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The current concept of USA national intelligence which was codified by the terrorism prevention and intelligence reform act was passed by the national congress in 2004 and originates from the 9/11 tragedy. President Bush assented to the new law hoping that the US vast intelligence will transform into a more effective, united and coordinated agency. Key amongst this law’s objectives was to integrate the foreign and domestic dimensions of US national intelligence to avoid any gaps in its comprehension of threats to its national security. Apart from that it was intended to bring more accuracy and depth to intelligence analysis while ensuring that its intelligence resources produce future capacities while coming up with results.
Implicit to these objectives is the supposition that the new approach to national intelligence signifies a far reaching transformation of past intelligence arrangements and practices. National intelligence should be far sighted, collaborative, objective and penetrating. It must appreciate that its varied institutional cultures were developed with good reasons but for all intended purposes it is inevitable that cultures of all kinds do either expire or evolve at one point in time and a time has come for the cultures in the US intelligence to integrate so as to grow in unison. This paper addresses members of the US national intelligence service.
Statement of the problem
What are the setbacks of the current US national intelligence warning procedure?
While commenting on the US reactions to the incidents of 9/11 a certainly satisfied Osama Bin Laden said that the US is now full of fear right from its south to its north he then thanked God for that. Since this incident the late Osama Bin Laden and his lieutenants have many times warned of attacks against the US and its interests both without and within its territory. Being well versed in the fear psychology most terrorists groups understand that incidents that are violent and the threat of terrorism after staging major strikes do accomplish one of their principal intentions that is intimidation of their enemy’s publics and forcing governments to overreact (Freedman et al, 2005).
Regardless of whether they have real intentions of attacks or just a ploy to send governments into reacting and at times overreacting terrorists do gain instant access to world media channels. On the other hand government officials have the responsibility of acting first and fast to use the media and sell their policies on fighting terrorism rather than coming up with sensational statements that could disrupt the public and sometimes make the law enforcement and intelligent agencies move into very expensive ordeals while reacting to the warnings that later turn out to be a hoax (Gannon John, 2003).
The current intelligence warning procedures in the United States
The first order of intelligence warning procedures is to inform the President of the USA on any possible attacks on its sovereignty, this is followed by warnings to the cabinet, then the congress, before finishing with the joint chief of staff and commanders in the field. Apart from that homeland securities as well as domestic law enforcement in the US heartland and its allies are informed.
The extent to which elected officials are responsible for informing the public of possible terrorist threats and the drawbacks and benefits of such warnings
Terrorism is an issue that concerns elected officials and the communities they represent. Since the attacks of 9/11 elected officials have been on the alert to rapidly assist in the response to, investigation and prevention of conspiracies which do support terrorist groups and extremist movements. To be effective in solving terrorism elected officials must work with the law enforcers and their communities. This necessitates a greater level of understanding of intelligence, communities and analytical approaches. This must then be combined appropriately and effectively while maturing and nurturing public trust (McCarthy et al.2003).
How officials can balance the need to warn the public of possible terrorist threats while still promoting public resilience and preventing widespread panic.
This can be done through use of coproduction of intelligence through utilizing various law enforcement agencies. It is through the developing of multifaceted organizations that dynamic terrorists’ threats could be nipped in the bud for once and for all. Much of the information deemed fit to recognize the nature of these threats from terrorists is more often than not provided by intelligence officials and security officers in the field. It is this multilateral exchange of information that could provide indications of potential strikes and alliances in terrorists’ networks and enable security and intelligence agencies to counter their activities in time (Sullivan et al. 2008).
Intelligence officials need to have the support of new evaluated policy, trade craft and policy if they are to identify terrorists’ activities to a point of no doubt. In addition they have to be prepared to execute lateral sharing of information that originates from intelligence processing that is distributed. New procedural and technical mechanisms for information sharing amongst international, local, federal and state nodes have to be harnessed.
How "credible" and/or specific intelligence must be before a public warning is issued or even effective
Information can be credible if its probability of occurrence is deemed high. Since 9/11 tribal, State and local law enforcement agencies have been given a number of new responsibilities. The workloads of these departments that are already busy in nature have been expanded to include coordinating first response, identifying potential terrorists and protecting venerable targets. Whether the intelligence covers a small town or a city, it should be credible enough to ensure it puts plans in place to avoid attacks. In case of an attack credible intelligence ensures that homeland security responds swiftly to prevent loss of life (Wermuth et al. 2004).
9/11 has proved that federal agencies such as the CIA and FBI can no longer work alone in order to come up with credible intelligence rather they should now work with other law enforcing departments particularly the police. This is because local homeland policemen while in their normal routines are capable of identifying potential threats and even terrorists residing in areas of their jurisdiction. Apart from that they are in a better position to protect venerable targets while coordinating the first response to a terror attack. It is the very insignificance issues that attract terrorists so that while everyone is not watching they strike first and fast and quickly make a nam...
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