Intelligence Factors in the Cuban Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2241 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism

After the early1990's, the primary threat to the United States shifted from the Soviet Union to terrorism. However, the infrastructure of intelligence collection and analysis did not -- and still has not -- changed from its Cold War roots.

(Carafano. J. 2004)

One of the cardinal aspects which determined the format of U.S. intelligence during the 1960's and 1970's was the " ... development of technical means of intelligence collection, such as U-2 spy planes and photo reconnaissance satellites such as CORONA." (Intelligence Failure: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Iraq.)

These forms of intelligence was useful and appropriate for the determination of the location of military bases and for tracking the movements of troops and equipment, as was the case in the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a result, " ... priority for national intelligence collection shifted toward satellites and other electronic collection means and away from more traditional agent-based human intelligence." (Intelligence Failure: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Iraq.)

Another important area of concern with regard to the 9/11 situation was the lack of cohesion between the various intelligence bodies and departments prior to 9/11. There has been much criticism of this aspect and many have cited this lack of cooperation as one of the fundamental flaws in intelligence which may have been a central contributing factor to the terrorist attacks. This factor is expressed in the following assessment.

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While the National Security Act of 1947 gave the Director of the CIA (in his role as Director of Central Intelligence, or DCI) the overall responsibility for coordination of U.S. intelligence, he was given no direct control over the resources, personnel, or budgets of other agencies. Juggling competing priorities, differing corporate cultures, and smoothing over the inevitable inter-agency rivalries was (and remains today) a difficult task.

Term Paper on Intelligence Factors in the Cuban Assignment

(Intelligence Failure: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Iraq.)

This aspect was further emphasized in a conference in 2004 held by the Heritage Foundation on the subject of Intelligence reform, entitled "Strategic Intelligence and Terrorism from the 1970's to Today." Among the main points that emerged from the proceedings was the following. "The most significant limitations in national intelligence are an inadequate capacity to share information and the lack of human intelligence (HUMINT)." (Intelligence Failure: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Iraq.) This resulted in initiatives by the Bush demonstration to "improve information sharing by the creation of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)." (Intelligence Failure: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Iraq.)

In conclusion, it can be stated that there are similarities and differences in terms of intelligence between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the events of 9/11. From one point-of-view both events were flawed from an intelligence perspective in that they possibly did not take cognizance of the larger political and social profile that created these situations. On the other hand numerous studies attest to the essential difference between the two events in that a certain type of intelligence gathering process was more appropriate to the Cuba Crisis. The consensus seems to the that the failure of intelligence prior to 9/11 was largely due to the retention of patterns of intelligence gathering and procedures that were more suited to the type of situation exemplified by the Cuban Missile crisis, where High tech surveillances was the most effective means of gathering information. Due to the fact that this format was maintained since the Cuban Crisis this led to the essential "failure" of intelligence to stop the 9/11 attackers. A form of intelligence gathering and cooperation based on non-technological methods would possibly have more appropriate in this case. However this flaw in the patterns of intelligence gathering has been remedied by the present administration.


Carafano. J. (2004) The Case for Intelligence Reform: A Primer on Strategic Intelligence and Terrorism from the 1970s to Today. Retrieved from the National Heritage Foundation. Web site:

Intelligence Failure: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and Iraq. ( Transcript) Retrieved July 31, 2005 from America Abroad. Web site: hl=en& lr=lang_en& client=firefox-a

Learning from the Missile Crisis. Retrieved July 30, 2005 from Smithsonina Magazine: Web site:

Moritz F.A. (1997) PREDICTING "SURPRISE" ATTACK: Is it negligence or an impossible task? Retrieved July 31. 2005 . Web site:

Robbins J.S. (2003) Dem Delays. Retrieved July 31, 2005 from NRO. Web site:

Utley G. ( 2002) Did 9/11 change everything?… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Intelligence Factors in the Cuban" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Intelligence Factors in the Cuban.  (2005, August 2).  Retrieved September 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Intelligence Factors in the Cuban."  2 August 2005.  Web.  26 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Intelligence Factors in the Cuban."  August 2, 2005.  Accessed September 26, 2020.