There has been a growing concern on the role of private and pubic partnerships in intelligence issues in the United States.
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Evidence from research studies indicates that the Intelligence Community is rapidly diverting its focus towards the incredible input of partnership between the public and private sectors in dealing with intelligence matters.
In other words, such a partnership is capable of eliminating challenges such as poor coordination and management of intelligence information within the Intelligence Community.
Even though the partnership can aid the community in addressing emerging weaknesses, how well has the private sector been represented in key issues regarding the aspect of intelligence contracting? Can the entire Intelligence Community acknowledge the momentous role played by the public and private sector partnerships?
These are some of the concerns that should be addressed by key players in the community in order to realize the anticipated benefits.
After careful review of literature, Hansen (2014, 58) confirms that the intensity of public and private partnership in intelligence affairs is below par owing to poor understanding of the underlying issues and lack of adequate research on the importance of the partnership.
Needless to say, main actors in the Intelligence Community should go through a simple education program on the importance of public and private partnerships.
Hence, we may not ignore the aspects of capacity building and training of employees working within the Intelligence Community. Some critics of the Intelligence Community argue that such a partnership is a waste of time. Worse still, it is financially demanding.
Hansen (2014, 59) observers that “the practice of intelligence contracting has grown in an inefficient manner as has the post-9/11 capability surge of the intelligence community in general”. From this assertion, it is evident that there are numerous benefits associated with public and private partnerships.
For instance, operations of the whole Intelligence Community require the input of both the public and private sectors so that adequate data for analysis may be obtained from the community level.
Despite the few drawbacks, research studies elaborate that numerous benefits have already been gained because of the support offered by the partnership towards the operations of the Intelligence Community. Hence, the public sector has been supporting the community through contractors.
It is also apparent that the Intelligence Community will be motivated to concentrate on intelligence matters owing to the watchdog role played by the private sector (Trim 2001, 51). In addition, allowing the participation of the private sector in intelligence matters may assist in minimizing cost overruns and wastage of other vital resources.
As a matter of fact, poor public contractors have been contributing towards such losses for a long time. Contracting under the public and private sector partnerships will indeed assist in incorporating intelligence professionals who have been locked out of the service for several decades (Hansen 2014, 61).
The partnership will also reduce the challenges posed by inadequate human personnel (Trim 2001, 52).
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On the other hand, the public and private partnerships may encounter numerous flaws in the course of its execution. For instance, the risk of contracting untrustworthy and rapacious capitalists from the private sector is a reality that we may not ignore.
Such culprits do not prioritize the interests of the public when performing their roles (Hansen 2014, 65). Worse still, intelligence contracting may jeopardize national security of the United States in the absence of extreme caution.
Hansen, Morten. 2014. “Intelligence Contracting: on the motivations, interests, and capabilities of core personnel contractors in the US Intelligence Community.” Intelligence and National Security 29, no. 1 (January): 58-81.
Trim, Peter. 2001. “Public–private partnerships in the defense industry and the extended corporate intelligence and national security model.” Strategic Change 10, no.1 (March): 49-58.