Confidential and Privileged: The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board - Learning Lessons from Its Past to Shape Its Future
Project AdvisorAbsher, Kenneth Michael
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ClientAmbassador David Abshire and the Laury Foundation
DescriptionThe President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) was established in 1956 to provide the President with a nonpartisan evaluation of the role and effectiveness of U.S. intelligence collection, counterintelligence, covert action operations, and intelligence analysis. Over the years, PFIAB has evolved to reflect the needs of the times and in response to the style of each president. In addition, the government has created new centers and other organizations leading to competing views and the bureaucratic challenge of coordination and oversight of intelligence.
No detailed analysis of PFIAB had been conducted. In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy and the new intelligence reform environment, it was essential to examine the role of the PFIAB in the past to determine how it best can serve future presidents' national security decision-making responsibilities. The aim of the analysis was to determine what had been the strengths and weaknesses of the PFIAB in the past and to identify a productive role for the PFIAB in this new environment. Given the current intelligence needs of the country, such an examination was essential. It helped further define the role of PFIAB and shed light on the interrelationship of various intelligence components. Most importantly, it provided recommendations for presidential action to redefine, and possibly augment, the role of the PFIAB.
Absher, Kenneth Michael; Desch, Michael; Popadiuk, Roman; Ambassador David Abshire and the Laury Foundation (2006). Confidential and Privileged: The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board - Learning Lessons from Its Past to Shape Its Future. Available electronically from