INTELLIGENCE REFORM

2006

Hulnick, Arthur S. "U.S. Intelligence Reform: Problems and Prospects." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 302-315.

The legislation creating the DNI "did not give [the position] much authority and power" over the Intelligence Community. Nevertheless, John Negroponte "has made a good start at overhauling the management of the intelligence system. But this is not intelligence reform. That has to come at the working level, and so far, only a few signs of real change have appeared."

Jervis, Robert. "The Politics and Psychology of Intelligence and Intelligence Reform." Forum 4, no. 1 (2006): 1-9. [http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol4/iss1/art1]

Abstract: "Policy-makers always say they want the best intelligence, but in fact they do not because good intelligence often raises doubts and challenges policy. They also always claim to be working to improve intelligence, but in fact do not understand the problems, and many 'reforms,' such as the recent establishment of a Director of National Intelligence, are useless if not harmful."

Clark comment: This is an excellent article that makes its argument succinctly and pointedly. It deserves to be widely read and discussed.

Pillar, Paul R. "Good Literature and Bad History: The 9/11 Commission's Tale of Strategic Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 6 (Dec. 2006): 1022-1044.

Clark comment: There are only a few articles among the many dealing with diverse aspects of intelligence that I wish I had written. This is one of them.

Pillar calls the 9/11 Commission's report a "detailed and well-crafted account of the terrorist plot" behind the 9/11 attacks. However, he views "other parts of the account" as "not only wrong but willfully wrong." In addition, there were and are "serious flaws in the commission's reorganization plan" for U.S. intelligence.

As it related to the performance of the intelligence community, the commission's report "was advocacy of a particular proposal, and an effort to manipulate public opinion in support of that proposal." There were "a large number of factual errors and omissions in the commission staff's draft statement on intelligence." Although the intelligence community had the opportunity to point out those mistakes, the corrections were largely ignored; and "[m]ost of the errors in the staff statement on intelligence were repeated in the report." In contrast, the Silberman-Robb Commission (WMD Commission) was much more willing to listen to and heed "the observations of officers who were not only experts on the events and subject matter at hand but also at least as committed as anyone else to trying to make intelligence better."

Pincus, Walter. "Intelligence Redo Is Harshly Judged: A Judge Critiques 9/11 Overhaul, and Finds It Top-Heavy." Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2006, A17. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Speaking on 24 March 2006 at an off-site conference of the CIA's Office of General Counsel, "U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner sharply criticized the restructuring of U.S. intelligence agencies." He said that "the overhaul has done nothing to rectify flaws exposed by al-Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." Posner "questioned 'the wisdom and consequences' of the intelligence overhaul passed by Congress in December 2004, which he said was based on 'a deep misunderstanding of the limitations of national security intelligence.'"

Posner, Richard A. "We Need Our Own MI5." Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2006, A13. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Judge Posner's argument is clearly stated in the title to this Op-ed piece. The United States lacks "a counterpart to MI5. This is a serious gap in our defenses. Primary responsibility for national security intelligence has been given to the FBI. The bureau is a criminal investigation agency. Its orientation is toward arrest and prosecution rather than toward the patient gathering of intelligence with a view to understanding and penetrating a terrorist network."

Rolington, Alfred. "Objective Intelligence or Plausible Denial: An Open Source Review of Intelligence Method and Process since 9/11." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct 2006): 738-759.

"The criticism of organizational structures and individuals ... does not address the real, and enduring, problem with US intelligence-gathering bodies. The very process of intelligence theory, definition and practice needs to be fundamentally reviewed."

Shane, Scott. "Year Into Revamped Spying, Troubles and Some Progress." New York Times, 28 Feb. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to former and current officials, "[a] year after a sweeping government reorganization began, the agencies charged with protecting the United States against terrorist attacks remain troubled by high-level turnover, overlapping responsibilities and bureaucratic rivalry.... Progress has been made, most of the officials say, toward one critical goal: the sharing of terrorist threat information from all agencies at the National Counterterrorism Center. But many argue that the biggest restructuring of spy agencies in half a century has bloated the bureaucracy, adding boxes to the government organization chart without producing clearly defined roles."

Vickers, Robert D., Jr. "The Intelligence Reform Quandary." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 356-364.

"Whether the 2004 act will be as successful in helping to wage the war on terrorism as was the 1947 act in helping win the Cold War remains to be seen."

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