Military Transformation: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
CRS Report for Congress
Updated January 17, 2003
Judy G. Chizek
National Defense Fellow
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
The Department of Defense (DOD) indicates it is undertaking a major alteration
in its capabilities, from a force designed to fight the Soviet Union to one tailored to
21st century adversaries including terrorism. This shift has been prompted by the
perception of a changing threat and improved technology, especially information
technology. As the military services attempt to increase the agility and versatility of
their weapon systems, they also see a need to increase the capabilities of military
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to support the new weapon
systems and operating methods against these new threats.
To judge whether service activities are likely to help the military “transform,”
the head of DOD’s Office of Force Transformation, retired Vice Admiral Arthur
Cebrowski (U.S. Navy) has proposed three criteria–whether the proposed capability
can communicate and operate easily in conjunction with the other services, whether
it helps the military develop new methods of warfighting, and whether it will be
useful against a wide range of threats. In addition, ISR activities should, in the
aggregate, provide a world-wide perspective of the threat, “fuse” all types of
intelligence into one picture, access extensive details about the enemy, and monitor
specific targets for long periods of time.
All of the services are planning ISR programs which exhibit at least some
attributes of transformation. Many observers believe military ISR has already
achieved some transformation, as shown in the war in Afghanistan by the military’s
ability to detect a target and destroy it within minutes. The military’s ability to move
intelligence quickly has improved dramatically. However, many observers are
concerned that analysis may be lagging behind. Proposals to make revolutionary
changes in analysis include using contractors to produce competing unclassified
analyses, developing artificial intelligence capabilities for database work, and
establishing more operations analysis centers.
The military intelligence community is supported by the national intelligence
community, which even before the September 11 attacks was under intense scrutiny.
Therefore, the aspects of the national intelligence community’s operations in which
Congress has expressed interest directly affect the quality of military intelligence.
In addition, DOD’s plans for improving its ISR capabilities raise potential issues for
Congress with regard to cost, the balancing of potentially competing efforts to
improve the flow of intelligence and the quality of the data, and the support of
military leadership. Finally, the consequences of the military’s role in homeland
defense, and intelligence community reform may generate concern. Discussion of
these issues is provided as background as Congress considers ISR programs as part
of defense and intelligence authorization and appropriations legislation. This report
will not be updated.
Military Intelligence Community..................................2
DOD Plans for Future Forces ....................................7
OSD and JCS.............................................7
Navy and Marine Corps....................................14
Special Operations Forces (SOF).............................16
Defense Intelligence Community.................................20
What Transformations of ISR Will Be Needed?.........................21
Issues for Congress...............................................24
Revitalization of NSA.........................................24
Collection vs Analysis ........................................25
Research and Development.....................................26
Networks vs Quality Intelligence.................................27
Military Intelligence Role in Homeland Defense....................29
Intelligence Community Reform.................................29
Note: This update of CRS Report RL31425, originally published on May 31,
2002, was prepared by Richard A. Best, Jr., Specialist in National Defense in the
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division. Questions concerning the Report may
be directed to him at 202-707-7607.
Military Transformation: Intelligence,
Surveillance and Reconnaissance
The Defense Department (DOD) indicates it has embarked on a huge effort,
labeled “transformation,” to dramatically shift from a force prepared to fight the
Soviet Union to a force suitable for 21st century adversaries, including entities who
conduct or are otherwise associated with terrorism. A key component of this
transformation is DOD’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)
capability.1 If ISR does not meet the needs of the 21st century force, much of the
effort to shift to new kinds of forces and modes of operation could be wasted.
Although the war in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, has been widely
cited as proof that DOD is successfully transforming,2 Congress remains concerned
that ISR capabilities may not be able to meet the needs of military force unless they
also undergo significant change, particularly in the areas of Human Intelligence
(HUMINT), analysis, and integration with the services’ networking initiatives.3 This
paper will address ISR transformation from an unclassified perspective. Some
aspects of ISR transformation can only be discussed in classified fora and are
The Department of Defense defines intelligence as “information and knowledge
obtained through observation, investigation, analysis, or understanding.”4
Surveillance and reconnaissance refer to the means by which the information is
observed. Surveillance is “systematic” observation to collect whatever data is
available, while reconnaissance is a specific mission performed to obtain specific
data. For the purposes of this paper, the distinctions between intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance are not important unless specified–ISR is used as
1 Secretary of Defense’s Transformation Study Group, Transformation Study Report, April
2 See, for example, National Public Radio interview with Major General (retired) Perry
Smith and Richard Hallion, Morning Edition, November 21, 2001; and Daniel Goure,
“Location, Location, Location,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, February 27, 2002,
[http://j dw.j anes.com].
3 U.S. Congress, 107th Congress, 1st session, Committee of Conference, Intelligence
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 H.Rept. 108-328, December 6, 2001, p. 18.
4 Department of Defense, Joint Publication 1-02, DOD Dictionary of Military and
Associated Terms, 12 April 2001, as amended 15 Oct 2001, p. 214.
a shorthand to refer to the system of collection assets and analysts which brings
information about the enemy or potential enemy to the decision-maker, whether that
decision-maker is a top general in Washington, DC or a soldier on the ground facing
an armed attacker.
Another shorthand commonly used by the military services and the intelligence
community refers to the source of any given piece of intelligence. Intelligence which
comes from a person observing it is called Human Intelligence, or HUMINT.
Intelligence derived from photographs and other imagery is called Imagery
Intelligence, or IMINT. Intelligence obtained from electronic signals such as
communications is called Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT. Finally, intelligence
derived from other technically measurable aspects of the target, such as vibrations or
hyper-spectral emissions, is named Measurement and Signatures Intelligence, or
MASINT.5 These terms are important, as they help characterize the basic structure
of the intelligence community.
Military Intelligence Community
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), State Department, Department of
Energy, Department of Justice, and Department of Treasury all contribute to the
intelligence picture available to the military.6 However, most intelligence used by
the military comes from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which produces
some HUMINT, MASINT and a large portion of the Defense Department’s strategic,
or long-term, analysis; the National Security Agency (NSA), which produces most
SIGINT; and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), which produces
most IMINT. The services themselves also produce all types of intelligence for the
Today’s security environment appears to be quite different from the
environment of only ten years ago. Major shifts in both the threat to our national
security, and the technologies available to us and our potential adversaries, seem to
have occurred. In response, the military services have plans to change their ISR
capabilities to meet the new environment effectively.
5 For further explanation and discussion of the types of intelligence sources, see Richard A.
Best, Jr., Intelligence Issues for Congress, CRS Issue Brief IB10012.
6 Department of Defense, Joint Publication 2-02, National Intelligence Support to Joint
Operations, 28 September 1998, p III-2.
Most of today’s military equipment and organization was originally designed
to fight the Soviet Union. A common scenario was that the Soviets and their Warsaw
Pact allies would attempt to occupy all of Western Europe, using large numbers of
tanks and aircraft to sweep through Germany on their way to the rest of the continent.
Defense against such an assault was perceived to require heavy weapons such as
tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, and aircraft carriers. However, the Warsaw Pact
has collapsed and a similar threat has not emerged. Instead, the security environment
looks significantly different compared to 1989. DOD’s 2001 Quadrennial Defense
Review (QDR) points out that we “cannot predict with a high degree of confidence
the identity of the countries or the actors that may threaten (our) interests and
security.” The QDR explains DOD’s perception of the changed threat by stating that
the U.S. is no longer physically protected by distance from its adversaries. It sees a
“broad arc of instability” from the Middle East to Northeast Asia, where non-state
entities whose activities are damaging to U.S. interests (drug traffickers, terrorists,
etc.) are growing in strength and finding safe-haven in weak and failing states. In
addition, new technologies (especially information technologies and those related to
chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or enhanced high-explosive weapons) are
increasingly within the reach of potential adversaries, and warfare may extend to
space and cyber space.7
Outside observers, including other members of the national intelligence
community, generally agree with DOD’s characterization of the threat. Concern over
surprise, deception, increasingly diverse threats, weapons of mass destruction, the
Middle East, and Asia, appears consistent. Some add that non-state actors with new
technology may undermine nation-state control in many countries. This could
exacerbate the effects of environmental deterioration and disaster, increasing the
probability that the U.S. would feel compelled to deploy its military forces to stem
a resulting humanitarian crisis.8
In sum, many analysts believe the U.S. is now faced with “asymmetric warfare,”
in which means such as drug-trafficking, terrorism, and biological warfare would be
used to attack our interests. The events of September 11 appear to confirm the
judgement that the threats of the future are unlikely to look like the threats of the
past. Because these are means that the United States would not choose to employ
itself and which bear no resemblance to the old Warsaw Pact tank assault scenario,
some believe the U.S. military is currently ill-prepared to deal with them.
In addition to the changed threat, the U.S. military along with the rest of society
also has experienced major changes in the technologies available. The huge
increases in both information processing technology, including data collection and
storage, and communications technologies such as increased bandwidth and
7 Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review Report, September 30, 2001, p. 3.
