Intelligence reorganization in the wake of 9/11 didn’t make us any safer

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Paul R Pillar

“Partly because intelligence operates largely in the behind-closed-doors realm of classified information, it exhibits even more of a divergence than most government affairs do between public perceptions and the reality of what goes on behind those doors. If public and political discourse about intelligence — often reflecting limited bandwidth and attention span — were to be believed, U.S. intelligence has focused most of its resources on only one major concern at a time. During the Cold War, intelligence supposedly was all about the USSR, after 9/11 it supposedly was all about terrorism, and today it is framed as a question of whether to redirect those resources toward great power competition and especially China. In fact, the intelligence community always has had to walk and chew gum at the same time.” (09/07/21)