The 9/11 Commission and a National Counterterrorism Center: Issues and Options for Congress

CRS Report for Congress
The 9/11 Commission and a National
Counterterrorism Center:
Issues and Options for Congress
Updated October 22, 2004
Todd Masse
Specialist in Domestic Intelligence and Counterterrorism
Domestic Social Policy Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

The 9/11 Commission and a National Counterterrorism
Center: Issues and Options for Congress
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (hereafter
9/11 Commission) issued its Final Report in July 2004. As one of its 41
recommendations, the 9/11 Commission recommended the creation of a National
Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). As proposed by the commission, an NCTC would
have two primary functions — intelligence and joint operational planning. The director
of an NCTC would be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the
Senate, and would report to the commission’s proposed new National Intelligence
director. On August 27, 2004, the President signed an executive order establishing the
NCTC. Legislatively, there are numerous bills which have proposes the codification of
an NCTC.
The commission’s recommendation would use the existing Terrorist Threat
Integration Center (TTIC) as the foundation for an NCTC, a concept incorporated in
both the executive order and in some draft legislative proposals. Appendix I compares
the main provisions of the 9/11 Commission’s NCTC recommendation with the existing
executive order and some legislative proposals on this matter. The TTIC’s primary
mission is to fuse, analyze and disseminate terrorism threat intelligence across the U.S.
government. Prior to the publication of the Final Report, the Intelligence Community
was moving to collocate the TTIC with elements of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division,
and components of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center.
Although the TTIC itself does not have any operational role, the functions and roles of
the as yet un-named new entity, while devoid of a statutory basis, may be approaching
the commission’s NCTC concept.
This report, which will be updated, examines a number of issues as Congress
considers codification of an NCTC. One issue is whether the centralization remedy the
commission has recommended fits the problems associated specifically with the 9/11
intelligence failure and, perhaps more broadly, the systemic maladies affecting the
Intelligence Community. While some say centralization is a remedy for lack of
intelligence coordination, particularly across the foreign/domestic divide, others say it
may have an unintended effect of creating a “Groupthink” bias, or an inclination of
groups working under pressure to bolster information which supports the group’s
perceived conclusion, while discounting contradictory information. Some believe that
the success of the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986 in improving
inter-service relationships and in breaking down the individual military services’
“stovepipe” problems makes it a valid model for Intelligence Community reform.
Others note that Goldwater-Nichols applied to one cabinet department sharing the
specialized military culture and with the military’s unique mission of war-fighting. They
argue that this does not necessarily make it a good model for a broad range of separate
civilian and military agencies trying to improve analysis and operation. There may be
no ideal model for Intelligence Community reform. The “joint operational planning”
role recommended for an NCTC may be worthy of debate, as it is open to interpretation.
There are at least four options for congressional consideration: (1) NCTC with
intelligence and operational planning duties, (2) NCTC restricted to an intelligence role,
(3) NCTC restricted to an operational planning role, and (4) status quo plus — viewing
the newly forming collocated entity as a pilot program for a potential NCTC.

Background ..................................................1
The Existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center and an NCTC..........4
NCTC Institutionalizing Existing Practice?.....................5
Issues for Congress............................................6
Does the (Centralization) Remedy Fit the Problem?...............6
Centralization and Information Sharing.....................6
Centralization and Analysis..............................8
Goldwater-Nichols and the Intelligence Community.............10
Proposed Joint Operational Planning Role of an NCTC...........12
Proposed Intelligence Role of an NCTC.......................16
Counterterrorism Analysis: Relative Scarcity of
Human Capital...................................18
Codification of the Executive Order?.........................19
Proposed Personnel Authorities of an NCTC...................21
Proposed Budget Authorities of an NCTC.....................22
Options .....................................................23
NCTC with Intelligence Fusion and Joint Operational
Planning Roles.......................................23
NCTC Restricted to an Intelligence Role......................23
NCTC Restricted to a Joint Operation Planning Role.............24
Status Quo “Plus”........................................24
Conclusion ..................................................25
Appendix I: National Counterterrorism Center — Side-by-Side Comparison
of the 9/11 Commission Recommendation, Executive Order 13354,
S. 2845, and H.R. 10..........................................26

The 9/11 Commission and a National
Counterterrorism Center: Issues and
Options for Congress
In July 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States (hereafter, the 9/11 Commission) published its Final Report after holding 19
hearings, taking public testimony from 160 witnesses, and reviewing over 2.5 million
pages of documents. Pursuant to P.L. 107-306, the report has been provided to the
President and Congress, and active congressional consideration of these
recommendations is ongoing. As one of its 41 recommendations,1 the 9/11
Commission recommended the creation of
a National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), built on the foundation of the
existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). Breaking the older mold of
national government organization, this NCTC should be a center for joint
operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed by personnel from various
agencies. The head of the NCTC should have authority to evaluate the2
performance of people assigned to the center.
As recommended by the Commission, an NCTC would have two primary functions:
!Intelligence — The proposed NCTC would serve as a “knowledge
bank” of intelligence and strategic analysis for the entire U.S.
government. It would pool all-source information, both foreign and
domestic, about “transnational terrorist organizations with global

1 The commission has stated a preference that the 41 recommendations it made be
considered as a cohesive package; that the adoption of individual recommendations in
isolation from one another would somehow undermine the overall effectiveness of
intelligence reform. Although the recommendation to establish a National Intelligence
Director (NID) and the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center are two of the
commission’s most far-reaching proposals, it does not necessarily follow that the idea of the
NCTC is inextricably linked to the formation of a NID. An NCTC could be established
without the creation of a NID or vice versa. For information and analysis relating to the
proposed NID position, see CRS Report RL32506, The Proposed Authorities of a National
Intelligence Director: Issues for Congress and Side-by-Side Comparison of S. 2845, H.R.

10, and Current Law, by Alfred Cumming.

2 The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist
Attacks Upon the United States (Washington: GPO, 2004), p. 403 (hereafter cited as Final

reach.”3 The commission intends that the intelligence function of an
NCTC be built on the existing TTIC structure and absorb “... a
significant portion of the analytical talent now residing in the CIA’s
Counterterrorist Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA)
Joint Intelligence Task Force — Combating Terrorism (JITF-CT).”4
Furthermore, an NCTC would “track implementation” of the
execution of counterterrorism operations and “update plans to follow
through on cases.”5
!Joint Operational Planning — The proposed NCTC would perform
“joint planning.” Under the commission’s recommendation,
although an NCTC would not “direct the actual execution of these
operations,” it would assign operational responsibilities to “... lead
agencies, such as State, the CIA, the FBI, Defense and its combatant
commands, Homeland Security and other agencies.”6
The commission recommends that an NCTC have personnel and budgetary
authorities, but it would not have any authority for policymaking,7 a function the
report stated would be best left to the President and the National Security Council.
The commission’s report recommends the NCTC Director, who would be appointed
by the President and confirmed by the Senate “must have the right to concur in the
choices of personnel to lead the operating entities ... focused on terrorism,
specifically including the head of the Counterterrorist Center, the head of the FBI’s
Counterterrorism Division, the Commanders of the Defense Department’s Special
Operations Command and Northern Command, and the State Department’s
Coordinator for Counterterrorism.”8 The commission believes an NCTC should
function as a civilian-led unified joint command for counterterrorism, and would
have “tasking authority on counterterrorism for all collection and analysis across the
government, right across the foreign and domestic divide.”9 In addition, the head of

3 Ibid., p. 404
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 The question of how the term “policymaking” is defined could affect any debate on
differentiating the respective roles of an NCTC and the NSC’s counterterrorism staff,
particularly with respect to the “joint operational planning” function the Commission
proposed for an NCTC. If the development of broad strategies is interpreted as
policymaking there could be an overlap, and thus potential confusion, between the role of
the NSC staff officials responsible for counterterrorism contingency planning and those
working similar issues at an NCTC.
8 Ibid., p. 405.
9 See Statement of Thomas Kean, in U.S. Congress, House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence, Aug. 11, 2004, at [
keanhamitontestimony081104.pdf]. “Tasking Authority” in the Intelligence Community is
defined, generally, as the authority and ability to request another agency of the Intelligence
Community to dedicate human or technical intelligence collection resources toward an

an NCTC should, as proposed by the commission, “work with” the Director of the
Office of Management and Budget in developing the President’s aggregate
counterterrorism budget.10
The commission also recommends an NCTC report to a proposed National
Intelligence Director (NID) located in the Executive Office of the President, who
would in turn report to the President. The commission created a NCTC concept to
address the perceived problems below:
!Lack of a Coordinator or Lead Agency (“Quarterback”). According
to the commission, the numerous strategic and tactical maladies that
contributed to the overall intelligence failure on 9/11 were caused,
in part, because “... no one was firmly in charge of managing the
case and able to draw relevant intelligence from anywhere in the
government, assign responsibilities across the agencies (foreign and
domestic), track progress, and quickly bring up obstacles to the level
where they could be resolved.”11
!Inadequate “Jointness” — Crossing the Foreign-Domestic Divide.
The commission points out a distinction between ad hoc cooperation
and true joint action, oftentimes citing the example of reform of the
Department of Defense (DOD) under the Department of Defense
Reorganization Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-433, Oct. 1, 1986, 100 Stat.
992-1075b — Goldwater-Nichols) as a model. The commission
cited ten missed operational opportunities which could have
contributed to preventing the 9/11 attacks — and all involved lack
of unilateral action on behalf of the FBI or CIA, or bilateral
coordination across the foreign-domestic divide.12 It cites three
interrelated and tangible benefits of joint action: (1) more effective
and comprehensive planning, (2) execution with one quarterback,
informed by a common knowledge bank, and (3) pooling of
relatively scarce counterterrorism talent.13
!Lack of Adequate Integration Between Joint Intelligence and Joint
Action. The commission’s report states that a “smart” government