8 Gregory F. Treverton, Reshaping National Intelligence for an Age of Information,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2001, p. 28. See also Bruce D. Berkowitz and
Allan E. Goodman, Intelligence in the Information Age, Yale University Press, New Haven,
CT, 2000, pp. 5-11.
networking, appear to be able to completely change the way military forces are
equipped, organized and employed.9
Based on these changes in both the threat and in available technology, DOD
states it must “transform.” Transformation in the context of large organizations such
as the Defense Department is generally recognized as a process of radical change
involving technology, organization, and concepts of employment. Another term used
in military theory which also expresses the idea of transformation is “revolution in
military affairs.” However, even within DOD there are at least two competing
perspectives on what constitutes “transformation.” Some personnel define
transformation as a discontinuous or leap-ahead change.10 This view supports those
who believe it is necessary to move money, manpower, and particularly patterns of
thinking (“doctrine”) away from current weapon systems and methods to entirely new
technologies and procedures. They perceive that resources are being wasted on the
older systems, and the only way to accomplish change is to do so in a radical way.
The Navy’s shift in the 1920s and 30s from the battleship to the aircraft carrier as its
centerpiece weapon system could be considered an example of a leap-ahead change,
even as the battleship remained in service until the 1980s. The Army’s plan to
replace its tank force in favor of much lighter vehicles and other technologies may
be seen as an attempt to achieve similar change.11
Others tend to define transformation as incremental change using current or
modernizing technologies in new ways, with an end result of radical improvement
over time. They express concern that the future is unknown; if DOD cuts out proven
capabilities for new ones, those new capabilities may not match the currently
unforeseen threat any better than today’s technology. A proven technology, however,
may be able to be adjusted to meet that unknown situation. These officials point to
examples such as the change in the military’s ability to attack targets from the air,
comparing Operation Desert Storm against Iraq in 1991 to Operation Enduring
Freedom against Afghanistan in 2001. Nearly every weapon system which was used
in Afghanistan had also been used in Iraq in 1991. However, improved
communications, procedures and the Joint Direct Attack Munition (a standard 2000
lb bomb which can be guided using Global Positioning System technology) allowed
B-52 bombers to attack targets which were very close to friendly military personnel
9 See, for example, Michael L. Brown, “The Revolution in Military Affairs: The Information
Dimension,” Cyberwar: Security, Strategy and Conflict in the Information Age, edited by
Alan D. Campen, Douglas H. Dearth, and R. Thomas Gooden, AFCEA International Press,
Fairfax, VA, 1996, pp. 32-52; Bill Keller, “The Fighting Next Time,” New York Times
Magazine, March 10, 2002, p. 32.
10 Gail Kaufman and Gopal Ratnam, “U.S. Navy Releases Broad Transformation Outline,”
Defense News, April 15-21, 2002, p. 8.
11 Edward F. Bruner, Army Transformation and Modernization: Overview and Issues for
Congress, CRS Report RS20787.
with little risk of hitting the friendly soldiers. This would not have even been
considered in 1991.12
Regardless of how transformation may be defined, retired Vice Admiral (USN)
Arthur Cebrowski, the chief of the Defense Department’s Office of Force
Transformation, has identified some criteria by which military programs may be
judged for their transformational qualities. His top criterion is that the weapon
system or operating procedure be interoperable. Interoperability means that the
system can function easily with a variety of other systems, including those from other13
services. Other criteria Cebrowski has named are judgements as to whether the
system helps the user to change warfighting methods, as opposed to merely
improving existing methods; and whether the system can deal with a wide range of
th reats .14
Observers generally agree with Cebrowski’s criteria. For example, Andrew
Krepinevich, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary
Assessments, also notes the requirement for interoperability and support to new
warfighting methods, and discounts any hard and fast rule that a program must
employ new technology to be considered transformational. At the same time,
Krepinevich, along with some other observers, advocates the leap-ahead definition
of transformation, and therefore would likely want to see larger changes in
interoperability and warfighting methods than might Cebrowski.15
In addition to assessing the military services’ ISR programs based on
Cebrowski’s informal criteria for transformation, it may be helpful to look at what
ISR they will really need. Some commonly recognized characteristics include a
world-wide perspective, fusion, detail, and persistent surveillance.16
The transformed force, much more than the Cold War force, needs a truly
world-wide perspective derived from world-wide collection capabilities and in-depth
analysis. During the Cold War, the threat from the Warsaw Pact was considered so
great that military activity in other places often was considered inconsequential, or
12 Goure, “Location.”
13 See Anthony W. Faughn, Interoperability: Is it Achievable, Center for Information Policy
Research, Harvard University, October 2002, pp. 5-6.
14 Gail Kaufman and Amy Svitak, “Pentagon Develops New Transformation Criteria,”
Defense News, March 11-17, 2002, p. 4.
15 Andrew F. Krepinevich, “Defense Transformation,” Testimony before the United States
Senate Committee on Armed Services, April 9, 2002.
16 Berkowitz and Goodman, pp. 112-123; Transformation Study Group, p. 30.
a “lesser included threat.”17 The intelligence community therefore put greater effort
toward monitoring the Warsaw Pact than the rest of the world. Today, however, the
threat may in fact come from within a country which appears quite non-threatening.
For example, one former Central Intelligence Agency analyst notes that, in 1998, half
of the foreign crises which demanded U.S. attention occurred in “lower-priority
areas,”against which fewer analysts and collection resources had been allocated.18
Fusion refers to bringing together all types of intelligence to create one
consolidated picture of the threat. As mentioned in the beginning of this paper, the
various sources of intelligence form the basic structure of the intelligence
community. That is, every piece of intelligence data is identified by whether it came
from HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, or MASINT. In addition, these data are often kept
in separate communications channels and databases designed to support the unique
aspects of the data collected. A piece of imagery, for example, requires different
bandwidth, software, and hardware for transmission than does a communications
intercept, and they each fill completely different types of fields in a database.
However, military forces cannot easily use separate HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, and
MASINT data. They need one “fused” assessment of the threat. While this has
always been true, the speed and precision with which the transformed force is
expected to act makes this fusion even more desirable, as it presents information
about the enemy in a timely, clear manner.
The transformed force may also seek more detailed information than before.
First, given today’s emphasis on precise application of force while mitigating risk to
U.S. and civilian personnel, the intelligence required to employ destructive force
such as a bomb or artillery round has increased. As adversaries hide within civilian
populations or inside mountains, the once straightforward process of identifying
potential targets has become much more complex. Once a target has been identified
for destruction, the information required to successfully employ the weapon is
increasing as target coordinates must be accurate to within a few feet in three
dimensions. Even after a weapon is employed, the assessment of whether the target
is destroyed, known as bomb damage assessment (BDA), has also increased in
difficulty. In the Cold War, this was performed primarily by comparing “before” and
“after” images of the target. If a target such as an enemy tank looked destroyed, with
its turret blown off or smoke coming out of a gaping hole, then it probably was.
Weapons used by the transformed force, however, may not cause that type of visible
damage. Even in Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, precision-guided munitions
made only small holes in Iraqi tanks as they penetrated and completely obliterated the
insides. This damage, however, could not be seen from imagery. Other types of
information, such as hyperspectral data which might detect whether the tank got very
hot from internal explosions, are needed to make an accurate damage assessment.
Second, as opposed to most Cold War scenarios, physical destruction is not the only
effect the transformed force may be able to bring against the adversary. The military
force may, for example, be able to accomplish its objectives by isolating an opposing
17 Berkowitz and Goodman, p. 114.
18 John B. Gannon quoted in “Time for a Rethink,” Economist, April 20-26, 2002,
[ ht t p: / / www.economi s t .com] .
commander electronically. However, creating or defending against this type of effect
requires extremely specific intelligence.
The ability to continuously monitor a given target and provide immediate
assessment of changes to it, known as persistent surveillance, is seen as essential to
the transformed force’s ability to defeat unconventional enemies like terrorists.19 As
has been seen in Kosovo and Afghanistan, detailed, long-term surveillance of a house
or convoy, such as that provided by a Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or
a special operator on the ground, is key to properly identifying all personnel in the
target area and maintaining full awareness of all activities, hostile, friendly, or
neutral. The assessment that the desired target is present and can be effectively
struck must then be made and communicated to the striking force within seconds, so
that the opportunity is not lost.
Some experts express caution about these characteristics. They assert that
doctrinal writings about the transformed force assume perfect access to perfect
intelligence, that training its personnel to rely on such intelligence will prevent them
from learning initiative, and that reliance on perfect intelligence may keep the U.S.
from acting in circumstances where it needs to act but, for whatever reason, its
precision-guided munition or other high-technology asset cannot be used.20 The U.S.
intelligence community does not have eyes and ears everywhere in the world, and it
does not have perfect vision into potential adversary minds. Transformation
advocates, when asked, recognize the fact of imperfect intelligence and respond to
this criticism by emphasizing the planned force’s agility, in equipment and training,
to overcome situations where intelligence is imperfect and respond quickly to the
DOD Plans for Future Forces
To assess the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aspects of military
transformation, it is useful to have a basic understanding of the military forces which
the future ISR structure will be expected to support. This section explains, in general
terms, DOD’s plans for future forces, and provides greater detail on ISR programs.
All of the services are planning their forces in light of the changed threat and new
information technologies. In general, the changes are intended to increase the force’s
access to information, agility and versatility while maintaining or increasing its
OSD and JCS. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Joint
Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have multiple initiatives touted as supporting ISR. While
neither organization procures weapon systems, they do have a voice in funding,
research and development, operating methods supported, and joint organization.
19 General Richard B. Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, DOD News Briefing,
December 11, 2001.
