Is it Time for a Domestic Intelligence Agency in the United States Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

Domestic Intelligence Agency

The Necessity of Establishing a New Domestic Intelligence Agency

In response to a call for a new Domestic Intelligence Agency, the FBI National Press Office released a statement in 2006 that indicated the strides the Bureau had made in "becoming" an "intelligence-driven organization" since 9/11.

The letter's intent was to show the illogicality of those wishing to "tear apart the Bureau" in order to "start a new agency." As Assistant Director of the FBI, John Miller asked, "How long would it take this new agency to get rolling? A year? Two? What would it use for a database? How would it address privacy and civil liberties? How long would it take the officers of this new agency to develop trusting relationships with America's 18,000 local law enforcement agencies?"

Miller's questions were both pertinent and revealing of precisely what a successful Domestic Intelligence Agency would require. Even the RAND Corporation in 2008, asked by Congress to list the pros and cons of erecting a new agency, analyzed the benefits of transforming a portion of an existing agency, like the FBI, into a new Intel-based agency.

Yet, if Miller is correct, then FBI director Robert Mueller had already begun such a transformation: "The Bureau's director, Robert Mueller, has made a priority of merging our longtime strength of being a premier investigative agency with the new goal of being an intelligence-led agency."

Under Mueller's supervision, Miller argued, the FBI was already well on its way to becoming not just a new Domestic Intelligence Agency but the new Domestic Intelligence Agency -- with, of course, the power to arrest. The question, however, remained: did such reshaping solve the question of whether the U.S. needed a separate domestic intelligence agency?

The press release expressed one side of the debate over whether the U.S. should develop a new domestic intelligence agency -- but only one side, and there is in fact another. The debate is mainly centered on whether the U.S. should have an agency comparable to the UK's MI5 or the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO). Each is an intelligence-based organization which relies on a separate enforcement agency to make arrests. So while the FBI may have been making headway in achieving its transformative goal, the issue remained far from settled -- for one very important reason, as RAND points out: "Even a very reshaped FBI would still…lack the clarity of a single mission."

The implication made by RAND is that a domestic intelligence agency that does not focus solely on intelligence-gathering in the post-9/11 world is not really an intelligence agency.

This paper will examine the various reports published by RAND in 2008 and 2009. The focus of RAND's study is two-fold: whether a new agency could best be created by pooling intelligence from the agencies already in existence like the FBI and DHS; or whether an existing agency could establish an organization within itself that would be dedicated to intelligence-gathering -- an "agency within an agency" essentially.

Both options, according to RAND, have their pros and their cons. However, as Samaan and Verneuil assert, a clearly defined "spirit of mission" is at the heart of every successful organization.

Thus, this paper will argue that in spite of the FBI's reshaping directive, the establishment of a new independent Domestic Intelligence Agency is a better option. The U.S. ought to have its own MI5.

Defining a "Domestic Intelligence Problem"

The nature of the domestic intelligence problem is such that it cannot be solved simply by "transforming" one arm of the intelligence community. On the contrary, an entirely new organization with a clear, single purpose is necessary in providing domestic intelligence for the sake of national security. Such is evident for the following reasons:

First, RAND notes that regardless of its claims of being intelligence-led, the FBI is nonetheless "dominated by a law-enforcement and case-based approach."

This point is worth emphasizing. Congress's 9/11 inquiry revealed various shortcomings within the FBI -- shortcomings which stemmed from its failure to have a single "spirit of mission." A number of roles are assumed by FBI agents involved in diffuse cases, as its "What We Investigate" webpage insists: "The very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations -- which serve, as our mission states, 'to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States.'"

Defending against foreign and domestic threats as well as enforcing domestic laws is a broad objective. In the face of Congress's findings, the FBI, as Miller notes, has attempted to reform itself, streamlining its image in order to give the impression that it is capable of becoming the intelligence-led Bureau of Miller's press release. Yet, because of the "ill advised marriage of intelligence collection-analysis-estimates with covert action," the role of the FBI is simply too diverse to concentrate whole-heartedly on information-gathering.

Its objectives are multiple and dynamic. Its nature, even after reshaping, will still be antithetical to that of an agency dedicated solely to intelligence.

Second, the domestic intelligence problem is rooted in the fact that current agencies do not effectively exchange intelligence. Neither the FBI nor the CIA has a strong record of communicating with the other. This lack of exchange leads to insularism, isolation and suspicion. What might be useful intelligence is kept from one arm of the intelligence community due to a belief in protecting "resources."

When sources become commodities that agencies compete to have and to protect, the goal of information-gathering and analysis can hardly be effectively achieved as "sharing" is not promoted. So while ideally sources would be used according to "special procedures"

developed and maintained by an independent intelligence agency, according to current models they are used as each agency sees fit.

Third, because of the nature of the intelligence community in the U.S., information is collected in such a way that much of it is often "poor-quality and unverified" as a result of a lack of coordination on the part of intelligence-gatherers.

