This comprehensive treatment of intelligence reform issues was prepared by former CIA analyst John A. Gentry for submission to the Congressional intelligence committees and the Aspin Commission on Intelligence Roles and Missions. Because of its unusually rich content and provocative insights, The Project on Intelligence Reform of the the Federation of American Scientists offers it here for broader public consideration.

A Framework for Reform of the
U.S. Intelligence Community

by John A. Gentry

6 June 1995

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. National Interests and Intelligence Community Missions

3. Internal Decay: The Real Reason for Reform

4. Elements of Organizational Reform

5. Reform Ideas to Avoid

6. Conclusions


As a former employee of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, I am required by U.S. law to submit papers I write on intelligence topics to CIA's Publications Review Board. The Board reviews only to ensure that papers do not contain classified material. CIA has reviewed this manuscript and has no security objection to its public dissemination. Such review does not indicate that CIA agrees with its contents.

John A. Gentry spent 12 years as an analyst in CIA's Directorate of Intelligence before resigning in November 1990. He is an economist and at CIA worked mainly on economic projects, particularly on Eastern Europe and the USSR. He was senior analyst on the staff of the National Intelligence Officer for Warning in 1987-89. Gentry is a U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel with service mainly in intelligence and special operations assignments. Gentry is author of Lost Promise: How CIA Analysis Misserves the Nation (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1993).

The author wishes to acknowledge and to thank Peter Dickson, who provided helpful comments on a draft of this paper.