Week 6 Zegart September 11 and the Adaptation Failure of U-1.S. Intelligence Agencies

Week 6 Zegart September 11 and the Adaptation Failure of U-1.S. Intelligence Agencies

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Week 6 Zegart “September 11 and adaptation failures” The CIA is blamed for keeping outdated cold-war intelligence gathering methods, instead of updating to modern practices that might have prevented September 11. To consider whether or not the CIA adapted well to post-Cold War terrorism threats, one must ask: 1) Did intelligence officials and policy-makers recognize the gravity of the threat of terrorism? 2) Did they understand the connection between the terrorism threat and the need for organizational change? 3) Did they make the organizational changes they deemed necessary in time? 1) Yes, intelligence officials and policymakers recognized the threat of terrorism. The CIA aggressively collected intelligence on Osama bin Laden every year after 1996. In August 1998, 2 al-Qaida attacks against U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 and injured 5,000. There was much discussion of possible (and imminent) as-Qaida attacks among officials. 2) Yes, U.S. policy makers understood the need for organizational changes to meet threats. Many reports addressed the issue, recommending integrating the nation’s separate intelligence forces and clarifying the counterterrorist task of each one. 3) No, the needed organizational changes were not made. So we ask, “Why did the needed organizational changes not take place?” We cite three main reasons: 1) The nature of bureaucratic organizations 2) Self-interested presidents, legislators, and bureaucrats 3) The fragmented structure of the American government. 1) The nature of bureaucratic organizations is explained by combining organizational
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This note was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course POLI 244 taught by Professor Saideman during the Fall '07 term at McGill.

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Week 6 Zegart September 11 and the Adaptation Failure of U-1.S. Intelligence Agencies

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