Why has US Intelligence struggled with maintaining an Effective HUMINT Capability and Capacity?
The collection, use, and improvement of human intelligence material constitute an important element of U.S. foreign relations, policy development, military, and governance activities. This is the case particularly because the country is the most significant single economic and political society in global context. Human intelligence contributes to the basis of U.S. actions and relations within its society and with other nations according to authorities’ motives and intended influence on various elements of world affairs. Inefficiencies are nevertheless observable in the nation’s human intelligence capacity, due to several reasons. This paper reviews reasons for struggles in U.S. maintenance of effective human intelligence capability and capacity.
Human intelligence in national context entails the collection of information by a country’s security apparatus about rival institutions’ or countries’ intentions, activities, plans, and operations, from various human sources. It contrasts with other intelligence collection methods, such as the use of imagery and signals, through targeting and using humans to provide such information. Typically, human intelligence involves spying/espionage operations through organizing and holding meetings and interviews with interest individuals whose positions or circumstances facilitate their resourcefulness through access to interest information.
U.S. human intelligence procedures found on official protocol, based on the country’s global position as a superpower with enormous politico-economic and social responsibility. This position makes the U.S. a significant player in global affairs. The country and its leadership’s intentions and interests in domestic and world politico-economic and social affairs necessitate human intelligence to guide political, civil, economic, and other policies and relations. Changes in political patterns, international political realignments, and other irregularities have nevertheless influenced greater variety in U.S. human intelligence.
U.S. human intelligence methods involve different techniques, including contact with non-governmental institutions, use of military attachment, special reconnaissance, information from refugees, exiles, detainees, and war prisoners, diplomatic reportage, partnership with international allies, and routine military patrol. Traveler and exile debriefings – cooperative information exchange between interest individuals and intelligence institutions – and clandestine/secret espionage also count among U.S. human intelligence techniques. Effective human intelligence capabilities among nations require consistency and quality, through determination and management of quality sources, assurance of information accuracy and validity, ascertainment of proper information use in policy development, and maintenance of standardized mechanisms. These elements are the foundation of an effective human intelligence capability.
This paper’s assessment employs the thesis notion that a lack of standard ethical and procedural policy is the cause of U.S. intelligence struggle in maintaining an effective human intelligence capability and capacity. The assessment argues that U.S. intelligence non-adherence to an ethical standard policy in its collection and use of human intelligence has promoted ineffectiveness in its human intelligence capacity. This is discernible in mismanagement and negative/unfavorable use and influence on assets in human intelligence, violating the necessary consistency and quality elements in human intelligence outlined above and undermining the capacity’s effectiveness.
U.S. Intelligence Struggle to maintain effective HUMINT Capacity and its Causes
Consistency and quality in human intelligence techniques, assets, and use patterns are an important basis for effective human intelligence capability. Effective capability and capacity in human intelligence rests on security authorities’ procedures in obtaining, using, and influencing information from asset sources. Assets in human intelligence include potential human sources of information and other elements around them, including cultural and organizational settings. Through ethics in obtaining, accepting, and using information from human sources, human intelligence supports quality and consistency concepts among potential sources. Negative concepts about such quality and consistency undermine human intelligence capability through limiting quality, usefulness/value, and quantity of information available for the system.
Safeguarding the ethics of human intelligence procedures is an essential element of its capability: this is the reason for ethical standard in human intelligence. U.S. human intelligence lacks a standard ethical policy to guide intelligence collection, validity, and use activities, thus supporting inconsistencies and quality violations that limit its capability/capacity. The country’s intelligence authorities do not adhere to specific ethical and standard policies in influencing and using human sources and information from them. Instead, the authorities prioritize and adhere to any operations and security procedures that assure civil security and general U.S. interests.
After the two World Wars in the past century, the U.S. engaged in a socioeconomic ideology war, the Cold War, with the Soviet Union. Mistrust between the two powers and their respective allies oversaw the development of partial and self-interest security policies. Security operations involved espionage, clandestine territorial violations, and cooperation with one another’s organizational and individual political enemies, to obtain and utilize intelligence on each other’s plans to self advantage. In this environment, political ethics and diplomatic procedure were less significant for U.S. intelligence/security institutions, as they were for the USSR.
This trend has also been evident after 9/11/2001, when the country’s authorities realized the full potential of terrorism. Subsequent U.S. security operations and procedures, including human intelligence, adopted a policy of applying any technique or activity that assures civil U.S. security and interests, irrespective of impact on other societies, rights and social violations, violations of ethics provisions, et cetera.
