There is no doubt that the United States has good intelligence capabilities. Our network-centric approach to warfare fits perfectly with intelligence collection and dissemination. Our collection assets are the best in the world. Expert analysts have proved their worth with decades of vital discoveries that helped stave off potential disasters during the Cold War. Yet, intelligence community leadership is faced with some important decisions to ensure its vitality and effectiveness in the coming decades.
The defense intelligence community, flush with new collection and dissemination technologies, now faces a crisis in its human elements. Years of improving technological capabilities have left a serious gap in human intelligence collection as well as in analysis.
A metamorphosis in the U.S. Army military intelligence community closely mirrors the changes seen throughout the service as it embarks on the transformation to a full-spectrum force-the Objective Force. The service's conversion is motivated by an increase in the diversity and number of threats, the creation of new technologies, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. These same factors have military intelligence leaders assessing the part that their personnel and technology will play in future operations. And, as in the past, it will be a critical role and one that will grow and change in proportion to the number of adversaries and missions.
A new Internet protocol military encryption system from Norway is being targeted for marketing to Scandinavian and new North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations. Developed for Norway's Ministry of Defense, this system provides end-to-end communications security using an Atlantic alliance algorithm and features a smart card removable cryptographic ignition key, operator password and tamper-proof protection.
The U.S. Defense Department has developed an imagery system that allows full-motion video inputs from unmanned aerial vehicles, handheld cameras and similar devices to move directly from a sensor to an analyst's workstation. Based on recent advances in hardware and commercially available software, intelligence agencies can now capture and process uncompressed imagery in real time with sophisticated off-the-shelf products.
Imagine being able to fly from planet to planet at a cost and safety level comparable to today's flights from continent to continent. Work currently being conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration could make this a reality for future generations.
A powerful computer that generates thousands of radar signals is being used to test the electronic warfare suite on the F-22 Raptor. The device pushes the aircraft's countermeasure package to the breaking point, allowing engineers to locate, analyze and repair faults in the system prior to installation.
Over the past decade, downsizing in the U.S. Air Force has refocused the service's goals on the efficiency, readiness and maximization of manpower and resources within a tighter budget. Restructuring the organization's planning and allocation systems under a new program will ensure that the challenges of a rapidly changing global defense picture will continue to be met.
Space may be the final frontier for travel, but for today's earthbound warriors it is the enabler of systems that strengthen and speed operations. Recognizing that the military's reliance on space-based assets will continue to grow, the U.S. Defense Department is seeking new ways for these resources to give its soldiers the advantage. No longer viewed as a luxury, the cosmos is now treasured as an intricate component of a successful mission.
The U.S. Defense Department, with the cooperation of nations worldwide, is examining a multitude of technologies that would enhance today's command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Recently created systems would allow military forces to acquire targets more accurately, collaborate remotely and share weather information to determine how conditions will affect a planned mission or the effectiveness of a weapon. Emerging technologies also would passively monitor potential targets, facilitate near-real-time access to up-to-date terrain information, provide a defense against information operations, and reduce the footprint and life-cycle cost of equipment.