Opinions-differ-on-the-role-intelligence-should-play-in-the-development-of-policy-political-science-homework-help

Discussion Responses Needed on the following topic:

Opinions differ on the role intelligence should play in the development of policy. One school holds that intelligence should be analyzed and presented with recommendations or conclusions. Others feel intelligence findings should be policy neutral. What do you think? Why or why not?

Instructions:

Please provide a follow up response to the following 3 responses. The responses are to the topic mentioned above.

Response 1

I think having career politicians can be a bad thing, I understand that. When politicians make a career in Congress or the Senate, this can cause issues of becoming stagnant and always showing support with your party to maintain appearances. I get that completely. But, when it comes to selecting someone to lead the intelligence community, you do not want someone who has no idea how to separate the intel decision from giving everyone the response of a career politician

Intelligence controversies moved center stage in the lead-up to Donald Trump’s presidency and through its first months in office. As both president-elect and president, Trump accused the U.S. intelligence community, and the CIA in particular, of politicizing intelligence by leaking reports about investigations of contacts between his campaign advisers and Russian officials.

Politicians as Spymasters

Of its previous 23 directors since former President Harry S. Truman founded the CIA in 1947, only five have had markedly political backgrounds. The first career politician, George H.W. Bush, assumed the CIA directorship in 1976 after previously serving as a former head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and member of the House of Representatives. He took over the CIA’s reins, arriving at its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in the middle of a Senate investigation into intelligence abuses, including charges of domestic spying.

One of the most well-known CIA directors, Richard Helms, who served from 1966 to 1973, stressed to me in a 1990 interview that the high councils in Washington were saturated with partisan policy wonks. What was needed when a president gathered his national security experts together, he contended, was someone in the room “who was not trying to formulate a policy, carry out a policy, or defend a policy, someone who could say: ‘Now listen, this isn’t my understanding of the facts.

Response 2

The role of the Intelligence Community is to collect, analyze, and present intelligence reports to policy makers who make the determinations on how to act on such intelligence. Intelligence officers should not be presenting intelligence with the idea of creating policy, they should be promoting the best intelligence to allow for informed decision making. Both the intelligence officer and the policy maker share responsibility for the accuracy of the intelligence and the policies created by that intelligence.

Proper analysis and due diligence of the intelligence needs to be conducted to ensure its accuracy. The intelligence officers can be perceived as subject matter experts in the information they are formulating. For that reason, they should provide recommendations and conclusions in their reports. This will allow for a more educated response from the customer.

A seemingly major issue these days, politicization of intelligence effects the accuracy of the information presented to policy makers. Politicization of intelligence “refers to the influence of partisan, bureaucratic, and personal politics on intelligence analysis.” (Gookins, 2008). I think that the intentional leaking of intelligence is a means of politicizing intelligence reports without actually generating one. The leaks do effect policy creation and execution.

Policy makers can also directly influence the information contained in the intelligence reports by asking pointed or subjective questions to the analysts. A question like “What should I do?” “takes the intelligence officer over the line from intelligence to policy.” (Barry, Davis, Gries, & Sullivan, 2007). Suggested rephrasing of the question to ask “Whom do I have to convince?” or “Under what circumstances will…” creates less subjectivity, while providing the policy maker with the required information. (Barry, Davis, Gries, & Sullivan, 2007).

As I mentioned above, the responsibility for accuracy of the intelligence and the policies created by the intelligence is shared. Analysis of collected intelligence needs to be accurate and inclusive of input only the intelligence analyst can provide. The created report also needs to be politically impartial.

Response 3

The recently confirmed Director of the CIA is Michael R. Pompeo. His predecessor was John O. Brennan. The backgrounds of these two Directors are a study in contrasts.

Pompeo was a Congressman from the 4th District of Kansas. He graduated first in his class at West Point and served 5 years, including the Gulf War. In the business world, he founded Thayer Aerospace and Private Security, then President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company. He was elected to Congress in 2010 and served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was confirmed as Director of the CIA in January.

John O. Brennan served 25 years in the CIA. He worked as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He left the CIA to enter the business world, becoming CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of intelligence professionals. He returned to government to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor in the Obama administration until being confirmed as CIA Director in March 2013.

Summarizing their backgrounds, one is a former politician (with a military and business background) and one is a former career intelligence officer. Which background is better suited for the task? Politician? Career Intel? If we look at the past Directors of the CIA, one thing stands out – most of them have been politicians, not intelligence professionals.

Some believe this is a good thing as it serves a “checks and balances” function because the IC always overstates the threat. Others feel it is dangerous to the national security to have a politician in charge of formulating intelligence for use by . . . other politicians. The recently confirmed Director of the CIA is Michael R. Pompeo. His predecessor was John O. Brennan. The backgrounds of these two Directors are a study in contrasts.

Pompeo was a Congressman from the 4th District of Kansas. He graduated first in his class at West Point and served 5 years, including the Gulf War. In the business world, he founded Thayer Aerospace and Private Security, then President of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company. He was elected to Congress in 2010 and served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was confirmed as Director of the CIA in January.

John O. Brennan served 25 years in the CIA. He worked as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He left the CIA to enter the business world, becoming CEO of The Analysis Corporation, a security consulting business, and served as chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an association of intelligence professionals. He returned to government to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor in the Obama administration until being confirmed as CIA Director in March 2013.

Summarizing their backgrounds, one is a former politician (with a military and business background) and one is a former career intelligence officer. Which background is better suited for the task? Politician? Career Intel? If we look at the past Directors of the CIA, one thing stands out – most of them have been politicians, not intelligence professionals.

Some believe this is a good thing as it serves a “checks and balances” function because the IC always overstates the threat. Others feel it is dangerous to the national security to have a politician in charge of formulating intelligence for use by . . . other politicians. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?

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