The Intelligence Community: Politics versus Requirements


Topic: The Intelligence Community: Politics versus Requirements    This question is based on the below text:

Sarkesian, S., Williams, J. &Cimbala, S. (2012). US national security: Policymakers, processes, and politics. (5th ed.). Boulder, CO: L. Rienner. (Chapter 9 – “The Intelligence Establishment” pp. 177-198).

1. First, explain how the United States intelligence community is organized and why. 2. Next, discuss the tensions that are likely to exist between political events and requirements of secrecy inherent in intelligence gathering. I do not have the chapters but the assignment can be completed without that text. The text was just for reference. So, you must include it in a list of references.


The Intelligence Community: Politics versus Requirements

The US Intelligence Community is a large federation with a complex structure and organization that conducts intelligence activities. Intelligence activities entail gathering and interpreting information about an enemy. It was first established on 4th December 1981. It is made up of sixteen independent government agencies that run intelligence activities in the US (Rosenbach&Peritz, 2009). This essay examines the organization of the IC (intelligence community) and the problem it is likely to face its intelligence activities.


The federation is headed by the Director of National Intelligence who is supported by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The DNI supervises and directs all the intelligence programs and agencies. Functions carried out include collecting and analyzing intelligence concerning terrorism activities, deploying intelligence officials to different parts of the US and overseeing the proliferation of weapons (Rosenbach&Peritz, 2009). Activities and duties are divided comprehensively due to their severity and broad nature. One agency is not complex enough to handle all intelligence activities. These agencies work independently to obtain intelligence which they then bring in to the IC. 

In the recent years, international security has been a very challenging problem. Consolidating politics and national security is a delicate process because there are high chances of stepping on national interests (Sarkesian, Williams &Cimbala, 2012). Politically andinternationally, the government establishes official relations in order to strengthen international cohesion for the welfare of the US. The US Intelligence Community seeks to protect national security to avoid affecting the citizens’ disposition to supporting the present government.

Nevertheless, tensions may arise from intelligence gathering due to its nature of secrecy. Information is gathered in ultimate secrecy such that exposed intelligence has severe consequences on the parties involved. Misinterpreted information can result inmisunderstanding amongparties involved. Sometimes, agents may be fed wrong information which they may act upon and in the process breach cohesion. Using such information for policy making can hear negative effects on political events (Gookins, 2008). Accountability can also be bruised if a government or institution is not willing to be responsible of its actions that may jeopardize activities of another. To sum up, the Intelligence Community is an important institution in the US in protecting the country’s interests through intelligence activities. However, with the challenging global security problem, issues such as political tensions may arise as every country strives to protect its own interests.


Gookins, A.J. (2008). The Role of Intelligence in Policy Making. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 28(1), 65-73.

Rosenbach, E. &Peritz, A.J. (2009). Organization of the Intelligence Community. Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Blog Post.

Sarkesian, S.C., Williams, J.A. &Cimbala, S.J. (2012). US National Security: Policymakers, Processes and Politics, Fifth Edition.Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.

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