Strategic intelligence has roots in the National Security Act of 1947, which defined how intelligence should be gathered to defend the American from the looming Soviet Union Attack, among other threats. The National Security Act of 1947 established various intelligence agencies among them CIA and NSA, and charged them with the responsibility of acquiring strategic information necessary in protecting America and its interest. The CIA and NSAN have made a significant contribution within the intelligence community; their failures to provide precise intelligence during the Vietnam War, Collapse of the Soviet Union, and the September 11 attacks provide their inability to provide enough protection (Lowenthal 2). Because of these shortcomings, other agencies have better chances of protecting America and its interest by meeting various intelligence needs.
The CIA and NSA failed in their intelligence role during the Vietnam War. During this war, the Americans were forced to go to war against the Vietcong to help South Vietnam. Due to intelligence failure, the United States was misguided by the intelligence briefs into sending more troops and military equipment. While the United States defeated the Vietcong in the famous Tet Offensive, the effort used to win the war caused a lot of embarrassments to the United States, all because of poor intelligence by the CIA and NSA.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was a tremendous surprise to the CIA and NSA, who did not foresee the union disintegrating. After the world war, cold war developed between the United States and the Soviet Union leading to the arms' race, which increased the United States spending on weapons. The same was the case with the Soviets. However, the arms' race caused the Soviet Union to weaken, but yet the CIA and NSA did not seem to get any intelligence of this fall. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the CIA and NSA were left wondering how it happened in the first place. This was a clear sign of their failure to gather and analyze intelligence data.
The ineffectiveness of the CIA and NSA in protecting the United States from surprise attacks was made manifest in September 11, 2001. Before this date, the CIA and NSA have received information about a looming terrorist attack, which was about to happen (Lowenthal 2). Despite this information, it is appalling that the CIA and NSA did nothing to search for more information that could help uncover the plans of terrorist who used commercial planes to ram into the World Trade Center. After their failure to connect the dots, the CIA and NSA made America pass through one of the most difficult moments in history. Nonetheless, it proved that the CIA and NSA were non-effective in reacting to possible terrorist threats.
The failure of the CIA and NAS in effectively protecting various America’s interest provides a room of opportunity for other agencies like the Department of Defense, to lead in the gathering and dissemination of intelligence. With CIA and NAS having significant challenges such as lack of sophisticated analysis and their over dependence on data, the Department of defense can fill the gap with generating vital intelligence briefs that will protect Americans.
In summary, CIA and NAS are noble agencies in the intelligence community, but their failures in stopping the September 11 attacks, advising on Vietnam War, foreseeing the collapse of Soviet Union remain their greatest failures. However, agencies like the department of the defense can provide novel strategies of meeting the intelligence needs in the United States.
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