20 For example, see Mark M. Lowenthal, “Grant vs. Sherman: U.S. Military Doctrine and
the Future of Combat Leadership,” Handel International Strategy Conference, available at
In November 2001, Secretary Rumsfeld established an Office of Force
Transformation, headed by retired Vice Admiral Cebrowski, to monitor and push
transformational ideas in the services. The office is staffed by approximately 18
uniformed and civilian personnel from all the services and 15 contractors, and
focuses on five broad areas–strategy, concept formulation, technology and
technological surprise, joint and service experimentation, and operational
prototyping. The office intends to assess service plans with respect to these areas,
and make recommendations to the services and OSD which identify gaps in DOD’s
capability to meet potential threats, increase efficiency, improve existing capabilities,
and recognize outmoded paradigms which should be changed.21 The OFT is studying
Operation Enduring Freedom to determine whether there are completely different
ways it could have been approached, and also seeking to provide seed money to22
service experiments which appear transformational.
Two key offices for developing technology, the Advanced Systems & Concepts
Office and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), have strong
track records in ISR development. For example, DARPA developed both the
Predator and Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, then handed them off to the
Advanced Systems & Concepts Office for further development as Advanced Concept
Technology Demonstrations (ACTD). Although still in developmental status, both23
aircraft have contributed substantially to the war in Afghanistan. Both offices
appear to continue to consider ISR as a significant area for research. For example,
of the 15 ACTDs which the Advanced Systems & Concepts Office established for
FY2002, five are technologies which promise to improve the military’s ability to
collect data on enemy forces. Another may substantially improve the ability of
commanders to control surveillance and reconnaissance assets over the battlefield.24
A final ACTD aims at new ways of analyzing intelligence. DARPA is developing
continuing advances in unmanned vehicles, a foliage-penetrating radar, an advanced25
ISR management program, and artificial intelligence for database analysis. Its
recently formed Information Exploitation office is specifically intended to work on
improving the military’s ability to identify a target on the battlefield and
communicate that information quickly to a weapon system for destruction.26
21 Vice Admiral (ret) Arthur Cebrowski, “Special Briefing on Force Transformation,” DOD
News Service, November 27, 2001. Also discussions with Col Donna Kenley, Office of
Force Transformation, 18 January 2002.
22 Bill Keller, “The Fighting Next Time,” New York Times Magazine, March 10, 2002, p.
23 Bruce Rolfsen, “On-the-Job Testing,” Air Force Times, January 21, 2002, p. 12.
24 Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts website:
[http://www.acq.osd.mil/asc/] as of Jan. 17, 2003.
25 Dr. Tony Tether, Director, DARPA, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Military
Research and Development, Committee on the Armed Services, House of Representatives,
June 26, 2001.
26 John Markoff, “Chief Takes Over New Agency to Thwart Attacks on U.S.,” New York
Times, February 13, 2002, p. A27, col.1.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications
and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) has oversight of ISR concept development. It has
divided ISR initiatives into five categories. First, as discussed above, are collection
technologies. Second are efforts for interoperability and networking, ensuring that
all intelligence available to one entity is also available to other entities working in the
same theater.27 A major contribution to this effort is ASD/C3I’s coordination of the
Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS). DCGS is an umbrella term for
several systems tailored to individual service requirements. These systems are
designed to receive and process HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, and MASINT data (all
of which come in different forms and often on different networks), support analysis
of the data, and distribute intelligence to their customers, both on the battlefield and
at higher headquarters. DCGS is recognized as being extremely important to all of
the services, and they are moving toward this single, integrated architecture.28
ASD/C3I’s third category for initiatives is persistent and responsive surveillance,
with programs such as the Global Hawk long-endurance UAV, the Army’s Aerial
Common Sensor, and Space-Based Radar. Fourth, the office seeks new ways to use
existing capabilities, such as getting imagery to be automatically tagged with all
required geographic coordinate information. Finally, ASD/C3I is working on the
communications technology needed to move the collected intelligence to its
cust om ers.29
Other than its work on DCGS, some ISR planners discount ASD/C3I work,
noting that they coordinate directly with the other services without prompting from
the OSD office, while ASD/C3I may push “one size fits all” solutions.30 Some
observers also believe that ASD/C3I has little actual authority, with the result that
services continue to do what they think best for themselves. Most of ASD/C3I’s
power appears to come from its direct access to the Joint Requirements Oversight
Council (JROC), which is chaired by the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.31
The JROC validates major service programs as being either “joint” or not. Those
programs which are not deemed joint enough are unlikely to receive funding.
However, the current chair, Marine General Peter Pace, believes that the JROC is not
27 Kevin Meiners, Director, ISR Systems, OASD (C3I), “OSD Perspective on ISR Needs and
Initiatives,” powerpoint briefing, March 06, 2002.
28 William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to the President and the
Congress, 2001, pp. 122-123. Also, discussions with service ISR planners.
29 Meiners briefing.
30 Discussions with service ISR planners, January-March 2002. Some observers perceive
the Joint Signals Avionics Family (JSAF) as an example of ASD/C3I trying to get one box
to fit all services’ needs. JSAF was intended to provide one sensor for the Army’s Aerial
Common Sensor, the Navy’s P-3 replacement aircraft, and the Air Force’s U2, Rivet Joint,
and Global Hawk aircraft. The program was cancelled when the contractor could not meet
some of the technological requirements, and the Army is attempting to salvage key aspects
of it, with greater freedom to adjust requirements. See “Stenbit Offers Army a Chance to
Manage Piece of Joint SIGINT sensor,” Inside the Air Force, March 8, 2002,
[ h t t p : / / www.i n s i de de f e ns e . c o m]
31 Thomas Hawkins, Defense Budget: Role of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council,
CRS Report 97-346 F.
playing a significant role in the transformation of the armed forces, and advocates a
greater role in identifying and pushing development of new capabilities.32 If Pace or
his successors succeed in shifting the JROC from a simple validation role to a more
pro-active one, this may also increase ASD/C3I’s control over the future of ISR.
Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), established in 1999, is another organization
which some defense experts believe has the potential to aid military efforts toward
transformation and ISR integration.33 This unified command has the charter to run
major force experimentation and improve interoperability among the services, and
has been working several ISR-related initiatives.34 Its Joint Interface Control teams,
consisting of communications specialists as well as special software and hardware,
are reportedly improving communications among intelligence sources in
Afghanistan.35 JFCOM is testing a new analytical capability known as Operational
Net Assessment this year. This system of databases, analytical tools, and networks
claims to fuse intelligence and other data in an interagency environment. DOD’s new
Unified Command Plan, which divides warfighting responsibilities among various
commanders, may improve JFCOM’s ability to support transformation. The plan
emphasizes JFCOM’s experimentation and interoperability duties while it moves
responsibilities for homeland defense on land and sea from JFCOM to the newly
created Northern Command.36
Do the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint efforts in ISR support
transformation, according to Admiral Cebrowski’s criteria? Taken together, they do
appear to be helping improve interoperability while supporting changes in the way
warfare is conducted against a wide range of threats. The DARPA and Advanced
Systems & Concepts Office projects promise to provide some of the detailed
intelligence sought, as well as improve persistent surveillance. ASD/C3I’s leadership
of DCGS could result in significant improvements in providing fused assessment to
warfighters. Observers generally point to strengthening the JROC and JFCOM,
particularly their influence on military spending, as ways to increase OSD’s and
JCS’s abilities to guide military transformation.
Army. The Army may be making the biggest force structure change of all the
services, as it seeks to replace the M-1 tank as its centerpiece weapon system. It is
32 Kerry Gildea, “Pace Calls for More Proactive JROC Process,” Defense Daily, April 10,
33 For example, Andrew Krepinevich, executive director, Center for Strategic and Budgetary
Assessments, supports the establishment of JFCOM, but believes the field exercises it runs
and other aspects of its work could be more revolutionary. See Lisa Troshinsky, “JFC’s
‘Millenium Challenge 2002' Won’t be Tough Enough: Analyst,” Navy News Week,
vol.DW22 No. 18 (April 30, 2001), [http://www.kingpublishing.com/publications/dw].
34 General William F. Kernan, U.S. Army, statement before the Senate Armed Services
Committee, April 9, 2002.
35 JO2 Michael Wimbish, U.S. Navy, “USJFCOM-grown concept key to success in
Afghanistan,” Joint Forces Command Public Affairs, February 14, 2002.
36 Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, “Special Briefing on the Unified Command
Plan,” Department of Defense Public Affairs, April 17, 2002.
designing the network-centric Future Combat System, an as-yet undefined
combination of manned and unmanned vehicles, tied together with a comprehensive
network, intended to be much lighter and therefore more transportable than today’s
weapon systems. This force will depend on the ability to detect enemy activity, share
that information quickly, and defeat it before coming into close contact with an
enem y. 37
The Army’s plans for ISR focus on interoperability. The Army recognizes that
the majority of its intelligence needs are collected by other services and the national
agencies. It therefore stresses being able to communicate with the other intelligence
sources. However, exactly how it intends to accomplish that is still under
development. Thus, at least some of the programs which will be needed to achieve
Army objectives have not yet been defined. Technologically, research and
development effort is focused on analysis tools, especially data fusion and validation.
An apparently singular success in this area is the Pathfinder text analysis system,
which is used extensively by the Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center and is
being incorporated into analysis systems throughout the military. This software is
reported to be able to sort through 500,000 documents in just a few minutes, finding
patterns, trends and statistics, and to have already contributed extensively to key
decisions.38 Key procurement efforts include the Distributed Common Ground
Station, the Tactical Exploitation System for IMINT analysis, a Tactical Unmanned
Aerial Vehicle (Shadow), a HUMINT analysis support system, the Aerial Common
Sensor to replace the Guardrail and Airborne Reconnaissance-Low airborne
reconnaissance systems, and the PROPHET ground-based sensor and jammer.39 The
Joint Tactical Terminal, a prototype radio system designed for interoperability to
access several different intelligence broadcasts, has been deployed in Afghanistan
with apparent success.40
Operationally, the Army says it is making major changes at the tactical level.
