Find this publication at:
ANU EPress link
Pity the intelligence policymakers or officials attempting to design the ideal organisation to meet the changed strategic and operational environment that now faces them. The world has changed so much since the end of the Cold War that it is in many respects almost unrecognisable.
Many see a clear divide between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ threat environments. Treverton (2009), for example, sees the ‘old’, characteristic of the Cold War era, as concentrated on large, slow-moving targets (for example, Soviet political–military establishment, strategic missile systems) and a shared frame of reference between agencies that facilitated communication with policymakers and made it easy to slot in new information. The focus was on intelligence puzzles—questions for which there were answers if only the veil of secrecy could be penetrated. By way of contrast, ‘new’ issues are the transnational threats, such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and transnational organised crime, which are small and constantly changing targets with no permanent addresses. They are constantly and rapidly evolving, they exploit our societal vulnerabilities, and they are intelligence mysteries—questions whose answers are inherently unknowable in detail (often because even the targets do not know precisely what they are going to do until they do it).
Wardlaw, Grant (2015) ‘Is the Intelligence Community Changing Appropriately to Meet the Challenges of the New Security Environment?’ in Bammer, Gabriel (ed) Change! Combining Analytic Approaches with Street Wisdom. ANU EPress.