9 (...continued)
identified intelligence gap. The ability to audit, or ensure accountability with respect to the
fulfillment of taskings, has been an issue of perennial concern in the Intelligence
10 The two central questions of budgetary control and personnel authority are also pivotal
to the Commission recommendation to establish a National Intelligence Director. The
extent to which the Congress creates such a NID position and provides it with broad
Intelligence Community-wide budget and personnel authority may influence these same
authorities with respect to the Director of the proposed NCTC.
11 Final Report, p. 400.
12 See “Operational Opportunities,” Final Report, pp. 355-356.
13 Ibid., p. 401.

would integrate not just the intelligence collected across the
government to inform various consumers, but also the operations
(foreign and domestic) that may be required to pro-actively act upon
this knowledge base. The commission describes how the
responsibility for joint planning is often left to the relatively small
White House National Security Council,14 a coordinating body that
was not necessarily designed to be directly involved in the execution
of operations to implement the national security strategies it
coordinates and develops.
Since the publication of the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report in late July 2004,
there has been substantial movement on the creation of a National Counterterrorism
Center. On August 27, 2004, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order
National Counterterrorism Center creating the NCTC. As created by the executive
order, the NCTC has similar responsibilities to those which were recommended by
the 9/11 Commission. Two bills which have proposed the codification of an NCTC
are H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, and S. 2845, the
Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.
The TTIC and the functions it performs are an integral part of an NCTC in the
commission’s recommendation, the executive order, and the draft legislation.
The Existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center and an NCTC
The establishment of the TTIC was first announced in the January 2003 State
of the Union speech. Established to remedy the often-stated pre-9/11 failure to
“connect the dots” regarding counterterrorism intelligence, the organization’s stated
purpose is to “merge all (terrorist) threat information in a single location.”15 The
organization became operational in May 2003, and was intended to be a stand alone
joint venture of the Intelligence Community. The TTIC Director is an employee of
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and reports to the Director of Central
Intelligence (DCI); the TTIC Deputy Director is an employee of the Federal Bureau

14 The National Security Council (NSC) was created by the National Security Act of 1947
to “advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military
policies relating to the national security so as to enable the military services and the other
departments and agencies of the government to cooperate more effectively in matters
involving national security.” See 50 U.S.C. § 402. As a White House body in the
Executive Office of the President, the NSC is structured according to a President’s
preferences. However, traditional functions of the Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs and the NSC staff include a policy advisory role and an institutional,
process manager role. Although the NSC develops and promulgates national security
policies and strategies and plans for contingencies, it is generally not directly involved in
the execution of operations designed to implement those strategies, other than through its
coordinating role. See Philip A. Odeen, “Organizing for National Security,” International
Security, vol. 5, no. 1, summer 1980. See also, Philip A. Odeen, Andrew J. Goodpaster, and
Melvin R. Laird, Toward a More Effective Defense: The Final Report of the CSIS Defense
Organization Project, Center for Strategic and International Affairs, Georgetown
University, Feb. 1985.
15 State of the Union speech, Jan. 28, 2003.

of Investigation (FBI). Member agencies of TTIC include the FBI, CIA, the
Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, Health and Human Services, and
Energy, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.16
How does the commission’s proposed NCTC differ from the TTIC? In hearings
before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, TTIC Director John O. Brennan
stated that once the TTIC has acquired, through its member agencies, the requisite
number of strategic intelligence analysts, it would have the integrated intelligence
analysis capability the commission recommended for an NCTC.17 According to Mr.
Brennan, the proposed NCTC would expand the number of TTIC partners, provide
for an overall framework for how the constituent members interact, and constitute a
recognition that the new organization was a “center of gravity” for analysis of
counterterrorism intelligence. With such recognition, Brennan stated, would flow an
ability to acquire additional analysts and further integrate counterterrorism
intelligence. However, one of the most significant differences in what function(s) the
proposed NCTC would perform that TTIC cannot now is joint operational planning.
This function, which will be addressed more in-depth below, has not been very well
defined, and may be regarded as the most contentious element of the NCTC proposal.
NCTC Institutionalizing Existing Practice? Another similarity between
the TTIC and the proposed NCTC is based on the current reorganization of certain
counterterrorism elements in the U.S. Intelligence Community. The TTIC, elements
of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division (generally special agents and strategic
intelligence analysts working on international terrorism), and some parts of the
CIA’s Counterterrorism Center are in the process of being collocated. Intelligence
officials point out that this process of collocation is not a formal “merger” but rather
an organizational construct that will allow existing agencies to integrate intelligence
analysis, yet operate under their own legal authorities. As currently envisioned, and
particularly from an operational perspective, each of these collocated agency
elements will fuse their intelligence and information for greater analytical capability,
but retain control over their own intelligence operations that may be informed by the
enhanced integrated analysis. According to Director Brennan, the TTIC has
completed its move to the new facility. John Pistole, the FBI’s Executive Assistant
Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence has stated that the FBI has18
moved into the new location “no less than 100 people.” Mr. Pistole believes the
proposed NCTC, when compared to the new combined effort already in process,
serves to “institutionalize some of the policies and practices that we are currently
engaged in....”19

16 See Statement of John O. Brennan, in U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Governmental
Affairs, “Assessing America’s Counterterrorism Capabilities,” Aug. 3, 2004.
17 See U.S. Congress, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Hearing on Assessing
America’s Counterterrorism Capabilities, Aug. 3, 2004, FDCH Political Transcripts, pp. 49-


18 Ibid., p. 40.
19 Ibid., p. 33.

Issues for Congress
The commission’s recommendation to establish a National Counterterrorism
Center raise potential issues for Congress. Many of these issues relate to
centralization and information sharing, and the various roles of an NCTC.
Does the (Centralization) Remedy Fit the Problem? One of the
structural and systemic problems often cited as contributing to the 9/11 intelligence
failure was the failure of the Intelligence Community to “connect the dots.”20 The
essence of this claim is that while there was a plethora of information indicating that
Al Qaeda was planning to attack U.S. interests, there was insufficient information
sharing and coordination between various elements of the U.S. government to
prevent such an occurrence. More centralization is seen as a potential remedy to the
lack of coordination and information sharing among existing intelligence entities.
Centralization could bring together disparate elements of the Intelligence Community
working against the same target with a common goal, albeit with different tools and
means. Particularly from an intelligence analysis perspective, the possibility of
having frequent interactions among analytical colleagues from the numerous agencies
of the Intelligence Community could be highly valuable. As Philip Mudd, Deputy
Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center stated in recent congressional testimony
in reference to the collocation of his unit with other counterterrorist elements of the
Intelligence Community, “... I think collocation is underrated in terms of the
importance for cooperation, and we have started moving.”21
Centralization and Information Sharing. There are numerous intelligence22
centers currently in existence across the Intelligence Community. Each was
established based on the premise that integrating various intelligence disciplines —
the methods by which intelligence is collected — with respect to a particular
functional or geographic threat, could lead to more timely information sharing and23
a clearer assessment of that issue. Some have questioned the success of the
“center” concept, judging it a dubious organizational remedy to what may be a

20 Some observers believe that while the failure to connect the existing dots may have
contributed to the 9/11 intelligence failure, the more proximate reason for the failure was
an inability of the U.S. government to collect the right dots. Simply stated, these individuals
believe that the intelligence community failed to penetrate terrorist cells at home and abroad
resulting in “ too few useful dots.” See Robert Bryant, “America Needs More Spies,” The
Economist, July 10, 2003.
21 See Statement of Philip Mudd, “Assessing America’s Counterterrorism Capabilities,”
Before the Senate Committee on Governmental Reform, Aug. 3, 2004, FDCH Transcripts.
22 In addition to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and the TTIC, other intelligence centers
include the Counterintelligence Center, the Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and
Arms Control Center, the El Paso Intelligence Center, the National Drug Intelligence Center,
the Terrorist Screening Center, and the National Virtual Translation Center. See
[ 2-community_centers.shtml ].
23 In addition to an NCTC, the 9/11 Commission also recommends the establishment of
National Intelligence Centers with respect to the following functional and regional threats:
weapons of mass destruction proliferation, international crime and narcotics, China/East
Asia, Middle East, and Russia/Eurasia. See Final Report, p. 413.

functional problem — that is, the cultural bias in the intelligence and law
enforcement communities not to share information.24 Furthermore, some say
although the intelligence business is largely an inexact social science, and the
intelligence function has inherent limitations, the establishment of integration centers
(such as the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center in 1986) for “one-stop shopping” may
have reinforced the implicit expectation that the mission to “preempt, disrupt and
defeat terrorist activities at the earliest possible stage” was achievable within the
United States with a high degree of confidence.25
Another aspect of the sharing problem that contributed to the 9/11 intelligence
failure was the lack of coordination between foreign intelligence26 and domestic
intelligence elements.27 Over the years, a real or perceived “wall” had developed
between the foreign intelligence and domestic intelligence entities of the Intelligence
Community.28 The Uniting and Strengthening American by Providing Appropriate
Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT Act, P.L. 107-
56) and a decision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of
Review have provided the statutory and legal authorization for greater intelligence

24 See Frederick P. Hitz and Brian J. Weiss, “Helping the CIA and the FBI Connect the Dots
in the War on Terror,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, vol.

17, no. 1, spring 2004, p. 12.

25 On the limitations of the intelligence function see Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor:
Warning and Decision (Stanford University Press, 1962) and its forward by Thomas C.
Schelling. Schelling states “Surprise, when it happens to governments, is likely to be a
complicated, diffuse, and bureaucratic thing,” arguably an apt description of the 9/11
intelligence failure. On the limitations of intelligence reform efforts, see also Richard K.
Betts, “The New Politics of Intelligence: Will Reforms Work This Time?” [in] Foreign
Affairs, May/June 2004. Betts states “At the end of the day, the strongest defense against
intelligence mistakes will come less from any structural or procedural tweak than from the
good sense, good character, and good mental habits of senior professionals. How to assure
a steady supply of those, unfortunately, has never been clear.”
26 Foreign intelligence means information relating to the capabilities, intentions, and
activities of foreign powers, organizations, or persons, but not including counterintelligence,
except for information on international terrorism activities. See Executive Order 12333,
United States Intelligence Activities.
27 See Final Report, “Operational Opportunities,” pp. 355-356.
28 Going back to the codification of the Intelligence Community in 1947, there was a
reluctance on the part of many policymakers to unite foreign and domestic intelligence for
fear that doing so would establish an American version of a secret police. See Stewart A.
Baker, “Should Spies Be Cops?” Foreign Policy, winter 1994-1995. For an assessment of
some of the intelligence abuses which led to the development of further restrictions and the
congressional intelligence oversight committees, see U.S. Congress, Senate Select
Committee to Study Government Operations, Intelligence Activities and the Rights of
Americans, a Final Report with respect to Intelligence Activities, Apr. 26, 1976, see also
Senate Committee on the Judiciary Domestic Security Investigation Guidelines, hearings,
June/Aug. 1982.

sharing between the foreign and domestic intelligence/law enforcement
Notwithstanding these changes, some argue that the bureaucratic culture of
some organizations can be a “silent killer of innovation,” including innovative
thinking about information sharing. In recent testimony before the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence, Amy B. Zegart, a former NSC staffer, stated “Although
any meaningful reform must start with structure, structural changes alone will not be
enough.... Organizational culture is a silent but deadly innovation killer.... Fixing
cultural pathologies that have crippled our intelligence system is hard, but not
impossible. Two good first steps would be to change training and career
incentives.”30 Consistent with other recommendations of the commission, the FBI
in particular is attempting to alter its culture by establishing a cadre of intelligence
professionals who approach terrorism with a proactive and national security bias, as
opposed to its traditional law enforcement and reactive approach.31 The concept of
a knowledge bank such as an NCTC is another manner through which such
authorities may be exploited to ensure that gaps between the foreign and domestic
intelligence communities are filled.
Centralization and Analysis. While one of the weaknesses of the
Intelligence Community has been a failure to share intelligence, according to some,
another systemic problem has been an inability to adequately assess existing
intelligence. Centralizing analytical capability is another contentious issue. Some
think it could lead to a “group think”32 mentality. A Report on the U.S. Intelligence

29 Those elements of the USA PATRIOT Act that are most germane to enhanced sharing of
information and intelligence with respect to national security include, in part, Title IX,
“Improved Intelligence,” and Title V, “Removing Obstacles to Investigate Terrorism.” See
also United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, In re Sealed Case,
310 F.3d 717 (U.S. Foreign Intell. Surveil. Ct. Rev. 2002) (Decided Nov. 18, 2002); CRS
Report RL30465, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory
Framework and Recent Judicial Decisions, by Elizabeth Bazan; and CRS Report RL31200,
Terrorism: Section by Section Analysis of the USA PATRIOT Act, by Charles Doyle.
30 See Dr. Amy B. Zegart, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, School of
Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles, Written Remarks for the Record, The
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Aug. 18, 2004.
31 The extent to which these strategic and cultural changes are far-reaching enough or being
implemented successfully and in a timely manner across the FBI’s 56 Field Offices and 45
Legal Attache offices overseas is an open question. See CRS Report RL32336, FBI
Intelligence Reform Since September 11, 2001: Issues and Options for Congress, by Alfred
Cumming and Todd Masse. See also Statement of Maureen Baginski, FBI Executive
Assistant Director — Intelligence, in U.S. Congress, House Select Committee on Homeland
Security, Aug. 17, 2004.
32 Group think is a term coined by Irving Janis, a psychologist who published Groupthink:
Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, (copyright 1982 — 2nd edition)
which highlighted the tendency of individual members of a group operating under pressure
to bolster the group’s perceived consensus and discount information which may question
that consensus or the assumptions underlying it. Regarding protective measures designed
to prevent group think, in an address to the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence, Jamie Miscik,

Community’s Pre-War Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, published by the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, concluded:
The Intelligence Community (IC) suffered from a collective presumption that
Iraq had an active and growing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program.
This “group think” dynamic led the Intelligence Community’s analysts,
collectors and managers to both interpret ambiguous evidence as conclusively
indicative of a WMD program as well as ignore or minimize evidence that Iraq
did not have active and expanding weapons of mass destruction programs. This
presumption was so strong that formalized IC mechanisms established to33
challenge presumptions and group think were not utilized.
Some intelligence professionals argue that there are benefits to analytical
decentralization and the intentional development of competing analyses. Consistent
with this concern, and directed more at the proposed NID recommendation than the
NCTC proposal, yet nevertheless germane, Henry Kissinger, former National
Security Adviser and Secretary of State, recently wrote that an excessively
centralized system may “magnify the inherent danger of intellectual conformity.”34
The 9/11 Commission recognized the need to encourage and nurture innovative
analysis and cited, as one of four systemic failures,35 the lack of imagination36 across
the U.S. government with respect to projecting scenarios in which Al Qaeda would
conduct a catastrophic attack inside the United States using aircraft as weapons. The
report states, “Imagination is not a gift usually associated with bureaucracy.”

32 (...continued)
Director of the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence (DDI), stated that dealing with the
analytical issue of “inherited assumptions ... may be the single most important aspect of our
tradecraft that need to be examined ... we need to do fresh research on topics, looking for
new factors which could change our judgments, testing our hypotheses against viable
alternatives, looking for new collection opportunities, and re-validating some assumptions
and disposing of others.” DDI Miscik implemented a mandatory one-day Tradecraft
Refresher Course to reinforce these principles. See DDI’s “State of Analysis” Speech, All
Hands Meeting, CIA Headquarters, Langley, VA, Feb. 11, 2004.
33 See U.S. Congress, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “Overall Conclusions —
Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Pre-War
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq — Conclusions, July 2004, p. 4.
34 See Henry Kissinger, “Better Intelligence Reform: Lessons from Four Failures,”
Washington Post, Aug. 16, 2004, p. A17.
35 The other failures were policy, capabilities, and management. See Final Report on the
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, p. 339.
36 It may be worthy of noting, as did Dr. Mark Lowenthal, Assistant DCI for Analysis and
Production, in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
(Aug. 4, 2004), that imagination is not a panacea. He stated “We must always remember
that intelligence analysis is — at all times — an intellectual activity. There is no formula
or recipe. Even with the many well-known and practiced steps that we go through to
produce analysis, it remains an imprecise process. Neither the process nor the product will
ever be perfect.”

Even though the commission recommends the establishment of what could be
considered a centralized bureaucracy, it was aware that the “most serious
disadvantage of the NCTC is the reverse of its greatest virtue ... that any clear cut
centralization of authority to manage and be held accountable for (the struggle
against Islamist terrorism) may concentrate too much power in one place.”37
Nevertheless, the recommendation that NCTC be established illustrates that the
commission concluded that the overall benefits of “jointness” and centralization
outweigh those arguments favoring analytical decentralization. In recent testimony
before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, Thomas H. Kean, chair
of the Commission, stated: “We believe our proposal will strengthen analysis and
enhance competitive analysis,” arguing a robust NCTC with a strong official in
charge of the Intelligence Community would have forced the type of sharing that
could have prevented the attacks of 9/11.38
There are potential tradeoffs and inherent tensions between remedies which
address two of the major maladies facing the intelligence community — failure to
“connect the dots” or of imagination, and analytical tendencies toward Groupthink.
Remedies for the former include centralization, while those for the latter include the
development of possibly decentralized analytical units in direct or indirect
competition with one another. John Hamre, former Deputy Secretary of Defense,
asserts that “... implementing an organizational solution to just one of these problems
(connecting the dots) will worsen the other.” He proposed that if a NID be
established, it only be given authority over the intelligence “factories” that is, the
National Reconnaissance Agency, National Security Agency, and National
Geospatial Agency, while leaving the “craft shops” conducting human intelligence
collection and intelligence analysis more decentralized.39 While this argument is
directed more at the NID concept, it could also have implications for the
centralization of strategic counterterrorism analysis within an NCTC.
Goldwater-Nichols and the Intelligence Community.40 The 9/11
Commission draws analogies between the recommendations it made and the
substantial and positive changes that took place in the Defense Department as a result41
of the Goldwater-Nichols Act. Among some experienced intelligence
professionals, conventional wisdom in the wake of 9/11 has been in favor of some

