Intelligence to Counter Terrorism: Issues for Congress

Report for Congress
Intelligence to Counter Terrorism:
Issues for Congress
Updated May 27, 2003
Richard A. Best, Jr.
Specialist in National Defense
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Intelligence to Counter Terrorism: Issues for Congress
For well over a decade international terrorism has been a major concern of the
U.S. Intelligence Community. Collection assets of all kinds have long been focused
on Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Intensive analytical expertise has been
devoted to determining such groups’ memberships, locations, and plans. Intelligence
agencies had been acutely aware of the danger for years. In February 2001, Director
of Central Intelligence (DCI) George Tenet publicly testified to Congress that “the
threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.” Furthermore,
“[Osama] bin Ladin and his global network of lieutenants and associates remain the
most immediate and serious threat.”
Nevertheless, the Intelligence Community gave no specific warning of the
September 11, 2001 attacks. Although all observers grant that terrorist groups are
very difficult targets and that undetected movements of small numbers of their
members in an open society cannot realistically be prevented, serious questions
remain. An extensive investigation by the two intelligence committees of the
September 11 attacks was undertaken in 2002. Although the final report is not yet
public, the committee members found that the Intelligence Community, prior to 9/11,
was neither well organized nor equipped to meet the challenge posed by global
terrorists focused on targets within the U.S. A separate independent commission was
established in early 2003 to take another look at the events preceding September 11.
Counterterrorism is highly dependent upon human intelligence (humint), the use
of agents to acquire information (and, in certain circumstances, to carry out covert
actions). Humint is one of the least expensive intelligence disciplines, but it can be
the most difficult and is undoubtedly the most dangerous for practitioners. Mistakes
can be fatal, embarrass the whole country, and undermine important policy goals.
Congress makes decisions regarding the extent to which the importance of humint
outweighs the inherent risks.
Countering terrorism requires close cooperation between law enforcement and
intelligence agencies; some terrorists will need to be brought to justice in courts, but
others are dealt with by military forces or covert actions. In recent years, important
steps have been taken to encourage closer cooperation between the two communities,
but some believe terrorist acts may have been facilitated by continuing poor
information exchanges between intelligence and law enforcement agencies and by
blurred lines of organizational responsibility. Congress will oversee the
implementation of the evolving relationship that affects important principles of law
and administration, and may choose to modify the roles and missions of intelligence
and law enforcement agencies.
Military operations to counter terrorism are dependent on the availability of
precise, real-time intelligence to support bombing campaigns using precision guided
munitions. The linkage between sensor and “shooters” will be crucial as will access
to global geospatial databases. As defense transformation progresses, Congress will
also oversee the development of increased intelligence support to military operations
including, especially, counterterrorist missions.

In troduction ......................................................1
Background ......................................................3
Humint Collection.................................................6
Analysis ........................................................10
Intelligence-Law Enforcement Cooperation............................12
Intelligence Support to Counterterrorist
Military Operations...........................................16
Conclusion ......................................................19

Intelligence to Counter Terrorism:
Issues for Congress
The struggle against international terrorism places new and difficult demands
on the U.S. Intelligence Community. Acquiring information about the composition,
location, capabilities, plans, and ambitions of terrorist groups is an enormous
challenge for intelligence agencies; meeting this challenge requires different skills
than were needed to keep informed about the capabilities and intentions of
Communist governments. At the same time, requirements continue for coverage of
geopolitical developments around the world and other transnational issues such as
narcotics smuggling.
Observers point to several major challenges that the Intelligence Community
will likely encounter in supporting the counter terrorist effort.
!First is a renewed emphasis on human agents. Signals
intelligence and imagery satellites have their uses in the
counterterrorism mission, but intelligence to counter terrorism
depends more on human intelligence (humint) such as spies and
informers. Any renewed emphasis on human intelligence
necessarily will involve a willingness to accept risks of complicated
and dangerous missions, and likely ties to disreputable individuals
who may be in positions to provide valuable information. Time and
patience will be needed to train analysts in difficult skills and
!Second, terrorist activities pose significant analytical challenges.
In addition to acquiring analysts with esoteric language skills,
intelligence agencies must develop expertise in many third world
areas that had been of peripheral concern in years past. Much of the
data available will be in open, unclassified sources that intelligence
agencies have often neglected.
!Third is the closer relationship between intelligence and law
enforcement agencies. In counterterrorism efforts, intelligence
agencies work alongside law enforcement agencies that have far
different approaches to gathering evidence, developing leads, and
maintaining retrievable databases. Policies and statutes are being
modified to facilitate a closer relationship between the two sets of
agencies, but closer cooperation has raised difficult questions about

using intelligence agencies in the U.S. and about collecting
information regarding U.S. persons.
!Finally, military operations against terrorists will reenforce
requirements for collecting and transmitting precise intelligence to
military commanders or operators through secure communications
systems in real time. The growing reliance of military operations on
the availability of precise intelligence is well understood, but the
availability of collection platforms such as reconnaissance aircraft,
unmanned aerial vehicles, and reconnaissance satellites has been
limited throughout much of the past decade. Such platforms are
especially important for counterterrorist operations.
In large measure, meeting these challenges will be the responsibility of
executive branch officials. The primary role for Congress will be to decide
appropriate levels of budgetary resources and to oversee Intelligence Community
efforts to ensure that resources are well managed and that the nation’s intelligence
needs are met. Some observers believe that Congress has special responsibilities to
provide a clear statutory framework to guide the unprecedented and uncertain
evolution of intelligence-law enforcement relationships. Such a framework is
necessary, they suggest, to minimize chances for a failure of the campaign against
terrorists or, alternatively, serious erosion of the protections of individual liberties
that have evolved over many centuries.
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Congress moved rapidly to provide
intelligence agencies with expanded authorities and increased funding to support
counterterrorism. In the year 2002, congressional intelligence committees
investigated the background of the September attacks and recommended legislation
to reorganize the U.S. Intelligence Community. Vast intelligence assets were
deployed in support of military operations in Iraq, and there are continuing
requirements in Afghanistan. Programs likely will be established to support the
long-term struggle against terrorism and necessary budgetary resources identified.
Intelligence support to the Department of Homeland Security is a key concern and
one that remains under review.
In November 2001, one media account suggested that a major reorganization of
the Intelligence Community might be under consideration by the executive branch.1
Members of the two intelligence committees released a number of recommendations
in December 2002 to strengthen management of intelligence activities.2 The
legislative future of such proposals is uncertain, however. Whatever the
organizational relationships, intelligence for counterterrorism will be affected by the
need for good humint, analysis, close ties to law enforcement agencies, and for
capabilities to support military operations with precise locating data.

