US INTELLIGENCE QUESTIONS 7
The United States intelligence is said to be the most sophisticatedand reliable investigatory and information gathering mechanism. Thisreflects why the United States has been involved in thwarting manycriminal acts, frauds and terrorism in both the past and modern day.It is the strengths of the U.S intelligence that can be attributed tothis success and ability of the intelligence to operate. However, theUnited States intelligence systems have serious weaknesses that haveresulted to attacks, acts of crime and even terrorist activities. Tosolve the weaknesses and gain ground on the international arena, theUnited States intelligence shares and cooperates with both homelandinternational security authorities.
Question One: U.S intelligence
The main strength of the United States intelligence is the usesophisticated modern technology and applications to execute theirmandate. The U.S intelligence adopts advanced information technologyto gather information, store and share intelligence within theirdepartments and with relevant authorities. Through the adoption ofthis technology, the United States gathers intelligence from all overthe world that relates to crime and international relations.
The United States intelligence departments and authorities boasts ofdedicated experts and high level trained officers compared to othercountries. The United States has been in the forefront of the world’sfight against crime and terrorism due to the expertise of theintelligence authorities. In many occasions, intelligence andAmerican investigative officers have been called for assistance bynations facing security challenges.
In addition, the United States has strong cooperation between itsdepartments and security authorities to gather and utilizeintelligence. This gives the country’s intelligence the much neededboost of coordinating in areas of expertise and abilities that isbeyond intelligence officers. For instance, through cooperation ofthe Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with government agencies suchas the ever-high-tech NASA, the country is able to gatherintelligence through satellite technology. Through cooperation withfederal bureau of investigation, secret service and homelandsecurity, the country is able to gather intelligence within Americaand successfully hold the country secure.
However, the United States faces a number of weaknesses that shouldbe addressed to cover the peaceful nature of the country. The firstmajor weakness in the homeland security is the breeding of people ofother nationalities without thorough checks and authentication. Inaddition, there is a weakness of limited profiling of Americanresidents coming from other countries. Criminals and terrorists havetaken advantage of the weakness and introduced created extremiststhat live or study in the United States. According to Brians (2011),there are other countries’ nationalities who have found refuge inthe United States. Of these foreigners, there are those of ill-intentwho learn security status and American culture and use the knowledgeagainst Americans.
The security agents have been made vulnerable by criminals andterrorists who secure the knowledge and expertise on the Americansystems then use the same against Americans (Graham et al, 2011).This prompted the enactment of a law that obligates the DOD andpentagon to take audit of all employees involved in securing thecyber space (Cyber security act, 2012). For instance, the personbehind the attacks on the FBI systems, Wall Street and other Americanagents was a former DOD software programmer.
Terrorists have also exploited the vulnerable cyber space tocommunicate their intentions and connect with extremist sympathizersin the United States home soil. In addition this vulnerability givesthe extremists in the American soil a chance to communicate with theoutside terrorist groups. For instance, all the main figures behindthe AQAP attempted attacks were all in good knowledge of the Americanlifestyle and security status in the homeland (Mazzetti et al, 2010).According to FBI director, Mueller (2012), most of these AQAP figureswere either born and brought up in America or educated in America.This gave them knowledge that was shared with terrorists in othercountries through the internet.
To act in a sound and timely manner in quelling crime, terror andeconomic decisions, United States needs to take corrective measurescurrently. With the strength of expertise and high technologies, theUnited States faces weaknesses that should be corrected to makeintelligence stronger. Therefore, the government should take strongercontrol over the American cyber space so as to detect unwanted orsuspicious communication. Moreover, the United States intelligenceshould strengthen the level of citizen profiling that the governmenttakes in order to identify and monitor foreigners who start extremismor criminalist activities in the country.
Question Two: International Intelligence Sharing and Cooperation
The intelligence and security relationship between United States andother countries has been affected by the alienation trends that othercountries have taken on the country. Many countries that werestrategic partners with the United States seem to avoid the country,an element that threatens the strength of United States intelligence(Richelson, 2008). The relationship between the United States andother countries has been based on the interests of the country instrategically place itself for economic, political and securityreasons. These concerns have been the facts that make therelationship important for the country especially in relation togathering intelligence.
As a result of this climate, United States mission of combatingterrorism has been affected especially where the fight has to be donein foreign countries. The negative climate has affected the country’sability to set intelligence operations in other countries and reducedthe information offered by some countries to just the necessarylimits (Richelson, 2008). In addition, this alienation has affectedthe ability of the United States to gather intelligence on terrorismand take timely actions against terrorist activities. As a worldproblem, terrorism is highly targeted against the western front, afront led strongly by the United States. This makes the country thecentral target of many terrorists, or the allies of the country, orany country that has ties with the united sates.
To correct this situation, the United States government should acturgently to establish common practices that will promote sharing ofculture with other countries. Such sharing of culture should betargeted at mending relationships with the previous allies and alsocreate stronger ties with the current friendly nations (Williams etal, 2012). This can be done by starting international relationsprograms and practices that targets former allies in the world. Thecountry should focus on the use of economic and political trips tothese nations and increase talks with leaders. Such trips willpromote the exchange of culture and social ties with strategiccountries and also send an international message that United Statesis still in touch with the world (Williams et al, 2012).
In addition, United States should segment the world into regions andselect countries that are the key influences of each of the regions.For instance, the united state should promote regular talks withSaudi Arabia as a way of reaching out at Arab countries. This will bea simple but a powerful tool of reaching out at countries that havethe political, economic and military abilities to combat terrorismand also international crime (Richelson, 2008).
United States should also strengthen its support to friendlycountries that are able and willing to fight terrorism and shareintelligence. This will give America access to information and groundto combat terrorism that may be targeted to its allies and embassiesin such friendly countries. This can be used even for countrieswithout economic power to combat crime but have the political will toinfluence the region and strategically act as bases for fightingterrorism. For instance, Kenya is a strategic influence of theeastern African region which has been affected by terrorism targetedat the American allies and even American embassies. Therefore,strengthening the relationship with such a country becomes a basis offighting terrorism.
To strengthen security and curb terrorism, the United Statesintelligence needs the international support in a strategic mannerthat will not expose its weakness. However, this cooperation has beenaffected by the alienation of previously friendly countries againstthe United States relations. This has limited American ability togather intelligence and combat terrorism in a timely manner. However,the country can recover these relationships by promoting exchange ofsocial and cultural understanding, segmenting the world into regionsand befriending strategic countries. This will strengthen Americaninternational relations and also promote its ability to combatterrorism.
Brians, C, et al (2011). Empirical political analysis (8thed.). United States: Pearson
Graham, J., et al. (2011). Cyber Security Essentials. NewYork, CRC Press.
Mazzetti, M. et al (2010). "Bomb Plot Shows Key Role Played byIntelligence". The New York
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Mueller, R. (20012). Federal Bureau of Investigation: HomelandThreats and Agency
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