37 Ibid., p. 406.
38 See Jeremy Torobin, “September 11 Commissioners Blunt about Homeland Intelligence
Role,” CQ Today, Aug. 17, 2004.
39 See Testimony of John J. Hamre, President and CEO, Center for Strategic and
International Studies, in U.S. Congress, Senate Armed Services Committee, Aug. 16, 2004.
See also John J. Hamre, “A Better Way to Improve Intelligence: The National Director
Should Oversee Only the Agencies That Gather Data,” Washington Post, Aug. 9, 2004, p.
40 Robert Goldich, Specialist in National Defense, CRS, Foreign Affairs and National
Defense Division, contributed to this section, and others, with respect to the Goldwater-
Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986.
41 For an assessment of this act see, Gordon N. Lederman, Reorganizing the Joint Chiefs of
Staff: The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 (Greenwood Press, 1999).

version of a “Goldwater-Nichols for the Intelligence Community.” Specifically,
proponents of this view point to Goldwater-Nichols provisions which increased the
authority, responsibility and staff resources of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff (JCS), with a corresponding diminution of the powers of the corporate JCS and
other JCS members; increased the authority and responsibility of the unified and
specified combatant commands that control U.S. forces globally; and changed officer
personnel management policies so as to increase the importance of joint (interservice)
assignments and expertise. Similar legislation, it is argued, would improve central
management and control over the disparate components of the Intelligence
Community. Some who have worked in the Defense and Intelligence communities
at senior levels acknowledge that the Pentagon fiercely fought Goldwater-Nichols,
but now, almost 20 years later, swears by its results.42
Although some of the underlying coordination and “stovepipe” problems within
the modern day Intelligence Community are similar to those facing the armed forces
in the pre-Goldwater-Nichols era, there are several differences. For example,
whatever the extent of the interservice coordination problems prior to Goldwater-
Nichols, all of the DOD operated under the same broad legal and statutory
authorities.43 While each of the military services operated and trained with minimal
joint coordination prior to Goldwater-Nichols, they all operated under the same legal
authorities, Title 50, U.S. Code, War and National Defense. By contrast, the
Intelligence Community is composed of 15 different agencies spread across
numerous executive departments, and operating under some common and some
distinct legal and regulatory authorities.44
Although debatable, it could be argued that the “defense community” is more
homogenous than the Intelligence Community. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air
Force, and the numerous interservice defense agencies and field activities are all in
one cabinet department and, perhaps more importantly, share the unique common
mission and culture of the uniformed military — preparing for and waging war. The
Intelligence Community under existing law and policy could be perceived as more
of a loose confederation of related agencies. As mentioned above, the domestic
intelligence community, defined largely as the Department of Justice’s FBI, and the
Department of Homeland Security’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure
Protection (IAIP) Directorate, operates under guidelines that are separate and distinct
from how the defense intelligence or even foreign intelligence entities operate. One
ostensible reason for these different authorities is the value the United States places

42 See John J. Hamre, “A Better Way to Improve Intelligence.”
43 These legal authorities include 10 U.S.C. (Armed Forces), 32 U.S.C. (National Guard),
50 U.S.C. (War and National Defense), as well as 37 U.S.C. (Pay and Allowances Of the
Uniformed Services).
44 For example, the National Security Act of 1947 and Executive Order 12333 United States
Intelligence Activities, outline the respective duties and responsibilities for members of the
Intelligence Community. Yet the domestic intelligence community operates largely under
Attorney General Guidelines which do not generally govern the overseas activities of the
foreign intelligence or defense intelligence agencies. Similarly, depending on the subject
area, the Director of Central Intelligence’s Directives (DCIDs) may or may not apply
similarly across the Intelligence Community.

on civil liberties and ensuring that its intelligence apparatus is not permitted to
exceed some boundaries with respect to the constitutionally protected rights of its
own citizenry. In short, while the attacks of 9/11 demonstrated a clear need to more
closely integrate and make “joint”domestic and foreign intelligence, each of these
communities continue to operate under different legal guidelines, and the need for
these distinctions may remain if the United States is concerned about establishing an
intelligence service that could be perceived as a “secret police.”45
A Goldwater-Nichols type reform for the Intelligence Community could be
interpreted as meaning the elimination of any distinctions between foreign and
domestic intelligence. Henry Kissinger addressed the issue:
... it does not follow that eliminating the distinctions altogether is the best
solution ... Foreign and domestic intelligence should not be merged but should
be coordinated by task forces, depending on the subject. The coordination
between domestic and foreign intelligence activities could be achieved by
institutions such as the ‘National Counterterrorism Center’... and possibly by a
presidential assistant for national intelligence, charged in addition with making46
certain that significant competing intelligence assessments reach the President.
Some say eliminating altogether the distinctions between foreign and domestic
intelligence services may create the impression that the United States is establishing
a secret police, an impression that would likely undermine the credibility of the
Intelligence Community.
Proposed Joint Operational47 Planning Role of an NCTC. As
mentioned above, the 9/11 Commission proposed an NCTC would “perform joint
planning” for the purpose of ensuring that all intelligence available to the U.S.
government on a terrorism target, and all means of U.S. power, be fully used to
thwart terrorist attacks. In 2002, the Gilmore Commission presented a similar option
which recommended the creation of an NCTC to fuse and analyze foreign collected

45 Like a pendulum, the balance a government strikes between its dual duties of protecting
civil liberties and providing security for its populace is ever-shifting. While not necessarily
a “zero sum” game, increased attention to, and additional legal authorities for, either of these
public “goods” can have an impact on the other.
46 See Henry Kissinger, “Better Intelligence Reform: Lessons from Four Major Failures,”
Washington Post, Aug. 16, 2004, p. A17.
47 The term “operations” as they relate to counterterrorism can have dual meanings. From
a military perspective, the primary purpose of a counterterrorism “operation” is to achieve
a political goal (e.g., preventing a terrorist act) through the application of military force.
While intelligence may be collected through a military counterterrorism operation, it is,
generally, secondary to the military goal of blunting a terrorist threat. Intelligence, both
tactical and strategic, informs military action. From an intelligence perspective, the primary
purpose of counterterrorism “operations” is to collect intelligence, through any of the
intelligence collection techniques — human or technical. This intelligence becomes one
input to a variety of consumers, from combatant commanders to national level policymakers.

and domestically collected intelligence and information on international terrorists.
With respect to operations, the Gilmore Commission recommended:
... the collection of intelligence and other information on international terrorist
activities inside the United States, including the authorities, responsibilities and
safeguards under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which are currently48
in the FBI, be transferred to the NCTC.
But, Philip Zelikow, Staff Director of the 9/11 Commission, testified that the
problems of transnational management of operations were so central to the
intelligence failure of 9/11 that the commission determined that its version of an
NCTC would have authority for joint planning exceeding the Gilmore Commission’s
recommendation. In reference to a commission staff trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan
to investigate coordination with respect to the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zelikow
stated what they found was “... a number of disparate agencies with different legal
authorities, all doing their thing, and then meeting every day, in a series of meetings,49
in many places, trying to make it all converge.”
The proposed joint operational role of an NCTC is probably its most contentious
element because operations are the means by which intelligence and defense
organizations take tactical actions to implement broader national security goals and
objectives, and they are considered highly sensitive. The dimensions of this role are
not clear. The language of the commission’s Final Report supporting the
recommendation is open to interpretation, with the report stating at one point that50
“law or Executive Order must define the scope of such line authority.” A more
strict or literal interpretation of the report language may lead one to conclude that an
NCTC would engage in joint planning only at the strategy level, leaving tactical
details, and actual operational execution to other agencies. However, given that
terms like “joint planning” and “operations” can and are construed as meaning more
definitive and defined tasks to be accomplished by existing entities and staff —
particularly in the military — a more direct and controlling role in operations for an
NCTC could also be envisioned. There are unanswered questions not only on the
scope of this authority, but also on how the authority would be implemented. Some
of these questions include:
!Operations and the Relationship Between Operational Personnel
and Analysts. In both the Defense Department and within the
Intelligence Community, “operations” are considered highly
sensitive because they can be covert, and involve the deployment of
intelligence sources and methods which must be protected to prevent
detection. Some observers have expressed concern that giving an
NCTC ambiguous joint operational planning responsibilities will

48 See Fourth Annual Report to the President and the Congress of the Advisory Panel to
Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass
Destruction (Gilmore Report), Dec.15, 2002, p. iv.
49 See U.S. Congress, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, hearing, Aug. 3, 2004,
FDCH Political Transcripts.
50 See Final Report, p. 406.

reduce the effectiveness of the operational elements of existing
intelligence agencies. According to former Deputy DCI Richard
Kerr, “The concern is that you dilute the offensive operational
elements”... of the CIA by deploying its best personnel outside the
agency doing essentially defensive work “mainly concerned with
analyzing threats and providing warnings.”51 Moreover, there is also
a concern that by detailing an agency’s operational or analytical
personnel to an NCTC, the loss of the close relationship52 between
analysts and operational personnel at their respective home agencies
may undermine the success of the overall counterterrorism mission
— to preempt and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States
and its interests.
!Planning. The term “joint operational planning” likely connotes
different activities to representatives of different agencies of the
Intelligence Community. “Planning” and joint planning are
generally thought of as terms of art within the overlapping defense
and intelligence communities. In the military, the term “joint
operational planning” has a very well-defined interpretation. Joint
operational planning is “... conducted within the chain of command
that runs from the National Command Authorities (President to the
Secretary of Defense) to the combatant commanders and is primarily
the responsibility of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and
the combatant commanders.”53 It is a “sequential process performed
simultaneously at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of
war.”54 Among other activities, it involves decisions about how to
deploy military assets to achieve national security goals and
objectives developed and outlined by the National Command
Authority, as assisted by the National Security Council. It involves
prioritizing targets, deciding which military resources should be
deployed against certain targets, when and how. The Joint Staff at
the Pentagon, particularly J-3 (Operations) and J-5 (Strategic Plans
and Policy) are most directly involved in joint operational planning.
The doctrine with respect to joint operational planning in the
Intelligence Community may not be as well developed and formal

51 See Shaun Waterman, “Terror Center ‘Hurting Intel Operations’,” United Press
International, Aug. 13, 2004.
52 In the Intelligence Community, it is generally thought that intelligence analysts and
intelligence operators should have a “close” relationship, with strategic and tactical analyses
informing operational plans and strategies, and raw intelligence from operations being fed
back into the analytical cycle. Analysts should, generally, be responsive to the needs of
intelligence operators, yet not be captive of, or beholden to, those responsible for operations.
For the sake of analytical integrity, organizational schemes should ensure that the
relationship is not so close as to compromise the integrity and independence of thought that
characterizes value-added analysis.
53 See Doctrine for Planning of Joint Operations, Joint Publication 5-0, Apr. 13, 1995, p.


