Will the post-9/11 environment revive Canada--US intelligence cooperation and catalyze a security community? A comparative study based on intelligence principles, ideas, norms, orientations, and institutions drawn from the literature predicts cooperation but not necessarily a security community, owing to different (a) histories, (b) security interpretations/agenda placements, (c) political and legislative cultures, (d) degrees of public acceptance, and (e) domestic-international inclinations. Waning British influences, evaporating Anglo-Saxon identities, and changing strategic interests compel Canada to play Thomas Hughes's butcher role, and the US the more encompassing intelligence policy maker role.
Questions and roles
The broader war against terrorism raises pertinent North American questions: Will Canada and the United States revive the Cold War security community? (1) What role will intelligence, with its capacity to catalyze preemption-based policy, play in any security based cooperation, and what role is needed for intelligence in order for the 2005 Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to succeed?
Although Winn L. Taplin defines intelligence as consisting "of the collection, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of information for 'positive' intelligence and counterintelligence and the conduct of Special Activities (covert action)," (2) Thomas Hughes's role orientations characterize the subject better. (3) Intelligence, Hughes posits, boils down to playing the roles of the butcher (keeping intelligence a permanently top-priority concern), the baker (formulating consistently high levels of intelligence expenditures), or the intelligence-policy maker (running across the entire spectrum, from the drawing board to the trenches, serving as both butcher and baker). (4) The comparative study of orientations and institutions offered in this article, based on criteria articulated by Taplin and Michael A. Turner, finds (a) Canada playing the butcher and the United States the intelligence-policy maker roles; and (b) both roles limiting mutual cooperation due to different military cultures and global positioning.
Comparing orientations and intelligence institutions
Similar security portraits can produce different policy outcomes, as is evident if done places principles, ideas, and norms under the microscope. Table 1 illustrates this with Taplin's six principles.
Table 1. Intelligence principles: Canada-US comparisons. Principles Canada United States 1. Intelligence derives It stems from both Stemming from domestic from international, as domestic and circumstances, opposed to domestic, international intelligence took an conflict or rivalry conflictual international shift, circumstances and shows at two-flank post-9/11 orientation 2. Conduct or use of True True intelligence involves secrecy 3. Clandestine collection True True of information is the fundamental activity of intelligence 4. Truth must be the Not always true Not always true basis of good intelligence 5. Intelligence in a True True vacuum is of no value; tardy intelligence is of little value 6. Special activities Domestically true, True, but undergoes must involve native not so abroad trials and errors knowledge of the internationally national groups toward which they are directed Source: Adapted from Taplin (1989, 475--91).
Nuances, rather than contrasts, riddle the principles picture. As the first dimension acknowledges, intelligence derives from international conflict or rivalry for both countries. Canada's intelligence industry began formally after World War I, under two domestic police agencies, the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) and the Dominion Police (DP); as yet, Canada--unique among Western powers--does not have any foreign intelligence service. On the other hand, US agencies, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), also began with a domestic agenda, only to shift attention abroad during World War 11, first under the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) from 1942, and ultimately under the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1947. Describing both Canada and the United States as security states, (5) Steve Hewitt traces their "perceived domestic threats" not to "hunts for alleged spies" but to "worker and immigrant groups," often "with a campaign, inspired by ethnic and class prejudice." (6) Among NWMP's first targets were Russians and Germans escaping the Bolshevik Revolution and World War II to Canada via the United States. Interestingly, President Franklin D. Roosevelt also instructed FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, in 1936, to monitor "particularly Fascism and Communism"--two largely international issues, albeit with domestic implications. (7) While Canada's introversion served British war strategies until World War II, US extroversion, accelerated by the subsequent creation of the CIA, extended the FBI's domestic tools and treatments abroad. (8) Even with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) centrally managing both fronts today, the CIA and FBI continue with their overlapping and conflicting mandates independently.
From the outset, both Canadian and US orientations involved secrecy and clandestine operations, Taplin's second and third principles. While the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which succeeded NWMP, centralized these efforts from the start--which was unusual for a country so decentralized in many other ways--US decentralization was dictated by both size and the constitutional separation of powers. The FBI and the CIA evolved from the Department of Justice's Bureau of Investigation and the OSS, respectively, from 1908 and 1942. Their relationship was "hindered by cultural differences, rivalries, security concerns, legal separation, and jurisdictional 'twilight zones'" from the very start. (9) Whereas the FBI was entrusted to enforce law by catching criminals and showing force, the CIA's more open-ended role was to promote "strategic understanding," meaning finding policy-relevant information while lying low. "For cooperation to succeed," Frederick P. Hitz and Brian J. Weiss argue, both "must become more open and more flexible," not centralized nor necessarily reorganized, since their critical resource--information--becomes meaningless without analysis. (10)
Clandestine operations became increasingly difficult for both, given legislative oversight. Nevertheless, as Stuart Farson notes, Canada's inheritance of secrecy from Great Britain and the US congressional preference for deference sheltered the former from legislative orders-in-councils, which literally prevent debate, and the latter from benign neglect, (11) until scandals shook both. Given the sensitive and secret nature of intelligence operations, oversight exercises after 9/11 were further weakened: Canada's parliamentary culture demands more information publicly, and a history of clandestine CIA operations only became less revealing given the desire to retaliate quickly and effectively against al Qaeda. When the issue is security, parliamentary question periods become "highly melodramatic and theatrical" and parliamentary debates "usually superficial," in Roy Rempel's view, (12) while in the United States cause--effect relations often get obscured or swamped by blind attitudes against the adversary (such as the better-dead-than-red approach during the Cold War and the with-us-or-against-us attitude after 9/11), or agency sclerosis. As Melvyn A. Goodman observed, after Pearl Harbor President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed a military and civilian commission to examine how and why the attacks had not been anticipated, but after 9/11 "President George W. Bush, CIA Director George Tenet, and the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees were …