Volume 51, No. 3 (September 2007)

Meeting 21st Century Transnational Challenges: Building a Global Intelligence Paradigm

By Roger Z. George

The Challenge

In the six years that have passed since the shock of the attacks on 11 September 2001, a great deal of change has occurred within the US Intelligence Community (IC). Legislation created a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with authorities to develop overall strategies and promote integration of intelligence activities; specific intelligence units have been established
within the FBI and as part of the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as well as new IC-wide centers like the National Counter-terrorism Center and the National Counterproliferation Centers.

The Intelligence Community is revitalizing clandestine collection of human intelligence and enhancing the cadre of intelligence analysts and their foreign language capabilities. These and many other changes are occurring at a time when the United States is facing entirely new challenges unmatched since the end of the Second World War. The essence of many such efforts—all necessary and long overdue—is to improve the effectiveness of what has been the dominant intelligence paradigm for the past half century. That is, a paradigm which develops
critical information through a national, classified system of collection and analysis. This paradigm has been effective in organizing US intelligence—as well as many other national intelligence systems in other countries—for what have been largely state-centric challenges.