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Matters of intelligence among the US community have been an important part of its administration because it influences security decisions and foreign policy. However, the collection and administration of intelligence have faced several controversies over time leading to conflict between the executive, congress and various joint stakeholders of the US intelligence community. Moreover, there have been several cases which the courts have intervened by ruling that certain intelligence could not be admitted for the sake of the national security. This therefore has called for reforms and strengthening off the legislations in place.
The US Intelligence Community which is a cooperative federation consists of 16 separate US government agencies which work separately and independently in conducting and responding to intelligence activities to ensure national security. The members of this federation are composed of military intelligence, intelligence agencies, analysis officers, civilian intelligence, and federal departments. The Intelligence Community is headed by the director National intelligence who directly reports to the US president. The member committee is responsible for collecting and producing domestic and foreign intelligence which will at the long run contribute to the planning for the national security (Rosenbach, 2009).
In March 2005, the US Intelligence Community through the Director National intelligence suggested the establishment of a center to deal with proliferation of weapons of mass weapons which responsibility was to manage and coordinate the analysis and collection of nuclear chemical and biological weapons within intelligence community. This suggestion was further backed by a provision by the intelligence reform and Terrorism prevention Act of 2004 that instructed the president to establish the National Counter proliferation center. Later in August 2005, a center was established by President Bush though it was not the exact which the intelligence reform act had envisioned.
The center was mandated several responsibilities; the newly formed National Counter proliferation center was in charge of coordinating strategic planning within among the intelligence community so as to strengthen the US efforts of halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It has also the responsibility of identifying critical intelligence gaps in the collection, exploration and development of long lasting solutions within the intelligence community. It was also mandated in working with the intelligence community in identification long term proliferation threats and developing strategies and mechanisms to ensure the issues and threats are clearly addressed. The responsibility of ensurering and maintain a close working relationship with outside sources was also mandated to the National Counter proliferation center. This would ensure that technological methods are outsourced from external partners that might equip the center with new capabilities of handling and preventing future proliferation threats (Christopher, 1996).
Within the US Intelligence Community there was establishment of a national Counter intelligence policy Board in 1994 which has the overall mandate of developing, recommending and considering various counter intelligence policies and planning directives to the national security advisor. It is constituted of representatives from the criminal intelligence agency (CIA), federal Bureau of investigation (FBI), director of national intelligence (DNI), defense unit, justice departments, and military service counter intelligence among others. Within this board there is the National Counter intelligence executive office which was established in 1995 to perform several functions in its operations.
The National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) ensures production of annual foreign intelligence threats, assessments and other counter intelligence analytics. It also produces annual national counter intelligence strategy for the US government, establishes priorities for counter intelligence investigations, collection, and operations. It does also produce counter intelligence program budgets and evaluations of strategic priorities. The National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX) is also responsible for production of in depth espionage damage assessment and counter intelligence capacity building through awareness creation and extensive outreach programs. Additionally it chairs the Counter intelligence policy Board.
The need for broad policy guidance within the intelligence community led to the formation of National Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID) in 1947. The NSCID has since over time kept on reforming and it operates within three sets of documents that is; intelligence community policy memorandums, intelligence community directives and intelligence community policy guidance. These have helped in provision of policy direction to the intelligence community and provision of implementation information.
In the US intelligence community, originally there existed the United States Intelligence Board (USIB), however this was abolished in 1976 and replaced by National Foreign Intelligence Board (NFIB). This led to transformation of all United States Intelligence Board (USIB) committees to the Director of Central Intelligence committees who were tasked in the implementation of intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act of 2004, then report directly to the director of national intelligence. To ensure effectiveness and efficiency of this implementation, the DNI committees have drawn several stakeholders who they work hand in hand with. These include Technology Transfer Intelligence Committee, National SIGINT committee, Foreign Denial and Deception Committee, Foreign Intelligence Priorities Committee, Economic Intelligence Committee, Scientific and technical Intelligence Committee, Joint atomic energy Intelligence Committee, Information handling Committee, Foreign Language committee, advanced research and development program Committee, Weapons and space systems intelligence Committee, Interagency Defector Committee, Narcotics Intelligence issues committee among others Weiner, 2007). In the year 1992, joint atomic energy Intelligence Committee, Weapons and space systems intelligence Committee and the Scientific and technical Intelligence Committee were designated under the national Intelligence Council.
Technology Transfer Intelligence Committee was also established to deal with hemorrhage of critical technology of Soviet Union and it performs the several functions. It advices the director national intelligence on effectiveness of intelligence community in backing up the US government on technology transfer, preparation and coordinating intelligence assessments of technology transfer, advice on technological transfers implications, provide foreign intelligence support on export control issues, monitoring all technological transfer intelligence transfers, provision of priority guidance on technology transfer issues and establish an information exchange program to enhance utility among all state departments and agencies concerned with technology transfer.
Within the intelligence community, in 1946 Economic Intelligence committee was formed as a subsidiary of the intelligence Advisory committee which was mandated towards assisting the Director of National Intelligence in production of foreign economic intelligence and also supports agencies that are in charge in formulating United States international economic policy. To legislate on emerging and eradication of existing problems within the intelligence community, the Critical Intelligence Problems Committee was created in the year 1958, with an objective of examining, collecting and analyzing various problems such as narcotics which further led to creation of a Narcotics working group. This working group focuses on various requirements associated with critical intelligence problem under review, the collection, processing and production of resources of critical intelligence problem. The working group also considers adjustments options which can accomplished within existing resources and weigh the impact that such adjustments could have on the Intelligence Community capability to respond to the intelligence needs. It is also responsible for recommending the adaptation of new initiatives that can increase the collection, processing and production efforts against the intelligence problem.
