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A wide range of problems has contributed to the unease currently pervading the Intelligence Community;  a significant number of the most serious result from shortcomings in intelligence analysis rather than from defects in collection, organization, or management.
The logic of this study differs from most of those recommendations with respect to both causes and corrective measures. Most importantly, these observations lead to the conclusion that the serious shortcomings—with particular focus on analytic failures—stem from dysfunctional behaviors and practices within the individual agencies and are not likely to be remedied either by structural changes in the organization of the community as a whole or by increased authorities for centralized community managers.
Those key observations, which follow, provide the conceptual foundation for this study. There has been a series of serious strategic intelligence failures. Intelligence support to military operations SMO has been reasonably successful in meeting the challenges on the tactical battlefield of locating, identifying, and targeting adversary units for main force engagements.
Similar progress in supporting counterterrorism operations has been claimed. There have been significant shortfalls in support to post-conflict security and stabilization operations and reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
Analytic support has also come up short both in accurately capturing adversary thinking and intentions and in providing intelligence that identifies and characterizes developing strategic challenges, such as WMD. Similar failures, as well as an apparent inability to provide accurate assessments and estimates on other important issues, such as the nuclear forces and strategies of China and Russia, affect national users at the highest levels and outweigh any increases in effectiveness at the tactical level.
Indeed, as a bottom-line assessment, this study contends that the Intelligence Community has been least successful in serving the key users and meeting the primary purposes for which the central intelligence coordinating apparatus was created under the National Security Act of These failures each have particular causes, but the numerous individual problems are interrelated.
These failures did not have a single locus—they occurred in technical collection, human source reporting, and analysis, among other critical functions—but neither do they reflect a series of discrete, idiosyncratic problems. Analytic methods also have not been updated from those used to fight the Cold War. There were intelligence failures during the Cold War, but the United States and its allies managed to stay on top of the challenge presented by our principal adversary.
A relatively stable threat and consistent single target allowed the Intelligence Community to foster in-depth expertise by exploiting a very dense information environment, much of which the opponent himself created.
This knowledge base allowed analysts to cross-check and corroborate individual pieces of evidence, make judgments consistent with the highest professional standards, and appreciate and communicate any uncertainties both in evidence and inference to users. In particular, this dense information fabric allowed analysts to place sensitive intelligence gathered from human sources or by technical means within a stable context that enabled confirmation or disconfirmation of individual reports.
As national security challenges evolved during the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, continued reliance on the Cold War intelligence paradigm permitted serious analytic shortfalls to develop. The Intelligence Community presently lacks many of the scientific community's self-correcting features. These guilds cooperate, but they remain distinct entities. Such a culture builds pragmatically on practices that were successful in the past, but it lacks the strong formal epistemology of a true discipline and remains reliant on the transmission, often implicit, of expertise and domain knowledge from experts to novices.
The Intelligence Community is not normally self-reflective and usually avoids deep self-examination, but recognition and acceptance of the seriousness of its problems by all levels of the community is a necessary prerequisite for true change, including significant modifications to current organizational cultures and ethos. Agreement on the basic diagnosis must, therefore, precede detailed propositions about effective remedies.
The dysfunctional practices and processes that have evolved within the culture of intelligence analysis go well beyond the classic impediments highlighted by Richards Heuer in The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. More corrosively, the individual impediments form interrelated, tightly-linked, amplifying networks that result in extremely dysfunctional analytic pathologies and pervasive failure.
A thorough reconceptualization of the overall analysis process itself is needed. The new approach would incorporate a better connected, more interactive, and more collaborative series of networks of intelligence producers and users.
In addition, it must be designed to detect and correct errors within routine procedures, instead of leaving them to be found by post-dissemination review. The new problems and circumstances call for fundamentally different approaches in both collection and analysis, as well as in the processing and dissemination practices and procedures that support them.
