U.S. Intel Woes Continue

Even with a burgeoning U.S. intelligence community and a czar to orchestrate their often disparate efforts, the state of U.S. intelligence is grim according to one immersed in the topic.

Not that the intel types aren’t good at what they do; it is the sheer volume of information that poses a seemingly insurmountable challenge. At the same time it is difficult (at best) to gauge the credible leads. Our source says the large of amount of raw information without the means to glean the crucial gems is leading to general paranoia in the community. Numerous threats reveal themselves each day – but which (if any) are the true challenges to U.S. security? It seems it’s anyone’s guess.

Attempts to align intelligence efforts have fallen woefully short. Across the public-private spectrum from federal to state to local and corporate entities, intelligence forces continue to work at cross purposes despite very public announcements to the contrary. Czar or no czar, sharing with perceived competitors? “Not on my watch!” (Or so we interpret.)

Human intelligence remains of interest to all parties. While these intel types on the ground would be yet another source in a swollen sea of information, they would most likely be the first to learn of credible plots against the United States. Training of anti-American radicals (and potential attackers) has been occurring on U.S. soil. Regardless, the plethora of uncategorized information remains.

There may be a consequence: America may be more vulnerable to attack. Our source sees a major attack as likely as do sources like renowned counterterrorism expert Juval Aviv (there are also colonies of bloggers, doomsdayers and conspiracy theorists who believe the same thing. Go figure.)

A peek inside another defense agency reveals concern over a lack of crucial talent. One analyst is visibly frustrated by the inability of her counterparts to, well, analyze within her agency. She explains that the pieces of the puzzle are there, but current analysts are challenged to link A to B to C. Gift vs. learned skill? These agencies lobby hard to recruit prospects with such talents.

U.S. intelligence challenges were a source of humor when Ivan headlined the threat parade. Information and the agencies to gather and assess intelligence have increased as have community woes. No one is laughing any longer.

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