Secrecy News -- 04/07/04 (IF)
saftergood at fas.org
Wed Apr 7 14:39:55 EDT 2004
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 34
April 7, 2004
** INSIGHT INTO FOREIGN "THOUGHTWORLDS" NEEDED
** OVERCOMING ANIMOSITY IN MULTINATIONAL COALITIONS
** INTELLIGENCE TRANSFORMATION ACT
** CRS ON FBI INTELLIGENCE REFORM
INSIGHT INTO FOREIGN "THOUGHTWORLDS" NEEDED
Policy makers require greater insight into the "thoughtworlds"
of adversaries -- their culture, motivations, and
characteristic modes of perception and behavior -- in order to
advance national interests by means other than the blunt
instruments of force, according to a new study from the
Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a defense contractor.
The problem is that "A strategy of using [military or economic
force] to compel desired outcomes... is poorly suited to many
present challenges, notably in the strategic war against
terror, a number of taxing regional crises, and in countering
a global wave of anti-U.S. sentiment."
"There are alternative strategies that, instead of seeking to
compel or force, actively engage foreign partners or
adversaries in a way that recognizes their interests,
perspectives, will, and energies and that seek to effectively
communicate, influence, channel extant dynamics, or sometimes
effect more fundamental changes in thought or action."
"Such strategies, not without their own limitations, should now
receive relatively more consideration and emphasis in U.S.
national security affairs."
In an astute and literate analysis, the author is careful to
place bounds on his argument, observing, for example, that
improved communication and understanding can sometimes
exacerbate conflict rather than relieve it.
And he notes the obstacles to his own proposals, including a
cultural predisposition that is unfavorable to the kind of
insight he says is needed.
"A nuanced understanding of how people in other societies think
-- their thoughtworlds -- ... has not been commonly reflected
in U.S. national security affairs, and is not prominent in
U.S. society generally." (The very word "thoughtworld" is not
normally used in American English and is apparently borrowed
from the German "Gedankenwelt.")
See "Insight Into Foreign Thoughtworlds for National Security
Decision Makers" by J.W. Barnett, Institute for Defense
Analyses, January 2004:
OVERCOMING ANIMOSITY IN MULTINATIONAL COALITIONS
Cross-cultural conflicts are also addressed in a new report
published by the U.S. Army, which notes "an apparent increase
in anti-American sentiment expressed by and within" military
partners in multinational coalitions.
"If the Army is to be successful in its cooperation with other
countries' militaries, it is essential that it understand the
sources of the anti-Americanism as well as what can be done to
ameliorate those sentiments," wrote Zita M. Simutis, Chief
Psychologist of the U.S. Army in a foreword to the study.
Some of those sources of animosity, and proposals to address
them, are explored in "International Military Education and
Multinational Military Cooperation" by Charles Moskos, January
INTELLIGENCE TRANSFORMATION ACT
The text of the "Intelligence Transformation Act of 2004" (HR
4104), a bill which was introduced on April 1 by Rep. Jane
Harman and other Democratic members of the House Intelligence
Committee, is now available here:
CRS ON FBI INTELLIGENCE REFORM
The efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to
"transform itself into an agency that can prevent terrorist
acts, rather than react to them as criminal acts" are examined
in a major new report from the Congressional Research Service.
"Both supporters and skeptics of the adequacy of FBI's reforms
agree that collecting intelligence by penetrating terrorist
cells is critical to disrupting and preventing terrorist
acts," the CRS report observes.
"Supporters argue that the FBI has a long and successful
history of such penetrations when it comes to organized crime
groups, and suggest that it is capable of replicating its
success against terrorist cells.... Skeptics say recruiting
organized crime penetrations differs dramatically from
terrorist recruiting [and that strategic intelligence
collection is a qualitatively different function than
gathering information on criminal activity]."
The new CRS report synthesizes a considerable volume of recent
debate regarding the future of the FBI and outlines the policy
choices available to legislators.
See "FBI Intelligence Reform Since September 11, 2001: Issues
and Options for Congress" by Alfred Cumming and Todd Masse,
Congressional Research Service, April 6, 2004:
Congressional leaders including Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), chair of
the House Administration Committee, oppose direct public access
to CRS reports like this one.
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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