National Implementation Plan for the War on Terror

The National Implementation Plan for the War on Terror (NIP), approved by the President in June 2006, was a groundbreaking collaborative effort by the US government to synchronize counterterrorism planning and activities of departments and agencies representing all elements of national power. The NIP was produced under the authorities for strategic operational planning that were assigned to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which legislated many of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. NCTC worked closely with a wide variety of departments and agencies and a Senior Interagency Strategy Team (SIST)—a body of senior representatives from core CT departments and agencies—to produce the original NIP in 2006 and an updated version in 2008.

The NIP contains four component plans that serve as the foundation for implementing the strategy: Protect and Defend the Homeland (PD), Attack Terrorists and their Capacity to Operate in the United States and Abroad (ATC), Counter Violent Extremism (CVE), and Prevent Terrorists' Acquisition or Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD-T). Recognizing that some elements of strategic planning touch all the component plans, NIP 2008 includes four cross-cutting enablers: Expand Foreign Partners and Partnership Capacity, Institutionalization of the Strategy for the War on Terror, Information Sharing, and Intelligence Collection and Analysis.

The updated NIP contains 18 strategic objectives and 64 sub-objectives, crafted as end states to reflect a desired condition where the United States is best positioned to prevent, disrupt, and respond to terrorism. The sub-objectives describe a measurable and achievable outcome to facilitate assessment of interagency progress toward the goals. In NIP 2008, departmental leads and partners are assigned at the sub-objective level and are accountable for collaborating to ensure the sub-objective is achieved.


Image of the NIP 2008 Process and Framework for Implementation

Text description of this graphic is available on a separate page.

NIP 2008 includes a process for implementation that builds on the lessons learned from the original NIP. This new framework for NIP implementation lays out a system by which departments and agencies identify impediments to successful achievement of strategic objectives and then determine an interagency approach to resolve the issue(s). The process will leverage ongoing interagency initiatives and existing interagency forums to the extent possible. The graphic to the right depicts the framework for NIP 2008 implementation.

NIP 2008, as its predecessor, reflects the collaborative process that was used in both its creation and execution. Over twenty departments and agencies and over one hundred representatives from across the US government contributed to the development of the document and many more work daily to ensure its implementation through ongoing efforts that leverage the full range of US government instruments of national power. Efforts range from domestic work with state and local governments to international efforts to build foreign partnerships and capacity to counter terrorism far from US borders. The NIP is a living document that will continue to evolve to address changing tactics of our enemy and reflect increased US government and partner nation capacity. As with the 2008 version, it also will continue to evolve to institutionalize lessons learned in collaborative interagency implementation of a multi-faceted and long range strategy for the War on Terror.