Published Resources Details Journal Article

Beal, C. & Koch, A.
Chronic HUMINT under funding blamed for security failures
Jane’s Defence Weekly
vol. 36, no. 12, 37153, p. 4

Accession No.1219


"In the aftermath of the carnage in New York and Washington DC (September 11, 2001) hundreds of questions will be asked as to how such an audacious and co-ordinated attack could have happened. This latest act of terrorism, although the most horrific to date, is not the first time that the US Government has been caught unaware. Indeed the subject of 'asymmetric warfare' - the use of terrorist methods to strike at weaknesses in the societies of western countries - has been a worry of strategic planners in the US for most of the 1990's. One possible contributing factor to this failure of the intelligence and security system could be the lack of resources the US has devoted to human intelligence (HUMINT) capabilities throughout the past decade. While national technical means continued to receive high levels of funding for surveillance satellites, signals intelligence flights and other eavesdropping technologies, human-based intelligence capabilities have withered. Areas such as analysis, linguistic skills, cultivation of agent networks, and 'tradecraft' were all of paramount importance during the Cold War, particularly before the advent of space-based intelligence assets, but have suffered a lack of resources of late. This shortfall has been exacerbated by the growing demand that increased technical intelligence has placed on people who must process the vast amounts of resulting data and prioritise it. The US intelligence community must work to close the gap between the amount of raw intelligence it can gather and the quantity it can process, analyse, and disseminate."