In realization of the new threat, the nation’s intelligence authorities deployed intrusive and interference technologies and procedures in human intelligence gathering throughout U.S. sociopolitical and other infrastructure in the globe. They also abandoned traditional security thresholds, including those defined under human liberty provisions, for fear that terrorists utilized them to develop offensive capacities and infrastructure. This occurred through the application of clandestine human intelligence methods in airports, hostile political societies, and others. These methods included detaining suspicious characters without observance of legal procedures, offering asylum to hostile societies’ exiles and obtaining intelligence from them despite their home nations’ opposition, and breaching basic diplomatic protocols to obtain information on rival societies and political establishments’ plans.
The U.S. also detained forcefully elements from hostile societies and institutions such as Iraq’s Baath and Afghanistan’s Taliban establishments in controversial camps. U.S. security authorities obtained human intelligence from such sources by extracting information through procedures that civilized societies regarded as human liberty violations. U.S. position as a global politico-economic power, the position’s attendant responsibilities, and related opinions among societies foster political and economic realignments that invariably lessen the capacity and capability of its human intelligence. The country’s responsibility spectrum extends over various spheres on the globe, widening opportunities for both productive and constructive partnership and damaged foreign and society relations.
The U.S. has been party to major socio-political and civil ideology conflicts over the years, promoting capitalist, democratic governance, civilization, development, and human rights values. Global regions’ public security issues have been a huge element of such campaigns. U.S. involvement in some regions’ politico-economic affairs has yielded resentment and charges of bias and favoritism among some societies: one example is the conception of Israeli favoritism by the U.S. among Arabs. Arab and some third societies view U.S. involvement as support for Israel. Such biases inform resentment among world societies against the U.S. system, translating into active hostility and non-assistance in intelligence.
These policies have had an adverse effect on the country’s human intelligence capability and capacity. First, they have promoted mistrust and resentment among certain global societies about U.S. politico-economic intentions. They have promoted concepts of U.S. politico-economic partiality, non-integrity, and unreliability among global societies, organizations, and their members. As a result, some societies, governments, civil organizations, and individuals in the globe conceive the U.S. as a partial, biased, and dishonest power with partial interests that do not guarantee general global and societies’ interests.
The effect of this trend in limiting the capacity and capability of U.S. human intelligence derives from the fact that these civil organizations, governments, societies, and their individual members constitute key potential sources of human intelligence: they constitute human intelligence assets/resources for the U.S. Productive management of intelligence assets/resources is a fundamental element of the capacity and capability of a nation’s human intelligence capacity. Such management entails the enforcement of sustained quality through suitable determination of procedures, information source selections and use, ascertainment of information validity, and non-bias in information application.
This necessity has been absent in the U.S. security measures and policies above, reducing U.S. human intelligence mechanisms’ perceived attractiveness and relevance to human assets/sources. In light of the negative conceptions above about the U.S. security authorities’ use of intelligence, potential human sources/assets display less probability and tendency to offer intelligence. Such sources either favor other nations’ intelligence systems or keep the information they have access to, rather than provide it to U.S. authorities, thus reducing the U.S. security structure’s capacity and capability in human intelligence. Hostility among global societies against the U.S. system also scuttles special reconnaissance arrangements and espionage activities for U.S. human intelligence, through active detection and destruction by opposing societies.
Lack of effectual and ethical policy outlines for positive influence and image management in the U.S. intelligence system to address such negative environments is to blame for these intelligence capacity/capability inconveniences. Adherence to a standard ethics and information collection, admissibility, and use procedure in U.S. human intelligence would safeguard the system from such inconsistencies and management errors. Its lack has contributed to inconsistencies, due to improper management of the system, which have undermined the effectiveness of the country’s human intelligence capacity and capability.
Ineffective partnership and association with other nations’ human intelligence systems has been another cause of U.S. security structure’s struggles in sustaining a productive human intelligence capacity/capability. Intensive globalization has facilitated the necessity of coordination and common action to address both internal society and global issues.
Modern advancement in technology has adopted a diversified platform, with different nations developing their own versions. Globalization has also meant increased transnational contact with less monitoring efficiency. This raises demands for partnership and association among different societies’ security systems for effective capabilities. U.S. human intelligence techniques feature inadequate association and partnership with those of other societies on the globe, limiting its system’s capacity and capability. Partnership in the U.S. system applies with close European and American allies: it alienates human intelligence systems in other global societies that form the biggest part of potential security threats.
