Counterintelligence in an Uncertain World
By Jim Kouri, CPP on (Apr 06, 07)

The counterintelligence function involves protecting the country, as well as intelligence agencies, from the activities of foreign intelligence services. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has principal responsibility for countering the activities of foreign intelligence services within the United States in order to protect both classified US Government information and proprietary information held by US industry.


The CIA is responsible for coordinating US counterintelligence activities abroad. Each of the military departments also has a counterintelligence element that operates domestically and overseas.


These elements has offensive and defensive missions. Offensively, they attempt to recruit agents within foreign intelligence services to ascertain what, if any, operations are being undertaken against the United States; they monitor the activities of known or suspected agents of foreign intelligence services; and they undertake operations to ascertain the targets and modus operandi of foreign intelligence services.


Defensively, they investigate cases of suspected espionage and prepare analyses for government and industry concerning the foreign intelligence threat. The FBI has principal jurisdiction to investigate suspected espionage within the United States, although all intelligence agencies maintain internal capabilities to undertake preliminary inquiries of their own employees. Military counterintelligence elements have concurrent jurisdiction to carry out counterintelligence investigations of their respective military personnel.


Counterintelligence, as a function of intelligence agencies, however, goes well beyond detecting and monitoring the activities of foreign intelligence services and investigating employees suspected of espionage. Counterintelligence is an integral part of the entire intelligence process.


All agencies that undertake intelligence collection, whether through human or technical means, must be constantly on guard that what they are collecting is genuine. This requires continuous evaluation of their sources as well as the information gathered from them. Intelligence analysts who are familiar with the totality of information on a particular topic are often in a position to detect anomalies.


Historically, intelligence agencies have not performed this crucial function very well. Virtually all have suffered severe losses due to a failure to recognize anomalous behavior on the part of their own employees. Some have also had problems recognizing anomalies in the behavior of their sources or in the appearance or actions of their targets. The Aldrich Ames spy case revealed serious shortcomings in both categories.


In the wake of the Ames case, the Intelligence Community made sweeping changes to its counterintelligence infrastructure. A new policy board, reporting to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, was established to coordinate counterintelligence activities and resolve interagency disagreements, and a “national counterintelligence center” was created to share and evaluate information regarding foreign intelligence threats. In addition, the CIA made numerous improvements to its counterintelligence and security posture.


Perhaps more than any other function of intelligence, counterintelligence has undergone the most significant change over the last two years. The question is whether these changes will have a long-term positive effect.


Because counterintelligence is so crucial to the success of the entire enterprise, the Intelligence Community must sustain the renewed emphasis recently placed on this function. Counterintelligence must be viewed not as an annoying intrusion but rather as an integral part of the intelligence process. It must focus not only on protecting our own sensitive information, but equally on efforts to manipulate our collection and analysis, through double agents or other means.


This requires a certain openness of mind and a willingness continually to balance the conclusions drawn from intelligence with the possibility of deliberate deception by a target.


Sources: Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Institute, American Federation of Police, National Association of Chiefs of Police


Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org).


By Jim Kouri, CPP on Apr 06, 07
Email | Profile   Permalink    Email This Article to someone.

Items below only apply to non-columnist entries:

Author:    Email:



  More Items on the Front Page

Locations of visitors to this page

Site Copyright ©2003-2010 CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.Com
Content Copyright ©2003-2010 Individual Authors
*Views are those of authors and not necessarily those of CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.Com.







Stop Snoring Using Only Easy Exercises

Cure Your Heartburn

Cure Anxiety And Panic Attacks

Natural Cancer Treatments

Cancer & Health- It's All About The Cell

Cure Your Asthma In Just One Week

Fit Over 40

How A Fool Discovery Cured My Bad Breath

100% Natural treatment for asthma,
sinus & allergies.


All-Natural Pain Relief And Cure
For Arthritis Sufferers.


How To Lower Blood Pressure
Without Drugs.


Natural Cure For
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome



















Powered by pMachine