Counterintelligence Versus Human Intelligence

Counterintelligence Versus Human Intelligence

During the Cold War, the U.S. counterintelligence (CI) mission was clearly defined: It focused on countering the intelligence collection efforts of the Soviet Union and its allies. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the focus of CI became blurred because of a lack of an identifiable threat. A perception developed throughout the U.S. intelligence community that CI equals human intelligence (HUMINT) collection and that the two disciplines were interchangeable. This, along with an increase in the need for HUMINT to counter emerging threats, further blurred the line between CI and HUMINT. Today, the two disciplines are often grouped together as CI/HUMINT. Some will argue that the grouping together of CI and HUMINT to accomplish the growing HUMINT collection mission has significantly degraded the effectiveness of the CI mission.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

  • In your own words, what is the counterintelligence mission?
  • How do you think counterintelligence is collected? Explain.
  • In your own words, what is the human intelligence (HUMINT) mission?
  • How do you think HUMINT is collected? Explain.
  • Do feel that the perceived grouping together of CI and HUMINT has degraded the overall CI mission? Why or why not?
  • What similarities do you personally see between CI and HUMINT? Explain.
    • What differences? Explain.

Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:

  • What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
  • What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
  • What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
  • What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmate’s postings?

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