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1996 intelligence community congressional findings

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Finding #6: The Clandestine Service should be under the direct
control of the DCI and form a separate organization.

1) Most of the operations of the CS are, by all accounts, the most tricky, politically sensitive, and troublesome of those in the IC and frequently require the DCI's close personal attention. The CS is the only part of the IC, indeed of the government, where hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in counties around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them. A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day (easily 100,000 times a year) DO officers engage in highly illegal activities (according to foreign law) that not only risk political embarrassment to the US but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nationals and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself. In other words, a typical 28 year old, GS-11 case officer has numerous opportunities every week, by poor tradecraft or inattention, to embarrass his country and President and to get agents imprisoned or executed. Considering these facts and recent history, which has shown that the DCI, whether he wants to or not, is held accountable for overseeing the CS, the DCI must work closely with the Director of the CS and hold him fully and directly responsible to him.

IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century
Staff Study
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
House of Representatives
One Hundred Fourth Congress

IX. Clandestine Service

Executive Summary

The purpose of this study is to present ideas about the future
roles, organization, and management of a clandestine service as
they were developed by the Study Group in the course of its
"Intelligence Community in the 21st Century" (IC21) study. The
body of the paper consists of explications of twelve principal
"findings" concerning this clandestine service. Some of these
findings represent radical departures from the status quo. Others
simply reaffirm and revalidate existing arrangements that have been
under question.

While this study stands on its own, its observations and
conclusions are compatible with the other IC21 studies. Moreover,
when looked at in the context of the Committee's examination of the
Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole, the following findings and
recommendations have been extracted from this study for inclusion
in legislative proposals to reorganize and better direct the IC in
the future:


The U.S. requires a clandestine service of the highest
professional standards and competence.

Clandestine collection must be focused principally on
select, high priority national and military requirements.

Yet, it is necessary to have at least a minimal
clandestine presence in most countries (a "global
presence") so as to maintain a broader base-line
contingency capability and to respond to transnational
collection requirements.

Clandestine operations require an extraordinarily high
level of management attention, expertise and


There should be a single US clandestine service (the
"Clandestine Service,") under the Director of Central
Intelligence's (DCI) direct supervision.

For intelligence collection tasking and requirements
purposes, the Clandestine Service should respond to the
regular community-wide collection management process.

The Clandestine Service should be managed by a Director
who is a career intelligence professional.

The Clandestine Service should have a two-star
professional military intelligence officer as a Deputy
Director responsible for support to the military and for
coordination, as appropriate, with the military services,
regional commanders and the Office of the Secretary of

The Clandestine Service should have organic to it the
administrative and technical support mechanisms that are
critical to its unique functions and essential to its

The personnel system should ensure the recruitment of
highly qualified junior employees, the development of
talented clandestine operators and managers, and the
aggressive removal of marginal and unsuitable employees.

The military cadre of the Clandestine Service should
consist of military clandestine operations officers
having a viable military career track within that
specialization and of the same high professional and
personal qualifications as the civilian cadre.

The DCI needs to reaffirm and reiterate throughout the
IC, his designation of the Clandestine Service's role to
lead the IC in its conduct of foreign clandestine
operations, i.e., espionage, counterespionage, covert
action and related intelligence liaison activities

The Clandestine Service Chief of Station should act as
the US government's on-site focal point for the
deconfliction of all intelligence and law enforcement
activities abroad with an appeals process functioning
through the Ambassador and/or a Washington-based
interagency mechanism.

There are numerous other findings and recommendations within
this study that will be pursued by the Committee in other ways,
particularly through the annual authorization and regular
intelligence oversight process.


Definition of Terms: "HUMINT" and "Clandestine Service"

The terms employed in this study reflect some of its findings.
The most important example of this is the use of the terms "HUMINT"
and "clandestine service." Originally, the Study Group had
characterized this part of the IC21 study as being about HUMINT.
The term is, however, a particularly ambiguous one, the use of
which frequently masks if not perpetuates intellectual sloppiness.
Properly speaking, HUMINT refers to a category of intelligence,
that which is reported by a government information collector who
has obtained it either directly or indirectly from a human source./1/
As such, the term hardly begins to encompass the subject under
consideration: the proper mission, management and organization of
the entity or entities responsible for foreign clandestine
intelligence operations (i.e., espionage, counterespionage, covert
action and related foreign liaison activities). Such an entity is
a "clandestine service."

A clandestine service does much more than simply collect
"HUMINT" clandestinely, that is secretly exploit agents for the
purpose of collecting intelligence. A clandestine service also
works in liaison with other spy services to run all types of
operations; it taps telephones and installs listening devices; it
breaks into or otherwise gains access to the contents of secured
facilities, safes, and computers; it steals, compromises, and
influences foreign cryptographic capabilities so as to make them
exploitable by US SIGINT; it protects its operations and defends
the government from other intelligence services by engaging in a
variety of counterespionage activities, including the aggressive
use of double agents and penetrations of foreign services; and it
clandestinely emplaces and services secret SIGINT and MASINT
sensors. It also has the capability of using its techniques and
access to run programs at the President's direction to influence
foreign governments and developments, that is, "covert action."/2/
The unifying aspect of these activities is not some connection to
HUMINT; rather, they are highly diverse but interdependent
activities that are best conducted by a clandestine service. The
terms "HUMINT service" and "clandestine service" can be used
interchangeably only in ignorance or with a willful disregard for
the actual meaning of the words.

A final note on the use of the term "clandestine service."
When referring specifically to an existing clandestine service,
such as the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) or the
clandestine element of the DoD's Defense HUMINT Service (DHS), this
is done so by name. In discussing an ideal or future organization
performing those missions, we have used the term "Clandestine
Service" or CS as a proper noun.

Background: Clandestine Operations and a Clandestine Service --
How Important Are They? Do We Need Them? Will We Need Them?