It is forming Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition (RSTA)
squadrons to provide focused analysis to the brigade commander. Traditionally, this
level of effort for collecting and analyzing intelligence occurs higher up the chain of
command, at division and corps level. The shift to delivering high-quality, timely
intelligence directly to the smaller unit is a key aspect of why the Army believes it
can operate some units successfully in combat without the armored protection an M-1
tank provides. These RSTA squadrons are expected to employ many of the
technologies listed in the previous paragraph, particularly the tactical UAV,
HUMINT analysis, ground sensors, and the DCGS for analysis and dissemination.
37 Roger Roy, “Army Seeks Smarter Future,” Orlando Sentinel, January 13, 2002, p. 7.
Frank Tiboni, “Future Concepts May Delay Army’s WIN-T,” Defense News, March 11-17,
38 “Pathfinder Puts Two and Two Together,” Jane’s International Defense Review,
December 2001, p. 27.
39 Interview with Mr. Pete Fisher, Army G2 office, February 08, 2002.
40 Jeremy Singer and Frank Tiboni, “New Intel Devices Get Trial By Fire In Afghanistan,”
Defense News, March 25-31, 2002, p. 8.
The RSTA squadrons will place intelligence personnel trained to collect HUMINT
forward to operate directly with tactical patrol elements, creating the potential to
significantly increase the quantity and value of HUMINT to army operations.41 A
final planned change to army tactical intelligence operations is to allow every soldier,
regardless of occupational specialty, to contribute his or her observations of
battlefield activity to the intelligence network. How this will be manifested is not yet
determined. If achieved, it will likely mean a vast increase in the amount of
information available to the units, and a concurrent increase in the requirement for
analysis while seeking to prevent information overload.42
Organizationally, the Army appears to have made fewer recent changes than
other services. While both the Air Force and the Navy have in the past few years
designated their senior intelligence officers as the functional managers for ISR, the
Army does not have a focal point for ISR. The senior intelligence officer has some
programmatic oversight, particularly for intelligence, but surveillance and
reconnaissance fall under the purview of the operations officer.43 Some observers
believe this split in responsibility may slow the Army’s ability to integrate all aspects
of ISR not only with Army operations but with other service ISR capabilities.
Do the Army’s activities in ISR support transformation? The Army’s emphasis
on interoperability, as well as its apparent major commitment to change the way it
fights, seems to say they do, although there are still many questions to be answered
concerning how the new army units will operate, including how they will use ISR.
The RSTA squadron, incorporating most aspects of Army intelligence plans and
promising fusion, increased detail, and persistent surveillance, may be viewed as a
radical departure from current operations, but its ability to function in the face of a
wide range of threats is yet to be determined.
Air Force. The Air Force says its transformation effort builds on the successes
it has already achieved in being able to reach targets with stealth aircraft and strike
them very accurately with guided weapons. It emphasizes integration of current
capabilities with modernization of its fighter force (the F-22 Raptor and the Joint
Strike Fighter), improved airborne reconnaissance and command and control aircraft
including UAVs, and networking.44
The Air Force is the largest military provider of surveillance and reconnaissance
as it operates most surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and is DOD’s executive
agent for space. It is focusing its ISR transformation effort on creating multiple
platforms which together can watch a battlefield regardless of the terrain, time of day
or weather conditions, and communicate the observations in a way that an identified
41 Brigadier General Paul Eaton, Deputy Commanding General for Transformation,
Training and Doctrine Command, press briefing, May 18 2001.
42 Chris Strohm, “Army Intel Community Wrestles with Effects of Transformation,” Defense
Information and Electronics Report, August 17, 2001, pp. 8-9.
43 Interview with Mr. Pete Fisher.
44 Christopher Bolkcom, Air Force Transformation: Background and Issues for Congress,
CRS Report RS20859, p. 4.
target can be destroyed within ten minutes of the initial observations.45
Technologically, the challenges the Air Force perceives are in integrating today’s
platforms to provide one coherent picture of the battlespace, reducing the need for
human transfer between systems of basic technical data such as location information,
and determining if or when to move ISR capabilities currently performed by airborne
platforms to space. Key procurement programs are the Space-Based Radar and
“Smart Tanker” (a program to equip all aerial tankers with surveillance sensors and
communications equipment) to increase the military’s persistent surveillance, the
Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program to improve tracking moving
ground targets, Predator B and Global Hawk UAVs for airborne persistent
surveillance and reconnaissance, Theater Battle Management Core System, Network
Centric Collaborative Targeting and the Air Operations Center Common Operating
Picture for coordination with operations, and the previously mentioned Distributed
Common Ground Station for analysis and dissemination.46
To some observers, the operational changes the Air Force is now attempting to
develop in ISR are more incremental than revolutionary. As noted earlier, the Air
Force claims that revolutionary changes have already occurred, such as the
integration of UAVs into the Air Force’s operations and the ability to get the process
of identifying targets and subsequently destroying them down from days to minutes
in length. The Air Force believes it is doing a good job providing ISR at the theater
level, but is not yet able to provide a global perspective. Moving most of the Air
Force’s surveillance and reconnaissance assets to space could significantly increase
world-wide coverage, and may be the next major change in ISR operations, if
appropriate technology develops. Such a move, however, will surely be quite costly,
and also risks a loss in flexibility, as satellites have historically been difficult to move
quickly from one target area to another, and have also been more difficult than
aircraft to repair or replace when necessary. Observers also question whether more
emphasis should be placed on analysis, rather than on more equipment. For example,
bomb damage assessment, the process by which the commander determines how
much damage an attack caused on a given target, and therefore whether it needs to
be struck again, has been called a weak area for Operation Enduring Freedom.47
Organizationally, the Air Force has made several moves to improve its ISR. Its
re-organization in the early 1990s combining Strategic Air Command with Tactical
Air Command to form Air Combat Command could be seen as a step toward ISR
transformation, as it brought most ISR assets under one commander. Previously, the
Air Force’s “strategic” reconnaissance aircraft like the RC-135, U-2, and SR-71,
belonged to Strategic Air Command, and were reserved primarily for tasks associated
with defeating the Soviet Union. With the formation of Air Combat Command, these
aircraft have been made much more available to units fighting theater wars, such as
Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Another organizational change the Air Force has made
45 Amy Butler, “Jumper’s ISR Vision Focuses more on Integration than Platforms,” Inside
the Air Force, August 17, 2001, pp.3-4.
46 Interview with Lt Col Charles Bartlett, AF/XOIR, February 20, 2002.
47 Lisa Burgess, “Critics Say Flaws in DOD Approach Keep Smart Bombs from Reaching
Potential,” European Stars and Stripes, April 10, 2002,
which may support ISR transformation is the designation of its senior intelligence
officer as the functional manager for all ISR, giving that person responsibility for all
ISR resourcing and management. Also, in 1997 the Air Force formed a center now
known as the Aerospace Command and Control and Intelligence, Surveillance and
Reconnaissance Center (AC2ISRC) which focuses on standardizing Command and
Control as well as ISR systems for both the joint and coalition audience.48 The Air
Force’s recent designation as DOD’s executive agent for space, including director of
the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), has increased its responsibility and
authority to coordinate and guide the use of space for ISR. The Air Force has also
formed a new office, the deputy chief of staff for warfare integration. This office is
expected to ensure that all Air Force systems fit into a common architecture, with
particular emphasis on command and control and ISR systems.49 Finally, the Air
Force has formed seven functional “task forces” in its headquarters staff, each
headed by a Colonel. One of these is the Air and Space/C2ISR Task Force. The task
forces are meant to be able to cut across traditional program areas and staff lines
focused on weapon systems such as “bombers,” design new concepts of operation,
and advocate for required capabilities with a stronger, more coherent voice than has
Do the Air Force’s activities in ISR support transformation? Judged by the
standards of interoperability, support to changed methods of warfighting, and ability
to confront a wide range of threats, the answer is unclear. Interoperability stands at
the top of the Air Force’s stated priorities. The various changes in Air Force
organization which have occurred since the end of the Cold War appear to be the
most aggressive of all the services. The availability and applicability of space assets
to warfighting has increased significantly, adding greatly to the services’ access to
a world-wide perspective as well as in-depth intelligence. As noted earlier, Air Force
efforts appear to have played a large role in establishing the lauded ISR capabilities,
particularly their persistent surveillance, for Operation Enduring Freedom. However,
some observers believe the Air Force is primarily achieving technical improvements
to established programs and operating methods, rather than a radical change
appropriate to a potentially radically different enemy. Another point made is that
while the Air Force owns the vast majority of ISR aircraft, these aircraft have been
operating at a very high rate for a number of years, such that the aircraft and crews
are significantly more stressed than most of the Air Force. This leads to situations
where ISR aircraft are unavailable to fly missions for commanders who need them.
Observers wonder why the Air Force has not yet fixed this problem.51
Navy and Marine Corps. The Navy and Marine Corps’ primary effort for
transformation is their concept of network centric warfare, linking today’s weapon
48 William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to the President and the
Congress, 2000, p. 201.
49 James Roche, Secretary of the Air Force, “Special Briefing on Army and Air Force
Headquarters Reorganization,”Department of Defense Public Affairs, December 18, 2001.
50 John Barry, Maj Gen, USAF, “Transformation Across the Spectrum of Conflict,” Briefing
at 2002 HQ USAF/XP Air and Space Conference, March 6, Washington, DC.
