Read Strategic Intelligence: Windows Into a Secret World (An Anthology) text version

STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE Windows Into a Secret World

An Anthology

Edited with Introductions by

Loch K. Johnson

University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs

James J. Wirtz

Naval Postgraduate School

Roxbury Publishing Company

Los Angeles, California

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Strategic intelligence: windows into a secret world: an anthology / edited by Loch K. Johnson, James J. Wirtz. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-931719-27-6 1. Military intelligence. 2. Military intelligence--United States. I. Johnson, Loch K., 1942­ II. Wirtz, James J., 1958­ UB250.S64 2004 327.1273--dc21 2003047002 CIP STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE: WINDOWS INTO A SECRET WORLD (AN ANTHOLOGY) Copyright © 2004 Roxbury Publishing Company. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Claude Teweles Managing Editor: Dawn VanDercreek Production Editor: Jim Ballinger Copy Editor: Jackie Estrada Production Assistants: Erin Clemons and Carla Max-Ryan Proofreaders: Cavanaugh Editorial Services and Anton Diether Cover Design: Marnie Kenney Typography: Abe Hendin <[email protected]> Printed on acid-free paper in the United States of America. This book meets the standards of recycling of the Environmental Protection Agency. ISBN 1-931719-27-6

ROXBURY PUBLISHING COMPANY P.O. Box 491044 Los Angeles, California 90049-9044 Voice: (310) 473-3312 · Fax: (310) 473-4490 Email: [email protected] Website: www.roxbury.net

About This Book

Strategic Intelligence:provides theInto acompreWindows Secret World (An Anthology) first

hensive set of readings in the field of intelligence studies. Loch K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz's anthology spans a wide range of topics, from how the United States gathers and interprets information collected around the world to comparisons of the American intelligence system with the secret agencies of other nations. The readings are written by renowned experts, and each article is prefaced by a brief, framing introduction written by the editors. The text addresses a wide range of material including: (1) the meaning of strategic intelligence; (2) methods of intelligence collection; (3) intelligence analysis; (4) the danger of intelligence politicization; (5) relationships between intelligence officers and the policymakers they serve; (6) covert action; (7) counterintelligence; (8) accountability and civil liberties; and (9) intelligence as practiced in other nations. The text also contains valuable pedagogical features including: (1) thirty-six classic articles on intelligence by leading experts; (2) nine thorough, chapter-length introductory essays by Johnson and Wirtz, which serve as a helpful "road map" for the reader; (3) brief synopses of each article and author profiles; (4) charts and figures on intelligence organization and leadership; and (5) select bibliography.

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Part I

Intelligence in the United States: An Introduction

Hamlet: ". . . we defy augury. There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come--if it be not to come, it will be now--if it be not now, yet it will come--the readiness is all . . ." --Shakespeare, Hamlet, 5.2.217­219

Americans and intelligence agencies. itSome are have mixed attitudes when comes to intelligence

fascinated with the image of the secret agent, spy, or covert operator who moves easily across international boundaries, uses the latest high-tech gadgetry, frequents only the trendiest resorts, and spends his or her time with glamorous members of the opposite sex. Intelligence professionals happily cultivate this image. A Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) identification card and a well-crafted story about secret operations has gotten more than one Agency mail clerk off the hook for speeding in some country village. Some see intelligence agencies as rogue elephants, giant bureaucracies beyond the public scrutiny or the control of elected officials. From this perspective, intelligence agencies are threats to democratic institutions because they can be hijacked by conspiratorially minded politicians to undertake some nefarious scheme. Given that public accountability is central to democracy, some wonder if intelligence organizations that undertake secret operations, deal with secret information, and produce restricted reports are compatible with government based on democratic principles. Others never think at all about intelligence organizations

or prefer to believe that intelligence agencies possess unlimited information about all significant threats to national security. Every so often, however, a tragic event shatters the complacency of this third group, which of course includes its share of government officials, leading to much recrimination and a hunt for those responsible for the latest intelligence failure. Today we live in the information age, in a world undergoing an information revolution. The Internet and desktop computers allow millions of people to access and manipulate unlimited amounts of data and to transmit information to a global audience at virtually no cost. This type of capability was available only to large government organizations (e.g., the CIA) just a few short decades ago. As the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks against the United States in September 2001 demonstrate, we also live in an age when intelligence, the ability to make sense out of this endless stream of data, is at a premium. The information revolution is affecting everyone, including intelligence analysts and the way they gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence reports and estimates. But the full impact of the information age on intelligence agencies remains a matter of debate. With more state and nonstate actors acquiring the communications, transportation, and weaponry needed to influence world events, intelligence agencies face the challenge of trying to stay ahead of these actors before they can wreak havoc on U.S. interests. The information age actually has placed even greater pressure on the U.S. intelligence community to sift through this torrent of information to detect new threats to the United States and its interests. 1

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Part I Intelligence in the United States: An Introduction

Defining Intelligence

So what exactly is intelligence? Scores of definitions are available. Some definitions are simple. Thomas F. Troy, for instance, defines intelligence as "knowledge of the enemy" (Troy 1991: 433). And some definitions, like the one offered by The Economist, are a bit more convoluted: Intelligence is

the painstaking collection and analysis of fact, the exercise of judgment, and clear and quick presentation. It is not simply what serious journalists would do if they had time; it is something more rigorous, continuous, and above all operational . . . that is to say related to something that somebody wants to do or may be forced to do. (Quoted in Troy 1991: 442)

cause it can shape the course and conduct of U.S. policy.

