Homeland Security: Intelligence Indications and Warning
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
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On September 11, 2001, inadequate information sharing between law enforcement and national intelligence agencies led to lost opportunities to thwart the attacks launched by Al-Qaeda. Little has yet been done to fix many of these problems. The nation has failed to formulate significant changes in the way it tasks, collects, analyzes, produces, and disseminates intelligence information. One of the most important changes needed in the current intelligence system is to create an opportunity for intelligence analysts from different organizations to confront each other and compare notes. This would be an outstanding way to compare competing hypotheses in an environment that would force analysts to defend and sharpen their judgments and analyses. In the future, law enforcement agencies and officials need to be included in this information sharing process. To facilitate this competition of analyses and sharing of ideas and information, a new intelligence Indications and Warning IW cell should be created in the Executive Branch. The head of IW should have direct access to senior intelligence officials and the President. It should embody at least four attributes to be effective. First, the IW cell should have a streamlined organizational structure and come under the direct control of the Director of Central Intelligence DCI. Second, the cell should be located, in a virtual or physical sense, close enough to the President, the National Security Council, and policy makers to provide all source intelligence analysis, long-range threats, and short-range warnings to decision makers in a timely manner. Third, a clearing house for intelligence threat analysis, a forum for analysts from all agencies should be developed. Analysts could use this clearinghouse to present their hypotheses before analysts from other agencies. Fourth, the new IW organization should have ties to the new Homeland Security Department.
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