1 See Walter Pincus, “Intelligence Shakeup Would Boost CIA; Panel Urges Transfer of
NSA, Satellites, Imagery From Pentagon,” Washington Post, November 8, 2001, A1.
2 See James Risen and David Johnston, “Threats and Responses: the Congressional Report;
Lawmakers Want Cabinet Position for Intelligence,” New York Times, December 8, 2002,

During the Cold War, terrorism was not a major intelligence priority and, in
many cases, terrorist groups were perceived as acting on behalf of, or at least with
important support by, Communist parties. The focus was on the other superpower
and not terrorism per se. Nevertheless, the Intelligence Community has long devoted
significant resources towards the terrorist threat. As early as 1986, a Counterterrorism
Center (CTC), comprised of officials from various intelligence and law enforcement
agencies, was established within the Operations Directorate of the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) to pull together information on international terrorism
from all sources and devise counterterrorism plans. After the fall of the Soviet Union
and the Warsaw Pact, terrorism was perceived with even greater concern, especially
as U.S. military forces and installations repeatedly were attacked by terrorist groups
as in the 1996 Khobar towers barracks in Saudi Arabia, the August 1998 bombing
of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the attack on the USS Cole in October


Public statements by senior intelligence officials affirm that the threat to the
United States posed by international terrorism was understood well before September

11, 2001. In February 2001, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) George Tenet,

in prepared testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated: “the threat
from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving. State sponsored terrorism
appears to have declined over the past five years, but transnational groups — with
decentralized leadership that makes them harder to identify and disrupt — are
emerging.” Furthermore, “[Osama] bin Ladin and his global network of lieutenants3
and associates remain the most immediate and serious threat.” In this testimony,
Tenet stated that Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups will continue to plan to attack
this country and its interest and have sought to acquire dangerous chemical agents
and toxins as well as nuclear devices.4
The creation of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) was an early effort to
bring together disparate data on terrorist activities. The CTC has not been considered
a complete success;5 collection on terrorist groups did not become an overriding
priority and, although the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had representatives
in the CTC, the relationship with the law enforcement community did not evolve as

3 Statement by Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet before the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence on the “Worldwide Threat 2001: National Security in a Changing
World” (as prepared for delivery), 7 February 2001.
4 “Worldwide Threat — Converging Dangers in a Post 9/11 World,” Testimony of Director
of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,
February 6, 2002.
5 For the background to the establishment of the CTC, see Duane R. Clarridge with Digby
Diehl, A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIA (New York: Scribner, 1997), especially pp.
319-429. See also Robert Baer, See No Evil: the True Story of a Ground Soldier in the
CIA’s War on Terrorism (New York: Crown Publishers, 2002), pp. 84-86. For a description
of its more recent functioning, see Paul R. Pillar, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy
(Washington: Brookings Institution, 2001), especially pp. 110-123.

fully as had been hoped. Media accounts indicate that the CTC doubled in size in the
month following the attacks.6
It is difficult to judge how successful the overall counterterrorism effort has
been. The September 11, 2001 attacks were successful, but other terrorist plans have
been thwarted although few details have been revealed. A multi-faceted attack on the
Los Angeles airport and other U.S.-related targets to coincide with millennium
celebrations in January 2000 was foiled as a result of a chance apprehension of an
individual with a car loaded with explosives by an alert Customs Service official.7
Attacks on U.S. embassies and facilities in Paris, Singapore, and other parts of the
world have reportedly been thwarted because of intelligence leads.
Inevitably there has been public discussion of the question of whether
September 11 was an “intelligence failure.”8 A joint investigation by the House and
Senate intelligence committees was undertaken in 2002 by a Joint Inquiry Staff. The
final report will not be publicly available until mid-2003, but a number of findings
and recommendations were made public in December 2002 that described
inadequacies in the organization of the Intelligence Community.9 In the FY2003
Intelligence Authorization Act (P.L. 107-306) Congress also established an
independent commission to review the review the evidence developed by government
agencies surrounding the 9/11 attacks. The commission has 18 months to submit its
Some observers have suggested comparisons to the investigations that were
undertaken during and after World War II concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor.10 Those investigations were viewed by many observers as politicized —
either seeking or deflecting mistakes by the Roosevelt Administration. By the time
of the conclusion of the congressional investigation in July 1946, almost a year after
the end of the war, the public was concentrating on other issues and, as a result, there
was little political fall-out.11 The investigations did, however, indicate the need for

6 Walter Pincus, “CIA Steps Up Scope, Pace of Efforts on Terrorism,” Washington Post,
October 9, 2001, p. A4.
7 Neil King Jr. and David S. Cloud, “Casting a Global Net, U.S. Security Survived a Rash
of Millennial Plots,” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2000; also, Laura Mansnerus and Judith
Miller, “Bomb Plot Insider Details Training,” New York Times, July 4, 2001, p. A1.
8 An oft-cited analysis of the phenomenon of intelligence failures is Richard K. Betts,
“Analysis, War and Decision: Why Intelligence Failures Are Inevitable,” World Politics,
October, 1978.
9 See CRS Report RL31650, The Intelligence Community and 9/11: Congressional Hearings
and the Status of the Investigation, by Richard A. Best, Jr., updated January 16, 2003.
10 These are described in Martin V. Melosi, The Shadow of Pearl Harbor: Political
Controversy over the Surprise Attack, 1941-1946 (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M
University Press, 1977).
11 None of the various Pearl Harbor investigations definitively resolved the issue of the
“blame” for Pearl Harbor. In particular, controversy has persisted over the roles of two
senior U.S. officers at Pearl Harbor, Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, USN and Major