Interdisciplinary Approach

In the essays that follow, our contributors address intelligence in the three ways described by Kent and Lowenthal. Sometimes they address intelligence as a process: Parts II and III, for example, address key facets of the "intelligence cycle," a commonly accepted way to divide the process of producing intelligence. Sometimes they write about intelligence as a product. References abound, for instance, to finished intelligence (research reports and analysis) and current intelligence (daily news summaries like the National Intelligence Daily). The contributors also discuss the impact of organization on intelligence--that is, the way the structure of national intelligence and the relationship between and within intelligence organizations shapes intelligence processes and products. Three academic disciplines have focused on the study of intelligence, and essays from each of these schools are contained in this volume. Political scientists are primarily interested in intelligence as a process. Drawing on the fields of psychology, organizational theory, security studies, and international relations, they explore the challenges inherent in developing accurate and timely estimates of current and future events. Historians provide compelling accounts of intelligence failures, explaining how the road to surprise, paved with what in hindsight appears to be clear indications of trouble, was missed or misinterpreted by analysts or ignored by policymakers. Scholars of public policy focus on the management and oversight of secret organizations in a democratic setting. They are particularly interested in striking a balance between the need for secrecy in intelligence matters to preserve and enhance national security with the need for citizens in a democracy to know about the activities of their government. Because each of these schools borrows freely from the other, they generally use the same concepts, terminology, and history in their research. Their work also is cumulative in the sense that it incorporates earlier findings and reflects points of consensus in the literature on intelligence. The essays we have chosen suggest that despite different approaches and formal training, those writing about intelligence are forming a distinct and relatively coherent field of scholarly endeavor, a true interdisciplinary approach to the study of intelligence. The essays we have selected reflect the way scholars organize their research in the field of intelligence studies. Part I offers an overview of the evolu-

Many definitions of intelligence begin with Sherman Kent's description of the concept. Kent, an early theorist and practitioner of intelligence, defined intelligence as knowledge, as organization, and as an activity. This definition allowed him to describe the way intelligence services collect and analyze information, the finished intelligence product agencies provide to policymakers, and the way intelligence services are organized (Kent 1946). Mark Lowenthal, a contemporary intelligence theorist and practitioner, borrowed a page from Kent's work when he devised this succinct description of the three facets of intelligence:

Intelligence as process: Intelligence can be thought of as the means by which certain types of information are required and requested, collected, analyzed, and disseminated, and as the way in which certain types of covert action are conceived and conducted. Intelligence as product: Intelligence can be thought of as the product of these processes, that is, as the analyses and intelligence operations themselves. Intelligence as organization: Intelligence can be thought of as the units that carry out its various functions. (Lowenthal 2003: 9)

We have added a twist to Lowenthal's definition by adding the word "strategic" to the term intelligence to suggest that the readings we have collected focus on issues of great importance, the stuff of national policy debate. Strategic intelligence contributes to the processes, products, and organizations used by senior officials to create and implement national foreign and defense policies. Strategic intelligence thus provides warning of immediate threats to vital national security interests and assesses long-term trends of interest to senior government officials. Strategic intelligence is of political importance be-

Part I Introduction tion of the U.S. intelligence community, including an outline on how to improve intelligence performance to deal with the "new terrorism." Parts II and III contain readings that address critical functions of the intelligence cycle (collection and analysis), which inevitably leads to a discussion of intelligence failures and surprise. Parts IV and V deal with intelligence dissemination (another critical aspect of the intelligence cycle), the general relationship between the intelligence community and policymakers and intelligence politicization, and the deliberate or inadvertent corruption of intelligence estimates. Parts VI and VII discuss the paramilitary (covert action) and police (counterintelligence) operations conducted by the U.S. intelligence community, operations that are of greater importance to policymakers in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The essays in Part VIII describe the issue of intelligence oversight and the problems that arise when secret organizations are maintained in a democracy. Part IX offers a brief look at other intelligence organizations and an emerging issue in the intelligence field: the special problem of reforming intelligence organizations as dictatorial regimes transition to democracy.

