Bureaurcracy Pathologies

Topics: Central Intelligence Agency, September 11 attacks, Federal Bureau of Investigation Pages: 3 (945 words) Published: May 18, 2005
There are many pathologies present in the American bureaucracy and bureaucratic agencies. The major pathologies are red tape, conflict, duplication, imperialism, and waste. Each of these pathologies had at least some sort of roots in the case of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack. Had these pathologies not been prominent in the pre-9/11 bureaucratic government, it is very likely that our intelligence communities would not have failed to detect the terrorists.

The first and quite possibly the most prominent pathology is known as the red tape pathology. Red tape results from all of the complex rules and procedures that must be done in order to get anything done. Although these rules and procedures are often necessary to maintain order and to keep the government running smoothly, they often hinder an agencies' ability to carry out necessary action. Such was the case with the terrorist attack on 9/11. For example, the 9/11 Commission Report stated that the combination of an overwhelming number of priorities and an outmoded structure resulted in an insufficient response to the challenge of terrorism. Also, accessing information on specific persons posed as a problem. The procedure was very difficult, so if one wanted to investigate the background of a suspicious person, they would have to go through a lot of paperwork and permission would have to come from the government. Thus, due to red tape, agencies such as the FBI had to battle limited intelligence collection, a limited capacity to share information, inadequate resources, and there was difficulty mobilizing armed forces.

Another pathology is known as conflict. Conflict between different agencies exists because some agencies seem to be working at cross-purposes with other agencies. Conflicts usually occur when certain agencies have very different goals from other agencies, and those opposing agencies set up opposing stipulations or give opposing advice. Conflict often gets in the way of letting agencies...
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