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Time For Consolidation?

What are the real (practical) priorities of our IC agencies? Here is a hint: It isn’t helping capture or kill terrorists. Give up? It’s getting more money and responsibility than the guys across town.

The only significant difference between any given agency is any unique collection platform they bring to the game, otherwise what is the real difference between the all-source analysis shop in San Antonio, Camp Smith, Langley, or Odenton (Sorry, it’s “fusion” in Odenton).

You’ve got HUMINT collection capabilities? Hey! Me too! CI functions? Yeah, got one of those right here. I can listen in on phone calls! Well so can I. It’s ridiculous, counter-productive, time-consuming, and above all disheartening. Nothing like burning countless hours trying to justify why your program, which is a lot like a program down the street, doesn’t deserve the axe.

I understand the argument that some far-away office that answers to a different boss might not respond to your requirements in a timely fashion. The standard solution to date – replicating that same capability on a smaller scale – is one of the reasons why the IC is the unmanageable monstrosity that it is and why agencies (and contractors) cannibalize and poach each other’s talent.

Here is a thought: One agency per functionality. More on this shortly . . .

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.