54 Ibid.

as it is in the Defense Department. Therefore, in the context of an
NCTC, the scope and substance of joint operational planning could
very well be dependent on a specific operation in question (domestic
or international, military or civilian) and the agencies involved in
that operation.
!Legal Authorities and the Chain-of-Command. If a strict
interpretation of the Commission’s recommendation on an NCTC’s
role in coordinating joint operational planning is taken, it is likely
that neither new legal authorities, nor adjustments to existing
chains-of-command would be necessary. In response to the question
of whether an NCTC’s joint planning role would interfere with the
chain of command for military operations, the commission’s
chairmen testified:
The NCTC would not break the military chain of would be like
the J-3 for Operations in the Joint Staff ... the J-3 is not part of the formal chain of
command between the President, Secretary of Defense, and the combatant
commanders — but everyone agrees that joint operations planning is essential. The
NCTC would develop joint plans for terrorism operations with military officers
directly involved in that planning. If the Secretary of Defense didn’t like the plan,
the plan would change. Or, the head of the NCTC would have to bump this issue up
to the National Security Council and the President for resolution.55
Some questions underlying this envisioned role involve which personnel at an
NCTC would be responsible for this operational planning role. Would individuals
from the J-3 Staff be “dual hatted” to serve both the Defense Department’s chain-of-
command and the Director of an NCTC? In addition to the military, both the CIA’s
Counterterrorism Center and the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division engage in
counterterrorism operations overseas and at home, respectively. Will the chains-of-
command for how these agencies operate be altered in any manner, or does the
military model outlined by the commission apply to the foreign and domestic
intelligence entities as well? If an NCTC has tasking authority, can it, under existing
law, task the military to engage in domestic intelligence operations?56

55 See U.S. Congress, House Armed Services Committee, prepared Statement of Chairman
Thomas Kean and Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton of the National Commission on Terrorist
Attacks Upon the United States, Aug. 10, 2004, p. 7.
56 The Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385) reflects an American tradition of preventing
the use of U.S. military forces within the United States, except in certain circumstances.
These circumstances include, but are not limited to, the authority of the President to “... call
out the armed forces in times of insurrection and domestic violence” (10 U.S.C. §§ 331-335)
and “... authorizing the armed forces to share information and equipment with civilian law
enforcement agencies” (10 U.S.C. §§ 371-382). See CRS Report 95-964 S, The Posse
Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law,
updated June 1, 2000, by Charles Doyle. See also CRS Report RS20590, The Posse
Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch, by Jennifer Elsea. Under existing law [50
U.S. C. § 403-3(d)(1)], the Central Intelligence Agency “... shall have no police, subpoena,
or law enforcement powers or internal security functions....” Similar restrictions on military
activities can be found at 10 U.S.C. § 375. For information of the Defense Department’s

The executive order creating the NCTC (signed August 27, 2004 by President
George W. Bush) stipulated that “... each agency representative to the Center, unless
otherwise specified by the Director of Central Intelligence, shall operate under the
authorities of the representative’s agency.”57 The 9/11 Commission stated that with
respect to the authority for planning joint operations that “ or Executive Order
must define the scope of such line authority.” A strict interpretation of the joint
planning role as outlined by the 9/11 Commission would appear to be consistent with
the executive order’s direction with respect to these authorities.
!“Tracking Implementation” Aspect of Joint Operational Planning.
In one hypothetical case involving the overseas travel of a suspected
international terrorist, the commission outlines a NCTC role of
drawing on its government-wide counterterrorism database, tasking
of individual agencies to undertake certain actions with respect to
this travel, and being accountable for “... tracking the progress of the
case, ensuring that the plan evolved with it, and integrating
information into a warning.”58 This “tracking” function is fairly
nebulous. The commission’s report states that the Director of an
NCTC would “help coordinate the operational side”59 of the agencies
of the Intelligence Community conducting intelligence operations.
Like the tracking function it recommends, the “help coordinate”
function the commission recommends also leads to many questions.
What level of detail would be reported back to an NCTC? Would
field military commanders, FBI Special Agents-in-Charge, or CIA
Chiefs-of-Station have to coordinate all decision-making with
NCTC officials? Would an NCTC define operational success or
failure? Which entity and officials would ultimately be accountable
for the success or failure of the operation? Is the National Security
Council adequately staffed to resolve what may be numerous
potential conflicts between agency operational heads and the
Director of an NCTC with respect to tactical operations?
Proposed Intelligence Role of an NCTC. The proposed NCTC
intelligence role is less controversial than the joint operational planning role because
of ongoing and historical efforts to integrate information and intelligence for
analytical purposes. In the parlance of Goldwater-Nichols, the proposed intelligence

56 (...continued)
creation of the Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the primary mission of which is to
deter, prevent and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States and, “... as
directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, provide military assistance tovil
authorities, including consequence management operations.” See
[]. See also CRS Report
RS21322, Homeland Security: Establishment and Implementation of Northern Command,
by Christopher Bolkcom and Steve Bowman.
57 See Executive Order National Counterterrorism Center, Aug. 27, 2004, p. 4.
58 See Final Report, p. 405.
59 Ibid., p. 566.

function at an NCTC would be most analogous to the Joint Staff’s J-2 (Intelligence)
group. However, prior to the commission’s recommendation to establish an NCTC,
there had been considerable uncertainty with respect to which agency had the lead for
counterterrorism analysis within the U.S. government.60 Analytically, all 15 agencies
in the U.S. Intelligence Community, and even agencies outside the community, had
analysts researching and analyzing aspects of terrorism.
In November 2002, Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L.
107-296) establishing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The law
established within DHS a Directorate for IAIP to, among other functions, “identify
and assess the nature and scope of terrorist threats to the homeland ... and understand
such threats in light of actual and potential vulnerabilities to the homeland.”61
Subsequently, on January 28, 2003, President George W. Bush, in the State of the
Union address, established the TTIC. Unlike the Department of Homeland Security’s
IAIP Division, TTIC has no statutory basis. Some have asserted that TTIC has
usurped certain statutory analytical roles of the DHS IAIP and, that TTIC’s analytical
responsibilities should, at some point, be transferred to the IAIP. At a recent
Homeland Security Summit, Representative Christopher Cox is quoted as stating, “...
Personally, I have been willing to countenance TTIC as an interim step, but as we
build [IAIP], I think we ought to look forward to an end game where the Secretary
of Homeland Security is ultimately responsible for” the fusion and analysis of
terrorist intelligence.62
In 2003, Congress held hearings to address the respective counterterrorism
analytical responsibilities of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, the DHS IAIP, and
TTIC.63 In a response to post-hearing questions for the record following testimony
before the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, the FBI Director, TTIC
Director, DCI, and Secretary of Homeland Security attempted to clarify the roles of
TTIC, DHS’s IAIP, the DCI’s Counterterrorism Center, and FBI Counterterrorism
analysts. The response states, in part, “Whereas the TTIC’s terrorism analytic
mission is global in nature, IAIP’s mission is singularly focused on the protection of
the American Homeland against terrorist attack.” In terms of primary responsibility
for terrorism information analysis, the executive response referenced above states

60 In response to questions on this issue from the Senate Committee on Government Affairs,
DHS Secretary Ridge, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, DCI George Tenet, and TTIC
Director John O. Brennan responded in a letter to the Committee dated Apr. 13, 2004, that
“In order to ensure that no vital piece of information is missed and to ensure that all
departments and agencies, as well as our national leadership, receive the best possible
analytic support, it is necessary to treat the analysis of terrorism-related information as a
shared responsibility.”
61 See P.L. 107-296, Title II, Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, Subtitle A,
Directorate for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection: Access to Information,
Section 201, Responsibilities of the Under Secretary.
62 See Chris Strohm, “House Chair Says DHS Should Lead Intelligence Analysis,”
Government Executive, June 7, 2004.
63 Joint Hearing of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, and the House
Judiciary Committee, at which leaders of TTIC, IAIP and the FBI’s Counterterrorism
Division testified, July 22, 2003.

