Intelligence Officials Update Senators on Advances
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 29, 2005 The "remodeling of defense intelligence" is an ongoing, adaptive effort, a top defense intelligence official told the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 28.
When Stephen Cambone was confirmed to his position as undersecretary of defense for intelligence, he said his office would focus on three topics: increased attention to the activities of the services, meeting the needs of combatant commanders, and reforming DoD human-intelligence capabilities.
Those three goals have since been bundled under the umbrella of "remodeling Defense intelligence," he said.
While Cambone's office has existed for a little over two years, RDI is an ongoing and adaptive effort, he said. That remodeling also includes an internal restructuring.
"It's a complex problem," he said. "We have a lot of entities and a lot of differing interests. But in addition to the complexity within the department, we ... need to be certain that any internal remodeling efforts are helpful to the new director of national intelligence (John D. Negroponte) in meeting his objectives."
The first step to achieving that was giving combatant commanders a direct pipeline to the DNI to request support intelligence gathering.
Defense intelligence experts sees this organizational model, currently in place in Iraq, as a good model that will give combatant commanders the kind of responsiveness and flexibility they need to move information and to keep a closed loop between gaining information and taking action, Cambone said. This would also enhance the commanders' planning and operational objectives.
"It's not enough to have organizational constructs and to make sure that we have the right focus," he said. "What we've also put in place is ... something called an intelligence plan."
An outline of combatant commanders' needs for intelligence support would prevent the last-minute nature of requests the intelligence community typically receives. This would allow the DNI to better plan both the capabilities of the national intelligence program and his distribution of assets among competing demands for it.
Better human intelligence has been a concern for some time, Cambone said. He added that his department established the Defense HUMINT Management Office to work toward achieving that goal.
"(It) is responsible for ensuring that all DoD HUMINT-collection priorities are known to those who are able to collect that information," he said.
Navy Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has been put in charge of managing HUMINT within DoD, Cambone said.
Jacoby was present during the hearing to discuss the capabilities put in place and ongoing changes in regard to human intelligence.
"Our focus is on increasing numbers of collectors, quality of collection, improving training and skill development, and increased cultural and language capabilities," Jacoby said. "We have increased investment in the support structures that are essential to support in the field, while at the same time increasing numbers of defense attaches and realigning attaches to focus on emerging issues."
This is in addition to putting more intelligence gatherers forward with operating forces to improve capabilities fielded today in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. This allows for combined operations with the CIA when both defense and nondefense skills are needed.
As for improving language capabilities, Cambone said his office has invested more than $300 million over the course of this fiscal year's defense plan. The goal is to move away from the traditional-language base and into training people in languages that are more appropriate for operational needs in today's missions and in the future.
By increasing defense HUMINT capabilities, Jacoby said, the CIA is relieved of some tasks previously assigned to that agency.
Jacoby is also charged with integrating DoD and national capabilities. He said he works "with the intelligence community to assist in meeting DoD needs by employment of national capabilities and satisfying national needs that can be met using departmental collection resources." Jacoby went on to say that experts are working to improve analytical capabilities.
"We embarked on an aggressive program to put the 'all' back into all-source analysis ... in the areas of terrorism, (weapons of mass destruction), proliferation and other difficult and sophisticated challenges facing our nation," he said. "It's about both values and trade craft improvement."
With a new focus on long-term analysis to address the WMD Commission's concerns, Jacoby said, the intelligence community is delivering improved capabilities in line with recommendations made to both the department and the DNI from various panels and commissions.