51 Lisa Burgess, “Critics.”
systems in local and wide-area networks such as the Cooperative Engagement
Capability (CEC) for air and missile defense and the Navy and Marine Corps Intranet
(NMCI) to exchange information and control actions. In addition, the Navy is
studying new ship designs and operational concepts to improve naval capability in
littoral waters and for sea-basing to defeat the “anti-access” threat where no near-by
land bases are available.52 The Marine Corps seeks to improve its ability to fight in
the urban environment. This includes less-than-lethal weapons, tactical and man-
portable UAVs, and networking.53
The Navy and Marine Corps’ plans for ISR are toward better networking and
integration, as well as organic sensors for persistent surveillance.54 The Navy’s CEC
has been successfully deployed with the USS John F. Kennedy carrier battle group,
earning accolades from some observers as the military’s first true “network-centric”
program.55 While CEC is not specifically an ISR program, it ties many Navy sensors
together to achieve a much better picture of the battlespace. For networking and
analysis, DCGS forms the foundation for bringing all sources of intelligence together,
while the Naval Fires Network is the primary program supporting the Navy’s entire
process of identifying targets and striking them. The P-3 Aircraft Improvement
Program and S-3 Surveillance System Upgrade, both still in development but used
with success in Afghanistan, aim at significantly improving that process.56
Concerning sensors, most effort is on unmanned platforms with new sensors for
better SIGINT and MASINT. The Navy expects to procure the Global Hawk UAV,
at least for testing, and is actively developing an unmanned underwater vehicle
(UUV), while the Marine Corps is speeding the fielding of its man-portable Dragon
Eye UAV and continues work toward a vertical-takeoff and landing UAV to replace
its Pioneer UAV.57
Operationally, some degree of transformation appears to have occurred as
shown by the successful integration of Navy ISR assets, particularly the P-3 and
space assets, with Air Force assets to produce persistent surveillance and a common
operating picture of the battlefield for all services’ combat assets operating in
Afghanistan. In the Marine Corps, a shift in ISR operations began after Operation
Desert Storm, when it was thought that the marines received poor intelligence
support. In 1993 the Corps initiated a plan to produce professional intelligence
52 Ronald O’Rourke, Naval Transformation: Background and Issues for Congress, CRS
Report RS20851, p. 3, and Ronald O’Rourke, Navy Network-Centric Warfare Concept: Key
Programs and Issues for Congress, CRS Report RS20557.
53 O’Rourke, Naval Transformation, p. 3.
54 Dennis McGinn, Vice Admiral, USN Director of Naval Warfare, interview in Aviation
Week and Space Technology, December 24/31 2001, p. 39.
55 Chip Cummins, “Already On Board,” Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2002, p. R-6.
56 Gail Kaufman, “U.S. Navy Considering New Mission for Old Plane,” Defense News,
November 12-18, 2001, p. 30.
57 Interviews with CAPT Jack Dorsett, USN, Office of Chief of Naval Operations, N20,
February 26 2002, and Lt Col John B. Lang, HQ USMC, Intelligence Department, IPP,
February 08, 2002.
officers, with their own career plans and command opportunities.58 The Corps now
has experienced intelligence officers at all levels, apparently contributing directly to
the success of the Marine units in Afghanistan. The Marine Corps is also expanding
its Intelligence Analysis System, which brings the various sources of intelligence
together for analysis by intelligence personnel.
Organizationally, the Navy has implemented some of the same concepts as the
Air Force in its bid to transform its ISR. Its senior intelligence officer is also
designated the functional manager for ISR. In addition, the Navy has implemented
a concept very similar to the Air Force’s seven functional task forces. It has
identified six “mission capability packages,” each overseen by a Navy Captain, to cut
through the traditional weapon systems focus, design new concepts of operation, and
build the architectures needed. One of these mission capability packages is dedicated
to ISR.59 The mission capabilities packages are overseen by the Navy’s Office of
Warfare Integration and Assessment, which began operation in October, 2000.60
Finally, the Navy has designated a new command, the Naval Network Warfare
Command, to begin operation in May 2002.61 While not limited to ISR, its charter
to oversee the development of all networks in the Navy should have a major impact
on Navy and Marine Corps ISR.
Do the Navy and Marine Corps activities in ISR support transformation? Like
the Army and Air Force, interoperability appears to be stressed in the naval ISR
programs. The Marine Corps’ Intelligence Analysis System appears to be making
progress on improving fused assessments for its units. Some observers believe the
Navy deserves just as much credit as the Air Force for the establishment of a
successful persistent ISR network in Operation Enduring Freedom.62 In addition, the
naval programs appear, more than the Army and Air Force, designed to deal with a
wide range of threats as they consider littoral and urban warfare as well as the “anti-
access” scenario of having to fight completely from the sea with no nearby land-
based support. Their programs promise to provide the detail and persistence
warfighters believe they need to defeat these threats.
Special Operations Forces (SOF). SOF are elite, specialized military
units that can be inserted into enemy territory. These forces both require and collect63
intelligence at all levels–one of their capabilities is strategic reconnaissance. While
much of the equipment SOF uses is procured by the services, Special Operations
58 Interview with Lt Col John Lang.
59 Interview with CAPT Jack Dorsett.
60 “Navy Adds Homeland Defense to Mission Capability Packages,” Navy News & Undersea
Technology, January 2, 2002, pg.1.
61 Dale Eisman, “Navy Setting Up Command for Information Network,” Norfolk Virginian-
Pilot, March 16, 2002, p. B3.
62 Craig Covault, “Navy Space Ops Crucial to Afghan War,” Aviation Week and Space
Technology, April 8, 2002, p. 86.
63 Edward F. Bruner, Christopher Bolkcom and Ronald O’Rourke, Special Operations
Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom: Background and Issues for Congress, CRS Report
Command (SOCOM) has authority unique among the unified commands to procure
systems specific to SOF requirements. Its main effort for transformation appears to
be successful fielding of the CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and the Advanced SEAL
Delivery System (ASDS) mini-submarine to be launched from former ballistic
missile submarines which the Navy is converting to guided missile submarines.64
The unique capabilities SOF are seeking in ISR concentrate on receiving the
highest-quality intelligence at the lowest tactical level. They are developing the Joint
Threat Warning System to provide a downlink for intelligence broadcasts and a
SIGINT receiver for immediate warning. This system will be designed in several
physical configurations, from body-worn to maritime-based. They are also designing
an upgrade to the SOF Intelligence Vehicle, a modified “humvee” with
communications links and analysis terminals which may increase the availability of
intelligence and tailored analysis to personnel in the field.65 Man-portable UAVs are
also being procured.66
Operationally, SOF actions in Afghanistan suggest that some transformation
has already occurred, as SOF personnel determined how to identify and communicate
potential targets for aircraft to strike. While this type of operation has long been a
SOF skill, the melding of GPS and other immediately available data such as Predator
video with the human observations of the SOF personnel had not been possible in
Organizationally, the naval component of SOCOM, Naval Special Warfare
Command, which previously did not have a dedicated intelligence analysis capability,
is establishing a Mission Support Center which will include intelligence analysis.
The other components, Air Force Special Operations Command and Army Special
Operations Command, are increasing the size of their intelligence organizations,
mostly in response to the increased requirements of the global war on terrorism. The
Special Operations Command Joint Intelligence Center’s production capability may
expand considerably, as well.68
To many observers, the special operations forces have always been
transformational. At least within their own community, interoperability is stressed,
and they have historically used different ways of fighting against unconventional
enemies. The plans outlined above for ISR may appear to be only incremental, but
this may be appropriate for a force which is believed to already have a culture of
transformation. The effort in unmanned vehicles may improve SOF’s ability to
64 Ron Laurenzo, “Osprey, SEAL Mini-Sub Top Special Ops Priorities,” Defense Week
Daily Update, March 12, 2002; OSD/PA Press Release, “Special Briefing on Special
Operations Forces Capabilities,” December 12, 2001.
65 Telephone interview with LTC Jim Boardman, U.S. Special Operations Command SOIO-
IN-OP, March 05, 2002.
66 Robert Wall, “Counterterror Combat Shrinks Special Ops Inventory,” Aviation Week &
Space Technology, March 18, 2002, p. 28.
67 Telephone interview with LTC Jim Boardman.
68 Telephone interview with LTC Jim Boardman.
provide surveillance, while the increasing size of their intelligence centers promises
an improved world-wide perspective, potentially at a greater level of detail than
before. A caution may be that SOF, while interoperable and innovative among
themselves, have in the past had difficulty communicating and coordinating with
non-SOF assets. This appears to have been overcome in Operation Enduring
Freedom, at least with respect to calling in air strikes, receiving other types of air
support, and sharing intelligence. If after-action reports of the war in Afghanistan
bear out these early observations, SOF will probably be considered by most to still
be on the leading edge of transformation.
