How I’d Fix the Intelligence Community

Here’s my fix after cogitating on it for a while:

We want a cabinet post–so be it–we’ll call it the Department of National Intelligence (DepNatInt).

Then we’ll promote the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to Secretary of National Intelligence (SecNatInt).

We’ll divest the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of expressly Counter-Intelligence assets and responsibilities. As it is their mandate is too broad and they can’t perform any of it well. Create within the DeptNatInt a Domestic Counter-Intelligence Agency (DCA)–they will not do collection. They will act upon collected information which will be reported through liaisons with the existing Law Enforcement agencies (including Department of Energy (DoE) agencies and labs, Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), and State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR))–and initiate appropriate investigations which if fruitful will be referred back to appropriate law enforcement agencies for arrest and prosecution.

Then we combine Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Geo-Spatial Agency (NGA) and National Security Agency (NSA).  Service Intelligence agencies (Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy) will no longer be in the business of National level intelligence. Their mandate will be reduced to providing warfighter intelligence to the Regional Commanders-in-Chief (CinCs) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). They will also be subject matter experts called upon by this new Joint Intelligence Service (JIS). DIA and NSA will no longer be part of the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD will continue to staff the agency, but they report to the SecNatInt. DIA’s PsyOps and Operations will roll to US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) should remain pretty much as it is. It’ll pick up some capabilities.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should remain as the central repository and clearinghouse for collected material and its dissemination, after some renovation. CIA’s Operations Directorate should go to the JIS. JIS will need to make a distinction between Operations and Collections, they need not be so closely related, though the separation is not hard and fast. The Science and Technology Directorate should go to appropriate DoE specialites and NRO or JIS as appropriate. CIA’s mandate should include side-by-side analysis products, but it wouldn’t hurt to have an independent analysis source and INR could be a good one so INR remains at the State Department (DepState) to ensure independence.

So: DepNatInt is run by SecNatInt. SecNatInt is head of and oversees CIA, DCA, JIS and NRO. And that’s it. These four agencies are separated to maintain military/law enforcement and domestic/foreign separations, and to enhance separation between analysis, collection, and operations.

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