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Fusion Center Challenges: Why Fusion Centers Have Failed To Meet Intelligence Sharing Expectations

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This thesis intends to uncover why critics have cited fusion centers at the national, regional, and state levels of the Intelligence Community IC for the inability to share intelligence. The research method examines three case studies the National Counterterrorism Center NCTC, the El Paso Intelligence Center EPIC, and state and local fusion centers now combined into a National Network. All three case studies reveal how fusion centers at these various levels of the IC have been inhibited from sharing information because of three primary challenges 1 the absence of a standardized model, 2 an insufficient concentration on counterterrorism CT as a mission, and 3 underdeveloped or missing external agency partnerships, although each challenge often affects each particular case study in different ways. For NCTC, external partnerships exhibit the most prevalent challenge at the national level for EPIC, the diffusion of its mission creates the most difficult obstacle for it to overcome and for the National Network, standardization precludes state and local fusion centers from sharing information while barring them from a more refined mission-set and better, more reciprocal partnerships.

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  • Military Intelligence

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