OUR MAIN PROBLEM: MAKING INTELLIGENCE SMARTER-CUBA AS A FOCUS
By Manuel Cereijo
Agencies must find a new balance between electronic eavesdropping and spies on the ground to counter global terrorism This has been the main problem with Cuba. We don't only have anyone there in Cuba, but we have not been able to extract the useful information from those who have escaped or defected from Cuba.
In the United States, analyses of intelligence weaknesses before and after 11 September 2001 have focused on four areas:
· Human inadequacies in analysis, language skills, and specially spying-the gathering of data from informers within an hostile Cuban government.
· Growing gaps in technical intelligence in, for example, the subestimation and the ability to decrypt, analyze, and deliver expeditiously messages intercepted, if so, between Cuba and the United States by email, phone calls, and other means of telecommunications.
· Spotty relations between European countries intelligence services that have strong presence in Cuba, and U.S. intelligence services.
U.S. intelligence has 13 major components. Coordination is the responsibility of the Director of Central Intelligence, who also directs the CIA and is assisted by the Community Management Staff and the National Intelligence Council.
The United States has little choice but to infiltrate the Cuban government. The U.S. needs to fuse human and technical intelligence-and this fusion will be the more crucial than ever in the confrontation with terrorism.
So far, Cuba , for un-explicable reasons- 12 spies convicted in the last few months, a very high person in the DIA apprehended as a spy for Cuba- has been ignored, not paid attention by, the U.S. government, the national press, and the public in general.
The NSA, along with allied nations, uses a worldwide network to intercept messages and to carry out other forms of signals intelligence. Included in the network ( Echelon) are hundred of fixed listening stations, as well as eavesdropping satellites and airplanes, and even submarines tapping under-seas cable. NSA applies advanced technology aggressively. However, the question is, Have we underestimated countries such as Cuba and Iran?
Perhaps the most disruptive factor to this network has been the wholesale shift to fiber optics and packet switching. Fiber optic lines are a lot harder than copper wires or microwave links to tap into.
Submarine cables pose the biggest challenge: they often carry the international traffic of greatest interest, but they are in the crushing depth of the ocean bottom., beneath hundreds of meters of cold black water. The NSA optical repeaters are now obsolete. And guess where Cuba is investing heavily between 2002 and 2005? Submarine fiber optic cables.
Cuba is also investing heavily in packet switching. This is another big obstacle. The technique assigns the bits of a digital transmission to small groups called packets. Individual packets can then take any route to their destination, where they are reassembled into the original message or utterance.
Facts: How much recognition has the U.S government and U.S. press given to the Cuban-owned, Russia built, eavesdropping and cybercenter base of Bejucal in Cuba? Ignorance? Misguided by the alleged spy Ana Belen Montes? Subestimation of a small country? How much attention has the U.S,. intelligence given to the capacity of Cuba in the biotechnology industry? Capacity far greater than that of Iran and North Korea!
How much attention has the U.S. given to the long lasting engagement of Cuba in training terrorist groups in its territory?
There are going to be other terrorist incidents., They are going to happen, unfortunately. Do we have to live with it? Life goes on. But we need to know who our enemies are. And we need to act strongly and immediately.