Defense Intelligence Agency Celebrates 50-Year Legacy

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2011 — Since it began oper­a­tions Oct. 1, 1961, the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency has changed along with the nature of nation­al secu­ri­ty threats world­wide to become a key com­po­nent of the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.

Defense Intel­li­gence Agency Direc­tor Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess address­es the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, March 10, 2011.
DIA pho­to
Click to enlarge

Today, accord­ing to agency offi­cials, DIA is first in “all-source defense intel­li­gence” � incor­po­rat­ing all sources of infor­ma­tion — to pre­vent strate­gic sur­prise and to sup­port warfight­ers, defense plan­ners and pol­i­cy­mak­ers. DIA man­ages and sup­plies all-source intel­li­gence, and since the ter­ror­ist attacks in 2001, a grow­ing num­ber of DIA intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als have deployed glob­al­ly along­side warfight­ers and inter­a­gency partners. 

“We are more for­ward-deployed than ever, oper­at­ing along­side our com­bat troops in harm’s way,” DIA Direc­tor Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr. said in a statement. 

DIA has an entire gen­er­a­tion of intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als who know only wartime ser­vice. … They are very good at what they do, they’re com­mit­ted to the mis­sion, and they’re the best we’ve ever had,” he added. 

The 9/11 attacks had a range of oth­er effects on DIA and the rest of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing prompt­ing the 2004 cre­ation by Con­gress of the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence, which assumed many func­tions of the posi­tions of direc­tor and deputy direc­tor of cen­tral intelligence. 

This and sim­i­lar rec­om­men­da­tions by the Nation­al Com­mis­sion of the Ter­ror­ist Attacks upon the Unit­ed States, known as the 9/11 Com­mis­sion, increased the prac­tice of embed­ding ana­lysts and oth­er pro­fes­sion­als from var­i­ous agen­cies in each other’s operations. 

“When you go for­ward, you find CIA, [the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency], [the Nation­al Geospa­tial-Intel­li­gence Agency], DIA — every­body work­ing togeth­er right there on the floor in a tac­ti­cal oper­a­tions cen­ter or sup­port­ing a com­mand,” DIA Deputy Direc­tor for Analy­sis Jef­frey N. Rapp told Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice. “It’s real­ly pret­ty remark­able the kinds of col­lab­o­ra­tion and inte­gra­tion that’s going on to enable operations.” 

Such inte­gra­tion has helped pre­pare DIA for the future, Rapp said. “We may not be poised imme­di­ate­ly for every pos­si­ble prob­lem we’re going to run into,” he added, “but one thing I’ve found is that we’re pret­ty adaptive.” 

An exam­ple this year was Oper­a­tion Uni­fied Pro­tec­tor, he said. 

“[Libya] was­n’t the top tar­get on our radar screen, let’s face it,” Rapp said. “Yet with­in a mat­ter of three weeks, we were imple­ment­ing a com­plete change in nation­al pol­i­cy through an air cam­paign sup­port­ing com­bat operations.” 

The 9/ll Commission’s rec­om­men­da­tions also prompt­ed intel­li­gence agen­cies to improve infor­ma­tion shar­ing with­in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment and among fed­er­al, state, and local author­i­ties and with allies. 

An enabling tech­nol­o­gy for such shar­ing is Ana­lyt­ic Space, or A‑Space, a project on a clas­si­fied net­work on the Joint World­wide Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sys­tem that was ini­ti­at­ed by the ODNI Office of Ana­lyt­ic Trans­for­ma­tion and Tech­nol­o­gy as a col­lab­o­ra­tive space for intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty analysts. 

DIA was the exec­u­tive agent for build­ing the network’s first phase. 

“It is a place where ana­lysts can go, and at the high­est clas­si­fi­ca­tion lev­els, col­lab­o­rate on ideas, dis­cuss ana­lyt­ic issues and exchange infor­ma­tion,” Rapp said. 

A‑Space is cross-agency and cross-top­ic, he added. “Ana­lysts can get togeth­er more eas­i­ly than just through email con­tact or even tele­phone, and it’s more like what our younger folks are used to doing today.” 

Anoth­er exam­ple is the Library of Nation­al Intel­li­gence, cre­at­ed by the ODNI and the CIA as an author­i­ta­tive intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty repos­i­to­ry for all dis­sem­i­nat­ed intel­li­gence prod­ucts, regard­less of classification. 

A key fea­ture is a card cat­a­log that has sum­ma­ry infor­ma­tion for each report clas­si­fied at the low­est pos­si­ble lev­el to allow ana­lysts to dis­cov­er near­ly any­thing that has been pub­lished by the com­mu­ni­ty regard­less of doc­u­ment classification. 

“All the pro­duc­tion pro­duced by the [intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty] every month goes to this Library of Nation­al Intel­li­gence,” DIA Infor­ma­tion Shar­ing Exec­u­tive Roland P. Fabia told Amer­i­can Forces Press Service. 

“There are prob­a­bly 10 mil­lion hold­ings that ana­lysts are access­ing,” he added, “and it’s not only fin­ished intel­li­gence, it’s also raw intelligence.” 

DIA’s first major chal­lenge was in 1962, when the Sovi­et Union secret­ly placed nuclear-capa­ble bal­lis­tic mis­siles in Cuba and DIA ana­lysts played a key role in their dis­cov­ery. Today, the agency’s work includes glob­al ter­ror­ist move­ments, insur­gen­cies and arms pro­lif­er­a­tion, along with the con­ver­gence of advanced tech­nol­o­gy, a com­plex and shift­ing inter­na­tion­al polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment, and increas­ing com­pe­ti­tion for glob­al resources. 

“If you look at where we came from and why DIA was cre­at­ed, it was an inte­gra­tive agency to help pull mil­i­tary intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties and defense analy­sis togeth­er for the depart­ment and for the nation,” Rapp said. 

DIA, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ser­vices and the com­bat­ant com­mands, “helps focus and pro­vide the best pos­si­ble deci­sion advan­tage to our senior-most pol­i­cy­mak­ers,’ he added, “whether it’s the chair­man [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and the sec­re­tary of defense, or the pres­i­dent. So, I think DIA is on a good path.” 

“The nation has been under­stand­ably focused on cur­rent oper­a­tions in Iraq, Afghanistan and else­where since 9/11, [but] the rest of the world has not stood still. Oth­er nations have used this peri­od as their win­dows of oppor­tu­ni­ty,” Burgess said. 

“While sup­port­ing troops in harm’s way,” the direc­tor added, “DIA must also main­tain a sharp focus to ensure that our efforts to com­bat transna­tion­al ter­ror­ists do not blind us to strate­gic sur­prise elsewhere.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →