The 21st century has witnessed a lot of transformation in regards to intelligence and security issues. The latter have become more pronounced in the western political discourse (Bell 2003, 245). Strategic intelligence issue has been a major topic of discussion since the September 11 terror attacks in the United States (Orton and Callahan 2008, 411).
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The public has a lot of expectation from the intelligence team since there is a growing feeling that the western societies are vulnerable to more attacks in future (Honig 2007, 699).
The debate over the role of intelligence has resulted into the need to conduct further research to examine the future challenges facing the National Intelligence Community. Researchers, journalists and scholars possess the feeling that Strategic Intelligence has been neglected for a long time leading to frequent terror attacks (Johnson 2003, 638).
It is barely five decades since Strategic Intelligence became a serious academic study. There is need to conduct a research study to examine why Strategic Intelligence has been neglected (Scott and Jackson 2004, 142).
Significance of the study
Research has shown that that Strategic Intelligence is largely an abstract theory which has been put in place to frighten people who are a threat to global security (Lillbacka 2013, 307). Such a scenario has led to lack of practicality in intelligence.
It has also been a major challenge and obstacle for the National Intelligence Community in preventing potential threats against security.
The significance of this study is to examine possible challenges of neglecting Strategic Intelligence and to identify tactical measures that can be put in place by the National Intelligence Community to control the challenges posed by poor global security.
The proposed study will be guided by realism theory. This theoretical framework will help the researcher to examine the realities of security challenges and accurately present findings in an authentic manner in order to establish the exact measures that are supposed to be taken in response to the topic being studied.
Research question and hypothesis
What are the likely challenges that the National Intelligence Community will continue to face in future due to the neglect of Strategic Intelligence? This study will be guided by a hypothesis which states that the National Intelligence Community will continue to face challenges in future due to neglect of Strategic Intelligence on security matters.
The objective of this study is to identify some of the possible challenges facing the National Intelligence Community owing to gross neglect of Strategic Intelligence on matters related to security. In this study, a descriptive and systematic review approach will be used to gather information related to the topic of study.
To elaborate further, case studies and surveys will be used in order to examine how intelligence has been applied at the national and international levels.
Reviewing peer-reviewed sources such as books, journals and other publications in order to infer what other researcher have done about the subject matter will also be part of the research design.
Qualitative research methods such as content analysis will be crucial in the study design in order to collect suitable information related to the research variables.
Qualitative research method will be used because it is flexible and the research variables are unquantifiable. Moreover, it is worth to note that this study is theory-driven and thus makes is suitable to use qualitative research method.
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The success of any strategic intelligence is denoted by achievement of pre-established objectives in accordance with a country’s policies. However, neglect of strategic intelligence has far-reaching effects that are unfavorable to the expected outcomes of security operations.
It is worth noting that the role of intelligence in any jurisdiction cannot be ignored owing to its critical nature. Honig (2007, 702) is quite categorical that strategic intelligence entails complicated analysis of all the prevailing factors that dictate the actual outcomes of different actions.
As part of the holistic remedial measures, the author explores all the possibilities and methodologies available for a military group to emerge victorious when handling matters related to security. Intelligence is a major factor that should be considered by a nation whenever there is need to win the tactics of an enemy.
Therefore, it is evident that any slight neglect of strategic intelligence presents numerous challenges towards effective management of security issues.
Brief background and significance of the problem
The demand to advance national intelligence and maintain the required security competence of a nation is indeed critical in anchoring holistic socio-economic growth and political development. Notably, the role of the US national intelligence community has been commendable over the years (Champion 2005, 1673).
However, instances of neglect of strategic intelligence are continually creating security gaps across the nation. As a result, several tactical and military operations tend to take long before succeeding. Lillbacka (2013, 300) indicates that several years of war against terrorism and related threats are yet to be concluded.
The latter has been occasioned by poor research in the assembling of intelligence information and vital data on security. According to Champion (2005, 1675), “the history of government involvement in intelligence matters can be traced to the early days of the Revolutionary War.”
The above lapse has culminated into several questions regarding the role of strategic intelligence and effectiveness in gathering relevant data for managing security affairs. There is a lot of doubt whether the current approach is being employed to collect intelligence data.
Is the neglect of strategic intelligence the main reason for failure in successful containment of insecurity issues? What are some of the possible and available mechanisms that can be employed to seal gaps and minimize future security challenges?
These are some of the questions that need urgent redress before effective management of intelligence information can be initiated (Scott 1999, 218).
