Topic: HLS 6030 DF1 Comments After the 9/11 Terror Attack

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Topic: HLS 6030 DF1 Comments After the 9/11 Terror Attack


Comment on these two post as if you were me with a 100 words each, DO NOT COMPAR THE POSTS, and put 3 references for each post and please seperate the references
Katherine Albers 
Any discussion of the United States Intelligence Community should begin with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ODNI was created after the September 11 attacks to oversee the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. Intelligence Community. Beneath the ODNI are many agencies the average American is familiar with along with some most Americans have never heard of. Without going into the specifics of each agency, they each have a designated purpose and use various methods to obtain the intelligence needed by their organization. Each of the intelligence agencies fall under one of these categories; National intelligence organizations, Department of Defense intelligence, Military service intelligence organizations, or Civilian departmental intelligence organizations (Richelson, 2016, p.13) The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an example of a national intelligence organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is the example of Department of Defense Intelligence, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is an example of a Military Service intelligence organization, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is an example of a civilian departmental intelligence organization. 
Each agency has their own way of obtaining needed information to develop intelligence, but the broad types of intelligence gathering methods utilized cross many of the agencies. HUMINT (human intelligence) and SIGINT (signals intelligence) are two widely used methods of information gathering. HUMINT gains information through interviews with willing individuals or interrogations of detainees. SIGINT gains information by intercepting signals, such as radio or satellite, along with cyber collection via computers or the Internet. The raw data is reviewed by analysts and pertinent information is compiled into a finished intelligence report and disseminated to those from which the intelligence was requested. 
U.S. Intelligence agencies each have their designated purpose, but the ultimate goal is the protection of the homeland and American interests worldwide. Agencies obtain intelligence and share it with other agencies when necessary. A good example of this is the coordination between the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Intelligence and the DIA. The DOE Office of Intelligence is concerned with foreign nuclear weapons programs. According to Richelson (2016), during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, the DOE Office of Intelligence shared information regarding Iraqi nuclear capability with the DIA. It can also be expected from the general makeup of some agencies that there will be some inherent cooperation. For example, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is made up largely of members of the Air Force and the National Underwater Reconnaissance Office (NURO) is made up primarily of members of the Navy. Since each branch of the military has their own intelligence office, at least some cooperation can be expected between the NRO and the Air Force intelligence office and the NURO and the ONI. The U.S. Intelligence Community is made up in such a way that all types of intelligence are covered, everything from satellite images from NRO to specific information regarding world leaders from the State Department`s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) to the "identification and tracking of merchant shipping" (Richelson, 2016, p.89) front the ONI. Utilizing intelligence from all sources is the best way to maintain homeland security.
Richelson, J. (2016). The US Intelligence Community. Boulder: Westview Press.

Patrick Sullivan 

The U.S. Intelligence Community is broken down into 17 different agencies, in 4 different groups: national intelligence organizations, defense department intelligence organizations, military service intelligence organizations and lastly, civilian departmental organizations. However, even within these agencies, they too are broken down further into various offices and departments. This is where things can get rather convoluted however, as Richelson points out, for these agencies are constantly undergoing reformatting, disestablishment, establishment, and being renamed over the course of several years. Despite how many times each agency gets reformatted in some way, the method of intelligence gathering is rather unilateral across all 17 agencies. As Richelson points out early on, intelligence is broken down into 4 major components: collection, analysis, counterintelligence and covert action. (Richelson 2016) It is in following this guideline that all the different agencies and their numerous sub-branches work similarly when it comes to collecting intelligence and enacting overt or covert actions. The key to these 4 components however is to distill raw information enough so that finished intelligence can be produced. Finished intelligence is the final stage of intelligence synthesis, where all the information previously collected, is neatly organized and clearly lists out intelligence pieces of interest to the relevant agencies, in a clear, concise, and straightforward manner, allowing the recipient agency to decide on a proper course of action, be it counterintelligence, covert or overt actions.