Given that U.S. allies constitute the least likely sources of security threats, the country’s human intelligence system lacks an efficient capacity to obtain information on security risks originating in the most likely sources. In inadequate partnership with intelligence systems in non-ally countries in Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, U.S. human intelligence struggles to establish and sustain an effective capacity and capability. This is another element of the mismanagement of the U.S. system, through absence of strategic positioning and policy formulation. The U.S. system lacks a standard policy to incorporate strategic positioning in human intelligence in regard to systems in other global societies, particularly those in high-risk areas. Development and adherence to a standard policy outline in the country’s human intelligence system would set up suitable partnership with other nations’ systems as a strategic positioning approach in sustaining an effective human intelligence capability. The absence of such a framework supports haphazard and unguided action and partnership in human intelligence procedures, leading to the country’s struggles in sustaining an effective human intelligence capacity.
Unproductive procedures in identifying and drafting expert personnel constitute another cause of U.S. struggle in sustaining a competent human intelligence capacity and capability. Protocol in the U.S. human intelligence provides for a recruitment process that applies evaluation of potential candidates according to probable risk factors, including immigration and native language factors. The general nature and objectives of human intelligence briefs demand that natives with local language and cultural experience in foreign societies constitute the most suitable candidates, for maximum utility in operation.
The U.S. human intelligence system disregards this suitability through its candidate evaluation policies that alienate candidates with huge potential utility based on risk factors such as native language prowess. The system treats necessary and utility characteristics such as native language prowess in candidates as risk factors. The system also subjects candidates to a long tedious training process and bureaucratic procedures that promote their discouragement and drop-out.
Clearance processes for candidates waiting to join the country’s human intelligence system as spies and other personnel feature inconveniences for them, promoting their disillusion and lessening the intelligence career’s attractiveness to potential skilled candidates in society. These factors precipitate the system’s recruitment of lower quality candidates, which translates into lower quality productivity and ineffective capacity and capability. This pattern derives from the system’s non-adherence to an ethics and procedural policy. An ethics and procedural policy in the system would outline the basic and fundamental benchmarks and standards that the recruitment process should fulfill to support suitable utility and productivity, and hence a competent human intelligence capacity and capability. It would spell out vital qualifications for potential candidates in the system and vital features that the clearance process should possess to sponsor capability and capacity competency. Absence of such policy facilitates the system’s disorganized and uncoordinated candidate recruitment and clearance activities, contributing to struggles in maintaining a competent capacity and capability.
Human intelligence in national context entails the collection of information by a country’s security apparatus about rivals’ intentions, activities, plans, and operations from various human sources. The collection, use, and improvement of human intelligence data constitute an important element of U.S. foreign relations, policy development, military, and governance activities. The country’s security structure utilizes various methods in human intelligence, including contact with non-governmental institutions, routine military patrol and military attachment, special reconnaissance, and information from refugees, exiles, detainees, and war prisoners. It also uses espionage, traveler and exile debriefings, diplomatic reportage, and partnership with international allies. U.S. intelligence structure’s non-adherence to an ethical standards policy in its collection and use of human intelligence has promoted ineffectiveness in its human intelligence capacity and capability. This inconsistency is notable in mismanagement and negative/unfavorable use and influence on assets in human intelligence. Several features display this trend in the U.S. human intelligence system. U.S. politico-economic policy models globally have promoted mistrust, resentment, and conceptions of partiality, non-integrity, and unreliability among other societies about the country’s intentions.
Hostility among some global societies against the U.S. system scuttles special reconnaissance arrangements and espionage activities for U.S. human intelligence, through active detection and destruction by opposing societies. Ineffective partnership and association with other nations’ human intelligence systems in the age of globalization and diversified technology advancement supports the country’s system incapacity in obtaining suitable and sufficient intelligence. Unproductive procedures in the identification and drafting of expert personnel for the U.S. human intelligence structure sponsor inadequacies in the system’s personnel experience and skill pools. These factors combine to foster incompetency and struggle in the country’s human intelligence capacity and capability. Development and use of an ethical standards policy would address the inadequacies through definition of suitable standards and benchmarks necessary for the support of a long term competent human intelligence capacity and capability.
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USDA, 2007, p. 119-123;IHI, n.d., para. 1-8
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HICO, 2006, p. 1-16
HICO, 2006, p. 1-16; IBP USA, 2007, p. 22-24, 48, 114-116
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US Intelligence struggle with maintaining an Effective HUMINT Capability and Capacity? 12
Whitman, M. & Mattord, H. (2011). Readings and cases in information security: law and ethics. Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Learning.