“TTIC has the primary responsibility in the USG for terrorism analysis (except
information relating solely to purely domestic terrorism), and is responsible for the
day-to-day terrorism analysis provided to the President and other senior
policymakers.”64 Furthermore, this response stipulates that the FBI, CTC, and IAIP
will retain a largely tactical analytical capability to support their respective
investigative and operational missions.65 In recent testimony Vice Chairman
Hamilton clarified the analytical role the commission envisioned for IAIP when he
the locus of analysis moves to the National Counterterrorism Center, but IAIP
continues to exist. It continues to support the department requirements —
infrastructure protection, support to state and local authorities — but the overall66
analysis moves to the National Center.
As the commission’s Report suggested, “the NCTC should have ultimate
responsibility for producing net assessments67 that utilize Homeland Security’s68
analysis of domestic vulnerabilities....”
Counterterrorism Analysis: Relative Scarcity of Human Capital.
While the supply of analysts with expertise in counterterrorism (achieved largely
through a combination of formal academic training and experience) will likely
increase over the medium-to-long-term, the quantity of qualified analysts available
in the short term is limited. If many of the Intelligence Community agencies are
going to retain analytical programs to support their own operational needs, yet will
also be responsible for assigning analysts to an NCTC, it is likely that there will be
a shortage of qualified counterterrorism analysts. This could negatively affect the
quality of analysis at these agencies and their ability to carry out their own missions.
Even if an NCTC were to gain independent hiring authority (unlike the current TTIC
model which cannot recruit independently but instead relies on Intelligence
Community assignees), it would still compete with Intelligence Community agencies
currently recruiting intelligence analysts.69 FBI, TTIC, DHS and CIA officials have

64 See Apr. 13, 2004 letter from Secretary Ridge et al. to Senators Collins and Levin. See
[ ].
65 Ibid. The commission concurs with the principle that agencies should retain independent
analytical staffs to support their respective tactical missions. The commission’s Final
Report states: “The NCTC will not eliminate the need for executive departments to have
their own analytic units. But it would enable agency- based analytic units to become smaller
and more efficient,” p. 566.
66 Hearing before the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, Aug. 17, 2004, FDCH
Political Transcripts.
67 The commission defines net assessments as comparing enemy capabilities and intentions
against U.S. defenses and countermeasures. See Final Report, p. 404. This may be a
diminution of the IAIP’s codified responsibility to “understand such threats in light of actual
and potential vulnerabilities to the homeland.”
68 See Final Report, p.565.
69 The FBI, for example, is attempting to recruit in excess of 800 “intelligence” analysts this

all voiced the concern that they are competing against one another for the same talent
Codification of the Executive Order? As mentioned above, on August 27,
2004, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13354 to create a National
Counterterrorism Center.71 According to press reports, the executive order is only
designed to serve as an interim measure preceding White House support for future
legislation with respect to intelligence reform.72 According to the executive order,
the NCTC would “serve as the primary organization in the U.S. Government for
analyzing and integrating all intelligence possessed or acquired by the U.S.
Government pertaining to terrorism and counterterrorism, excepting purely domestic
counterterrorism information.”73 It would also “conduct strategic operational74
planning for counterterrorism activities” by integrating all elements of national
power. While the executive order provides that the NCTC will not “direct the
execution of operations ...,” it will have the authority to “assign operational
responsibilities to lead agencies for counterterrorism activities ... to support strategic75
plans to counter terrorism.” Any agency objection to assignments made by the
NCTC would be raised to the NSC or Homeland Security Council for resolution.
The NCTC would also “undertake ... all functions assigned to the Terrorist Threat
Integration Center.”76 Functioning as a “shared knowledge bank”on known and
suspected terrorist and international terror groups, the NCTC would also disseminate
its reports, and analyses to “... the President, the Vice President in the performance
of Executive functions, the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, the
Attorney General, the Director of Central Intelligence and other officials of the77
Executive Branch as appropriate.” The NCTC Director would be appointed by the
Director of Central Intelligence, with the approval of the President; the NCTC

69 (...continued)
calendar year.
70 See Aug. 3, 2004 Hearing Before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, FDCH
Political Transcripts.
71 See Executive Order 13354 of Aug. 27, 2004, National Counterterrorism Center. See
also [].
72 See Douglas Jehl and Philip Shenon, “Bush Preparing to Bolster CIA Director’s Power,”
in New York Times, Aug. 27, 2004. See also Walter Pincus, “Bush’s Intelligence Moves
Don’t Attain Scope Urged by 9/11 Panel,” in Washington Post, Sept. 2, 2004, p. A4. Other
executive orders and directives signed on Aug. 27, 2004 include Strengthening the Sharing
of Terrorist Information to Protect Americans, Establishing the President’s Board on
Safeguarding Americans’ Civil Liberties, Strengthened Management of the Intelligence
Community, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 11 Comprehensive Terrorist-
Related Screening Procedures.
73 See Executive Order National Counterterrorism Center, p. 1.
74 Ibid.
75 Ibid.
76 Ibid., p. 3.
77 Ibid., p. 2.

Director would report to the DCI. Subject to existing reprogramming authorities,78
the executive branch would be able to dedicate existing intelligence community
resources to the NCTC.
Numerous legislative proposals have been introduced to codify an NCTC.
Appendix I compares the main provisions of the 9/11 Commission’s NCTC
recommendation with the existing executive order and two draft legislative proposals
on this matter — S. 2845 and H.R. 10. One such proposal, the National Intelligence
Reform Act of 2004 — S. 2845, calls for the codification of an NCTC. Under the
National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, an NCTC would be created within the79
proposed Office of the National Intelligence Director. The proposed NCTC would
have two directorates — one each for Intelligence and Planning. From an
intelligence perspective, the proposed NCTC would have primary responsibility for
analysis of terrorism and terrorist organizations, regardless of where the intelligence
was collected. It would also have primary responsibility for the conduct of “net
assessments”80 and warnings about terrorist threats. Operationally, the proposed
Directorate of Planning would develop interagency counterterrorism plans and assign
operational responsibilities to agencies. H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations
Implementation Act, would also codify a National Counterterrorism Center. Under
this legislative proposal, the NCTC would be created within the proposed Office of
the National Intelligence Director. It would have two directorates — one each for
Intelligence and Strategic Planning. From an intelligence perspective, the
organization would integrate and analyze all counterterrorism intelligence possessed
by the U.S. government, “except intelligence pertaining exclusively to domestic81
terrorists and domestic counterterrorism....” Operationally, an NCTC under this

78 Currently, the DCI “with the approval of the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget, may transfer funds appropriated for a program within the National Foreign
Intelligence Program to another such program and, ... may transfer personnel authorized
under for an element of the Intelligence Community to another such element for periods up
to one year.” See 50 U.S.C. §§403-404. This authority is, however, subject to numerous
legal restrictions and practical constraints. The National Foreign Intelligence Program “...
refers to all programs, project, and activities of the Intelligence Community, as well as any
other programs of the Intelligence Community designated jointly by the DCI and the head
of the United States department or agency or by the President. Such term does not include
programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for
the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by the United States Armed Forces.”
See 50 U.S.C. § 401a.
79 Title II, section 223 of S. 2845(engrossed) provides for the “Independence of the National
Counterterrorism Center.” Among other measures, it states that “...No officer, department,
agency, or element of the executive branch shall have any authority to require the Director
of the National Counterterrorism Center to receive permission to testify before Congress....”
80 According to this legislation, “net assessments” are categorized as “a comparison of
terrorist intentions and capabilities with assessed national vulnerabilities and
countermeasures.” See S. 2845, p. 87.
81 See H.R. 10, Section 1021, “National Counterterrorism Center.” The provision excepting
domestic counterterrorism appears to be consistent with the provisions in Executive Order
13354, which states that the NCTC, as established by the executive order, will analyze and
integrate all intelligence possessed by the U.S. government “excepting purely domestic

proposal would provide strategic guidance and plans for counterterrorism operations,
but “...may not direct the execution of counterterrorism operations....”82 Each bill
proposes the transfer of the existing Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), with
all its functions and activities, to the proposed NCTC’s Directorate of Intelligence.
Legislation codifying the establishment of an NCTC would make the
organization more permanent, allow the Congress to consider specific authorization
and appropriations for such an organization, including the possibility of newly
created analytical full time equivalent (FTE) positions, and demonstrate the sense of
Congress that such a center is in the national interest. Codification would also allow
the Congress the opportunity to authorize the specific functions and authorities under
which the NCTC operates and confirm the NCTC Director.
Proposed Personnel Authorities of an NCTC. There are major
personnel-related issues associated with potential establishment of an NCTC. The
first involves the official to whom the NCTC Director reports. The commission
recommends that the Director of an NCTC report to the proposed National
Intelligence Director who, in turn, would probably report to the President. The
executive order establishing the NCTC stipulates that the NCTC Director reports to
the Director of Central Intelligence. Under the 9/11 National Security Protection Act,
the NCTC Director would report to the proposed National Intelligence Director.
Given the joint operational planning role that the 9/11 Commission proposed for an
NCTC, an argument could also be made that in the absence of a NID, the Director
NCTC could report to either the existing DCI, or to the Special Assistant to the
President for National Security Affairs.
The second issue involves the authority of the NCTC Director compared to
other appointed counterterrorism officials in the Intelligence Community. Under the
commission’s proposal, and as mentioned above, the Director of an NCTC, “... must
have the right to concur in the choices of personnel to lead the operating entities of
the departments and agencies focusing on terrorism, specifically including the head
of the Counterterrorist Center, the head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, the
commanders of the Defense Department’s Special Operations Command, and
Northern Command, and the State Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism.”83
The specifics of the right to concur raise questions. If there is a dispute, for example,
between the Secretary of State and an NCTC on a potential appointment for the State
Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, does the NSC or some other entity

