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The Privatization of Intelligence Essay Example

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The Privatization of Intelligence

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The Privatization of Intelligence.  Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, the outsourcing of intelligence to the private sector has grown exponentially.  Chesterman’s article focuses on private contracting with respect to intelligence collection duties in “electronic surveillance, rendition, interrogation,” and an increasing delegation of intelligence analysis.   With the Director of the CIA admitting that private contractors have most likely “participated in waterboarding detainees at CIA facilities”, Chesterman identifies three difficulties for accountability as a result of privatizing intelligence collection and analysis duties.  The three difficulties are: “the necessary secrecy that limits oversight”;

the “different incentives” that private sector workers have compared to public workers; and the “uncertainty as to what functions should be regarded as ‘inherently government’; and therefore the overall difficulties with delegating intelligence duties to private parties.  Accountability arises in circumstances where there is the use of force.  In the collection of intelligence, there are various circumstances in which behavior could be illegal.  The problem arises because collection intelligence should be conducted in secrecy and not under public “scrutiny”.  When private actors are involved in the analysis process, the problem of accountability is further compromised.  As Chesterman argues:Top-level analysis is precisely intended to shape strategic policy, and the more such tasks are delegated to private actors the further they are removed from traditional accountability structures such as judicial and parliamentary oversight, and the more influence they may have on the executive.  The outsourcing of intelligence products to the private sector is particularly problematic in relation to secret intelligence.  This usually involves the collection of intelligence from human sources (HUMINT) and the interception of communications and signals generally (SIGINT).  The collection of secret intelligence also involves analysis which is a “risk assessment intended to guide action.”. The Privatization of Intelligence.

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Burch, J. “The Domestic Intelligence Gap: Progress Since 9/11.” Homeland Security Affairs, Proceedings of the 2008 Center for Homeland Defense and Security Annual Conference, 2008, 1-33. Chesterman, S. “We Can’t Spy...if We Can’t Buy!: the Privatization of Intelligence and the Limits of Outsourcing ‘Inherently Governmental Functions’.” European Journal of International Law, Vol. 19(5), (July 2008), 1055-1074. Clark, R. Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010. Krahmann, E. States, Citizens and the Privatisation of Security. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Marrin, S. “Adding Value to the Intelligence Product”. In Johnson, L. J. (Ed.)Handbook on Intelligence Studies. London, UK: Routledge, 2007, Ch.15. Miller, D. “Organizational Configurations: Cohesion, Change, and Prediction.” Human Relations, Vol. 43(8), (August 1990), 771-789. O’Connell, K. M. “Thinking About Intelligence Comparatively.” The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Vol. XI(1) (Summer/Fall 2004): 189-199. Pappas, A. A. and Simon, J. M. “The Intelligence Community: 2001-2015”. IC Challenges, 39-47. Russell, R. L. “Achieving all-Source Fusion in the Intelligence Community.” In In Johnson, L. J. (Ed.)Handbook on Intelligence Studies. London, UK: Routledge, 2007, Ch. 14. Reverson, D. S. “Old Allies, New Friends: Intelligence-Sharing in the War on Terror,”, Orbis, Vol. 50(3) (Summer 2006), 453-468. US Department of Homeland Security. “Strengthening the Homeland Security Enterprise: Implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Progress Report 2011.”n.d. http://www.dhs.gov/strengthening-homeland-security-enterprise (Retrieved 20 October, 2012). Voelz, G. J. Managing the Private Spies: The Use of Commercial Augmentation for Intelligence. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, June 1, 2006.
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preview essay on The Privatization of Intelligence
  • Pages: 24 (6000 words)
  • Document Type: Term Paper
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Undergraduate
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