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Reshaping the intelligence community to respond to terrorism

In the 21st century, terrorism has been very active with their activities of destruction of structures signifying power, pride and grandeur of a nation. It is of common knowledge that they resorted to their deadly strategies to be noticed and sow fear among people and allied countries related to their ideologies which commonly are fundamentally fanatical in nature. The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, 9/11 World Trade Center Twin Tower destruction in 2001 and the 7/7destruction of London subway system 2005 are just few of many deadly terrorist strategies that rocked the world.

In those deadly and destructive spectacles, it was revealed that intelligence information were available and collected prior to the incidents by the agencies concerned. Post 9/11 investigations revealed that although intelligence information were collected, they were not properly analyzed as to its veracity and destructive potential by the intelligence community of the U. S. Analysts believed that there was no information sharing among the U. S. intelligence communities. Related to this, it can be hypothesized that should information sharing, proper analysis and strategic plans were

instituted by the intelligence community, the deadly terrorist activities could have been prevented and the identities of the perpetrators accurately identified. Related to this, this paper aims to elucidate the direction as to the path of reshaping the intelligence communities and make the efforts adopt a preventive stance in the face of future terrorist attacks. The U. S. intelligence community prior to 9/11 incident In totality, the US intelligence community is composed of 17 government agencies all working in intelligence collection, analysis strategic planning related to combat terrorism

and acts of aggression by other nations towards the U. S. (Crawford, 2008). Among the 17 agencies, The CIA, FBI and the DHS or Department of Homeland Security were the ones directly involved in domestic and international counter terrorism activities to protect the U. S. installations and its citizens worldwide from attacks. The rest of the 14 agencies act in 2 capacity as support functions to the three dominant agencies and likewise augment the collection and analysis of intelligence information and data from their respective field of expertise which are land and coast, water and air space. The Milnet briefing in 2004

revealed that the CIA is an autonomous legislative branch of the government whose leadership has to be confirmed by Congress is responsible for all sources of foreign intelligence and operations which may involve covert actions, collection, analysis and planning. The CIA is believed to be the eyes and ears of the nation and oftentimes its hidden arms designed to protect the US President and the preservation of American ideals. The CIA accomplish its mission fundamentally by collecting intelligence information that matters and conduct relevant analysis and planning. The FBI on the other hand per Milnet briefing in

2004 and presented by Crawford (2008) is directly reporting to the US Department of Justice and responsible for gathering and operations related to counterterrorism and counterintelligence within the US boundaries and investigation of criminal and terrorist acts toward US citizens and facilities world wide. Under Executive Order 12333 Section 1. 14, the FBI upon request of officials by the intelligence communities designated by the President or request from the Director of National Security Agency can conduct activities related to foreign intelligence collection or support other agency’s foreign intelligence

collection effort. From the duties and responsibilities of the CIA and FBI, there appears a duplication of set objectives and responsibilities. There is no available provision for information sharing as the agents from the respective agencies treat each other with suspicion that the other is trying to undermine and discredit the other. Crawford (2008) termed this as “schizophrenic” (Early intelligence concepts, 2nd par) and the mind set taken from the Cold War strategies still pervade among the agents of the different agencies prior to 9/11 incident. Treverton

(2003) in his book declared that “Intelligence is drifting, unsure of why it does and for whom” (p. 1). This statement was brought about by the India’s testing of its nuclear weapons 3 in 1998 followed shortly in the same year by its friend and foe Pakistan. This all happened without the intelligence data from the US suggesting that they were completely caught unaware of the existence and development of those weapon of mass destruction. Moreover, the author revealed that in today’s age of information, intelligence information are readily available and an open secret so to speak.

Days before the nuclear test, the incident was reported in one of the leading dailies in India but nobody in the CIA was able to hold a copy of it nor hear about it. (p. 4. ) In addition to this, the U2 reconnaissance plane send too many digitized images from satellites and there is only one individual in the CIA assigned to analyze those pictures. The resulting scenario was the picture was never analyzed as it passed through the single individual assigned to Indian affairs unnoticed. Intelligence sources in the 21st century are from open sources compared to secrecy in the Cold War, according to the author.

