Intelligence Issues for Congress [April 23, 2013]   [open pdf - 368KB]

"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. 108-458) was signed, providing for a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with authorities to manage the national intelligence effort. The legislation also established a Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Making cooperation effective presents substantial leadership and managerial challenges. The needs of diverse intelligence 'consumers' must all be met, using many of the same systems and personnel. The DNI has substantial statutory authorities to address these issues, but the organizational relationships remain complex, especially for intelligence agencies that are part of the Defense Department. Members of Congress in their oversight role may seek to observe the extent to which effective coordination is accomplished. The intelligence community, which comprises 17 agencies, has experienced a decade of budgetary growth. That era was typified by (1) institution building with embryonic organization such as the Office of the DNI and other new or evolving intelligence components, (2) information sharing and collaboration across those institutions, and (3) a focus on counterterrorism. While those issues will remain areas of congressional interest, Members will likely confronted by a new set of intelligence challenges resulting from budgetary realities and from second-order effects stemming from post-9/11 changes."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33539
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