Intelligence Issues for Congress [Updated February 17, 2006]   [open pdf - 94KB]

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 calls for a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Making cooperation effective presents substantial leadership and managerial challenges. The needs of intelligence 'consumers' -- ranging from the White House to cabinet agencies to mili[t]ary commanders -- must all be met, using the same systems and personnel. 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. [...] 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 will require changes in organizational relationships as well as acquiring necessary technologies. Counterterrorism requires the close coordination of intelligence and law enforcement agencies including the Department of Homeland Security. Although the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 removed previously existing statutory barriers, there remain many institutional and procedural issues that complicate cooperation between the two sets of agencies. Key provisions of USA PATRIOT were set to expire at the end of 2005, but Congress passed a brief extension in late December."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10012
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