The old American credo “liberty at home and in abroad” has been imbibed in the minds of American politicians, way back from the time of the first US President George Washington (1732-1799) who was the Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army in the revolution of the American Colonies against Great Britain in 1775-1783 (US History. Org. , 2008). Some experts on diplomatic relations believe that the credo has become a “public norm” and has greatly influenced the American politicians, especially those occupying the seats of the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches of the US government.
Likewise, the ascription to Washington’s pretext on the credo has been assimilated as a far-cry to achieving military victory, like the US military dominance in Iraq. In today’s US war on terrorism, liberty at home and in abroad may be considered a global perspective of the US government in forging the protocols of foreign diplomacy, in which the ultimate objective is the creation of a homeland security across international borders. In this regard, this paper will discuss the shaping of foreign policy, and the role of Congress and the intelligence community in the policy making process.
Overhauling the Intelligence Community The overhauling of the intelligence community has been enacted by Congress through the passing of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). According to the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004, the enactment of IRTPA was pursuant of a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission (1994) to reform and address the challenges confronting the US Intelligence Community in the 21st century.
In addition, the Congress and Executive branches of the government must improve the coordination and encourage better analysis among the different US intelligence agencies by providing a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with substantial authorities to manage the national intelligence effort and install a separate Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (Sec. 13. 2, p. 427; in 9/11 Commission Report, 2004). Basically, it appears that the IRTPA works on creating an “intelligence teamwork” in managing homeland security and protecting its establishments abroad.
This “intelligence teamwork” is done by effectively aligning the interstate (homeland) security system through effective information sharing that is burdened on Cabinet agencies and military field commanders. In short, the IRTPA may not only align the intelligence teamwork through the interstate leadership and management but throughout intrastate (foreign) re-alignment, specifically pursuing preventive and pre-emptive measures on colonies and intelligence collaboration with allied governments.
As cited from the 9/11 Commission Report, the recommendation and call for Congress to strengthen the unity of intelligence must meet the need of “intelligence consumers” which refers to homeland and governments abroad. Therefore, the IRTPA was enacted by Congress to streamline the flow of intelligence network through minimizing the “bottlenecks” of information sharing and lessening the burdens in collection of data for efficient and consistent analysis.
Minimizing the bottlenecks has led to the creation of the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, whose role is to streamline the bureaucracy. In other words, the Congressional effort in overhauling the intelligence community is to supplant ineffectiveness in the bureaucracy and reform the intelligence agencies’ work in order to achieve an efficient intelligence apparatus in waging war on terrorism. Strengths and limitation of Congress in shaping foreign policy
According to Director Bruce Gregory of the Public Diplomacy Institute in Washington University, foreign policy can be defined as “the goals the nation’s officials seek to attain abroad, the values that give rise to those objectives, and the means or instruments used to pursue them” (Gregory, 2005). Gregory’s definitions in shaping foreign policy relates to one of the strengths or powers of Congress in policy making and legislation of laws like the enactment of IRTPA. On the other hand, limitation in policy making is a significant value of social control.
The relevant value of social control may be cited from the book, American Public Policy: An Introduction, in which the enactment of a public policy typifies the classifications of purposes, types and goods that are not value neutral but wants to discover the significance and importance to public values. (Cochran, et. al, 2006). Therefore the strengths and limitations of Congress in legislating and enacting state policies [particularly the shaping of a foreign policy] is within the framers of public values or the sovereign interest of the people.
However, there may be some “literal” strengths of Congress in enacting policies that may be described as being influenced by interests groups and solely characterized by “politicking” and may not necessarily reflect the best interests of the people. This particular issue is cited in the Congressional report of Specialist in National Defense Richard A. Best, Jr. of the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. According to the report, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) has been a matter of controversy and has been a long issue in Congress and in the Senate.
In this case [to avoid political bickering], empowering the structural change in intelligence community has made it through the enactment of IRTPA of 2004 (Best, 2007). It is clear that the so-called “strength” or powers of Congress in policy making sometimes emanate from “politicking” and become very limited in view of the “national goals”. However, the national goal of the US government in enacting IRTPA of 2004 could be considered as the political will or common strength of Congress to structurally empower the US intelligence agencies that delimit the boundaries of implementation.
In which case, the intelligence collaboration with various global governments is characterized by the shaping of intrastate (foreign) diplomatic relations or partnership that in itself frames a foreign policy. Avenues of influence in the post-9/11 environment The credo of liberty at home and in abroad may be perceived to have been once again applied in the context of winning the war in Iraq that has freed the Iraqi people from the bondage of tyranny. In relation to that, there are also continuing efforts of the US in pursuit of the terrorists’ bailiwicks around the world.
