Topic: USA Intelligence Community and Ways to Handle Potential Threats.
Intelligence refers to the process of collecting, processing, analysing, integration and evaluation of available information concerning other nations, which are a threat or a potential threat; also involves using the same processes to determine hostile or potentially hostile forces or areas of operation that may be a threat to the security of the nation. The main objective and purpose of intelligence is to give commanders and staff concerned with security with accurate and timely planning, preparedness, execution and assessment of operations; assisting the commander’s decision making (Kirkpatrick, 45, 1973). The under secretary of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis provided the nation’s strategic plan for analysis and threat detection for the fiscal year 2011-2018. The plan reflects the department’s goals towards ensuring security, monitoring and maintaining security for the citizens of the United States. The National Intelligence Service has categorised its mission into four parts; Analyze, Collect, Share and Manage (Richelson, 38, 2008). The objectives of the department revolve around these four elements and they will be used as a guide to executing functions that will ensure elimination of threats and potential threats coming from forces and foreign countries. Achievement of the country’s intelligence committee goals would be made possible by carrying out the following activities; identifying the threats and potential threats that may affect the country, analyzing the threats and what impact they would have on the nation if they were to affect the nation, coming up with ways to prevent or avoid the act of harm to the citizens, protecting the citizens and visitors from the greatest hazards in a manner that will still allow thriving in the way of life, mitigating which refers to measures taken in order to lessen the impact of future catastrophes, responding quickly to save lives in the case of an unavoidable attack or disaster and the final activity would be recovery through the restoration of infrastructure, housing or health that might have been affected. In recovery the nation may develop ways in which they can prevent or cope with the disaster if it happens to occur a second time.
The intelligent community comprises of several groups all that work towards one common goal, providing accurate analysis of information relative to security of the nation. it comprises of the following Groups:
Director of international Intelligence- this is the principle advisor of the president, the national security and the homeland security. Its main duty is to control other intelligence.
Central Intelligence Agency- it is the largest producer of policy makers’ national security intelligence information (Mader, 69, 1968) (Garthoff, 13, 2007).
Defence Intelligence Agency- collects analyses and manages foreign military intelligence for policy makers.
Federal Bureau of Investigation- as an intelligence committee member and a law enforcement unit, they are involved in getting to know threats to national security and penetrating other nations that have the desire to harm the USA.
Other intelligence community members include the National security Agency which has the role of protecting national security information systems and disseminating foreign signals. National reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; in total America has 16 members of the intelligence community.
Intelligence in the country plays significant roles;
They are used to control and act as drives to operations. In war fights commanders require intelligence in order to carry out security operations more effectively and efficiently; commander requires an officer to offer them accurate, timely, relevant and predictive information based on their specifications (Hopple, 87, 1986).
Commanders require intelligence about the potential and current threats and/or enemies affecting the nation so as to acquire a good foundation in which to carry operations; to develop ways in which to accomplish the mission. Intelligence supports protection of a nation by alerting and informing commanders on the threats (Hopple, 87, 1986).
Intelligence also gives information about the tactics used by different enemies or potential enemies especially when dealing with many threats at a time (Hopple, 87, 1986).
Predictive intelligence offers the commander and the staff the key elements to focus on when dealing with anticipation of an attack. Intelligence officers design the intelligence information if a format in which the commander can easily understand and operate with. Through ability to predict on future attacks, the country’s security department ensures that they can counter any attack being anticipated.
Another of its roles is to use all possible means within the jurisdiction and the Federal laws to protect the interest and the rights of the American citizens.
Every organization needs to be constantly improved and should develop new and improved ways so as to maximize on output and to improvise new ways of efficiently and effectively achieving the organizations goals. The intelligence service needs to develop new and better ways to provide accurate, timely and relevant information so as to help fight and prevent any threats or harmful forces from affecting the country. Several tasks and tactics need to be employed which include;
Support to force generation.
Support to situational understanding.
Perform intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.
Manage intelligence fro homeland security.
Support to Force Generation.
