Print Сite this

Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA

Introduction

An intelligence agency is a body that is based on a government with the sole purpose of gathering information. Information is very crucial to a government especially because it keeps the government informed of any threat that might accrue to its national security. There are various means of information gather that include cryptanalysis, communication interception, and espionage. Information may also be gathered through cooperation with other sources and institutions that have access to information. There is a high level of secrecy in such operations and there is the involvement of high profiled personnel1.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

The United States chief intelligence agency is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which is mandated to collect and analyze information on various government interests. The CIA’s primary task is to gather information on other governments so that it can be able to point out threats. The United States has for a long time played a crucial role in maintaining world order and spearheading the ideology of democracy throughout the world. This has in turn created various enemies of the United States who view it as bossing other governments. The CIA is responsible for gathering information about the enemies of the United States and in doing so it prevents threats from materializing by informing the government of any threat to the country.

Early organization

The congress of the United States passed a National Security Act in 1947 and thus created The Central Intelligence Agency. The law was signed by the then United States President Harry S. Truman. It was preceded by Office of Strategic Services of the World War II. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was dissolved following reforms that had been necessitated by the unorganized nature of the OSS. The creator of the OSS William J. Donovan had proposed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt about the creation of an independent intelligence organization which would be supervised by the president himself. It was supposed to gather information using covert and overt methods and it would also be responsible for offering intelligence guidance to the government2.

The CIA predecessor had not been independent because they were under military departments and this had limited their efficiency in the World War II which was hallmarked by the organizations failure to come up with intelligence of the Japanese intention to attack the Pearl Harbor. The United States suffered after the attack which left a lot of American weaponry destroyed and a lot of lives were lost3.

Intelligence reforms after Second World War

During the Second World War, the chief intelligence organization of the United States was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). It had failed the country because it had not gathered enough information about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The then American President Truman disbanded the Office of Strategic Service and this lay a platform for the creation of an independent intelligence agency that would be more independent and would be supervised by the president. It was seen as the preparation of the government to create a new intelligence outfit to cater for the information gathering during peace time4.

It is in this respect that the president directed the creation of the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) which was seen as an effort for laying a platform for a long-lasting and sanctioned statutorily intelligence agency. This body grew rapidly and by the end of 1946, it had increased its membership from just 100 to a staggering 1,800 members. The Central Intelligence Group had also been active in creating a sense of self-independence and was responsible for various espionage missions and information analysis. It is this that led to the passing of the National Security Act of 1947 which recognized the agency as an independent body. The agency had helped the government to be ready for war and plan warring strategies and to prepare peace after a war5.

From the year 1946 to the year 1953 America felt under constant threat from Russia and this necessitated a lot of information gathering byways of covert operations and espionage. This acted as a catalyst for the evolution of the intelligence levels in the country. The National Security Act that had been passed into law in 1947 renamed the Central Intelligence Group to the Central Intelligence Agency. The act also began its penultimate phase of the early organization and the laying of the foundation of the country’s intelligence. One important person in that era was Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter who was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He failed in strengthening the position of the CIA in the government and hence it had been overshadowed by other National Security Departments6.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

His successor General Walter Beedle Smith passed a series of reforms the transformed CIA into a bureaucratic structured organization and with this, it adopted a role and a culture that it would uphold for the next twenty years. These new outfits of American intelligence were very successful in terms of the cold war. Since it had to concentrate on America’s foes who posed a threat to national security, it had to use espionage tactics to gather information about such countries as Russia and China. However, it had its failures and this led to the congressional investigations of the 1970s where the CIA was reviewed by congress due to several mistakes that had been noted by the government. Many of these ranged from abuse of power and human rights by the CIA in its various operations7.

