AMERICAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM
Throughout history, threats have evolved significantly. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the face of threats began to change. Traditionally, threats originated from other nation and nation-states’ military forces. However, threats can now originate from a plethora of other, non-traditional sources that can potentially pose a far more dangerous threat. The infinite possibilities of threat that can be faced forces the United States government to analyze these new threats, their capabilities, and how they need to adjust their approach to better detect, prevent, and combat them. This essay will discuss where non-traditional threats may originate, how capable they are, how the United States government should approach them, and the problems they may face when doing so.
Today, the United States government faces many threats from non-state actors. Non-states can be anything a nation-state is not. Non-state threats are considered non-traditional threats, which makes analyzing them more difficult. These new, non-state actor threats can originate from one of the following sources: terrorist organization, criminal organizations, private organizations, extremist activist groups, lone wolf actors, and even pirates. Today, one of the largest threats the United States finds itself faced with is terrorist that originates from terrorist organizations. Non-traditional threats have presented the United States “with adversaries that are constantly changing and adapting to their environment and who will present fewer obvious patterns to analyze” (Haddock, n.d.). With the endless number of possible threats the United States is faced with, it would be impractical for the United States government to approach all non-state actor threats unilaterally.
Non-state actors have evolved into extremely capable and resourceful entities. “International terrorism once threatened Americans only when they were outside the country. Today international terrorists attack us on our own soil” (Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism, n.d.). One of the most common examples of a terrorist organization that the United States has faced threats from is Al Qaeda. Non-state actors such as Al Qaeda have similar characteristics, which include: international operations, funding, and logistical networks, less dependence on state sponsors, developed communication technologies, and lethal objectives (Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism, n.d.). Due to the capabilities of non-state actors, the United States government must look to international cooperation to detect, prevent, and combat these non-traditional threats.
Detecting, preventing, and combatting non-traditional threats from non-state actors such as terrorism is no easy task. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the United States government found a renewed sense of urgency. Agencies and task forces such as the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF), United Nations Counterterrorism Center (UNCCT), INTERPOL, and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have been established as an effort to counter terrorism (The Global Regime for Terrorism, 2011). Additionally, international conventions have been supported in order to improve multilateral addressing threats from non-state actors. However, “combating terrorism has been hampered by the increased organizational efficiency of terrorist groups (e.g. leaderless networks) and ineffective use of brute force and targeted killings by the state (in Chechnya and Palestine)” (Srikanth, n.d.).
Though counterterrorism efforts have improved significantly in recent years, counterterrorism efforts are still inadequate. One problem with international cooperation regarding counterterrorism efforts is the lack of leadership. With no one entity that oversees counterterrorism, the effort as a whole is left rather unorganized. A lack of leadership to oversee counterterrorism efforts leads to another problem. Another problem with international cooperation regarding counterterrorism efforts is the lack of responsibility in ensuring all members who play a part in counterterrorism efforts are truly contributing. It is possible for members to not accept their responsibilities if their views on the importance of counterterrorism differ. If members who play a part in counterterrorism efforts are not contributing, the impact the effort has is diminished. Additionally, another problem with international cooperation regarding counterterrorism efforts is the lack of sharing intelligence between agencies. Without sharing intelligence regarding non-state actors, not all members who play a part in counterterrorism efforts will have the intelligence they need in order to oversee their responsibilities. However, “without international cooperation, the United States cannot protect its national infrastructure from the cyber threat” (Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism, n.d.). The United States and its allies are forced to develop a better approach to detect, prevent, and combat these non-traditional, non-state threats.
Throughout history, threats have shifted from traditional threats to non-traditional threats. Non-traditional threats are somewhat of an unknown territory. They can originate from an infinite number of sources, which have significantly developed resources and connections, which makes them harder to detect, prevent, and combat. The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, enlightened how serious of an issue these threats were to not only the United States, but the whole world. Shortly after, counterterrorism efforts were established and implemented. Despite the world’s renewed sense of urgency regarding these threats, counterterrorism efforts were noticeably insufficient. In recent years, non-traditional threats have become an even greater concern. The United States and its allies have come together to improve multilateral counterterrorism efforts to better detect, prevent, and combat these threats and, therefore, ensure national security.
FINAL PAPER: ESSAY QUESTION TWO
World politics, strategic intelligence, and national intelligence have become increasingly complex throughout history. They are, however, imperative in modern governments throughout the world. These factors assist governments in accomplishing policy making and planning as well as implementing and overseeing policy plans. Two fundamental views regarding intelligence within the United States originated from Sherman Kent and Willmoore Kendall. This essay will discuss the most important differences between Sherman Kent and Willmoore Kendall’s visions of intelligence, why those differences are important as well as which of their visions might be most applicable today and why.
