Free World intelligence communities are confronting a more difficult world in which dramatic changes are altering the geopolitical landscape faster than previously experienced. Both technology and human factors play a role in this dynamic realm, and both technological and human solutions will be necessary for the intelligence community to adjust accordingly.
The past may provide a guidelines to the future.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has begun internal discussions regarding a multiaward contract for cloud computing services.
Anthony Montemarano, DISA’s director of strategic planning and information, told a briefing of industry leaders Monday that he and his agency are firm believers in cloud computing. “When you look at some of the functions that we perform in government, a lot of it can be provided in the commercial cloud. We have to come to grips with the value proposition,” he explains. He believes that the Defense Department’s cloud computing strategy must include DISA cloud resources, commercial cloud services and privately owned cloud services where appropriate.
The plug-and-play technology will close large capability gaps in the field.
The U.S. Army is developing the first airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform fully enabled to connect analysts with the Distributed Common Ground System-Army. That system will help remedy problems currently hindering soldiers from having all data feed into a single repository. With the new aircraft, the process will be streamlined from the flying support, so information reaches ground commanders faster to facilitate more timely decision making.
Anyone who has attended an AFCEA conference in the past two months has heard the constant drumbeat from senior government leadership on the limitations on operations and readiness likely to occur in defense, intelligence and homeland security. At the AFCEA/USNI West 2013 Conference in San Diego January 29-31, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a packed audience that the U.S. Defense Department did not know how much money it would receive, when it would receive it or what the restrictions on its use would be.
The release of the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report in early December spawned a wave of media attention and crashed two websites hosting the document. For the first several days, officials tracked approximately 60,000 Tweets pertaining to the information sent out every 20 minutes. "The first thing to say is that the amount of response and amount of attention focused on it came really as a surprise to us ... it did really go viral in a way we didn't appreciate beforehand," states Dr.
Similarities outnumber differences as allies compare challenges.
The past 11 years have seen a sea change in intelligence operations and challenges in both Europe and North America, as longtime allies have had to confront a new era in global security issues. Both the United States and European NATO members have discovered that they face many of the same challenges, some of which must be addressed together by all members of the Atlantic alliance.
Book By Norman Polmar and Michael White (U.S. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland 2010, 238 pages)
In 1974, the United States attempted to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from a depth of 16,000 feet, in the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. The submarine had been lost in March 1968. The operation to do this was camouflaged as an ocean bottom mining operation carried out by the Hughes Glomar Explorer, specially constructed for that purpose. As the Soviet general staff later admitted, the deception was excellent. They did not believe recovery from such a depth could be accomplished.
A new computing architecture emphasizes shared resources.
The nation’s intelligence community has embarked on a path toward a common computer desktop and a cloud computing environment designed to facilitate both timely sharing of information and cost savings. The implementation could result in budget savings of 20 to 25 percent over existing information technology spending within six years, but the ramifications could include large cultural changes that result both in lost jobs and business for industry partners.
The National Intelligence University prepares for its fifth decade with a shift in focus and a change in venue.
The National Intelligence University, which provides advanced training to U.S. intelligence professionals, is transitioning from an institution primarily focused on the U.S. Defense Department to one serving the entire intelligence community. This reflects the new emphasis toward sharing and collaboration within the nation's intelligence apparatus.
New common goals open doors for more efficient approaches to information sharing.
Technological and cultural barriers are falling away as intelligence community organizations strive to establish a collaborative environment for sharing vital information. This thrust may be a case of an urgent need overcoming traditional obstacles as onetime rival groups embrace cooperation with the goal of building a synergistic information realm.
The AFCEA Global Intelligence Forum takes place at the Le Plaza Hotel, Brussels, Belgium, December 10-11. This unclassified conference features keynote speakers Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive officer and chairman, Kaspersky Lab; Maciej Popowski, deputy secretary general, European External Action Service, European Union; and Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, deputy secretary general and smart defense envoy, U.S. mission to NATO. Registration is now available online.
Government economics experts agree that sequestration is not—and probably never was—a threat or hard stop to force Congress to approve a federal budget. Instead, senators and representatives intended for the hammer to fall, so they could reduce federal spending yet go back to their constituents with clean hands and say, “It wasn’t me.”
Planning for the AFCEA Intelligence symposium has begun, and it’s time to get with the program. This event, which has sold out every year for the past 18 years, is titled “Decision Advantage in a Changing World” and will feature discussions about issues that could define the security environment for the next 20 years. Based on the National Intelligence Council’s “Global Trends 2030” paper, speakers will present their insights about the steps the intelligence community must take within the next decade to remain relevant in a rapidly changing environment.
AFCEA International and the Naval Intelligence Professionals (NIP) are sponsoring a national intelligence writing contest (NIWC) that offers a top prize of $3,000 and a three-year membership in both organizations. Essays must address the topic “Pivoting from the Middle East to the Pacific—Implications for Achieving a Balance in Intelligence.” The deadline for entries is June 30, 2013.
The 2013 Air Force ISR Industry Day scheduled for June 21, 2013, at the TASC Heritage Conference Center will now take place on October 31, 2013, at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield, Virginia.
Those who are signed up will remain registered for the new date, or we gladly will issue you a refund. Everyone considering attending who has not registered should do so immediately because these events sell out.
As part of the association’s outreach to increase the number of young members, the AFCEA Intelligence Department features the Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC). The group comprises approximately 50 members under the age of 40 that all work in intelligence-related positions in the government or in the private sector.