Reading & cases in information security is among the many books that offer guidance and information related to laws and ethics in information systems. The authors of this text are renowned individuals in information science with high-level titles. In addition, the contributors of the text are certified information system security professionals and mangers. Whitman and Mattford, together with the rest of the team have been involved in production of materials ranging from books, journals, or even chapters in books relating to information security. Their involvement in managerial positions as well as high education levels have made their materials worthwhile for both business and education purposes. The main audience for this book is the people involved in education systems. The information is intended to assist lecturers and instructors with critical information on information security with emphasis on the legal and ethical issues surrounding this area. In addition, senior graduates or information science students can use information found in these texts to gather additional information in areas that require additional depth in their study. Lastly, managers and business people dealing with technical matters can use the information in this book to handle information with integrity.
The book analyzes the current situation in information system as technological advancements continue to bombard the world. It tries to discuss security threats posed on personal information and intellectual property as executives and marketers blindly embrace technological changes especially via the internet. Free and accessible information found on computers and through the internet today has caused a lot of damage in the current economy in many ways. Marketers and business people are overwhelming customers with loads of information acquired from the internet which is not only risky to the organization, but to the customers themselves too. However, the authors make it clear that the problems facing the modern society in terms of information are not technological but management issues. This means that the management of an organization is to blame for any breach of information or any unethical move that faces their organization in terms of technology. The book emphasizes on ideal management of information at all levels.
Mayberry, R. & Lock, E. (2003). Age constraints on first versus second language acquisition: evidence for linguistic plasticity and epigenesist. Brain and language, 87(3), 369-384.
Language acquisition at older age is believed to be a difficult task as many scholars and researchers try to argue. In fact, a hypothesis like ‘a person’s first language cannot be acquired after puberty’ can raise many discussions. Many studies supporting or opposing this statement have come up from allover the globe, and the truth and vagueness of the issue is still debatable. Age constraints on first versus second language acquisition is an article that tries to analyze whether age has anything to do with language acquisition be it the first or the second language. To test this hypothesis, a study was carried out with both deaf and hearing adults to see the effects late age had on language acquisition. The study indicated that the language that an individual learns at early age alters the capacity of learning another language throughout life. This is because of the sensory-motor form at early occurrence. Research indicates that language acquisition is related to brain plasticity and brain growth curves, which happens at an early age. Therefore, learning of a language either first or second after some age, puberty according to many researchers is almost impossible.
Both Mayberry and Lock are members of school of communication sciences and disorders at McGill University. They have both written many papers in relation to language and communication ranging from thesis to books or chapters in books. They have also assisted in other scholars in personal research as well as senior students in their school with graduate research and projects. The intended audience fro this paper include both professionals and lay people. The information can help with class work, in health care facilities or even at family level for child development. The research is in support of other studies that indicate difficulties in communication at older age for people who did not get enough exposure at childhood. Moreover, the study agrees with the hypothesis that learning one’s first language after puberty is impossible.
Grimshaw, G., Adelstein, A., Bryden, M. & MacKinnon, G. (1998). First-language acquisition in adolescence: evidence for a critical period for verbal language development. Brain and language, 63(2), 237-255.
The authors are affiliated with university of waterloo in Ontario Canada. They have been involved in similar research at different levels for a long period. They posses varied degrees from different learning institution and are involved in management positions in varied organizations. The intended audience for the paper is professionals as it is relevant for health care purposes and general knowledge for scholars and researchers. The paper agrees with the idea that a personal first language cannot be acquired after puberty by giving an example of a young deaf man who received hearing aid at an older age and had difficulties in communication. Compared to the article discussed earlier, both papers seem to be aiming at the same point that learning a language and communication efficiency in a person depends on how such matters were handled at early age.
In summary, the article ‘first language acquisition in adolescence’ is a study that is aimed at testing the hypothesis that acquisition of first language after puberty is impossible. The study is done on a young man who was born deaf, did not have the privilege of having deaf education, and later received a hearing aid at the age of 15. His progress within the four years of study indicated lots of difficulties in verbal comprehension hence supporting the idea that learning a language especially a person’s first language after puberty is difficult.
Hill, D. (2013). Why to avoid TV before age 2. Retrieved on 11 December 2013 from www.healthychildren.org.
This site brings out the negative impacts that early exposure to TV has on toddlers as they grow up especially in language development and communication. It indicates that those kids exposed to TV before the age of two have poor development in communication and have difficulty paying attention at the age of seven. This is because at that age kids learn best from interaction with the normal world something that is hindered by TV. In addition, the number of words a mother speaks to a child at this age are reduced when TV is involved, therefore slowing the development of the kid in terms of language and communication. Therefore, the site is in support of the hypothesis that ‘the effects of watching television for young children are detrimental to language development’.