81 (...continued)
counterterrorism information.” Domestic counterterrorism information is generally thought
of as information about home-grown extremist groups that advocate or use violence to
achieve a political purpose, such as the Earth Liberation Front or Aryan Nation. The
domestic activities of international terrorist organizations or groups is not covered under this
interpretation of “domestic counterterrorism.” That is, the NCTC would be responsible for
analysis of and operational planning against, for example, the terrorist activities of Al Qaeda
or Hamas within the United States.
82 See H.R. 10, Section 1021, “National Counterterrorism Center — Duties and
Responsibilities of the Director — Limitation.”
83 See Final Report, p. 405.

or official resolve the dispute? If a newly appointed and confirmed NCTC Director
does not approve of existing officials in these named positions, can he or she fire the
incumbent — in essence can one political appointee fire another?
And third, there is a fundamental question about whether a “center” such as an
NCTC should be staffed with its own independent employees (that is, have its own
FTE positions and recruit, hire, train and retain them independent of the personnel
practices of its constituent agencies) or, like the existing TTIC, rely on assignees
from existing Intelligence Community agencies. In general and historically, the
personnel practices and promotional incentives of Intelligence Community agencies
have indirectly contributed to a system that does not encourage an agency’s best and
brightest employees to undertake a detail or assignment to a community center.
According to a former NSC official, “Several years ago DCI Tenet issued a directive
requiring that officials do a rotational tour in another intelligence agency to get
promoted to senior ranks ... every intelligence agency, including the CIA, ignored
him. Taking temporary assignment in an agency outside one’s home is still viewed
as a career-limiting move.”84 It could be argued, however, if an NCTC became the
center with respect to counterterrorism, as the Commission intends, then it could
become a more attractive assignment. Moreover, changes in Intelligence Community
personnel policies requiring certain assignments to joint interagency details as a
prerequisite for promotion to a senior level may also prove effective. If an NCTC
continues current TTIC practice, assignee staffing, the commission recommends
allowing leaders of an NCTC to be the “rating officials” for assessing the
performance of assignees while at the center.
Proposed Budget Authorities of an NCTC. The commission
recommends that the head of the proposed NCTC should “work with the Director of
the Office of Management and Budget in developing the president’s counterterrorism85
budget.” The issue of the extent to which the Director of an NCTC develops,
coordinates, executes, and controls, the counterterrorism budget is linked to the
authorities that may or may not be given to the proposed NID. Theoretically, if a
NID or strengthened DCI were given “... an appropriation for national intelligence
and apportion the funds to the appropriate agencies, in line with that budget, and with
authority to reprogram the funds among the national intelligence agencies to meet86
any new priority,” the Director of an NCTC may serve as the NID’s primary advisor
with respect to the allocation of counterterrorist funds.

84 See, Dr. Amy B. Zegart, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, School of
Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles, Written Remarks for the Record, The
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Aug. 18, 2004. p. 6.
85 See Final Report, p. 405.
86 The Final Report made this recommendation with respect to the budgetary authorities of
the proposed NID. Pending legislation before the Congress provides for various measures
to enhance either the DCI’s existing authorities with respect to reprogramming funds (See
50 U.S.C. §§ 403-404), or a proposed NID’s authority over the intelligence budget. See also
CRS Report RL32600, Comparison of 9/11 Commission Recommended Intelligence
Reforms, Roberts Draft Bill, H.R. 4104, S. 190, S. 1520, S. 6, H.R. 4584, and Current Law,
by Alfred Cumming.

Given the issues outlined above, there are at least four broad options the
Congress may consider with respect to the potential statutory creation of an NCTC.
Each of the options could be adjusted, particularly with respect to an NCTC’s
reporting relationships and placement in the Executive Office of the President. These
options include:
NCTC with Intelligence Fusion and Joint Operational Planning
Roles. This option would essentially adopt the commission’s proposed role for an
NCTC. Supporters of such an option could state that such a centralization would
remedy the lack of coordination between foreign and domestic Intelligence
Community agencies having counterterrorism responsibilities — the alleged
proximate cause of the 9/11 intelligence failure. Supporters could also argue that this
option would ensure there is one person in charge of both the domestic and
international counterterrorism analysis, who is responsible for planning operations
based on analysis of the entire U.S. government’s “knowledge bank”on terrorism.
However, critics could argue that notwithstanding the view that not all
counterterrorist analysts should be incorporated into an NCTC, that by centralizing
analysis of counterterrorism information, an NCTC could foster, as an unintended
consequence, an analytical tendency toward Groupthink. This may be particularly
true if an NCTC represents the U.S. government’s only center for strategic analysis,
while responsibility for tactical analysis remains within individual agencies of the
Intelligence Community. Moreover, some critics could argue that by detailing
intelligence analysts and those responsible for joint operational planning to an
NCTC, the offensive operational effectiveness of the Intelligence Community
agencies currently conducting counterterrorism operations could be diminished.
NCTC Restricted to an Intelligence Role. Under this option, an NCTC
would have no responsibilities for joint operational planning. Essentially, an NCTC
would represent a knowledge bank for analysis, which could be called upon by all
Intelligence Community agencies conducting counterterrorism operations. In
practice, an NCTC would look like the current TTIC, only with additional agency
membership, perhaps significantly more analysts, as well as additional authority over
personnel and budgetary matters. Supporters of this option could argue that while
the concept of having a knowledge bank for intelligence analysis is sound,
operational planning is unique depending upon the Intelligence Community or
Defense Department entities involved; thus operational planning should remain the
province of existing agencies. These proponents might add that while there are also
clear benefits to “joint” operational planning, major decisions such as which agencies
should be brought into individual joint operational planning exercises should be left
to the agencies originating the operation. Critics of this option could argue that in
order to prevent the next catastrophic terrorist attack against the United States, there
must be one individual in charge who can integrate not only intelligence analysis
with respect to threat assessments, but also the operations which may be based on an
holistic assessment of the threat. Simply stated, these critics could argue, the
organizational separation of strategic counterterrorism intelligence from joint
operational planning based on that intelligence would likely result in a dysfunctional
Intelligence Community.

NCTC Restricted to a Joint Operation Planning Role. Under this
option an NCTC would not have any responsibility for analysis of the threat, yet
would be responsible for joint operational planning. A variation of this option could
have an NCTC responsible for just international or solely domestic operations (and
intelligence collection). While the TTIC would continue to exist, an NCTC would
focus its energies utilizing TTIC analyses and assisting elements of the Intelligence
Community to jointly plan operations to preempt and prevent terrorist attacks against
U.S. interests at home and abroad. Supporters could argue the benefits of joint
operational planning are so tangible and important that this function should be the
sole focus of an NCTC. Under this option, an NCTC would build close relationships
with the TTIC for analysis, but maintain a separate structure to ensure the integrity
of TTIC analysis. These supporters might also argue that benefits of joint operational
planning are so great that resistance to it must be surmounted. They might note that
the individual military services were all vehemently opposed to the Goldwater-
Nichols Act when it was debated and enacted in 1986, but have long since
acknowledged its overwhelmingly positive effect on DOD operational planning and
actual conduct of military operations. Critics could argue, because the relationship
between operations and analysis should be close, it makes little sense to maintain an
artificial and organizational distinction between TTIC and an NCTC with only joint
operational planning responsibilities. Critics might add that an NCTC with sole
responsibilities for joint planning might simply draw away existing and scarce
operational planning talent that would be best left in the agencies and close to the
actual operators.
Status Quo “Plus”. Under this option, TTIC would continue on its current
path, and Congress would provide rigorous oversight of the ongoing Executive
Branch effort to collocate elements of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, the
TTIC, and elements of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. Supporters could argue
that what is happening on the ground today is, in essence, a piloting of the NCTC
concept. These supporters could argue that further executive action and/or formal
legislation may be premature at this time. Supporters of this option might also argue
that a better way to coordinate across the domestic/foreign intelligence divide is to
further utilize the interagency task force concept, bringing together experts across the
Intelligence Community and other agencies to coordinate counterterrorism matters
without creating permanent new bureaucracies. And finally, supporters might argue
that a quickly codified de facto “merger” between foreign and domestic
counterterrorism agencies could discount the complexities associated with these
issues. On the other hand, critics could argue that a lack of codification of existing
practice could result in the perception that the United States is implicitly endorsing
the creation of what could be perceived as a secret police, a development which may
further undermine the credibility of the Intelligence Community in the eyes of the
public. Critics could argue that while the U.S. government is moving in the right
direction on counterterrorism, the status quo, even with enhanced oversight, is
unacceptable, and reform is not taking place quickly enough. Critics might also
contend that it is essential that Congress and the executive branch expeditiously and
clearly define what have been historically somewhat vague relationships, duties, and
roles among foreign, domestic, and military intelligence agencies with respect to
counterterrorism. Without such an explicit overarching and codified framework for
coordination across the foreign/domestic divide on counterterrorism thereby covering

any potential intelligence gaps, the United States may repeat the same mistakes it
made prior to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
With respect to the functions an NCTC would perform, the 9/11 Commission’s
proposals appear to be fairly consistent with draft legislative proposals, as well the
Executive Order 13354 National Counterterrorism Center. However, whether an
organization identical to the executive order’s NCTC, or some variation, is codified
may depend on whether lawmakers believe that centralization can remedy what some
consider to be a major cause of the 9/11 intelligence failure, inadequate sharing of
existing intelligence across the foreign/domestic divide. Conceptually, centralization
produces benefits through closer coordination and sharing of information.
Historically, organizational culture also has played an important role in impeding
information sharing. It is possible that organizational changes may have the greatest
probability of success if they are combined with shifts in organizational cultures, as
well as human resource practices that reinforce a sense of jointness in the Intelligence
Community. One potential unintended consequence of centralization can be,
however, the discounting of contentious or contrarian views of national security
threats. Continued awareness of this possible unintended consequence along with
training to ensure that competitive analyses and independent thought, which
identifies and questions underlying and/or inherited assumptions, may go a long way
toward ameliorating any “groupthink” tendencies. The relationship between
intelligence analysts and operators is another important issue which may be worthy
of some debate. As qualified operational and analytical talent is in relatively short
supply in the short-term, centers may be a force to positively leverage the scarcity of
human resources. However, detailing a substantial portion of one’s strategic
analytical or operational planners to a center could have negative implications for a
contributing agency’s own counterterrorism effectiveness in carrying out assigned