Neglect of strategic intelligence
The neglect of strategic intelligence is indeed tragic and can be considered to be extremely perilous in any jurisdiction. In the US, some critics lament that the National Security Act of 1947 provided one of the best mechanisms for managing strategic intelligence.
This piece of legislation outlasted many hurdles including the Cold War. However, the enactment of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 brought about amendments that negatively impacted strategic intelligence when the creation of the annual National Security Strategy took place.
This provided the president with powers to produce an avail security documents to be perused by the Congress. As Lillbacka (2013, 300) notes, this officialdom unwittingly created several security gaps that ended up in a weak strategic intelligence on security matters.
The document by CIA presents a report on the role and effects of strategic intelligence towards the creation of national strategy (Central Intelligence Agency 1995, par. 3). It brings out the changing approach of the United States’ intelligence towards defeating the rise of insurgence both at the domestic and international levels.
From the beginning of the article, the need for an improved intelligence community is evident. The Central Intelligence Agency cites that strategic intelligence should always provide the last and most viable line of action to take before a president declares war or peace.
Neglecting strategic intelligence might lead to devastating impacts on national stability. Lillbacka (2013, 301) builds his arguments by pointing out that during the Cuban missile crises, neglect of intelligence was evident. The latter led to a rush decision by the military.
Though it was considered an important step in preparing the country for any eventuality, it curved a major niche which almost drifted the globe into a state of nuclear warfare.
Robert Stanberg’s conception of human intelligence model best explains the role of intelligence and its management. It observes that successful collection of intelligence information involves three distinct and related approaches, which include practical, creative and analytical thinking.
On the same note, human beings and events exists in different contests and as such calls for the application of a variety of intelligences, mostly strategic to gather needed data.
He compares current strategic intelligence in the US to a work of journalism that lack adequate investigation before reporting. He cites that this is due to the much neglect in the government to advance its national security operations.
On the same note, Krizan (1999, 38) cite that the implementation of an effective strategic intelligence platform is tangential and tied closely to administrative competence. In the 2003 war in Iraq, the US intelligence failed to account for the much-taunted Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).
The military wing was rushed into action at the detriment of the Iraqi people. The aspects of neglecting intelligence, poor surveillance and politicizing security matters are largely responsible for the overall weak nature of strategic intelligence.
The discord between the United Nations’ inspectors and the US intelligence personnel regarding the presence of WMDs has remained a major source of commotion with no forthcoming solution.
Furthermore, appraising the security situation and conducting research to enhance awareness and attain goals that meet the interests of a nation are some of the practical intelligence measures that should be put in place.
Lillbacka (2013, 302) inquires how the United States intelligence justified the advice to President Bush to take actions against acts of terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The question has culminated into a major debate on the efficacy and actual aftermath of the Operation Iraq Freedom. Since the beginning of the war on WMDs, justifiable evidence is yet to be tabled in public.
It is apparent that several investigations have been done on strategic intelligence owing to its importance. Krizan (1999, 6) observes that “intelligence is more than information.
It is knowledge that has been specially prepared for a customer’s unique circumstances.” The theory and practice of strategic intelligence in the United States are still crucial areas of concern. Quite a number of the theories in strategic intelligence are hardly exercised.
Moreover, there is a sharp rise of academic inquiry on issues related to intelligence. As a matter of fact, a lot of inquiry into the subject of strategic intelligence has been carried out ever since the end of the Cold War period.
According to Orton and Callahan (2008, 413), there has been an altitudinal transformation in regards to official secrecy, security functions and intelligence matters.
It is pertinent to note that the responsibilities of Intelligence in international affairs and world politics are still below the anticipated levels. In actual sense, the society needs to comprehend the concept of intelligence and its underlying meaning.
Gaps in literature
It is evident that appreciating intelligence is critical since it assists in decision-making at both the national and international levels. Additional research studies ought to be carried out on a number of factors such as the input of human intelligence on technical warfare and nuclear weapons.
Moreover, it is necessary to examine the aspect of collaboration in international intelligence alongside the cognitive setbacks affecting strategic intelligence (Hymans 2006, 456).
This literature review elaborates the invaluable role of intelligence in international relations and how it has transformed over the years. The trans-national cooperation on intelligence issues maps a major shift in global politics (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks 2005, 12).
The inefficiency of the US intelligence is perhaps a major challenge in handling acts of terror. President Bush and the intelligence team initially thought that the war in Iraq would be a good lesson to leaders supporting terrorism (Orton and Callahan 2008, 421).
