In the United States, the new Office of the Director of National
Intelligence (DNI) has hit the ground running, and created, as many expected,
another layer of bureaucracy. Time will tell if these various new operations
will have the desired effect. All of them reek of good intentions, but that's
usually not enough to produce useful results. Among the various new ideas that
have been implemented;
Managers. These are high ranking people, with a small staff, and the job of
helping ensure that all available data is collected for specific missions. For
example, there is currently an Iraq Mission Manager, and a North Korea Mission
These consist of a number of projects, which aim to catalog what data, and
collection resources are available throughout the entire American intelligence
world. That's not as easy as it sounds, as there are a lot of operations that
are kept really, really secret. Same for some data files. This effort is also
collecting ideas and methods, which is expected to be useful when passed around
to all fourteen intelligence agencies.
This is a major activity all by itself. Always could use more cooperation. A
big effort is being made to forge links between the FBI (which does most of the
intel work inside the United States) and the other agencies, which specialize
in operations overseas. For over fifty years, there have been problems getting
the FBI to stay in sync with the overseas intel efforts.
the MASINT Measurement and Signature Intelligence) community better integrated
with everyone else. MASINT is basically intelligence gathering operations that
use esoteric math and data to find secrets. MASINT does not use Signals
Intelligence (SIGINT), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), or Human Intelligence (HUMINT).
MASINT has been getting more useful of late, but has always been difficult to
explain, especially to senior users outside the intel community.
useful effort, one that has been tried many times before, is to streamline the
effort going into creating analysis and reports. Over time, more layers of
editing and supervision get added, and eventually, this distorts the
general the DNI is trying to bring some organization and standardization to the
production, and presentation, of intelligence. This immediately runs up against
resistance to conform to new ways of doing things, just because the DNI wants
standards. Much disputation and many disagreements have ensued. While this
effort is good in theory, in practice it's gotten ugly at times.
DNI has gotten ugly on purpose in an effort to measure performance. Lots of
resistance to this, but the people who use the product, and pay for it (White
House and Congress) have been getting more insistent. At the moment, there's
too much smoke and dust being thrown up, to see what, if any, progress is being
made. Given the nature of the business, it may be a while before an
unclassified assessment of progress, or lack of it, is being made.