The site is owned and managed by American academy of pediatrics, a group of individuals dedicated to the health of children. The author of the article is an individual with an ideal knowledge and education on pediatrics and has been involved in the production of similar papers for a while. The site is highly objective in advising parents to refrain from exposing their kids to TV as it contains ads related to the topic. The information on this site is correct and verifiable.
Farah, S. (2013). Impacts of television watching on the young child’s developing brain. Retrieved on 11 December 2013 from www.hiiraan.com.
The article just like the prior outlines impacts of early exposure of children to TV by focusing on child’s brain development. It indicates that exposing kids to TV at early ages rewires a child’s brain that brings attention issues at around seven years. TV puts things at a quick shift, which is not the case in real world. Therefore, a child used to watching TV will have difficulties adjusting to the slow nature of things in real world; hence develop difficulties in attending to people and things normally. In addition, TV replaces the normal ways of learning for children, which include eye contact, sound imitation, and voices from the surrounding environment.
The owner of the site is not clearly identified, but it is clear that the site is associated with American association of pediatrics as most of the information is borrowed from the organization. The author is an individual with the right pediatric information, intending to educated parents in third world nations of the danger of child exposure to TV. The information is verifiable from the quality citations given in the text. The site has earned confidence from both pediatrics and parents because of the period it has been in operation.
Benfu, L. (2000). Ethics Teaching in Medical Schools. The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 30(4).
In this article, Benfu Li acknowledges that students of medicine will be medical practitioners tomorrow. They are likely to encounter hard challenges and problems, but patients will remain with feelings and flesh. As a result, the students will be required to offer not just medicine and therapy but also compassionate care. The article continues to explain that medicine is an art of human kind with roots in Chinese cultures. According to Benfu, extensive use of technology in clinical medicine and practice can produce positive results. However, inappropriate management can cause harm to patients. This is essential in examination of ethical factors of high technological care and the general objectives of medical care. Therefore, the article suggests that much emphasize is on ethical training of students in order to produce competent practitioners (Benfu, 2000).
This article contains very relevant and critical information to my paper. It discusses training of students to meet ethical requirements of medical practitioners, which is key to the content of my major. Additionally, The Hastings Center is reliable source of information and is highly reputable. The article is also recent and contains the latest information.
Stephenson, P. (2001). Expanding Notions of Culture and Ethics in Health and Medicine to
Include Marginalized Groups: A Critical Perspective. Anthropologica, Vol. 43(1).
This article discusses that medical practice is currently faced with cases of trans-cultural nature that requires the use of cultural theory of nursing in order to offer efficient services to clients from diverse cultures. Trends in cultural ethics in health are gradually changing medical practice and providing a transition from traditional medical practice to a new multicultural and specific care. It is important for advanced practice nurses to be attentive to cultural diversity of their clients and ensure universality of services. The role of the culture and ethics in medical practice is that it enables deep understanding, respect, and recognition of individuals and cultural diversity of patients including marginalized groups (Stephenson, 2001).
The article presents useful findings and researches on an important aspect of medical ethics. Since Anthropologica is a very popular science journal, the article is easy to understand and targets a wide range of audience. The information about the role of culture in patient management is relevant to my paper on medical ethics. I will utilize the findings and data in writing my paper.
Littleton, V.; Meemon, N.; Breen, G.; Seblega, B., Paek, S.; Loyal, M.; Ellis, N.; & Wan, T. An
Ethical Analysis of Professional Codes in Health and Medical Care. Ethics & Medicine, Vol. 26(1).
In this article, Littleton et al analyzes professional codes of conduct and ethics in medical care. It is well known that professionalism has very important implications for patient’s outcomes, which entails decision-making and ethical consideration of the actions taken by medical practitioners. In fact, they are being entrusted with the role of decision making in healthcare. Littleton et al discusses that clinical decision-making is the process by which nurses manage a wide range of information from various sources in making professional clinical judgments. For instance, nurses are expected to incorporate ethics and codes of conduct into their professional clinical decision making processes through assessment, appraisal, and incorporation of the standards. The article discuses that health care practitioners should be able to process the codes look into the understanding of their acts and assess the impact of these acts on the client (Littleton et la, 2010).
Generally, the Ethics & Medicine journal is a reputable and reliable source of information and references since its authors, Littleton et al are very popular writers and researchers in the field of Medicine. The article presents useful findings and researches on an important aspect of medical ethics, which is essential in the writing of my paper.
Benfu, L. (2000). Ethics Teaching in Medical Schools. The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 30(4).