In general, the avenues of influence in the post-9/11political and economic environment of American life has drawn support and collaboration with various governments. Furthermore, many allied governments have enacted state policies patterned after US homeland defense and security system. One of which is the intensive collaboration with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in implementing immigration safety procedures and cross border patrolling.
These efforts are attributed to protect the unique sources of information and resist efforts to make sensitive data widely available, even in classified channels (Best, 2007). In relation to that, as cited from Best’s congressional report (2007), the Senate Intelligence Committee has approved Senate Bill 2248 (the FISA Amendments Act of 2007) that jointly permits the Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence to authorize the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.
Upon examining the US Senate Bill 2248, it appears to provide immunity from law suit to Tele-Communication firms that assist in electronic surveillance. It may also be perceived that what was achieved by the post-911 environment are the interstate (homeland or domestic) and the intrastate (foreign or abroad) diplomatic avenues that could work towards the US national goals in achieving liberty from home and abroad, which was as outlined and guided by its foreign policy on counter-terrorism.
Significance of political terminologies The term “Finished Intelligence” refers to the end-result of collected information or data that has passed through a process of analysis and validation from the so-called “open-source” (Gulf Link, 2007). In addition, finished intelligence becomes a guide of policymakers and other branches of the government and is applied with planning, production, and direction (Gulf Link, 2007).
On the other hand, the so-called “open source” is also referred to as the “Human Intelligence,” which is also known as “HUMINT,” wherein collected information or data is returned to field personnel for revalidation. According to the article, ‘The Intelligence Market’, the product of HUMINT synthesizes the finished intelligence (Cowey, 1976). Meaning to say, HUMINT is the “reaction” on state policies that validates the position of the finished intelligence that also refers to guide of the enactment of state polices.
Furthermore, the NIE is a technical term for “National Intelligence Estimates”. The NIEs applies parameters of study in a subjective manner and interpretation (Best, 2007). The Office of the Director for National Intelligence (ODNI) made a study on Iran National Intention and Capabilities in 2007 (Best, 2007). The NIEs can be briefly explained by saying that the “absence” or inability to access in managing a direct and on-field intelligence “point man” may only result from available information and estimate the probabilities by using certain data indicators and issues at large.
As cited from the provision of the US Constitution (Article II, Section 2), “the President shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties”. Even though the “executive agreement” is not literally described in the Constitution, the executive powers vested upon the President to make treaties “at home and abroad” has enabled fostering of covenants [specifically in foreign diplomatic partnership] which is called “Executive Agreements” between two head of states and/or by the “appointing power” of the President to appoint and act on behalf of an agreement or treaty.
Moreover, “Discretionary Funds” is also called as miscellaneous appropriation of budget for contingency purposes. However, the government use of “discretionary funds” is somehow put into bad light. The legislature looks over the public needs of the state each year, prioritizes them, and then passes a budget that allocates funds in accordance with those priorities (Martin, D. G. , 2005). In short, discretionary fund is an immediate and available budget for priority allocations.
In this case, it may be perceived that overly use of “discretionary funds” by politicians in Congress defeats fiscal management or judicious appropriations for national budgeting that are vulnerable to corruption and technical malversation. On the other hand, the “War Powers Resolution” has long been a strategic commitment of the US government to support civil strife. In other words, the US military establishment participates in “domestic war” of an allied government. The War Powers Resolution (P. L.
93-148) was approved by President Nixon on November 7th 1973 that provided the procedures to Congress and the President to deploy the US Armed troops in hostile countries (Grimmet, R. F. , 2008). One example on the use of “war powers resolution” was the deployment of US Forces during the war of North and South Vietnam. Conclusion It may be concluded that the national goals of the US government in restructuring and streamlining the homeland defense system is based on two perspectives: first, to liberate the home front from domestic terrorism and second, to go beyond the liberation process in international abode.
These perspectives may establish the US’ strategic stance in setting forward its foreign policy to the socio-economic, political, and cultural fundamentals of various governments. The war on terrorism [as outlined in the foreign policy on counter-terrorism] may not only pursue the “terroristic acts” but also advance the economic and political gains, which indicate its historical pre-dominance.
The instruments of the state, which are primarily the legislative and military establishments, have zeroed in on the large scale intrastate defense that carry out the mega-dynamism of foreign policy amidst domestic political turmoil and economic recession, specifically in undeveloped countries that are mostly US’ allies. In short, the bitterness of foreign policy in the global perspectives of the peoples’ liberation may be considered as history in the making or history repeating itself.
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