|While I asked for appleciderus to make a new topic to discuss this, I decided to make it myself, since I feel the topic heading better reflects the issue. Basically, the US has a large number of intelligence agencies, with lots of money spent on them. Yet, as evident by 9/11 and some of the Iraqi issues, we don't seem to be able to get the job done very well.
Here is what I feel the problem is. The various intelligence agencies we have function in certain ways. Call it company "culture", mindsets, whatever. But they learn to do things a certain way to perform the job they are tasked with and its very hard to deviate from that (unless you are a maverick and eventually the paper bullets will get rid of you).
CIA ... these guys are collecting information in foriegn nations that is not easy to get. So every thing is very secretive and what is found out is not easily told to others outside the CIA unless they need to know. Maybe they could do thier jobs better, but the secrecy that goes with doing the job is not something you want to mess with.
FBI ... Federal cops. Criminal investigators. You break a law and these are the guys who investigate. As they operate in the US, they can't violate US citizen rights so they have certain procedures they have to follow. Bank robbers, kidnappers, etc.
DoD ... There are quite a few of these groups. In some ways, they replicate the above. The major difference, is that they provide the various military group(s) that they answer, with the intelligence answers. Everything is viewed from a military requirement or need.
Homeland Security ... This is the new group that was formed. Took existing agencies and placed them here, like the Border Patrol and Coast Guard. Still trying to work itself out on how to function with everyone else.
Here is my problem... Who is suppossed to deal with the terrorist threat inside of the US?
CIA infrastructure is built for overseas. So if they are now suppossed to be doing it inside the US, don't they have a problem because its a new "country" for them, hence it takes time? Not to mention the issue of them operating inside the US like they would a foreign nation.
FBI, despite Hoover, is a investigative agency. Not intellligence. Aren't most of the Agents lawyers or have judicial backgrounds, mainly because they are suppossed to operate inside of the law? Terrorists are not the Mafia or Drug Lords.
So who is doing the intell work inside the US? I think some of the problems is that everyone is gathering information as part of the normal functions they perform, but no one is doing it full time. Both the CIA and FBI have groups inside of the organization that are suppossed to concentrate on the terrorist threat. But isn't that like the "task force" concept that police use to put resources on a major problem, but once its solved, they go away?
Thats where I think the problem is. We blame the CIA for 9/11, but is it really there job to deal with the guys once they get inside the US?
Soviet Union, paranoid as ever, didn't it have a specific agency that dealt with internal stuff? Doesn't the UK have MI-5?
Isn't our problem that we are playing catch up?