There is no more beleaguered element of the Intelligence
Community than the clandestine service -- the organization
currently known as the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO)./3/
It has been the subject of ceaseless critical scrutiny and even
vilification from the press and more than occasionally from
Congress since the Congressional hearings of 1975 and most recently
since the arrest of Aldrich Ames, a DO employee, in February 1994
as a Soviet (and later, Russian) agent.

The tenor of much of the recent reporting is exemplified by a
statement in the U.S. News and World Report that the DO is at the
center of a system of "incompetence, corruption, cover-ups, and ...
failures."/4/ In Congress, there has been no reluctance on the part
of some to make public accusations of DO malfeasance, ineptitude
and even illegality. Recent examples are false charges of DO
involvement with assassinations in Guatemala and of costing
taxpayers billions of dollars by passing on Soviet/Russian
disinformation that was used to justify supposedly unnecessary US
defense programs. The political and editorial mood is such that
charges of this sort, although they frequently prove to be
overstated if not outright wrong, find immediate acceptance and
make the public even more receptive to subsequent further
"revelations." It would appear that the the current DCI, John
Deutch, has been, at least to some degree, influenced by these
stories and allegations, since he has publicly lamented the DO's
"tremendous deficiencies" and reportedly put on his daily calendar
a standing objective of "reinventing the DO."

Ironically, however, the DO of the last few years appears to
be at least as and possibly more successful than it ever has been.
It has made significant advances in penetrating the great majority
of hard target countries and a wide variety of terrorist and
proliferation organizations. It has dramatically redefined and
focused its activities on high-priority national intelligence
issues. Its Office of Military Affairs, under an Assistant Deputy
Director of Operations for Military Affairs (ADDO/MA) (created
after Desert Storm had shown weakness in support to the military),
received strong kudos from its military customers. In response to
a perceived need to tighten up its bureaucracy, the DO has also
dramatically reduced personnel (to the point that it is two years
ahead of its Congressionally-mandated goals), closed down a sizable
fraction of its stations and bases in the last four years, and
drastically cut back on the number of personnel in the field. It
has opened up some of its operations and brought in outside experts
at an unprecedented level to the point that seniors from the
Directorate of Intelligence, FBI, the military and DoD civilian
organizations serve in positions up to and including the division
chief level.

These positive assertions -- standing in such stark contrast
with the negative general assessment that recent accusations have
fed -- are sustained by what little objective data there is
available to assess the relative value of the DO's product. The
Committee is aware of three studies attempting to develop hard data
on the utility of the intelligence produced by the intelligence
disciplines: the Strategic Intelligence Review (SIR) process of
1994, a survey of National Intelligence Daily (NID) citations, and
the 1995 Comprehensive Capabilities Review undertaken by the
Community Management Staff.

The twelve SIRs prepared at the DCI's request and under the
auspices of the National Intelligence Council in May 1994,
identified 376 intelligence "needs" and rated the value of the
contribution of the various intelligence disciplines (HUMINT,
IMINT, SIGINT, MASINT, and open source) in meeting those needs. An
example of such a need is "International terrorist organization X's
plans to attack US persons, facilities, and interests." In
aggregate, the SIRs clearly identify HUMINT as the most important
source of intelligence for the subjects treated./5/ Specifically,
HUMINT was judged to make a "critical" contribution towards 205 of
the 376 intelligence needs identified. That is more than half
again as much as the next greatest contributor (SIGINT) and more
than twice that of the third (open source).

Within several important specific subject areas, HUMINT's
contribution is particularly strong, such as in reporting on the
transnational issues that are now among the highest priorities of
the IC: terrorism, narcotics, proliferation, and international
economics. In providing information on terrorism, HUMINT garnered
the grade "of critical value" almost 75 percent of the time it was
given. In narcotics, HUMINT was graded critical more than the
other intelligence disciplines put together. In collecting
critical intelligence on the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction and their delivery systems, HUMINT's contribution was
over 40 percent. Finally, in international economics, its
contribution was over one third. Similarly, in several more
traditional areas of foreign political intelligence and regional
developments, HUMINT was rated the most important source for
covering the Near East, South Asia, Europe, and Africa. In
summary, it would appear to be safe to conclude from the Reviews
that what they term as HUMINT is unsurpassed as a source of
critical intelligence to the national policymaker./6/

Another effort at objectively assessing the usefulness of
intelligence coming from the various collection disciplines is a
study that was done of the intelligence sources used in the
preparation of the NID for January 1993. Not surprisingly, open
source and Department of State reporting were the most frequently
cited sources of information. They were followed by the various
types of intelligence reporting in the following order: DO
reporting, SIGINT, imagery, and Defense Attach‚ reporting. By
issue, the DO was the most important intelligence source in the
areas of weapons proliferation, economic security, Europe, Africa,
Latin America, terrorism, counternarcotics, and Somalia. Although
this is, of itself, a good reflection of the value of the DO's
product, it does not capture it all, since the NID does not
typically reference much of the DO's best reporting that is
disseminated only within highly restrictive "blue border"

Finally, in late 1995 the DCI's Community Management Staff
(CMS) prepared a Comprehensive Capabilities Review that is probably
the best effort yet at objectively assessing the collection
capabilities of the various parts of the intelligence community.
In this case, the CMS worked from the specific intelligence issues
as categorized and prioritized by Presidential Decision Directive
outlining intelligence priorities. In this review, too,
clandestine operations elements had a strong showing. In the
crisis capability category, the clandestine HUMINT collection
capabilities were rated as being of approximately the same value as
SIGINT. Against the category of transnational issues, the DO's
capabilities were unquestionably the strongest in the intelligence
community, being half again those assessed as belonging to SIGINT.
Against "rogue" states and other top priority target countries, the
DO played a secondary role to SIGINT. It is worth noting that in
this review the assessment of the DO's production was only of its
"HUMINT" reporting and did not include the reporting that results
from the DO's clandestine technical operations.