However, the latter led to negative effects both to the United States and victimized nations. The extended stay of the US troops in Iraq is a costly affair. Worse still, several soldiers have lost their lives in the war-torn countries.
The capacity of the Intelligence Community to produce requisite data relies on the methodologies used. Collection methods are vital in developing reliable results. It is essential to mention that data collection methods ought to be accurate for the sake of obtaining desired results.
In this case, the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) methods of data collection are yet to be effectively utilized by the intelligence community. These methods may minimize inherent ambiguity during the process of collecting intelligence data on security issues.
According to the CIA, “it is clear that the individual cannot expect to be helped more than half way by systems and methods” (Central Intelligence Agency 1995, par. 23). Therefore, personal responsibility and training are crucial when collecting data.
Challenges facing the US national Intelligence Community are immense. Some critics wonder whether the current intelligence system will ever be improved. Moreover, research has shown that there is lack of appropriate resources for gathering, translating and evaluating intelligence.
The political leaders in the global realm lack the understanding of the value and limitation of intelligence. Evidence to back up this claim has been obtained from the surprise attack that took place in the United States in December 1941. From the attack, more than 2000 lives were lost.
This propelled the US to wage war against Asia and Europe whereas the recent September 11 twin attacks led to the US entry into war with Iraq and Afghanistan.
This implies that intelligence still demands a lot of input from the global community. It is irrefutable that the various pieces of literature reviewed in this section will help to close the existing research gaps on strategic intelligence.
It is apparent that several investigations have been done on strategic intelligence. For instance, a study was conducted by Hymans to examine the theory and practice of strategic intelligence in the United States. The study revealed that most of the theories presented on strategic intelligence are not put into practice.
Other research evidences shows that there is a rapid increase of academic inquiry on intelligence matters (Scott and Jackson 2004, 145). As a matter of fact, investigations began following the end of the Cold War era.
Since then, there has been an altitudinal shift towards official secrecy, work of security and intelligence (Orton and Callahan 2008, 413). This has heightened the debates over the motives of policy makers and their concern on intelligence policies.
Meanwhile, the September 11 attack and Iraq War of 2003 have repositioned the scholars’ attention on strategic intelligence (Johnson 2003, 645).
There have been popular perceptions and general understanding of the nature of international intelligence. It is important to note that the role of Intelligence in international relations and global politics are still below the expected standards (Bell 2003, 246).
In actual sense, people need to understand more of the concept of “intelligence” and what it is all about. Most countries understand intelligence as a way or mechanisms of oppressing other states (Svendsen 2009, 701). Other nations use intelligence as a policymaking tool.
This explains why different views and understanding of the concept results into lack of harmony and lowers the value and quality of intelligence on offer.
It is apparent that understanding intelligence at the international level is more crucial since it will influence decision-making at both the national and international levels.
Actually, intelligence matters are quite mystifying despite the fact that they have occupied a prominent place in the minds of people than it was before the September 11 attacks (Bell 2003, 247).
A lot of research studies ought to be done on underlying issues such as the role of human intelligence against technical warfare and nuclear weapons. There is also need to examine the issue of collaboration in international intelligence and cognitive obstacles facing strategic intelligence (Hymans 2006, 456).
Researchers elaborate that the role of intelligence in international relations has evolved. The trans-national cooperation on intelligence matters reflects a change in global politics. The evolution of international norm places many limitations on exercise of power.
However, globalization and advances in information, communication and technology has posed new challenges on intelligence that require new solutions.
For instance, researchers and scientists report that there is lack of adequate strategies to coordinate international intelligence as well as collecting and analyzing information (Hymans 2006, 459). Moreover, research has shown that there is lack of appropriate resources for gathering, translating and evaluating intelligence (Bell 2003, 247).
The political leaders in the global realm lack the understanding of the value and limitation of intelligence. Evidence to support this claim is derived from the surprise attack that occurred in the United States in December 1941 and left over 2000 people dead.
This precipitated the US to declare war against Asia and Europe whereas the recent September 11 attack led to the US entry into war with Iraq and Afghanistan (Bell 2003, 248).
This implies that there is much that needs to be done on intelligence. It is beyond reasonable doubt that the topic selected for study will help to close some of the existing research gaps.
Methodology and Research Strategy
Research limitations and discussion on bias
It is anticipated that there will be limitations during the study. Some of the limitations include subjectivity of authors and the available literature materials. Subjectivity of research findings may result into bias during the discussion phase of research outcomes.
Eventually, the researcher might give inaccurate conclusion and recommendations. Another limitation might be the shortage of time. Nevertheless, the limitations will be addressed by consulting a wide range of peer-reviewed sources and shrewd management of the available time for the study.