This can be described as the task of coming up with intelligence information concerning a region of interest, equipping future intelligence operations and designing a force to counter attack or prevent a threat. It involves two main things, establishing intelligence communication and designing knowledge management techniques (Gomes, 67, 2013). This can be defined as coming up with a way to allow information exchange and developing strategies to manage and handle the information received. These architectures allow synchronization between strategic, operational and tactical intelligence organizations in the following regions; intelligence reach, data storage, processing and analysis.
Support generating task has the following responsibilities.
Provide intelligence readiness.
Give intelligence over-watch.
Design intelligence force
Establish intelligence architecture.
Develop intelligence knowledge.
Intelligence readiness can be referred to as strategies that provide baseline knowledge about potential threats and operational regions (Gomes, 68, 2013). Readiness in other words can be described as being ready for any potential threats and having fast hand information about the characteristics of the threat. These support ongoing operations, planning for incidents and operational preparation. They provide the commander with fast hand information about potential threats, they also give a description of the nature of the event hence giving them time to know what to do; it also aids intelligence officers in designing ways in which the threats can be contained before or when they happen. It has the following roles; performing indications and warnings which involves identifying the threats, perform intelligence preparation operations which involves being ready for any potential threat and helping develop ways to contain the potential situation by training so as to understand the threat, and finally conducting foundry which is a training program designed to sustain critical intelligence capabilities and skills that can be easily lost. The last role also provides technical training and tactics to handle the situation. Through readiness, the intelligence committee is able to develop ways on how to deal with the threat; this gives timely and accurate results as well as relevant ones.
Establishing intelligence architecture involves both complex and technical aspects which involve sensors, hardware, software, communications, data flow, communication security materials, network classification technicians and database access. These all involve the use of technology and acquiring of data necessary to identify a potential threat. This system provides the best information about the threat, environment and civil considerations. This aspect is holds the following responsibilities;
Conducting intelligence reach- is a process in which the intelligence committee rapidly gets information, support from and shares information with other agencies both within and outside the area of operation. Information gained helps the staff by giving them time to prepare for potential threats.
Another responsibility is developing and maintaining intelligence Networks- this entails providence of information systems that allow communication between assets, units and agencies, and multinational partners for intelligence. The network system of communication uses already existing information network system. Apart from sharing information another role is the improving of the information system so as to provide accurate information which would be relevant for the intelligence community in dealing and getting ready for potential threats.
Creating and maintaining intelligence databases- this involves maintaining both classified and unclassified databases. The main objective of this role is to provide Army forces, agencies both multinational and national, and joint-forces with an interoperable and suitable environment. The importance of this task is to allow intelligence to analyse, report, produce, and disperse intelligence information and also to maintain what information it holds which would be relevant in understanding the potential threat. This is important when it comes to the aspect of relevant information for potential threat containment.
Provide intelligence over-watch, this is responsible in creating analytical intelligence capabilities that provide support to specified units. It is connected via a network that can get information from multiple sources and provide relevant answers which supports in potential threat readiness or avoidance. This also helps in warning the security committee against enemies.
Developing intelligence knowledge, it is directly involved with the providence of relevant information required regarding the operational environment. Once the staffs collects the data from the field they should analyse it immediately so as to have the information on time giving the commander more time to decide which measures to take and what are the requirements to execute the prevention or counter attack measures. The information is used to obtain refined information for use in mission analysis; generating intelligence knowledge is necessary for performing mission analysis. It involves three tasks, develop foundation to define threat attributes, obtain detailed terrain information and intelligence (targeted area) and obtain detailed civil considerations information and intelligence (obtaining civil information about the area of interest). This information is relevant in understanding the area under threat and getting to know this enables the intelligence committee to know what to do about the threat.
Tailor intelligence force, this helps in mission analysis. Designing a way to identify the threat helps in providing ample time for the community to know the existence of a potential threat hence they will be able to warn the people and at the same time develop ways of containing the threat.
Support situation understanding.
This is the product of applying analysis and judgment to the information acquired in relation to the mission variables and enable decision making (Gomes, 70, 2013). Support to situation understanding is referred to as providing information to the commanders and the staff to assist them in decision making as far as identification and the warning of a potential threat is concerned. It involves the following tasks;
Perform intelligence preparation of the battlefield
Intelligence support to protection
Conduct police intelligence operations
Provide intelligence support to civil affairs.
In the intelligence preparation of the battle field is the task of getting to learn and understand the region of interest, the environment and determining the mission variables in the region; terrain, weather, civil consideration and the threat. This helps the staff in identifying the necessary measures to undertake while trying to handle the potential threat. In the process of this task, the committee identifies and is warned against the threat.
Perform situation development. This is the process of analysing data and producing current information on the enemy, terrain, civil considerations and the weather of the region of interest. Only through this will the intelligence committee get to know the abilities of the potential threat to the country and to what extent they can affect the nation. This way the intelligence community can be able to produce accurate, timely and relevant predicaments based on what they already have or know. Another importance for this task is that its process allows the community to determine the objectives of the potential threat (Gomes, 71, 2013). The intelligence officer is able to identify what information they are missing and hence enabling them to explain the threats and know how to handle them.
Provide intelligence support to protection- this involves protecting the community itself from the threat. Being the core region in which the national security is dependent on, it needs to protect the information it has from any form of corruption. This will enable the intelligence to use correct and safe information which will be relevant; when the intelligence is safe it can concentrate on the most important aspect which is providing the commanders with accurate information at the right time and information which is relevant since they have the time to analyse it.
Police intelligence operations are operations which involve processing information gathered from Military Police. This operation involves processing information gathered from police activities through analysing it, producing it, and dispersing it as a way to support the intelligence’s current information based on the potential threat. This information will help in building a solid database on the potential threat. While making decisions the information will be reliable, timely and accurate hence enabling the intelligence community to know what to do. This is a vital tool of law enforcement and criminal investigations help in building evidence and solid hunches on what the potential enemy is up to.
Providence of civil information about the region pr environment of interest helps the intelligence community to come up with clear ways and solid information based on the civil affairs of the regions.
Perform intelligence, surveillance and Reconnaissance.
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is the act which allows systems to work harmoniously and integrates the planning and operations of sensors, assets, processing and the dispersion of systems for both future and current operations. Through the ISR, forces are able to plan, process both accurate and timely information according to the commander’s critical information requirement. The basic function of this process is to look for information needed, about the potential threats, process the information and later disseminate it to allow planning and the synchronization of systems towards dealing with the threat currently and in the future. This intelligence task has to conduct the following tasks so as to be an effective unit in the providence of accurate, timely and relevant information based on potential threat;
Conduct ISR synchronization.
Perform ISR integration.
Conduct related mission operations.
Synchronization- the definition of this term would be simply stated as allowing organizing and co-ordinating a system of related departments to work together harmoniously towards achieving the same goal. In intelligence this is a task that analyzes information requirements and intelligence unanswered questions based on the potential threat, evaluating the intelligence assets both internal and external to the organization and giving them the responsibility of determining the answers to the gaps through surveillance and reconnaissance; these operations are controlled by the organization itself (Suzuki, 56, 2012). After conducting these tasks the assets are to report their findings to the organization so as to allow decision making. The whole organization controls and coordinates its assets in order to gather information requires for timely, relevant, and accurate information about the potential threat.
Integration, ISR integration is the activity of assigning and controlling intelligence unit’s surveillance and reconnaissance assets to collect and report information as one common unit in terms of time, space and purpose (Suzuki, 65, 2012). This is the grouping of the intelligence assets who are required to disseminate information perceived into one common group to form a team. The intelligence team should employ the best of its assets to form one group which can work together at the same time in order to achieve one common goal which is to acquire information based on getting to understand the potential threat. The assets have the following tasks; plan, execute, evaluate, and update. This way they are warned, they can know how to plan, prevent, mitigate, recover and/or respond to the threats all which are the five main objectives of the intelligence unit. The importance of this strategy is to provide and determine the unanswered or the unknown things concerning the threat.
Reconnaissance is an activity that pursues to get visual information about the adversary’s resources and activities. The main objective of this task is to have a geographical idea of the region on which the enemy is operating, getting to know what activities go on there and observing how they handle their resources. Other methods used in carrying out a reconnaissance are through signals, satellite imagery or any other technical measurements. Through this the intelligence community is able to gather information on the enemies grounds enabling them to monitor what they are doing. This gives the unit time, gather relevant and accurate information that keeps the organization a step ahead. In close relation to reconnaissance is surveillance whose purpose is to observe aerial, surface, and subsurface activities going on in the potential enemy’s territory. Unlike reconnaissance, this task is more thorough and intense. But also serves the same purpose as reconnaissance.
The last task involved with ISR is the performing of related missions and operations. The prime objective of this task is to support reconnaissance and surveillance tasks; it includes specialized missions. This task involves the following processes; establishing a mission intelligence briefing and debriefing program and perform intelligence synchronization. A briefing plan allows the identification of soldiers required to perform the surveillance and the reconnaissance operations by sending them to the field to collect information and to report back. The debriefing task on the other hand involves the acquiring of collected information in order to add on to the already acquired information so as to finally compose an accurate report that would be relevant for the intelligence committee. Performing intelligence synchronization involves facilitating collaboration between units both vertically and horizontally (Akhgar, 101, 2013). This is the managing of offices both above and below, and also offices on the same level to work together harmoniously. It involves building proper communication channels between the departments so as to achieve effective communication. When departments are working together it is easier to undertake operations and to perform efficiently; hence the intelligence community can gain accurate and timely information in order to handle and be ready for the potential threat.
Supporting intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance is a very vital process as this is the core of gaining information based on the potential threat. Through supporting this strategy the intelligence community can be able to gather information on what it knows and what it does not know so as to provide accurate, timely and relevant information.
Manage intelligence fro homeland security.
The three main objectives in this fourth strategy are; promote a skilled Homeland Security Personnel, integrate intelligence processes and to provide adequate and up to date equipment for Home Land Security Department (Akhgar, 99, 2013).
In order to provide a strong system for the organization to work effectively and efficiently in the production of information about potential threats to America’s security, the workforce itself must be skilled and must have professionals. As we have seen in the previous processes, the intelligence team requires personnel for the field tasks, database and a team that can analyse information. This can only be achieved through the strategic planning of recruiting highly qualified personnel who have gone through sophisticated training and the organization itself should offer training services to its employees so as to ensure they perform efficiently. To ensure standardized career options in which all employees are vastly knowledgeable about the activities that go on in the organization as this helps in reducing chances of task stagnation in case one unit fails. The last task involves training employees on ways to prevent cyber attack threats which may lead to the leaking of vital information. Only through professionals and qualified personnel does the organization achieve its main tasks and processes which all help in the identifying and providence of quality information on threats anticipating to harm the country. Quality and effective workforce is very important for the Intelligence community to carry out its activities. The unit is able to acquire accurate information, able to analyse it into relevant information and with a qualified workforce less time is lost hence giving overall good information on potential threats.
In integration the Intelligence Community should organize and coordinate the department functions in an effective manner in which they work together and share resources together, provide space for new ideas on how to gather enemy information effectively (Stanton, 11, 2009). This also gives the members a sense of belonging which is a high source of motivation; employees perform well and comfortably. Under a suitable work environment employees are able to concentrate on achieving the set goals hence providing accurate, timely and relevant information.
For the Intelligence community to achieve quality information about potential threats, and n order for them to provide quality and accurate information; they should have the right equipment required to efficiently and effectively carry out its investigations. They should provide reliable information technology equipment for communication and gathering of information, innovate new tools to be used by the Intelligence team and finally be able to identify proper tools that can be easily used, are durable and that are highly protected from any intrusions or vulnerability to exposure. Proper tools, sophisticated, and up to date will enable in the receiving, processing, analysing and reporting of quality information relative to protecting and warning the nation against potential threats anticipating to harm the nation (Chai, 55, 2010).
The task, processes and strategies developed in the above discussion are collectively recommended ways in which the Intelligence community of the United States can be able to provide quality, accurate, timely and relevant information in the indication and warning of the nation on potential threats. Currently the nation, after the September 11 attacks, has employed quality tasks and operations and has also boosted its National Security to prevent such an attack from happening again.
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