New collection and storage technologies, along with the need for greater collaboration across the intelligence community, are changing the nature of intelligence analysis. But obstacles that stand in the way of that change could prevent intelligence analysis from achieving its full—and necessary—potential to serve national requirements in the Global War on Terrorism.
The U.S. Air Force is reorganizing its intelligence community to connect the dots before moving information to the decision maker and the warfighter. The ongoing reorganization is eliminating bureaucratic layers and improving communication among diverse elements responsible for designing and delivering intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
Intelligence technology research normally focused on electronics-related disciplines increasingly is being applied to improving human intelligence capabilities. These capabilities, which range from intelligence collection to distribution, define human intelligence activities in the war on terrorism.
Wartime demands and the greater likelihood of coalition operations are changing the way the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency conducts business. The agency is trending toward products that have lower classification levels to improve coalition interoperability, and it is laying the groundwork for its customers to tailor its products to suit specific needs.
The Defense Intelligence Agency is meeting the global threat head-on by moving from its traditional decentralized information technology framework to a consolidated, enterprise-centric environment. As part of a transformational effort called the Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Way Ahead, the agency is replacing its stovepiped environment with regional service centers that have global reach. The centers facilitate all-source data access and enable worldwide availability of information, and the consolidation will correct inefficiencies, decrease costs and improve user productivity.
The wealth of information available worldwide from open sources has impelled the U.S. intelligence community to establish a new center dedicated exclusively to exploitation and dissemination of valuable unclassified products. This center will scour the world's environment of readily available information for snippets of data that could complete a vital intelligence picture as well as for messages among enemies that travel in the open through the global village.
The U.S. military has deployed a command and control technology that allows warfighters to view, store and act on information provided by a variety of sources such as cameras, unattended ground sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles. The system can superimpose live video images onto a three-dimensional map to create a persistent surveillance capability in a specific area, and it allows users to issue alerts based on specific activities such as people or vehicles entering restricted areas.
Renowned mathematician George B. Dantzig died on May 13 at age 90, and the U.S. Strategic Command stood up a new component to focus on global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts on May 31. A mathematical model used to optimize resource allocation could tie Dantzig's work to the new group.
Where many sources of intelligence currently confound military analysts' efforts to build an accurate picture of the battlespace, a new joint Web-based system allows them to obtain information through a uniform query across the field of intelligence databases. Known as the Joint Intelligence Operations Capability-Iraq, or JIOC-I, the system gives analysts the ability to extract data faster and to spend more time on the analytical side of their tasking.
The U.S. Defense Department has designed a road map that plots the objectives
U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is relinquishing its separate identity and becoming an integral part of air combat operations. Sensor advances and the advent of network-centric warfare have both increased the discipline's importance and compressed the time required to carry out its mission taskings.
Highly refined signal filters will open new vistas in applications ranging from complex intelligence gathering to cellular telephony. The advances emerge from high-temperature superconducting materials incorporated into semiconductor chips. Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have moved some aspects of this technology to the private sector for production and commercialization.
Sails billowing from strong economic, technology and military winds, the U.S. ship of state is tacking toward the future, seeking to shape its own strategic environment. Dead ahead in Asian waters, however, are ominous heavy weather and treacherous shoals. The U.S. military and its allies are facing a growing number of hostile rogue states that are equipping themselves with dangerous technologies designed to thwart power projection.
The U.S. Air Force has demonstrated the ability to provide airborne joint surveillance target attack radar system operators with real-time video ground imagery from an unmanned aerial vehicle. The capability allows positive identification of targets, decreased reporting and response times for attacking critical targets, and reduced fratricide.
The U.S. Army is developing new countermeasures to defeat smarter air defense threats, including systems that rely on radar targeting technology. The recently introduced suite of tools detects, identifies, locates and jams modern gun and missile radars.
The National Security Agency is spearheading a U.S. Defense Department effort to develop, with commercial assistance, joint tactical signals intelligence systems. The agency has formed a steering group to shape an architecture for generating standards around which industry will design and build the next generation of tactical signals intelligence systems.
The National Security Agency is reorganizing its structure and activities to serve as a full-fledged participant in military operations. This break from its traditional role of providing support to decision makers and warfighters reflects the growing magnitude of information in military operations.
Intelligence-gathering techniques perfected by the government have made their way from the battlefield to the boardroom and now to corporate war rooms. These distinctively designed facilities are headquarters to a company's team of specialists who provide decision makers with knowledge that is critical to corporate survival and growth in today's highly competitive environment.
The U.S. defense intelligence community is changing its information philosophy from emphasis on-call functional or geopolitical expertise toward rapid access to relevant knowledge from vast data files. To accommodate this shift, new technologies are enabling planners to implement an information architecture designed to provide authorized customers with streamlined access to vital information or expertise.
Creation of a national operations and analysis hub is finding grudging acceptance among senior officials in the U.S. national security community. This fresh intelligence mechanism would link federal agencies to provide instant collaborative threat profiling and analytical assessments for use against asymmetrical threats. National policy makers, military commanders and law enforcement agencies would be beneficiaries of the hub's information.