Coast Guard. The Coast Guard, probably more than any of the other services,
is undergoing a mission change due to the attacks of September 11, 2001. It is
moving from a force which emphasized maritime safety, protection of natural
resources, and law enforcement to focus more on its maritime security and national
defense missions, including port security both in the United States and at overseas
ports where U.S. forces are located.69 At the same time, the Coast Guard is
undergoing a wholesale replacement of many of its ships, boats, and aircraft in an
effort to replace obsolete systems while achieving full integration and
interoperability. This acquisition program, named “Deepwater”, has been in planning
for several years and should be contracted out in 2002. It will not replace systems
type for type, but instead will use an integrated mix of surface and air platforms with
appropriate connectivity to achieve the required capabilities.70
Coast Guard acquisitions, including Deepwater, claim to strongly emphasize
interoperability. Much more than the other services, however, for the Coast Guard
interoperability implies the ability to communicate and operate with civilian vessels
and other non-defense agencies, as well as with defense organizations. Thus, one key
ISR program is its National Distress Response Modernization Program, providing
VHF radio towers to improve communications with all maritime activities,
particularly its ability to receive distress calls. Another program aims at expanding
SIPRNET, the standard DOD-wide secure internet system for classified data, to all
port operations centers and major cutters.71 The Deepwater contract specifically
requires its system integrator to periodically upgrade sensors and ISR throughout the
30 years of the Deepwater program.72 ISR capabilities being considered for the
Deepwater program include the Global Hawk UAV, a vertical take-off and landing
UAV, and other sensors such as air and surface-search radars and passive electronic73
69 Interview with CAPT Richard Kelly, USCG, Sponsor’s Representative for Deepwater
Program, March 11, 2002.
70 Ronald O’Rourke, Coast Guard Deepwater Program: Background and Issues for
Congress, CRS Report RS21019, p. 3. See also [http://www.uscg.mil/deepwater].
71 Interview with LCDR Dave Vaughn, USCG C4ISR planner, April 12, 2002.
72 Interview with CAPT Kelly.
73 U.S. Coast Guard, Integrated Deepwater System Program, Maritime Domain Awareness
point paper, [http://www.uscg.mil/deepwater/] accessed on March 22, 2002.
Operationally, the Coast Guard has a goal to inspect all suspect and other high-
interest vessels such as cruise ships before they enter U.S. territorial waters. ISR
must point the Coast Guard to the right vessels for inspection. Some regulatory tools,
such as the requirement that all ships provide inventory and crew data 96 hours
before reaching U.S. waters and the anticipated 2004 implementation of an
identification transponder for all ships worldwide larger than 300 gross tons are
expected to help. However, these sources of information need automated analysis
not yet available. Another shift in operations involves the field intelligence teams
working at major ports. The Coast Guard’s goal is to post a team permanently at
every major port. These teams include Coast Guard intelligence personnel and Coast
Guard investigative service special agents. The teams are expected to liaise with
other federal, state and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct
data collection, reporting and dissemination. Finally, putting SIPRNET terminals on
every ship could encourage a major change in ISR operations. These terminals
provide easy access to and transmission of large amounts of classified data and
communications and enhance the user’s ability to coordinate with other DOD
activities, including the military intelligence community. Taken together, these
changes in ISR operations are expected to substantially increase the Coast Guard’s
production of and access to intelligence.74
Organizationally, the Coast Guard sees a need for shore-based fusion and
analysis centers to handle the increased quantity of intelligence, and is coordinating
with the Navy to establish one such 24-hour operations center on each coast. The
Coast Guard is also significantly increasing its airborne and shipborne intelligence
collection capability, and bringing it under the guidance of the Navy’s Naval Security
Do the Coast Guard’s activities in ISR support transformation? As with the
other services, interoperability is perceived as key and appears to be receiving strong
emphasis from Coast Guard planners. The Deepwater program’s ISR, although
conceived well before transformation became the coin of the realm in the Defense
Department, seems to be aimed at allowing the Coast Guard to change its methods
of operation by giving it an ability to function in tandem with the Navy and other
agencies, significantly farther from shore than is possible today. Finally, the Coast
Guard does appear to be standing up to the new perception of the threat with its
desire to intercept suspect ships at sea and increase the robustness of in-port
intelligence and security. These, in turn, should add significant detail to the
intelligence picture. However, the Coast Guard seems to be in uncharted waters.
Deepwater is a very ambitious program, and the means to fully fuse and analyze the
vastly increased amount of intelligence while coordinating with law enforcement
agencies has not yet been determined.
74 Interview with LT Greg Rainey, USCG, Intelligence Resource Management planner, April
75 Interview with CAPT Kelly.
Defense Intelligence Community
As noted earlier, military intelligence uses ISR from the entire intelligence
community, not just the military services. The services depend primarily on three
intelligence agencies in the Defense Department itself–the Defense Intelligence
Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA), and the National Imagery and
Mapping Agency (NIMA). The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), while a
DOD agency, designs, launches, and flies satellites for the other agencies, and is not
a primary producer of intelligence products. Service expectations concerning the
future activities of DIA, NSA, and NIMA are important factors in service decision-
DIA. Since September 11, 2001, DIA, the military’s primary source of
HUMINT and strategic analysis, has received a large increase in resources to increase
its production of both HUMINT and strategic analysis. This has the potential to
significantly improve the military’s awareness of possible threats worldwide. Service
officials indicate general satisfaction with DIA’s direction. The Navy, for example,
appears to be reducing its expenditure on HUMINT activities in the belief that DIA
will be able to successfully fill any gaps.76 In addition, DIA runs several military-
wide programs that support strategic analysis. For example, DOD officials believe
the Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture, a collaborative intelligence network, has
made major headway in establishing standardized access to data and analysts
throughout the military intelligence community. The architecture has incorporated
many analytical tools including the Army’s Pathfinder mentioned earlier as well as
a single integrated data base which together may improve analysts’ ability to fuse all
sources of intelligence.
NSA. Analysts generally believe the nation’s primary producer of Signals
Intelligence, or SIGINT, is struggling to maintain and improve capability while faced
with the huge world-wide changes in how information flows and is processed. For
example, experts say fiber-optic cables make eavesdropping difficult. The vast
increase in the quantity and variety of communications, such as by cell phones,
pagers, and the internet, also increase the difficulty of finding communications of77
interest. Due to the need to re-tool, especially in the light of its essential role in
protecting the United States from terrorist attack, NSA has significantly reduced its
support to tactical-level military operations. The services are acutely aware of this
and are devoting more resources toward tactical SIGINT, an often key element for78
successful time-critical targeting.
NIMA. The nation’s primary producer of geospatial intelligence (maps and
imagery) is attempting to digitize all geospatial intelligence, aiding in the processing
76 Discussions with service ISR planners, January-March 2002.
77 Richard A. Best, Jr., The National Security Agency: Issues for Congress, CRS Report
RL30740, p. 3.
78 Marc Strass, Services Need to Maintain Own SIGINT Capability, NSA Says, Defense
Daily, August 15, 2001, pg. 3. For further discussion of NSA and its current status, see
Best, The National Security Agency.
and dissemination of the gathered intelligence, as well as fusion with other
intelligence resources. It also plans to deploy a Future Imagery Architecture which
consists of a large number of small imagery satellites able to provide more persistent
coverage of areas of interest than today’s satellite architecture. Service
representatives are generally convinced that there will be sufficient imagery data for
the transformed force. They are less certain that the geo-location information
required for precision strike will be available for every location the services may need
to know about, and they also believe that continued emphasis on processing,
exploitation, and dissemination of geospatial intelligence is needed.79
What Transformations of ISR Will Be Needed?
As noted earlier, many observers believe significant transformation of ISR has
already occurred and has been practiced in Afghanistan. The military’s ability to
move data from the reconnaissance platform to the weapon system able to take
action, the so-called “sensor to shooter” sequence, generally required at least a full
day in Operation Desert Storm, as imagery from a satellite or reconnaissance aircraft
had to be analyzed, identified as a target, turned into hard-copy, and intensively
studied by the aircrew before a weapon could be dropped accurately. In Operation
Enduring Freedom, Special Operations Forces personnel on the ground identified a
Taliban troop concentration, called the target back to the Combined Air Operations
Center in Saudi Arabia, received permission to call in an airstrike, determined the
exact coordinates of the enemy using Global Positioning System (GPS), and passed
those coordinates to a loitering B-52 bomber which again used GPS to guide bombs
onto the target within less than 20 minutes of the original identification of the
target.80 Similarly, Predator UAVs have been able to transmit live video pictures to
waiting AC-130 gunships, which were able to attack moving targets while the
Predator monitored for effectiveness, again within minutes of original target81
identification. These examples highlight recent gains in the precision and timely
communication of intelligence, as well as interoperability among weapon systems
and even between services. With regard to analysis, over the past ten years the
growth of an intelligence-community-wide secure intranet known as INTELINK has
significantly increased intelligence personnel access to intelligence data, reports of
all types, and other analysts, worldwide.82
79 NIMA Statement of Strategic Intent, January 2002, p. 2; Discussions with service ISR
planners, January-March 2002; John M. Diamond, “Re-examining Problems and Prospects
in U.S. Imagery Intelligence,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
vol. 14 no. 1, 2001, p. 6.
80 Lt Gen Chuck Wald, USAF, “Air & Space Power: Evolution, Application and Vision,”
Briefing to HQ USAF/XP 2002 Air and Space Conference, Washington, DC, March 7,
81 David A. Fulghum, “Intel Emerging as Key Weapon in Afghanistan,” Aviation Week &
Space Technology, March 11, 2002, p. 24.
82 Richard A. Best, Jr., Intelligence Implications of the Military Technical Revolution, CRS
Report 95-560F, p. 15.
Most members of the military intelligence community say they are continuing
to work hard at interoperability–they appear to have agreed that the ability to share
intelligence throughout the community is essential. In addition, there appear to be
some significant departures from old ways of doing things which could support the
other goals of transformation. The most revolutionary concepts being developed
today appear to be the Army’s Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting and
Acquisition squadron, DIA’s Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture, and the large
increase in the use of unmanned vehicles already underway in all of the services.
