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DoD Proposes Program to Remodel Defense Intelligence

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2005 – The Defense Department has proposed a program to remodel the defense intelligence capabilities, senior DoD officials said here today.

The changes, they said, will mirror what experience in Afghanistan and Iraq has shown works.

Speaking on background, officials said the intelligence system was well suited to finding out the order of battle for Soviet forces poised on the old East German border, but not well suited to determining the objectives, methods and operations of an amorphous group such as al Qaeda.

The remodeling, they said, intends to eliminate barriers for the free flow of intelligence within the department to those who use it.

The effort started about a year ago, officials said, and entails only intelligence functions within DoD. The department wants to align intelligence functions with all the other changes under way in the department as part of the transformation efforts.

This means being able to move the data quickly both horizontally and vertically, and to make sure the people who are searching for data can access it no matter where they are in the system, officials explained. This, they said, will enable analysts to ensure they see all information without depending solely on what comes through their chain of command.

The analysts, in turn, will have the ability to request information from the collectors, officials explained. Once analysts look through the information available, they can indicate holes in the coverage and request they be filled. The collector, officials added, should be in a position to find out the information.

All of this must be put at the service of the people who are doing the fighting, officials said.

Some changes have already been made, the officials said. DoD recently consolidated responsibility for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance components under U.S. Strategic Command.

Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, the STRATCOM commander, in turn made the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency the Joint Force Component Commander for ISR. The director, who has responsibility for DoD intelligence collection, is also the DoD point of contact for requests from the CIA.

The remodeling also gives combatant commanders a new organizational structure to use: The Joint Intelligence and Operations Center. "The idea is to bring together in one place the collectors (and) the analysts and bring them in contact with (the commander's) operating forces so he has the ability to do the quick turn," one official said. "He has the ability to get the information in, get it analyzed, ask for more if needed, get it transmitted to his operational people, measure the effects on the objective, bring that information back and cycle it again and again."

Finally, DoD has asked the combatant commands to put together intelligence campaign plans. This means commanders will have a set of objectives that their intelligence assets need to support, officials said. It puts in place the information requirements commanders have and how that affects data collection requirements.

Through all this remodeling, changes must be made, and DoD will examine the training that intelligence professionals are trained, educated and assigned, officials said. The department also will examine shortfalls in the ability to share information between DoD counterintelligence and security functions on one hand and intelligence functions on the other.

Officials said they do not believe they need to change any law, executive order or regulation to put these changes in place. They said they will continue to work with Congress as they move forward.

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