better coordination among intelligence agencies and between intelligence agencies,
policymakers, and military commanders.
It is argued that “lessons” of Pearl Harbor, as viewed by senior congressional
and executive branch officials, laid the groundwork for the establishment of a
national intelligence effort by the National Security Act of 1947. Similarly, the
investigation of the events leading up to the September 11 attacks might lay the
groundwork for a new relationship between intelligence and law enforcement.
In the immediate wake of 9/11, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, a
principal purpose of which was to remove perceived restrictions on closer law
enforcement-intelligence cooperation in order to support counterterrorist efforts.12
Modifications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the same
purpose were enacted shortly thereafter as part of the FY2002 Intelligence
Authorization Act (P.L. 107-108), and further changes are being considered in 2003.
The need to integrate intelligence and law enforcement information greatly
influenced the deliberations that resulted in the establishment of the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) in early 2003. This legislation envisioned an analytical
directorate in DHS that would be the center of an integrative effort based on
information from intelligence and law enforcement sources. The executive branch,
however, has created a separate Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), under the
direction of the DCI, that began operations in May 2003.
At the same time, a number of observers have expressed serious concerns about
closer ties between intelligence and law enforcement agencies and, especially, about
the use of intelligence gathering techniques against U.S. citizens and resident aliens.
The passage of the USA Patriot Act and related legislation in the wake of 9/11 has
been criticized as a fundamental weakening of civil liberties protections. Further
legislative initiatives to align law enforcement and intelligence efforts more closely
are likely to result in greater opposition.
Aside from the investigation into the background of the September 11 attacks,
intelligence agencies will be adapting their efforts to the requirements of the
campaign against terrorism. Renewed emphasis is being placed on human
intelligence, on improved analysis, on cooperation with law enforcement agencies,
and on ensuring that real-time intelligence about terrorist activities reaches those who
can most effectively counter it.

11 (...continued)
General Walter C. Short, USA, who, some believe, were unfairly held responsible for
shortcomings of Roosevelt Administration officials. Almost fifty-nine years after the
Japanese attack, the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2001 expressed the sense of
Congress that both officers had performed their duties “competently and professionally” and
asked that the retirement status of Kimmel and Short be upgraded posthumously (P.L. 106-

398, sec. 546).

12 See CRS Report RL31377, The USA Patriot Act: A Legal Analysis by Charles Doyle.

Humint Collection
Many observers believe that intelligence required for the campaign against
terrorism will require significant changes in the human intelligence (humint)
collection effort. The CIA’s Operations Directorate is responsible for the bulk of
humint collection although the Defense Humint Service within DOD is a smaller
entity more directly focused on military-related issues. Overall budget requirements
for humint are dwarfed by the major investment required for satellites and signals
intelligence collection. Humint, however, undoubtedly can be dangerous for those
involved and it is, of course, for many in the media and the general public the core
intelligence discipline.13
Both the emphasis on humint and on the exchange of data between intelligence
and law enforcement agencies will influence the evolution of the U.S. Intelligence
Community in the coming decade. These two efforts will not in themselves have
major budgetary implications — humint is both difficult and dangerous, but not
necessarily expensive and information exchanges between agencies ordinarily
involve only information technology costs. However, placing priorities on these two
aspects of the intelligence effort will almost inevitably detract from other missions
and disciplines. In the view of many observers there may be a tendency to give less
emphasis to traditional intelligence collection and analysis regarding foreign political,
economic, and military developments. Whereas to some extent intelligence analysts
experienced in looking at foreign policy, economic, and defense issues can shift from
one country to another, it may be more difficult for an analyst to turn from issues of
diplomacy, economics, and warfare to the study of obscure terrorist groups that may
be involved in religious indoctrination or various criminal fund-raising activities.
Although humint is not in itself an expensive discipline, it requires large
amounts of support and an awareness by senior officials of possible negative
consequences. Potential complications, including imprisonment of U.S. agents in
foreign countries and loss of friendly lives, have to be given careful consideration.
Major diplomatic embarrassment to the United States can result from revelations of
covert efforts, especially those that go awry; such embarrassment can jeopardize
relationships that have been developed over many years.

13 Humint collection must be distinguished from covert actions even though the two efforts
may be undertaken by the same people or organizations. In the aftermath of September 11,
the CIA’s Special Activities Division rapidly mounted covert paramilitary operations in
Afghanistan. Media accounts suggest that this effort is being mounted by retired military
specialists brought back into government to supplement much smaller numbers of longtime
CIA officials with experience in the region. Much of their assignment reportedly involved
identifying specific targets for airborne attack and other liaison with Northern Alliance
units. See Bob Woodward, “Secret CIA Units Playing a Central Combat Role,” Washington
Post, Nov. 18, 2001, p.A1. For background on covert actions, see CRS Report 96-844,
Covert Action: An Effective Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy?, by Richard A. Best, Jr.

Collecting humint to support the counterterrorism effort will require significant
changes in the work of intelligence agencies.14 Terrorists do not usually appear on
the diplomatic cocktail circuit nor in gatherings of local businessmen. In many cases
they are also involved in various types of criminal activities on the margins of
society. Terrorist groups may be composed almost wholly of members of one ethnic
or religious group. They may routinely engage in criminal activities or human rights
abuses. Developing contacts with such groups is obviously a difficult challenge for
U.S. intelligence agencies; it requires long-lead time preparation and a willingness
to do business with unsavory individuals. It cannot in many cases be undertaken by
intelligence agents serving under official cover as diplomats or military attaches. It
may require an in-depth knowledge of local dialects and customs. Furthermore, the
list of groups around the world that might at some point in the future be involved in
terrorist activities is not short; making determinations of where to seek agents whose
reporting will only be important under future eventualities is a difficult challenge
with the risk of needlessly involving the U.S. with corrupt and ruthless individuals.
Critics of the current U.S. humint collection effort point to these and other
institutional problems. One report quotes a former CIA official:
The CIA probably doesn’t have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer
of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist
who would volunteer to spend years of his life ... in the mountains of15
Some observers have claimed that CIA personnel in key positions do not know the
major languages of the areas for which they are responsible.16 A former CIA official
stationed in Tajikistan in the early 1990s recalled that “As the civil war in
Afghanistan started to boil, I repeatedly asked for a speaker of Dari or Pashtun, the
two predominant languages in Afghanistan, to debrief the flood of refugees coming
across the border into Tajikistan. They were a gold mine of information. We could
have even recruited some and sent them back across the border to report on
Afghanistan. I was told there were no Dari or Pashtun speakers anywhere. I was also

