The Coast Guard Intelligence Program Enters the Intelligence Community. A Case Study of Congressional Influence on Intelligence Community Evolution
NATIONAL DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE COLL WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH
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This work builds on earlier publications in this series, particularly Occasional Paper Number Nine, The Creation of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency Congresss Role as Overseer, by Anne Daugherty Miles. The author of the present paper has examined how the Coast Guard became a member of the Intelligence Community, how Congress was involved, and how Congress will likely be increasingly involved in the organization of the Community. Although the United States Coast Guard has utilized intelligence capabilities since the services inception in 1790, the Coast Guard was not included as a formal member of the Intelligence Community until December 2002. Mr. Wirth describes the story behind the short but significant amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 which resulted in the Coast Guards formal entry into the Intelligence Community. Researched within eighteen months of passage, this case study exhaustively documents extensive congressional and Coast Guard staff work. Interviews at the action officer level clearly reveal the view from the bureaucratic trenches, and additional attention to talking points, meeting minutes, and email summaries add immediacy as they further clarify positions from within departments, staffs and agencies. A brief examination of the surrounding political and geopolitical events, such as the bombing of the USS Cole, political changes in Congress, internal Coast Guard actions, and the tragic attacks of September 11th, provide context to the passage of this provision. Derived from a thesis completed in 2003, this paper illustrates the importance of gathering electronic data immediately, since much of the reference material on which this study is based existed only as informal e-mail or documents stored on computers. Much of it likely would have been erased had the research started even a year later.
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Defense
- Military Intelligence