Research Paper: Domestic Intelligence Agency the Necessity

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Such a pool of recruits limits the timeframe that would be needed in establishing a new agency by widening the prospects of potential agents. The ability to appeal to individuals willing to assist in intelligence work and nothing else could greatly reduce the time it takes to gather, train, and put in the field willing and ready applicants.

What Miller fails to consider is the fact that the FBI, in spite of its new reshaping, still focuses on a variety of missions for a variety of purposes. It is governed by a multi-varied objective, which is burdened by several missions -- none of which is actually "led" by intelligence-gathering forces.

The Bureau may be contrasted with the UK's intelligence-gathering agency MI5. The general idea behind the UK's domestic intelligence agency is that, rather than conduct its own investigations and arrests, it works "hand-in-hand" with England's police. In short, it truly acts as the "head" division of the nation's law enforcement divisions by providing information which is continuously gathered, analyzed, stored, and utilized when needed. In such a paradigm, MI5 acts as an intelligence-gathering instrument and nothing more: it does not conduct arrests nor prosecute. Its function is solely to track and assess perceived threats and to provide intelligence to officers as such information becomes applicable.

Since 9/11, MI5 has shifted its main focus to the threat of Islamic terrorism and works within a larger framework of the UK counter-terrorism operation CONTEST. The intelligence gathered by MI5 is used by CONTEST agents to "prevent, pursue, protect and prepare."

In this example of cohesive teamwork, the intelligence agency communicates with different agencies within the country to promote counter-terrorism. Such communication is hardly seen in the U.S. where several agencies actually compete with one another for information, informants, sources and resources. There is far too much conflict among agencies for them to effectively unite in a single mission with a single "spirit." Thus, a new domestic intelligence agency is greatly needed.

However, simply forming a domestic intelligence agency is by no means a sure-fire guarantee against threats to domestic security.

What such an agency can do is assist law enforcement agencies in monitoring those portions of society which pose a legitimate threat. Still, with the rise of terrorism in the post-9/11 world, the "once clear-cut distinction" between law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies has been blurred.

As a result law enforcement agencies have been given greater leeway gathering information -- leeway that has repercussions as far as the violation of civil liberties is concerned.

Thus, the separation of intelligence and enforcement agencies allows each agency to focus on one goal. It takes the "decision to arrest and prosecute an individual" out of the control of the agency which collected the information concerning the individual. It demands that agencies work together -- intelligence, enforcement, and prosecutorial -- in order to establish domestic security. It unites the community under one mission, even while each agency has its own distinct mission. Thus, it can be argued that "at the operational level, the existence of bureaus that can devote their full resources to preemptive information gathering, analysis, and dissemination is a positive feature."

Tensions may very well arise between various agencies as they are obliged to work more closely together, dependent as they are upon the other. But such tensions do not invalidate or outweigh the benefits of situating an agency in such a way that it can effect the "spirit of mission" it needs to be successful.

Weaknesses

Still, a new Domestic Intelligence Agency only solves the problem of intelligence-gathering. If all domestic intelligence is controlled by a new domestic agency, what will happen to agencies already in existence, such as the FBI and the CIA? Will it be just as unlikely that they share information with this new agency as they already do with one another? How will the new agency affect the structure of those already in existence? These questions pose greater problems, which, on a macro scale, serve to illustrate the complexities of revising the U.S. intelligence community. On a micro-analysis, it is clear that a single agency like the UK's MI5 would fill a need in intelligence-gathering. But on a macro-level, it is difficult to divorce domestic intelligence objectives from foreign intelligence objectives, including the role of covert operations. As Miller makes clear in his 2006 press release, the FBI is now more internationally connected than ever before, its work with intelligence communities of all the major nations better than ever. The impact that a new agency would have on agencies like the FBI and the CIA -- agencies already doing valuable work in the field -- needs to be assessed. As RAND notes, "Information is in short supply, uncertainties are large, and values are important."

How can the value of the FBI and the CIA be maintained if their intelligence-gathering systems are disrupted or changed in such a way as to radically alter the very nature of these two agencies? This question presents one of the fundamental weaknesses involved in the erection of a new domestic intelligence agency: it will have a profound and perhaps even detrimental effect on agencies like the Bureau and the value they bring to U.S. national security.