14 A discussion of current weaknesses in the CIA’s humint effort is found in Seymour M.
Hersh, “What Went Wrong,” New Yorker, October 8, 2001. Hersh claims that CIA has
“steadily reduced its reliance on overseas human intelligence and cut the number of case
officers abroad;” in recent years CIA “has relied on liaison relationships — reports from
friendly intelligence services and police departments around the world — and on technical
collection systems.” Page 35.
15 Reuel Marc Gerecht, “The Counterterrorist Myth,” Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2001.
The former CIA Inspector General, L. Britt Snider (who has also recently been named staff
director of the joint investigation of the September 11 attacks by the two intelligence
committees), concluded that the CIA “has a relatively unstructured assignment process
which seems tilted more towards satisfying the preferences of employees than mission
needs. It has a personnel evaluation process that defies any effort to weed out poor
performers.” “A Message from the Inspector General, Central Intelligence Agency, January
19, 2001,”reprinted on the Web site of the Federation of American Scientists
[ h t t p : / / www.f a s .or g] .
16 E.g., Richard Perle, a Defense Department consultant, quoted by Ken Adelman, “Facing
the Enemy,” Washingtonian, November 2001, p. 33.

told the CIA no longer collected on Afghanistan, so those languages weren’t
needed.”17 Although such broad claims are disputed and cannot be evaluated without
access to classified information, it is not clear what steps the Intelligence Community
has taken to realign its humint operations. Developing a humint collection strategy
under these circumstances is a difficult challenge for the Intelligence Community,
especially for the CIA’s Operations Directorate, the FBI, and the smaller Defense
Humint Service. Observers suggest the need for a series of policy decisions involved
in a reorientation of humint collection.
!A move towards greater reliance on non-official cover (NOC). Non-
official cover means that agents are working as employees or owners
of a local business and thus are removed from the support and
protections of American embassies that would be available if the
agent had cover as a U.S. government official of a non-intelligence
agency. If the agent must be seen as engaged in business,
considerable time must be devoted to the “cover” occupation.
Providing travel, pay, health care, administrative services, etc. is
much more difficult. The agent will not have diplomatic immunity
and cannot be readily returned to the U.S. if apprehended in the host
country. He or she may be subject to arrest, imprisonment, or,
potentially, execution. There is a potential for agents working in
businesses to become entangled in unethical or illegal activities —
to “go into business for themselves” — that could embarrass the
U.S. and detract from their official mission.18
!Requirements for U.S. intelligence agents with highly developed
skills in foreign languages are difficult to meet. Few graduates of
U.S. colleges have such skills and language education is expensive.
Recruiting U.S. citizens who have ethnic backgrounds similar to
members of the societies in which the terrorist groups operate may
subject individuals to difficult pressures especially if the agent has
family in the targeted area. The House Intelligence Committee
reported in September 2001 that the Intelligence Community’s
“most pressing need is for greater numbers of foreign language-
capable intelligence personnel, with increased fluency in specific
and multiple languages. The Committee has heard repeatedly from
both military and civilian intelligence producers and consumers that
this is the single greatest limitation in intelligence agency personnel
expertise and that it is a deficiency throughout the Intelligence

17 Baer, See No Evil, pp. 164-165.
18 The need to reorient the humint collection effort to a greater reliance on non-official cover
is discussed by Gregory F. Treverton, a senior intelligence official in the Clinton
Administration, Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information (New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 152-157.
19 U.S. Congress, 107th Congress, 1st session, House of Representatives, Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, H.Rept.

!It is administratively difficult to develop resources throughout the
world over a long period of time and costs are higher than adding
intelligence staff to embassies. Few observers could have predicted
the intense U.S. concern with Somalia, Kosovo, or Afghanistan that
eventually developed. Ten years from now there may be a whole set
of challenges from groups that no one today is even aware of.
In short, reorienting humint collection to give significantly greater attention to
terrorist or potentially terrorist groups would have important administrative
implications for the Intelligence Community. While budgetary increases would not
necessarily be dramatic given the size of the existing intelligence budget (even
paying hundreds of human agents would be far less costly than deploying a satellite),
the infrastructure needed to train and support numerous agents serving under non-
official cover would grow significantly. Extensive redundancy would be required to
cover terrorist groups that may never pose significant threats to U.S. interests.
With such considerations in mind, the Senate Intelligence Committee, in its
report accompanying the FY2004 Intelligence Authorization bill (S. 1025), noted
interest among some Members in more vigorous humint collection, “especially
unilateral — collection — under non-official cover and from non-traditional
HUMINT ‘platforms.’ ” The Committee further noted that some observers have even
suggested “the need for the creation of a small, highly specialized semi- or fully-
independent HUMINT entity charged with collecting against non-traditional targets
and rogue states that traditionally have proven highly resistant to HUMINT
penetration involving traditional official-cover operations.” The Committee did not
endorse this concept but urged “diligent effort and new approaches to HUMINT
management within existing agency components.”20
A central issue for Congress is the extent to which it and the public are prepared
to accept the inherent risks involved in maintaining many agents with connections
to terrorist groups. Statutory law21 requires that congressional intelligence
committees be kept aware of all intelligence activities; unlike the situation in the
early Cold War years when some intelligence efforts were designed to be “deniable,”
it will be difficult for the U.S. Government to avoid responsibility for major mistakes
or ill-conceived efforts of intelligence agencies. Although there is a very widespread
consensus that Al Qaeda poses a threat to all Americans and to fundamental
American interests, it cannot be assumed that the U.S. public, or Members of
Congress, will view other groups in the same light. Intelligence professionals recall
that earlier associations with anti-communist elements in Central America came

19 (...continued)

107-219, September 26, 2001, pp. 18-19.

