The U.S. Domestic Intelligence Enterprise: History, Development, and Operations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The U.S. Domestic Intelligence Enterprise

History, Development, and Operations, 1st Edition

By Darren E. Tromblay

CRC Press

463 pages | 23 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-08-05
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Much has been written about U.S. intelligence operations. However, intelligence, as it is conducted in the U.S. domestic environment, has usually been treated in a fractured and sensationalistic manner. This book dispassionately assesses the U.S. domestically oriented intelligence enterprise by first examining its individual components and then showing how those components, both federal and non-federal, work in conjunction to form an often unacknowledged structure that is more than the sum of its parts.

The U.S. Domestic Intelligence Enterprise: History, Development, and Operations takes a unique, in-depth approach that assesses not only the current state of affairs but also the evolution of the domestic intelligence enterprise. To accomplish this, it examines the origins and progress of the major agencies to show why they operate in the way that they do. By providing this perspective, the book promotes an understanding of the factors to consider when developing effective intelligence policy.

The book is divided into several thematic sections:

  • The evolution of the domestically oriented intelligence enterprise
  • The collection capabilities of the enterprise
  • The role that domestically-developed intelligence has in the analytical process, which informs decision making
  • The use of intelligence to implement decisions via disruption of threat actors

The U.S. Domestic Intelligence Enterprise intends to prompt a rethinking of intelligence within the domestic environment. It takes into account the political realities, the organizational cultures, and the evolving missions that have shaped those agencies responsible for positive and negative intelligence and disruption of threats on American soil. This will hopefully provide a counterweight to future knee-jerk reactions and, instead, inspire a thoughtful approach to the advancement of U.S. strategic interests while protecting the rights of Americans.

Table of Contents


Strategic Context

Political Context

Strengthening Concepts of Intelligence in the Domestic Environment

Positive and Negative Intelligence

Elements of National Power

Intelligence Requirements

Benefit for Civil Liberties

Paradigm for the Collection and Exploitation of Domestically Developed Intelligence

Shape of this Book


Evolution of the Political Context for Intelligence in the Domestic Setting

The Federal Communications Act of 1934

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

The National Security Act of 1947

Title III and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Executive Order 12333

President’s Surveillance Program and TSP

Post-9/11 Intelligence Legislation with Relevance for the Domestic Environment

Inquiries into Failures

Public Opinion



Components of the Domestically Oriented Intelligence Enterprise

Intelligence Community Agencies: Civilian

Intelligence Community Agencies: Military

Non-IC Agencies with an Intelligence Role in the Domestic Environment: Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

Military Services Counterintelligence Components: Army Counterintelligence Corps, Air Force OS I, NC IS, Defense Criminal Investigative Service



Integration by Exigency

Administrative Coordination

Bilateral Cooperation between Agencies

Fusion Centers and Other Platforms for Multilateral Cooperation

Incorporation of Nonfederal Entities into the Domestically Oriented Intelligence Mission Federal Assistance to Law Enforcement

Task Forces

Federal Cooperation with Nongovernment Entities

Private Sector Assistance to Government

Collaboration versus Information Sharing


Other Nonprofit Entities



Human Intelligence in the Domestic Setting


Domestically Oriented HUMINT Collection by the U.S. Military

Central Intelligence Agency HUMINT

Drug Enforcement Administration

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

Internal Revenue Service

State and Local Collection

Nonsource HUMINT Operations



Communications Intelligence

Mail Interception

Signals Intelligence

State and Local Use of SIGINT

SIGINT Collection, on U.S. Soil, against Foreign State and Non-State Actors

Use of SIGINT as a Means to Conduct Targeted Intelligence Collection




Imagery Intelligence

Geospatial Intelligence

Financial Intelligence

Measurements and Signatures Intelligence



Intelligence Analysis of the Domestic Environment


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Central Intelligence Agency

Department of Defense

National Security Agency

Drug Enforcement Administration

Department of the Treasury, Office of Intelligence and Analysis

Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence and Analysis

Interagency Analytical Functions

Department of Homeland Security Fusion Centers

Specialized Analytic Disciplines



Disruption of Threat Actors and the Domestic Environment

Authorities for Disruption

Arrests and Prosecutions

Domestic Environment as a Platform for International Influence

Culture as an Avenue of Influence

Role of Geopolitically Significant Demographics


Counterintelligence and Disruption

SIGINT-Facilitated Disruptions

Covert Disruption Against Domestic Groups

Disruption Operations Post COINTELPRO





Legacy as a Factor in Shaping the Domestically Oriented Intelligence Enterprise

Domain Awareness

Domestic Practices as a Model for Activities Abroad

Integration with the Broader U.S. Intelligence Picture

Activities Abroad at the Behest of State Actors

Activities Abroad at the Behest of Non-State Actors

Exportation of Criminality

Realigning the Domestically Oriented Intelligence Enterprise for Effectiveness


About the Author

Darren E. Tromblay has been an intelligence analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for over a decade. He holds an MA from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, an MS in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College, and a BA in history and political science from the University of California. Mr. Tromblay can be reached at

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
LAW / Forensic Science
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism