Intelligence

October 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
A soldier in the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division stands security from a rooftop in Iraq during an operation designed to gather intelligence. The Army is accelerating the implementation of intelligence techniques and technologies based on input from Afghanistan and Iraq.
What worked well works better when distributed among the entire force.

October 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

June 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

New directions spur in-house research, industry outreach.

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.

October 2002
By Maryann Lawlor

Prophet finds what’s present, supports future tactics.

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.

October 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Counterterrorism hastens cooperation, Afghanistan offers lessons.

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.

October 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Dual fronts task measurement and signature intelligence.

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.

October 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

New commercial Web tools melded with internal expertise keep the secure intelligence network on top.

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.

November 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

The community grapples with a cultural transformation while simultaneously protecting a  nation at war.

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.

October 1999
By Robert K. Ackerman

Vast air campaign and real-time requirements impel development of new data products, delivery methods.

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.

August 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

Warfighters use various methods to egrade adversary’s capability and will to fight.

Future U.S. Air Force combat missions will see the widespread use of nontraditional tactics designed to end a campaign quickly with a minimum of casualties and damage. By embracing these methods, the service moves toward effects-based operations where success is measured by an enemy’s decreased warfighting capabilities or outright capitulation rather than by counting casualties and destroyed equipment.

May 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Building a warfighting network is only the beginning; its capabilities mandate a new way of doing business.

The next step in network-centric warfare will be the creation of networked sensing suites that tailor their observations to the adversary’s rate of activity. These various sensors will concentrate on observing changes rather than on observing scenery.

July 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new office aims to keep pace with U.S. and adversarial advances.

The U.S. Defense Department is transforming its intelligence infrastructure to meet the revolutionary changes that the military is undergoing. The very nature of intelligence is changing with the revamping of the force, and its application promises to be a key issue in the success of that overall military transformation.

February 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Mapping organization look to innovation, industry for rapid response to crises.

The war against terrorism in Afghanistan has propelled the National Imagery and Mapping Agency into the future ahead of schedule. Faced with an urgent demand for intelligence on a region of the world not fully covered in its databases, the agency turned to private industry for products and services. And, it introduced advanced methods and products of its own to serve decision makers and warfighters.

April 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

The CIA is looking for a few good companies that can serve its information system requirements.

Faced with rapidly changing information technology needs, the Central Intelligence Agency is serving as a venture catalyst to help fund private sector startup companies with promising technologies. An organization established by the agency seeks new companies with commercially viable products and serves as a facilitator providing the firms with access to capital and markets.

April 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

The commercial sector may hold the key to an application breakthrough.

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.

October 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

Linking collection and dissemination systems may be the key to winning the war on terrorism.

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.

October 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

A true information age approach is the key to success.

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.

October 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

Technologies and humans join forces in building a threat crystal ball.

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.

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