20 U.S. Congress, 108th Congress, 1st session, Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence,
Authorizing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2004 for Intelligence and Intelligence-Related
Activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the
Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, S.Rept. 108-44, May 8, 2003,
pp. 23-24.
21 50 USC 413(a)(1). Separate provisions require notice of presidential findings authorizing
covert actions (50 USC 413b).

under sustained public criticism (because some of the anti-communists were guilty
of human rights violations and because they were, or appeared to be, propping up
reactionary and oppressive regimes). These criticisms came to be shared by many
Members of Congress and, as a result, intelligence agencies perceived that they were
operating under excessive scrutiny and a cloud of suspicion for many years.22 The
direct attacks on the U.S. homeland on September 11, 2001 may well have produced
a willingness on the part of the American public to accept greater risks, but
intelligence professionals will undoubtedly be concerned to ensure that the work of
their agencies not be jeopardized by shifts in public opinion.
Terrorist activities present intelligence analysts with major challenges. First,
there must be an awareness of the social, ideological, and political environment in
which terrorist movements develop. Such awareness usually requires detailed
knowledge of geographic, ethnic, religious, economic, and political situations in
obscure regions. There is no ready supply of analysts with command of such skills
except perhaps among recent emigrants who may have complex ties to their
homelands. Moreover, areas of concern are likely to shift over time. As one longtime
observer has noted, such analysts could “serve their whole careers without producing
anything that the U.S. government really needs, and no good analyst wants to be
buried in an inactive account with peripheral significance.”23
Much of the information required to analyze terrorist environments derives from
extensive study of open source documents — newspapers, pamphlets, journals,
books, religious tracts, etc. Some observers believe that the Intelligence Community
overly emphasizes sophisticated technical collection systems and lacks a
comprehensive strategy for collecting and exploiting such open source information24
(osint). Although efforts are underway by intelligence agencies to expand the use
of osint, many observers believe that intelligence agencies should continue to
concentrate on the collection and analysis of secret information. In this view, the
Intelligence Community should not attempt to become a government center for
research that can more effectively be undertaken by think tanks and academic

22 Many of the statutory restrictions on intelligence activities imposed in response to public
criticism have, nonetheless, been widely accepted and congressional oversight of
intelligence agencies is now routine.
23 Richard K. Betts, “Fixing Intelligence,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2002, p. 48.
24 The principal advocate of greater use of open source information is Robert D. Steele, On
Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World (Fairfax, Virginia: AFCEA International
Press, 2000). A recent media account suggests that U.S. Special Forces sent on a mission
to destroy an Al Qaeda tunnel were surprised by the vast size of the compound and the
amount of supplies; in fact, according to the report, the complex had been described in detail
on an unclassified website months earlier. See Steve Vogel, “Al Qaeda Tunnels, Arms
Cache Totaled,” Washington Post, February 16, 2002, p. A27.

Once a terrorist group hostile to American interests has been identified, the
Intelligence Community will be called upon to focus closely upon its membership,
plans, and activities. Many collection resources will be targeted at it and much of the
information will be classified and highly sensitive. The most challenging problem
for analysts at this point is to attempt to discern where the terrorists will strike and
through what means. Open societies are inevitably vulnerable to terrorists, especially
those persons willing to commit suicide in the process of seeking their goals. The
skills necessary to anticipate the unpredictable are extremely rare; some suggest a
useful approach may be to assemble a “war room” comprised of a number of analysts
to sift through all available data. Such an effort was created to follow Al Qaeda but
did not foresee September 11. The bottom line is that anticipating such attacks is
intellectually difficult; hiring more people and spending more money do not
guarantee success.25
Others suggest greater reliance on outside consultants or an intelligence reserve
corps when terrorist threats become imminent. Such an approach might also allow
agencies to acquire temporarily the services of persons with obscure language skills.
While there are security problems involved in bringing outside experts into a highly
classified environment, this may be one approach that can provide needed personnel
without unnecessarily expanding the number of government analysts.
In regard to analysis, major issues for Congress include holding intelligence
agencies responsible for the quality of their work, the effective and efficient use of
open source information, and the appropriate use of outside consultants. Analytical
judgment is not easily mandated or acquired; leadership is key, along with
accountability and a willingness to accept that even the best analysts cannot foresee
all eventualities.

25 Ibid., p. 58. Betts makes the interesting point that “expertise can get in the way of
anticipating a radical departure from the norm.” (P. 49) Terrorists succeed by undertaking
actions that are unprecedented or, to American eyes, irrational. Thus, trained analysts with
years of experience may be less inclined to “think outside the box” although ignorance of
the terrorist group’s composition and goals would not guarantee unique insights.

Intelligence-Law Enforcement Cooperation
In the past, the Intelligence Community focused on threats from the military
forces of hostile countries and in large measure left terrorism to law enforcement
agencies, especially the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Since the end of the
Cold War in the early 1990’s steps have been taken both by the executive branch and
Congress to encourage closer coordination between the two communities. This effort
was significantly expanded by P.L. 107-56, the USA Patriot Act, enacted in the wake
of the 2001 attacks.
A recurring concern reflected in reports about the activities of those involved
in the September 11 attacks has been the perception that information about possible
terrorist involvement of individuals may not be available to immigration and law
enforcement officials who encounter the individuals. There has not been a
centralized database containing intelligence information by which individual names
could be checked. Although there are many potential concerns about the
establishment of centralized databases, most observers see the need to ensure that law
enforcement agencies, including those of states and localities, have better access to
information acquired by intelligence agencies about potential terrorist activities.26
Among some observers a major concern has been the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. FISA was enacted in 1978 to establish a system for authorizing
surveillance to collect information related to national security concerns. The process
for obtaining a warrant under FISA differs from that for obtaining a warrant for
criminal activities; there are different procedures and special FISA courts. The
fundamental purpose is to provide judicial branch overview of a process that could
be abused by zealous investigators. Enactment of FISA resulted from congressional
concern about instances of politically-motivated surveillance efforts directed at U.S.
citizens and residents. Over the years there have been a number of modifications to
FISA to extend its procedures to cover physical searches as well as to cover new
communications technologies.27
FISA procedures, however, have been blamed by some for restraining efforts to28
track foreign terrorists. They cite, for instance, the inability of the FBI in August

26 See CRS Report RL31019, Terrorism: Automated Lookout Systems and Border Security:
Options and Issues, by William J. Krouse and Raphael F. Perl.
27 See CRS Report RL30465, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the
Statutory Framework for Electronic Surveillance, by Elizabeth B. Bazan.
28 See U.S., General Accounting Office, FBI Intelligence Investigations: Coordination
Within Justice on Counterintelligence Criminal Matters is Limited, GAO-01-780, July 2001.
Also, John F. Harris and David A. Vise, “With Freeh, Mistrust was Mutual; Relations
Soured over FBI’s Role: For or Against Administration?” Washington Post, January 10,
2001, p. A1. Former DCI R. James Woolsey has claimed information about the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing, whose perpetrators had ties to foreign terrorists, was not made
available to intelligence agencies by the Justice Department. R. James Woolsey, “Blood
Baath: the Iraq Connection,” New Republic, September 24, 2001, p. 20. On the other hand,
one federal investigator claimed that in trying to track down those responsible for the

2001 to obtain a FISA warrant for one individual, Zacarias Moussaoui, who was
reportedly connected to an Algerian terrorist group.29 After September 11, a warrant
was obtained and Moussaoui’s computer was found to contain information that
suggested some involvement with terrorist activities. In the aftermath of the
September 11 attacks, Congress passed modifications to FISA in the USA Patriot
Act (P.L. 107-56) and in the FY2002 Intelligence Authorization Act (P.L. 107-108).
Further changes have been proposed in the 108th Congress.30 These initiatives reflect
a determination to adapt FISA to the current international environment in which
international terrorists may operate within and outside U.S. borders.
The new Department of Homeland Security that began operations in early 2003
has the statutory responsibility of using both intelligence and law enforcement
information to provide assessments of terrorist activities and threats. The Homeland
Security Act (P.L. 107-206) established within DHS an intelligence analysis
directorate designed to integrate intelligence and law enforcement information
relating to potential or actual terrorist threat to the United States. Subsequently, the
Administration announced the establishment of a separate Terrorist Threat
Integration Center under the direction of the DCI, which is to perform essentially
those functions. There are ongoing discussions regarding the respective roles of DHS
and TTIC.31
Placing emphasis on law enforcement by the Intelligence Community will have
major implications for U.S. foreign policy. Over the years the U.S. government has
maintained good relations, based on shared appreciation of common interests, with
many governments whose legal systems are far different from our own. In some
cases the U.S. has chosen to accept the fact that a foreign government may shield
narcotics smugglers or members of groups the U.S. considers terrorist and to try to
build a relationship of mutual interests with the country in the hope that its
involvement with terrorists will eventually abate. Such a policy inevitably runs
counter to the ethos of law enforcement agencies seeking to apprehend suspected
criminals and put them on trial. Reportedly senior FBI officials during the Clinton
Administration sought better cooperation from Saudi Arabia in prosecuting terrorists
responsible for the Khobar Towers attack and resented a lack of support from State

28 (...continued)
February 1993 attack, he “had zero cooperation from the intelligence community, zero.”
Quoted in Evan Thomas, “The Road to Sept. 11,” Newsweek, October 1, 2001, p. 38.
29 David Johnston and Philip Shenon, “F.B.I. Limited Inquiry of Man Now a Suspect in the
Attacks,” New York Times, October 6, 2001; James Risen, “In Hindsight, C.I.A. See Flaws
that Hindered Efforts on Terror,” New York Times, October 7, 2001, p. A1; see also Dan
Eggen, “Moussaoui Probe Pushed U.S. Limits,” Washington Post, January 31, 2002, p. A1.
30 See CRS Report RL30465, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview fo the
Statutory Framework and Recent Judicial Decisions by Elizabeth B. Bazan, and CRS Report
RS21472, Proposed Change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under
S.113 by Jennifer Elsea.
31 See CRS Report RS21283, Homeland Security: Intelligence Support, by Richard A. Best,
Jr., updated May 14, 2003.

Department officials who believed that pressing the Saudis would complicate efforts
to work with Riydah on other important issues.32
The relationship of intelligence collection to law enforcement in dealing with
terrorism poses complex issues for policymakers. Terrorism can, of course, be
attacked militarily without concern for domestic law enforcement, but most observers
believe that such an approach is appropriate and practical only when terrorists
directly threaten the U.S. homeland. In other cases, law enforcement may be the
approach that can effectively deal with the problem while not undermining support
for larger policy interests or leading to significant U.S. casualties.
Information used in judicial proceedings is often of a different type than that
usually collected by intelligence agencies.33 It is collected differently, stored
differently, and must usually be shared to some extent with opposing attorneys.
Nevertheless, over the past decade a series of initiatives have been undertaken to
enhance the usefulness of information collected by intelligence agencies to law
enforcement agencies and vice versa.34 The barriers to flow of information between
the two communities were both administrative and statutory. Both types have been
addressed by executive branch policies35 and by the passage of the USA-Patriot Act
of 2001 (P.L. 107-56) which specifically lays the groundwork for making information
collected by law enforcement agencies, including grand jury testimony, available to
intelligence agencies.
Bringing law enforcement and intelligence closer together is not without
challenges. First, the two sets of agencies have long-established roles and missions
that are separate and based on constitutional and statutory principles. The danger of
using intelligence methods as a routine law-enforcement tool is matched by the
danger of regularly using law enforcement agencies as instruments of foreign policy.
Bureaucratic overlap and conflicting roles and missions are not unknown in many
governmental organizations, but such duplication is viewed with great concern when
it affects agencies with power to arrest and charge individuals or to affect the
security of the country. Congress may explore the ramifications of bringing the two
communities closer together.
Most observers believe that, even if statutes and policies encourage closer
cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, there will many

32 See Elsa Walsh, “Louis Freeh’s Last Case,” New Yorker, May 14, 2001, p.76. Former
National Security Adviser Samuel Berger responded to this perception, New Yorker, July

2, 2001, p. 5.

