Security Intelligence

The viability of the intelligence community
Several past events have proved that not even the worlds most powerful nation, and only existing superpower, is capable of gathering, analysing, learning from and using security-related information to foresee and forestall terrorist attacks across the world. However, analysis of the operations of the United States intelligence agencies and inter-actions between these agencies reveals that their weaknesses lie not entirely in their inability to gather and analyse intelligence data but in the way these organizations are run. The idea of an intelligence community is not only realistic but also viable.

One of the reasons why the United States intelligence bodies have failed in their duty of foreseeing attacks, advising the administration and pre-empting the attacks if necessary is that the operations of these bodies have been politicised so much so that their freedom is highly compromised. Politicizing their operations puts the intelligence bodies at the mercies of biased politicians and administrators who erode the freedom of the intelligence bodies.

Intelligence agencies in the US have also been unwilling to share information among themselves, thereby making it difficult for the CIA, FBI and the Department of State to work together productively. Although the CIA had information which could have been used to stop the 911 terrorist attacks, it did not share the information with the rest and the end result was the monstrous terrorist strike. Proper relations among these agencies and non-politicization of the same would bring to reality the idea of intelligence community.

Intelligence agencies in policy-making
It is a fact that most of the policians who are responsible for making policy are not competent in security matters. Many are just laymen in security mattersyet the policies they make are expected to govern the operations of security agencies. This has resulted in situations where operations of these most important agencies are affected by the politicians.

Security agencies should take active roles in policy-making processes to minimize chances of politicians okaying policies which are detrimental to the operations of the organizations. Their presence in policy-making discourses makes it possible for their representatives to voice their opinions over security matters, and in the process, educate ignorant politicians.  For instance, policy-makers were responsible for passing the bills which led to the creation of the FBI and the CIA. Possibly due to the ignorance of the policy-makers, the operations of these two agencies were not aligned to encourage interaction between them. This has led to their holding useful information from each other and giving room to potential terrorists to launch deadly attacks on the U.S. soil and outside the United States.

Involving the security agencies in policy-making would have improve chances of developing stronger and more productive security-related policies as security agencies, through their representatives, would bring the expertise and experience, into the policy making process.


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