The demonstrable value of CS reporting and its more than
respectable showing in relation to other types of intelligence is
further highlighted by its relative low-cost, except in comparison
with open source collection: at a single digit percentage of the
National Foreign Intelligence Program budget, clandestine
operations cost a small fraction of what is spent on IMINT and an
even smaller fraction of what is spent on SIGINT. This is not
always understood and, in particular, is lost on the public. Even
Roger Hilsman, a former intelligence officer, referred in a recent
Foreign Affairs to the "enormous cost of fielding secret agents."/7/
The fact is that US espionage under even the most sanguine
projections has little prospect of ever costing more than a
fraction of what is spent on technical intelligence collection

Even if we accept the current value of a CS and its relatively
low cost, the IC21 study, of which this is part, is looking to the
future. For that reason we must ask whether it will also be useful
in the future. Although it is difficult to foresee the
geopolitical situation of ten or fifteen years from now, there are
several characteristics of good clandestine operations that point
to their probably being particularly well-suited to meet many post-Cold
War national intelligence requirements. Although the details
are much debated, the IC, the executive branch, and Congress are
all in basic agreement that the most important intelligence
requirements will fall in the following categories: the
transnational issues of terrorism, narcotics, weapons
proliferation, and economic competitiveness; hostile states;
strategic threats; support to the military; and "hot spots." Six
points are worth making here about how a good clandestine service
can be of particular value in satisfying such requirements.

First, transnational issues involve the linkage of individual
players around the globe operating in secret cooperation if not
alliance. These are notoriously difficult targets for
intelligence. But experience has shown that there are often weak
links in such organizations and good clandestine operators are
ingenious at locating and exploiting them. Thus, of all the
intelligence collection techniques, clandestine operations have a
comparative advantage in collecting on most transnational issues.
The Strategic Intelligence Reviews of 1994 and the Comprehensive
Capabilities Review of 1995 have amply documented this strength.
Moreover, there is no reason to suspect the clandestine operator's
capabilities will be less successful against these targets in the
future. This judgment assumes that the clandestine service is not
forced, for political reasons, to limit its ability to recruit and
run agents inside the frequently unsavory circles and governments
in which terrorist, narco-traffickers, proliferators and criminal
elements operate.

Second, so long as there are humans at the controls of foreign
governments making decisions in secret affecting our national
security, clandestine operations will be important and effective in
ferreting out the secrets. There is, of course, the intelligence
truism that espionage is uniquely well-suited among the
intelligence disciplines to discover plans, intentions, and
deliberations. That opinion is complemented by the less
understood, but equally true, argument that only a spy can actively
delve for intelligence. Technical intelligence collection requires
specific types of action on the part of the target--the visible
movement of troops, discussions of plans over accessible
communications links, the development of chemical compounds or
biological forms that can be detected, and such. A spy, however,
can even dig into the hypothetical to satisfy an intelligence
consumer, as, for example, when a well placed agent in a foreign
government is tasked to ask his leader, "What will we do if the US
does x?" Clandestine operations can, in short, shake the
intelligence apple from the tree where other intelligence
collection techniques must wait for it to fall.

Third, the same global developments that are making
intelligence collection less necessary in some cases -- the opening
of previously closed societies, political and economic integration,
and increasingly mobile and free populations -- are working to
facilitate the clandestine operator's task of getting to the
important secrets that do remain.

Fourth, counterintelligence will continue to be a challenge to
the US so long as there are hostile intelligence services, and
clandestine counterespionage operations (the running of
penetrations of those services) has been and gives every indication
of remaining the most important keyhole we will have in detecting
hostile intelligence activities. The overwhelming majority of
espionage cases opened by the Federal Bureau of Investigation over
the last thirty years has come from information provided by human
penetrations, most of them coming from the DO's large numbers of
penetrations of foreign services. Notwithstanding new executive
orders and Congressional interest in increasing interagency
counterintelligence analysis, analytic successes will be extremely
limited without the lead information and raw data originating from
clandestine operations.

Fifth, the CS will continue to have tremendous potential to
ensure the success of other intelligence collection disciplines.
In particular, the CS will be called upon to continue its support
of SIGINT. It is no surprise to those who understand cryptography
to learn that most cryptographic systems in use are exploitable
only if the codes are in some way compromised. Quite simply, brute
computer attacks on codes are usually unsuccessful. Arguably, a
clandestine service's greatest contribution to intelligence is the
compromising of codes. The proliferation of sophisticated
cryptographic systems ensures the growing importance of this role
of the CS.

And sixth, the CS's unique ability to develop clandestine
access to foreign facilities and locations will become increasingly
crucial to the whole intelligence community, the SIGINT and MASINT
disciplines in particular. This Committee has a strong record of
supporting clandestine technical operations and, over the last few
years, has been greatly encouraged and pleased with the development
of those capabilities in the CIA in conjunction with other elements
of the IC. The CS will undoubtedly continue to play an
increasingly prominent role in helping technical collectors gain
access to the media and materials they exploit.

In summary, we believe the importance of clandestine
operations is greater than is usually recognized and that there are
strong reasons to believe they will be both successful and
appropriate in satisfying intelligence requirements in the future.
That said, there remain numerous questions about how to define
further what the CS of the future should do, what it should look
like, and how it should operate. The "findings" that follow are
meant to address some important aspects of those questions.

Finding #1: The Clandestine Service should be small and
principally focused on select, high priority requirements to which
it can make a unique contribution.

