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Respond to Calvin:
What do you think are the two largest obstacles or challenges preventing effective multi-agency and inter-governmental collaboration for intelligence support to homeland security operations?
The two largest obstacles preventing multi-agency and inter-agency collaboration for intelligence support are legal definitions and the desire to affect a centralized, top down management approach. Beginning with the overarching strategic approach, Paul Stockton and Patrick Roberts synthesized this latter obstacle in their work titled, â€œFindings from the Forum on Homeland Security After the Bush Administration: Next Steps in Building Unity of Effortâ€, which appeared in the June 2008 edition of Homeland Security Affairs. Earlier in the year, Stanford Universityâ€™s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) held a forum focused on Homeland Security. One of the main points that the forum identified was that there was an â€œabsence of hierarchy that uses a top-down centralized approach to homeland security planning and conclude that the relevant stakeholders (including federal, state, local, and private sector organizations) need to: collectively identify a shared motivation, need and purpose; formulate goals that they will jointly pursue; and use a consensus process for planning the means to accomplish those goals through unity of effortâ€ (Stockton and Roberts 2008). Another point Roberts and Stockton highlighted is that recommendations were tabled for developing doctrine and building structural mechanisms like integrated staff meeting (Stockton and Roberts 2008). Susan Hocevar et al, touched on this as well in her 2011 article â€œInter-Organizational Collaboration: Addressing the Challengesâ€ which appeared in the same publication. In her article she built upon Stockton and Robertsâ€™ â€œneed toâ€ and labeled the impetus as â€œâ€™Felt Needâ€™ which is typically the initiating factor to collaborate; but without the additional leadership, planning, and resource commitments, there is inadequate strategic emphasis for building collaborative capacityâ€ (Hocevar et al 2011). Lastly, Hocevar contributes four bullet points that will facilitate strategic unification in the intelligence field. She writes, â€œThese four recommendations repeat the need for attention to strategic and structural requirements for collaboration; develop and implement overarching strategies; create collaborative organizations; develop a well-trained workforce; and share and integrate national security information across agenciesâ€ (Hocevar et al 2011).
Moving down to the tactical level can be defined as the analyst/officer/operator level. This level is where tactics are employed. For the military person, this would be company sized (+/-100 man) elements. Operational level is at the battalion to regiment level and Division up to Geographical Combatant Command (GCC) is strategic level. At the tactical level, officers are tasked with making the coordination and inroads that are outlined by the upper level management. This needs to be a coordinated affair, if not, then many inroads will be built with little direction. This follows a literal road system. If 100 county workers just began building roads, it would be pandemonium. With a prioritized roadmap and properly allocated resources, the tactical level can effectively create that web of communication and intelligence with the understanding that if there is a conflict, their upper level management will be able to assist as those managers reference the strategic guidance and can bolster the action of the tactical elements as a prioritized implementation.
Regarding legal issues, yes, there are many. Legal issues in the intelligence community center on which agency can collect what on who with what [pot of] money. The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) published a 2016 report through the Homeland Security Intelligence Council titled â€œProtecting the Homeland: Intelligence Integration 15 Years After 9/11â€. In this article INSA states, â€œthe need to operate effectively and legally across statutory boundaries between the activities of foreign-focused intelligence agencies [title 50] and those of the more blended elements of the Homeland Enterprise [non-title 50] will be necessary to achieve fuller integration and coordination of homeland intelligence activities, interagency processes and mechanisms.â€ (INSA 2016). The federal title 50 agencies include Department of Homeland Securityâ€™s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), US Coast Guard Intelligence, and FBI. Non-title 50 intelligence gathering agencies include Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and representatives from other non-Title 50 organizations such as the Departments of Commerce, Transportation, and Health and Human Services (HHS) (INSA 2016).
Two solutions that were identified in the course of reading were broached by Hocevar et al. Hocevar states that â€œCollaborative Tools and Technologies provide the technical mechanisms for collaboration such as inter-operable information systems and collaborative planning toolsâ€ (Hocevar et al 2011). A shared information system that is properly indexed with a collectively agreed upon naming convention is the main facet of this collaboration. Without a unified effort in this manner, it is nothing but wasting time as all contributors speak the proverbial babel referenced in the bible. Joint training is the second method to inter-organizational success. Without training at the tactical level on the ground, exercising the operational methodology at the command center, which both support the strategic goals of the legally codified federal guidelines, the organizational architecture is lying to themselves to think a plan on paper will be sufficient for the next real world event. One approach that offered by Hocevar is not recommended and harkens back to the county road crew offered earlier. It involves the Inter-Organizational Collaborative Capacity (ICC) Model. Using it Hocevar asks, â€œAre employees rewarded for investing time in building collaborative relationships with other organization members and for successful collaborative results?â€ (Hocevar et al 2016). This is the wrong approach and highlights an ill managed architecture. It is not the employeesâ€™ job to make inroads for incentives, this will lead to ancillary work and uncoordinated efforts. It is Managementâ€™s job to task and manage. The incentive is an organizational architecture that supports inter-agency unity during the next disaster, manmade or natural.
In conclusion, hammering out the legal boundaries and who has supremacy in which level of event is paramount as long as that obstacle is mitigated in pace with the creation of a centralized, top down management architecture that is built from the established and codified legal framework. Taking any other method will keep the USIC in its current state, which is lacking at best.
Hocevar, Susan Page; Erik Jansen, and Gail Fann. 2011. â€œInter-Organizational Collaboration:
Addressing the Challengesâ€. Homeland Security Affairs. https://www.hsaj.org/articles/ 64. (accessed 02 September 2019).
INSA. 2016. â€œProtecting the Homeland: Intelligence Integration 15 Years After 9/11â€
Homeland Security Intelligence Council. Published by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. https://www.insaonline.org/wpcontent/uploads/2017/…
WP_ProtectHomeland.pdf. (accessed 02 September 2019).
Stockton, P.N. and P.S. Roberts, 2008. â€œFindings from the Forum on Homeland Security After
the Bush Administration: Next Steps in Building Unity of Effort,â€ Homeland Security Affairs IV, no. 2. https://www.hsaj.org/?article=4.2.4. (accessed 02 September 2019).