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BRIGHTEN INTELLIGENCE: For a More Human Security

Iwan Febriand Vegan*)

In the global issues aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001, intelligence reform began to be taken more seriously. 11-9 terror to attack of World Trade Center building and also Pentagon based of US military, in the light of the greatest intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor 1941. The president of US of America, George Walker Bush sudden reversal on homeland defense has complicated the intelligence reform issue.

Referring to the above, at the national level “urgent of intelligence reform in Indonesia” must be possible to cover all of essential components of intelligence.

Are the any lessons here for how Indonesia should respond to its most recent intelligence failure? There are several of terrors since Bali bombing and also other many places in Jakarta. Indeed here are, but it is easy to learn a false lesson-namely, that reorganizing intelligence makes no sense because it didn’t prevent an earlier intelligence failure.

In fact, reorganization made sense in spite of the failure. The proper lesson is that there are no easy fixed, that the problems are complex, structural and miss-functions.

Indonesia intelligence has been reform as structural since Indonesia independent 1945 and to follow of reform of Armed forces. Since 1967 military intelligence are dominant created and performing since remarkable code-breaking feat since first President of Indonesia Ir. Soekarno and follow to Gen. Soeharto.

Initially of intelligence unit are consistently to influence of two big ideology are “Capitalism and Communism”. Capitalist block established and to lead of USA in one hand, and Communist block established as USSR while as a leader of Soviet-Russia. They are the block of powers that we known as two super power of military and ideology. More than 40 years two blocks of powers involved in compete of industrial weaponry and missile, are mostly has been doing. Most people around the world are living in under true “Cold War”.

Intelligence Reform of “BIN”

A great deal is a stake today, not in intelligence reform (National Intelligence Agency or BIN) but also in Security Sector Reform. The clearer our understanding of the tangled issues of intelligence reform, the fewer will be unintended consequences. And the price of those consequences could be very high cost.

The real of intelligence reform to be covered intelligence terminology, intelligence community, counterintelligence, spies, intelligence penetration and all of security aspect to against of foreign intelligence, secret information and also how to prevent type of the threat of the national security. Responsibility of intelligence community must be compare and maintain of human right violations. Absolutely, intelligence community to collect of information and to analyst of the threat and to do action for deference and prevention.

National Intelligence Agency or “Badan Intelijen Nasional” is not the same thing as the Intelligence Community. The national intelligence community maybe ‘central” of all intelligence units, including military intelligence, national police intelligence,  and civilian intelligence.

The last time function and moral mandate of intelligence operation is often controversial with human security mainly human right violation. Output and outcome of intelligence operation is only to offering for the Top National Leader, mainly the “President”. Worst nightmare Indonesia intelligence and military operation under authoritarianism era while more than 32 years we are living in under President of Soeharto.

Intelligence function in new order era more than 32 years implement of administration is not compatible within democracy and human right. Authorities and doctrine of intelligence community full control and to collect all of information and also how to distribute of information.

Political abuse of President Soeharto and claim of control of military power are legitimately dispute. Those patters and strategy is always controversial for alongside and making mistaken for democratic process.

How to improve the oversight of intelligence community as compatible with democracy and also human right may be one of the fundamental issues until right now.

It is impossible to improving our intelligence function doctrine and legitimacy without how to know reform process of our understanding of intelligence and to support of mindset, so that has gone through from authoritarianism to democracy.

Various aspect of Intelligence Reform

As a researcher and observers of intelligence community, I would like to propose various of kind of ideas of intelligence reform to be covered the measure,

Firstly, How to reform legal aspect of National Intelligence Agency, including how to share skill and knowledge on “what is the secret information”. How to support various of institution infrastructure are we need national security act law, national imagery and mapping agency.

Second, Priority of intelligence analyst is how to assessment of all places in the military and civilian agencies, to collection of management and finally how to identified of the threat of national security and to recommendation of deterrence and preventive, for example intelligence assessment of illegal loging, illegal fishing, illegal mining, Trans-national crime, blue color crime, illegal migration, drugs and so on.

Thirdly, I would like to clarify so that how the carrier in intelligence community is very enjoy, challenging and also strategic. How to protect intervention and making counterintelligence of foreign intelligence activities, various kind of trans-national crime, foreign spies, how to given brilliant performance in intelligence whole of enemies operation.

Another kind of intelligence reform is also needed to support design and create of Indonesia Armed Forces, Indonesia military weaponry and innovation of organization, improving technological capability, mainly how operate and using of computerized system, remote sensing and to detect of the threat, including internal and external the threat.

This kind of intelligence is also to reform of budget, salary, equipment, training and tactical forces and also how to improve progress and performance of clandestine intelligence.

Recruitment of intelligence community must be priority of qualified and virtually to compare of capability, genius of mathematics and computerized system, familiar with technology, imagery and human intelligence. Professional intelligence to performed best of human intelligence and better input of recruitment process, as complementary to reform of intelligence training and skill, education and talented.

In which we can get better performed output and outcome of intelligence operation. This is what I mean “brighten intelligence”. Intelligence as well organized, the best of human resources development, the best of system and compatible with democracy, transparency and accountability.

Iwan Febriand Vegan,

Executive Director of Brighten Intelligence institute (BINT)


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