The current Deputy Director of the National Intelligence
Council has advised the Committee that, from every corner, on every
issue, we hear the consumers say, 'We need more HUMINT.'" The
Committee has heard the same from almost every current and past
senior consumer of intelligence it has consulted -- from National
Security Advisors, Secretaries of State and Defense, and CINC's.
None of them has ever said they wanted or could do with less. In
this is recognizable the commonly held belief that human spies can
best fulfill the greatest (and most challenging) need of the
intelligence consumer, that is, advance knowledge of foreign
developments, or, as it is more usually called: plans and

We share the belief that clandestine operations are frequently
the best means of getting that type of intelligence, but are
reluctant to embrace any call for an expanded CS. There is a
strong case for better, not necessarily more, HUMINT. The reasons
are several. Among them are that clandestine operations:

1) require a management and coordination process that, on a
large scale, becomes cumbersome and bureaucratic;
2) require a tight focus for long term planning;
3) must overcome the human tendency of clandestine operators
and managers to do that which is easiest rather
than most important; and
4) involve an element of risk and potential for
embarrassment greater than most intelligence activities.

First of all, a large organization running clandestine
operations is prone to intense and byzantine bureaucratization,
particularly in its headquarters element. A properly managed CS
will be steeply pyramidical in its management structure. Unlike
some SIGINT or IMINT activities, in which a first line manager may
supervise ten, twenty, or more collectors and producers of
intelligence, clandestine operations usually require a case
officer/first line manager ratio of no more than three or four to

A typical station might have five clandestine operations
officers including the Chief of Station (COS). The most time-consuming
responsibility of the COS and his Deputy would usually be
the supervision of the three junior officers typically on their
first or second assignments. If a station is larger, branches will
be formed so that oversight of the operations remains equally
intense. At the headquarters, depending upon the sensitivity of
the activity, any number of hierarchical levels may get involved
with double-checking and, as required, approving the field's
operational activities. In its most simple form, the operational
chain of command at the headquarters is: a desk chief (usually in
charge of a small country), a branch chief (in charge of several
small or one large country), a division chief (in charge of a
continent or geographic region), and, ultimately, the director of
the CS. Deputies to these various levels may or may not also get
involved. Additionally, there are functional offices and staffs
within the CS that must be consulted according to their charters or
when their operational equities are involved.

For example, an operation in a European country to penetrate
a Near-East based terrorist cell may involve: one or more of the
desk, branch, and division level offices overseeing European
operations; the Counterterrorism Center element responsible for
operations around the world meant to penetrate the terrorist
organization; desk, branch, or division offices overseeing the
Near-East nationality of the terrorist in question; the
counterintelligence office double-checking the bona fides of the
source; an Office of Technical Services element responsible for
providing and servicing covert communications equipment the source
might use back in his home country; and the office responsible for
providing the case officer with cover for his travels.

Despite innumerable ideas at streamlining this sort of
process, most CS managers have concluded that they are largely
unavoidable and that, in a small, focused organization, they
actually serve to enhance the security and productivity of
operations. Moreover, in a small CS, working only cases that meet
a high operational threshold, such a process of double-checks and
coordination can work surprisingly quickly and smoothly, usually
within a day. Advances in office automation and communications
should speed this process even more in the next decade. However,
it is easy to see how a CS dealing with large numbers of marginal
operations will have to build a large bureaucracy to handle the
load, making the whole system sclerotic and unresponsive.

Second, clandestine collection requires long-term planning and
a focus that come best to an organization forced to plan
strategically the allocation of its scarce personnel resources.
Access and capability are two central concerns for all intelligence
collection managers. Some technical collection disciplines plan
mostly to develop generic capabilities -- an imaging satellite that
has a resolution of so many centimeters or a signals processor that
can scan and select from some minimum number of channels. These
capabilities are to some degree fungible -- sometimes by a simple
change in the daily tasking or, somewhat less immediately, by
shifting a satellite's orbit from over, say, Iran to North Korea.
Clandestine operations managers must concentrate more on building
target specific access, a process that, more often than not takes
months if not years. Examples are: placing a non-official cover
(NOC) officer or recruiting an agent in a company that can
plausibly get close to a covert weapons proliferation conduit;
finagling a way to get inside a terrorist safehouse to implant
listening devices; or buying a house from which to mount a
technical collection operation. Since clandestine collection is
relatively unresponsive to quick changes in direction, it must keep
a tight focus on its long-term objectives. Mistaken or unclear
priorities result in an immediate loss of attention to more
deserving issues as well as significant, lingering inefficiencies.

Third, some of the characteristics of clandestine operations
work to reinforce the tendency of human nature to direct attention
towards that which is most likely to succeed rather than that
which, if successful, can yield the greatest benefit. This
tendency can be difficult to detect and counter in a large CS since
the sheer volume of activity can mask the lack of quality

The raw material of clandestine operations is people. The
challenge to leadership of a CS is in motivating these people to
concentrate on the hardest objectives. This challenge is greatly
increased by the fact that in the CS great successes are rare and
failure is routine. Months of work can go into implanting a
listening device in an office of a high-level diplomat from a
"rogue" state who is close to his president, only to have him die
and be replaced by a nonentity. Weekend after weekend can be spent
attempting to win the confidence of an apparently disgruntled
hostile intelligence officer, only to find out that he has been
"dangled" before the case officer. Case officers can inflict on
their families innumerable, inconvenient early morning walks in a
park in the vain hope of being able to bump into and strike up a
friendship with a targeted code clerk who is known to take his
children for walks there on occasion. Frustrations can mount and
the desire to succeed or, at least, sense forward motion also
becomes more intense. Under such circumstances, the temptation is
great to lower sights and work an easier but less important target.
If given in to, this results in a system that measures success by
the numbers of operations rather than their quality -- a charge
that was frequently leveled against the DO, particularly in the
1980's when it was expanding in size. A small CS, under pressure
to produce results against the hard targets and constantly forced
to make hard choices on how to allocate limited human resources, is
less likely to fall for this expedient.