Human Intelligence and Signals Intelligence also play a vital role in intelligence collection and distribution as well, as most of the agencies use either one of or both of these in some form or another. Human intelligence is based off of personal interactions, questioning of willing witnesses, or interrogations and the like. Signals intelligence is primarily based off of intercepted radio or satellite waves, documents, and both Big Data and Small Data from cyberspace. In addition to HUMINT and SIGINT methods, each agency has their own specific types of intelligence used. For example, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency uses geospatial intelligence, or topography, for operational areas; the National Reconnaissance Office uses imagery intelligence for clearer pictures; the National Security Administration uses communication and electronic intelligence to intercept foreign communications; the Department of Defense uses measurement and signature intelligence for technical collection data to share with the intelligence community; the Department of the Treasury uses economic and financial intelligence for determining U.S. economic policy, as well as tracking terrorists and drug cartels, rogue nations, and money launderers to protect the financial system. (Richelson 2016) Those are just a few examples of what some of the 17 agencies do, but each one has their own unique type of intelligence gathering system.

There are many threats to the homeland in various shapes and forms and these agencies are designed to specifically target each type of unique threat to the United States. The tricky part with the intelligence community however, is adequately getting the gathered information to where it needs to go. For example, Richelson points out on page 31, quoting then CIA director, John Brennan, from March 2015, that, "critical data about threats could still fall into gaps between different divisions." As well as, "that the CIA had been slow to rise to the challenge of digital espionage." (Richelson 2016) This is perhaps due to the rather bureaucratic nature of each agency and it`s management hierarchy. If someone intercepts a valuable piece of information that needs to get to the president or another agency for example, it has to go through several offices, deputies, sub directors and then the director them self before it reaches another agency or the president. At any point, someone higher-up can deem the piece of information not valuable, and so it never makes it beyond that management tier. While this is a good way to disregard unhelpful information, humans are still fallible creatures and there`s perhaps sometimes where valid information is written off as useless, such as the intel gathered before the 9/11 attack.

However, according to Richelson, inter-agency cooperation, is rather prevalent as well. Richelson lists out countless examples throughout the text showing this. For example, how the NRO tries to get clearer and advanced pictures of targets of interest on the ground level, to make ground troops` jobs and intelligence easier; to how the Office of Technical Service, under the CIA, implanted a beacon in a walking stick presented to Osman Ato, a supporter and financier of Somali warlord, General Mohammed Farah Aidad, which allowed Delta Force to track and capture Ato in Mogadishu; to Operation Darkening Clouds, where the FBI interviewed Iraqis living in the U.S. about their home country, to then pass on this information to the invading forces and intelligence community during the Iraq war, and later doing the same thing for Libyans living in the U.S., to gather info about Qadhafi, to aid allied military operations during the Libyan uprising in 2011; to several other instances as well.

Ultimately, the U.S. Intelligence Community`s role in intel gathering and disseminating, is the linchpin to proper homeland security. While the organization of the Intelligence Community can be rather difficult and complex, the intelligence gathering methods employed by them: collection, analysis, counterintelligence, covert action, as well as each agencies` own unique intel gathering methods, all serve the crucial purpose of trying to protect the United States from as many threats as possible. Without accurate intelligence, the department of homeland security, as well as the safety of Americans as a whole, would cease to function. An agency or department cannot take proper precautions in safeguarding the U.S., countering enemies, or making adequate judgments, if it doesn`t have accurate information.

Richelson, J. (2016). The US Intelligence Community. Boulder: Westview Press.


HLS 6030 DF1 Comments


Institution of affiliation


Katherine Albers post

After the 9/11 terror attack, the role of intelligence has dramatically changed with various critical reforms being made on homeland security and foreign matters (Clapper, 2011). As a student, I find this Katherine`s post much insightful. It is an ultimate post that shades light on the 21st century USA intelligence gathering. This post is built on the assumption that most American I included, do not fully understand the robust nature of USA intelligence. In so doing, it draws a perfect pictu


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