Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell signed a memorandum of agreement this week that establishes a role for the under secretary of defense for intelligence as the director of defense intelligence within the Office of the DNI.
In his role as Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr. will continue to report to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense. The responsibilities and the authorities assigned to this position by the secretary will not change.
The secretary and the director made this agreement in recognition of the crucial importance of coordinated intelligence efforts to the national security of the United States. The defense intelligence components provide a full range of intelligence products and analysis to a broad spectrum of consumers; from military forces in the field to senior policy makers across the federal government. These efforts are intertwined with the national intelligence efforts overseen by the DNI.
“The creation of the Office of the Director of Defense Intelligence is in recognition of the importance of coordinated intelligence efforts to the national security of the United States,” said Clapper. “This office will serve to strengthen the relationship between the DNI and the DoD.”
At an operational level, there should be no impact on the day-to-day operations and management of defense intelligence agencies, added Clapper. "The objective here is to facilitate staff interaction and promote synchronization,” he said.
The MOA does not alter the statutory responsibilities or authorities of either the secretary of defense or the DNI but will provide a framework to ensure a seamless integration of critical intelligence efforts.