In an ever increasingly complex governmental infrastructure, the importance of communication, mission and strategy are of the utmost importance. The Department of Defense (DOD) and all of its law enforcement agencies are in a pervasive struggle to attain both accurate and actionable intelligence in order to perform their duties to the best of their capabilities and intentions.
The purpose of this research paper is to explore the failure of the intelligence process due to extraneous levels of bureaucratic organization. This essay will attempt to explain the many failures of the Department of Defense law enforcement entities as a result of this type of organization.
In order to understand this argument, this essay will first look at the problem itself and try to identify the root cause of these failures. Past failures of intelligence gathering will be examined to help contextualize the argument and give credence to the idea that the system is inherently flawed. The argument will next focus on the specific failures of the Department of Defense. The essay will then explain how the intelligence structure is organized and how certain problems of governance arise due to this ordering.
To fully understand this issue, the idea of communication will be discussed to help ensure that these problems are in fact fixable and can provide a resource of growth and stimulation. Before concluding this essay will also examine the need for approval and how this mindset affects the everyday workings of DOD law enforcement officials. Solutions will be presented to help steer the discussion in the appropriate way according to this author. Some powerful suggestions will be offered that will certainly challenge the way we think and act about intelligence and the possibility that the problem is much worse than can be imagined.
Trujillo (2012) suggested that intelligence failures are inevitable. This tough suggestion denotes a problem beyond control in many ways. He wrote "what has not been as well documented or even understood is why these intelligence failures persist after reforms and changes within the intelligence community, almost as if after each failure, reforms are made and then new weaknesses emerge, like playing whack-a-mole. While the history of these failures is well documented, there is little in the way of a systematic theory to explain why these intelligence failures persist." The problem is that the problem itself cannot be solved.
The federal government is at an incredibly large size and operates with little discretion, guidance or control. The bloviated mess that is the federal government is an impossible labyrinth to negotiate and seems like no one is really in charge. When someone does attempt to take charge, their expertise is immediately put into question by an opponent with a different political agenda. Howard (2012) wrote "The people who inhabit our national and state capitols, not only politicians but bureaucrats and special interest lobbyists, see themselves as agents, not principals. The job is to do what their "base" wants, not do what they think is right. Interest groups continue to cling to the status quo, even though they know something has to give."
The scenario is frustrating no doubt and those who are willing to help are often put into a very troublesome situation. Some may say the U.S. government has retreated to a crisis mode and is so confused it doesn't realize there is a problem. The power that bureaucracy creates has shoved in an unelected power base to the forefronts of decision and action. Many of the decision makers that are affecting intelligence policy are not held responsible for their actions, and when error is made, very little is done to correct the problem. Looking back its seems obscene that not one high ranking officer, in DOD or elsewhere, lost their job due to gross incompetence after 9-11.
Since the government is so large it is easy to hide or ignore mistakes. In many instance unelected officials have undermined the dedication to upholding the republic by many within the DOD including law enforcement entities. America is weak and tired of war. Many who have been tolerant are losing faith and it is quite obvious that a new approach is very necessary in order to grasp the totality of the situation and allow for a new era of growth, expansion and peace. Things that this country has been missing for a very long time now.
A History of Failure
There is now enough evidence, circumstantial, historical and otherwise, to suggest that America has had problems with their intelligence services since their genesis earlier in the 20th century. The apparent lack of preparedness for the current problems throughout the world and specifically in the Mideast and Central Asia is not considered an intelligence failure on the same level of other more obvious and conspicuous lapses of the past seven decades, but it does serve as a reminder of blunders that have embarrassed many in the FBI DOD and CIA.
The problem is not new and has been around for quite awhile. Since the invention of intelligence as a force multiplier it has been expected that counterintelligence could rebuff such efforts and so error is obviously possible if not likely. Modern intelligence assessment failures date back to the 1940s, beginning with the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, brought America into the war and revealed a significant failure on the part of the U.S. intelligence apparatus.
As subsequent investigations found, intelligence had been handled in a casual, uncoordinated manner, and there had been insufficient attention to certain collection requirements. The lack of coordination among agencies, principally the Army and the Navy, resulted in a failure to provide timely dissemination of relevant information to key decision makers.
To make matters worse, intelligence analysts had grossly underestimated Japanese capabilities and intentions, revealing a tendency to misunderstand Japanese actions by looking at them with American cultural biases. This would be a common theme in subsequent intelligence failures. After the war, the resolve of America's leaders "never again" to permit another Pearl Harbor largely prompted the establishment of a centralized intelligence structure.
America's entrance into World War II created an immediate need for intelligence to support the massive war fighting effort that would concentrate the efforts of millions of people sacrificing much to the betterment of the nation. While the Army and the Navy maintained their own intelligence capabilities, none were prepared to provide the kind of support needed. To help strengthen and bolster this idea, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was created in June 1942, under the recently established Joint Chiefs of Staff to succeed the Coordinator of Information. William Donovan remained in charge of the OSS In addition to assuming the analytical role of its predecessor, the OSS was chartered to carry out secret operations against the Axis powers on a worldwide scale. It was not, however, readily accepted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), who remained skeptical of the value of OSS activities, and the new unit faced strong competition from the FBI and the Army's intelligence organization.
Khan (1992) summed up this situation in a way that sheds light on the problems with intelligence itself and the many conflicting interests that inherently await those wishing to explore the theoretical basis for its usage. He wrote " no reference to a raid on Pearl Harbor ever went on the air, even coded. The February and July situations misled traffic analysts. JN25b messages intercepted before the attack, but solved after the war, show that even if that naval code had been fully solved and those messages read before December 7, they would not have foretold the attack. And though war with Japan was indeed expected, that expectation did not-could not-imply knowledge of an attack on Pearl Harbor, for it is impossible in logic to leap from a general belief to a specific prediction." Here it is impossible for Khan to unveil the fact that is possible that factions within the government needed an impetus for war and that an intelligence failure was the necessary scapegoat for a reason to commence the American involvement in WWII.
The Cold War
In the 1950s American leaders were not always well served by the intelligence agencies that were there to help support the strategic mission of the country. President Harry Truman was on vacation and his entire foreign policy apparatus was caught napping when South Korea was invaded by the North in June 1950. Then Truman was staggered again when China violently entered the war later that year despite repeated assurances from General MacArthur and defense intelligence sources that they wouldn't do this even after repeated warnings by China of its intentions to do so should U.S. troops approach their border and after Mao had infiltrated hundreds of thousands of troops across the Yalu.
It is a wonder that Truman is respected as a competent leader. Regardless there is plenty of blame to share in these instances…