The Limitations of Each of the Ints – What They Cannot Be Expected to Reliably Collect
Starting with a research project comparing cities in various nations, ICF developed a Method to help communities of all sizes obtain the broadband and digital assets they need and turn them into inclusive prosperity and social and cultural growth. Over two decades, we have refined analytics to identify a community’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend the most productive steps to move forward.
The Air Force and the Defense Intelligence Agency require more missile expertise than does the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Similarly, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the CIA’s analytic component, the Directorate of Intelligence, require more country-specific political expertise than do the military services’ intelligence components. These entities differ in missions and the desire for analysts trained and directly accountable to meet the agencies’ needs. The (literal and figurative) proximity of analysts and customers improves communication and trust between them, but having so many specialized intelligence units also creates problems. Chief among the problems are bureaucratic divisions that can isolate intelligence in “stovepipes” and lead to inconsistent standards, practices, and even terminology, which complicates interagency cooperation and confuses customers. Broadly speaking, the nation’s confederated intelligence system has produced specialization at the expense of integration and collaboration. The IC’s inability to function as a unified team has been the subject of more than 40 major studies since the CIA’s establishment in 1947. The creation of the ODNI, after 9/11, was the latest and most serious effort in a long line of initiatives to transform the IC from a collection of semiautonomous agencies into an integrated intelligence system. Both the strengths and the weaknesses of today’s IC structure must be recognized when considering ways to improve analysis. For example, efforts to reduce stovepiping should not undermine analysts’ ability to address the specific needs of their customers.
The future operations of the community will still suffer due to poor comprehension of case-specific problems and how they can be handled in case they arise (Omand 2012, 154). Agrell (2012, 130) laments that “there has been only limited and scattered development of the field since the publication of Sherman Kent’s classical book on strategic intelligence in 1949”. From this assertion, it is evident that the current ignorance of the operations of the Intelligence Community may stretch into the future and cause subsequent challenges. Omand (2012, 156) predicts that lack of appropriate scientific approaches on intelligence will be a striking feature throughout the 21st century era. It might be impossible to examine how non-development of scientific approaches can lead to unsatisfactory state of intelligence. However, potential challenges will eventually become visible and explicit (Omand 2012, 155). It is crucial to note that the relevance of intelligence in society will never dissipate (Agrell 2012, 132). The intelligence platform will continually undergo transformations and proliferation. For instance, intelligence will eventually become a social activity. Due to such transformations, it is irrefutable that the scientific strategies embraced in intelligence affairs will be able to handle the much-anticipated upheavals and equally meet the expectations of the society. In spite of the growth prospects of the community, the challenge of dealing with bioterrorism is still a glaring reality.
Usually, the effectiveness of the IC has been stifled by several limitations that include bureaucratic issues, poor communication between agencies, and ineffective dissemination of intelligence. There is need for organizational change in order to eradicate bureaucracy and enhance cooperation among agencies. In addition, development of new methodologies and techniques of analyzing intelligence and increment of budgetary allocations to different agencies are necessary. Terrorism is a global threat that requires cooperation among security agencies and the participation of the public.
Agrell, Wilhelm. 2012. “The Next 100 Years? Reflections on the Future of Intelligence.” Intelligence and National Security l27, no1 (February): 118-132.
Omand, David. 2012. “Into the Future: A Comment on Agrell and Warner.” Intelligence and National Security 27, no. 1 (February): 154-156.