Intelligence Capabilities, Limitations, and Critique

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In order to ensure homeland security, an effective argument of crisis and subsequent recovery requires intelligence assistance and governmental action. Aside from intelligence, other actors include the police, law enforcement agencies, and private actors. This article will aim to investigate the capabilities of intelligence as used by the homeland security enterprise in the United States, as well as the limitations of the same. In doing so, it shall explain the aspects of intelligence in all of its manifestations at the local and national levels, as well as each contribution to homeland security (Priest and Arkin 56). It shall then analyze the possible critiques of the techniques of the eterprise on wanting areas that inhibits the effectiveness and efficiency of the homeland security.

There is a not a standard definition of what amounts to intelligence. Generally, it can be defined as information that is analyzed and so refined with a purposeful view of decision making by the policy makers. Alternatively, it can be defined as information that meets the understood needs of the people. From the general definition, it is evident that not all information befits what can be called intelligence but only that geared towards addressing people’s needs that are understood (Savage 34).

Capabilities of the Intelligence are manifest from the operations of Intelligence. The Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Intelligence is used in combating terrorism. This is achieved through reliance on the management of information systems (Haddal and Gertler 21). The information gotten from the United States citizens is used to set parameters from the problems. Another means of achieving the combat is done by the two-way communication that enables extraction of information.

Secondly, intelligence has the capacity of defining threats with the available information so as to prevent attacks of terrorism. As a form of policing, the intelligence therefore leads to reduction of fear during the counter terrorism endeavors. Reduction is by the ensuring the communication of critical information to citizens (Haddal and Gertler 26).

Another capacity is the enhancement of the preparedness to an emergency. It further transcends to the homeland defense and support of the civil rights. This is created through the commanders, taskforces and the sub-commanders who conduct the planning and the operations. The operations are geared towards the detection, prevention and deterrence of actual or potential threats and aggressions dressed against a United States

The intelligence also has the capacity to create stability of the United States which extends to the communities and the borders (Richelson 59). Significant investment in the information that amounts to intelligence has the capacity to not only strengthen but also streamline sharing of information among the actors both at local and state levels. This process that is affected through the information sharing programs ensures that there is not only awareness but also the joint actions on the shared actions in the various disciples in restoration of order.

Fusion centers that also utilize the intelligence are capable of serving as points that ensure that the process of gathering, analysis and sharing of information of the threats is freely flown to the necessary partners. They also help in the empowerment of the front-line law enforcement. Others that have the capacity to be empowered are the safety of the public members, emergency responses, health for the public members and the personnel in the private sectors (Treverton 31). The fusion centers have also led to the provision of interdisciplinary expertise as well as the awareness on the situations so as to inform the decision making process.

The capacities of the intelligence is however not absolute as represented. This is because it is riddled with so such limitations and challenges that limit the total achievement of the capabilities of intelligence. One limitation is that of double collection. This challenge often leads to redundancy and thus the wastage of resources, the double collection occurs when the relevant organization at local and federal levels when information is gathered by more than one organization at the same time (Wirtz 11). Also, the difference in the analysis of information breeds conflicting conclusions leading to conflicting steps in reduction of normalcy situation.

The main challenge is the scope of information that normally exceeds the conventional capacity of the use and processing of the information. The large volumes of generated information and data expand the capacities beyond the ability to integrate and fuse all the available data. The result of this is the inconsistent trends in dealing with emergencies when they arise. Therefore, the effectiveness of the emergency response would be pegged on the amount of information to be dealt with (German and Stanley 6).

Also, certain locations are faced with man power restrictions. This has a negative effect on the narrowing of the available information in order to influence the decision of the policy makers. This is because the restrictions mean ineffective interviews and the reporting process and procedure. Ultimately, this has an effective on the gathering of intelligence.

The systems in place are not devoid of criticism. The intelligence, private sectors, policies, law enforcement law and non- enforcement of law agencies can be criticized for their effectiveness and efficiency (Treverton 13). The direction taken by the by the intelligence organization is more focused on security as opposed to the liberty. The focus of intelligence and other apparatus is more focused on spies, surveillance and routines As a result of this and the very nature of the Homeland Security eterprise, the federal agency and the domestic agencies created by default is too intrusive. As a result, it has a potential of affecting the civil liberties.

The intelligence organization in the United States does not appreciate the domestic intelligence. In fact, it is the only western state without such an arrangement that is comparatively efficient in other western countries. Though some domestic organizations have been formed with defaulted not receive effective supervision and scrutiny. Similar cases are with the intelligence of the country that current research suggests to be hidden from view of the public thus lacking thorough oversight. This way, it is difficult to ensure accountability and to rule out possibility of unlawful influence on the investigations (Feuer 17).

The use of intelligence is not based on integrated eterprise and lacks lanes that are well-defined lanes that can cover other large states such as New York. Such a requirement of an integrated intelligence is necessary owing to the revolution in the relations between organizations of law enforcement, local homeland and intelligence organizations.

With the response of bringing together the existing law enforcement, emergency response and security capabilities at the state level, there exist certain gaps. None of the states have engineered a n intelligence capability. As a result, there is fragmentation into multiple cells for the intelligence, centers for fusion and new organizations. The continued fragmentation affects the unity with which the homeland security eterprise approach security issues. The structures built are also not tailored in manner to enable the accommodation of the robust capabilities already disused. This challenge is mostly experienced on the state level

Another critique is the inadequacy of the federal structure in the states. In practice, the federal intelligence is not necessary and only adds to the amount of resources invested in the intelligence with no much fruit. The multilayered structures in the states also contribute to inefficiency owing to few resources that are used to fund redundant structures (Natioal Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States 20).

The state-level intelligence and fusion centers are more concerned with support to enforcement of the law only. However, this is not efficient since in order to effectively of provide for the fusion centers, the focus ought to transcend the focus to cover other non-law enforcement. The homeland security also rarely appreciates the non-intelligence government models and centers that also focus on the efforts for ameliorating the natural disasters and events

In conclusion, it is evident that for the homeland security eterprise in United States to achieve its objective of security and defense. However this tool does not work exclusively but will only be effective alongside the law enforcement and non-law enforcement bodies, whether public or private. Again, the tools are not absolute but limited. Most importantly, it is important to proceed with caution to prevent usurping of civil liberties.

Works Cited

Feuer, Alan. "The Terror Translators." New York Times 17 September 2010.

German, Mike and Jay Stanley. "Fusion Center Update." July 2008. American Civil Liberties Union. 29 April 2017 .

Haddal, Chad and Jeremiah Gertler. Homeland Security. Wahington DC: Congressional Research Service, 2010.

Hays, Tom. "FBI No-show in NYC Terror Probe Raises Questions." Associated Press 14 May 2011.

Natioal Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. The9/11 Commission Report. Commission Report. New York: Noerton, 2004.

Priest, Dana and William M. Arkin. "A Hidden World, Growing Beyong Control." Washington Post 19 July 2010.

Richelson, Jeffrey. "The Office That never Was: The Failed Creation of The National Applications Office." Intenatonal Journal of Intelligence 24.1 (2011): 68-118.

Savage, Charlie. "F.B.I Agents Get Leeway to pushPrivacy Bounds ." New York Times 13 June 2011.

Treverton, Gregory. Intelligencefor an Age of Terror. Santa Monica: RAND, 2009.

Wirtz, James. Intelligence: The Secret World of Spies, An Anthoogy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

May 02, 2023
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