33 See CRS Report 95-1204, Intelligence Agencies’ Information Support to Law
Enforcement, and CRS Report RL30252, Intelligence and Law Enforcement: Countering
Transnational Threats to the U.S., by Richard A. Best, Jr.
34 Recently, there have been media reports that the Defense Department’s major regional
commanders have requested that the FBI and Treasury Department assign representatives
to their staffs to help speed interrogation of suspected terrorists and coordinate efforts to
freeze bank accounts. See Eric Schmitt, “4 Commanders Seek Staff Role for the F.B.I.”
New York Times, November 20, 2001.
35 See Intelligence and Law Enforcement.

bureaucratic obstacles to be overcome. Within the Intelligence Community there has
been a tendency to retain information within agencies or to establish special
compartments to restrict dissemination for security reasons. Similar tendencies exist
among law enforcement agencies that guard information necessary for their particular
prosecutions. Some observers suggest that channels for transferring information
must be clearly established and that close encouragement and oversight by both the
executive branch and congressional committees would be required to ensure a
smooth functioning of transfer arrangements.
A key issue is the overall direction of the effort. As has been noted, the only
person with responsibility for the direction of both intelligence and law enforcement
efforts is the President. The Bush Administration, like its recent predecessors, has
instituted arrangements by which the Justice Department is included in the
deliberations of the National Security Council (NSC).36 There are few complaints
that such arrangements do not work effectively at present, but there were situations
during the Clinton Administration when it was believed that FBI Director Louis
Freeh did not share important information with the NSC and the White House.37 Law
enforcement may require that some information be closely held and not shared
outside the Justice Department, but if law enforcement and intelligence efforts are
to work more closely in dealing with international terrorist threats, procedures will
have to be in place to ensure that important information is shared. Such
arrangements would arguably require close monitoring by the President himself, but
that could prove a burden upon his time.
A significant issue for Congress is how to budget and conduct oversight of
intelligence and law enforcement efforts engaged in counterterrorist efforts. The fact
that intelligence and law enforcement agencies are in separate functional categories
for budgeting purposes has contributed, in the view of some observers, to different
resource environments and indirectly to the acquisition of incompatible information
technologies. In general, they argue that for many years the budgets of law
enforcement agencies have faced significantly tighter constraints than have those of
intelligence agencies. In particular, sophisticated information technology (IT)
systems have been acquired by intelligence agencies that, while expensive, have
absorbed only a small percentage of annual national defense spending. Acquisition
of the similar levels of IT capabilities by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies
was not feasible since much higher percentages of administration of justice spending
would have been needed. Hence a seamless system encompassing all echelons of
intelligence and law enforcement agencies for storing and exchanging information
in real time on potential terrorist threats has yet to be developed.
Observers believe that any effort to enhance intelligence and law enforcement
IT resources across agencies boundaries will require a determination by both the

36 See CRS Report RL30840, The National Security Council: An Organizational
Assessment, by Richard A. Best, Jr.
37 See Walsh, “Louis Freeh’s Last Case,” pp. 72-73. Other reports suggest, perhaps in
retaliation, that Freeh was not given advance notice of the August 1998 missile attack on the
Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. See Seymour M. Hersh, “The Missiles of
August,” New Yorker, October 12, 1998, p. 35.

executive and legislative branches since the budgeting process is a shared
responsibility. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) forwards to Congress
each year a proposed budget broken down into functional categories with most
intelligence agencies falling into the National Defense (050) category and the FBI
and other law enforcement agencies being in the Administration of Justice (750)
category. When Congress passes the annual budget resolution, funding levels for the
various functional categories are allocated to separate Appropriations sub-committees
(in a process known as the 302(b) allocations). This process can create procedural
hurdles to the shifting of funds from one functional category to another. Therefore,
both branches may review the need to make a coordinated inter-agency examination
of law enforcement and intelligence spending on counterterrorism.38
Intelligence agencies are overseen by the two select intelligence committees, the
appropriations committees, the armed services committees, and others that monitor
intelligence efforts of various Cabinet departments. Most observers believe that the
Intelligence Community receives reasonably thorough oversight even if
comparatively little is shared with the public. Intelligence committees are widely
perceived as taking a bipartisan approach to oversight. Despite a widely-perceived
need for greater centralized coordination of the Community, the fact that most of the
nation’s intelligence effort is undertaken in the Defense Department complicates
oversight. Law enforcement agencies receive oversight from the two judiciary
committees and the appropriators, but observers point out that the primary oversight
of law enforcement agencies is provided by the courts in which success or failure is
ultimately judged. Judiciary committees have often reflected strong differences over
legal issues and nominations. As a result, the nature and extent of congressional
oversight for intelligence and law enforcement agencies are different.
Nevertheless, some observers believe that, given the scope of law enforcement
involvement in the counterterrorism effort, there may be a need for greater
congressional scrutiny of the overall intelligence-law enforcement relationship. The
emphasis on homeland defense issues may lead some to call for different forms of
congressional oversight.
Intelligence Support to Counterterrorist
Military Operations
The campaign against Afghan-based terrorists and the Iraq war of 2003 (which
was characterized as related to the war on terrorism) graphically demonstrated the
importance of changes in intelligence support to military operations since the end of
the Cold War. Beginning with Desert Storm in 1991, U.S. military operations have
increasingly depended on precision guided munitions (PGMs) to hit targets while
minimizing losses of civilian lives. Precision attacks in turn depend upon accurate
and precise intelligence. Some of this data is acquired by humint — especially

38 Section 311 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2003 (P.L. 107-306) established
a requirement that cross-agency budget aggregates for total expenditures (in the National
Foreign Intelligence Program) for counterterroism be indicated in budget submissions (along
with totals for counterproliferation, counternarcotics, and counterintelligence).

important in identifying structures in which key terrorist leaders may be located.
Much also derives from imagery collected overhead by unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAVs), manned aircraft, and satellites. Other information derives from the signals
intelligence (sigint) effort. These new operational concepts, part of the larger effort
to transform the nation’s defense strategy and force structure, have proven useful in
operations conducted against terrorist organizations where the focus is on attacking
small groups or facilities and avoiding wide-scale strikes on population centers.
The growing dependence of U.S. military forces on precise and real-time
intelligence support requires a significant investment by the Intelligence Community
as well as new organizational arrangements. Although satellite imagery is
undoubtedly useful, especially in locating fixed installations, much of the tactical
intelligence used in military campaigns against terrorist units is provided by manned
aircraft such as the U-2s and UAVs such as the Predator and the long-range, high
altitude Global Hawk. The linkage of such platforms to platforms armed with PGMs
contributed significantly to Allied success in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 and to
Operation Allied Force in Kosovo in 1999.39 The Iraq War of 2003 and the Afghan
campaign of 2001-2002 have once again graphically demonstrated their value in
operations against terrorist targets.
Although the value of such intelligence collection platforms is almost
universally recognized, the numbers available to DOD are limited.40 As recently as
mid-2000 DOD was considering decommissioning U-2s in order to make additional
funding available for future Global Hawk procurement.41 Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld noted in his National Defense University speech on January 31,
2002, “the experience in Afghanistan showed the effectiveness of unmanned aircraft
— but it also revealed how few of them we have and what their weaknesses are.” He
stated that the Defense Department plans to add “more of what in the Pentagon are
called ‘Low Density/High Demand’ assets — a euphemism, in plain English, for ‘our
priorities were wrong and we didn’t buy enough of the things we now find we need.’”
FY2004 defense authorization legislation is expected to include significantly
increased amounts for UAVs and other platforms.
A recurring problem in tying together the sensors with the attack platforms has
been the communications links. Major compatibility problems in Desert Storm

