Opinion | We Already Have 18 Intelligence Agencies. We Still Need 1 More.

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My past occupation successful nan U.S. authorities was overseeing nan intelligence community’s domiciled successful nan Committee connected Foreign Investment successful nan United States (CFIUS), on pinch an interagency group formerly known arsenic Team Telecom, and being responsible for nan intelligence community’s engagement pinch our overseas allies’ ain finance information efforts. The cases that travel earlier CFIUS are privileged and not publically disclosed. But I tin opportunity this: The astir challenging ones usually revolved astir issues of precocious aliases dual-use technology, an area successful which nan Department of Commerce plays a captious domiciled fixed its world waste and acquisition and export power responsibilities.

Today, nan Department of Commerce is an agency unexpectedly connected nan frontlines of captious U.S. nationalist and economical information challenges, astir prominently demonstrated by its starring domiciled connected ensuring captious entree to semiconductors, and arsenic evidenced by nan CHIPS Act and recent rules promulgated by nan section to protect against moreover knowledge transfers betwixt nan United States and China.

But these efforts are definite to beryllium a opening for Commerce, not an end. And a dedicated in-house intel agency tin amended place emerging threats and challenges from China that Commerce needs to tackle, including imaginable spyware and different intrusions embedded successful overseas technology. For instance, successful precocious November, nan U.S. issued a ban connected caller Huawei and ZTE instrumentality — on pinch that of 3 different Chinese companies — for fearfulness it would beryllium utilized to spy connected Americans. Last month, Congress proposed limiting U.S. exposure to Chinese 5G leaders, including Huawei, by restricting their entree to U.S. banks, adding them to Treasury’s Specifically Designated Nationals List.

In fact, Commerce’s existent position is not dissimilar that of nan Treasury Department’s successful 2004.

That twelvemonth — arsenic portion of nan Intelligence Authorization Act — Congress established nan existent loop of Treasury’s intelligence agency, nan Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and formally made it portion of nan broader intel community. Since then, OIA has played a captious domiciled for almost 2 decades combating violent financing, helping support sanctions efforts and providing financial intelligence to Treasury policymakers.

OIA’s successes would simply not person been imaginable without it being a full, integrated personnel of nan intelligence community. Indeed, its assessments often find their measurement to nan White House and to different elder policymakers crossed town, moreover arsenic its superior attraction is supporting nan Treasury Department.

In nan aforesaid way, nan Commerce Department cannot beryllium expected to play a much fulsome domiciled successful U.S. nationalist information if its leaders are not afloat informed of nan strategical goals and illicit tactical efforts of U.S. adversaries. To meet that expectation, requires nan motorboat of a new, 19th intel agency to beryllium housed astatine nan department.

Most Americans deliberation of intelligence and by default conjure up images of nan CIA. But location are 18 agencies that dress up nan U.S. intelligence community, astir housed successful various departments aliases subject services, and dedicated to providing nan benignant of intelligence support to a caput aliases commander, that CIA continues to lead nan measurement successful providing to nan White House.

Members of Congress who for nan first clip are serving connected nan Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Armed Services aliases different salient nationalist security-related committees and sub-committees, whitethorn beryllium amazed to study that contempt what they whitethorn person gleaned from nan media, nan intel organization does not really make predictions; it makes judgments. The quality is critical.

Predictions are mostly fleeting: correct and wrong, winners and losers, achromatic and white. Judgments are acold much complicated. They reside nan likelihood of events and emergence of prospective capabilities; nan imaginable follow-on implications and challenges from an arena occurring — aliases not; and nan associated risks and opportunities for U.S. nationalist and economical security.

These conclusions are what nan intelligence organization informs policymakers of, to thief them make nan champion decisions possible.

Not only would Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo use greatly from having her ain intel agency providing these types of assessments straight to her, but truthful excessively would nan remainder of nan department, including nan Bureau of Industry and Security, which is responsible for export controls, and nan International Trade Administration, which defends U.S. manufacture against unfair waste and acquisition practices of overseas friends and adversaries.

In creating nan caller agency, nan Director of National Intelligence and Congress must guarantee it does not simply consequence from merging together overworked and under-supported disparate parts of nan section that look to fit. Less than 2 years ago, Commerce’s nationalist information activity was overshadowed by a rogue and forbidden information operation astatine nan section — and neither it nor nan U.S. authorities tin spend a repeat.

Rather, a caller agency must beryllium stood up and staffed by leaders and analysts who are intel organization professionals that cognize really to blend analyzable analytic efforts pinch nan priorities of nan department. Having this type of knowledgeable activity will guarantee nan improvement of caller and Commerce-centric analysis, each while adhering to intelligence tradecraft and organization standards.

A caller intel agency astatine nan Commerce Department won’t extremity nan nationalist information challenges nan U.S. faces from China; but it will thief policymakers mitigate and flooded them.

The views expressed successful this publication are nan author’s and do not connote endorsement by nan Office of nan Director of National Intelligence, nan intelligence community, aliases immoderate different U.S. authorities agency.

Source politico.com