New collection platforms, satellite communications links, a common operating data set and commercial-style database exploitation tools are at the top of the intelligence wish list for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marines fight in a manner similar to that of a joint task force, and their intelligence approach parallels this as it seeks to collect, process and disseminate information to users. Many of the hurdles that plague joint warfighters have been overcome by the Corps, but in doing so it has developed its own needs that cannot be met by joint service operations.
Mix advanced information technology, a rapidly increasing work force and a new architecture for sharing data and you have the recipe for transforming the military intelligence community, if the Defense Intelligence Agency has its way. Lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq have only reinforced the targets for change in defense intelligence collection, management and analysis.
The U.S. Army is looking to radically change the very concept of information management to meet its growing intelligence demands arising from force transformation. This will require a new way of processing and disseminating information in a network that links a rapidly growing number of increasingly diverse sensors and sources.
The U.S. intelligence community is in a race against international adversaries, and to win, it must link diverse data systems and information processes so that experts can learn enemy intentions and plans before disaster strikes. This race toward horizontal integration of intelligence has a two-pronged thrust that encompasses both data exchange at the collection level and information exchange at various levels of command and civil government decision making.