Information Sharing, Dot Connecting and Intelligence Failures: Revisiting Conventional Wisdom   [open pdf - 113KB]

"The year is 2014. The Intelligence Community [IC] is ten years into its efforts to implement the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA). While change has been evident on many fronts, nothing was more closely identified with intelligence reform than information sharing; ever since the 9/11 Commission declared that 'the biggest impediment to all-source analysis -- to a greater likelihood of connecting the dots -- is the human or systemic resistance to sharing information', the two had been inextricably linked. And while we were pushing more electrons than ever before, dissatisfaction continued: in 2014, as in 2009, no analyst in the IC had effective access to all information; analysts in many parts of the Community complained that they couldn't get operational traffic or law enforcement information; we had little ability to do large scale processing of foreign and domestic data sets; our non Federal partners were still dissatisfied with the quality of information sharing. A dizzying array of directives had been issued. Arbitration procedures had been established. And yet organizations weren't getting the information they claimed to 'need.' Legitimate issues coexisted with tripe. According to the critics, we still couldn't connect those dots. The reality, however, was far more complex: the only question was whether it took a major intelligence failure to realize that fact."

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U.S. National Counterterrorism Center: http://www.nctc.gov/
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