Sample Coursework Paper on Intelligence: Analyze Executive and Legislative Roles

Compare and contrast the elements of Executive Order 12333: United States Intelligence Activities and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

            The order and the act both serve to intensify security and intelligence extraction that intends to secure both national and homeland security (Jordan, 2009). They were both implemented under the executive designation of the sitting presidents as the leaders of the executive function.

Executive order 12333 was biased towards empowering the Central Intelligence Agency in extracting information from national agencies, while Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was biased on physical and identification screening of individuals at U.S. border points with emphasis on air travel (Jordan, 2009). The former was established with the sole aim of strengthening CIA’s covert actions that leaned on espionage, while the latter was largely triggered by the September 11th terrorist attack.

 How do these executive and congressional orders affect intelligence activities?

            Executive and congressional orders affect intelligence through extending the responsibility and powers of the United States Intelligence Agencies (Chauhan, 2004). The orders further establish grounds that direct the heads of the United States Federal agencies to fully comply and cooperate with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This is with regards to CIA information requests and the latest order 12333 is entitled United States Intelligence Activities (Jordan, 2009). Congressional orders act with regards to the administration of security initiatives including establishing reforms within the intelligence committee.

How do they differ?

            Executive orders mainly deal with covert action and espionage and the executive committee on intelligence is controlled by the president (Chauhan, 2004). Covert actions seek to hide the main operatives rather than the operation in a bid to protect national interests. Congressional orders mainly address supervision of the intelligence agencies and ratify their actions with regards to national interests.

Explain the influence of each on the government’s ability to collect intelligence for national and homeland security

            The congress is responsible for the budgetary allocations and through its supervisory role ensures quality in analysis as well as establishing legality in all intelligence operations (Jordan, 2009). Furthermore, through assessment of intelligence failures, the congress is able to establish grounds for reforms thus strengthening weaknesses that may be contained in intelligence, as well as executive orders. The executive is charged with the responsibility of establishing the national security agenda thus dictates all intelligence operations with regards to resource allocation including time and manpower (Jordan, 2009). Depending on the security environment, the executive can restrict or limit the powers of the congress.


Chauhan, S. (2004). Inside CIA: lessons in intelligence. New Delhi: APH Pub. Corp.

Jordan, A. (2009). American national security. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press