Research bias into the neglect of strategic intelligence may be occasioned when we fail to acknowledge error. In some instances, the error might be completely unknown. Bias might occur when selecting subthemes for the study, during the study procedure, when sampling data or in the particular research design adopted for the study.
When there is an inherent desire to confirm our convictions, bias can easily take place. This qualitative research study will require explicit acknowledgement of errors in order to avoid bias.
The design bias in this research study may also be instrumental if validity threats prevail. In other words, validity of the data used in compiling the study should be counterchecked in order to ensure that reduce instances of bias. In other words, validity problems ought to be identified and addressed accordingly.
Second, researchers’ caution is crucial in the study. The challenges facing strategic intelligence in the United States are dynamic. Therefore, the researcher should exercise due caution when compiling every individual piece of information. The research publicity should integrate a lot of caution.
Measurement bias may also derail the quality and eventually limit the expected standard of this qualitative study. Gathering and measuring information should be carried out in a more articulate manner. The effects should be controlled by a researcher as part and parcel of avoiding measurement bias.
For example, socially desirable answers are common in qualitative studies of this nature. There is likelihood to compile a research study that is not confrontational or critical in nature.
In addition, sampling bias during the research study may take place when the sampling procedure adopted is not thorough enough. For example, omitting important study materials or data may lead to poor sampling.
Analysis and Findings
Sampling in data collection and analysis will be used to choose data sources that are relevant to the topic being studied. In this study, the researcher will use stratified sampling plan to select case studies and peer-reviewed sources that are relevant to the study.
In this case, they will be sorted using specific criteria such as by date, type (journals, books or periodicals) and topics. This is a probability sampling technique which permits the division of a whole sample size or population into various subsets or classes.
Thereafter, random selection of eventual data takes place. However, the selection process should be proportional to the various subsets or classifications. Since the subject of strategic intelligence is wide, there is a lot of written material in this area of study.
Through selective sampling of materials, it will be possible for the researcher to be left with the most relevant data sources for the compiling the research study.
This sampling method requires that the strata should not overlap. In fact, one of the main causes of subjectivity is overlapping subgroups when using a stratified sampling method. Needless to say, subjectivity might easily lead to study limitations coupled with bias.
Since stratified sampling is a probability method of sampling data, it is crucial to avoid the tendency of subjectivity. Simple probability sampling is also a major requirement when using this sampling method. The various strata should not be complicated during the sampling process.
A social research study on strategic intelligence will gain a lot from stratified random sampling. For instance, this sampling plan will allow a researcher to highlight particular subthemes being studied. Hence, it will be possible to address the myriads of challenges facing strategic intelligence without deviating from the main subject or topic.
Second, the sampling technique will create ample discussion of the relationship that prevails between key players in the intelligence community. As already hinted out, the subject of strategic intelligence is broad.
Therefore, this research study requires a sampling technique that can holistically investigate both the pros and cons of key players in the management of strategic intelligence.
Data will be collected using a survey method as well as taking notes from reviewed pieces of literature. The gathered data will be analyzed and transformed into useful information that will also be used in making conclusions and supporting recommendations.
In order to understand and fully appreciate the entire research study, it is vital for the researcher to employ a holistic data collection method. Interviews, standardized questionnaires are fundamental when using survey as a data collection method.
The aspect of strategic intelligence involves a large number of individuals working both in the private and public sectors. Therefore, the researcher will not merely rely on information from past studies contained in books and peer reviewed journals.
The dynamic nature of strategic intelligence calls for a data collection method that is more robust and updated. Interviews will be carried out among intelligence personnel such as those working in the law enforcing agencies, investigative units (FBI and CIA) and of course from members of the public.
When using the survey method in data collection, there will be need to employ pretesting instruments and inclusion among the targeted population.
In addition, this method of collecting data will deliver the expected results after articulate determination of delivery methods. The survey into strategic intelligence cannot involve every other individual. Before the analysis of results, the researcher will have to ensure validity of the targeted groups.
During the process of collecting data through the survey method, the researcher should bear in mind the expectations of the audience who will read and possibly review this research study. For example, measuring satisfaction level of the targeted readership of this research study is crucial.
When using the survey method of collecting data, it will be necessary for the researcher to develop questions that align to the needs of the anticipated readers.
During the analysis phase, data will be grouped into numerous categories such as “complete”, “with errors”, “incomplete” and “biased”. This will assist the researcher in identifying and overcoming possible errors during the data processing stage.