Although by no means radical to the rest of the intelligence community, the Coast
Guard’s plan to bring classified communications via SIPRNET onto every ship
creates the possibility of a sweeping change in its use of intelligence.
Some outside observers, however, believe that in addition to these changes, the
military intelligence community needs to establish a whole new method for analysis.
Bruce D. Berkowitz and Allan E. Goodman, for example, note that the subject matter
for most military analysts is far more fluid than during the cold war, rendering
standard databases and analytical models for explaining behavior obsolete.83
Indications and Warning, the analysis which warns of impending attack on the United
States or its vital interests, depends on the ability to predict enemy activity, based on
enemy plans, doctrine, and observed exercises and training. Many of today’s
potential adversaries offer little in the way of traditionally observable activity.84
Berkowitz and Goodman see maintaining databases as a vastly more difficult
problem today than it was twelve years ago; precision-guided munitions, world-wide
interests, adversary use of western and non-traditional weaponry, and the need for
increased information about civilian populations have significantly expanded and
complicated military intelligence database needs.85
In response to this problem, the primary solution offered, both inside and
outside the Defense Department, is the development of better technology. This may
be artificial intelligence such as neural networks which “learn” as they are used to
perform data-mining and other analytical tasks, or powerful “cookies” like those that
internet marketers use to track customer responses.86 However, senior analysts who
have observed these tools believe they still require significant development before
they can be applied to day-to-day intelligence analysis.87 As noted earlier, this is an
area in which DARPA is conducting research and development.
While much effort is being placed on improving the technological tools
available to analysts, several observers argue that, whereas in the Cold War the vast
majority of key information was obtainable only through classified intelligence
methods, today most information of value is available through open sources. They
83 Berkowitz and Goodman, p. 100.
84 Berkowitz and Goodman, p. 104.
85 Berkowitz and Goodman, pp. 113-117.
86 Markoff, “Chief Takes Over.” See also [http://www.imagination-engines.com] and John
Arquila and David Ronfeldt, “Fighting the Network War,” Wired, December 2001, pp. 149-
87 Discussions with senior Defense Intelligence Agency analysts, April 10, 2002.
propose a more market-based or decentralized approach to intelligence analysis,
allowing multiple groups, possibly contractors or even the general public, to make
competing inputs to databases and analyses for the decision-maker.88
Another possible approach is to move more intelligence analysis from the
arguably insulated world of the intelligence community directly into operations
analysis. Two examples of this melding are the Air Force’s Checkmate analysis cell
which gained public attention helping plan the air operation for Desert Storm,89 and
the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, which conducts engineering-level analyses of
potential target systems such as power grids to find the linkages and vulnerabilities
in them.90 Both organizations have strong reputations within the Defense
Department for finding new ways to defeat the enemy when “traditional” intelligence
and operations centers do not. They are not intelligence centers, although both have
intelligence analysts working in them. The intelligence analysts work side by side
with operations analysts to focus all data, whether from an intelligence source or
another source such as a logistics report, on the operational problem at hand. This
type of analysis requires getting the intelligence community to find and produce
exactly what a specific customer requests, working beside the customer from start to
88 Treverton, p. 104; Berkowitz and Goodman, p. 122; Robert David Steele, On Intelligence:
Spies and Secrecy in an Open World, AFCEA International Press, Fairfax, VA, 2000, p. 76;
Arquila and Ronfeldt, “Fighting the Network War,” p. 150.
89 Best, Intelligence Implications, p. 12.
90 Joint Warfare Analysis Center information page, available on the Internet at
[http://www.jfcom.mil/about/com_jwac.htm], accessed Jan. 17, 2003.
Issues for Congress
The conference report for the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2002 stated four primary concerns for the intelligence community; re-vitalization of
NSA, correction of HUMINT deficiencies, correcting a perceived imbalance between91
collection and analysis, and ensuring adequate research and development. In
addition, several other issues involving the cost and quality of intelligence, as well
as leadership, military intelligence’s role in homeland defense and the impact of
potential intelligence community reform may be considered.
Revitalization of NSA
A long-standing congressional concern has been to ensure that NSA adjust
successfully to the emerging electronic environment.92 The services note that NSA
has shifted resources to help it deal with the new environment, with a resulting
reduced support for tactical operations. The services have therefore identified actions
needed to mitigate the loss of some NSA support. As mentioned earlier, these
include upgraded airborne platforms in all services, including UAVs and aerial
refueling aircraft, the PROPHET ground-based sensor, and SOF’s Joint Threat
Warning System. The services stress, however, that NSA must still provide them
with access to technologies as they are fielded.93 Congress may choose to monitor
this aspect of NSA’s performance, while funding appropriate service initiatives
which fill in some of the gaps left by NSA’s current focus on the strategic electronic
Congress also sees a national security imperative to improve HUMINT.
HUMINT is the one type of intelligence that nearly all outside experts believe needs
to be increased, as it can provide access to potential enemies’ plans and intentions in
greater detail than other sources. This is primarily the responsibility of CIA and DIA;
the services’ roles at the strategic level have declined significantly since 1995 when
most service HUMINT capabilities, in particular their attaches posted to embassies
world-wide, were consolidated into the Defense HUMINT Service, run by DIA.
Some believe this move hurt the production of HUMINT for military purposes. 94
91 U.S. Congress, 107th Congress, 1st session, Committee of Conference, Intelligence
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, H.Rept. 107-328, December 6, 2001, p. 18. The
Conference Report accompanying the FY2003 Intelligence Authorization Act adjusted thisth
listing to emphasize information sharing and cross-community analysis. U.S. Congress, 107nd
Congress, 2 session, Committee of Conference, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2003, H.Rept. 107-789, November 14, 2002, p. 64.
92 Richard A. Best, Jr., The National Security Agency: Issues for Congress, CRS Report
RL30740, 7. See entire report for further discussion of NSA’s re-vitalization efforts.
93 Discussions with service ISR planners, January-March 2002.
94 Ann Scott Tyson, “Spy Networks Being Rebuilt for Terror War,” Christian Science
Monitor, April 24, 2002, p. 2.
The services do retain some capabilities, usually for employment on or near the
battlefield itself. For example, some military personnel are trained to monitor
potential hostile activity in the local areas of bases and ports, for force protection.
In addition, as previously discussed, the Army plans to integrate soldiers trained in
collecting information into front-line squadrons. Operation Enduring Freedom has
apparently used Special Operations Forces and other troops to gather tactical
information to a greater extent than has occurred in other recent conflicts.
Collection is only part of the issue, however. The information gained must be
analyzed and processed into usable formats. This is a difficult problem currently
without a clear solution. While the other sources of intelligence data are generally
objective and fit fairly easily into database formats, information derived from humans
is subjective and often defies objective categorization. Entry into a database so that
the information is easily available to other analysts is, at this time, very manpower
intensive. Within the military community, DIA is responsible for this type of
analysis and has apparently made progress on database development.95 DIA’s
continued efforts in increasing the quantity and analysis of HUMINT in support of
DOD, especially the global war on terrorism, may deserve examination.
Collection vs Analysis
A third area in which Congress has expressed significant concern is the apparent
imbalance between collection and analysis, such that much data is collected by the
intelligence community but not analyzed in a timely manner. All of the services
report that analysis requires more attention. They say they are shifting manpower
toward analytical positions, increasing their use of contracted regional experts, and
trying to reduce redundancy in analysis. Technological solutions to the information
overload problem are also being researched, as noted earlier. Institutional changes
to address the analysis shortfall, such as encouraging competing analyses from
outside DOD, however, are not apparent.
At the same time that there is reported to be more information than can be
analyzed, continued acquisition of some specific collection capabilities may still be
appropriate. Many of DOD’s ISR platforms are in very high demand and are
operating at a significantly higher operating tempo than most of the rest of the force.96
These platforms collect focused intelligence of immediate value to the warfighter and
cannot be replaced by the large amounts of other intelligence already being collected.
In addition, acquisition of emerging capabilities designed to detect very difficult
targets, such as foliage-penetrating radars and other highly-technical capabilities
potentially able to detect deeply buried targets or biological and chemical laboratories
95 Jonathan Weisman, “Intelligence Agencies Put their Heads Together,” USA Today, April
12, 2002, p.11. The article states that documents found in Afghan caves and safe houses are
sent to DIA, where they are scanned into a database named Harmony. Then, analysts cross-
reference names, dates, addresses, and other information to establish other leads.
96 “DOD Refining Allocation Method for Heavily Stressed ISR Assets,” Defense
Information and Electronics Report, April 19, 2002, p. 1.
may provide previously inaccessible information of direct relevance to prosecution
of the global war on terrorism and other potential threats of the 21st century.97
Research and Development
Another major area of congressional concern is in research and
development–will the intelligence community be able to stay ahead of potential
adversaries as they develop new ways to conduct and hide their activities? As noted
above, both DARPA and OSD’s Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations
have projects which cover many aspects of Defense ISR, particularly in unmanned
reconnaissance, sensing technologies, and integrated analysis. Congress may choose
to watch these projects, as well as OSD’s selection of future projects, to ensure the
appropriate technologies are being developed. Congress may also scrutinize the
performance of the National Reconnaissance Office in this area. Widely recognized
as highly innovative in its early years, the NRO has over the past several years been
criticized for a reduced level of innovation as it became more a standard member of
the defense bureaucracy.98
Some of DOD’s ISR research and development programs have encountered
Congressional opposition. For example, the 106th Congress killed “Discoverer-2",
a space-based radar concept consisting of two experimental satellites, due to the high
cost and possible overlap with NIMA’s Future Imagery Architecture satellite
program. In addition, some in DOD believe that the structure of the program with just
two experimental satellites and no follow-on funding requirements inaccurately
communicated a low DOD priority for the program.99 In the FY2002 budget, the Air
Force’s Space Based Radar and Space Based Infrared System both had funding
requests reduced. The cuts were due primarily to seriously escalating costs and
program management issues.100 The DOD intelligence community still believes
development of these capabilities is vital, and the Air Force is re-focusing the
programs in response.101 Congress will then have the opportunity to determine
whether the programs still make sense.
