Intelligence community in the united states politics essay

The creation of the republic which began with a declaration of independence from a tyrant monarch gave birth to the institution that is protected by intelligence gathering techniques and operations. Since that time, enemies of the state have existed and attempted to infiltrate the American way of life through a variety of means. Each actor appears to be attempting to influence the political structure. More than two millennia ago, the Chinese general and military theorist Sun Tzu asserted that secret operations are essential in war, yet the term "military intelligence" is still often only half-jokingly described as an oxymoron.

Intelligence community in the united states politics essay

Given the natural competition that exists between the legislative and executive branches, this overlap creates tensions as both sides struggle to accomplish certain goals using their respective powers and authorities.

Hence intelligence oversight can be one of the most challenging separation-of-powers issues in government. Congress and the judicial branch have affirmed the executive branch's lead role for conducting national security affairs numerous times.

Furthermore, the White House can limit congressional influence in the domain of national security and intelligence. In this way, the executive branch can directly control what Congress can or cannot see, indirectly influencing the legislative branch's overall ability to make decisions.

Thus, despite members of the Intelligence Committees and their staffs holding appropriate security clearances, they may sometimes only have a limited view into specific intelligence activities.


The President also has the power to veto any legislation that Congress passes. For example, President Bush's veto of the Intelligence Authorization Bill ofwhich included language on coercive interrogation, indicates that this can be a very effective tool to control the ability of Congress to influence intelligence policy.

Leaders of the IC are appointed by the President to their positions, and the White House has the authority to hire and fire them. As a result, the President is able to appoint trusted advisors to key positions in the IC. However, Congressional oversight into intelligence issues is a complex task, requiring a sophisticated understanding of the issues.

Members, for reasons of classification or technical complexity, did not share a common understanding of the law, let alone how it should be adjusted.

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During the authorization and appropriations process, Congress can signal its intelligence and policy priorities through both the allocation of funds and the inclusion of non budget-related clauses in the authorization and appropriations bills. This sometimes grueling process forces the White House to carefully select its nominees and provides an opportunity for Senate input on both the individuals and issues related to intelligence policy.

In recent years, the Senate has withheld confirmation until the executive branch agreed to share additional information on key areas of congressional oversight of intelligence activities.

As noted previously, however, the power of this tool depends in large part on Congress's awareness of IC activities. The President heads oversight in the executive branch, and all covert actions must be approved by him or her Refer to Intelligence Authorization Act and Hughes—Ryan Act.

The President also has the power to appoint commissions, which can be used to assess intelligence topics such as The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks or The Iraq Intelligence Commission.

InPresident George W. Bush by Executive Order removed some oversight powers from the IOB, critics argue that the changes have weakened oversight capabilities.

Intelligence community in the united states politics essay

Previously, if the IOB learned of allegedly illegal or contrary to executive order intelligence activity, it notified both the president and the attorney general, now however, the IOB must refer matters to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation. In addition, the IOB lost the authority to oversee each intelligence agency's general counsel and inspector general.

The OIG "conducts independent investigations, audits, inspections, and special reviews…of personnel and programs to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct, and to promote integrity, economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

The main objective of IOP is "to ensure that the DoD can conduct its intelligence and counterintelligence missions while protecting the statutory and constitutional rights of U.In this essay, politics will be used to help contextualize and explain the reasoning of why the chosen individuals or organizations are being impacted upon the intelligence community.

The intelligence system of the United States is the most capable one assembled in the history of man. "Intelligence Community The History Of." Essaytown.

JANE HARMAN is Director, President, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She was a nine-term U.S. Representative from California and, from to , the ranking Democrat on the U.S.

House Intelligence Committee. In the history of the Intelligence Community, the most surprising thing about the Intelligence Community is that it consists of agencies 16 agencies scattered within the United States.

These agencies conduct their missions separately by conducting activities related to intelligence which are aimed at the conduct of foreign relations and the security of the United States. The intelligence community’s mission is to provide national leaders with the best and most timely information available on global affairs and national security issues—information that, in turn, can help those leaders achieve their foreign policy objectives.

United States Intelligence Community ffoor the th Congress. coordinating strategic planning within the IC to enhance intelligence support to United States efforts to stem the proliferation of weapons of mass reports, briefings, and papers on key foreign intelligence issues.

This information comes from a variety of sources and. The Intelligence Community. Since World War II, the intelligence function in the U.S. government has grown and developed extensively, and today all of the agencies involved are referred to as the Intelligence Community or the IC.

Politics (essay) - Wikipedia