Conclusion

The necessity of establishing a new domestic intelligence agency is apparent in spite of what the Assistant Director of the FBI, John Miller, says about the improvements made within the Bureau since 9/11. While agencies like the FBI may be reshaping themselves to focus more on intelligence-gathering, such reshaping does not alter the overall nature of such an agency. The UK's MI5 is an intelligence-gathering agency whose mission is contained in that sole criterion. It is obliged to work together with law enforcement and prosecuting agencies. Yet, because its "mission" is clearly defined, its intelligence is able to be analyzed and utilized more efficiently. The absence of such an agency in the U.S. means that agencies like the FBI and CIA are left to perform a variety of functions that takes away from time and energy which may be devoted to better information-gathering strategies. What the U.S. lacks is an independent domestic intelligence agency that can support law enforcement agencies with an extensive library of information regarding all suspected threats to domestic security. The establishment of a new agency is sorely needed, even though its erection will raise larger issues concerning the relationship between itself and agencies already in existence.

Bibliography

Burch, James. "A Domestic Intelligence Agency for the United States? A Comparative

Analysis of Domestic Intelligence Agencies and Their Implications for Homeland Security, Homeland Security Affairs 3, No. 2 (June 2007).

CNN. "U.S. policymakers mull creation of domestic intelligence agency, CNN.com, Oct

20, 2008, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/20/domestic.intelligence.agency / (accessed July 8, 2013).

Jackson, Brian A., ed., Considering the Creation of a Domestic Intelligence Agency in the United States. CA: RAND (2009).

Miller, John. "FBI Responds to Call for Domestic Intelligence Agency," FBI.gov,

September 14, 2006, http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-responds-to-call-for-domestic-intelligence-agency (accessed July 8, 2013).

RAND. "Should the United States Establish a Dedicated Domestic Intelligence Agency

for Counterterrorism?" CA: Homeland Security Program and the Intelligence Policy Center (2008).

Ransom, Harry. "The Politicization of Intelligence," in "A Domestic Intelligence

Agency for the United States? A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Intelligence Agencies and Their Implications for Homeland Security, James Burch, Homeland Security Affairs 3, No. 2 (June 2007).

Samaan, J., Verneuil, L. "Civil-Military Relations in Hurricane Katrina: A Case Study

on Crisis Management in Natural Disaster Response." Berlin: Global Public Policy Institute (2009): 421.

Treverton, Gregory. Reorganizing U.S. Domestic Intelligence: Assessing the Options.

CA: RAND Corporation (2008).

Weick, K. "Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems," Administrative

Science Quarterly 21 (1976).

"What We Investigate," FBI.gov, http://www.fbi.gov/about-

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John Miller, "FBI Responds to Call for Domestic Intelligence Agency," FBI.gov.

CNN, "U.S. policymakers mull creation of domestic intelligence agency, CNN.com, Oct 20, 2008, http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/20/domestic.intelligence.agency / (accessed July 8, 2013).

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RAND, "Should the United States Establish a Dedicated Domestic Intelligence Agency for Counterterrorism?" (CA: Homeland Security Program and the Intelligence Policy Center, 2008), 2.

CNN, "U.S. policymakers mull creation of domestic intelligence agency, CNN.com.

J. Samaan, L. Verneuil, "Civil-Military Relations in Hurricane Katrina: A Case Study on Crisis Management in Natural Disaster Response" (Berlin: Global Public Policy Institute, 2009): 421.

RAND, "Should the United States Establish a Dedicated Domestic Intelligence Agency for Counterterrorism?" 2.

"What We Investigate," FBI.gov, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/what_we_investigate (accessed July 8, 2013).

Harry Ransom, "The Politicization of Intelligence," in "A Domestic Intelligence Agency for the United States? A Comparative Analysis of Domestic Intelligence Agencies and Their Implications for Homeland Security, James Burch, Homeland Security Affairs 3, No. 2 (June 2007): 3.

James Burch, "A… [END OF PREVIEW]

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