Considering the Creation of a Domestic Intelligence Agency in the United States

Lessons from the Experiences of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

by Brian A. Jackson, Peter Chalk, Richard Warnes, Lindsay Clutterbuck, Aidan Kirby Winn

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Abstract

With terrorism still prominent on the U.S. agenda, whether the country's prevention efforts match the threat the United States faces continues to be central in policy debate. One element of this debate is questioning whether the United States should create a dedicated domestic intelligence agency. Case studies of five other democracies — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK — provide lessons and common themes that may help policymakers decide. The authors find that

  • most of the five countries separate the agency that conducts domestic intelligence gathering from any arrest and detention powers
  • each country has instituted some measure of external oversight over its domestic intelligence agency
  • liaison with other international, foreign, state, and local agencies helps ensure the best sharing of information
  • the boundary between domestic and international intelligence activities may be blurring.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Australia

    Peter Chalk

  • Chapter Three

    Canada

    Peter Chalk

  • Chapter Four

    France

    Richard Warnes

  • Chapter Five

    Germany

    Richard Warnes

  • Chapter Six

    The United Kingdom

    Lindsay Clutterbuck

  • Chapter Seven

    Domestic Intelligence Agencies After September 11, 2001: How Five Nations Have Grappled with the Evolving Threat

    Aidan Kirby

  • Chapter Eight

    Conclusions: Lessons for the United States

    Peter Chalk, Lindsay Clutterbuck, Brian A. Jackson, and Richard Warnes

This research was sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security and was conducted jointly under the auspices of the Homeland Security Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment and the Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division.

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