Intelligence that goes unanalyzed or unfiltered is essentially useless intelligence. The methods of gathering intelligence in the U.S. are, in one sense, so wasteful and negligent that it might well be argued that, since the U.S. has no independent domestic intelligence agency, the country really lacks any intelligence whatsoever. Without specially trained analysts equipped with the skills to gather and examine information in order to see what must be kept, discarded, acted upon, or watched for further development, U.S. intelligence forces are at the mercy of agencies acting on various directives which only might overlap with the "mission" of domestic security. An independent domestic intelligence agency could be responsible for analyzing intelligence -- whereas now "analysis is fragmented and sometimes conflicting" as a result of improper or insufficient training. Furthermore, no "domestic intelligence enterprise" exists through which accumulated information can readily be distributed and analyzed.

These three points outline the nature of the domestic intelligence problem. They expose a gap in the U.S. between comprehensive intelligence-gathering and a unified objective. Individual agencies may perform intelligence operations, but these operations are not part of an overall system in which a clear "spirit of mission" is defined. The role of the various agencies within the intelligence community is so disparate and disjointed in comparison to an agency with a single goal of gathering and analyzing intelligence that the answer in how to solve the problem is virtually self-evident: a new domestic intelligence agency must be created. A new agency designed to answer each of the five problem points aforementioned would satisfy a great need in the U.S. And close the gap between effective intelligence and effective action. As RAND states, "Clarity is the principal reason for considering a separate domestic intelligence agency."

But it is not the only reason.

Miller's Argument

Assistant Director Miller of the FBI argues that establishing a new agency would take years and that its agents would lack credibility with local law enforcement. The argument is largely irrelevant and only points to the fact that the FBI is already an established agency. It says nothing of the ineffective and inconsistent history of communication that the FBI has with other central agencies. The "loose-knit" structure of the intelligence community has succeeded only in an administrative nightmare.

The same may be said of the ASIO. Its main objective is to "mitigate jihadist-inspired terrorism" and yet it also substantially contributes to the role of providing support for national security.

Here is another case of an intelligence agency performing more than one function -- a potential obstacle in the way of achieving its main objective.

Certainly a new agency would take time to develop -- but insofar as the end-goal is concerned, time is not what is of the essence; rather, an agency with a clear mission and the ability to achieve that mission is of the essence. Moreover, the "time" which Miller argues will be wasted in establishing a new agency is likely to be less than he insinuates.

One must…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Is It Time For A Domestic Intelligence Agency In The United States " (2013, July 08) Retrieved October 27, 2016, from

"Is It Time For A Domestic Intelligence Agency In The United States " 08 July 2013. Web.27 October. 2016. <>

"Is It Time For A Domestic Intelligence Agency In The United States ", 08 July 2013, Accessed.27 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Canada Needs a Foreign Intelligence

    Canadian forces in Afghanistan, and whatever location those forces are directed to by the Canadian Government to protect Canada at home and its interests around the world, should be supported with intelligence sources that are directly focused on Canada's security needs and objectives. Foreign intelligence is more than identifying and taking counter-terrorism defence actions. Aaron Shull, a law school graduate who also holds a master's degree in international affairs helps

  • Intelligence Agencies What Exactly Is

    Sometimes, it is even necessary to carry out certain clandestine operations like deceptions, clandestine collection of information, covert actions, and also the carrying out of the exercise of distributing disinformation or misleading information, which would mislead the suspected threat. The United States Intelligence Community is, as stated earlier, made up a number of different agencies. The Central Intelligence Agency is one of these. Also known popularly as the CIA, this

  • US Security the Evolving U S

    To an extent, the idea of Cold War nation building has been in evidence in attempts to instill democracy in fronts such as Afghanistan and Iraq. But as a new president seeks to undo the damage of previous security policy conditions, it is apparent that this is an archaic approach to understanding the way individuals tend to behave under foreign occupation. The resistance that has made Iraq one of

  • United States Has the Highest Rate of

    United States has the highest rate of confinement of prisoners per 100,000 population than any other Western country. Analyze this phenomena and discuss actions that you feel are necessary to combat this problem. The United States currently has the highest incarceration rate of any nation worldwide. For example, greater than 60% of nations have incarceration rates below 150 per 100,000 people (Walmsley, 2003). The United States makes up just about

  • Intelligence Terrorism s Effects on the

    Unfortunately, some in the intelligence community fear that this level of cooperation will ultimately dissolve as the memory of September 11 dulls over time. Whether or not this fear proves to be the case, for the moment the intelligence community in the United States has recognized that they must re-prioritize their position on terrorism and take action to facilitate interagency cooperation, especially with the law enforcement agencies that will

  • US Security

    Sealing Up the Cracks Security in a Post-9/11 World On September 11, 2001, America was changed forever. From out of the ruins of the World Trade Center, and over the unmarked graves of nearly three thousand innocent people, a new world took shape. It was a world in which the citizens of the United Sates found themselves suddenly vulnerable to the murderous plots of a handful of fanatics. A trip to the

  • UK Decline How Many Times

    Carrabine, Lee and South 193) Industrial/Infrastructural Decline As has been said before, the UK no longer makes anything, builds anything or sells anything tangible. The decline in industrial production has resulted in an overall decline in employment of industrial workers, who have not been aided by a failing system to transition to other work. Some would say that the changes occurring in the UK, at this time with the increased importance of service

Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved