A nation has three lines of defense: intelligence, diplomacy and force of arms. Of these, intelligence is fundamental.
The Center for Intelligence Studies was formally chartered on March 1, 1988 as a non-partisan public policy institution dedicated to the research and dissemination of substantive information regarding the threat posed by foreign intelligence services to the United States, and the proper role, scope, and function of America's national intelligence services in protecting the national security.
The Center strongly supports the constitutional rights of American citizens, and for that reason is attentive to the inherent conflict that exists between secret intelligence and the democratic process. For that reason we are deeply concerned that the demands of national security in the post 9-11 world may overturn the delicate balance that necessarily exists between the rights of individual citizens and the requirements of national defense.
That said, we remain deeply concerned by the ongoing failure of the U.S. Government to safeguard the nation and the national interest. Although we believe the wave of terrorist attacks that intensified with 9-11 are due more to the present and profoundly ill-conceived policy of global integration, open borders and uncontrolled immigration than intelligence failures, we remain committed to the improvement and of the US Intelligence Community and its capabilities.
For that reason, we have supported and shall continue to support efforts to effect system-wide improvements. Although we welcome the 2005 re-organization of the U. S. Intelligence Community as an important step, we do not believe that the reforms to date are sufficient to cope with present threats. For that reason, we have urged the Congress to complete the process by undertaking two additional steps. The first is to replace the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a dedicated security service capable of meeting the challenge posed by both traditional and non-traditional threats. The second is to reconstitute a credible national counterintelligence capability. Unless and until these two steps are taken, we believe that the United States will remain vulnerable and exposed to catastrophic attack.
To assist the general public in understanding the complex issues of intelligence, the Center currently conducts six major public interest programs. These consist of a Publications Program, which includes our monthly publication Nightwatch and Special Reports and Occasional Papers; a Public Education Program, which includes the preparation of both general and specialized educational materials for use at the high school and collegiate levels; a Congressional Liaison Program, which monitors relevant legislative initiatives; a Press Relations Program, as a means of assisting journalists in understanding the complexity of intelligence issues; a Speakers Program, to provide expert speakers for civic groups and organizations; and an Internship Program to provide qualified undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to enhance their studies through paid internships with the Center.
The Center and its activities are governed by a Board of Directors, which presently includes Charles S. Viar, Chairman; Lloyd F. Mercer, MD, and Janet R. Wynne. The Center for Intelligence Studies and its diverse activities are dedicated to the memory of James J. Angleton, my friend, mentor, and guide.
Charles S. Viar
The Center for Intelligence Studies