Sherman Kent and Willmoore Kendall’s visions of intelligence differed significantly. Kent’s vision of intelligence was based heavily on a non-democratic, self-sufficient intelligence unit and the relationship between ”producers and consumers of intelligence” (Davis, 1991, Pg. 92). Unlike Kent, Kendall’s vision of intelligence was far more complex and was based heavily on a democratic and philosophical intelligence unit. Though their visions of intelligence varied greatly, Kendall complimented Kent for his expertise in terminology and organizational maps of intelligence in Strategic Intelligence.
Kent and Kendall’s visions of intelligence differed in regards to the purpose of intelligence units and policy making. Kent’s vision of intelligence included an intelligence unit, which provided knowledge of the world for the purpose of taking action while being objective to policy makers’ expectations and means of distraction. Kent believed that the relationship between producers and consumers of intelligence was a delicate one, as they cannot be to close, nor can they be too far away. However, Kendall disagreed. Kendall’s vision of intelligence included an intelligence unit, which provided knowledge of the world for the purpose of assisting political leaders with achieving foreign policy goals and assisting the United States government with understanding which factors it could influence greatly. Kendall believed that the relationship between producers and consumers of intelligence was somewhat delicate as Kent believed, but it needed to be more structured. Additionally, he believed that if an intelligence unit’s duties were lessened as a result of policy making, Kent’s disgusts in domestic United States politics were self-defeating.
Additionally, Kent and Kendall’s visions of intelligence differed in regards to research as a solution to certain situations. Kent believe that research could benefit strategic intelligence. He expressed that, “research is the only process which we of the liberal tradition are willing to admit is capable of giving us the truth, or a close approximation to truth” (Olcott, 2009). On the other hand, Kendall believed that research could not indefinitely benefit strategic intelligence. Kendall commented on Kent’s visions regarding research and stated that his visions were a “crassly empirical conception of the research process” (Davis, 1991, Pg. 95). Instead, Kendall contested Kent’s beliefs and stated that a United States intelligence unit should be stimulated by working conditions that encourage a better thought process.
The differences in Kent and Kendall’s visions of intelligence are important and worth discussing, as they provide a fundamental knowledge and understanding of strategic intelligence from the past, in the present, and even into the future for the Unite States. Kent and Kendall’s visions played a part in how intelligence in the United States has evolved. One of the first examples of these views on strategic intelligence impacting the United States government took place during the early 1960s when the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) quarters were relocated. Differences between President Eisenhower and President Kennedy’s terms were described as, “Under Eisenhower, the making of policy was like a football game, with a play for intelligence analysts called in each huddle. Under Kennedy, it was like a basketball game with the players in constant motion” (Davis, 1991, Pg. 98). A second example of how these views on strategic intelligence impacted the United States government took place during the early 1970s when the CIA became reserved and self-sufficient. A third example of how these views on strategic intelligence impacted the United States government took place during the early 1980s when the Deputy Director for Intelligence, Robert M. Gates introduced a new doctrine, which reflected both Kent and Kendall’s visions of intelligence. Finally, Kent and Kendall’s visions or intelligence influenced today’s intelligence studies to be more collective. Intelligence studies now allow students to become more well-versed and educated on more than one aspect of strategic intelligence.
Kent’s visions of strategic intelligence are most applicable today, as they take into consideration the producers and consumers of intelligence and not just the consumers. Kent’s visions of intelligence argued the importance of the relationship between producers and consumers of intelligence. He believed that analysts needed to remain objective an unbiased by policy makers’ expectations or attempts of influence. By doing so, analysts can provide genuine knowledge of the world to assist the United States government with action taking.
Intelligence in the United States has evolved significantly throughout history. Kent and Kendall’s visions of intelligence are considerably different. However, their visions of intelligence are not mutually exclusive. Both of their views have played and continue to play fundamental roles in strategic intelligence within the United States. Although, the United States government would likely benefit most if Kent’s visions of intelligence were applied today due to its consideration to both producers and consumers of intelligence.
Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from https://fas.org/irp/threat/commission.html
Davis, Jack. “The Kent-Kendall Debate of 1949.” 1991. Accessed February 21, 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol35no2/pdf/v35i2a06p.pdf.
The Global Regime for Terrorism. (2011, August). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from http://www.cfr.org/terrorism/global-regime-terrorism/p25729
Haddock, Ginny. “Lecture 1: Introduction to “Threats”.” APUS CLE. Accessed January 25, 2017. https://edge.apus.edu/portal/site/337557/page/3ccdc2ea-9faa-48eb-83f2-b7dc9c2da2d8.
Olcott, Anthony. “Peeling Facts off the Face of the Unknown.” August 24, 2009. Accessed February 21, 2017. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no2/peeling-facts-off-the-face-of-the-unknown.html.
Srikanth, D. (n.d.). NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY THREATS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: A REVIEW. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from http://www.ijdc.org.in/uploads/1/7/5/7/17570463/2014junearticle4.pdf