Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Recommended Read

America’s Security: The Genesis of a Problem
by George Shadroui
26 April 2005

After the Vietnam War, a dovish Congress spent almost a quarter century undermining, mismanaging and debunking our military and our intelligence capabilities.

The release several weeks ago of the Weapons of Mass Destruction panel report underscored several realities that were not unexpected but were still disturbing.

In one conclusion, the panel reported: “Our collection agencies are often unable to gather intelligence on the very things we care most about….Across the board, the intelligence community knows disturbingly little about the nuclear programs of many of the world most dangerous actors.”

On page five of the executive summary, the panel states: “Current intelligence in support of military and other action is necessary, of course. But we also need an Intelligence Community with strategic capabilities: it must be equipped to develop long-term plans for penetrating today’s difficult targets, and to identify political and social trends shaping the threats that lie over the horizon.”

The report continues, reporting that the Intelligence Community: “is reluctant to use human and technical collection methods; it is behind the curve in applying cutting-edge technologies; and it has not adapted its personnel practices and incentives structures to fit the needs of a new job market.”

In short, our Intelligence Community has failed to follow many of the most basic precepts of strategic planning. Day to day demands apparently prevent analysts from doing long-term and strategic analysis. Bureaucratic rivalries and jealousies have prevented cooperation at the highest levels, and entrenched status quo thinking has proven an obstacle to better results even in the face of pressing national emergencies.

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