Congress investigations of the 1970s

CIA had been operating smoothly and flawlessly for twenty years. However, there were cases of increased abuse of power and human rights by the CIA and this was kept hidden from the general public. One of the sell-outs of the CIA was the Watergate Scandal where the CIA was adversely involved. Congress in an attempt to assert oversight of the presidency and the United States executive arm unearthed the dark side of the CIA. It was made clear to the public that the CIA was responsible for the assassination of many world leaders and had also attempted to assassinate numerous other world leaders. Also, it was publicized the issue of human rights abuse by the CIA whereby it abused the right of privacy by performing illegal spying on the citizens and this allowed congress to investigate the intelligence organizations and settings in the country8.

The Watergate Scandal was one of the most important lets down the CIA had ever experienced because some of its ex-members were involved in breaking into the Democratic Party’s headquarters under the bequest of the then Republican president Richard Nixon. The CIA was also used by the president to impede the investigations that had been performed by the FBI concerning the breaking into of Democratic Party headquarters. The whole affair led to the resignation of President Nixon from the office. He had been recorded warning the CIA against the matter being investigated by the FBI because it would also reveal and publicize the CIA’s involvement in the Bay of Pigs of Cuba, an operation that was organized by the CIA to assassinate the Cuban president Fidel Castro. The CIA’s involvement in the Bay of Pigs was also investigated by Congress9.

There was also another revelation of the ‘Family Jewels.’ These were reports of illegal activities that had been kept secret by the agency. In 1974, an investigative journalist brought to the surface the issues of the family jewels reports and this were the headline in The New York Times and it was a clear indicator that the agency was involved in the assassination of some foreign leaders. The family jewels reports also indicated that the CIA had performed illegal surveillance on some seven thousand people who were in an antiwar campaign and who were citizens of the United States of America.

In 1975, congress reacted to the CIA charges and formed a committee known as Church Committee and which was headed by Senator Frank Church. The House of Representatives also reacted to these charges by forming a committee known as the Pike Committee which was chaired by Otis Pike. The executive arm of the government did not fail to react also and the then president of the United States Gerald Ford formed the Rockefeller Commission and he also issued an Executive Order that prohibited foreign leaders’ assassination10.

There was also the scandal of the Iran-Contra Affair where the CIA was involved in the smuggling of arms. This led to the creation of the Intelligence Authorization Act in the year 1991. This act defined operations as covert and secret if the missions were in countries or regions where the United States is not engaged openly. This also required the agency to have a chain of authority and approval from the president if the reports of any mission were satisfactory to the president and the relevant authority. It also required the House and Senate intelligence committees to be informed of any mission and in case of an emergency mission; the agency has to given the House and the Senate a timely notification11.

Intelligence reforms after 9/11 attacks

The intelligence of the United States failed miserably in the year 2001 after terrorists hijacked and crashed two airplanes one to the Twin Towers and the other at The Pentagon. This failure prompted Congress and the executive arm of the government to initiate strategies to revitalize and reinvent the intelligence of the country. The centerpiece of this was earmarked by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act which was passed in the year 2004. This culminated in various proposals meant to reform the country’s intelligence and key among them was the Boren/McCurdy 1992 initiative. This initiative called for the director of intelligence to be strengthened and the readjustment of the intelligence of the country effort in their capability of countering the rising new threats. Between the years 1990 and 2001 there were numerous proposals for intelligence reforms but little progress was witnessed. The events of 9/11 prompted the government to start an immediate and important intelligence reform12.

We will write a custom
essays
specifically
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

There was the creation of the 9/77 Commission which was responsible for reprimanding the CIA for its failed intelligence collection and the commission also focused on an initiative to come up with an Intelligence Sharing and Coordinating Authority as one of its recommendations. The law surprised many people with the ideas it borrowed from business management. One of the reform recommendations is that since the intelligence community is composed of many and competing entities, the committee recommended that it would be better off if the entities were brought together under one umbrella. This would ensure that the community would be unified by a common mission and would have a very powerful Chief Executive Officer, just like in the business circles.