Case studies to be used in the study will be related to the topic of study. Both logical and statistical techniques are vital in analyzing data obtained from the field.
This research study is both qualitative and quantitative. Apart from just categorizing raw data into different groups, the researcher will assess, summarize, condense, illustrate and describe the available information for the study.
This implies that the process of analyzing data should offer a means of developing and making deductions based on research findings. The process of analysis will also be two-fold. In other words, both the positive and negative inferences will be included.
There are some cases when statistical fluctuations in raw data may lead to incorrect conclusions. Hence, the researcher will be keen in differencing phenomenon of interest and unreliable information during the analysis process.
Simultaneous collection and analysis of data is also feasible in this type of quasi-qualitative research study. Besides, the researcher will employ a number of statistical procedures during data analysis. Patterns in observations are also vital in data analysis even when statistical procedures are not applied.
Nevertheless, the form of data employed in the process will also determine the analysis process. For example, videotapes, audiotapes, documents and field notes are the different forms of data that the researcher will use in data analysis.
In order to obtain reliable or valid outcomes of the study, it is imperative to undertake an appropriate data analysis. In any case, the researcher will not elude the importance of accuracy and data integrity in the analysis. Therefore, a number of issues will be worth to consider during the process of analyzing data.
For instance, necessary data analysis skills are inevitable. The researcher will also be expected to draw unbiased inferences. Better still, appropriate subgroup analysis will be a major requirement for effective data analysis. Finally, it will be necessary to determine statistical significance of the analysis before making conclusions.
To recap it all, it is crucial to reiterate that strategic intelligence on matters related to security is a fundamental area of concern that needs to be addressed by the entire global community.
In particular, the methods used to collect data should be thorough as much as possible. Most of the lapses witnessed on intelligence issues emanate from poor data collection methods.
In addition, it is pertinent for the intelligence community to realize that the current body of literature offers a large and invaluable pool of knowledge that can be put into practical use.
The National Security Act adopted towards the end of 1940s marked a major step in exercising strategic intelligence. In fact, several prominent intelligence bodies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Council (NSC) came into existence after the adoption of this piece of legislation.
The US Air Force and the armed forces were also given a facelift by this Act. The architects of this Act are no longer alive and unfortunately, the state of strategic intelligence in the United States seems to be questionable.
Since the September 11 terror attacks, there has been increasing security threats booth locally and internationally. The US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan in an attempt to curtail the spread of terrorism never yielded the much-needed results.
As it stands now, the state of strategic intelligence is evidently weak unless the Intelligence Community adopts effective approaches of gathering and utilizing intelligence information.
While the existing intelligence Acts are still being used by the Intelligence Community, there is urgent need to amend such laws in order to make them more functional and relevant in the new millennium. Security threats of the1940s are not similar to those of the 21st century.
The Intelligence Community will continue to encounter numerous difficulties in discharging its duties in the absence of articulate and effective changes.
The National Security Strategy document produced in 1986 was a major boost in the reconstruction of a robust strategic intelligence.
Although the document outlined strategy measures that would streamline and improve the operations of the Intelligence Community, both the Congress and subsequent administrations have failed to account for their inputs into the document.
In plain terms, there has been gross neglect of strategic intelligence. As a result, the future of the Intelligence Community appears bleak.
This research study aims to explore the magnitude of neglect of strategic intelligence alongside possible challenges that the Intelligence Community will continue to grapple with in future.
From the problem statement of the study, it is evident that strategic intelligence in the United States needs to be transformed in order to meet security demands and threats from both local and external sources.
In regards to collection methods for intelligence data, the Intelligence Community should revolutionize the methods so that information can be obtained, analyzed and acted upon without any significant delay. Some security pundits also argue that the size of the Intelligence Community is quite overwhelming.
For instance, coordinating and harmonizing intelligence activities of numerous departments and agencies are quite challenging. In most cases, duplication of intelligence roles is rife among the Intelligence Community.
In fact, the large and controlled size of the community is a major setback in the delivery of intelligence service to the nation. It is anticipated that the existing gaps in literature will be sufficiently addressed in this research study.
It is obvious that appreciating intelligence is vital because it aids in the process of making vital national decisions on security. Both the national and international governments rely on intelligence information before making crucial steps.
This explains why research studies should be carried out on issues such as the contribution of human intelligence on technical conflicts and the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).
Furthermore, it is pertinent to scrutinize the issue of cooperation in international intelligence besides the cognitive setbacks impeding the efficiencies of strategic intelligence.
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