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Working towards better intelligence

By Aldanatech ·
Ever since House Republicans blocked the national intelligence reform bill from a floor vote, cries of disappointment, disbelief and outrage have rendered the Washington air, as though only a national intelligence czar would shield us from another 9/11.

But many in Congress and elsewhere think otherwise; namely, that the czar idea, with all its apparatus, is not only a bad idea but a counterproductive one. One skeptic is Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad, national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister, and currently head of the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies at Hebrew University at Jerusalem.

Halevy told National Public Radio that he thought the creation of a czar to oversee the intelligence agencies would cast a doubt as to who is in charge of what, and that Israel had tried it after their worst intelligence debacle - the Yom Kippur war of 1973, when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria.

"The surprise was all the more unpalatable and unacceptable because we had all the information. We saw the enemy across our lines, and the evaluation was wrong. We were able to repulse the enemy, but the losses were enormous. And there was an inquiry commission set up, and one of the recommendations was to set up an adviser to the prime minister on intelligence. And within a very short time, it transpired that this was not a good solution because you cannot have somebody to interpose himself between the head of the intelligence service and the political level," said Halevy.

Do you think we should learn from Israel's experience?


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