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New Office to Help Set DoD Intelligence Priorities

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2003 – Looking to the future and setting the defense priorities for the intelligence community will be the focus of the new Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in the Pentagon.

Steve Cambone is the undersecretary in charge of the office. The office is part of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's move to transform the department.

Rumsfeld said during a press conference May 20 that the office will "help pull together these (intelligence) agencies in the department so that they can interact with the Central Intelligence Agency and the other intelligence entities in the United States government in a more professional and coordinated way."

He used contingency plans as an example. In working on a plan, you figure in one warning time. But what would be the benefits if the United States had twice the warning time? "That's the kind of a question that Dr. Cambone's office could then work with the intelligence community and make judgments," Rumsfeld said.

Is it possible to double the warning time? How much would it cost if it is? Is the benefit worth the cost?

"We need to organize ourselves with an eye to improving the flow of information from those who collect and analyze it to those who employ it in the military and civilian worlds within the department," a senior defense official said in discussing the new office.

The official said the office will have about 100 people divided into four directorates. The first directorate will look at warning and preparedness.

"This group will look out 10 to 15 years and ask what are the things that might evolve which we need to prepare ourselves as a department to address," said the official. This will cover a number of aspects from how the department will need to adjust its basing and force structure to what investments must be made to science and technology. Officials can take these projections and then plug them into the future years defense plan, "so that we can start to make decisions in the budget cycle to prepare," the official said.

"It implies, since resources are always finite, that there will be some things that we recommend we stop doing," the official continued.

Within DoD, this group's guidance will allow the services and agencies to adjust personnel resources. This includes the overall number of people committed to intelligence activities, the skills associated with them and the distribution of people across the services and in the commands.

The senior official said the conclusions the group reaches may affect the kinds of intelligence-gathering platforms the department wants.

The group will have to change the way the defense intelligence community does business. "If we're going to do a capabilities-based planning process, we need to complement it with a capabilities-oriented perspective on the kinds of environments we're going to operate in," he said.

An example is effort to change the way the Defense Intelligence Agency interacts with the acquisition community. "DIA does a threat assessment for them that is a classic static threat-based product, and it needs to be changed to bring it into line with the capabilities-based perspective," the official said.

The largest group in the office will be responsible for support to the warfighters. This group will look at what kind of support the services currently provide to combatant commanders and what type of intelligence support the commanders will need.

"Effects-based operations" the new strategy centered around hitting precisely the targets most crucial to produce the type of effect intended requires quick and accurate intelligence to be of use, the official said. The group will examine what type of intelligence a combatant commander would need to hit those "centers of gravity" an opposing regime would find precious.

This group would also spill over to helping identify what type of contingency or day-to-day intelligence support a combatant commander needs.

The third group in the office will specialize in counterintelligence. The department has had responsibility for its own counterintelligence activity for some time, and that mission will continue to evolve in the new environment. This is especially true in addressing force protection concerns, the official said.

The fourth group of people will look after programs and resources. This group will take the recommendations of all the other groups and make sure the department's priorities are translated into the future years defense plan. The group will also bundle Defense Department priorities and present them to the director of central intelligence and his staff for inclusion in the national foreign intelligence program.

The senior official stresses that the office is not an analytic organization, and it is not a collector of intelligence. The office will not replace any existing DoD intelligence organization. Rather, the office will "make sure the information flows quickly and efficiently to the users."

The office will also transmit the secretary's instructions to DoD intelligence activities.

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