Secret Intelligence and Covert Action: Consensus in an Open Society
Study project rept.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
Consensus on clandestine human intelligence HUMINT and covert action has fluctuated since the 1970s, when controversial government activities were exposed to the public. A critical debate ensued over the principal issues of propriety, accountability, and secrecy. Assertive congressional oversight developed, and sharp political confrontation replaced bipartisan consensus. HUMINT and covert action declined during the 1970s. Covert action increased in the early 1980s, but HUMINT lagged behind. Post-Cold War defense budget reductions have changed the intelligence debate to emphasize reform for cost- effectiveness. Although HUMINT and covert action are relatively inexpensive, their questioned effectiveness has resulted in scrutiny. Most authorities see covert action as a capability to be kept in readiness for rare occasions when its use is clearly appropriate. Because of low cost and increased requirements, most reformers urge revitalization of HUMINT.
- Military Intelligence