It is now imperative that reshaping of the intelligence community be done to make it congruent to changing terrorist strategies. The reshaping of the intelligence communities The decision to reshape the intelligence community in line with changes in terrorism strategies in the 21st century was arrived at after a series of investigations on the 9/11 incident by the commission exclusively formed for the purpose called 9/11 Commission. The final report according to Crawford (2008) critically affected the CIA and FBI. The author revealed that the failure to check the 9/11 incident were caused by the inherent

intercommunication problems and legislation interpretation as well as gray areas in administrative rules and procedures. The 9/11 Commission in its final report that a number of low level workers took the intelligence report lightly and the management failed to consider the crucial nature of the duty and did not make a follow up to ensure that the duties were performed well. This the reason for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security which was decided after the final 9/11 Commission report in July of 2004. The fact that prior to 9/11 incident, the law enforcement agencies as reported by Riley et al.

(2005) 4 took intelligence information lightly was supported by their survey. The survey indicated 35% reportage of terrorist activities in their office prior to 9/11 incident and increased to 65% after the 9/11 terrorist attack (p. 10). The authors further revealed that prior to 9/11, 87% of all states reported zero terrorist activities inside their jurisdiction. By whatever view we try to analyze this, the trend indicates that the law enforcement agencies which are supposed to give information on terrorist activities in their areas of concern to CIA were proven to be in lax and carefree state of mind.

The 9/11 Commission released their key recommendations in July of 2004. Among others, the recommendations aimed at reshaping the intelligence community include the following: 1. In as much as Islamic terrorists were considered as the dominant cause of danger, the strategic intelligence and planning on Islamic terrorists should be exclusively with the National Counterterrorism Center. This is to collate the information within only one agency for processing and analysis thus preventing confusion. 2. Unify the participants in counterterrorism effort together with their knowledge in a

network based information sharing that can transcend governmental agency boundaries. This is considering that intelligence information can be found openly. 3. Create an umbrella organization to oversee the operation and budget of all the agencies in the intelligence community. This was completed already with the creation of National Intelligence Director (NID) headed by John Negropotente as mandated by The Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 (dni. gov, 2006, 11th par. ). 4. All analysis units should report directly to the NID. This is to ensure that analysis of

intelligence information is fed to concerned agencies for their actions. 5. Hasten the domestic intelligence capability as suggested by Rothkopt (2002). The US domestic intelligence gathering is weak as evidenced by the 9/11 incident. The agency should be modeled after Britain’s M15 that operates safeguarding privacy and civil 5 liberties. The intelligence gathering capability should be independent of FBI and CIA to ensure focus on its mission but should feed the DHS with constant stream of information. The above recommendations provided a path for reshaping of the intelligence community

from what it used to be an ineffective one. Most of the recommendations were implemented already by Director Negropotente of NID to date. Summary and Conclusion The sources had proven that prior to 9/11 incident, the intelligence community of US is in bad shape rendering it ineffective in the face of changing terrorism strategies. It was proven that there was no communication among the agencies of the intelligence community thereby rendering the collected information unusable by concerned agencies. This was brought about by the mindset from the Cold War experiences that still persist among the

members of the intelligence community. With the creation of NID headed by proven Director Negropotente, the activities related to intelligence data collection and processing will be streamlined. It is hoped that with this reshaping, deadly terrorist activities in US and outside the country but affecting world stability will be prevented. 6 References Crawford, M. (2008). Intelligence Community Responsibility Brief, August 23, 2004. In MILNET Analysis: Changes to the U. S. Intelligence Community. Retrieved May 18, 2009 from http://www. milnet. com/ic-brief. htm. Dni. gov. (2006). The U. S.

Chamber of Commerce National Security Business Forum. July 10, 2006. Retrieved May 18, 2009 from http://www. dni. gov/speeches/20060710_speech. htm Riley, K. J. , Treverton, G. F. , Wilson, J. M. and Davis, L. M. (2005). State and local intelligence in the war on terrorism. Sta. Monica, California: RAND Corporation. Rothkopt, D. J. (2002, July 29). Bridging the Intelligence Gap. Blueprint Magazine. Retrieved May 18, 2009 from http://www. dlcppi. org/print. cfm? contentid=250679 Treverton, G. F. (2003). Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information. U. K. : Cambridge University Press.

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