Finally, although clandestine collection is frequently less
expensive than some technical techniques, it tends to be much more
politically sensitive. Moreover, with the disappearance of a
Soviet or Communist threat, fewer and fewer friendly countries are
willing to accept the presence of a free-wheeling US CS as part of
the price of being allied with the US. Although this situation may
change in the coming years as global dynamics change, there is no
denying a complex calculus that must be done as part of the
risk/gain analysis that is crucial to the responsible management of
any clandestine operation./8/ A small, focused CS is more likely to
be careful in its application of this calculus.

Having made these arguments, it is only fair to note that the
DO's current personnel resource plans more than meet the
requirement that the CS be small. The degree to which the DO has
already drawn down and refocused its personnel resources has gone
almost totally unrecognized. Yet, the facts are stunning, even in
an IC that is seeing significant continuing reductions in personnel
across the board:

Since 1990 the DO has reduced the number of "core HUMINT
collectors" by over thirty percent.

Since 1992 it has closed large numbers of stations and

Large stations have been, on average, reduced in size by
over sixty percent.

The number of deployed, officially covered case officers
has been declining at an average rate of almost ten
percent a year for the last several years.

In overall personnel strength (including support staff),
the DO has already met its Congressionally mandated FY 1998
personnel reduction goals.

We believe these changes have been, on balance, healthy for
the DO and, barring significant changes in the international
environment, current personnel levels are appropriate for the
proper utilization and management of the CS into the next century.
Although the CS of the future will be challenged by a growing
demand from intelligence consumers for more clandestine collection,
the proper response, in most cases, is to strive for better quality
reporting and, as necessary, to reprioritize collection to satisfy
the most important requirements, rather than to make a net increase
in human resources to satisfy the requirements.

Along with the aggressive moves to draw down and redirect
personnel resources, there has been for some time a move towards
narrowing the focus of clandestine operations to "operations that
count." To do this, personnel resources in the DO have been
redirected to increase attention to "hard" targets. There have
been several "zero-based" reviews of the inventory of agents to
terminate handling of those who do not materially advance efforts
to penetrate hard or other high priority targets.

This finding is based on the "supply side" management of CS
personnel resources as the surest way to limit clandestine
operations to those operations satisfying truly important
requirements uniquely amenable to its techniques. The "demand
side," or "requirements" as they are called in the IC, also must be
worked. All intelligence collectors are faced with intelligence
requirements that massively overload the system. This is a long-
standing problem that many collection managers and outside experts
have identified as possibly the most persistent and troublesome of
all those facing the IC. Fortunately, in the National HUMINT
Requirements Tasking Center (NHRTC), set up in 1992 under the
direction of the deputy Director for Operations (DDO) in his role
as the National HUMINT Collection Manager, clandestine operations
undergo the most rigorous, formal requirements vetting process in
the community. (See the IC21 Intelligence Requirements Process
staff study for further details.) The NHRTC measures requirements
by importance and allocates them to the most appropriate, least
risky collection mechanism available./9/ The rule of thumb is that
clandestine capabilities are to be tasked with a requirement only
when these capabilities are uniquely able to satisfy them and the
requirement rises to a level justifying the risks that would be
entailed. The CS seems to have in place already much of the
requirements management process that the CS of the future will

Finding #2: The DCI needs to reaffirm and, as necessary, expand
upon existing guidelines to ensure the role of the Clandestine
Service in leading the Intelligence Community's conduct of foreign
clandestine operations, i.e., espionage, counterespionage, covert
action and related intelligence liaison activities abroad.

There are two parts to this finding. They build upon existing
DCI and COS authorities.

First, the CS should have direct control of all US foreign
clandestine operations, that is, those that have been defined in
DCI Directives as espionage related. Those are, specifically, all
intelligence activities "directed towards the acquisition of
intelligence through clandestine methods." Clandestine operations
are compartmented on a need-to-know basis. It is crucial that
someone be cognizant of all operations in a country so as to
deconflict, guide, rationalize and validate them. When this
centralized oversight breaks down, there can be a needless waste of
effort and, more importantly, compromises of operational security.

There are numerous examples that have been cited of the
problems that have resulted when this principle is not understood
or accepted by all parties. One US intelligence organization
approaches a foreign target not knowing he has already been
recruited by another US intelligence organization - or worse, not
knowing that he has already been identified as working for a
hostile foreign intelligence service. A non-resident US
intelligence operative flies into town and meets his clandestine
asset in a hotel that the COS knows to be under surveillance and
audio monitoring by the host country. A US intelligence
organization expends a great deal of effort to meet and recruit a
target of apparent interest not knowing that the target's
supervisor, an individual whose access far exceeds the target's, is
already a US intelligence source. There is no shortage of such
examples. There is also reason to be concerned over some of the
proposed command and control structures that had been proposed for
some of the clandestine operations of DHS. These appeared to have
as their objective the circumvention of the COS's cognizance of the
details necessary to "conduct and coordinate" liaison as outlined
in DCI directives. These concerns have figured to some degree in
the development of Finding Twelve of this study, recommending, in
effect, a unified CS, jointly managing the operations of the DO and
the DHS (which had itself been created to better manage diverse
military intelligence operations).

The second part of this finding also revalidates and
reinforces the existing guidelines directing that the local head of
the CS, the COS, as the DCI's representative, be responsible for
the conduct and coordination of all US government intelligence
liaison activities in any way relating to espionage (that is,
clandestine collection activities) and counterespionage. The
designation of a single authority for the conduct and coordination
of such activities makes sense in that it ensures intelligence
policies towards a specific country are applied uniformly and
minimizes the chance that one US intelligence channel is played off
against others. It enables the Ambassador to have a single
reliable point of reference for all intelligence activities.
Additionally, it minimizes confusion on the part of the host
country such as has occurred in some countries where the sudden
warming of relations resulted in a rush of uncoordinated US
initiatives to establish liaison relationships. The establishment
in 1992 of the DCI's Special Representative for Foreign
Intelligence Relationships has improved this situation, but there
are still too many instances where there is less than total
adherence to the current directive.

