Proposals for Intelligence Reorganization, 1949-2004
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Proposals for the reorganization of the United States Intelligence Community have repeatedly emerged from commissions and committees created by either the executive or legislative branches. The heretofore limited authority of Directors of Central Intelligence and the great influence of the Departments of State and Defense have inhibited the emergence of major reorganization plans from within the Intelligence Community itself. Proposals to reorganize the Intelligence Community emerged in the period immediately following passage of the National Security Act of 1947 P.L. 80-253 that established the position of Director of Central Intelligence DCI and the Central Intelligence Agency CIA. Recommendations have ranged from adjustments in the DCIs budgetary responsibilities to the actual dissolution of the CIA and returning its functions to other departments. The goals underlying such proposals have reflected trends in American foreign policy and the international environment as well as domestic concerns about governmental accountability. In the face of a hostile Soviet Union, early intelligence reorganization proposals were more concerned with questions of efficiency. In the Cold War context of the 1950s, a number of recommendations sought aggressively to enhance U.S. covert action and counterintelligence capabilities. With the end of the Cold War, emerging security concerns, including transnational terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, faced the United States. Some statutory changes were made in the mid-1990s, but their results were not far-reaching. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the Iraq War, some observers urge reconsidering the intelligence organization. The 911 Commission has specifically recommended the establishment of a National Intelligence Director to manage the national intelligence program. This report will be updated as circumstances warrant.
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