INTELLIGENCE REFORM

2000s

Generally

Q - Z

Russell, Richard L. Sharpening Strategic Intelligence: Why the CIA Gets It Wrong and What Needs to Be Done to Get It Right. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

From publisher: This book probes the intelligence failures surrounding the 9/11 attacks Peake, Studies 51.4 (2007), finds that the author provides "a perceptive insider view. This is not to say that he has got it right but rather that his observations deserve close attention.... Russell recommends a number of solutions intended to improve CIA and Intelligence Community performance. None are startling, and each concentrates on the 'what,' not the 'how.'" For Denton, IJI&C 22.3 (Fall 2009), the author "takes a balanced approach that gives full credit where due to successful CIA efforts." However, "his critique is unrelenting, his research is thorough, and his suggestions for substantive organizational change specific."

Sims, Jennifer E. "Transforming U.S. Espionage: A Contrarian's Approach." Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 6, no. 1 (Winter 2005): 53-59.

Sims, Jennifer E., and Burton L. Gerber, eds. Transforming U.S. Intelligence. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005.

DKR, AFIO WIN 42-05 (31 Oct. 2005), says that this book is "[t]he work of thoughtful and careful writers," and "will provide valuable knowledge for the average private citizen or congressman who knows little about the IC and how it works. IC professionals, however, may find it fails to come to grips with what needs to be done to effectively transform US intelligence."

For Peake, Studies 50.1 (Mar. 2006), "[t]his timely volume, with valuable contributions from authors with various levels of experience in the intelligence profession, presents a challenging series of articles that comment on the changes now underway and needed soon in the Intelligence Community." A summary chapter by the editors "is an excellent synopsis of this very significant work."

Winn, Parameters, Summer 2006, comments that "[i]t would be extremely difficult to find a better team of contributors for a book of this nature.... The editors note that many of the significant challenges facing the US intelligence community are issues of policy and practice that predate 9/11 and have quietly persisted." Wirtz, IJI&C 21.2 (Summer 2008), finds that "the essays in this collection highlight several reasons why U.S. intelligence is likely to continue to miss the mark unless reform moves beyond reorganization."

To Emerson, DIJ 15.2 (2006), this work "presents an in-depth look at many of the requirements, capabilities, and management challenges facing both the producers and consumers of intelligence." However, "there is very little that is actually 'transformational' about the contributors' recommendations.... Too many of the essays address problems that the IC has been grappling with for decades."

Click for Table of Contents.

Slick, Stephen B. "The 2008 Amendments to Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities." Studies in Intelligence 58, no. 2: 1-18. [https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-58-no-2/pdfs/Slick-Modernizing%20the%20IC%20Charter-June2014.pdf]

The author was "senior director for intelligence programs and reform" on the NSC staff. He argues that Reagan's EO 12333 "proved remarkably durable," becoming "a stable legal and policy foundation for the modern IC." With passage of the IRTPA and establishment of the ODNI, "major elements of ... EO 12333 had become obsolete.... The process of amending EO 12333 to reflect the IRTPA structures and clarify authorities needed by the DNI ... largely achieved its objectives, but the short-term impact ... was limited.... [T]he 2008 amendments to EO 12333 ... added value at the margins but were insufficient to overcome flaws in the statutory model."

Steele, Robert David. The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public and Political. Oakton, VA: OSS International Press, 2002.

Wettering, IJI&C 16.3, recommends this "broad-gauge, highly (perhaps overly)-condensed effort" that is the "product of impressive research." Nonetheless, the work "is sadly lacking methodologically.... Steele should have offered far fewer conclusions about flaws and needed changes..., and more development of evidence and argumentation to support his conclusions." The author "paints a vivid canvas with very broad brush strokes (rather too broad for my taste), but the end result is a persuasive argument of the need for change in intelligence organization and policy."

Steele, Robert David. On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World. Fairfax, VA: AFCEA International Press, 2000.

From "Publisher's Foreword": "[T]his compendium of material on understanding the power of open sources [is offered] in the hope it will help chart the new course -- a new model -- for the future of intelligence."

Clark comment: This work brings together many of the thoughts on the state of U.S. intelligence and proposals for reform that have animated Steele's activities for the past decade. The author's hypothetical Senate Bill S.2001 makes hamburger of many sacred cows, but Congress has refused to act on much less radical measures. A terminology quibble: While I fully understand the need for breaking old molds, the title Director-General (as in, Director-General of National Intelligence) sounds more French than American.

