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Question
WK1 Student #1 What single event do you believe had the most profound impact on U.S intelligence today? In my opinion this question has multiple different answers because the fact that just one event had such a profound impact on are intelligence is hard to believe. If I were to choose based on the facts presented in this week’s reading I would say the 9/11 world trade center had the largest impact on are intelligence growth today. This was the deadliest terrorist attack in history resulting in thousands of deaths. This attack was carried out by Al Qaeda operatives using commercial airliners.  I do believe that pearl harbor was an eye opener to our country as a whole but not necessarily just the intelligence section, after pearl harbor we began to rebuild and take a hard look at our capacities’ both strong and weak ones. Are intelligence operations being most definitely not up to date and focused to much on department of justice intel and not so much on counter terrorism. Primarily because we didn’t believe that terrorism was a problem up until the 9/11 attacks. The event really opened up are eyes to reexamine are intel section and what information we were collecting and analyzing. I wouldn’t say an event so much changed are intelligence but more or less a threat, terrorism in its self was a new threat that had finally gained the attention it needed with the 9/11 attacks. In conclusion based on the facts presented in this weeks reading the attack on the World Trade Center had the largest impact on are intelligence today. primarily because are focus wasn’t on terrorism in fact a majority of are intel was department of justice related. This event was a huge eye opener for us as a country and gave us an opportunity to step back and find what we could Improve on. We must remain vigilant and open to change because terrorism will continue to evolve and are intelligence must keep up if not pass them. This is vital to preventing further events like this from occurring and using are counter terrorism capabilities to the fullest capacities. Student #2 This is a question that has been asked in my previous intelligence courses, and its really difficult question to answer since different events inspire a change in the way we conduct operations. For the most part, I tend to side with this week’s readings and say that the end of WWII/Cold War is when the biggest shift for U.S intelligence occurred. Although intelligence has evolved since then, WWII is when the U.S began to realize the responsibilities of becoming a world power. Prior to WWII, the U.S considered intelligence gathering as a war-time only asset and believed it was unnecessary to have an around-the-clock intelligence community. In fact, intelligence gathering seemed unethical and was denied several times despite the attempt to formalize the CIA. It was not until the World War’s that the U.S realized the importance of having a full-time intelligence community. In the meantime, the U.S had to rely heavily on Great Britain’s intelligence capabilities as they fought against the Soviet Union and other established intelligence agencies. After consistently being out-spied and realizing the threat to national security, the evolution of the intelligence community began. The intelligence failures following the establishment of the intelligence community was the result of inexperience. For example, the U.S intelligence had long predicted an attack on Pearl Harbor but believed Axis powers were ill-equipped to cause grave damage to the U.S. Hours before the attack, SIGINT sources revealed that a large fleet was inbound, but biases prevented actionable-intelligence. The same scenario occurred with the Cuban Missile Crisis, when intelligence collection hinted that an attack was probable, but biases against collection caused decision makers to not act. The Vietnam War saw similar results, this time with faulty intelligence collection. In this case, those in charge of collecting intelligence “fixed” the results to increase moral to the American public, however the results of underestimating the enemy caused grave embarrassment to the U.S. Each intelligence failure may highlight a need to expand the community, but as for intelligence gathering itself, I believe that World War’s created a need for a permanent intelligence community. With the U.S being the youngest of their peers, it was not until they entered battle that they realized they would have to abandon their transparent government if they were going to protect the country.
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