The Washington Post's recent series, "Top Secret America," depicts significant organizational challenges in the intelligence community. Many of its observations have merit, but organizational dysfunction is not confined to the intelligence system. The Post's description of the sprawling, uncoordinated intelligence bureaucracy mirrors the shortcomings of the overarching national security system, which has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not capable of handling today's threats and opportunities.
The blame for this antiquated system does not solely belong to the Bush or Obama administrations; systemic problems date back to the design of the national security apparatus in 1947. In recent decades, an increasingly more complex and rapidly paced security environment has magnified these design flaws.
Key organizational deficiencies undermining the system's performance include: