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Zelikow Reflections on Reform 18Sep2012

Zelikow Reflections on Reform 18Sep2012

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Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 3 (September 2012)
All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of theauthor. Nothing in the article should be construed as asserting or implying US govern-ment endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.
A Personal Perspective 
The Evolution of Intelligence Reform, 2002–2004
Philip Zelikow 
The basic issues were: How much centralized managerial authority was required? Where should this authority be located 
in the government? 
 Large organizational change in the United States occurs in evolutions,not revolutions.
Preliminary accounts explaininghow and why major organizationalreform of the US intelligence estab-lishment finally occurred after 9/11have appeared. So far, none has beensatisfactory, although I believeMichael Allen (currently the staff director of the House PermanentSelect Committee on Intelligence(HPSCI) and former senior NationalSecurity Council (NSC) official) ispreparing a good one. There aresome gaps in published knowledgethat I can help fill.Before I provide my view of theevents that led directly to the pas-sage of the Intelligence Reform andTerrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA)of December 2004, I wish to offer aperspective on the basic choices thatwere to be made with intelligencereorganization. Because the legisla-tion itself involved so many pointsof detail, fundamental issues can beobscured. The basic issues were:How much centralized managerialauthority was required? Whereshould this authority be located inthe government?A starting point was the strugglebetween CIA Headquarters in Lang-ley, Virginia, and the Pentagon. Thislong-running tug-of-war was com-plicated by 9/11 and the increasedsalience of domestic intelligencethat followed. Then the issue wascomplicated again by the Iraq Warcontroversy and arguments aboutanalytical quality and detachment.All three of these concerns influ-enced the law that emerged at theend of 2004.Apart from the broader reorganiza-tion of the Intelligence Community(IC), another significant reform wasthe establishment of the NationalCounterterrorism Center (NCTC).This innovation has been important incounterterrorism (CT) work. It hasalso spurred some attention as anovel way of organizing other jointwork, federal and intergovernmental.The NCTC model is also gettingsome notice from folks puzzling overhow to organize cybersecurity work.
 Historical Context
Why should anyone care about“intelligence reform?” 
The organization of the IC is anarcane topic to people not close to it.And it can be numbing to plenty of insiders too. Intelligence is one of the largest enterprises of the USgovernment. The National Intelli-gence Program is currently funded at$55 billion a year.
As a part of thediscretionary portion of the federalbudget, this scale—if it were a cabi-net department—would be thefourth largest in the government,
Evolution of Intelligence Reform 
Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 3 (September 2012)
behind only Defense, Health andHuman Services, and Education.The National Intelligence Program isthus a good deal larger than, say, theDepartment of Homeland Security,or the Department of State and thevarious international affairs pro-grams, or the Departments of Inte-rior, Justice, Energy, Transportation,and so on.
Since the early 1950s the US gov-ernment has set up an almost incom-prehensibly vast number of activitiesto “watch” what is going on aroundthe world. The world is a big place.So the government makes manykinds of choices about how to directits attention. Distill them to theiressence and a lot of the argumentsabout intelligence reorganization justboil down to this: Who will decidewhat channels to watch?
Hundreds of thousands of peoplewill be recruited, trained in particu-lar ways, and deployed to certainunits and places to answer some-one’s questions. Very expensivemachines will be designed, pro-cured, and operated to do the same.All of this effort is designed to seeand hear people or other items of interest. Of interest to
The Early Organizations
There is good material on the cre-ation of the CIA, especially in the rel-evant volumes of the
Foreign Relations of the United States
seriesspecifically on this topic (1945–1950,1950–1955). Solid surveys of thewhole history of intelligence reformefforts are the two monographs pub-lished by CIA’s Center for the Studyof Intelligence: one by Michael War-ner and J. Kenneth McDonald andanother by Douglas Garthoff.
Despite the significance of the1947 and 1949 legislation, the mod-ern CIA really came into being afterthe tremendous intelligence shocksof the Korean War. Before theKorean War the CIA was a shell,mainly used to collate State and mil-itary reports. The character of theNorth Korean attack was itself ashock, a kind of intelligence-policyfailure. Perhaps most shocking werethe misjudgments about Chinesemoves during October and Novem-ber 1950.From November 1950 onward, thecountry began preparing in earnestfor World War III. Truman appointeda new director of central intelli-gence right after the Korean Warbegan: Walter Bedell “Beetle”Smith. Smith had been Eisen-hower's chief of staff during WorldWar II. The CIA was transformed.NSA was created in 1952. The term“intelligence community” first cameinto use that year. Resources flow-ing into every aspect of intelligencework massively increased. Buildingon skeletal frameworks created inthe 1940s, much of the recognizablenational security state we have todaytook shape in the 1950s and early1960s. By 1960 the major fault linesin the sprawling new intelligenceestablishment had appeared. Thesesame fault lines would be evident forthe next 40 