Former national security adviser calls post-9/11 intelligence reform successful

Aimée Santillán

Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser, said at an intelligence conference held in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Friday that intelligence and counterterrorism reforms since 9/11 have been successful.

The conference, titled “Intelligence Reform and Counterterrorism after a Decade: Are We Smarter and Safer?” is being hosted by the University’s Clements Center for History, Strategy and Statecraft and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law to look back at the 10 years since the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was passed and restructured U.S. intelligence. 

After the passing of the reform act in 2004, Hadley said the national intelligence committee has been putting much effort into improving its methods to keep the country safe. He said, by the support and dedication of the committee, they have managed to improve over the years.

“The effort by the intelligence committee became so refined that we were knitting up the intelligence and policy process in real time,” Hadley said.

Hadley said the intelligence committee requires the participation of policy makers at senior levels so it can have a better understanding and support of the methods required to solve national threats.

“Every paper that is prepared that comes to the senior policy makers will have an entire list of different approaches,” Hadley said. “And this overloads time because these policy makers are supposed to connect trust with power.”

Hadley said although there has been skepticism about the success of the intelligence committee and the National Security Council, they have been very effective.

“We are better and safer at this business,” Hadley said. “And what has made us better is that when we have a crisis we see it as an opportunity to take advantage of all of our work and seize the moment by taking thoughts and decisions and turning them into reality and change.”

According to Hadley, a big part of this success is due to having the right people doing the job, and contributions from the president, American citizens and National Security Council members.