Chapter 5: Summary of Major Recommendations and Looking towards the Future
5.1 Major Intelligence Community Reforms
The past three chapters have proposed reforms for the IC by introducing the Snyder Commission's PCW intelligence missions framework, fleshing out its major tiers and missions, and then developing the five recurring themes which bind the framework together. In addition to adopting this PCW framework, which would involve a new Presidential Decision Directive (amending PDD-35), the Snyder Commission believes the additional major reforms summarized below will substantially enhance the underlying power structure of the IC and are imperative for the successful implementation of the new framework.
Make the DCI a member of the National Security Council (Section 4.1).
To allow the DCI to provide critical intelligence support to the two pillars of SPO and SMO (SECSTATE and SECDEF), and to formalize the relationship between the DCI and the President, the Snyder Commission recommends an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 to make the DCI a member of the NSC.
Task the new Assistant Directors of Central Intelligence (ADCIs) with implementing the PCW framework.
The Intelligence Authorization Act of 1997, in Title VIII, establishes three new ADCI offices: a) ADCI for Analysis and Production, and b) ADCI for Administration, and c) ADCI for Collection. While the act does give general missions to some of the ADCIs, the following recommendations suggest specific duties which help implement the PCW missions framework:
ADCI Analysis and Production (ADCI/A&P) (Chapter 2): In the 1997 Authorization Act, the ADCI/A&P is tasked with preventing duplication. To implement the new PCW framework, the ADCI/A&P should work with the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the Office of the Consumer Advocate (ConAd) to detect overlap, poll intelligence consumers, and ensure intelligence is timely and relevant. Furthermore, the ADCI/A&P should be responsible for developing the Civilian Intelligence Reserve Corps. (See Section 4.3.4.)
ADCI Administration (ADCI/A) (Sections 4.4 and 4.5): The ADCI/A should manage the rotational assignment recommendations found in Section 4.4 which have significant additional ramifications on coordination (Section 4.3) and other parts of the IC. Overseeing declassification efforts (Section 4.5) should also be the responsibility of the ADCI/A.
ADCI Collection (ADCI/C) (Sections 4.2 and 4.3): As a corollary to the mandate to consolidate HUMINT activities in the IAA97, the ADCI/C should be responsible for establishing the worldwide HUMINT capability discussed in Section 4.2. In addition, since this capability will require efficient coordination overseas, the ADCI/C should evaluate and recommend modifications to the authorities of Chiefs of Station (COS).
Appointment of the directors of national foreign intelligence producing agencies should require DCI concurrence, as opposed to consultation (Section 4.1).
In the interest of promoting greater IC coherency, the appointment of directors of intelligence agencies should require DCI concurrence, not consultation as required by Section 808 of the Authorization Act of 1997. This recommendation significantly transfers power from the Secretary of Defense to the DCI.
5.2 Conclusion: Looking Towards Future Intelligence Reform
Though the IC developed in an undirected, ad hoc fashion after World War II, it arrived at the post-Cold War era in good shape. Intelligence is not broken. In fact, the IC works remarkably well in many critical areas. For example, the IC maintains the best IMINT capability in the world, and is able to quickly redirect resources to highly intensive, temporary IC task forces during crises (e.g. Bosnia).
However, the Snyder Commission has found several areas where IC can be improved and optimized. Its work concentrated on instilling the flexibility, dynamism, and broad outreach essential to the IC's success in the post-Cold War era. Today's threats no longer play by traditional rules; they are transnational, unpredictable, and hidden. The recommendations in this report, spanning from the dynamic tier structure of the PCW missions framework in Chapters 2 and 3 to the five recurring threads in Chapter 4, seek to create an integrated and cohesive IC, poised and ready for a changing world. Naturally implicit in adopting the PCW framework, the IC must assess the framework's success through a series of metrics. Some of these evaluations have already been built into the structure, such as using the IWG to modify the framework as necessary (Chapter 2) and having ADCI monitoring of key reforms (Section 5.1).
The IC is inherently synergistic; it may be a community of many agencies and many missions, but all of the efforts will always share the common goal of defending the national security.
So where do future reform efforts go from here? How can the IC be further improved to meet the challenging and changing demands of the post-Cold War? Future efforts might look at a few important issues that the Snyder Commission did not address due to its limited time scale. For example, they could examine counterintelligence, budgeting, and many aspects of technology. Notably, streamlining the budgetary process would provide the efficiencies needed to better implement the PCW framework.
Intelligence reform does not end with this or any other commission's Final Report. Reform is an ongoing process; introspective, corrective, and progressive. The work of the Snyder Commission sets a solid framework for intelligence in the post-Cold War world, but several unfinished issues loom on the horizon. These issues are partial continuations of conclusions from the Snyder Commission.
Personnel. A very disturbing trend has emerged in the IC: fine, mid-career officers are leaving their promising positions. Skill atrophy, premature obsolescence, and low morale frustrate these officers. Can the old, "tried and true," traditional intelligence career model do the job today? This question equally applies to operations officers, analysts, and scientists. How can the IC design a paradigm for the "Intelligence Officer of the Future?" With the charge for diversified assignments (rotational), working more closely with customers, creative cover arrangements in remote areas, and integrating the latest technologies in a rapidly evolving world, it is no wonder reformers are left asking: How can the IC prepare, train and retain the intelligence officer of the 21st century? What skills will he need and how can he obtain them? Without the best personnel, the Snyder Commission PCW framework is impotent.
Open Sources. It seems this drum beats louder and louder every day. This Commission believes that the IC can only benefit by investigating non-traditional options which merge emerging information management technology with open source collection and analysis. Unless the IC opens up to "A-Team/B-Team" type competitive analyses or "fly off's" they will never truly know the threshold where clandestine sources are unnecessary. Open sources add cost-effective value to intelligence production, and the IC must not shy away from that option. Further, the IC should investigate ways of using broadly dispersed civilians to collect and process this openly available information. NGOs have often been "allergic" to the IC, but by properly nurturing the relationships, they and the IC can be mutually benefit. Between academia, NGOs, and even 'contract collectors,' the IC could benefit enormously.
Technology. The IC must strike a difficult balance between using inexpensive commercially available technology and building custom equipment for intelligence purposes which push the state of the art. The IC must still stay on the leading edge, not the bleeding edge, of technology while struggling to stay within its budget. Sadly, in some cases the criminals and terrorists whom the US is trying to interdict have more sophisticated technology than the intelligence/enforcement agencies pursuing them. It should be standard operating procedure (SOP) within the IC to constantly survey technological developments and to see how they might be best (oftentimes creatively) applied to intelligence challenges.
VISION. Without a vision for intelligence personnel, sources, collection, and analysis, there will be no dynamic Intelligence Community in the 21st Century.
The IC has remained and will remain an essential part of US national security. Over
the years, it has evolved to meet the new challenges and requirements of policy-makers,
diplomats, and the military. This evolutionary process was imperative for intelligence to
remain the guardian of US freedom and protect democracy, even when the IC required a
'short leash' through legislative oversight. The experiment has been a success; there has
been no second Pearl Harbor.