INTELLIGENCE REFORM

2007

Colby, Elbridge A. "Making Intelligence Smart." Policy Review (Aug.-Sep. 2007). [http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/5843]

The "wave of reformist zeal" that followed 9/11 "has finally crested -- for the time being at least -- leaving an opening for us to take stock of what all the sound and fury has left behind. Some good ideas have been proposed and implemented, and some bad ones as well; none, however, is likely to make our intelligence dramatically better or the U.S. dramatically safer. Examining why this is so, both theoretically and practically, reveals a more nuanced picture of what intelligence can do, how it can be improved, and how it fits into a smoothly running national security system."

Hulnick, Arthur S. "Intelligence Reform 2007: Fix or Fizzle?" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 4 (Winter 2007): 567-582.

This is another well-considered addition to the author's body of work. Hulnick notes that "[i]n many respects, the results [of post-9/11 reforms] have not been what the reformers had planned." The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 "destroyed some aspects of the [intelligence] system that might better have been left untouched.... A major problem in the reform legislation was its giving the DNI considerable responsibility with little real power and authority." Hulnick's conclusion: "The result is disappointing.... But, no real damage has been done either."

Kean, Thomas H., and Lee H. Hamilton. "Are We Safer Today?" Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2007, B1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission state: "Two years ago, we and our colleagues issued a report card assessing the U.S. government's progress on the bipartisan recommendations in the 9/11 commission report. We concluded that the nation was not safe enough. Our judgment remains the same today: We still lack a sense of urgency in the face of grave danger.... [W]e are safer in a narrow sense: We have not been attacked, and our defenses are better. But we have become distracted and complacent.... The terrible losses our country suffered on 9/11 should have catalyzed efforts to create an America that is safer, stronger and wiser. We still have a long way to go."

McConnell, [John M.] Mike [VADM/USN (Ret.)]. "Overhauling Intelligence." Foreign Affairs 86, no. 4 (Jul.-Aug. 2007): 49-58.

The current Director of National Intelligence argues that "the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA) and the creation of the post of director of national intelligence (DNI) [were] timely and appropriate [actions] but, by themselves, insufficient." Washington needs to "forge a collaborative approach to intelligence that increases the agility of individual agencies and facilitates the effective coordination and integration of their work." He concludes that "[i]t will take years to fully clarify and coordinate the DNI's responsibilities and powers, transform the collection and analysis of intelligence, accelerate information sharing, change institutional cultures, build high-tech capabilities, and boost the acquisition of new technologies."

Richard L. Russell, "Letters to the Editor: Missing Intelligence," Foreign Affairs 86, no. 5 (Sep.-Oct. 2007), argues that "[c]ontrary to the optimistic tone of McConnell's article, a hard look leads" to the conclusion "that on its current trajectory, the intelligence community will only succeed in better sharing mediocre human intelligence and will not protect U.S. national interests any better than it did before 9/11 or the Iraq war."

Roemer, Tim. "Adapt, Change Or Die: The Sept. 11 Proposals Are Just a Start." Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2007, A15. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The author of this Op-Ed piece was a member of the 9/11 commission and served in the House as a U.S. Representative from Indiana. He argues that as the new Congress begins its work, "it must legislate first and oversee second.... Once Congress does its legislative work, members must turn to overseeing the executive branch."

Roemer, Tim. "How to Fix Intelligence Oversight." Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2007, A29.

In this Op-Ed piece, the former Indiana congressman and 9/11 commission member states that "[i]n their current structure, congressional intelligence committees are fundamentally ill equipped to effect real change." He argues that authorizing and appropriating powers should be combined into a single committee, as recommended by the 9/11 commission.

Wilcox, Fulton. "Intelligence Reform: Winning the 'For Keeps' Game." American Intelligence Journal 25, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 51-62.

"Absent effective information-sharing processes, almost any new organizational construct looks suspiciously like another bureaucratic stovepipe.... [E]ngaging the efforts of frontline people may be the most important" step in preventing terrorism, because "the essential prerequisite ... is to have presence 'everywhere.' Narrowly designed organizations cannot supply that presence."

Zegart, Amy. "Our Clueless Intelligence System." Washingon Post, 8 Jul. 2007, B1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks "has consisted chiefly of finger pointing and ax grinding.... Those who want to learn what went wrong and how to fix it need to understand ... bureaucracy -- the organizational weaknesses that cause smart people to make dumb decisions.... Despite the ... creation of a director of national intelligence, the U.S. intelligence community remains a dysfunctional family of 16 agencies with no one firmly in charge." The reason why "overhauling intelligence agencies" is so difficult is the Defense Department. For decades, it "has controlled about 80 percent of the intelligence budget and housed most of the agencies. And for decades, it has fiercely resisted any move to realign power in the CIA or anywhere else."

In response to Professor Zegart's "Outlook" article, NCTC Director John Scott Redd [VADM/USN (Ret.)], "Yes, We Do Have a Clue," Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, 13 Jul. 2007, argues that the progress of the Intelligence Community "since 9/11 has been nothing short of revolutionary. Today we collect, analyze and share counterterrorism intelligence within and among agencies vastly more effectively than Zegart claims."

In reply, Zegart, "What the Admiral Doesn't Say," Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, 13 Jul. 2007, notes that "Redd neglects to mention that only two of the[] agencies [that are part of the NCTC] -- the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency -- have serious experience conducting all-source analysis; all the other representatives dispatched to NCTC have been learning on the job. What's more, different people from different agencies still see different pieces of information.... Is NCTC a dramatic improvement? You bet. Is it where it needs to be? No way.... Make no mistake: Despite tremendous effort and substantial progress, the sad fact is that all the worst organizational deficiencies that hampered U.S. intelligence before 9/11 are still here."

Zegart, Amy. "Outside View: Hill Intelligence Unreformed." United Press International, 30 Aug. 2007. [http://www.upi.com]

"Six years after Sept. 11, the least reformed part of our intelligence system sits not in Langley, Va., or the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building, but on Capitol Hill.... Today there are more committees involved in intelligence oversight than ever. Committee term limits in the House remain. And radical intelligence overhaul still requires battling, and defeating, the powerful armed services committees.... It is all well and good for Congress to be demanding accountability from the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But accountability starts at home. Until Congress overhauls itself, intelligence reform will remain elusive."

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