Finally, the CS of the future, if it is to continue as the
President's main instrument for covert action, must also be
responsible for the use of information warfare capabilities in
situations other than war. Increasingly, covert action and
offensive information warfare techniques are converging. The US
government may wish in the future to employ some offensive
information warfare capabilities that are principally resident in
DoD and outside the CS as part of a covert action. In such cases,
the President (through the DCI and CS) and Congress should exercise
covert action-type control and oversight of those activities. To
this end, the CS must play a more important role in influencing the
development of these capabilities and ensuring their applicability
to covert action requirements. An executive order to this effect
should be promulgated and Congress advised if any legislative
assistance is required.

Finding #3: Overseas Coordination of Intelligence and Law
Enforcement - The Clandestine Service Chief of Station should act
as the US government's on-site focal point for the deconfliction of
all intelligence and law enforcement activities abroad with an
appeals process functioning through the Chief of Mission and/or a
Washington-based interagency mechanism. Also, without prohibiting
or preempting law enforcement liaison activities, the Clandestine
Service should have the authority to carry out liaison with any
foreign intelligence and/or security entity of operational interest
or utility.

As a corollary to Finding Two, there must also be a greater
degree of coordination between law enforcement and intelligence
overseas. Clandestine intelligence and law enforcement operations
can easily run afoul of each other./10/ It is essential that there
be a clearly understandable and practical mechanism to make sure
this does not happen.

Terrorism, narcotics, weapons proliferation, and international
criminal activities can be of interest to the intelligence or law
enforcement communities or both. The techniques of greatest
utility overseas also overlap. The CS's two most productive
techniques -- unilateral clandestine agent operations and liaison
with foreign security and intelligence services -- are also the two
that are of greatest utility to the law enforcement community in
its overseas activities. What complicates this is each community's
penchant for keeping its activities secret from the other. In the
case of the IC, it has concerns over protecting sources and
methods. Those concerns are heightened by the potential of having
those sources and methods exposed if intelligence provided to law
enforcement agencies becomes subject to "discovery." Law
enforcement agencies, on their part, are anxious not to jeopardize
ongoing investigations and violate restrictions on sharing
information on such activities as grand jury proceedings.

In practical terms what this can lead to is the CS and law
enforcement agencies working with the same liaison services or
clandestine agents (or "informants," as they are called by law
enforcement) in an uncoordinated manner and even in ignorance of
each other's activities. Most of the pitfalls of this have been
outlined in Finding Two. In the case of liaison, the lack of
coordination may:

- confuse the liaison service as to who speaks
authoritatively on which issues for the US government,
- put the liaison service in the advantageous situation of
being able to play one US agency against the other,
- allow the liaison service to "triangulate" sensitive
information by comparing the uncoordinated information it
receives from several US agencies,
- result in the utilization of the liaison service by one
agency in monitoring or even foiling a clandestine
operation being run by another, or
- any combination of the above.

In the case of clandestine operations, there can be confusion
on the part of the agent, reporting that will lead to "false
confirmations," and unwitting compromises of security.

There currently exist a number of memoranda of understanding
and informal agreements on how to deconflict these types of
activities overseas, and a more comprehensive understanding,
particularly applying to the FBI, has been under negotiation for
over a year between the DCI and the Department of Justice. The
FBI's being granted extraterritorial jurisdiction over some
criminal acts outside the US in 1986 and 1988 obscured some of the
demarcations between law enforcement and intelligence overseas.
The need for a firmer understanding has become more immediate since
1994 with the FBI's increasing the number of Legal Attaches and
liaison relationships overseas and its putting out mixed signals
regarding its possible intentions to expand its running of
"informants" ("agents" in intelligence parlance) overseas without
the knowledge of host governments.

Two recent studies, the report of the Commission on the Roles
and Capabilities of the US Intelligence Community (Aspin-Brown
Commission) and the Council of Foreign Relations' report of its
Independent Task Force on the Future of US Intelligence, have
concluded, generally speaking, that the balance of law enforcement
activities and intelligence equities overseas has tilted too far in
the favor of the former./11/ Moreover, it takes strong exception to
the expansion of FBI unilateral clandestine operations overseas,
ruling that such activities should not be allowed except in rare
circumstances where they are fully coordinated with intelligence

There is merit to the argument that national security
interests must not be sacrificed to further law enforcement
objectives. We are reluctant, however, to make any categorical
statement about the universal primacy of one over the other
overseas. Circumstances will be different in different cases and
good judgment will need to prevail. No matter what the policy
decision is, there needs to be a clear, well understood, and
practical system for deconfliction in the field and at the
headquarters level. For a number of reasons,/12/ it is most logical
to have the CS COS act as the focal point in identifying potential
operational problems and conflicts in the field. In practical
terms, this means the COS must be advised in advance of all
clandestine operations and liaison initiatives in his country of
responsibility. He should be empowered to make the initial
determination of how to resolve these problems, with the
understanding that his authority in no way extends to being able to
direct law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. The COS's
decision should be open to appeal to the Chief of Mission
(particularly on a policy issue) or a Washington-based interagency
mechanism (particularly for operational deconfliction or tradecraft
judgments), as appropriate.

For example, the FBI may have a US citizen confidential
informant who is in contact with a foreign relative with terrorist
ties and living in the Middle East. Any effort to approach,
recruit, or handle that foreign sub-source should be fully
coordinated in advance with the COS, who will be able to ascertain
this activity does not conflict with any other intelligence or law
enforcement activity. Of equal importance, the COS, being
knowledgeable of the operational and counterintelligence
environment, will be able to advise and even assist the FBI to make
sure the case is handled in a way that does not endanger the
security of FBI officials, the US citizen, or the foreign national.

