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Smarter Intelligence

Smarter IntelligenceATufts international security expert and a colleague have put forwardnew ideas about how to conduct intelligence efforts, emphasizingthe need for greater human intelligence. Medford/Somerville,Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.04.05] With the United States involved in several militaryefforts around the world, the need for solid intelligence is high.But despite the recent appointment of a new national intelligencedirector and a change of leadership at the CIA, one Tufts internationalsecurity expert says the U.S. has a long way to go to shore upits intelligence apparatus.

"In thepast and today, U.S. intelligence has thought about threats andprepared to work against them as states," RichardShultz, professor of international politics at TheFletcher School and research director of the Consortium forthe Study of Intelligence, told The Christian Science Monitor."Armed groups are not an ancillary problem, they are a majorproblem. It requires a different kind of intelligence than wehave had in the past."

Shultz andGeorgetown professor Roy Godson have studied U.S. intelligenceefforts around the world, conducting research on three continentsand exploring past efforts in confronting armed groups.

In a syndicatedcolumn for the Media General News Service, the two scholars'plan was described as focusing on the achievement of "'intelligencedominance' in vital areas."

This dominance,according to the article, would be achieved by dividing countriesinto regions that would be monitored by an "intelligenceunit consisting of case officers, signals specialists and interrogators,"supervised by a centralized intelligence station.

The numbersneeded would be substantial, and such a plan could not be implementedin the short-term; to the contrary, as the article describes,it would require "a change of culture at the CIA and allthe 15 other intelligence agencies [national intelligence directorJohn] Negroponte commands."

In their research,according to Media General News Service, Shultz and Godsonlearned that covert groups like U.S. Special Forces were seenas effective on the ground in places like Iraq and Afghanistan,but other units were not as successful.

Intelligencegathering methods also need to be modified, the scholars assert.

"It isnot beating people up that is the key to the use of interrogation,"Shultz told the Monitor. "The use of force is seenreally as not the way to go. One can use tricks and other kindsof information."

In addition,the researchers found, the U.S. needs to evaluate its vulnerabilitiesmore effectively. One such weak link exists, according to Shultz,at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"We believethere is an international Salafist jihadi movement with a goalto attack the near enemy and far enemy – the U.S.,"Shultz told the Monitor. "These terrorists are smart.They study these issues and learn from one another. And one wayin is right through the southern security perimeter."








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