Considering the Creation of a Domestic Intelligence Agency in the United States: Lessons from the Experiences of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

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Rand Corporation, 2009 - Political Science - 194 pages
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With terrorism still prominent on the U.S. agenda, whether the country's prevention efforts match the threat it faces continues to be central in policy debate. One element of this debate is questioning whether the United States, like some other countries, needs a dedicated domestic intelligence agency. To examine this question, Congress directed that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis perform "an independent study on the feasibility of creating a counter terrorism intelligence agency." The results of this study are presented in three volumes. This volume contains case studies of five other nations' domestic intelligence organizations and activities: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The authors of this volume conclude the following: (1) most of the five countries separate the agency that conducts domestic intelligence gathering from any arrest and detention agencies; (2) each country has instituted some measure of external oversight over its domestic intelligence agency; (3) liaison with other international, foreign, state, and local agencies helps ensure the best sharing of information; and (4) the boundary between domestic and international intelligence activities may be blurring. A second volume, "The Challenge of Domestic Intelligence in a Free Society: A Multidisciplinary Look at the Creation of a U.S. Domestic Counterterrorism Intelligence Agency" (Jackson, 2009), presents a series of papers examining the U.S. context for domestic intelligence, current activities, and varied approaches for assessing options. The overarching policy results of the assessment, including a discussion of the pros and cons of creating a new intelligence organization, are included in a third volume: "Reorganizing U.S. Domestic Intelligence: Assessing the Options" (Treverton, 2008).

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Chapter One Introduction
Chapter Two Australia
Chapter Three Canada
Chapter Four France
Chapter Five Germany
Chapter Six The United Kingdom
How Five Nations Have Grappled withthe Evolving Threat
Lessons for the United States

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About the author (2009)

Brian Jackson (Ph.D., bio-inorganic chemistry, California Institute of Technology) is an associate physical scientist at RAND.

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