eight divisions within the Information Technology Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), itself a bureau of the Chamber of Commerce. CSD is concerned with raising awareness of information technology (IT) risks, vulnerabilities, and protection requirements, especially for new and emerging forms of technology.

Nixon Administration (1969–1974), United States National Security Policy

Richard Nixon took office in 1969 as the country struggled to deal with the effects of the war in Vietnam. The inability of the United States to quickly win the war forced a review of national security policy.

NMIC (National Maritime Intelligence Center)

The National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC) brings together several military intelligence operations for the United States: Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The first of these, being by far the largest, is the dominant participant in NMIC, whose headquarters in Suitland, Maryland, are home to the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).

NNSA (United States National Nuclear Security Administration)

Created in 1999 and put into operation the following year, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) was a response to security concerns with regard to United States nuclear materials and information. In order to better protect these sensitive properties, Congress established NNSA as a separate agency within the Department of Energy (DOE).

NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitors environmental, climatic, and weather conditions in the United States and around the world. The administration manages an extensive network of satellites, sensory aircraft, and specialized monitoring equipment to provide information on meteorological events and their impact.

Noise Generators

Generating noise is a simple, cheap, and versatile method of blocking signals or shielding communication from a range of devices. From the disruption of radio broadcasts to the masking of conversations, noise generators use a simple concept to great effect.

Nongovernmental Global Intelligence and Security

Global intelligence and security is not purely the province of governmental agencies. An important advisory role is occupied by think tanks, private corporations, university departments, and other groups.

Nonproliferation and National Security, United States

The United States government has long had an interest in nonproliferation as a means of ensuring national security. The logic governing this interest is straightforward: as long as weapons continue to proliferate among foreign and hostile powers, U.S.


The North American Air Defense Agreement, signed on May 12, 1958 by the United States and Canada, created a continental air defense warning and surveillance system in response to Cold War fears of an airborne attack by the Soviet Union. The resulting North American Air/Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has since shifted strategies from guarding against long-range bombers to warning of ballistic missile attacks and maintaining space surveillance.

North Korea, Intelligence and Security

The nation of North Korea was established on September 9, 1948, during the grab for satellite nations at the beginning of the Cold War. Supported by the Soviet Union, North Korea established a communist regime under dictator Kim Il-sung.

North Korean Nuclear Weapons Programs

Norway, Intelligence and Security

During World War I, Norway maintained a stated policy of neutrality in international affairs. When WWII erupted in 1939, the Norwegian government again asserted that the nation would remain neutral in the conflict.

NRO (National Reconnaissance Office)

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is a member of the United States' fourteen-member intelligence community. Established in 1960, the existence of the NRO was not declassified until 1992.

NSA (United States National Security Agency)

Legendary for its secrecy, the National Security Agency (NSA) is the leading cryptologic organization in the United States intelligence community. Focused on cryptologic and cryptanalytic missions, it is the nation's leading employer of mathematicians, yet little is known about the inner workings of this secretive agency.

NSC (National Security Council)

Established by the National Security Act of 1947, the National Security Council (NSC) was intended to serve as the principal advisory board for the president of the United States on matters of national security and foreign policy. In practice, the importance of the NSC and the National Security Advisor has depended on the degree of power the chief executive accords to it.

NSC (National Security Council), History

The history of the United States National Security Council (NSC) lends itself to widely diverging views of the NSC, depending on the presidential administration in question. Held in suspicion by President Harry S.

NSF (National Science Foundation)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) directs and funds science research. An independent agency in the United States government, the NSF was established May 10, 1950, by passage of the National Science Foundation Act.