Table of Contents

The 1990s in the United States saw the third great post-World War II wave of pressure for intelligence "reform." The first wave brought about the creation of the CIA and the basic mechanisms of the postwar U.S. Intelligence Community. The second wave flowed directly out of the Congressional hearings of the Church and Pike committees in the mid-1970s, and resulted in greater direct and continuing involvement by Congress in intelligence matters.

Direct results of the third wave -- characterized by detailed public and private reviews of U.S. intelligence policies, procedures, and institutions -- were far from clear. Certainly, the scope of responsibilities of the CIA as an organization (separate from the DCI) was reduced during in the 1990s. It is, however, difficult to link those changes directly to reform-associated studies and recommendations. Rather, it seems that the identifiable shifts in responsibilities (such as, the growth of the role of the FBI in foreign intelligence collection and the greater control by the Defense Department over imagery programs and products) are more closely associated with the dynamics of bureaucratic politics than any great drive for reform of American intelligence or of national security policy.

A fourth wave followed in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

General Materials on Intelligence Reform in the 1990s:

A - D
E - G
H - K
L - R
S - Z
Robert David Steele

The Boren and McCurdy Plans

Commission on Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community

HPSCI Report (IC21 - 1996)

Text at:

CIA-Specific Reform Proposals in the 1990s:

A - G

H - Z

Reform in the 1990s Focused on Military Intelligence:


Issues of American Intelligence Journal and Defense Intelligence Journal focused on intelligence reform

Return to Post-Cold War 1990s Table of Contents

Return to CIA 1990s Table of Contents

Return to Main Table of Contents