INTELLIGENCE REFORM

2010s

Best, Richard A., Jr. Intelligence Reform After Five Years: The Role of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 22 Jun. 2010. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/R41295.pdf.

"Observers are divided over the success of the DNI position and the ODNI.... A number of innovations have been undertaken in the intelligence community to encourage coordination and information sharing.... A widespread perception is that coordinative mechanisms and authorities as currently established are inadequate to the goal of creating a more flexible and agile intelligence effort.... Congress has monitored the work of DNIs and the ODNI, but oversight has thus far been largely informal, given the absence of enacted intelligence authorization legislation since 2004, shortly after passage of the Intelligence Reform Act."

DeYoung, Karen. "After Attempted Airline Bombing, Effectiveness of Intelligence Reforms Questioned." Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2010, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The failure of U.S. authorities to detect a plot to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day has reignited long-simmering concerns that intelligence reforms implemented five years ago remain inadequate to prevent terrorist attacks.... [S]ome intelligence officials have suggested that the reforms were the cause of such lapses and not the solution to them.... [T]he most intense scrutiny has been directed toward the centerpiece of the 2004 intelligence reorganization: the National Counterterrorism Center."

Gentry, John A. "Intelligence Learning and Adaptation: Lessons from Counterinsurgency Wars." Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 1 (Feb. 2010): 50-75.

The author reviews "eight counterinsurgency wars/campaigns conducted by four Western states" to suggest that "external factors largely influence the intelligence-related performance of whole governments" and that "the US intelligence reform debate focuses too narrowly and on the wrong factors."

Lahneman, William J. Keeping U.S. Intelligence Effective: The Need for a Revolution in Intelligence Affairs. Lanham, MD, Scarecrow Press. 2011.

For Lightfoot, AIJ 29.1 (2011), this is "an ambitious project.... Lahneman is careful to point out that his perspective of a need for RIA [Revolution in Intelligence Affairs] is a minority position, and that most scholars and practitioners favor an evolutionary approach." The book "is an easy read, something that is often a real challenge when debating policy. It also presents cogent and well-documented reasons for change, and acknowledges competing hypotheses."

Peake, Studies 56,1 (Mar. 2012), finds that the author "never makes clear why a revolution is needed." Nor does he draw a clear distinction between what has "already been accomplished or contemplated." Despite Lahneman's emphasis on revolution, he has actually "made the case for well thought-out, focused, evolutionary change rather than radical change." To Shelton, IJI&C 25.3 (Fall 2012), many of the author's "solutions are problematic." Nevertheless, he "recognizes that some changes are needed, especially with regard to obtaining and sharing 'trusted' information on transnational terror networks."

Lowenthal, Mark M. "Transforming Intelligence: From What, to What?" American Intelligence Journal 29, no. 1 (2011): 5-11.

The author sees the 9/11 Commission Report as "one of the most archly political commission reports ever published." He also notes that the IRTPA "went through a greatly abbreviated legislative process." All the talk about "transforming" intelligence "leads to a more important question: How much of what the Intelligence Community does is truly susceptible to transformative change? I would argue that the answer is 'Not much.' ... [T]he most glaring problem is the woeful misunderstanding of what it is that the Intelligence Community does." Lowenthal calls for "[g]etting back to basics in a serious, Community-wide way."

Neary, Patrick C. "The Post-9/11 Intelligence Community: Intelligence Reform, 2001-2009: Requiescat in Pace?" Studies in Intelligence 54, no, 1 (Mar 2010): 1-16.

The Principal Deputy ADDNI for Strategy, Plans, and Requirements received a Studies in Intelligence Annual Award for this article. In a number of ways, his is an anti-CIA argument, but the reach of his thoughts goes beyond that. Not surprisingly, he argues for a greatly enhanced role for DNI, as in making plain that the CIA is under the DNI and making DIA, NSA, NGA, and NRO directly responsible to that position's authority. He also argues for greater "jointness" (in DoD speak, this is a smoke screen for a military takeover of the Intelligence Community). The complexity of Naery's presentation requires a full reading of his article to put his arguments in perspective.

Pillar, Paul R. Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

According to Johnson, Proceedings 137.12 (Dec. 2011), the author argues that "reform" of the U.S. intelligence structure "do[es] not necessarily improve intelligence." In fact, "[t]hey may worsen matters," as was the case with the creation of the DNI. Freedman, FA 91.1 (Jan.-Feb. 2012), says Pillar "provides a vigorous and hard-hitting insider's account." To Burcalow, Military Review (Mar.-Apr. 2013), "Pillar’s book is extremely detailed and informative, providing a better understanding of just how hard it is to be an intelligence professional in a world where all that matters is being wrong . . . once."

George, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011), finds the author's "treatment of his subject sophisticated and informative as well as personal. It is also provocative. Indeed, readers will be struck by the strident tone that Pillar ... uses." The reviewer notes that "if the politicization was as blatant as [Pillar] asserts, it seems as though there would have been more internal uproar." For Schwab, IJI&C 25.4 (Winter 2012-2013), this work "succeeds primarily as a memoir by a former top-level intelligence officer.... Pillar writes clearly and forthrightly."

Steele, Robert David. "Fixing the White House and National Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 23, no. 2 (Summer 2010): 353-373.

The author argues strenuously the need for intelligence reform and offers thoughts on increasing "the strategic coherence of the Presidency and the constructive decision-support available to both the Cabinet and Congress."

Walsh, Patrick F. Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis. New York: Routledge, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), this work "examines the post 9/11 reforms in the profession in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States.... It is a unique contribution" to the literature.

Zegart, Amy B. Eyes on Spies: Congress and the United States Intelligence Community. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2011.

Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), sees the author's call for better Congressional oversight of intelligence as "a bold, articulate book," written in "simple declarative sentences." It deserves to be taken seriously. For Nolte, IJI&C 26.2 (Summer 2013), this is a "brief but effective study" that "makes an impressive case for dysfunction." It is "a troubling picture," and provides "Congress watchers ... an important set of benchmarks for future analysis." Carey, AIJ 30.2 (2012), says Zegart's book "functions as a compact series of discrete articles bookended by effective introductions and summaries."

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