The Decline of the National Reconnaissance Office
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
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The National Reconnaissance Office NRO was once the benchmark organization for excellence in acquisition and program management. It had a reputation for designing and procuring the most sophisticated unmanned satellite and aircraft reconnaissance systems in history. These acquisitions were mostly accomplished on time and within budget, and they performed as promised. Despite an occasional problem program, the NROs record of accomplishment was unsurpassed by any organization, considering the high technical risk that goes with developing state-of-the-art systems. A team of dedicated military and civilian personnel stood behind these accomplishments. Unfortunately, the NRO today is a shadow of its former self. Its once outstanding expertise in system engineering has drastically eroded. This article explores the dissolving relation ship between the NRO and the CIA, which traditionally supplied a major portion of the organizations technical expertise. It provides a perspective on key issues as the NRO faces tough decisions and an uncertain future.
- Administration and Management
- Government and Political Science
- Military Intelligence