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The U.S. Intelligence Community

Although some intelligence agents live in foreign capitals, work the diplomatic cocktail circuit, undertake daring operations, and are known to most of the world by an assumed name, most intelligence managers and analysts spend their careers at a desk, becoming experts on a few subjects. Their job is to scrutinize and make sense of the deluge of information provided by national collection systems--everything from agent reports to pictures taken by spy satellites. Some analysts work with information collected from people who know or have access to sensitive information. This human source intelligence is known as Humint. The Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Humint Service, which is part of the Defense Intelligence Agency, are the organizations within the U.S. intelligence community that collect the majority of Humint. Analysts also work with signals intelligence (Sigint), information obtained from intercepted communications, radar emissions, or data transmissions. The National Security Agency is the primary collector of Sigint. Imagery (Imint) is information gathered by space-based, aerial, and ground-based systems. Imint sometimes offers real time electrooptical, radar, or infrared images of specific areas of interest. The difficult job of determining whose intelligence "target" is covered by these sophisticated systems is the responsibility of managers at the

Central Imagery Office. Measurement and Signature Intelligence (Masint) consists of data that describe distinctive physical characteristics of a specific event, such as measuring the contents of a rocket plume or the size of a nuclear explosion. The Defense Intelligence Agency and the armed forces collect Masint. Analysts also participate in the interagency process, the way mid-level officials from across the U.S. government make and implement policy. They are members of specific expert communities who have a professional or academic interest in a given area of study. Most intelligence work has little to do with physical exertion and everything to do with mental activity. Once information is collected, it is disseminated to a variety of organizations to produce "all-source" finished intelligence. These analyses are at the heart of the "data fusion process" because they are intended to combine all relevant information to provide a coherent and accurate depiction of the topic at hand. All-source analyses of long-term interest are generally referred to as "intelligence estimates," although the intelligence community also provides all-source intelligence on topics of immediate concern. Three civilian organizations provide the majority of strategic all-source intelligence estimates to national policymakers. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) consists of about 20 National Intelligence Officers who are experts on specific issues or regions. Working for the Director of Central Intelligence, they supervise the production of major intelligence reports, often referred to as National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs). The National Foreign Intelligence Board, which is made up of senior representatives drawn from across the intelligence community, approves the estimates produced by the NIC, thereby generating a "community-wide" position on a particular subject. The Directorate of Intelligence (DI) of the Central Intelligence Agency is where the majority of all-source analysis is conducted by the CIA. Organized into offices that cover geographic regions and specific political, military, or economic issues, analysts produce current intelligence and undertake long-term research efforts, such as NIEs. The third organization that produces all-source intelligence is the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). It is organized into bureaus covering regional and issue areas, and its analysts supply finished intelligence to the Secretary of State and other Department of State officials. It produces a counterpart to the National Intelligence Daily, the daily Secretary's Morning Summary, which is provided to the Secretary of State. The Department of Defense also maintains a vast network of organizations that produce finished in-

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Part I Intelligence in the United States: An Introduction investigates and monitors foreign efforts to spy against the U.S. government and industry. It also conducts operations against hostile intelligence services operating within the United States. Recently, the bureau has been under pressure to place less emphasis on investigating terrorist activities within the United States with an eye toward criminal prosecution and to take more direct action to capture or interdict terrorists before they can strike.

telligence, which deals mostly with foreign militaries. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) provides finished intelligence on military issues to the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Additionally, each of the military services maintains specialized intelligence capabilities. The U.S. Army runs the National Ground Intelligence Center. It produces all-source analysis on foreign armies and security forces. The Intelligence Center of the Office of Naval Intelligence gathers information about foreign surface ships, submarines, and undersea weapons, and monitors the capabilities of foreign sensor systems and ocean surveillance systems. The National Air Intelligence Center is the Air Force's analytical organization that monitors foreign air forces and space programs. The Marine Corps Intelligence Activity provides finished intelligence to guide acquisition decision for the Marines and to plan military operations. Each of the unified commands (such as the U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM) runs a Joint Intelligence Center that produces intelligence directly related to military activities in the unified command's area of responsibility. Other government departments and agencies operate specialized intelligence bureaus. The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Intelligence, for instance, collects open-source information and produces classified and unclassified estimates dealing with foreign energy and technology programs. The DOE is especially concerned with monitoring international programs that could lead to the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Treasury Department also maintains a small intelligence bureau that monitors international economic, financial, and security affairs. Domestic counterintelligence activities are primarily the responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Security Division. The FBI

The Readings

Our first essay, an appendix to the Aspin-Brown Commission's report on the roles and missions of the U.S. intelligence community, offers a quick overview of the evolution of the U.S. intelligence community. It places the history of the intelligence community in the context of U.S. diplomatic history, demonstrating how the community evolved to meet the changing role and status of the United States in world politics. The second essay, Thomas Troy's "The Quaintness of the U.S. Intelligence Community: Its Origins, Theory, and Problems," defines the term intelligence community and discusses the difficulty of actually getting competing intelligence agencies to work together. The third essay, "The Use and Limits of U.S. Intelligence," is not about the past but rather addresses the future of U.S. intelligence in the aftermath of the September 11 Al-Qaeda attacks. The surprise suffered by the United States on that fateful September morning in 2001 had much in common with previous instances of surprise; hints of what was about to happen continue to be discovered in the intelligence pipeline. Frank J. Cilluffo, Ronald A. Marks, and George C. Sammoiraghi offer several suggestions about how to manage and analyze the enormous information flow that confronts analysts to better anticipate twenty-first century threats to the United States.

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