Intelligence

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Comment, 2014
Stephen R. Weissman

Newly available evidence shows that the CIA engaged in pervasive political meddling and paramilitary action in Congo during the 1960s -- and that the local CIA station chief directly influenced the events that led to the death of Patrice Lumumba, the country's first democratically elected prime minister.

Essay, May/June 2014
Daniel Byman and Benjamin Wittes

Behind all the talk of reforming the National Security Agency lies the question of whether it can win back the public’s trust, or at least its acquiescence. U.S. policymakers and citizens need to weigh how much security and diplomatic advantage they are willing to forgo in return for greater restraint and transparency.

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.

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