CRS: Military Likely to Get Some Intel Community Tools, Missions

The Defense Department stands to benefit from changes at the Central Intelligence Agency that likely will be driven by budget cuts and operational needs, says the Congressional Research Service.

In a report dated April 23 and released by the Federation of American Scientists, CRS predicts “a new set of intelligence challenges resulting from budgetary realities and from second-order effects stemming from post-9/11 changes.”

Some changes will create specific conundrums, like an Obama administration plan to bring about “long-term reductions with an emphasis on potentially redundant information technology systems.” Sounds good, right? After all, redundant systems means wasted monies, right? Sure, but…

“There is great concern, however, that any reductions be carefully made to avoid curtailing capabilities that have become integral to military operations and to policy-making in many areas,” CRS warns.

Other potential changes include altering how intelligence agencies share information, an issue that has popped up recently as the FBI, CIA and other federal entities have thrown a bit of mud at one another for potentially shoddy and incomplete efforts to share information about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.

“Investigations into the 2009 Christmas day bombing attempt and the Fort Hood shooting also suggest analysts are now challenged to synthesize the large volumes of information being shared,” CRS notes.

Finally, the research service suggests U.S. intelligence agencies have become “too focused on counterterrorism to the detriment of other national security priorities.” CRS advises members of Congress to study “whether some of those functions should be transitioned to U.S. military control, allowing intelligence agencies to focus on traditional collection and analysis.”

John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett