CIA-Specific Reform Proposals

H - Z

Hamit, Francis. "Intelligence Test: Do Tight Funds and Technophobia Impede the CIA's Ability to Gather Information?" InformationWeek, 5 Jul. 1993, 31, 34, 36, 38.

Includes sidebar story by "F.H.," "Downsizing: Is It Safe?" 36, 38.

Hilsman, Roger. "Does the CIA Still Have a Role?" Foreign Affairs 74, no. 5 (Sep.-Oct. 1995): 104-116.

With regard to espionage: "The most important thing to be said about espionage is that even though the take can occasionally be crucial, relatively little information comes from espionage, and very rarely is it decisive.... Given the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, espionage is obviously something the United States can do without. The costs exceed any possible gain."

With regard to covert action: "Covert action has been overused as an instrument of foreign policy, and the reputation of the United States has suffered.... Covert political action is not only something the United States can do without in the post-Cold War world, it is something the United States could have done without during the Cold War as well."

With regard to open-source collection: "[T]here are no risks involved ... [in] the work of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, which monitors and records broadcasts in various parts of the world. It is no different from reading other countries' newspapers."

With regard to code-breaking: "The National Security Agency should continue its work in trying to break codes and protect those of the United States."

With regard to satellite reconnaissance: "Clearly, the United States should also continue satellite reconnaissance in all its forms."

With regard to analysis: The CIA still has "an important role to play" as an "independent research and analysis organization.... The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, and at least those divisions of the Army, Navy, and Air Force intelligence agencies dealing with political questions should be transferred to the CIA."

Meyer, Herbert E. "Reinventing the CIA." Global Affairs 7, no. 2 (Spring 1992): 1-13.

Miller, Abraham H., and Nicholas Damask. "Thinking About Intelligence After the Fall of Communism." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 6, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 257-269.

"The inappropriate emphasis on prediction as a standard of scientific judgment is built on a false sense of science.... [T]he original mission of the CIA to provide intelligence about other nations' threats to U.S. national security is as relevant now as it ever was. Diluting that mission by providing fewer resources at the same time that the role of the agency is being expanded is an obvious mistake that will not be rectified by reorganization."

Moynihan, Daniel P. "Do We Still Need the C.I.A.? The State Department Can Do the Job." New York Times, 19 May 1991, E17.

Pincus, Walter.

1. "Ex-CIA Chief Backs Smaller Spy Agency: Gates Plan Would Transfer Some Intelligence and Paramilitary Operations to Pentagon." Washington Post, 10 Dec. 1994, A4.

2. "Untangling the Spy Network's Webs: Rep. Combest Wants CIA Clandestine Operations Separate and NRO Split." Washington Post, 5 Mar. 1996, A13.

"One difference between the DO of today and the proposed clandestine service is that a new emphasis would be placed on creating two types of clandestine officers: those who want to go on to management and those who want to remain as operators overseas. In that sense it would be more like the British MI6, which is much smaller than CIA's Directorate of Operations."

Pipes, Richard. "What To Do About the CIA." Commentary 99, no. 3 (Mar. 1995): 36-43.

"President Truman created a central intelligence organization to collect and analyze information obtained by the government's separate intelligence services." But the CIA is neither the largest nor the most expensive of the country's intelligence agencies. "Thus, even if the CIA were abolished, a huge and costly intelligence apparatus would remain: Lost would be an organ capable of bringing together the evidence obtained by the different services." Pipes maintains that the CIA's shortcomings are not organizational, but rather intellectual and political, in nature.

Among his other conclusions, Pipes argues that "a central intelligence agency is indispensable ... [to] provide the President with disinterested assessments.... A CIA reduced in size and properly staffed, willing to rely more than heretofore on open sources and human informants, and allowed to operate free of political interference, should be in a position to render decision-makers invaluable advice."

Powers, Thomas. "Beyond the Cold War: Developing a New, Improved Mandate for the CIA." Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 1993, M1.

Prados, John. "You Call that Intelligence?" Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Mar.-Apr. 1997, 20-21.

This is an interesting piece of sophistry. While admitting that "the weight of the evidence seems to exonerate the CIA" of charges of complicity in importing crack cocaine into the United States, the author manages to use this false charge to support his argument for "intelligence reform."

Raskin, Marcus. "Coming in from the Cold: Let's Terminate the C.I.A." The Nation, 8 Jun. 1992, 776-784.

The author argues that "the cold war mission of the intelligence community has ended and that it should be dismantled, along with the atmosphere of paranoia and conflict that it fed and propagated at home and abroad."

Clark comment: Raskin's critique of post-Cold War intelligence cannot be taken seriously, given his long-held opposition to the American national security establishment. (See Raskin's The Politics of National Security.) He never accepted the Cold War mission of the CIA, so there should be no surprise that he would now like to disband the U.S. intelligence structure in the absence of the Cold War.

This article is accompanied by "Comments" from Gore Vidal, Gary M. Stern and Morton H. Halperin, David Corn, and John and Alice Tepper Marlin in response to the questions, "Should this country's intelligence services be abolished? If so, why? If not, what reforms or modification in the present system would you favor?"

Russell, Richard L. "CIA: A Cold War Relic?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 8, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 11-20.

The author concludes that the CIA occupies a "unique niche" and should be looking for new ways to carry out its business. Essentially, Russell presents a small number of mild suggestions as to the direction CIA "reform" should take. This is not a particularly insightful presentation, although it might be of some interest to nonspecialists.

Serrano, Richard A. "Privatize the C.I.A.? Radical Idea Being Considered." New York Times, 26 Mar. 1995, A1, A16.

Towell, Pat. "Gates Rejects Legislative Call, Sets Administrative Changes." Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, 4 Apr. 1992, 893-894.

On 1 April 1992, DCI Gates told joint Senate and House intelligence committees about organizational decisions coming out of the 14 task forces established in November 1991. The two committee chairmen "challenged Gates' decision not to create an agency in charge of all satellite and aerial reconnaissance," as had been recommended by the imagery task force.

Return to Reform 1990s Table of Contents

Return to CIA 1990s Table of Contents