Committee Hears DoD's Plans for Intelligence Transformation
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2004 DoD officials testified before the Senate Armed Services Strategic Subcommittee April 7 on plans to transform intelligence programs within the department.
Among those testifying was Stephen A. Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, who provided insight on how defense intelligence will evolve in the coming months and years, telling committee members of several initiatives by the department.
Two major efforts evolving and in development within the Defense Department are "horizontal integration" and "persistent surveillance," he said.
The Pentagon "quite diligently" has been working on horizontal integration, an effort designed to move information easily among users and in a format that is best suited to their needs, Cambone said. "We haven't gotten to the bottom of it yet," he said. "It is a difficult subject. We know how to do it technically."
Persistent surveillance, Cambone said, would go a long way toward helping provide DoD with the type of surveillance it will need in the future. Although it is most frequently associated with platforms in space, and particularly with space-based radar, he added, space systems and a space-based radar are not the definition of that capability.
"It needs to be integrated with those assets that fly, those that are on the ground and, indeed, with our human intelligence capabilities," he said. "Together they form a complex of collection capability which can yield the kind of persistence we will require across the wide range of activity in which we are going to be engaged."
But information collected is "useless" without having a basis for moving that information, Cambone said, and that's why DoD is working so hard on horizontal integration. And once the information is moved, having an analytic cadre capable of analyzing that data and extracting knowledge from it is essential, he added.
Other initiatives to transform intelligence include plans to cut through dozens of outdated directives and instructions that exist within DoD, some dating 30 years, he said.
"Our work turned up 30 main directives that affect the work of the intelligence community within the Department of Defense," he noted. "Some of them date back to the 1970s, a good number of them are from the '80s, and the balance from the '90s. We are in the process of trying to reconcile those directives and update them in light of the changing environment."
Cambone said the department is working to clean up internal processes. Officials are reviewing a list of committees, boards, working groups and other organizations within the department that have some responsibility for intelligence.
"At last count, that list is 14 pages long," he said, "which tells you something about the need to clean up our internal processes to assure that we have more people who are capable of saying 'yes' to initiatives and being able to move more quickly, and fewer people who can say 'no,' which is essentially what 14 pages of boards, committees and working groups amount to."
Cambone also mentioned that the Pentagon has put a great deal of work in the area of information sharing among the intelligence community, operating forces and coalition partners to make sure intelligence information "can flow much more smoothly and much more rapidly."
DoD's intelligence budget proposal to Congress for fiscal 2005 calls for substantial increases in intelligence funding for the next five or six years, Cambone said. Much of the increase, he explained, is aimed at improving the analytic capability of the intelligence community.
He said the Pentagon is on schedule to have intelligence reforms reflected in the fiscal 2006 budget bill.