Appendix I: National Counterterrorism Center — Side-by-Side Comparison of the 9/11
Commission Recommendation, Executive Order 13354, S. 2845, and H.R. 10
Intelligence Reform 9/11 Recommendations
Issue9/11 CommissionRecommendationExecutive Order 13354(signed Aug. 27, 2004)Act of 2004 Implementation Act
(S. 2845; Engrossed)(H.R. 10; Engrossed)
StructureProposed NCTC established asNCTC created within the U.S.Proposes an NCTC within theProposes establishment of an
Center within the ExecutiveIntelligence Community as ofNational Intelligence Authority. NCTC within the Office of the
Office of the President. TwoAug. 27, 2004.Two Directorates — IntelligenceNational Intelligence Director
primary entities under theand Planning.(NID). Two Directorates
iki/CRS-RL32558Director — NCTC Intelligenceand NCTC Operations.Intelligence and StrategicPlanning.
s.orLeadership,NCTC Director appointed byNCTC Director appointed by theNCTC Director appointed by theNCTC Director is appointed by
leakLeadershipthe President with rank ofDirector of Central IntelligencePresident by and with the advicethe NID and serves as principal
Responsibilities, anddeputy head of cabinet(DCI) with the approval of theand consent of the Senate. adviser to NID on intelligence
://wikiReportingdepartment. Subject to SenatePresident. Principal adviser to the Presidentoperations relating to CT,
httpRelationshipsadvice and consent.and NID on interagency provides strategic guidance
Counterterrorism (CT) operations;regarding the integration of CT
provides unified strategic directionintelligence and operations across
for civilian and military CT efforts;agency boundaries, and advises
concurs in an agency or departmentthe NID on the extent to which CT
head’s choice for candidate to head:program recommendations and
(1) DCI’s CT Center, (2) Asst.budget proposals of departments
Director, FBI CT Division, (3)and agencies conform with
Dept. of State’s Coordinator forpriorities established by the
CT, (4) other operating entities. IfPresident.

non-concurrence, agency head may
still fill position with candidate, but
must advise the President of non-
concurrence by NCTC Director.

Intelligence Reform 9/11 Recommendations
Issue9/11 CommissionRecommendationExecutive Order 13354(signed Aug. 27, 2004)Act of 2004 Implementation Act
(S. 2845; Engrossed)(H.R. 10; Engrossed)
——Reporting. NCTC DirectorReporting. NCTC DirectorReporting. NCTC Director reportsReporting. NCTC Director reports
reports to the proposed NID.reports to the DCI. DCI hasto the NID on budget and programsto the NID.
“authority, direction, and controlof NCTC and activities of the
over the Center and the DirectorNCTCs Directorate of Intelligence.
of the Center.”Reports to NID and the President
with respect to planning and
progress of joint CT options.
Duties andOverall. Serve as centralOverall. Unify strategy for civilianOverall. Serve as central and
iki/CRS-RL32558Responsibilities“knowledge bank” on knownand suspected terrorists andand military CT efforts; integrateCT intelligence, inside and outsideshared knowledge bank on knownand suspected terrorists and
g/winternational terrorist groups.U.S.; ensure collection of CTinternational terrorist groups as
s.orintelligence and conduct of CTwell as their goals, strategies,
leakoperations is informed by analysiscapabilities, and networks of
of all — source and support.
http——Operations. PerformsjointOperations. Conducts “strategicOperations. Develops interagencyOperations. Provides strategic
operational planning. Assignsoperational planning for CTCT plans involving more than oneguidance and plans for CT
operational responsibilities toactivities ... assigns operationaldepartment and includes mission,operations conducted by the U.S.
lead agencies, yet does notresponsibilities to lead agenciesobjectives, courses of actionGovernment. Assigns role and
direct the actual execution offor CT activities,” but “... shall(including parameters),mission responsibilities to lead
these operations. “Tracksnot direct execution ofcoordination of interagencydepartments and agencies for CT
implementation of operation oroperations.” Each agency in theoperations, recommendations foractivities. Supports operational
case.Center “shall operate under theoperational plans, and assignmentresponsibilities assigned to lead
authorities” of theirof departmental responsibilities. CT agencies by ensuring access to
representative agencies.Monitors implementation ofintelligence necessary to
operations assigned, and reports toaccomplish their mission.
President on compliance. Proposes limitation that the NCTC
...may not direct the execution
CT operations....”

Intelligence Reform 9/11 Recommendations
Issue9/11 CommissionRecommendationExecutive Order 13354(signed Aug. 27, 2004)Act of 2004 Implementation Act
(S. 2845; Engrossed)(H.R. 10; Engrossed)
——Intelligence. Modeled on DODIntelligence. Primary Intelligence. Using capabilities ofIntelligence. Primary
Joint Staff’s J-2 (Intelligence). organization for “analyzing andTTIC, the NCTC Director wouldresponsibility for analysis and
Serves as “knowledge bank.integrating all intelligencehave primary responsibility forintegration of all U.S.
Leads strategic analysis,possessed or acquired by theanalysis of terrorism and terroristGovernment intelligence
pooling all-source (foreign andU.S. government pertaining toorganizations from all sources ofpertaining to terrorism and CT,
domestic intelligence) aboutterrorism and CT ... exceptingintelligence — regardless of where...excepting intelligence
transnational terroristpurely domestic terrorismthe intelligence was collected. pertaining exclusively to domestic
organizations. Develops “netinformation.” Shall “undertakeShall be the principal repository forterrorists and domestic
assessments” (comparing... all functions assigned to theall-source information on suspectedcounterterrorism.” Carries out
enemy capabilities andTTIC.terrorists, their organizations, andduties of TTIC.
intentions against U.S. defensescapabilities. Primary responsibility
iki/CRS-RL32558and countermeasures). UsesTerrorist Threat Integrationfor “net assessments” and warning.
g/wCenter (TTIC) as “foundation.
leakStaffDetailees and AssigneesHeads of agencies conductingNID may establish excepted serviceNone mentioned.
diplomatic, financial, military,positions to serve the needs of the
://wikihomeland security, intelligence,NCTC. Analytical staff would be
httpor law enforcement shall “...comprised primarily of experts
make available to the Director offrom elements in the intelligence
the Center such personnel,community.
funding, or other resources, as
the DCI ... may request.”
Budget AuthorityNCTC Directorworks withNone mentioned.None mentionedNone mentioned.

and StructureOMB Director indeveloping
the president’s CT budget.”

Intelligence Reform 9/11 Recommendations
Issue9/11 CommissionRecommendationExecutive Order 13354(signed Aug. 27, 2004)Act of 2004 Implementation Act
(S. 2845; Engrossed)(H.R. 10; Engrossed)
Prohibitions andNCTC not a “policymakingAgencies inform NSC andOther agencies... shall support,NID resolves disagreements
Dispute Resolutionbody.” Disputes with respectHomeland Security Council ofassist, and cooperate with thebetween Director NCTC and
to operations resolved by the... any objections toNCTC in carrying out its mission.” agency heads with respect to CT
NSC.designations and assignmentsDisputes with respect to CT plansassignments, plans, or
made by the Center in theand operations brought to NID whoresponsibilities. Agency heads
planning and coordination of CTmay either accede or notify themay appeal the NID’s decision to
activities.”President of the necessity to resolvethe President.
disa gr eement.
NCTC Independence No officer, department, agencyNone mentioned.

shall have the authority to require
iki/CRS-RL32558the Director of the NCTC to: (1)
g/wreceive permission to testify before
s.orCongress; or (2) submit testimonyto any officer or agency of the
leakUnited States Government for
://wikiapproval if such testimony includesa statement indicating the views
httpexpressed therein are those of the
agency and do not necessarily
represent the views of the

Intelligence Reform 9/11 Recommendations
Issue9/11 CommissionRecommendationExecutive Order 13354(signed Aug. 27, 2004)Act of 2004 Implementation Act
(S. 2845; Engrossed)(H.R. 10; Engrossed)
“Centersa One of six centers — othersExecutive Order only pertains toAllows the NID the authority to...NID “... may establish such other
include weapons of massNCTC. Director NCTC assumesestablish within the Nationalnational intelligence centers as the
destruction proliferation,all functions assigned to theIntelligence Authority one or moreDirector determines necessary....”
international crime andTTIC. centers to address intelligenceProposes codification of the
narcotics, China/East Asia,priorities established by theNational Virtual Translation
Middle East, Russia/Eurasia. National Security Council....”Center and transferring the TTIC
TTIC integrated into NCTCEstablishes National CounterProlif-to the proposed NCTC Directorate
Intelligence, as “foundation.eration Center. Proposes theof Intelligence.
transfer of the TTIC to NCTCs
Directorate of Intelligence.
iki/CRS-RL32558a. Existing Centers include the Weapons Intelligence Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Center, the El Paso Intelligence Center, the National Drug Intelligence Center, the
g/wNational Counterintelligence Center, the Terrorist Screening Center, and the National Virtual Translation Center.