December 14, 2023

Castro, Gallagher Introduce Legislation to Strengthen National Security, Improve Coordination Within Intelligence Community

WASHINGTON — Today, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) senior member Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and HPSCI Chairman Mike Gallagher (WI-08) introduced the Intelligence Community Joint Duty Improvements Act, legislation that would strengthen national security by improving joint duty requirements that facilitate information-sharing and cooperation between U.S. intelligence agencies.

“As emerging technologies and global integration make threats to our national security more complex, the U.S. Intelligence Community needs to be faster, smarter, and more creative than our adversaries,” said Congressman Castro. “Over the years, my office has been proud to host several fellows from the Department of Defense, Department of State, and the Intelligence Community, and I’ve seen the value of interagency rotations for both sending and receiving organizations. The Joint Duty Improvements Act will break down siloes, improve training and professional development opportunities for intelligence professionals, and protect the United States and our allies. I look forward to moving this bill through Congress and to President Biden’s desk.”

“As the intelligence community works to keep America safe, it is critical that those agencies are working together to better communicate their mission and the threats effectively amongst each other. The Joint Duty Improvements Act reforms interagency rotations for intelligence professionals to achieve just that—strengthening their joint mission by enhancing interoperability and training across the interagency to close gaps in intelligence gathering and sharing,” said Chairman Gallagher. 

“To meet the coming challenges, our Intelligence Community (IC) will require a generation of leaders who are not only expert in their specialized disciplines but able to build teams comprising officers from other agencies,” said Stephen B. Slick, Director of the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas at Austin and the former National Security Council Senior Director for Intelligence Programs and Reform. “The 9/11 Commission documented the costs of information hoarding and bureaucratic rivalries. For many architects of the post 9/11 intelligence reforms, this "joint duty" requirement held the greatest potential for achieving long-term, fundamental change in the IC. Just as the personnel provisions in the 1986 Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act helped create the modern joint force, strict enforcement of joint duty requirements by IC agencies will promote information sharing, uniform standards, and collective responses to our hardest intelligence problems,”

In the wake of the 9/11 Commission Report, which concluded that widespread U.S. intelligence failures contributed to the success of the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terror Prevention Act to strengthen and streamline interagency coordination within the Intelligence Community. To institutionalize a culture of cooperation, the Intelligence Reform and Terror Act requires employees of one Intelligence Community element to spend time on detail at another to be eligible for promotion to senior leadership. However, compliance with the statute has been incomplete and compliance with the joint duty requirement is not uniform across agencies. The Intelligence Community Joint Duty Act would address existing disparities and ensure that senior intelligence leaders are prepared to work cooperatively across the Intelligence Community to protect national security and the well-being of the American people.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.