September 11, 2001 marked a turning point in American history. The terrorist attacks which transpired that day brought the country into a struggle against a foreign enemy that had no boundaries or limits. The U.S. population was outraged and felt vulnerable. At the time, the government saw it necessary to appease Americans and to find a way to prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future. Many were concerned about the intelligence system and its ineptitude in halting the terrorist attacks. Intense criticism of U.S. intelligence agencies and their failure to collaborate arose within the political realm and the general populace. As a result, the issue of cooperation within the intelligence community and the FBI came to the forefront. Concern over the impact of this lack of cooperation on U.S. security led the 9/11 Commission to conclude that the government needed to create a Cabinet-level Director of National Intelligence to oversee all agencies in the intelligence community.
[...] In order to prevent the same mistakes from occurring in the future, the 9/11 Commission saw it necessary to reorganize the intelligence community. Despite the reforms put into place by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, many of these issues persist. (Posner 21-22, 29-30) The 9/11 Commission and the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004: Pros, Cons & Suggestions for Improvement After the terrorist attacks of 2001, the 9/11 Commission was formed to determine what had gone wrong in preventing Al Qaeda from succeeding. [...]
[...] - Aside from these issues, in the decade preceding 9/11 the American intelligence system suffered from budget and personnel cuts, and was still not fully accustomed to the post-Cold War setting. Furthermore, the FBI was isolated and its domestic intelligence capabilities were substandard. - Although the creation of the DNI and DHS had some positive outcomes, it complicated the bureaucratic system and implementation of crucial policies is yet to be completed. Likewise, the FBI has increased its domestic intelligence capabilities but an intelligence cultural change still needs to occur. [...]
[...] (Posner 114-115) The American Intelligence System pre-9/11& its Failure to Prevent the Terrorist Attacks Aside from the general defects within intelligence previously mentioned, prior to September 11, the U.S. intelligence system was plagued by structural and functional problems. The 1990's were also a period of readjustment, since the system that had been designed to combat the Soviet enemy no longer had this adversary; instead, globalization was increasingly bringing the Middle East into the U.S. sphere of main interests because of the region's oil resources and its opposition to Western ideals. [...]
[...] Nonetheless, some of the problems with the collection, analysis and dissemination of intelligence haven't been addressed. The Intelligence Process and it's Setbacks The U.S. intelligence system, like most others, is designed to gather information on potential threats, and to disseminate its analysis to policy officials in charge of formulating a course of action. Theoretically, the system should work to gauge the intentions and capabilities of the enemy. Information is collected, processed by analysts, and finally circulated to the appropriate “consumers” who then make political decisions. [...]
[...] Terrorist activity against the U.S. culminated with the September attacks. Post 9/11, the anthrax scares added to the by showing Americans that they were also vulnerable to the possibility of a bioterrorist disaster. (Nacos 192-193) In order to prevent, or at least discourage, future attacks it is necessary to understand the characteristics of terrorism and the motives of its perpetrators. Although there are many definitions, terrorism is mainly the intentional use of, or threat to use, violence against civilians, in order to attain political aims. [...]
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