The Intelligence Community (IC) supporting OIF is vastly different than the one that supported Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The IC of today is made up of the CIA; elements within the Department of Defense (DoD): Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Security Agency (NSA), National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), and Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Intelligence; and elements of non-DoD Departments (FBI, Treasury, Energy and State).14 Recent additions include the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard. The level of cooperation between elements of the IC, which prior to 9/11 had been acrimonious and enforced more by external fiat than by any recognition of the synergies possible, turned around almost overnight. The IC reacted positively with a surge of coordinated activity intended to ferret out terrorists wherever they might train and operate.
Thanks to authorities broadened by the Patriot Act (P.L. 107-56), members of the IC sharpened their focus on support to military operations and found unprecedented ways to partner with both the military and law enforcement.15 The participation of all players was critical to developing the full picture of the threat posed by terrorists. For example, FBI agents joined CIA and military intelligence personnel who normally conduct prisoner interviews in interrogating Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners in Afghanistan.16
In addition to standing up or augmenting existing counter-terrorism centers, many of these agencies and departments brought back retired experts and began significant hiring programs that were helped in large part by the surge of patriotism following the events of 9/11 and the expanded budgets approved by Congress.17 Human intelligence (HUMINT), which had been disparaged for the last decade as less reliable than other national intelligence systems, received renewed priority when it became clear that many high value targets had learned to avoid exploitable technologies.18 Finally, the new kid on the block, the Department of Homeland Security, provided a focus for coordination with law enforcement and other government agencies that had once been inconceivable.
A FEW WORDS ON LEGAL AUTHORITIES The CIA/SOF partnership of OEF was a startling success, but it also raised questions about the authorities each used to operate with the other.
In past administrations, there was a clear effort to distinguish between the combat activities conducted by Special Operations forces and missions handled by the CIA. But the line has gradually blurred as the campaign against terrorism required greater cooperation among United States law enforcement, intelligence, and military officials.19