Intelligence Issues for Congress [Updated December 3, 2007]   [open pdf - 184KB]

From the Summary: "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. In December 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (P.L. [Public Law] 108- 458) was signed, providing for a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with substantial authorities to manage the national intelligence effort. The legislation also established a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. […] Intelligence collection systems are expensive and some critics suggest there have been elements of waste and unneeded duplication of effort while some intelligence 'targets' have been neglected. The DNI has substantial statutory authorities to address these issues, but the organizational relationships will remain complex, especially for Defense Department agencies. […] International terrorism, a major threat facing the United States in the 21st century, presents a difficult analytical challenge. […] Whether all terrorist surveillance efforts have been consistent with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) has been a matter of controversy. […] 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 and other situations. Improved analysis, while difficult to mandate, remains a key goal. […] 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."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33539
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