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Title: Requirements, priorities, and mandates: a model to examine the US requirements and priorities process and its impact on the outcome of national security and foreign policy events
Other Titles: Requirements, priorities, and mandates
Authors: Abdalla, Neveen Shaaban
Advisors: Davies, P
Hansen, M
Keywords: Intelligence;Requirements;United States;Social movements
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Historically in the United States, after-action investigations have consistently accused the intelligence community of early warning in foreign policy and national security events. However, closer inspection shows that the intelligence community does provide timely and actionable estimates—when it is directed to do so. In some instances, the root cause of failure does not lie within the intelligence community. Rather, it is due to a malfunction in the Requirements and Priorities (R&P) process, a mechanism that integrates intelligence and policy communities. The R&P provides the “mandate” for the intelligence community— it delivers a ranking of intelligence priorities, and informs resource distribution, interagency cooperation, and operational authorisations for federal intelligence agencies. The R&P process has been highlighted consistently as a systemic weakness, has undergone numerous changes, and remains a source of tribulation. Yet it is rarely addressed, and absent from after-action investigations. The impact of the R&P becomes most visible when urgent, unexpected issues arise in low priority areas. These events force a “mandate shift” – a rapid escalation of the issue to a higher priority, commanding an immediate realignment of mandate-level functions. Faults in any component of the mechanism can delay or restrict critical actions, and often as manifest as errors of intelligence collection or analysis. These “symptoms” are often misdiagnosed as the root cause, leading to accusations of intelligence failure. This research sets forth a model to observe the impact of the R&P on the outcome of foreign policy and national security events, while simultaneously investigating core functions of the intelligence and policy communities. This R&P-centric model is applied to three cases of social movement escalation: el Bogotázo (1948), the Iranian Revolution (1979), and the Rwandan Genocide (1994). The cases trace the R&P structure at the time, to examine how faults in the R&P can impact the intelligence community’s ability to provide early warning, and influence the overall outcome.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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