39 See CRS Report RL30366, Kosovo: Implications for Military Intelligence, by Richard A.
Best, Jr. General Wesley Clark, the NATO Commander during Kosovo operations recalled,
however, that, “In Kosovo my commanders and I found that we lacked the detailed prompt
information to campaign effectively against the Serb ground forces. Most of the
technologies we had been promoting since the Gulf War were still immature, unable to deal
adequately with the vagaries of weather, vegetation, and urban areas, or the limitations of
bandwidth and airspace. The discrete service programs didn’t always fit together
technically.” Waging Modern War (New York: Public Affairs, 2001), p.459.
40 See CRS Report RL31872, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Background and Issues for
Congress, by Elizabeth Bone and Christopher Bolkcom, April 25, 2003.
41 See CRS Report RL30727, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR):
the U-2 Aircraft and Global Hawk UAV Programs, by Christopher Bolkcom and Richard
A. Best, Jr.

meant that some computer printouts had to be sent by air to various commands in the
area. Many of the problems were corrected by the time of Kosovo operations and
information flowed freely in the theater and back and forth to U.S. agencies in real-
time. Media reports have not reflected such communications problems in either
Afghan operations or the Iraq War.
The integration of intelligence analysis directly into military operations requires
adjustments to organizational relationships among intelligence agencies. Imagery
and sigint usually undergo some degree of analysis before the product can be used.
Target identification can require input from a variety of intelligence disciplines and
in some cases must be approved by Washington-level agencies. Enabling agencies
in Washington and elsewhere to support low-level combat units (on a 24-hour basis)
involves a high degree of responsiveness and flexibility. Such support may, in
addition, come at the cost of other responsibilities. Some observers express concern
that support to military operations, including counterterrorist operations, may detract
from traditional, but still important missions of providing continuing strategic and
geopolitical analyses for national policymaking.
Congress has acknowledged the need for better displays of data, tied to
geographical reference points, on computer links that would be available to all
military echelons and civilian policymakers. The displays would incorporate
information from all intelligence disciplines, including humint and open source
materials and would be made available in real-time. The issue for Congress is the
extent to which the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), a relatively
young agency, should have the primary responsibility for maintaining a global system
intended to be used throughout the Defense Department and Intelligence Community.
The U.S. military services are in a period of transformation that will pose many
issues for Congress.42 Requirements for capabilities to ensure information
dominance and for large numbers of precision weapons will be reviewed alongside
programs to replace aging platforms. Ensuring that data collected from a myriad of
sensors is available within essential time constraints will require coordination of
programs some of which are managed by DOD and others by CIA. The programs are
overseen by intelligence and armed services committees. The coordinative process
has been imperfect in the past and observers believe that it will continue to be
difficult to ensure that weapons platforms and intelligence systems work together
effectively. Ties between intelligence and armed services committees are historically
close, but observers may suggest new oversight structures.

42 For further background on the transformation process, see CRS Report RS20851, Naval
Transformation: Background and Issues for Congress, by Ronald O’Rourke; CRS Report
RS20859, Air Force Transformation: Background and Issues for Congress, by Christopher
Bolkcom; and CRS Report RS20787, Army Transformation and Modernization: Overview
and Issues for Congress, by Edward Bruner.

Effective counterterrorism — political, diplomatic, and military — requires
good intelligence, but counterterrorism intelligence differs in many ways from the
intelligence support that was needed during the Cold War and for which the
Intelligence Community remains in large measure organized. Significant challenges
lie in the area of humint collection where practices that might produce much valuable
information could be expensive and involve the United States in activities that, if
revealed, could be highly controversial at home and abroad.
Intelligence and law enforcement are becoming increasingly intertwined. Few
doubt that valuable insights can derive from close correlation of information from
differing intelligence and law enforcement sources. Should the two communities
draw too close together, however, there are well-founded concerns that either the
U.S. law enforcement effort would become increasingly inclined to incorporate
intelligence sources and methods to the detriment of long-standing legal principles
and constitutional rights or, alternately, that intelligence gathering in this country or
abroad would increasingly be hamstrung by regulations and procedural requirements
to the detriment of the national security. Difficult decisions will have to be made
(some affecting organizational responsibilities), and fine lines will have to drawn.
Observers believe that the campaign to counter terrorism will tend to reinforce
the perceived need to transform the U.S. defense structure to take full advantage of
information technologies and precision munitions. Counterterrorist missions may
not dictate the procurement of platforms, but they are likely to have an important
influence on the intelligence collection, communications, and information links.
At the same time, observers caution that the current war on terrorism which has
accentuated the need for law enforcement and intelligence cooperation may not,
despite Administration projections, be a decades-long endeavor. They argue that
even as Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are being dealt with, traditional
geopolitical concerns remain. Given the nature of organizational dynamics, they
suggest, it may be difficult to maintain adequate expertise on international military
and geopolitical issues that will remain of vital concern in the future. Terrorist
threats have become a central concern for the U.S. Intelligence Community, but the
rest of the world has not disappeared from policymakers’ horizons. As Secretary of
Defense Rumsfeld stated in his National Defense University speech, “we cannot and
must not make the mistake, of assuming that terrorism is the only threat. The next
threat we face may indeed be against terrorists — but it could also be a cyber-war,
a traditional, state-on-state war... or something entirely different.”