Transforming U.S. Intelligence

Jennifer E. Sims and Burton Gerber, Editors

"It would be extremely difficult to find a better team of contributors for a book of this nature."
+ Add to Cart Preorder


Request Print Exam Copy

Request Digital Exam Copy

The intelligence failures exposed by the events of 9/11 and the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq have made one thing perfectly clear: change is needed in how the U.S. intelligence community operates. Transforming U.S. Intelligence argues that transforming intelligence requires as much a look to the future as to the past and a focus more on the art and practice of intelligence rather than on its bureaucratic arrangements. In fact, while the recent restructuring, including the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, may solve some problems, it has also created new ones. The authors of this volume agree that transforming policies and practices will be the most effective way to tackle future challenges facing the nation's security.

This volume's contributors, who have served in intelligence agencies, the Departments of State or Defense, and the staffs of congressional oversight committees, bring their experience as insiders to bear in thoughtful and thought-provoking essays that address what such an overhaul of the system will require. In the first section, contributors discuss twenty-first-century security challenges and how the intelligence community can successfully defend U.S. national interests. The second section focuses on new technologies and modified policies that can increase the effectiveness of intelligence gathering and analysis. Finally, contributors consider management procedures that ensure the implementation of enhanced capabilities in practice.

Transforming U.S. Intelligence supports the mandate of the new director of national intelligence by offering both careful analysis of existing strengths and weaknesses in U.S. intelligence and specific recommendations on how to fix its problems without harming its strengths. These recommendations, based on intimate knowledge of the way U.S. intelligence actually works, include suggestions for the creative mixing of technologies with new missions to bring about the transformation of U.S. intelligence without incurring unnecessary harm or expense. The goal is the creation of an intelligence community that can rapidly respond to developments in international politics, such as the emergence of nimble terrorist networks while reconciling national security requirements with the rights and liberties of American citizens.

Table of Contents


Jennifer E. Sims and Burton Gerber


1. The Twenty-First Century Challenge for U.S. Intelligence
Ernest R. May

2. Understanding Friends and Enemies: The Context for American Intelligence Reform
Jennifer E. Sims

3. Understanding Ourselves
Jennifer E. Sims


4. Integrating Open Sources into Transnational Threat Assessments
Amy Sands

5. Clandestine Human Intelligence: Spies, Counterspies, and Covert Action
John MacGaffin

6. The Digital Dimension
James R. Gosler

7. Analysis and Estimates: Professional Practices in Intelligence Production
Douglas MacEachin

8. Denial and Deception
Donald C. F. Daniel


9. Managing Domestic, Military, and Foreign Policy Requirements: Correcting Frankenstein's Blunder
James Monnier Simon Jr.

10. Intelligence and War: Afghanistan, 2001-2002
Henry A. Crumpton

11. Managing HUMINT: The Need for a New Approach
Burton Gerber

12. Intelligence and Homeland Defense
Henry A. Crumpton

13. Intelligence Analysis: Management and Transformation Issues
Mark M. Lowenthal

14. Congressional Oversight of Intelligence after September 11
L. Britt Snider

Meeting the Challenge: Action Now
Jennifer E. Sims and Burton Gerber



"It would be extremely difficult to find a better team of contributors for a book of this nature."—Parameters

"There is a consensus that intelligence reform is imperative, but little agreement on how to translate the imperative into action. This thoughtful volume brings the expertise and ingenuity of a pack of informed observers to bear, producing thorough and balanced recommendations that advance well beyond the loose talk, glittering generalities, and political heat that have dominated public discussion."—Richard K. Betts, director, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University

"A country obtains quality intelligence only if it has sound intelligence policies. In this fine volume, a smart and seasoned group of observers, all with direct intelligence operations experience, lays out the policies the United States must adopt in order to get the quality intelligence it so clearly needs."—Robert J. Art, Christian A. Herter Professor of International Relations, Brandeis University

"In this new security environment challenges are likely to arise out of confused and chaotic local settings, and involve nimble enemies that can lose themselves in civil society. In struggling to cope with these challenges, the U. S. intelligence community can appear lumbering and muscle-bound. To help the community raise its game, Jennifer Sims and Burton Gerber have brought together an expert group with inside knowledge and some imaginative proposals."—Lawrence Freedman, professor of war studies, King's College, London

"America is in the midst of a national debate on intelligence reform. Unfortunately, some of the loudest arguments come from amateurs. Sims and Gerber have assembled the thoughts of genuine experts. This book merits a prominent role in an essential debate."—John J. Hamre, president and CEO, Center for Strategic and International Studies


Jennifer E. Sims Burton Gerber Ernest R. May Amy Sands John MacGaffin James R. Gosler Douglas MacEachin Donald C.F. Daniel James Monnier Simon Jr. Henry A. Crumpton Mark M. Lowenthal L. Britt Snider

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Jennifer E. Sims is a visiting professor with the security studies program at Georgetown University. She has served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and in the Department of State as a senior intelligence officer. She has published a number of works on intelligence and arms control, including Icarus Restrained: An Intellectual History of Nuclear Arms Control, 1945-1960.

Burton Gerber had a distinguished career for 39 years, most of it overseas, as an operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency. He served with distinction in some of the most challenging overseas posts, including as Station Chief in Moscow during the Cold War. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of CIA's Distinguished Intelligence Medal and other CIA honors. Mr. Gerber, at the request of U.S. Government agencies and other organizations, often lectures on ethics as related to public policy and intelligence. He is also a frequent guest lecturer with Georgetown University's Security Studies Program.

304 pp., 7 x 10

Aug 2005

304 pp., 7 x 10

ISBN: 978-1-58901-069-7
Aug 2005

304 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-477-0
Aug 2005

Related Titles