It is clear that serious problems in the existing organizational structure of the Intelligence Community are reflected in poor prioritization, direction, and coordination of critical collection and analysis activities.
Fixing these—dysfunctional processes, ineffective methods, and ingrained cultures—is not solely a matter of increased authorities, tighter budgetary control, or better management. A strategic vision that addresses the systemic pathologies, leadership that understands how key functions ought to be improved, and a sustained long-term commitment to rebuilding professional expertise and ethos will be essential.
Solving problems at all four of these interlocking levels requires an integrated attack that includes solutions addressed to the right level and tailored for each problem element. It should, in particular, adopt proven practices from science, law, and medicine, including more open communication and self-reflection. Whatever the details of structures or authorities, the new Director of National Intelligence DNI leadership must assure that the corrective measures are implemented within each agency and across the community.
Curing the flaws in intelligence analysis will require a sustained emphasis on rebuilding analytic capabilities, refocusing on human cognitive strengths enhanced by innovative support tools, and restoring professional standards and ethos among the analysts themselves.
Most of the recent reform recommendations notwithstanding, more guidelines and tighter management oversight are no substitute for analytic expertise, deep understanding, and self-imposed professional discipline—all achieved not only by formal education and training, but also through assimilation from following experienced mentors. To ensure that the Intelligence Community can provide more effective capabilities to meet the increasingly complex challenges of 21st-century security issues, this study recommends rebuilding the overall paradigm of intelligence analysis from its foundations.
The essential components of this effort are:. An entirely revised process for recruiting, educating, training, and ensuring the professional development of analysts including the essential aspect of mentoring ;. Effective mechanisms for interactions between intelligence analysts and users;. An institutionalized lessons-learned process;. Furthermore, although implementing each of these processes separately would produce significant improvements in the quality of analysis, a more effective approach would be to mount a broad-gauged, systematic, and integrated effort to deal with the entire analysis process.
A detailed look at the work of one such recent commission is Loch K. Still, there is no guarantee that good intelligence will necessarily help decisionmakers reach good judgments or make good decisions, but poor intelligence can clearly corrupt good decision processes and amplify ill-advised tendencies in flawed processes.
In fact, both the Joint Military Intelligence College JMIC and the Center for the Study of Intelligence have programs to create a discipline of intelligence by bringing together intelligence theory and practice. Regrettably, the results of these efforts have not yet penetrated the mainline analytic units. Heuer Jr. Building on the work on cognitive impediments to human judgment and decisionmaking of Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, and others, in addition to his own long experience as a senior intelligence analyst, Heuer highlighted many psychological hindrances to making accurate judgments by individuals and small-groups.
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Conclusions The Intelligence Community is not normally self-reflective and usually avoids deep self-examination, but recognition and acceptance of the seriousness of its problems by all levels of the community is a necessary prerequisite for true change, including significant modifications to current organizational cultures and ethos. The essential components of this effort are: 1. A revamped analytic process; 2. An entirely revised process for recruiting, educating, training, and ensuring the professional development of analysts including the essential aspect of mentoring ; 3.
Effective mechanisms for interactions between intelligence analysts and users; 4. An institutionalized lessons-learned process; 6. Meaningful processes for collaboration within the Intelligence Community. Because of safety concerns for the prospective applicant, as well as security and communication issues, the CIA Recruitment Center does not accept resumes, nor can we return phone calls, e-mails or other forms of communication, from US citizens living outside of the US.
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The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA)
Shared on panel. Jun 4, Would the measure help the wrong people during this time? Jun 3, The legislation currently only has Democratic cosponsors.
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy. This process has to be examined in the context of the current strategic competition between China and the U. This originally apeared as an Issue Memo pp. In late , Congress passed intelligence reform legislation that led to the most significant reorganization of the IC in decades. More than four years after passage of the legislation, members of the th Congress will likely need to assess the effectiveness of the reform legislation. It was only after al-Qaeda attacked the U.