Chapter 1: Introduction

The Intelligence Community (IC) in the United States developed mostly through an ad hoc evolutionary process significantly influenced by the bipolar world order of the Cold War. As a creature of the Cold War, the IC focused on countering the Soviet threat and penetrating the veil of secrecy surrounding American adversaries of the time. In addition, because of the imminent danger of nuclear war, the United States empowered its IC and provided it with tremendous economic, human, and technical resources. For years, the community grew steadily and remained an unquestioned element of support to US policy-making.

With the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the rapid change of the world order in the years since, the world in which the intelligence community ÒmaturedÓ as an organization came to an end. The IC's previous focus, the Soviet and Communist threat, disappeared, but at the same time, a number of new threats (regional conflicts and instability, terrorist groups, organized crime, etc.) rose to take its place. Thus, the IC will remain an important tool for conducting foreign policy and protecting national security. However, in order to effectively address these new and changing threats, the IC will have to restructure and optimize itself for the post-Cold War era.

The Snyder Commission was charged with the task of addressing intelligence reform in the post-Cold War era. Its primary mission was to examine whether the Intelligence Community was "broken," and if fixing were necessary, how it could be done. Even more so, the Snyder Commission debated the costs and implications of reform, and considered the intricacies and internal and external relationships of the IC. Also important was investigating areas where the IC could improve its efficiency and effectiveness so that its intelligence product would be more relevant, timely, and widely used. Notably, the Snyder Commission in its efforts adhered to a few general principles or objectives which should be stated at the outset. These basic tenets kept the recommendations realistic and feasible while preserving the inherent creativity of an outside assessment.

The Intelligence Community of the post-Cold War era faces limited availability of funds, especially given the recent efforts of the 104th Congress to cut government spending and to reduce the deficit. Budgetary considerations weighed heavily in formulating the Snyder Commission's recommendations, which often attempt to reduce costs in the IC.

Although no existing IC institution or convention was held sacred, the Snyder Commission seriously considered the costs of bureaucratic shuffling. Uprooting well-established organizations which are not "broken" can inadvertently hamper intelligence efforts by creating organizational uncertainties and reducing morale.

With these principles in mind, the Snyder Commission proposes a post-Cold War (PCW) missions framework for the intelligence community. The PCW framework sets up a flexible and dynamic tier structure to prioritize missions based on threats, allowing the IC to respond to the changing needs of policy-makers and the military in the post-Cold War era. Chapter 2 introduces the basic PCW framework and presents recommendations for its implementation. Chapter 3 fleshes out the PCW framework by elaborating on its various missions.

The study of the PCW framework makes the interlaced nature of IC responsibilities and challenges in the post-Cold War period highly apparent. Indeed, a few reform themes appear repeatedly throughout the recommendations in Chapters 2 and 3. The Snyder Commission believes there are five general reform issues which will bind the entire PCW framework together into an integrated and holistic package. Chapter 4 presents these vital components, which are:

Chapter 5 summarizes the major conclusions and offers a prognosis for the future.