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The U.S. intelligence system post 9/11

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Terrorism: Its characteristics and motives. Is it preventable?
  3. The intelligence process and it's setbacks.
  4. The American Intelligence System pre-9/11& its failure to prevent the terrorist attacks.
  5. The 9/11 Commission and the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004: pros, cons & suggestions for improvement.
  6. Conclusions.

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. [...]


[...] Since 9/11 the FBI has increased its intelligence collection and assessment within the U.S., particularly through an increase in domestic recruitment of foreigners, in an effort to improve its counterterrorism capabilities. The Bureau has also increased its training and staffing of analysts, linguists and agents, and expanded its activities abroad. Nevertheless, this has brought the FBI into conflict with the CIA since the Agency feels the FBI is infringing on their territory. To solve this, the FBI should focus on handling domestic intelligence collection while the CIA remains more internationally oriented. [...]

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