In 1975 the Critical Intelligence Problems Committee implemented some reforms within its mandate whereby it did a study on the intelligence activities against international Terrorism and came up with recommendations. As a follow up in 1985, it supported an international conference on combat intelligence analysis and came up with studies on combat intelligence analysis, strategic defense initiative intelligence and cruise missile collection. Later after two year the Critical Intelligence Problems Committee prepared another study on Soviet Enigma satellites.
The Director of Central Intelligence is executively managed by Foreign Intelligence Priorities Committee and especially in foreign intelligence requirements categories and priorities in the Director of Central Intelligence Directives. In 1986 the Committee raised order on collection of intelligence which was related to the America MIAs priority which was considered vital to US survival.
Not forgetting the Foreign Language Committee within the intelligence community it is very vital and has three main responsibilities. It appraises effectiveness of programs for recruiting, training and retaining various personnel's with elements of foreign competence. It also recommends to the Director National Intelligence on new initiatives that can be undertaken to ensure the availability of requisite foreign language competence within the intelligence community.
The national Intelligence officer chairs the Strategic Warning Committee which meets on weekly basis to discuss on matters of warning issues and also to coordinate various warning products such as watch lists like special warning notices and watch notes. It is constituted by several stakeholders who are drawn from Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and Central Intelligence Agency.
The Director of National Intelligence, Advanced research and Development committee works closely with research and development authorities in energy, imagery and defense units. Their main objective is to produce critical technologies that act as an investment guideline in key sectors such as communication, sensors, data storage and exchange, advanced processing and enabling technology.
All the aspects of data handling lies within the mandate of Information Handling Committee which normally supervises research and development of information handling systems, coming up with procedures and rules for information and data exchange between various stakeholders such as government sectors, research centers among others. The committee also is responsible for establishing training and educational programs in science and technology.
The Intelligence Community is fully equipped in dealing with terrorism whereby it has established the Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism. This committee is responsible for advising the Director National Intelligence in coordinating issues of national intelligence on terrorism matters. It promotes the effective reliance on intelligence resources for counter terrorism. This committee is composed of representatives from approximately forty two agencies which are distributed within the intelligence law enforcement, regulatory committees and the military.
The Overall in charge of the Intelligence community is the director Central Intelligence who also has been mandated other responsibly. To ensure the effectiveness the secretary of defense helps in handling several tasks such as approval of budgets and the management of the national intelligence agencies. However over time since 1970s random changes have been undertaken to improve and increase the operation efficiency up to 2001 when the secretary of defense proposed the formation of a position of under secretary of defense for Intelligence which was established by the congress (Jeffrey, 1994). Other measures and mechanisms applied for managing the defense intelligence are the military intelligence program, military intelligence board, military service intelligence chiefs. Later on the secretary of defense requested for an extended office which will be in charge of managing the department's intelligence activities and this was approved by the congress and an office was created within the National Defense Authorization Act of 2002.
The undersecretary was designated the responsibility of senior defense department intelligence, counter intelligence, primary representative of the secretary to the office of the Director of national Intelligence and other members of the intelligence community. Other responsibilities are budgeting, planning, execution, human capital, acquisition counter intelligence, security policy among others within the department.
The intelligence community employs four difference types of collection namely Imagery, SIGINT, MASINT and HUMINT which helps in reflecting the diversity and commonality of operations and collection systems. For imagery and SIGINT they are collected by satellites using aircrafts. SIGINT is also collected through use of submarines, ships and ground stations. These all require appropriate management to avoid inefficient use of the intelligence community resources. Thus the management of the satellite imaging was vested on the committee of Imagery Requirements and Exploration. This was established in 1967 by the Director in Central Intelligence Directive as a successor to the committee on overhead reconnaissance. It was further mandated to coordinate the collection requirements for development and operations of all imagery satellites. Over a period of time the committee on overhead reconnaissance started duplicating the imagery exploration activities thus calling the need for replacing it with the committee of Imagery Requirements and Exploration programs. COMIREX is constituted by representatives from National Foreign Intelligence Board agencies, intelligence chiefs of the Navy, Army and Air force. The main mandate for COMIREX is to perform the interagency coordination and management functions required to direct photographic satellite reconnaissance, target photography and photographic analysis.
SIGINT management is vested under the director of National Security Agency who closely works with the secretary of defense who conducts SIGINT activities in accordance with the provisions of providing support, direction, supervision, maintenance, funding and operation of National Security Agency. The DNSA is responsible for establishing an effective unified organization and control of all SIGINT collection and processing activities of US.
MASINT committee is mandated to offer advice to the defense department and intelligence community leaders, ensuring information exchange, fostering technology, developing policy, supporting community coordination validating and prioritizing requirements. This committee has seven working groups to help it in implementing its various roles and responsibilities. HUMINT call for quite diverse set of management arrangements to deal with various stakeholders ranging from Foreign Service officers, clandestine agents and defectors, and nongovernmental sources.
In conclusion the a lot still needs to be done to harmonize the process of intelligence collection and administration within the intelligence community if effectiveness it is to be real in United States. However, the executive must not be allowed to use without supervision the agencies to spy on its citizens unnecessarily rather to ensure there safety and security. Agencies must cooperate and diligently follow all leads to avert more threats to the United Sates through operating to and performing their diverse responsibilities.
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