DoD Intel Chief Addresses 9/11 Commission Recommendations
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2004 The 9/11 Commission's report has the Defense Department looking closely at its intelligence mission, the department's chief intelligence officer told a House panel here today.
Stephen A. Cambone, undersecretary for intelligence, told the House Armed Services Committee that two of the recommendations in particular have "focused our attention."
Cambone said the first point of focus is on "connecting the dots" to indications and warnings of pending terrorist events. He said the intelligence community must provide, in a terrorist event, "time enough to allow the executive branch to take appropriate action."
Also, he said, DoD will look more closely at the needs of the intelligence community. He said the department must provide the operational elements at every level of federal, state and local government with "current and actionable intelligence" needed to support counter-terrorism operations.
Cambone told the committee the department has an interest in having a robust domestic intelligence capability that can assist the department in its force protection obligations both at home and abroad. However, he added, "special care" must be taken to safeguard citizens' rights and liberties.
"There is no good trade between liberty and security," he said.
Regarding the commission's recommendations on expanding technology and data sharing, Cambone said the department is "convinced of the force-multiplying effects of networked operations." Those effects have been displayed publicly in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, he added.
"The prospect of harnessing operations to networked intelligence is one the department supports wholeheartedly," he said. Cambone told the committee the department knows how powerful the joint perspective driving joint operations can be. "It's hard for us to imagine within the Department of Defense today," he said, "how to operate any other way than joint."
The defense undersecretary laid out his own recommendations before the committee for the Defense Department's intelligence needs.
He said DoD must have an appropriately aligned domestic intelligence component. The department also must operate under "21st century information management and technology standards," he said, so that all government agencies have access to the databases across the entire intelligence communities.
DoD has to break down institutional barriers and restrictions, he added, to permit the centralized planning and decentralized execution needed for improved indications and warnings of terrorist activity and "the ability to respond rapidly to intelligence when it is received."