ABSTRACT

Intelligence Issues for Congress [January 9, 2009]   [open pdf - 256KB]

"To address the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community in the 21st century, congressional and executive branch initiatives have sought to improve coordination among the different agencies and to encourage better analysis. [...]. International terrorism, a major threat facing the United States in the 21st century, presents a difficult analytical challenge. Techniques for acquiring and analyzing information on small groups of plotters differ significantly from those used to evaluate the military capabilities of other countries. U.S. intelligence efforts are complicated by unfilled requirements for foreign language expertise. Whether all terrorist surveillance efforts have been consistent with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) has been a matter of controversy. Changes to FISA were enacted in legislation (P.L. 110-161) signed on July 10, 2008. Intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was inaccurate and Members have criticized the performance of the Intelligence Community in regard to current conditions in Iraq, Iran, and other areas. Improved analysis, while difficult to mandate, remains a key goal. Better human intelligence, it is widely agreed, is also essential. Intelligence support to military operations continues to be a major responsibility of intelligence agencies. The use of precision guided munitions depends on accurate, real-time targeting data; integrating intelligence data into military operations challenges traditional organizational relationships and requires innovative technological approaches. Counterterrorism requires the close coordination of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but there remain many institutional and procedural issues that complicate cooperation between the two sets of agencies. This report will be updated as new information becomes available."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33539
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2009-01-09
Series:
Copyright:
Public Domain
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Via E-mail
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
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