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.
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.
The proliferation of new and diverse threats to U.S. interests has the intelligence community scrambling for scarce resources to maintain pace with newly emerging challenges. Traditional menaces such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction and organized terrorist groups have been complicated by emerging geopolitical changes and technologies. Keeping up with this dynamic threat picture has taxed the intelligence community and may require considerable funding increases and a reallocation of resources.
Fast, agile units employing advanced sensors and situational awareness suites will soon become the U.S. Army's vanguard rapid deployment forces. Currently mustering and training at Fort Lewis, Washington, these interim brigade combat teams will rely on a variety of wireless communication and information technologies to detect, outmaneuver and engage more heavily armed opponents.
A consensus is growing among national security experts that the U.S. government's security policies must make space a top priority. If it does not, a space-based Pearl Harbor could be around the corner.
The U.S. intelligence community must invest in new technologies, capabilities and personnel, or face the possibility of a catastrophic failure with national implications, according to its director.
Unified military operations are leading to a redistribution of intelligence functions as the U.S. Defense Department transitions into a network-centric world. Sensors and shooters once belonged to the same family of operators. Now, sensing, analysis and dissemination of intelligence information are moving into a realm apart from the weapons delivery process.
Few things on Earth go unnoticed by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. So, when the landscape of national security changed in the 1990s, it saw the beginning of the end for a long-established corporate culture. The once highly secretive organization has since restructured itself by dramatically increasing its research and development efforts and aggressively enlisting services from the commercial sector. These changes reflect a general trend toward consolidating space-based observation assets within the intelligence community.
The U.S. Defense Department is seeking industry input on the design of the next generation of airborne signals intelligence systems. The joint effort, which involves the services, a defense agency and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, is known as the Joint Airborne Signals Intelligence Architecture Standards Working Group. It will build on past defense and industry successes to create the next version of the signals intelligence architecture document. The group is led by the National Security Agency and projects publication of version 2.0 in early 2002.
U.S. Army planners are building a new intelligence architecture that ties closely with military, civil government and law enforcement activities both for rapid overseas engagement and for homeland defense. A new plan outlines an Army that meshes with the intelligence community as a whole to fill future requirements in its multimission agenda.
An advanced thin-client station allows U.S. intelligence analysts to work more effectively by enabling them to share information efficiently on the same network. Data that once resided on multiple networks is now stored on a secure server providing material to individual desktop units. The equipment creates a smaller hardware footprint while improving workflow and reducing security risks.
A prototype information management and communications technology soon will provide warfighters with near-real-time intelligence. The network-based system collects imagery, video and other data from airborne and ground-based sensors and stores it in specialized servers. Commanders can then access this raw information for needed materials without waiting for analysts to process it.
The Iraq War has provided a wealth of lessons that already are being applied to diverse U.S. Army intelligence disciplines such as sensors, situational awareness, information dissemination and secure conferencing. The Army has been incorporating many of these lessons by accelerating some programs and altering others, and many of these activities are supporting the ongoing Army transformation while others are altering its course.
The World Wide Web's commercial revolution is feeding new capabilities to Intelink, the intelligence community's independent intranet. As usage increases and information grows exponentially, Intelink is adapting Web tools to serve the increasingly complex needs of a secure network.
The Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. military are embarking on a path to combine their complementary assets in the war on terrorism. Both national security elements have been taking on each other's characteristics-the military is transforming its force along a common denominator of information, while the intelligence community increasingly is engaging in active, even paramilitary, operations in the field.
Greater urgencies in both conventional and asymmetrical warfare are accelerating the development and deployment of measurement and signature intelligence systems. This rapidly growing discipline is delving into more diverse sources of data, and experts are advancing ways of using it to help other intelligence sensor systems. Concurrently, laboratory researchers are seeking to develop a totally new family of sensor systems that can detect everyday energy emissions from artificial and organic sources.
The U.S. Army has a new tool in its arsenal that allows mobile troops to gather intelligence about the location and activities of adversaries by pinpointing the source of signal transmissions and intercepting communications. The system will replace legacy electronic warfare systems that were developed more than 30 years ago, and it has already been deployed in Afghanistan in support of operation Enduring Freedom.
The war on terrorism has added a new sense of urgency to the Central Intelligence Agency's science and technology development. The agency is accelerating its work in a number of key areas both to serve ongoing operations against al Qaida and to ensure long-term vigilance against asymmetric adversaries who are constantly changing their ways of operating.
The Central Intelligence Agency is reallocating vital resources to address the urgent and long-term needs of the war on terrorism. In addition to transferring substantial numbers of analysts and increasing overseas operational activities, the agency is establishing new links with nontraditional domestic customers.
New data storage and retrieval techniques are allowing theater air mission planners to call up detailed imagery and mapping data from a laptop computer. Using commercial hardware and software, U.S. forces directed attack and rescue missions during the recent Kosovo conflict by accessing continentwide data contained in a single box.