A Degree in Intelligence can Help Solve the Intelligence Management Problem
The attacks on 9-11 prompted a reaction from the U.S. government and a reorganization of the intelligence community. To be sure, the shock effect of having the World Trade Center destroyed while also having the Pentagon attacked and another plane plummet to the ground was sufficient to cause a reaction from the government. However, the government looked deeper into the particular intelligence issues that likely led to the attacks on 9-11. Those intelligence issues were integral to the reorganization of the intelligence community.
Some of those intelligence issues in need of improvement were a lack of preparedness to deal with global terrorism, poor budgetary planning, inadequate number of linguists, inadequate number of human sources, and an inability to share information among intelligence agencies (Best, 2006). A lack of preparedness to address global terrorism is a big issue. It appears that it was not that big of a deal prior to 9-11, however. That was just the perception of those in intelligence or those in management because global terrorism was indeed prevalent and information was available that suggested that terrorists wanted to attack the U.S. Indeed, U.S. intelligence received a steady input of information from 1998 to 2001 that suggested that a terrorist attack within the U.S. was a possibility (Best, 2006). The inadequate consideration of that intelligence information very likely can be a reflection of a management problem. Proper intelligence management, or proper oversight of the intelligence milieu, may have been an antidote to the lack of urgency that that intelligence required.
The budgetary problems that were identified as problematic also were suggestive of management problems. Typically, budget issues are handled by administrators. Too few administrators accounting for a complex budget such as the one of the intelligence community can be remedied by more managerial assistance. Similarly, too few linguists and human sources suggests that management were not closely tracking the ranks of those workers or they were not aware of the real need for those assets. Whichever the case, proper intelligence management could have ensured those assets were on staff in appropriate numbers. Lastly, poor inter-department communication suggests organizational and managerial problems that could be remedied with enhanced relations between agencies. Who will address the need for those relations, the officers and analysts? Those relations would be addressed best by management.
The U.S. government recognized the management problem, and, as a result, instituted the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), a cabinet level position (Best, 2006). Having such high level oversight is one key part to addressing the intelligence management issue, but intelligence management is best addressed on the lower level where the intelligence work takes place.
There is a real need for intelligence training and a degree in intelligence. People who have sound intelligence training and who have a degree in Intelligence or some applicable discipline can be quite valuable, particularly on the managerial level. The intelligence training for a manager helps ensure that the manager is actually in touch with what his or her workers need. Though real world experience is near priceless, a very good substitute for years working in the intelligence community is a degree in intelligence.
Best, R. (2006). CRS Issue Brief for Congress. Congressional Research Service. Library of Congress.