97 Transformation Study Group Report, p. 30. For further discussion of this issue, focused
on imagery and signals intelligence, see Richard A. Best, Jr., Imagery Intelligence: Issues
for Congress, CRS Report RL31369, and Best, National Security Agency.
98 Best, Imagery Intelligence, p. 18.
99 James R. Asker, “Wanted Still,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, vol. 153 no. 17,
(October 23, 2000), p. 33.
100 U.S. Congress, Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 2002, and Supplemental
Appropriations, 2002, S.Rept. 107-109 to accompany HR 3338, December 5, 2001.
101 Robert Wall, “New Space-based Radar Shaped by SBIRS Snags,” Aviation Week & Space
Technology, February 18, 2002, p. 30.
Networks vs Quality Intelligence
A consistent theme throughout DOD is an emphasis on getting networks in
place so that information can flow.102 While even the best intelligence is only useful
if it is communicated, poor data on the network can also have devastating
consequences. One potential danger is that the flow of information, regardless of the
quality of that information, may become a measure of success.103 Particularly if the
number of contributors to the intelligence networks grows, possibly exponentially,
the data must still be analyzed and validated. While DIA appears to be making
progress on this problem at the strategic analysis level, some observers believe the
Marine Corps has the clearest vision on meeting this requirement at the tactical level
with its design of its Intelligence Analysis System bringing all data collected by the
front-line troops into one location for comparison, analysis, and dissemination. The
Army’s Pathfinder text analysis tool appears to be an example of the type of
automated analytical tool which will be needed both in the field and in supporting
intelligence centers, although it is currently primarily used by strategic analysts, not
those directly supporting combat troops. Analysis tools and the doctrine and people
to use them will need to develop while the networks evolve. Congress may choose
to examine service networking programs to ensure that quality of data, as well as data
flow, is being improved.
Will ISR for the transformed force cost significantly more than today’s ISR?
Due to the mix of “black” (classified) with “white” (unclassified) funding, it is
impossible to quantify in an unclassified report the expected changes in the military
ISR budget over the next several years. However, some feel for the impact on the
budget can be measured in general terms. In the administration’s budget request for
FY2003, for example, the Defense Emergency Response Fund request of $20.1
billion included $2.6 billion for increased situational awareness supporting the global
war on terrorism.104 With a significant portion of this request going toward ISR and
related activities, service ISR planners note general satisfaction with the budgetary
support they are receiving. One area which traditionally is quite expensive is satellite
reconnaissance. While upgrades to our imagery satellite constellation are already
presumably budgeted (the funding for reconnaissance satellites has always been
classified), other changes to the satellite constellation, particularly in support of
DOD’s quest for world-wide “persistent” surveillance and reconnaissance, may
significantly increase the cost of future ISR. These programs are apparently exactly
102 David A. Fulghum, “Pentagon Priorities Shift to Data and Networks,” Aviation Week &
Space Technology, April 22, 2002, p. 22.
103 Mark Lowenthal, previously cited, believes that the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Vision
exhibit an “‘intellectual sloppiness’ that tends to use ‘information systems’ interchangeably
with ‘intelligence.’”(p. 9) He perceives an assumption in the Joint Visions that the
information (i.e., intelligence) on the networks will be accurate, but they contain no
explanation as to how that accuracy will be achieved.
104 The Budget for Fiscal Year 2003, Washington DC, 2002, p. 277.
the types of programs Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is proposing should receive
funds re-directed from reduced or cancelled major weapons programs such as the F-
22 fighter and Comanche helicopter.105 On the other hand, increased ISR expenditure
may hold out the promise of decreased expenditures in other areas, as potentially the
services will require fewer and/or cheaper weapon systems as they experience lower
attrition and more efficient employment in combat situations. These savings,
however, are unlikely to compensate for the potential large increases in ISR funding
The military services seem to place their greatest trust in people who are trained
to directly attack the enemy with deadly force. Officers who spent much of their
career in the intelligence field are rarely selected to be senior leaders of their services.
Most three-star officers who spent significant time as intelligence officers, as well as
Admiral Bobby Inman, U.S. Navy (ret), perhaps the only career intelligence officer
to achieve four-star rank, have served at that rank only as their service’s senior
intelligence officer or as the head of an intelligence agency such as the National
Security Agency. An exception was Lieutenant General (three star) Ervin Rokke,
U.S. Air Force (ret), who served as the president of National Defense University.
Invariably, the officers retire after completion of their tours as the head of an
intelligence agency, rather than move back into the leadership of their parent service
or the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Admiral Inman led the National Security Agency as a
three-star, then became the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence as a four-star
Consequently, the most senior uniformed members of the military continue to
be people who are most familiar with the procurement, planning and employment of
lethal force, rather than with the procurement, planning and employment of
information and intelligence.106 While the effect is not measurable, this fact could
reduce the strength with which ISR issues are fought in the DOD bureaucracy, as
well as reducing the options senior officers are willing to consider as they confront
new enemies and situations. While it is probably appropriate that any officer in
position to order others into combat also be a combat officer, there are positions at
the three and four star level which do not command combat forces. If intelligence
is becoming more important to national security and the application of force than the
weapons themselves, the Senate may find it desirable to express a desire to the
Secretary of Defense that more officers with an intelligence background be
nominated for senior officer positions.
105 Thom Shanker, “Rumsfeld Delays Decisions on Trimming Arms Programs,” New York
Times, May 1, 2002, p. A19.
106 Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks, “1's and 0's Replacing Bullets in U.S. Arsenal,”
Washington Post, Feb 2, 2002, p. 1.
Military Intelligence Role in Homeland Defense
All of the services believe that they must play a greater role in homeland defense
than they had before the September 11 attacks. The role of the services’ intelligence
capabilities, however, does not appear to be as clear. By law, the military is restricted
in its authority to collect or analyze intelligence on U.S. persons or the United States.
In addition, the military is in a war, the global war on terrorism, which is stretching
intelligence assets. Intelligence collected and analyzed for the military should be
made available to other agencies involved in homeland defense. This is already
occurring between the Navy, Coast Guard, and other domestic agencies with
responsibilities for port security, as well as between DIA, CIA, FBI and NSA.107
However, a significant shift of effort by the service intelligence agencies from
overseas to homeland defense may be inappropriate.
The establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in January
2003 will affect the responsibilities of all intelligence agencies, including those in
DOD. DHS will not itself collect foreign intelligence, but will depend upon
intelligence forwarded from other agencies. The nature and extent of support that
DOD agencies will be expected to provide DHS remains as yet uncertain.108
Congress may wish to maintain oversight of the overall effort to coordinate and
consolidate intelligence for homeland security.
Intelligence Community Reform
Reform of the Intelligence Community is a perennial subject for high-level
commissions. The most recent presidential commission, headed by Lt Gen Brent
Scowcroft (U.S. Air Force, ret), made a recommendation to place the defense109
intelligence agencies directly under the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), but
no action was taken on the proposal in the 107th Congress. If such a move does occur
in the future, the concern for the military services would probably be to prevent any
significant reduction in current and near-term production of IMINT by NIMA and
SIGINT by NSA. The services use these capabilities heavily, and subordinating the
defense agencies under the DCI could lower the priority placed on military
requirements. If, on the other hand, the centralization creates conditions for a
transformation in analysis without significantly reducing current production, the
military services may be better off in the long run.
107 Interview with CAPT Rich Kelly, USCG; Weisman, “Intelligence Agencies,” p. 11.
108 See Richard A. Best, Jr., Homeland Security: Intelligence Support, CRS Report
109 “Senior CIA Official Says Rumsfeld ‘Absolutely Wrong’ on Intel Reform,” Defense
Information and Electronics Report, April 26, 2002, p. 1.
AC2ISRCAerospace Command and Control and Intelligence, Surveillance and
ACTDAdvanced Concept Technology Demonstration
ASD/C3IAssistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
Communications and Intelligence
ASDSAdvanced SEAL Delivery System
BDABomb Damage Assessment
C2ISRCommand, Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
CECCooperative Engagement Capability
CIACentral Intelligence Agency
DARPADefense Advanced Research Project Agency
DCGSDistributed Common Ground System
DCIDirector of Central Intelligence
DIADefense Intelligence Agency
DODDepartment of Defense
GPSGlobal Positioning System
ISRIntelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
JCSJoint Chiefs of Staff
JFCOMJoint Forces Command
JROCJoint Requirements Oversight Council
MASINTMeasurement and Signatures Intelligence
NIMANational Imagery and Mapping Agency
NMCINavy and Marine Corps Intranet
NRONational Reconnaissance Office
NSANational Security Agency
OFTOffice of Force Transformation
OSDOffice of the Secretary of Defense
QDRQuadrennial Defense Review
RSTAReconnaissance, Surveillance, Targeting and Acquisition
SIPRNETSecure Internet Protocol Network
SOCOMSpecial Operations Command
UAVUnmanned Aerial Vehicle
UUVUnmanned Underwater Vehicle