This system should also have built into it an understanding
that the COS will not have unauthorized access to statutorily
restricted information such as that coming from grand jury
deliberations or from criminal wiretaps. Additionally, COS's must
be fully trained to understand the limitations that may be placed
upon their taking action on law enforcement information that could
later endanger its use in criminal proceedings (e.g., "Brady" and
"Jencks" concerns regarding discovery).

Also relevant to the interplay between law enforcement
and intelligence overseas is the question of establishing exclusive
liaison relationships, that is, having a law enforcement agency or
the CS claim exclusive rights to work with a specific foreign
security service. In most countries the distinction between
intelligence and law enforcement is not as clear as in the US;
indeed, they frequently combine the two functions in one or more
security services. Accordingly, there may be compelling reasons
for the CS and one or more US law enforcement agencies to have
official liaison with the same service. Circumstances will dictate
which US agency will have the most active liaison relationship.

Even when the overt reason for liaison is not overwhelming, it
is in the US's national interest to allow the CS to maintain
liaison with a foreign security service. The reasons are several.
Law enforcement agencies deal with foreign entities principally in
direct pursuit of specific law enforcement and prosecutorial
issues. Cooperation from foreign services can be limited on
occasion by the fact that law enforcement agencies, unlike the CS,
cannot in most cases promise to handle the information provided
under the statutes of classification that are designed to protect
intelligence sources and methods. Moreover, the IC has been
designed to employ collection techniques not normally available to
a legal attach‚ or official law enforcement agency representative
overseas. The information/intelligence collection technique most
readily available to a law enforcement official overseas is asking
questions of a foreign liaison service overtly and on the record.
That option is also open to the CS, although the host country
usually prefers it not be employed.

Most typically, the CS can collect intelligence from a foreign
liaison counterpart at almost any level of discretion and
reasonably promise him that the DCI's unique authorities to protect
sources and methods can be applied to make sure the information is
not used in a way that can later cause trouble for the foreign
country, the foreign security service, or the liaison counterpart
himself. Should those assurances be insufficient to get the
foreign security service's cooperations, the CS (not being
restricted by law enforcement's concern for evidentiary standards)
can employ appropriate clandestine techniques. These techniques
are among the most productive available to a CS. As an example, in
the recent past, the DO worked successfully around and outside
established channels in a foreign country to foil a terrorist
attack. Hundreds of lives were probably saved. In this case, an
official law enforcement to law enforcement agency relationship
would probably never have led to the unravelling of the terrorist

In light of the rapid expansion of law enforcement agencies
into liaison relationships abroad, the executive branch should
promulgate an executive order to reflect the above finding and
advise the oversight committees of Congress of any need for
legislative support.

Finding #4: The Clandestine Service should service validated,
high-level military requirements and have the capability in the
event of deployment of US forces to surge to support low-level,
tactical requirements as appropriate.

The risk/gain calculus and high standards used in vetting
national requirements for clandestine collection (as outlined in
Finding One) should be the same for vetting requirements in support
of the military. Low-level military requirements do not usually
warrant the use of clandestine collection techniques. Generally
speaking, if uncovered, the level of political embarrassment for
targeting a country's military secrets are likely be at least as
high as for targeting its political secrets, since most governments
tend to be extraordinarily sensitive to any espionage activities
directed against their militaries.

Military clandestine collectors, not being major players in
the national intelligence arena and working mainly for their
commanders in their service, have traditionally specialized in low-
level types of operations that might be of operational utility in
tactical situations. Although this was acceptable in many parts of
the world and appropriate during the Cold War, the management of
DHS (into which the military collectors have been consolidated) has
made initial efforts at upgrading the quality of military
operations without abandoning a commitment to support the tactical
commander. This represented a major step forward; however, the
quality of most DHS assets still appears to fall well below the
appropriate threshold. This appears to result, at least in part,
from an as yet incomplete understanding or acceptance within the
DoD of the limitations and strengths of clandestine operations in
supporting the military.

This leads to the question of how clandestine operations can
satisfy the tactical needs of the commander in a deployment in a
hostile environment. The proper answer, although it would probably
be unsatisfying to most commanders, is that clandestine operations
will in many cases be of marginal value and may be inappropriate.
Clandestine HUMINT-type operations are usually poor at providing
immediate, on-the-ground support, that is, telling a commander what
he most wants to know: what is going on over the next sand dune or
has a SCUD just been launched?

Military commanders must be better educated on what
clandestine operators can and cannot realistically do for them.
This will result in the better utilization of the intelligence
product and wiser management of clandestine military resources. It
will also mean the CS can then justifiably be held accountable for
providing appropriate support to the military. For example, the CS
should be able to provide the military with across-the-board
support for strategic military planning against validated targets.
Depending upon the adversary, its priority, and the lead time
given, a successful CS should be able to provide order of battle;
foreign military doctrine; readiness, industrial capacity, and
logistics information; and information on the personalities at

The major contributions of the CS to a commander's ability to
fight will have taken place months if not years prior to the firing
of the first weapon. As it has over the last several decades, the
CS must continue to collect technical data (e.g., manuals and
research and development documentation) and exemplars of the high
tech weapons and defensive systems the military will face in war.
These collection activities usually take place years in advance and
far away from the battlefield, but they are the crucial starting
points from which are designed smart weapons and the highly
sophisticated defensive and offensive weapons, such as those that
were used to such great effect against Iraq's Soviet equipment
during the Gulf War. Many, if not all, of those weapons could not
have been deployed with such confidence had the enemy weapons
systems not been so well understood. Additionally, a military
commander is justified in expecting a successful CS to have, if
necessary, played a role in compromising the telecommunications and
cryptographic capabilities of any potential enemy that is a
validated collection target.

Having noted the limitations of clandestine operations in a
battlefield situation, we note the irony that in several of the US
military's most recent deployments, clandestine HUMINT-type
operations provided much of the best intelligence available to the
military. This was not so much due to the capabilities of
clandestine collectors as it was a function of the limitations of
technical collection systems in environments largely devoid of
signals to collect and tanks and military vehicles to photograph.

In a low-tech military operations, clandestine HUMINT can, by
default, become the most important intelligence type and for that
reason it must be positioned to help the commander and protect
troops. It is partially in recognition of this fact and of the
difficulties in surging clandestine capabilities from zero, that we
have concluded in Finding Five that the CS should opt for a global
presence rather than a global reach. That is to say, the CS should
maintain a small presence in most parts of the world, even when
those countries do not meet the high standards of operational
interests that should guide most of its activities. It is entirely
too likely that the hot-spots into which US forces must be
introduced will not have been predicted and will be in a country or
region that would not otherwise have merited the CS's attention.

Finding #5: The Clandestine Service should opt for "global
presence" rather than "global reach."

A solution to the great pressures the DO has felt since 1991
with the drawdown of resources and personnel was to move from being
a service with a "global presence," that is, having a station in
every country that could reasonably be of interest, to having a
"global reach," that is, withdrawing from many marginal countries,
but trying to maintain some sort of access and capability that can
be, presumably, reconstituted and expanded if needed. Plans were
made and, as has already been stated, large numbers of stations and
bases have been closed since 1992. Many intelligence observers,
including this Committee, thought this was a reasonable adjustment
to a situation where resources in real dollars were likely to
continue to decline at a steep rate for the foreseeable future. In
the last year there has been a retreat in some quarters from this
pessimistic resource projection; but, more importantly, many have
re-thought the implications and practicality of a global reach

After much deliberation and consultation with expert
practitioners of clandestine operations and intelligence managers,
we believe the CS of the future must strive for a global presence.
At the least, it ought not to reduce the number of its overseas
stations and bases below current levels. Two arguments are
particularly strong.

First, a global presence is essential to support military
requirements. Although this study strongly concludes that the CS
should concentrate on the hard targets and the highest level
national requirements that it uniquely satisfies, it also believes
the CS of the future must accept fully the responsibility to
support military operations to the degree it reasonably can. As is
argued in Finding Four, the CS must accept its responsibility to
support the requirements of the military not only for strategic
intelligence -- something in which it can excel -- but also for
appropriate tactical intelligence support in times and places of
military engagement -- a responsibility that often falls to it only
by default. Recent history has shown that it is increasingly
difficult to know in advance where the military might be deployed
and where the CS should begin building up capabilities in advance.

A second argument for a global presence is that the targets of
the CS are increasingly international and transnational and a
global presence is increasingly crucial to attack those targets.
Terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
narcotics, and international organized crime are all recognized in
a variety of NSC and Presidential directives as high priority
requirements of the intelligence community. These are also issues
on which the National Strategic Intelligence Reviews and the
Comprehensive Capabilities Review have shown the policymaker is
heavily reliant on HUMINT. The National HUMINT Requirements
Tasking Center has, it appears correctly, given detailed and high-
priority taskings to clandestine operators around the world to go
against these targets. With the mobility of populations,
fungibility of finances, internationalization of businesses, and
advances in communications and transportation, the whole world is
increasingly the playground of the targets of such operations. A
weapons proliferator can set up a front company in a sleepy Central
Africa capital and a terrorist cell can relocate to an obscure
provincial city in South America in a matter of days or weeks. It
is only by having a presence in those countries that a CS can have
a stable of agents to help mount unilateral operations or be able
to seek the help of a friendly liaison service. Under these
circumstances, the CS cannot simply write off large parts of the

Finding #6: The Clandestine Service should be under the direct
control of the DCI and form a separate organization.

It is the opinion of the great majority of high-level current
and former intelligence officials consulted that the Clandestine
Service, whether it remains part of the Central Intelligence Agency
or becomes a free-standing organization, must be under the direct
and proximate control of the President's senior intelligence
official, the DCI. We strongly concur.

In the first several decades of the CIA's history it was not
unusual for the DCI or the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
(DDCI) to come from within the operational ranks. That not only
resulted in the DCI's being strongly interested in the DO's
activities, it also meant he had continuing personal insight into
the DO through his personal contacts. This situation has not been
the case for almost two decades, and, due to the controversy of the
DO, it is unlikely to be the case again in the near future. Until
recent years, though, the DCI made sure that the DDO was aware that
he reported directly to him and usually viewed oversight of the DDO
as being his most important responsibility along with being the
President's personal intelligence advisor. It has also been one of
the DCI's most demanding responsibilities. As Richard Kerr has
noted from his time leading the IC and as DDCI, easily two-thirds
of the issues the DCI must bring to the President and Congress have
a DO angle to them. This, he says, is because of the types of
information the DO collects, the problems inherent in DO
operations, and the fact that the DO is the sole action arm in the
Community -- "the DCI and the President depend on it not only to
collect intelligence but to act on it with foreign governments,
with liaison, and in other ways." The DDO's office was moved next
to the DCI's in 1973 because of the need for easier interaction and
more frequent personal meetings; and, as one former DDO has pointed
out, it was not by accident that the DDO's office suite has since
remained there -- "within shouting distance."

In recent years, however, the DCI has attempted to concentrate
more on his role as leader of the IC rather than as the director of
the CIA and overseer of the DO. Some have been more successful at
this than others. Former Director James Woolsey, for example,
started in this vein before being sucked into the Aldrich Ames
vortex. The effort to increase management attention to the IC at
large has inevitably led to strains on the DCI's time and to span
of control problems because of the significant increase in the
number of intelligence community officials reporting to him.
Recent DCIs have stated that these strains are manageable by proper
delegation to subordinates. The current DCI, in particular, has

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