Analysis: Getting Smart on Intelligence Reform
Council on Foreign Relations
January 14, 2009
Author: Greg Bruno
As the list of challenges (Reuters) awaiting him suggests, the future of intelligence reform will require Obama's undivided attention. Osama bin Laden remains free, concerns over Iranian nuclear ambitions are mounting, and non-state actors--al-Qaeda chief among them--continue to plot against the United States (PDF). But Obama will also be under pressure to reform an intelligence apparatus critics say has been plagued by poor leadership and a lack of cooperation. Specifically, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has come under fire. Created to address past intelligence failures as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, critics contend ODNI has instead micromanaged agencies and, in the case of overseas spy operations, sought to muscle in on turf (AP) historically belonging to the CIA. Former CIA acting deputy director of operations Jack Devine argues the creation of ODNI has failed to deliver (WashPost) on its promise of streamlining and reform.
Some experts see even broader deficiencies.
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