Intelligence

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Snapshot,
Sue Mi Terry

If the case of Edward Snowden -- the former contractor for the National Security Agency who smuggled classified information out of his workplace and provided it to news organizations -- has revealed anything, it is that the U.S. intelligence services made mistakes as they reformed after 9/11 and the Iraq war. Here is how to fix them.

Snapshot,
Vejas Liulevicius

The Obama administration is still looking for hard evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria. Although finding it is easier said than done, it is possible. The really important question is how the government will use evidence after it is collected.

Snapshot,
Jennifer Sims

Since the Pentagon has an unparalleled global reach and specializes in logistics, and the CIA has deep ties with target countries, it makes sense to gain economies of scale through combined and complementary intelligence operations.

Snapshot,
Eric Trager

The disqualification of ten candidates from Egypt's presidential race, including the Muslim Brotherhood nominee, has convinced the Brotherhood that the military is conspiring against it to win the election. It's now attempting to grab power from the army and threatening to take to the streets -- potentially sparking a new round in Egypt's revolution.

Snapshot,
Kenneth Michael Absher, Michael C. Desch, and Roman Popadiuk

The President's Intelligence Advisory Board is often criticized as a do-nothing panel. But it might be just the tool Obama needs to fix the U.S. intelligence community.

Postscript,
Daniel Byman

Targeted killings of enemy leaders have high costs, high risks, and limited benefits -- but are still a sensible way to combat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan.

Review Essay, Mar/Apr 2008
Paul R. Pillar

Two new books on intelligence reform -- Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes and Amy Zegart's Spying Blind -- distort the historical record. A third, by Richard Betts, rightly observes that no matter how good the spies, failures are inevitable.

Essay, Jul/Aug 2007
Mike McConnell

Sixty years ago, the National Security Act created a U.S. intelligence infrastructure that would help win the Cold War. But on 9/11, the need to reform that system became painfully clear. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is now spearheading efforts to enable the intelligence community to better shield the United States from the new threats it faces.

Essay, Sep/Oct 2006
Evan F. Kohlmann

Fears of a "digital Pearl Harbor" -- a cyberattack against critical infrastructure -- have so preoccupied Western governments that they have neglected to recognize that terrorists actually use the Internet as a tool for organizing, recruiting, and fundraising. Their online activities offer a window onto their methods, ideas, and plans.

Essay, Sep/Oct 2006
David Kahn

Modern militaries' obsession with intelligence gathering and evaluation would have bemused Caesar and Napoleon, since such behavior was rarely engaged in until recently. In the war on terrorism, intelligence is playing its greatest role yet, but even today, espionage and intelligence analysis will not be the decisive factors.

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