years and vestiges of them remain today.On one side of the most importantfault line were the advocates for theprimacy (to answer all those “who”questions posed above) of “civil-ian,” “strategic,” or “national” intel-ligence. These broad perspectiveswere identified with the CIA—with“Langley.” The State Department’searlier role in providing “civilian,”“strategic,” and “national” intelli-gence was eclipsed, though it did notdisappear.On the other side of the basic faultline were advocates for the primacyof “defense” or “military” intelli-gence. These wartime perspectiveswere identified with the Departmentof Defense and the armed ser-vices—with “the Pentagon.” If themain business of the governmentwas to prepare for war, the needs of the potential warfighters had to drivethe system.From the mid-1950s onward thepublic battles over intelligence orga-nization were often paralleled bydebates in a more secret realm, cen-tered on what is now called the Pres-ident’s Intelligence Advisory Board(PIAB). This board was long knownas the PFIAB. In 2008 the “F” for“Foreign” was removed from its
The DHS budget, for instance, is in the neighborhood of $40 billion. One could categorize additional federal spending as “homeland security” spending andpush that number toward $70 billion. But one could respond by similarly calling out the IC “reserves” and including the Military Intelligence Program in thatbudget figure, which would then push the intelligence total toward $80 billion.The National Intelligence Program budget is lower than that of the Department of Veterans Affairs, but a large part of the VA's spending is not discretionary.All numbers are derived from figures published by the White House.
On one side of the most important fault line were the advocates for the primacy (to answer all those “who” questions posed above) of “civilian,” “strategic,” or “national” intelligence.
Evolution of Intelligence Reform 
Studies in Intelligence Vol. 56, No. 3 (September 2012)
title. Though there is evidence aboutits work, the board’s work has beenlittle noted by historians, even CIA’shistorians.
The board had come to prescientconclusions about the basic prob-lems of IC management by the endof the 1950s. At an NSC meeting on5 January 1961 to discuss PFIAB’sideas and other proposals to consoli-date intelligence management withinDoD, the notetaker recorded the fol-lowing illustrative exchange, worthquoting at length:
The President 
 believed that the Servicesshould collect battlefield intelligence but did not seethe necessity for strategicintelligence in the Services. He wondered what intelli-gence officers in the Servicescould do to get information from the center of the USSRand correlate it with intelli-gence on the rest of the world. He said when he supported the establishment of the Cen-tral Intelligence Agency in1947, he did it on the basisthat the function of strategicintelligence should be in CIAand that duplication should be eliminated.
[JCS Chair-man]
 Lemnitzer felt that the acqui-sition of technicalintelligence, e.g., informationabout enemy nuclear subma-rines, required officials whoknow nuclear submarines….The President believed that the information referred to byGeneral Lemnitzer was bat-tlefield intelligence, whereasthe discovery of the ship- yards where nuclear submarines are being con-structed was the business of CIA. He did not see why four intelligence services should attempt to find out where thesubmarines were made. Hebelieved it was the function of CIA to acquire strategicintelligence.
Eisenhower’s PFIAB had a simi-lar view. But it also thought that, if the job was properly conceived, itwas too big to be given to the CIAdirector. The board put it this way:W
e believe that the situationwould be bettered substan-tially if the DCI would divest himself voluntarily of many of the functions he currently performs in his capacity as Head of CIA and by assign-ing such duties elsewherewithin CIA. To accomplishthis purpose we again recom-mend that he be provided witha Chief of Staff or Executive Director to act for him,together with the Deputy Director, in the management of the CIA, thereby relievinghim to perform the even moreimportant duty of coordinat-ing, integrating and directingall U.S. foreign intelligenceactivities. After a reasonable trial period, if this course of actiondoes not accomplish itsintended goal, serious consid-eration should be given tocomplete separation of the DCI from the CIA.
The Kennedy administration didnot act on this particular set of rec-ommendations. Instead it did pursuethe parallel project, long under way,to consolidate some of the intelli-gence work being performed in thePentagon. So JFK’s administrationestablished another major institutionwithin DoD, a Defense IntelligenceAgency (DIA).
 Four Models of IC Management
For the next 40 years, the runningargument posed roughly
mod-els for solving the problem of intelli-gence community management,deciding which questions to answerand how to answer them.
DoD shouldhave direct budget and personnelcontrol over most of the intelli-gence establishment. Defense con-cerns were the main concerns. Therest was niche collection (humanagents) or analysis no one else,like State, wanted to do or cared todo well.
The director of the CIA should also have, as direc-tor of central intelligence, directbudget and personnel control overmost of the intelligence establish-ment, including the major“national” agencies involved intechnical intelligence collection.
Eisenhower created the board toward the end of his first term in office. He created it after first having used an ad hoc group, headed by Air Force Gen. JamesDoolittle, to report to him on CIA covert operations and other matters. Doolittle would later be a member of the regular board, whose first chair was MIT Pres-ident James Killian.

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