Since late September of 1996, sixteen highly-select juniors at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, supported by three seniors and a graduate student have endeavored to understand, evaluate, and propose recommendations for reform of the US Intelligence Community in the post-Cold War era. As a CIA Officer-in-Residence on the Faculty of the Woodrow Wilson School, I had the privilege and pleasure of designing and conducting this unique program.

These eager students had two major tasks before them -- intertwined, yet distinct. The first was the Final Conference Report (this document), which was the cumulative result of the Conference. The second task (from which the Final Report was synthesized) was each junior's independent research paper, which individually addressed particular post-Cold War era challenges for intelligence. These exercises not only required the students to intimately understand their own topics, but to be familiar with their classmates' research topics, arguments, and points of view. Students then had to debate and negotiate which recommendations they felt represented the consensus of the Conference and merited inclusion in this Report. They had to decide how to handle dissent as well.

Several Presidential Commissions and Think Tank task forces on Intelligence Reform labored on this topic in late 1995 and early 1996. However, work remained to be done on the topic and it required examination from a fresh, 'outside the beltway' perspective. The students were challenged to go beyond these existing efforts. Yet, they would do it with only 6-8 weeks of background preparation in a field unknown to them except through movies and fiction.

By definition, a Policy Conference on a topic as esoteric as Intelligence Reform was bound to carry unique challenges, many not apparent at first blush. Typically, Policy Conference topics at the Woodrow Wilson School address topics more broadly recognized and understood by the general public (welfare, health care, etc.) In this case, Conference members first had to learn about the arcane world of intelligence: beginning with its history, successes, failures, and major events throughout its evolution and development in the Cold War. Without a solid education and foundation about intelligence in the Cold War, they could not address the questions central to the Conference.

Yet, more difficulties raised the ante for these juniors to master the topic: how do you study something which is traditionally secret? The bibliographies which I was able to provide drew exclusively on unclassified or declassified materials; yet these sources cannot always tell the whole story. The students would experience the frustrations of working with incomplete information in their research. An experience not uncommon to intelligence analysts! Additionally, those sources would only get the conference members well into the Cold War period. What about the post-Cold War era? Since the post-Cold War period constitutes only the five most recent years of 'history,' there was no extant body of literature upon which to draw.

A combination of 'sources and methods' set the stage and prepared students for the tasks ahead of them: they read extensively on the subject, attended my classroom lectures, and were challenged by a seriesÊof impressive senior officials from the policy, intelligence, and academic communities who have all played a role in the governmentÕs recent efforts to undertake Intelligence Reform.

The students had to grasp how this complex, sometimes ad hoc system was ÔsupposedÕ to work, determine how well it was working against that Ôideal,Õ and then evaluate intelligenceÕs appropriate roles and missions as they should be applied in the post- Cold War era, leading to their final conclusions and recommendations for reform. (Presented herein.) If they determined the system, or parts thereof, to be "broken" or in need of repair, they had to evaluate all the costs and consequences of their reform proposals. It was not beyond the pale for students to propose recommendations requiring changes in statutes or Executive Orders.

Conference members approached the question with no preconceived notions or conclusions regarding the state of health of US intelligence. Nor did they have any desire or motivation to either maintain or disturb the status quo. They were soon to discover, as had many before them, that many, many complex issues lurk beneath the surface of the simplest questions. By the end of the Conference, they would see how nearly all questions and proposed solutions, as disparate as they might appear, were in fact linked in some fashion.

To support the broad topic of Intelligence Reform, students also engaged in individual, expert research on specific topics related to Intelligence Reform. For example, What isÊthe appropriate relationship between intelligence and law enforcement? Should the environment be on the intelligence agenda in an era of scarce resources? Are the intelligence customers satisfied? What about transnational threats? How much secrecy do we need today? Is the oversight process adequate? And many, many more challenging questions - which the students discovered were intertwined and sometimesÊinextricable from larger issues, such as questions of authority and resources.

Speakers who addressed the Conference provided critical background information, professional experience, or theoretical foundations upon which the students could pursue their queries into intelligence today. These speakers included the former Chief Historian from CIA, Dr. Gerald K. Haines, who candidly put into context much of what they had read. His presentation laid out "the good, bad and the ugly" of intelligence from a historian's perspective throughout the Cold War. Another senior CIA official, Dr. John Hedley also spent a lengthy session with the Conference. In 1994, Hedley conceived of and published a "Checklist for Future of Intelligence" while teaching at Georgetown. This checklist served as a bit of a road map later used by the Presidential Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of U.S. Intelligence (Aspin-Brown Commission). This presentation put the students on the first road to answering the question "How does one approach Intelligence Reform?"

Enlightening first-hand sessions came from the Staff Director of the Aspin-Brown Commission, Britt Snider, and his deputy, John Moseman, as they recounted the life and times of that Commission's efforts. Both spoke openly about sources and fates of various ideas and recommendations. Here, the students began to see many of the personal and political dynamics at work in a system such as the intelligence community and its complicated relationships with defense and policy.

Highlighting the role of science and technology in facilitating the relationships and work within the intelligence and policy communities was the Associate Deputy Director for Science and Technology, Mr. Peter M. Daniher. The students gained an appreciation of how Internet technology is used to support intelligence producers and policy consumers.

A recognized academic scholar on intelligence and a member on the Aspin-Brown Commission, University of Georgia Regents Professor Loch K. Johnson also addressed the students. Dr. Johnson's presentation drew on his research and publications on intelligence and democracy, as well as his 20 years of experience serving on various executive and legislative intelligence committees. Dr. Johnson brought an important theoretical perspective on the relationship between secrecy and democracy which commission members factored into their recommendations for the proper use of secret agencies in our US democracy.

Finally, no matter how many fine recommendations are made, they must become law in order to be effective. Mr. Chris Straub, Minority Staff Director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence gave a riveting presentation on the dynamics leading to the FYÕ97 Intelligence Authorization Act. This presentation showed the students what fate may await their own recommendations and provided an essential dose of ÒrealityÓ to the proceedings.

It was a pleasure to be able to draw on my colleagues from the intelligence and policymaking communities who willingly gave of their time and experience to support this unique project at Princeton. They pulled no punches and did not hesitate to reveal to the students how intangibles such as personality and organizational culture can be the same stubborn obstacles to reform as amending an act of Congress.

Adding to the balancing act, the students were constantly working in a "live" environment, where articles appeared daily in the media which affected their research topics and results. Students learned that views and events could change overnight on certain issues; for example, the Intelligence Authorization Act was debated and passed while the Conference was in session. So their learning and research environments were not static, but dynamic, making the work all the more challenging -- but certainly more exciting as well.

In addition to the literature and outstanding personal support of experts that Conference members had, this report benefited from the 'virtual' support of several world wide web sites whose plethora of documents relevant to Intelligence Reform were invaluable for student research and debate. Oftentimes the material on the web provided broader perspectives and more controversial views than the students necessarily encountered in class or literature review. Discovering many of these 'treasures' often led students to spend many hours with me in consultation regarding credibility of sources, background, etc.

Technology and the modern age truly enabled collaboration among the students and gave them almost instant access to many government and other documents for their research and investigations. This report contains many citations whose reference is in fact a world wide web location.

The three Senior Commissioners and one Graduate Consultant worked with small student subgroups to give them additional review and guidance for their research and writing. They also assisted them in preparing summaries for submission and formulating recommendations to be taken to the Conference at large for debate and eventual inclusion in this report.

This Conference has designed a new framework for intelligence in the post-Cold War era and therewith presents a coherent set of recommendations to enable that framework: some maintaining the status quo, others "dabbling around the margins," and still some radical and provocative. The Conference Report addresses a great many questions, but the reader will certainly discern several common denominators and recurring themes :

HUMINT is essential to addressing the transnational threats facing the US and world. It should be given adequate resources to meet these threats, and intelligence managers may need to be more creative in deploying human source collectors.

The Intelligence Community must reach out and broaden its cooperation within the IC, with NGOs, academia, and industry. Vast expertise lies waiting to be tapped. This recommendation includes integration with the policy community and stronger interagency coordination.

Support to the Senior Policymaker / Diplomat is on a par with Support to Military Operations and must be given equal priority for resources. This report recommends halting trends which appear to have drained civilian resources and capabilities.

I believe that all members of the Conference learned a great deal from the experience of studying Intelligence in the post-Cold War Era. Students gained new research skills, knowledge about their own government and democracy, and the ability to think more critically and analytically. For the first time, they worked on a collaborative product, achieved consensus, and accommodated dissent, all on a level playing field where the subject was new to each player.

This report is a testimony to the commitment and hard work of the students, who often felt it would never end. Senior officials from inside the beltway and their Faculty Director, myself, now outside the beltway, kept them on track with support and inspiration, sometimes with correction or redirection. The 1996 Woodrow Wilson School Policy Conference on Intelligence Reform in the Post Cold War Era should be proud of its efforts and contribution to this unique field in Public and International Affairs. I count it a privilege to have been the Director of such a fine group of Policy Conference students and more so, an honor that they chose to call this the Snyder Commission Report, stemming from their belief that they functioned more as a commission than as a conference. I wish these students all the best in their future endeavors.

Diane C. Snyder

Faculty Director

The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