Differentiating Centralization and Coordination in National Intelligence after 9/11
Chapter IN: Reorganizing Government; A Functional and Dimensional Framework by Alejandro Camacho and Robert Glicksman, New York University Press, 2019
Posted: 21 Apr 2020 Last revised: 16 Sep 2020
Date Written: April 20, 2020
This chapter uses legislative changes in the structure of federal intelligence information management in the wake of 9/11 to explore problems that arise from the failure to distinguish the centralization/decentralization and coordination/independence dimensions of regulatory authority. According to the 9/11 Commission, created to investigate the intelligence community's inability to thwart the terrorist attacks, the failure of agencies such as the FBI and the CIA to share information with each other, attributable largely to a lack of coordinated information management, was a major contributing factor. The chapter contends that Congress and the 9/11 Commission's report-on which the former relied in 2004 in enacting the most comprehensive structural reform of the intelligence community in fifty years-erred by seeking to address coordination failures by centralizing aspects of the intelligence community through the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In addition, neither Congress nor the Commission distinguished clearly among three different information management functions-generation, dissemination, and analysis-in assessing past intelligence failures or selecting reorganizational responses to them. The chapter then uses the intelligence information management context to explore the policy tradeoffs of situating authority along both the centralization/decentralization and coordination/independence dimensions for each information management function.
Keywords: 9/11 Commission, Intelligence Community, Intelligence Failures, Information Management, Office Of The Director Of National Intelligence, US Congress
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