The Pentagon is launching a new intelligence organization called ‘Defense Clandestine Service’ (DSC), positioned to focus on interests of ‘national intelligence’ rather than battlefield intelligence and tactical support for the warfighter. While the pentagon is not specific where those interests are, the US most pressing intelligence priorities in recent years have included counterterrorism on a global scale (with focus on the Middle East, Asia and Africa), nonproliferation issues related mainly but not exclusively to North Korea and Iran, and the growing military forces of China.
These interests are covered by a plethora of clandestine organizations, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA); other agencies focus on specific threats or technologies, such as the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) or National Reconnaissance Office and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, responsible for remote sensing by spy satellites. Following the approved last week by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta the Pentagon is forming another service beside DIA. DOD intends to be operate this joint service complementary to other intelligence efforts, supporting and complementing intelligence activities under the Director of National Intelligence’s work.
Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Photo: Edgefighter)
According to the Washington Post, Michael Vickers, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and the main force behind the changes, is best known as one of the architects of the CIA’s program to arm Islamist militants to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980s. He is also a former member of U.S. Special Operations forces.
DIA was effectively conducting its traditional, and much larger, mission of providing intelligence to troops and commanders in war zones, it needed to focus more attention outside the battlefields on what is called “national intelligence” — gathering and distributing information on global issues and sharing that intelligence with other agencies. The mission statement of DIA covers these interests, in addition to directly supporting military operations (see video below).
According to the Washington Post, the new service was developed in response to a classified study completed last year by the director of national intelligence, that concluded that the military’s espionage efforts needed to shift from tactical oriented support to broader operations, streamlining the efforts of the Defense Intelligence with other intelligence agencies, providing more complete and actionable picture for decision makers at the military. Continue reading