Term Paper: Changes the Only Thing Constant

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¶ … Changes

The only thing constant in this world is change. The idea of change can incorporate many different ideas such as evolution, devolution, growth, unfoldment and decay. The idea of change is natural and holistic in nature. Matter is always in motion at the smallest and largest levels and the days cannot be stopped even by the most powerful and dominant forces. Although we live in the eternal now, it is always morphing into something different as we experience the phenomenon known as time which is the measuring device for all change.

Within the complex organization known as the intelligence community, incorporating change into a strategic plan is essential in building success and achieving objectives. While there are many small and minute changes that can have subtle effects on the operations of intelligence assets, there are several major or macro changes that seem to have more of an effect. The purpose of this essay is to identify and discuss the dramatic world changes that are currently and significantly contributing to influencing the intelligence community in new and unfound ways. This essay will discuss how each of these changes will impact the future and how these changes will unveil new and different challenges to these intelligence organizations.

The first change that will be introduced in this essay is the impact of technology and its allowance for an abundance of new streams of intelligence. The essay will then discuss how the new political structures that have empowered the individual have altered the ways that the intelligence community performs their duties. The final change that will be discussed is the idea of extreme novelty and complexity that has arisen due to the combination of politics and technology. This essay will essentially argue that a new, more tolerant or receptive approach may be necessary for intelligence agencies to still be relevant and/or effective in their operations and practices.

The Current State of The Intelligence Community

Roulo (2013) recently wrote "the immense volume of open source information has increased commanders' intelligence needs and changed what sources they use. Ten or 15 years ago, intelligence briefings were primarily composed of what is traditionally thought of as intelligence -- human intelligence, signals intelligence, imagery intelligence -- with a little bit of open source information thrown in." The need to be more open and less restrictive in the approach to intelligence has become obvious. The current state of the intelligence community is a complex and winding stream of 17 different agencies directed by executive and congressional forces within the federal government.

According to Intelligence.gov the mission of the intelligence community is to "collect and convey the essential information the President and members of the policymaking, law enforcement, and military communities require to execute their appointed duties." This is a very broad mission and there are many questions that must be asked when contemplating this mission. Policymakers' attempts to regulate and direct the gathering of intelligence fall short of providing any real leadership in today's world as indicated by the need for the numerous agencies. The community is diffused and compartmentalized.

The most glaring signs of leadership in this community come from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). This office headed by Director James R. Clapper could be considered the true leader of the intelligence community. Mr. Clapper's directives include integrating intelligence from the highest to lowest levels of government and military. The strategic mission and the incorporation of intelligence resources and capabilities also are responsibilities of the ODNI. The public goals of the intelligence community are vague and do not present any real clear details on what is considered intelligence or what exactly the role of the government is in worldly affairs.

The problem rests within the purposes of intelligence gathering. 'Why' things are done should be held in the highest regard but in the mammoth organization that is the intelligence community, a pervasive stream of "busy work" appears to dominate the operation. A process has been defined in this community and is based on being dynamic and flexible. While these are useful catchphrases, the purpose of the process remains occult.

"The process begins with identifying the issues in which policy makers are interested and defining the answers they need to make educated decisions regarding those issues. We then lay out a plan for acquiring that information and go about collecting it. Once we have the proper intelligence, we sort through it, analyze what it means, and prepare summary reports and recommendations, which we deliver to national security policy makers. The answers our reports supply often reveal other areas of concern, which lead to more questions. In this way, the end of one cycle effectively leads to the start of the next." (Intelligence.gov, nd).

Technology

It is tempting to worship idols in this new technological age. The materials that have been created to afford more communication and entertainment are awe inspiring in many ways. Unfortunately, a Pandora's box has been unsealed with the advent of hyper-connectivity and instant access. Patience is no longer virtuous in today's world, where speed and quantity dominate the minds of power structures looking to control things in ways that are not seemingly possible.

Technology allows intelligence gathering organizations to operate in new and different ways. The use of invention has always been employed on the battlefield and today's world is only different in scope and not approach. An unequivocal relationship between power, wealth and technology has been engrained in the human psyche.

For these reasons it is important to demonstrate some restraint when employing new technology within the intelligence community. Technology has allowed for massive amounts of information and data to be gathered and stored. But with all of the data, human analysis is still obviously necessary to apply purpose and reason to the information. Quality and not quantity should be the goal of technology, otherwise it becomes easy to get lost in a mired mess of confusion and essentially lose focus of intent.

Drones and other computerized forces can be useful in the future for intelligence gathering purposes, but do little in the processing of the information. Human behavior is very peculiar and chaotic, computers lack emotion and empathy which are the keys to understanding the battlefield. Sun Tzu proclaimed that all war is deception and it is important to not deceive ourselves when using technological advances in the pursuit of our purposes.

The future of technology and its role in the intelligence community appears to becoming further saturated. It is imperative that the strategic intelligence objectives are clearly known and understood as proclaimed in the ONID's directives and mission. To do this, technology must be put in the proper perspective and humans should not view it as a panacea.

Politics

The technological or information age that is currently ongoing is the parenting force to the new political landscape that is emerging. The ability to bring people all over the world together has allowed new conduits of communication that seemingly empowers the masses of humanity. As a result, the individual is now viewed as a very strong political entity. The hyper-connectivity of the world now allows anyone to gain a significant audience and therefore have significant influence on the national strategic operations that rely on intelligence and intelligence gathering agencies.

This glaring world change can be seen in the global power China. Sant (2012) agreed when she wrote " as China prepares for a once-in-a-decade political transition, the country's soon to be new leaders are facing a population increasingly willing to voice its opposition to government policies. That is why we are looking at a society that has changed, and that is really ready for this individual pursuit and the rights of individualism." China is a huge threat to the American way of life and many economic and military issues are tied directly to the political ties with this country. Identifying the power of the individual within a country such as China can help the intelligence community realize that things are indeed changing.

Since all politics are considered to be most effective at a local and decentralized level, the scope of the intelligence community has essentially exponentially evolved to unexpected anticipation. How can the intelligence community be expected to be everywhere? It is impossible. Sun Tzu also suggested that keeping the enemy in the dark is essential and creating illusions is a must to be successful on the battlefield. The intelligence community must walk a fine line in not intruding on people's rights yet still have them believe that they are being monitored.

The Internal Struggle

The burdens that accompany counter-intelligence, false flag operations and the necessary deceptions that allows the intelligence community to accomplish their mission are great. The risk lies in self-deception. The world changes that are occurring are shedding more light on the deceptive nature of the intelligence community.

The recent Snowden fiasco has demonstrated that the world is leery of America's actions and this is a tense time in the community. Harowitz (2013)… [END OF PREVIEW]

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