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Strengthening Our Intelligence Capabilities

John Kerry for President

John Kerry and John Edwards recognize that the global nature of the terrorist threat demands that we have international cooperation in order to succeed. As powerful as we are, we cannot be everywhere and learn everything without assistance from our friends and allies. We need the cooperation of intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world to cast a global net for terrorists, infiltrate their cells, learn their plans, cut off their funds, and stop them before they can attack. John Kerry and John Edwards will strengthen the effectiveness of intelligence efforts around the world by forging stronger international coalitions and enhancing cooperative relationships.

John Kerry and John Edwards will also enhance the capabilities of our own intelligence services. From the failure to uncover the September 11 plot to the deeply flawed reports about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, we have experienced significant intelligence failures in recent years. It is time for serious and urgent reform. This will require the kind of leadership that this president has not provided. As president, John Kerry will strengthen our intelligence capabilities so that we can more effectively prevent another terrorist attack by:

  • Restoring The Credibility Of Our Intelligence Community by ensuring the basic integrity of the intelligence process. We will make certain that our intelligence agencies are protected from political pressures and operate in a culture of diversity of thought, dissent and forceful challenging of assumptions.

  • Strengthening Accountability and Leadership By creating a True Director of National Intelligence, a cabinet level position with the authority to manage and direct all of the components of the intelligence community, including personnel and budgets.

  • Maximizing Coordination and Integration by structuring the intelligence community around key threats like terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and hostile countries so that all available resources are brought to bear on addressing the most pressing threats.

  • Transforming Our Intelligence Services to ensure that they have sufficient personnel with the skills, languages, training and orientation needed to meet today's threats. We will make sure that the FBI is fully prepared to perform necessary counter-terrorism intelligence operations and strengthen our capabilities overseas, particularly our clandestine services, so that we have our own robust human intelligence network.

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