Another reform is the expansion of the role of the FBI in the gathering of domestic intelligence because it acts as a basis under which surveillance and investigation would not necessarily need authorization from such entities as courts13.

These reforms have improved the security of the citizens of the United States. This is because the intelligence has now been adjusted so that they can effectively deal with threats from outside and inside the country. The business-like approach to the new intelligence has also proved to worth the while because the intelligence will now have to operate like in real business world where they have to meet the targets in this case the targets being to gather information of any likelihood of a threat to the national security of the country14.

Bibliography

  1. Bennett, James R. “The Agencies of Secrecy: A Bibliographic Guide to the U.S. Intelligence Apparatus.” National Reporter 9, no. 3-4 (1986): 41-47.
  2. Calder, James D., comp. Intelligence, Espionage and Related Topics: An Annotated Bibliography of Serial Journal and Magazine Scholarship, 1844-1998. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999.
  3. Goehlert, Robert, and Elizabeth R. Hoffmeister, Eds. The CIA: A Bibliography. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1980.
  4. Lowenthal, Mark M. The U.S. Intelligence Community: An Annotated Bibliography. New York & London: Garland, 1994.
  5. CIA. Web.

Footnotes

  1. Bennett, James R. “The Agencies of Secrecy: A Bibliographic Guide to the U.S. Intelligence Apparatus.” National Reporter 9, no. 3-4 (1986): 41-47.
  2. Goehlert, Robert, and Elizabeth R. Hoffmeister, Eds. The CIA: A Bibliography. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1980.
  3. Bennett, James R. “The Agencies of Secrecy: A Bibliographic Guide to the U.S. Intelligence Apparatus.” National Reporter 9, no. 3-4 (1986): 41-47.
  4. Lowenthal, Mark M. The U.S. Intelligence Community: An Annotated Bibliography. New York & London: Garland, 1994.
  5. Calder, James D., comp. Intelligence, Espionage and Related Topics: An Annotated Bibliography of Serial Journal and Magazine Scholarship, 1844-1998. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999.
  6. Lowenthal, Mark M. The U.S. Intelligence Community: An Annotated Bibliography. New York & London: Garland, 1994.
  7. Calder, James D., comp. Intelligence, Espionage and Related Topics: An Annotated Bibliography of Serial Journal and Magazine Scholarship, 1844-1998. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999.
  8. Bennett, James R. “The Agencies of Secrecy: A Bibliographic Guide to the U.S. Intelligence Apparatus.” National Reporter 9, no. 3-4 (1986): 41-47.
  9. Lowenthal, Mark M. The U.S. Intelligence Community: An Annotated Bibliography. New York & London: Garland, 1994.
  10. Lowenthal, Mark M. The U.S. Intelligence Community: An Annotated Bibliography. New York & London: Garland, 1994.
  11. Calder, James D., comp. Intelligence, Espionage and Related Topics: An Annotated Bibliography of Serial Journal and Magazine Scholarship, 1844-1998. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999.
  12. Goehlert, Robert, and Elizabeth R. Hoffmeister, Eds. The CIA: A Bibliography. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1980.
  13. Bennett, James R. “The Agencies of Secrecy: A Bibliographic Guide to the U.S. Intelligence Apparatus.” National Reporter 9, no. 3-4 (1986): 41-47.
  14. CIA website.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2021, October 24). Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/various-reforms-in-the-intelligence-community-of-the-usa/

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2021, October 24). Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA. https://studycorgi.com/various-reforms-in-the-intelligence-community-of-the-usa/

Work Cited

"Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA." StudyCorgi, 24 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/various-reforms-in-the-intelligence-community-of-the-usa/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA." October 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/various-reforms-in-the-intelligence-community-of-the-usa/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA." October 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/various-reforms-in-the-intelligence-community-of-the-usa/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2021. "Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA." October 24, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/various-reforms-in-the-intelligence-community-of-the-usa/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Various Reforms in the Intelligence Community of the USA'. 24 October.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.