The United States has always improved its security and defence through the utilization of human intelligence and technological systems. However, it was when the Pearl Harbor was attacked that the National Security Act was structured in 1947 to better the application of intelligence to crime prevention, crime control and to improve governance.
A combined investigation by the congress which held a year previously resolved that the attack on the Pearl Harbor was a clear indication for the need to restructure and conglomerate intelligence forces to a singular statutory function.
Until recently, the 9/11 assault further informed the need to reequip application of intelligence to crime mitigation through the CIA. Presently, the US has structured a complex Intelligence Community (IC) that orbits defense with the primary aim of forestalling anti-social attacks on the country.
Obstacles standing against the effectiveness of the intelligence community, however, are continually generating worry to critics, and several suggestions are made to improving the community. This paper considers the greatest blockages to the IC.
Complexities with Coordination
The 1947 Act on National Security instituted independence of the various forces and the civil community which formed the intelligence community, and by implication indented the coordination and smooth alliance within the community and the CIA. Ever since the decree was passed and the Central Intelligence effected, several DCIs have struggled to produce results under the wooly mandate.
Research has shown that DCIs have been responsible for the coordination of communal intelligence whereof they are not conveniently able to utilize the necessary authority for producing results.1,2
This has created frustrating and faceless challenges against the expression of solutions that will benefit the general community. May noted however that the impulse in the centralization has instigated several reforms through the NSC-Intelligence in the hope to better the functionality of the IC.3
Congress’s resilience and Budgetary Defects
Another huge obstacle to effectiveness within the IC has been delays to respond to demands of the CI by government. In E.O.12333, there is the delegation of power on the DCI that is supposed to strengthen financial provisions for the intelligence community.4
This intelligence-organization Act stipulates the incorporation of IC budgets into a singular source which would gain the approval of DCIs- however, funds accessibility is questioned.5,6
The intelligence-organization Act, nevertheless, presented something quite fresh for the IC as directors could meticulously limit and shift both human resources and funds across NFIP projects, as may be approved by government.
Multi-Dimensional Nature of Global Crime
The intelligence community is equally faced with the challenge of addressing global crime due to its multi-dimensional, highly dynamic nature, complexly natured networks, as well as lack of adequate analysis in other parts of the world.7 Wastage and less-demanding effort for duplications have been noted to be elemental to the retardation found with the intelligence community.8
One will always say that the DNI is given ample authority to curtail this challenge, however. But the reality remains that there is a sort of complexity in relating the defense agencies pivoting the IC.9,10 Once the variance in conductance of international crime is removed, the IC would be fast tracking towards more fundamental realizations.
This paper considers some of the most fundamental obstacles to effectiveness within the intelligence community, specifically in the 21st century. The paper notes the commitment of the United States to improved security and defence through the utilization of human intelligence and technological systems.
However, the IC is continually daunted with challenges through ‘Complexities with Coordination’, ‘Congress’s resilience and Budgetary Defects’, and ‘Multi-Dimensional Nature of Global crime’.
The paper however agrees that the 9/11 assault informed both the government and other stakeholders (on security) of the need to reequip the Intelligence Community (IC).
Bazan, Elizabeth. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions. Washington: CRS report for Congress, 2007
Berkowitz, Bruce. “Information Age Intelligence.” Foreign Policy (1996): 41-2.
Best, Richard. Intelligence Issues for Congress. Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2009.
Burch, James. “A Domestic Intelligence Agency for the United States? A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Intelligence Agencies and Their Implications for Homeland Security.” Homeland Security Affairs III (June 2007): 1.
Hart, Liddell. Strategy. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1968
May, Ernest. “Intelligence: Backing into the Future.” Foreign Affairs 71 (1992): 64.
Office of the President. National Strategy for Homeland Security. Washington DC: GPO, 2002.
Schlesinger, James. A Review of the Intelligence Community. Washington DC: National Security Council, 1971.
Treverton, Gregory. The Next Steps in Reshaping Intelligence. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2005.
Warner, Michael. Central Intelligence: Origin and Evolution. Washington, DC: CIA History Staff Center for the Study of Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency, 2001.
1 Michael Warner, Central Intelligence: Origin and Evolution (Washington, DC: CIA History Staff Center for the Study of Intelligence Central Intelligence Agency, 2001), 7.
2 Liddell Hart, Strategy (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., 1968), 43.
3 Ernest May, “Intelligence: Backing into the Future.” Foreign Affairs 71 (1992): 64.
4 Office of the President, National Strategy for Homeland Security (Washington DC: GPO, 2002), 102.
5 Schlesinger, James. A Review of the Intelligence Community (Washington DC: National Security Council, 1971), 23.
6 Gregory Treverton, The Next Steps in Reshaping Intelligence (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2005), 13.
7 Bruce Berkowitz, “Information Age Intelligence.” Foreign Policy (1996): 41-2.
8 Elizabeth Bazan, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions (Washington: CRS report for Congress, 2007), 6
9 Richard Best, Intelligence Issues for Congress (Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2009), 5.
10 James Burch, “A Domestic Intelligence Agency for the United States? A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Intelligence Agencies and Their Implications for Homeland Security.” Homeland Security Affairs III (June 2007): 1.