While acknowledging that the author and his views remain controversial, Jonkers, AFIO WIN 19-00 (12 May 2000), finds that Steele's book "contains ideas to which we should pay attention. His vision, leading up to the 'virtual intelligence community' is worth consideration." Bath, NIPQ 18.1, finds that Steele's "plan for reorganization of U.S. intelligence ... is certainly worth a look, at least in its basics, in any intelligence overhaul efforts."

Braumandl, JIH 2.1, comments that "Steele’s work is truly a new practical approach to the art of intelligence and to open sources available to security studies. Scholars of Intelligence Studies can call his approach 'New Intelligence,' meaning a new intelligence paradigm for the post Cold War era.... [R]eading this book requires sound knowledge about intelligence theories and methods to understand its thematic value."

Steele provides the following thoughts on his work: "With a foreword by Senator David L. Boren, sponsor of the 1992 intelligence reform legislation, and blurbs from Alvin Toffler, Bruce Sterling, former DDCI Dick Kerr, and flag officers from Russia, Germany and the United Kingdom, this book is unique in that it provides an itemized list of U.S. Intelligence Community budget cuts totalling $11.6 billion dollars a year; and completely outlines 14 major new initiatives for restructuring, enhancing, and considerably expanding our concept of 'national intelligence'. With a 50-page annotated bibliography that integrates Silicon Valley, Internet, management, and hacking books with the more traditional literature; a 62-page index; and 30 pages of proposed legislation, the National Security Act of 2001, this is a reference work."

Stevenson, Charles A. "Underlying Assumptions of the National Security Act of 1947." Joint Force Quarterly 48 (1st Quarter 2008): 129-133.

This well-done article points out that: "The National Security Act of 1947 was a compromise -- between advocates and opponents of a highly centralized military establishment, between supporters of a regularized process for interagency policymaking and defenders of Presidential prerogatives, and between an executive branch needing new legal authorities to deal with a postwar world and a Congress determined to maintain its special powers over the Armed Forces."

Treverton, Gregory F. Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. 2003. [pb]

Berkowitz, IJI&C 15.1, notes that the author believes that "U.S. intelligence needs to make radical changes.... [T]he essence of Treverton's many arguments [is]: Focus government intelligence collection efforts on those targets only government agencies can penetrate."

Van Hook, Laurie West. Reforming Intelligence: The Passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. Washington, DC: Office of the DNI, February 2009. Available as large PDF at: http://www.odni.gov/content/IRTPA_Reforming-Intelligence.pdf.

Aftergood, Secrecy News, 1 Jun. 2010 [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy], comments that the report "is so extravagantly overproduced that it requires a gargantuan 18 Megabytes to present a mere 25 pages of text."

The report essentially tracks in broad, general terms how the IRTPA came into being. It concludes that "tactical challenges remain for the nation and the Intelligence Community.... Separating the two roles of the DCI on paper has been more easily implemented than delineating the day-to-day specifics of that division.... Congress, which sidestepped the issue of reforming intelligence oversight in 2004, is still determining what constitutes success in intelligence reform and the oversight process."

Warner, Michael, and J. Kenneth McDonald. US Intelligence Community Reform Studies Since 1947. Washington, DC: Strategic Management Issues Office, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Apr. 2005.

This work examines "the origins, context, and results of 14 significant official studies that have surveyed the American intelligence system since 1947." It explores "the reasons these studies were launched, the recommendations they made, and the principal results that they achieved. It should surprise no one that many of the issues involved -- such as the institutional relationships between military and civilian intelligence leaders -- remain controversial to the present time."

Zegart, Amy B. "An Empirical Analysis of Failed Intelligence Reforms Before September 11." Political Science Quarterly 121, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 33-60.

Since World War II, some forty separate reports have investigated and examined the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies. "This article seeks to lay the foundations for a more productive examination of intelligence failure by analyzing intelligence adaptation efforts between the Cold War's end and the September 11 attacks.... The heart of the article is an analysis of all the major studies of the U.S. intelligence community and counterterrorism efforts between 1991 and 2001.... [E]vidence strongly suggests that U.S. intelligence agencies failed to prevent the September 11 attacks not because failure was inevitable or because individuals could not conceive of the threat or how to combat it, but because of politics."

Return to Reform 2000s Table of Contents